As usual, a HUGE backlog of open tabs and oddities. Grab a green tea; your weekend reading begins NOW.
§ Jules Feiffer has been awarded the the 2012 John Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award, given by Columbia College Chicago. As an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, cartoonist, and teacher, if there is anyone who deserves a lifetime achievement award, it is Feiffer.
§ This rather obnoxious article on developing a local event into a Big Time Show examines SXSW, Sundance and Comic-Con for how to do it.
5. Sell out. Big. You’ll know your event is on the right track when your original audience starts to complain about how big it’s gotten, and how it’s become all about the money. But anyone can sell-out their core audience. Sundance, Comic-Con and SXSW have taken it to the next level. Each one started for the outsiders. And each one is now essentially run by industry publicity machines. That’s important because the industry publicity machine is what gets the attention of the national media. And we’re not talking about landing the occasional Good Morning America spot that says, “Hey look, someone in Somewheresville is doing something interesting this weekend.” We’re talking about the attention that will leave you wondering where to park all the satellite trucks.
§ Do you know what separates the pros from the amateurs? It’s seeing the material all around you. Take for example, the saga of Nicolas Cage’s ACTION #1. Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon from Reno 911!—also known as those guys who present an Eisner Award or two every year—are writing a screenplay about that exact subject. As you may recall, Cage bought the comic in the ’90s, only to have it stolen in 2000, vanish, and then and mysteriously show up in a storage locker in LA and then sell at auction for $2.1 million. And no one knows how it got in that storage locker.
According to THR, the Reno 911! stars have written a script called Action No. 1 about the theft and Lionsgate has picked it up for development. Set in 2000, the story will follow a group of “nerds” as they hatch a plan to steal Cage’s copy of the book. The trade says that the script was written with the idea that Nicolas Cage would star as himself – or at least a version of himself – but says that the actor’s involvement is “unlikely.” In a strange twist, they also say that Jason Statham’s name has been brought up in connection with the project, but he isn’t attached and it is unknown what part he would play. Lennon and Garant’s writing credits include Night at the Museum (as well as its sequel), Balls of Fury, Taxi and The Pacifier.
This has all the hot topics: comics books, capers, and Storage Wars.
§ As we celebrate all things John Carter this week, John Kane looks at the various reprints of comics versions of the tale, of which there are several, from Jesse Marsh to Gil Kane. Frankly, it’s Kane who does it best of all.
§ Ng Suat Tong looks at Osamu Tezuka’s PRINCESS KNIGHT, generally credited with inventing the shojo manga category, and finds it not-so-revolutionary
In many ways, Tezuka is less interested in gender identity (as a crossdressing protagonist would seem to imply) than in a kind of old school female empowerment. Unlike other fairy tale princesses, Sapphire drops a knife and not glass slippers. She is always “correctly” and heterosexually attracted to her prince charming and the aforementioned lavish dresses, yet fully capable of defeating her opponents in single combat — an antediluvian Lara Croft without the pneumatic breasts. The 6th century Ballad of Mu Lan had similar concerns but less reservations about the strength of women.
§ Egads, has it really been six months already? 4th Letter’s Gavok looks back at six months of the New 52:
As time went on, I naturally started to drop titles almost every week. Some comics were awesome. Some were terrible. Some were okay enough at the start and picked up. Some were okay enough at the start and fell downward. Some were merely okay and not good enough for me to keep buying, as much as I didn’t hate them. Then some I really enjoyed got canceled or put with a creative team that I have no intention of following.
§ A top-notch look at superhero idealization vs sexualization by Ken Parille:
The actions of fanatical males around the world remind us that a woman can be stoned (or worse) if she fails to comply with her culture’s dress code. It would be easy, then, to think that such codes are fundamentally about the patriarchy’s need to control girls and women, while liberating boys and men. But such systems also tell us about males’ fears and desires about other males’ bodies.
§ Seth Kushner and Chris Irving went inside Chris Ware’s house and damn it, he’s got only the cool stuff. How does he do it?
§ Ben Templesmith talks about the last little while.
§ Melinda Beasi examines whether Apple has been overly censorious of LGBT comics:
In June of 2010, Apple’s policies for adult content in the iOS App Store received a lot of attention in the comics press after Tom Bouden’s all-male graphic novel adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest was rejected from the store for its very mild sexual content, while similarly non-explicit heterosexual content seemed to be flying through just fine. Though Apple eventually agreed to accept a censored version of Bouden’s comic, Prism Comics founder Charles “Zan” Christensen gave voice to the thought on everyone’s mind at the time in his article, “iPad Publishing No Savior for Small Press, LGBT Comics Creators” at the company’s website. And though, just a year later, Apple seemed to throw its arms open wide to Christensen’s LGBT imprint Northwest Press by accepting several of Northwest’s comics into its iBooks store, publishers and fans have remained skeptical.
§ Service piece: How To Sell Your Comic Book Collection.
Squidoo offers a two-part guide about how to part with your no longer beloved collection. First you’ll have to index your collection and identify the value of your top pieces. Keep in mind that just because you find an eye-popping value in a price guide doesn’t mean you’ll get that amount for your comic book. Dealers will offer you significantly less than market value so they’ll be able to turn a profit on your wares.
§ The swipes of Salvador Larroca discussed on an artists forum:
Dude, if you ever do sequential art (storyboards, comics) on a work for hire basis with a tight deadline and the art direction/house style is a realistic style…google tracing is totally a legit deadline crunching technique.
§ Lauren Davis looks at Dylan Meconis‘ webcomic FAMILY MAN:
There aren’t many comics that crack jokes about post-Reformation theology, but Dylan Meconis manages to make those jokes both incredibly funny and surprisingly accessible in her historical webcomic Family Man. Set in 1768 before the formation of Germany, it follows Luther Levy, a disgraced theology scholar who has taken a lecturing position at a strange university stranded in the wilderness. Meconis has strongly hinted that the series will eventually feature werewolves, and the comic appears to be on the verge of a major wolfy revelation. But even without lyncanthropes rampaging through its panels, Family Man is a fascinating read, with its star theologian struggling with his Jewish heritage and his recent loss of faith — plus his growing attraction to the university’s mysterious librarian.
§ Erica Friedman’s Comics I Like Despite Themselves
§ Also at Hooded Utilitarian, James Romberger talks about clarity and intent and other important craft things about comics.
§ Finally, the gypsy look is IN for fall and designer Joseph Altuzarra decided his was based on Corto Maltese.
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.