§ Just some quick Kibbling today: the annual Publishers Weekly Critics Poll is out (I am a participant) and the winner was a bit of a surprise: Michael Kupperman’s All the Answers has been much praised (including my own Beat Best Of list) but hasn’t really broken out as a hit. It’s a powerful book about many important themes though – the price of fame, the pain of aging, anti-Semitism, how families communicate – and I hope that this honor will give it more legs. And congrats to Kupperman, who wanted to tell this story – his father’s experience as a young “Quiz Kid” in the radio and early television era -for years. You can hear me talking with him about the book on the More To Come podcast here.
§ The Good Read Choice winners came out a while ago and once again, Sarah Andersen topped the list, with 34,000 votes for Herding Cats. She won the two previous years as well. I’m very intrigued to see the vote totals on these books – GoodReads represents Amazon-shopping, mainstream readers, and as they have for years, they like gentle laughter and Brian K. Vaughan. Also, props to Jen Wang and Penelope Bagieu for their great books this year.
§ Also here’s the Tor.Com list of best comics of 2018.
§ Here’s a major piece of work that I participated in, but read eagerly: An Oral History of the Warren Ellis Forum, as told to Joshua Rivera. Nothing can really recapture what the WEF was like at its height, but Kelly Sue, Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky and a few others give it a shot, and thus future generations will marvel at a time when the Internet was fun and productive.
§ Finally are you ready for a SHOCK? Study finds female-led films outperform male ones
Researchers found that in films with small, medium and large budgets, all averaged better global grosses when a woman was listed as the lead star. Conducted by the talent agency Creative Artists Agency and the tech company shift7, the study found that films that passed the Bechdel test do better, too. The Bechdel test, an invention of the cartoonist Alison Bechdel, rates whether a movie features two female characters having a conversation about something other than a man. Researchers found every $1 billion film at the box office — including films like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” ″Jurassic World” and “Beauty and the Beast” — passed the Bechdel test. Among films that cost more than $100 million to make, the ones that passed the Bechdel test grossed on average $618 million worldwide, while those that didn’t averaged $413 million.
Could it be that appealing to a wider audience means you will get more money from a wider audience? Food for thought…
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.