§ Nice art: This came out last week but I cannot help but share this stunning Black Panther variant cover drawn by Paul Pope and colored by Toby Cypress. Take about a team supreme.
§ Writer and friend Tim O’Shea has been battling brain cancer and is now in hospice care, but letters written to him are greatly easing his time, so please consider writing him a note. I know he will appreciate it.
§ Nice art again. Earlier this year, Mike Mignola announced he was taking a year off from comics to devote to painting. Word has it, he’s already feeling a bit done with painting. but oh what paintings, as Paste magazine reports. I guess when you are that talented you can do whatever you darned please.
Edgar Allen Poe once expounded that, “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world,” an appropriately creepy, unnerving and confusing belief for the doom prophet who turned live burials and alcoholism into a literary tradition. But looking at the watercolor paintings of comic icon and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the connection between death and beauty has never been more profound.
The show’s writing self-consciously tethers Luke Cage to a legacy of black pulp heroism. Moreover, Luke Cage takes the exaggerated, over-affected mannerisms of 1970s blaxploitation movies and 1990s hood flicks, and brings them forward, pulling threads from the sharkskin suits of New Jack City, New York Undercover, American Gangster, The Wire, and kinfolk melanin-heavy melodramas like Empire. The show occasionally teeters on the edge of overly earnest message-movie corniness but, even then, it feels like it’s doing so intentionally. The mix of tonalities make it feel richer than first impressions might suggest. It moves from barbershop shit-talking to considerations of Harlem’s singular history or visual nostalgia for old-school rap videos without inducing whiplash. There’s a self-awareness at play here that pulled me in. Luke Cage takes its themes and performances seriously but not at the expense of having fun in the kitchen.
§ Area couple profile Dawn and Gary Guzzo, former Marvel mainstays who now make comics in Boothbay Harbor, ME.
But Stan Lee isn’t the only classic comic character creator who Dawn, and her husband Gary Guzzo, are in touch with from their years at Marvel Comics. Particularly since a reunion of sorts happened three years ago at Gary’s 60th birthday party in New York City. Before the couple moved to Boothbay Harbor, they were both at Marvel Comics; Gary was the head of publicity and marketing, and Dawn, head of the production department. She was the first woman to climb up the ladder at Marvel to become head of production from freelance graphic artist to assistant designer, designer, senior designer to running the then-famous Marvel “Bullpen” for 15 years.
§ I do not own any Artists Editions, or whatever each publisher calls them, lacking the funds and space to properly collect the darn things. Plus, you would need a LOT of money and space to keep up as every publisher announces their own lines. The site Comic Book Daily has you covered with both a list of all the oversized editions WITH ANNOUNCED PRINT RUNS and a list of those that are out of print, a smaller list than I would have thought. I’m going to have to study that list a bit and make some opinions known!
§ Conventions! How many are there, who what and when? I have on this site archived an old list from now defunct ConNews.com that has about 1000 events, but here’s an up to date master list from FanCons.com. ULTRA SUPER BONUS: a list of PAST cons going back to the 30s!
§ And speaking of cons, here’s a brief report on the Nairobi comic convention, which sounds much like all cons:
The two day event saw nerd culture engage in tournaments, cosplay competitions, workshops and a social euphoria of a whole new digital world. With amazing awards, giveaways and raffles draws everyone left with a piece of Naiccon with them.
§ And a photo gallery from Salt Lake Comic Con.
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.