§ Nice art: the new Uncanny X-men will have kajillion variant covers, as it’s the fashion of the day, and you made like the one by Jen Bartel, above. Or you may prefer the one by Rob Liefeld, below!
§ Susana Polo at Polygon got DC comics’ Tom King & Brian Bendis to chat in a collegial fashion to one another on the phone:
King: I think I was fairly convinced at a young age that Stan Lee had directed all comics for 30 years, almost like he had come down from the mountain with these scrolls that had to be followed by other people. “And Roy Thomas said unto me …”
Bendis: I was a Marvel kid, but I was a DC teenager; a lot of my favorite creators, once I learned who they were, ended up going into DC Comics at a time I was at my most passionate and most in tune with it. So when Frank Miller and John Byrne and George Pérez were all on Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, they brought me to DC. And it happened to be at a time when DC was at a zenith of just amazing comics, Vertigo Comics, all of them were set at the top of its game. So that’s the moment I was really ruined. Like, “Oh, you can do this for a living and it all can be art and it can be art in any direction? On any title? Do anything? I’m in.” So the late ’80s were tough for us creators in DC Comics.
§ At Vulture, Gwynne Watkins profiles Ramona Fradon, the famed Aquaman artist who is now 91 year old and still doing commissions and doing the odd comic con. We’re so lucky to have these living legends among us.
But Fradon also knows, perhaps better than anyone, how quickly and dramatically the comics industry can change. “Aquaman is a good marker of what’s happened,” she tells me over the restaurant’s famous zucchini fritters. “When I was drawing him back in the ’50s, he was nice and wholesome, with a nice haircut and pink cheeks. Very handsome. I had a crush on him. And you can see what happened to him! It got more and more violent, and then he lost his hand, then he had a beard and he looked psychotic.” She laughs. “You know what? I don’t get it.
§ Chelsea Cain has the ideal situation for promoting a new comic book – an ongoing controversy about an old comic book. She went to WaPo to talk about Man Eaters from Image and the ongoing Vision controversy, OH and all the old controversy too.
Cain said that if the comic book industry was as serious about inclusion as it claims to be, there’d be more challenges to the “notion of canon” that she feels still has an influence on major decisions.
“When you say that everything that has ever happened in a Marvel comic book is canon — 50 years’ worth of work, made mostly by white men — you’re giving their lens a disproportionate weight, and I can tell you, they’re wrong: No woman stands like that in real life,” Cain said, of the overly sexy poses of some female characters in superhero comics. “So really [my work] has always been an exercise in disrupting the patriarchy. Guilty as charged.”
§ From the newsletter: Al Letson is a Peabody and Emmy winning writer who was also part of the DC Talent Development Program (after he won a Peabody – go figure.) He’s also the host of Reveal, a podcast that runs on hundreds of NPR stations around the US.
REVEAL just did an episode on C-gate, entitled “Never Meet Your (Super) Heroes”, and while I haven’t had a chance to listen to it, a lot of people are talking about it on Twitter. It was created in conjunction with Rolling Stone, which is also running a story about C-gate and its ties to alt-right causes. I’m not on the program but I spoke with Letson on background, and I’m eager to listen to the whole story – there is a lot about C-gate, and its relationship to various alt-right events and figures that hasn’t been clearly reported, and it’s about time. Also, James Portis at Shoot The Breeze Comics interviewed artist Mike Deodato about C-gate, and Deodato does not mince words.
§ Women Write About Comics has the in depth discussion of Batman’s todger you all were waiting for:
Jazmine: I wasn’t impressed. I was expecting some racy story being that it is DC’s Black Label, but instead, I saw a sad naked man in a sad chair. Even the Batpeen has to have a depressing backstory. As Paige said, I would have also enjoyed some nice happy casual dick, instead of the conventional dark and broody peen we get in Dammed.
§ Also from WWAC, a nice Small Press Expo 2018 report.
§ A headline you did not expect to see: Titan’s Batman: The Killing Joke novel will put a serious smile on your face. Yes there’s a word only novelization of The Killing Joke by Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, and smiling is not the emotino you think of regarding The Killing Joke.
§ Oh speaking of Rob Liefeld, he says he’s going to be working on the X-men again, now that Fox has been absorbed into Disney and the X-men are cool again.
I have a new project, 2019, it’s a huge X-Men crossover…It’s awesome…Marvel called me up last Thanksgiving and said, ‘We want you to do a big story.’ I said well, let’s see if they’ll go for this, and I tried to do something no one has done before. So I gave them this pretty aggressive proposal for an event, and I can’t say what it is, I can’t say what it involves, got a lot of new stuff
§ Marvel.com posts videos all the time but are is one I did not expect to see: Learn How To Make A Realistic Cricket Noise – Party Trick! IT seems that voice actor Dee Bradley Baker knows how to make cricket sounds. I didn’t have time to watch the vid before I wrote this but I’m going to watch it before I go to sleep and I promise to enliven your next party to the MAX.
§ Well, they tried to stop it, but a Venom movie is coming out next week. Star Tom Hardy is doing the PR rounds, and of course a tossed off comment has become a million headlines about how he wants to team with the Avengers:
There’s still no official world on whether Tom Hardy’s Venom will ever meet Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the Venom star would sure love to see it happen. “There’s a lot within the real estate that you can actually imbue with a complete sense of gratuity to sell to fans if you really wanted to, and I think you’ve got the right people for the job if you want to push it ’cause that’s where I’d love to go with it,” Hardy told MTV International. The Venom actor had some fun imagining his Lethal Protector taking on the MCU’s version of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well. “I’d like go through all the Avengers with him, but that’s above my pay grade.”
Now for a VERY fun party trick, trying reading the above quote in muffled Bane-speak, or even muffled Eddie Brock-speak!
But while checking the source – MTV International _ I see this is from a shocking video where you can see Tom Hardy speaking fairly normally.
Although he does mention “Spoiderman” and how the “youf” have Venom toys so it couldn’t go full R. On the plus side he used “imbue” correctly in a sentence. Tom Hardy: surprising articulate when he wants to be.
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.