§ Chris Butcher goes to PAX, the video game confab, and comes back wondering why things can’t all be so simple. You see, PAX has seven simple rules for attendees, including “Don’t harass anyone,” whereas the idea of giving such a rule at comics conventions has been met with classic internet-style argumentation.
Why is this so hard for comics? Why all the hand-wringing and endless debate about nothing? It’s just like the bullshit about drinking or not drinking at the Hyatt during San Diego… endless chat and recrimination and “fun” suggestions and “concerned” suggestions and nerds marching to “a different drummer” but in the end? Just do the right thing. It’s not even hard. You’d think it was, but it’s not.
§ Butcher also links to a story that shows last summer’s boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt has not gone unnoticed by Hyatt higher-ups.
In a July 29 e-mail to Manchester, Paul Wilkins, chief financial officer for the group, said he believed “this boycott effort will cost you millions of dollars of lost revenue and possibly tens of millions of dollars in lost value for both the Manchester Grand Hyatt and The Grand Del Mar.” Wilkins, who did not return several phone calls seeking comment, also warned about the dangers of alienating the gay community, which he called a “large and very affluent market segment.”
§ Brian Hibbs discusses how retailers selling the Potty Mouth Batman variant have damaged the likelihood of comcis shops getting street dates any time soon. Street dates — delivering comics on Tuesday to be shelved on Wednesday — would mean far less wear and tear on retailers and more chances for efficiency:
A very small number of stores have Tuesday delivery — most of these are chains who need the extra processing time to move product from a central hub to client stores. But due to a series of strange and unusual incidents in the Bay Area involving multiple distributors competing (pre-exclusives), many single-stores in the Area are “grandfathered in” for Tuesday shipments. I’m one of them.
I would never EVER EVER go back to Wednesday receipt. Seriously, I’d close my store rather than go back to that. It was hell, and I’m a decade older and a decade more out of shape, and shipment sizes in terms of line-items have done nothing but increase. I’m too old for that shit.
It does strike us as a bit sad that the direct sales market is dependent on people who — as a group — are deemed to be so shiftless that they can’t even be trusted to do something as simple as put comics out for sale when they are supposed to go on sale.
§ Geoff Boucher reviews THE ALCOHOLIC:
The wild, prurient scenes (a near-orgy at girl’s school springs to mind) stay with a reader, but the true achievement of this book is its careful construction, not its audacious content. Too many times today, the graphic novels that read as meta-memoirs have visually stagnant pages that spell out “big thoughts” with talking heads that visually deaden and drain the storytelling. Ames and Haspiel sidestep this by truly collaborating in the way that fits the medium they have chosen.
§ The Times of London looks at an Osamu Tezuka retrospective:
Walt Disney was an admirer of Tezuka. Stanley Kubrick tried to recruit him as an art director on 2001: A Space Odyssey.Devoted as a child to American movies and cartoons, Tezuka introduced a remarkably cinematic style to his comics, and every Japanese animator since lies in his debt, or shadow. And yet, even as racks of Japanese animation proliferate in our DVD stores, even as Western parents gratefully add another enchanting Miyazaki anime such as Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away to their collection of family classics, the name of Tezuka, who died aged 60 in 1989, has been all but forgotten over here.
§ Vaneta Rogers probes the mystery of what Jeff Katz will be doing — Katz just left his Fox development gig to do something “comic book related”:
NRAMA: Jeff, that sounds a lot like you’re switching your career to comic books.
JK: Comics are a part of what I’m going to do. They are not the be-all, end-all. Part of the reason I want to talk to you about this is that everyone in town is speculating. “Oh, he’s going to DC. Oh, he’s going to Marvel.” Or I’m running Shia LaBeouf’s company. Or I’m teaming with this guy or that guy. They’re all wrong. And the other big speculation is, “Oh, he’s going to go write his comics and turn them into movies.” But to think that I would leave Fox just to go do that is misguided and short-sighted. I would argue that I’m a bit more ambitious than that. I wouldn’t leave a job that I really enjoy and I’ve spent a decade in that career building unless I thought it was worth it.
§ Finally, one juror in the Michael George trial wonders what all that legal fuss is about:
Biernat threw out the conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct, newly discovered evidence, and conflicting and murky testimony of witnesses.
One factor cited by Biernat was that Kaplan extended “other acts” evidence against George from showing a pattern to showing George was a “bad guy” so he should be convicted. Kaplan also appealed to the jury’s sympathies, a no-no for trial attorneys, the judge said.
But the juror, who did not want to be named, said the portrayal was appropriate.
“Yeah, they did,” he said of the prosecution’s assault on George’s character. “But if the shoe fits, wear it. They talked about all the scumbag things he did — the affairs he had and the life insurance policy he took out (in Barbara’s George’s name).”