§ Nice Art: JG Jones tweeted his latest piece based on The Lord of The Rings, “The Gates of Moria” and… “Mellon!” indeed! Jones is mostly recovered from his health issues of a few years ago, and busy painting gems like this. Now, who is going to put out this art book!
The Gates Of Moria from LOTR. pic.twitter.com/O3CvfnDAYm
— JG Jones (@JG_JONESfanpage) June 7, 2021
§ Yesterday publisher Bad Idea created a stir by announcing they were ending publishing “as we know it.” Since the company was founded on doing things in an unusual — or annoying — manner, everyone figured this just meant they were going to rebrand a bit.
Yesterday, a link to an episode of the Absolute Comics podcast was floating around, where Bad Idea co-founder Dinesh Shamdasani seemed to confirm these rebranding plans. I say “seemed to” because the whole podcast, hosted by Benny of Comicstorian and Sal of Comic POP, is dead set on making a joke out of everything, accompanied by incessant laughter. Hey, it’s their style and that’s my opinion!
Anyway, they asked Shamdasani if the company would ever change its name and, as near as I can’t make out, between gusts of guffaws, he said “We plan to. We will announce soon that we will go away. We have this super hot company, one of the hottest comics companies out there. What’s the worst thing we could do? We could say we’re so hot, we’re going away. Soon we’ll go away and come back and rebrand.”
In the next breath he joked that “We are determined to fail,” however, so the whole segment was presented as a bit of a joke. (And no, I could not press on past this one passage for any other gems, but you are welcome to if you are brave.)
§ Comics agent/manager Janna Morishima has been running a private comics networking site called Kids Comics Unite for a while, but it is going public, and it needs a logo — so a contest is born. And there is a significant cash prize for the logo! Details here:
The upcoming Kids Comics Unite website needs a brand spankin’ new logo, and that design could be yours.
The winner of the contest will get:
- a $500 cash prize
- a free one year subscription of Kids Comics Insider, and
- free attendance to the 2022 Kids Comics Intensive!
That’s a total value of $2,060. Sweet!
Are you enticed?
The creative brief and how to enter:
The deadline for entries is 11:59PM EST on June 30th, 2021.
Tell people how to break into comics. Want to learn how to break into comics? Read this thread.
Seeing that world come to life has been nothing short of a joy for artist and Jupiter’s Legacy co-creator Quitely. While the show does bring plenty of new layers to the costuming and characters, he was blown away by how much inspiration they took from the comics. Even when things were changed he feels it was for the better. “Where they have embellished things, it’s not so much that they’ve done their own thing,” Quitely says, “it’s that they’ve taken what we had in the comic, and they’ve added to it and translated it in a way that’s going to work better for television. It’s a very interesting process for me to see.”
§ Looks like there is a legal challenge for Umbrella Academy: Comic Book Writer Says ‘Umbrella Academy’ Villain Was His Idea
The talking fish attached to a humanoid body that appears in Netflix Inc.’s “The Umbrella Academy” was actually created 25 years ago by a Texas comic book writer, a copyright suit filed Monday alleges. Kevin Atkinson alleges that there’s a “significant, substantial and striking similarity” between his comic book villain “Kingfish” and The Umbrella Academy’s “A.J. Carmichael.” Both are “fish with long, flowing fins” that sit “inside a glass, bell-jar-shaped container atop a humanoid body with a speaker near the front base.”
…and that’s where the free version of the article ended, despite my best efforts to register to read the rest. The deck points out that this is the SECOND time that Atkinson has sued someone for stealing his fish head character, though.
§ Anime consumption is up 30% for the year, according to a study quoted by Comicbook.com.
Media analysis firm @ParrotAnalytics gave a presentation on anime's increasing popularity overseas last week, arguing demand for anime in the US was up 32% y/o/y (which I think is quite conservative).
Anime's not only never been more popular, but it's never grown faster — ever. pic.twitter.com/XvgHmoQTL9
— miles thomas (@Real_Kilometers) June 3, 2021
§ I am sorry to say that with my new workflow for this column, it is very hard to find anything of note that is not about the MCU. Based on my web surfing, The MCU is the biggest, most all-consuming thing that has ever existed in human history. I don’t make the rules.
And with Loki about to drop on Wednesday, we’re about to delve deep again. Especially since….
§ The Loki show is TREMENDOUSLY IMPORTANT to the whole MCU storyline, according to Kevin Feige. Like, Mephisto level!
“It’s tremendously important. It perhaps will have more impact on the MCU than any of the shows thus far,” Feige says in the issue. “What everybody thought about WandaVision, and was sort of true, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, which was sort of true, is even more sort of true for Loki.”
Oh my god, Wednesdays are going to be WILD, aren’t they! We’ll have a review of the show later today on The Beat!
§ As Loki-mania ramps up, the show’s main writer, Michael Waldron, got a huge profile in Vanity Fair. Waldron seems poised to become a major star in the Nerdtopia galaxy. Besides Loki, he’s worked on Rick and Morty and he wrote the upcoming Doctor Strange film with Sam Raimi, and is working on Star Wars stuff with Feige. Big news: Stand by for all-new Loki ships!
One love story to keep an eye out for is brewing between Hiddleston’s god of mischief and Owen Wilson’s TVA bureaucrat Mr. Mobius. The two spark and spar, building on the duo’s chemistry from Midnight in Paris. “Mobius and Loki, that’s one of the love stories you might see in Loki for sure,” he says. “Although if you print that, knowing our fans, they’re going to take it the wrong way.” When I clarified that their love story might be more akin to the platonic one between Tom Hanks’s FBI agent Carl Hanratty and Leonardo DiCaprio’s con man Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can, Waldron says, “Exactly. Right.” As fruitful as the time-travel genre can be when it comes to juicy emotional development, Waldron knows it can also be a logistical nightmare if not plotted carefully. “I can show you what was all over our writers room,” he says, quickly sketching out a branching timeline. “We had to create an insane institutional knowledge of how time travel would work within the TVA so the audience never has to think about it again. It was a lot of drawings of squiggly timelines.”
§ But in the most epic Loki news of all, just in time for Pride Month, a one-second flash in a teaser has revealed that Loki is gender fluid — as shown on his official case file.
Though the teaser is literally less than 20 seconds long, it features a case file on our beloved antihero (portrayed famously by British actor Tom Hiddleston), and in it, it states that Loki’s sex is fluid. While it is, quite literally, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in an 18-second teaser, it was enough to get Marvel fans who have been eagerly and patiently waiting for years for some explicit LGBTQ+ representation hyped up on social media.
Loki has been canonically queer in the comics for years, and trickster characters traditionally blur the lines, so it’s about time! It’s about timey-wimey.
§ But in all the Loki-mania, don’t forget how WandaVision got us through the cold lonely winter. Rolling Stone has an oral history of the show, something that usually takes a decade to brew and ripen, but the MCU is breaking all the rules.
Jac Schaeffer: Our early conversations were about Wanda not having time to process what’s happened to her in the movies, having to continually just move forward into these action-packed scenarios. We talked about how isolated she is, that she loses her brother and then moves to a new country, and then makes this horrendous mistake in Lagos. And then she loses Vision, the one connection she had. My original pitch was mapped out to the stages of grief. And that would be tied to the sitcoms and tied to her performance and her motivation and a given episode. So the finale was always, like, ramping toward acceptance. In my original pitch, there was the idea that we would start in the sitcoms, that we would have several episodes in a row that were very entrenched in the world and the tone, but that the truth of the scenario would sort of be fraying at the edges… And the feeling of “very special episodes” was something I was chasing from Day One. With a sitcom, with comedies, the creators make a pact with the audience that you’re in a safe space. Everything’s going to be resolved. And these episodes break from that and violate that agreement. I remember them in my body. I remember the sick feeling that I would have.
§ And because we need even more MCU news, let’s look at hair-dos from a six year old film. Hope van Dyne’s startling bob from Ant-Man was resurrected in a throwback instagram by star Evangeline Lilly, and she confirmed something incredibly shocking: that was not a wig. “”PS – YES, that is MY hair. NO, it is not a wig. For the record,” she wrote, setting a much needed record straight at long last. This sent the writer at Cinemablend into a contemplative state.
To be fair to the fans, it’s easy to suspect Evangeline Lilly’s hair was really a wig. The haircut is so straight and angular that it seems difficult to achieve on a natural human head of hair. It reminds me of a cartoon character’s hair, and cartoon hair doesn’t usually conform to the rules of physics or hairspray (Remember Entrapta’s hair in the 80’s She-Ra cartoon? It could literally move by itself).
§ Finally, Ghost Rider is among the MCU movies that Zack Snyder is NOT directing. Among the others: all the rest.
Speaking with Tyrone Magnus on YouTube, he was asked if he had been contacted by Marvel chief Kevin Feige, to which he replied, “I have not.” Bringing up a copy of the graphic novel Elektra Lives Again, which was written by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley in 1990, he said, “Remember, I’ve been going, ‘Oh yeah, we could do this.’ But no, I have not [heard from Marvel].” Zack Snyder was asked if he was aware of the Ghost Rider rumor, which he was quick to dismiss. “Oh, really? I don’t know that,” the director laughed. “It’s kind of fun, I gotta be honest. It’s cool, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, no, Ghost Rider is a done deal!’ No. But no, it’s not.”
Admit it, though, a Zack Snyder Ghost Rider would be kind of cool.