§ Nice art: Brian Cronin explains why Red Sonja has separates rights from Conan and wasn’t included in the new Marvel deal. Along the way he posts a lot of great art from Sonja’s long comics history including these lovely pieces from Spanish artist Esteban Maroto. Maroto was a mainstay of the black & white comic of the 70s and for my money he drew women who were very sexy yet not over sexualized. Well, as non over sexualized as a woman in a chainmail bikini could be.
§ DC co-publisher Dan DiDio sat down with Multiversity’s Brian Salvatore for a rare one on one interview. It’s full of tidbits – DiDio didn’t really know Brian Bendis until they started wooing him to come to DC; Elseworlds the line isn’t coming back but imaginary stories like Sean Murphy’s White Knight will be around. And he also teased all those new lines that DC has been teasing for nearly a year:
DD: You know, there’s a lot of energy coming in. There’s a lot of great stuff coming up for this year. We’re looking, I mean it’s interesting what you said because you touched upon something very important to me, which is that Jim [Lee] and I as publishers of DC are not just publishers of DC Universe. We’re publishers of DC product, DC Comics. There’s a wide breadth of material that we constantly push out, and we push out to diversity in different ways and different styles. There’s been a lot of talk about us getting into the young adult business. I think that’s something that we’re going to go after in a big way next year. I think we’re also trying to find things…we’ve loved the idea of the popup concept for Young Animal.There might be other popups in the future, finding top creators that we can curate a list of books around. I think that’s really interesting and exciting because you get a real sense of vision and clarity and the name recognition of the lead creator brings people to books that they might not normally read. That’s exciting. The “New Age of Heroes” books for me, it’s new characters. Anytime you try to introduce new characters into any universe these days, you’re challenged, but I think it’s a challenge we’ve constantly got to face and constantly meet head on. We need to grow.
§ Letting legend Todd Klein labored mightily to get this photo of lettering legend Ira Schnapp into Creative Commons so here it is! Schnapp was a mainstay of DC in the Silver Age. Klein has more about him here.
§ The local paper profiles cartoonist Phoebe Gloeckner:
I sit on a low chair, facing Phoebe’s desk and the stool on which she is perched. We’re discussing whether or not autobiography works better as a graphic novel than a traditional novel. It’s a contested subject. On one hand, Phoebe argues that stories involving heavier, real topics work well as graphic novels because “the more specific something is, the more relatable it becomes. I think in a sense it’s easier to do that with comics because instead of describing the wallpaper, you’re drawing the wallpaper, it’s there.” The concept that graphic novels allow readers to visualize their characters exactly the way the author sees them, however, is a double-edged sword.
§ And 411 talks to Tony Isabella about …Black Lightning. What you were expecting him to talk about, Doomsday Clock?
Steve Gustafson: The Black Lightning TV show is being called the most anticipated new TV series of the mid-season. Does that have an impact on how you’re writing Black Lightning?
Tony Isabella: I started working on and writing Cold Dead Hands before I knew the TV series was moving forward. But as both the comic books and the TV series are based on the same core values, I think we’re impacting each other. The more I heard about Jefferson’s daughters in the TV series, the more I wanted to include them in the comics. However, since my comic-book Jeff has never been married, I turned them into his young cousins. In a similar fashion, something about how Christine Adams (Lynn Pierce) conducted herself in some of the early press interviews inspired my take on the Lynn who will be in the comic books. Each of the two versions can stand on their own, but they share the Black Lightning core values.
§ According to this Instagram, Stan Lee is going to the ComicCon Asia in Manilla in March. That’s a 15 hour flight so don’t let it be said Stan is slowing down.
§ Sloane Leong reviewing webcomics! My day is made.
§ Speaking of webcomics, cartoonist Ursula Vernon got her start there (Digger) but she’s quietly (in the comics industry) gone on to have quite a successful career doing kids books, as with her Hamster Princess series. It’s all the way up to book 5. I’ve seen actual children reading it with joy!
‘I always wondered why the girl didn’t save herself,” Ursula Vernon said about the fairy tales she read as a kid. “I mean, why doesn’t Snow White just whack the evil queen instead of relying on the prince?” Vernon decided to retell fairy tales with a strong female hero. In her popular “Hamster Princess” series, Harriet eagerly rescues anyone in danger. Often, though, the high-spirited hamster creates the very situations she must rescue herself and others from.
§ That endless battle between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con continues! It’s like a scene from They Live! Both sides have filed motions, SLCC is asking for a mistrial and…enough already.
— Gabriel Bá (@Gabriel_Ba) January 15, 2018
§ Filming on the Umbrella Academy TV series has begun! Comic creators Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá were on the set to certify it.
§ Apparently someone at Disney looked at the calendar and saw that, no matter what they did, eventually (May in fact) they would have to release SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, and so someone poured himself a big cup of coffee and put together a story blurb for it and then poured a but shot of bourbon into the coffee.
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Not a still nor a trailer has been released for Solo, which was 80% or so reshot after the original directors were fired and Ron Howard came aboard. ON the stresst, word is that it’s a turd, and they aren’t even whispers; calmly uttered phrases is more like it. One of the funniest parts of the take down is that Alden Ehrenreich, who stars as young Han Solo, had to have an acting coach on the set because he’s such a bad actor. This is amusing because Ehrenreich’s breakout role was in the Coen Brothers’ Hail Ceasar, where he portrayed an actor so uncomfortable in a foppish role that he had to have every line of dialog coached heavily. I loved Ehrenreich in that movie, so maybe he’ll be better than the whispers? May is coming, Disney, nothing you can do to stop it.
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.