It’s the dog days of comics. Everyone is resting up except for the doughty troops who are pressing on to Toronto and Chicago. While the Big Two comics controversies are whipping up a dust storm, elsewhere, things are peaceful.
§ Mark Evanier also went to the show.
I want to write more about the con when I have time. I want to write about a couple of lives that I think I saw changed for the better by folks’ attendance of that convention. I want to write about how I ran into Sid Krofft in a hallway, recognized him from the back…and then noticed that he was standing next to H.R. Pufnstuf. I want to write about how funny Robert Ben Garant and Tom Lennon were in the portion of the Eisner Awards they hosted, which was the only part I got to see. I want to write about the wit and charm of Jonathan Ross on our Jack Kirby panel…actually, about the wit and charm of all the folks who appeared on all my panels. I want to write about the convention’s amazing crew and skill at crowd control.
§ Artist James Jean went to Japan and took some lovely photos. Are you surprised?
§ Matthias Wivel reacts to the call for a Marvel boycott to support Jack Kirby.
Is it fair to hold Marvel Comics to a higher standard than a corporation whose products are not of the intellectual property variety, just because Marvel’s properties are characters who represent the triumph of good over evil? I’ve wrestled with that. I don’t think Marvel is evil or horrible because of some bad policies, and obviously it’s no coincidence that Marvel’s good fortune in being bought by Disney, having successful films, etc., leads to them being targets of lawsuits like this, but opportunism doesn’t by itself invalidate a position. I tended to always follow the precept that whatever a court of law decided in the case of creative ownership lawsuits, that was good enough for me. Wolfman’s Blade? He had his day in court, he lost, end of story. But the impact that Jack Kirby’s co-creations have had on Marvel Comics over the past 70 years is just too overwhelming for me to continue that stance.
§ Matt Madden takes a brief whirl through this year’s SVA cartooning graduates, including a few Beat interns that we’ve spotlighted here. Above, Henry Fernau.
§ AdHouse Books is going to the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con which will be held August 14th from 12-7pm at the Rotunda (4014 Walnut st.)
§ Also that weekend: Wizard World Chicago, where one journalist is surprised to find, Artists hold their own at Wizard World –
To complete the spectacle, Wizard World invites contemporary comic book artists — both known and unknown — to set up booths and show their work in its massive Artist Alley. This year, two notable comics artists from Illinois will be attending: Don Kramer (booth #3015), the artist depicting Wonder Woman in her latest incarnation; and Ivan Brunetti (booth #3704), an alternative comics artist and author of Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice (Yale University Press, 2011).
Real cartoonists! Please support them of you are at the show!
§ Not comics: Andy Serkis has made a strange career out of being a mocap actor, as in this week’s RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES:
Obviously, there’s stuff that’s physically impossible to do, but some of the climbing I did, some of the spinning, the twisting. Some of it was done by a digital double, the same way a stuntman would do dangerous stuff. And that’s where the divide would happen. What the animators will do is take reference for the stuff you are capturing, and be able to morph into that, so the facial capture is still there, and at the end of the day, there’s the physicality and the emotional journey.
§ Maura McHugh reviews Ludovic Debeurme’s LUCILLE:
Lucille deserves the accolades and awards. It is easy to be fooled by its apparent simplicity of form and narrative structure, but Debeurme uses it to lay bare the heartaches and wounds that cause people to suffer and make mistakes, even as they reach for love. There is an underlying affection for everyone in the story – an appreciation of the universal struggle people endure in life no matter their circumstances. It lends a kindness to the story that takes the edge off its poignancy.
§ K.C. Carlson reviews Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson:
This material is almost undefinable in its importance, as for decades creators like Gottfredson (and his Duck-Man counterpart, Carl Barks) toiled away anonymously. Finally, in the late 1960s/early 70s, comic book and animation fans slowly deduced the identities of these men who created their childhood favorites. For years, Barks was only referred to as “the good duck artist”, because no one knew his name. Eventually, fans became aware of these great creators, but recognition in the outside world was a much slower process. For a long time, Gottfredson’s incredible efforts paled in the shadow of Barks’ growing fame. This book also goes some way toward putting that right, giving Gottfredson’s work a proper showcase in a popular format.
§ Finally, the new PW Comics World podcast More to Come 4: Surviving Comic-Con is up. This one suffers from a lot of audio problems, as we had to record it from different locales, but has a nice summary of what we did and saw. And reminder: You can subscribe to More to Come on iTunes!
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.