About 6,000 fans waiting in line for hours to get into Denver Comic Con on Friday were turned away by order of the fire marshal and convention center staff. Almost 15,000 people formed a snaking line around the convention center, spilling across downtown Denver, which prompted the order, said Ami Heinrich, spokeswoman for Denver Comic Con. “Some people were livid,” she said. “Everyone who already had a ticket got in.”
As we’ve said several times recently, comic cons are big business and all this selling out and huge lines is kind of to be expected. Anyone putting on a show needs to take the possibility seriously.
§ Johanna Draper Carlson points out that SuBLime Manga, the Viz yaoi line, is putting out some titles from now defunct publishers.
§ Writer and novelist Tom DeHaven, whose work often has comics themes, has started a blog.
§ Via PR, news that the Spectrum Fantastic Art contest and publication is being handed over to John Fleskes of Flesk Publications by founders Arnold and Cathy Fenner. Fleskes will act as editor, director and publisher.
“We never thought of Spectrum as something we ‘owned,’” offer Arnie and Cathy. “Instead we always viewed it as an ongoing project that we were a part of, with the aim of raising an appreciation for all types of fantastic art as well as for the people who create it. This field of contemporary art—and the community who creates it and the people who love it—are what matters, so there has never been any question that we would take steps to ensure Spectrum‘s future as a part of our plans.
“We had started thinking about some sort of transition nearly ten years ago, but we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do or how we were going to do it–or with whom–until we met John Fleskes. We had admired his books for quite some time, but once we got to know him personally that admiration grew into respect and friendship. About five years ago we asked John if he would consider taking the reins of Spectrum and guiding it into the future; we feel extremely fortunate that he agreed.”
“I’ve been a dedicated follower of Spectrum since its inception in 1994,” adds John Fleskes. “Here is an annual book that includes all of my favorite artists and, better yet, the artists to whom I may never have been exposed to if not for Spectrum. The book pools together a wide assortment of fantastic art making a diverse arrangement from an eclectic field. I have a tremendous passion for the genre as well as great respect for Spectrum and for the community the Fenners’ and the annual have brought together.
You can read the whole PR here. Cath and Arnold put their hearts in Spectrum for many years, but it is a strong enough concept to survive a new director. Good luck to all involved.
§ Old news, but the great writer Jack Vance passed away recently at age 96. He was a writer’s writer, and one who influenced many in comics:
But Vance himself was an unpretentious craftsman who consistently claimed to have no interest in the art of writing, saying that he wrote only to make money – which, by working as fast and prolifically as he did, he managed to achieve. The wish to present oneself as a humble wordsmith, writing fast and commercially, was not unusual for a male writer of Vance’s generation; he was first published in the commercial-fiction magazines that were still appearing in the US after the second world war. It was a market where writers were treated badly, payment was poor, readership uncritical, and the work often arbitrarily truncated or padded out for reasons of space. Vance saw himself as a modest producer of readable text, with no aspiration towards literary pretension or status. Even when he graduated to publication in book form, many of his titles came out in ephemeral paperback editions, which were carelessly edited and illustrated with garish covers. Even so, these copies sold better than most, disappeared rapidly from the bookstalls and in certain circles soon became collectable editions.
§ Hm, looks like the notoriously busy Guillermo Del Toro is serious about that HBO TV series based on Urasawa’s MONSTER:
Speaking at the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, Del Toro said he has submitted a pilot script for “Monster” and was waiting to hear from the cable network if the series would go forward.
“You cannot compress ‘Monster’ into a feature,” Del Toro said, of the project he is co-writing with “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” writer Steven Thompson. “‘Monster’ is almost like Chekhovian, it has all these little characters that are incredibly smart and delineated. Each of them has an arc and if you follow all of them, at the end of the last book you will be satisfied.”
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.