§ Nice Art: What would the cover of X-men #126 look like if Banshee had been on it? Rodney Ramos solves the mystery in a cover repro commission. The world can rest easy now.
§ The AV Club rolls out their favorite comics of 2018 so far and it’s a good list. I feel that there hasn’t been a super critical blockbuster yet this year, although Sabrina may be close.
§ Ya know speaking of comics, I’ve been taking a break from reading a lot of them but after SDCC, I’m going to plunge right into this six foot high stack of books people have given me to read, promise!
§ I did not know that there was a Graphic Medicine blog – covering the burgeoning world of comics that deal with medical issues – but there is and writer Matthew Noe has a very detailed report on graphic medicine related matters at ALA.
The panel drew a great crowd, many of whom stayed behind after so long to chat that we got kicked out of the room (whoops!), and we learned more about folks connection to graphic medicine and future projects. I can’t wait to share them with you all here as they come to fruition! Having a full-blown panel at the largest library conference in North America is a big moment for graphic medicine – following a series of big moments this year, like the NLM exhibit launch. I think it’s safe to say we have, as they say, The Big ‘Mo! You can find coverage of the panel in American Libraries Magazine. And this is a thread of live-tweeting from librarian Steve Thomas.
§ And speaking of comics and medicine, a Comics and Medicine Conference:The Ways We Work conference is coming to The Center for Cartoon Studies.
§ The Women in Comics Con returned to NYC this weekend and here’s a report. Our own George Carmona will also have a fuller report later today.
§ Last week everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was talking about this very substantial Mike Mignola interview, conducted by Kiel Phegley.
No. Basically everything I’m involved in now is stuff that I knew sooner or later I would have to do. The whole story of bringing Hellboy back into B.P.R.D. for the end of the series? That was always planned. And I knew my involvement, especially drawing-wise, would be minimal. The end of Hellboy In Hell did feel like, and in a large way was, the wrap-up of my involvement. But the end of B.P.R.D. is kind of “Phase 2” of the wrap-up of things. I’m actually doing the last five covers for Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., and I’m almost done with my fourth of the five. Now I’m feeling like I’m one and a half covers away from really being done.
§ If you ever wondered what the Room of Requirements from Harry Potter looked like, this prop sale from the TV show The Librarians should fit the bill.
§ Gary Smith looks at the way that X-Men sales have slid since the 90s:
That was then; the X-books of 2018 are a different matter altogether. Since the new millennium the X-books have seen a continual drop in sales, and a line that seemed almost untouchable in the ’80s and ’90s has become well acquainted with cancellations, countless relaunches and continual changes in direction. The launch of New Avengers in 2004 seemed to show the Avengers replacing the X-Men as Marvel’s premiere franchise, and the intervening years have seen the mutant-driven line decrease further in both sales and fan attention. In the May 2018 sales charts, the highest ranking X-book is X-Men: The Wedding Special in 19th place, followed by various Hunt for Wolverine specials. Of the core X-titles, the new X-Men Red series appears first in 31st place, followed by X-Men Gold in 50th place, Astonishing X-Men in 52nd, and X-Men Blue in 61st. Suddenly, the ’90s seem a very long time away.
The number of ads in this story froze my browser, so I was unable to continue reading the three pages this was spread out over to see if Smith mentioned the most important reason: the X-Men film rights were owned by Fox, so when Marvel started its own film thing in the Aughts they started downplaying the Mutants and the X-sales never recovered.
§ Simon Carless writes in with an very old interview with Alan Moore that originally ran in the Telegraph – a zine put out by the Comics & Comix chain of stores. Carless has scanned and cleaned it up and now you can read Alan Moore talking about how excited he was to be writing something called Watchmen.
WENDI: Tell me a little bit about WATCHMEN.ALAN: That’s something I’m doing for DC. Like I said, I took over SWAMP THING on the run. And I had to get the first script in to DC within three weeks. This meant that the direction of the story that I was bound to for the next couple of years had to be thought out in those next three or four weeks. So there were probably areas of sloppiness. Also, it was the first time I’d been exposed to a twenty-three page format. That really does make a difference. I really only just mastered the eight-page format in Britain. The length of stories determines the sort of stories that you do. For example, if you’ve got a very long story, the timing can be different. You can afford to spend a page dealing with a couple of seconds [characters]. If you’ve got an eight page story, you don’t have that luxury. In England, I’ve been working with six and eight-page scripts and just sort of trying to find my way around them. Then, all of a sudden, I’ve got the twenty-three page format to work with. After twenty-four issues of SWAMP THING, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’ve done some experimenting, I’ve messed around and I’ve seen what can be done. It’s not all been successful, but I think I’ve learned quite a bit.
Indeed, he had learned a lot.
§ Here’s a preview of the gn The Elephant in the Room, which refers to women’s lives, not bras, but I can certainly say that bras are a part of many women’s lives.
§ Apparently Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are secure enough in their status that they can admit that they didn’t read Marvel Comics as kids, which is a huge break with regular Marvel movie promo! Rudd admits he grew up in England and read The Beano, while Lilly liked Archie, but
she was more of a fan of Filmation animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power. “I never read comic books as a kid — I read Archie and Jughead comics, you know, they technically qualify, so I’m gonna say Archie, Jughead, and Veronica and Betty, those comics,” Lilly said. “I was really obsessed with He-Man and She-Ra. On TV, though, not in the books.”
§ San Diego looms, and the convention center expansion is not dead yet! Backers are trying to get enough signatures to put a ballot measure on this November, yet again!
The chamber has 2,500 member businesses representing 300,000 employees. The citizens’ initiative proposes to raise the city’s hotel room tax by as much as 3.25 percentage points to not only underwrite an expansion of the bayfront center but also boost funding for the homeless and street repairs. The Yes! For a Better San Diego campaign had originally hoped to turn in more than 100,000 signatures to the county Registrar of Voters earlier this month but later decided it needed more time to ensure that it had enough valid signatures from registered voters within the city of San Diego.
Some older but nonetheless worthy links:
§ Jody Osicki at School Library Journal has a massive spotlight on upcoming graphic novels.
— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) June 25, 2018
§ Yet another shocking piece of evidence in the quest for the Snyder JLA.
§ Austin English has another very long, very interesting piece, this time about comics that do or son’t stand the test of time, although that simplifies his arguments quite a bit. A must read.
§ NPR talked to Olivia Jaimes and still no one knows who she is!
§ An Englishman in SD interviewed AHOY COMICS’ Editor Tom Peyer.
§ The link of the year perhaps: an interview with he designer behind Gudetama, Sanrio’s hugely depressed and popular sad egg character.
Most Gudetama designs we draw in-house, so there is not really much of an intention or awareness of crafting something that is easy for other people to draw. That’s really true for most Sanrio characters, which we tend to design so that they can be easily recognized as Sanrio characters. In doing so we trim away superfluous elements and end up with simple designs.
§ I missed this epic piece by sometime Beat contributor Jermaine McLaughlin: Marvel and DC team-up: An oral history of JLA/Avengers. I just can’t wait until the oral histories of the last decade of comics are told some day.
§ This piece by animator Cassandra Smolcic about how her career was systematically derailed by the top down sexism at Pixar is heartbreaking reading.
At Pixar, my female-ness was an undeniable impediment to my value, professional mobility, and sense of security within the company. The stress of working amidst such a blatantly sexist atmosphere took its toll, and was a major factor in forcing me out of the industry. When I started at Pixar as an intern, I thought I’d landed my dream job. But my excitement was quickly tempered by a flood of warnings about Lasseter’s touchy-feely, boundary-crossing tendencies with female employees. It was devastating to learn, right from the start, that women were open targets for disrespect and harassment –– even at a world-renowned workplace in the most liberal-leaning city in the country. I was likewise told to steer clear of a particularly chauvinistic male lead in my department. Much like John, this man’s female targets had been reporting his vulgar, unprofessional behaviors for years, but his position and demeanor remained much the same.
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.