§ Nice Art: Dame Darcy drew the poster for Comic Arts Brooklyn, and if you look close you can see a guest list: Charles Burns, Dame Darcy, Drew Friedman, Richard McGuire, LEslie Stein, Adrian Tomine and more.
§ Webcomic alert! Slate is publishing “Off Season” by James Sturm.
“Off Season” is about a hard-luck guy, his family, and his job in New England. “Off Season” is set right now, the fall and winter of 2016. These strips will be part of the book Off Season, to be published in another season by Drawn and Quarterly.
Sturm is director of the Center for Cartoon Studies, and author of The Golem’s Mighty Swing among other comics and this new strip is quite topical.
§ Frank Darabont is asking for $280 Million in damages and lost profits from AMC over his ouster from The Walking Dead. Darabont, as you may recall, developed the show and ran the first season but was dismissed just as the second season began, and has claimed he was hornswoggled out of his share of the money from the insanely popular and profitable show.
Darabont was fired in the middle of the second season and his lawsuit contends that AMC has robbed him of contingent profits by producing the series and then licensing it to its cable network affiliate for not enough money. The lawsuit is a good example of a ”vertical integration” case where AMC is arguing it negotiated the right to set an imputed license fee. Considering that Darabont was contractually entitled to as much as 10 percent of certain Walking Dead profits after deductions, the damages figure suggests the series has made billions.
The lawsuit asserts, however, that a low license fee formula has been designed to ensure that the show would never be in the black for profit participants. A trial will also feature the circumstances of Darabont’s departure from Walking Dead, which will enter its seventh season in October. That’s because Darabont is also alleging that AMC improperly reduced his profit share by not counting him as fully vested in the second season. He says he worked on all of the episodes of the second season while AMC asserts he had to be working full-time on the show at the end of the second cycle. A judge allowed the claim after an explosive deposition from Darabont was revealed detailing the “crisis-level problems” on the show.
Juicy stuff. However, the trial won’t even begin until 2018 as the presiding judge is “completely booked” until then.
§ A bunch of reviews at the AV Club including Lucy Knisley’s Something new and Pushwagner’s Soft City. The latter is published by New York eview of Books Comics, and to be brutally honest, when I heard about the very specialized comics they were planning to reprint, I was a little surprised, but I’ve loved just about everything they’ve put out (Blutch’s Peplum, Beyers Mark and Amy) and Soft city is SPECTACULAR:
The sheer scale of these simple drawings is dizzying, and Pushwagner affects a kind of baroque homogeneity—an ornate brutalism that has taken rigid austerity to grandly ostentatious heights. Soft City slowly exposes this space to us, unfolding at a pace that, due to its single-image and uncomplicated pages, may be read quickly but which, due to its minute rendering of movement and actions, gives the impression of occurring slowly. The obvious comparisons to Pushwagner’s fascistic sameness are Brave New World and Metropolis, which both Chris Ware and Martin Herbert, who write the introduction and afterword, respectively, make, but it’s closer to Brazil—Terry Gilliam’s vision of Kafka projected into the future.
The piece also includes a nice reconsideration of Dame Darcy (again) who is long overdue far a reappraisal.
§ Dash Shaw is doing a diary for TCJ and it’s super chatty!
While working on Cosplayers, I read a 1974 interview with J.G. Ballard that boosted my spirits, or confirmed that I was chasing something interesting. He said:
Surrealism itself is behind us today; it is a finished period. For Dali to be able to paint soft watches, it was necessary that real watches be hard. Today, if you ask someone the time on the street, you might see the face of Mickey Mouse on the dial. It is a typical and entirely commonplace invasion of reality by fiction. The roles have been reversed, and from now on literature must not so much invent an imaginary world as explore the fictions that surround us.
He said this in 1974, but I think it’s even more relevant today.
§ Here’s an article from The Wrap about how 40+ actors like Huge Jackman and Matt Damon are staying really ripped for their movies, which is more important than ever due to all the superhero films out there:
That has led to many older onscreen heroes, since an actor may be in his 40s before he has the star power to be a convincing icon. And the maturity that comes with age has helped forge a new perceived physical ideal. “I think that the type of training has changed dramatically from bodybuilding to a more athletic build focusing more on health and longevity,” said trainer Jason Walsh, owner of L.A.’s Rise Nation, who helped Bradley Cooper add 40 pounds for “American Sniper” and helped Matt Damon shape up for “Jason Bourne.”
“There’s better science and better methodologies, which leads to better/different mindsets and ultimately better bodies,” Walsh told TheWrap.
It’s funny how this era of ripped older folks also coincides with the era of HGH and PEDs – and CGI – isn’t it? Jackman has said he doesn’t drink any liquids for two days before he does a shirtless Wolverine scene so he’ll look totally jacked, and I guess it’s working.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.