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Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/25/21: BKV and Alan Moore team to help Bob Wiacek

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It seems Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier found an unpublished script by Moore for Gen 13 annual a while ago. Recently he auctioned off the script – which has the tantalizing title “The Coming of the Collector” – to raise money for veteran inker Bob Wiacek who is struggling with a diagnosis of glaucoma. 

Saga writer Brian K. Vaughan won the auction, but the story doesn’t end there as he explained on Instagram:

It reads:

Happy Friday, scrollers! Recently, legendary comics creator Bob Wiacek (who inked some of my favorite images ever, including the cover to Uncanny X-Men 210, easily the most badass thing my 10-year-old self had ever seen) has been dealing with some costly health issues. Enter editor extraordinaire @sdunbier, who offered to help raise some funds for Bob by auctioning off the only existing script of an unpublished GEN13 Annual by our greatest living writer, Alan Moore (with Mr. Moore’s generous permission, of course). And guess which aging fanboy used some of his ill-gotten Hollywood blood money to acquire this important piece of comics history? The unfinished story (still over 35 pages long!) is a sharp, surreal satire of X-Men, Teen Titans, and the entire industry of that era, and Moore puts more thought into each of his panel descriptions than most of us put into entire series. Anyway, rather than hoarding this lost treasure in my BKVault, I thought I would share it with those of you who are kind enough to donate ANY AMOUNT to Bob Wiacek’s GoFundMe page (link in bio!). Please just forward your donation receipt to this email: ThanksForHelpingBobW at gmail dot com, and my correspondence wiener dog Hamburger K. Vaughan will eventually send you back a private link to a scan of the script for your personal reading pleasure. Thanks so much for whatever you can do to help, and I hope everyone is staying safe and sane out there.

PS – And just to head off the comments, yes, Fiona and I are still hard at work on Saga, and we remain hugely appreciative of the four of you left who haven’t completely lost patience with our extended intermission. Hard to believe as it may seem, I promise these new issues will be worth the wait. #alanmoore #wildstorm #comicbooks

A classic Paul Smith X-men cover with inks by Bob Wiacek

Wiacek is indeed a titan of the Bronze Age, inking seminal issues of Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man and many more, and as we know, making comic books doesn’t come with retirement funds, insurance or disability. You can help Bob out here and then read a lost Alan Moore gem. Good feelings all around.  According to Wiacek’s GoFundMe page:

My vision is inhibiting me from getting regular work so the money will be used to pay medical bills, current taxes and back taxes so I don’t lose my house. 

As far as the commissions I owe to those from before and just recently, I will see if the therapy I receive helps improve my eyesight. As of now, I can only sign books and do sketch cards. I will be in touch with everyone I owe a commission to and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to finish them.

Sending all good wishes to Wiacek. Hopefully with treatment, he can work again.

§ The Oatmeal is over Bernie memes, but the world isn’t. It is the meme-iest meme of all times, it seems.

§ Well, the world isn’t all sunshine and light suddenly; Remember that old Brexit thing? Apparently, comic book retailer John Hendrick of Dublin’s Big Bang Comics hasn’t, deeming it a “nightmare” in a Sktchd interview from a few weeks back.

We are in a weird and unique situation to the rest of the EU, since geographically we are right next door to the U.K.

What is means is that for worldwide distributors and companies who have a UK wing, we are in the UK’s catchment area and are to be serviced by their UK branches, and in a business where the vast majority of printed product we sell is in English, that’s 95% of our suppliers.

We have to get our comics from Diamond UK. We are not allowed hold a Diamond U.S. account. When the UK was in the EU that was fine. Our orders left the UK on a 24-hour service and we got them no problem. As they were a part of the EU there were no import duties or customs forms to be proceeded or fees collected. We simply bought from them, paid carriage and it was here for us to sell.

Now it’s a very different story and one that all UK companies seem to be completely unprepared for.

Shorter version (I think – this is complicated stuff) is that as a store located in the EU, Big Bang has to pay all kinds of taxes and import fees on comics that are shipped via the UK. Because of all the paperwork and delays, Big Bang has been delayed in getting new comics and that is a huge problem. A nightmare indeed.

§ More 2021 publisher previews with Vault Comics at AIPT:

Damian Wassel: Operationally, 2020 was a year of incredible challenges. We all had to adapt to global difficulties we hadn’t really imagined outside the pages of genre fiction, meanwhile as a company we faced some new challenges it took everything we had to overcome. But from a sales side it would be hard for us to call 2020 anything other than a resounding success. We grew across all sales channels, set new sales records, and made some really great books.

Vault is definitely the new “it” publisher and they been announcing all kinds of stuff for 2021, so that shows no sign of slowing down.

§ The Black Panther Party is a history of that movement in graphic novel form by David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson and Walker talks about it at The Daily Beast:

Fred Hampton was the 21-year-old chief of staff and national spokesperson for the Black Panther Party when, on the morning of Dec. 4, 1969, Chicago police broke into his apartment and murdered him. Hampton was considered a charismatic danger by the Chicago PD and the FBI, a successful organizer whose leadership of the militant group constituted a threat to society. He had to go. For author David Walker, Fred Hampton’s murder 50 years ago was not ancient history, but a totally relevant story he had to write about. “Fred Hampton was a story I wanted to tell so badly, but to tell that story without contextualizing it would be a mistake,” says Walker, who, along with illustrator Marcus Anderson, is the creative force behind The Black Panther Party, a beautifully conceived and sobering graphic novel tracing the history of this doomed, but influential, group.

§ As noted in our 2021 Creator Survey, everyone is desperate for comic cons to return. But will they? And when? Mike Avila investigated the topic, and spoke with a few folks – the Beat included. You can read my thoughts there, but what about San Diego?

As of right now, the two big CCI programs, WonderCon in Anaheim and SDCC, are still on the calendar for March and July, respectively. Those dates are tenuous for a number of reasons, the most important being that it is impossible to determine where the state of California will be in the months to come in regards to its battle with COVID-19. At the moment, the state is the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus crisis. Given the unpredictable nature of the virus’ spread, organizers have to accept the reality that a show could be postponed at a moment’s notice.

“We can, as an entity… plan one event and secure dates and all that,” Glanzer notes, adding that he hopes to have an update on SDCC’s plans by the end of January. “But if there’s a surge [in cases] or something happens, it can be shut down very quickly. There’s just so many variables that I don’t think any of us have ever had to deal with before, short of a natural disaster.”

In other words…no need to start buying that SDCC ’21 wardrobe just yet. BUT, cons will come back in some form. They have to.

A page from Ultimates #4

§ The late Larry King made many film cameos but he also appeared in many comics, as Brian Cronin explores:

Today, in honor of Larry King, who passed away today, I’ll go beyond five examples to show you a collection of comic book cameos made by King over the years. King, of course, was famous for playing himself in a number of movies and TV series, with the first prominent one being his appearance in Ghostbusters (journalists had obviously played themselves before in movies, but it really seems like Larry King and the 1980s, in particular, led to an explosion in the frequency of the gag. It quickly became a standard trope, which was not always the case).

 

§ The MCU crew is getting back together, as we’ve been excited to report.  And as if you couldn’t get more excited about the Thor Ragnarok gang reuniting for Thor: Love & Thunder – now with added Christian Bale and Natalie Portman – it seems the Guardians of the Galaxy will also appear in the movie, minus Gamora, of course. The whole cast has been spotted heading down to Australia where Love & Thunder is filming:

Karen Gillan (Nebula) is already there and has been hosting live streams with fans where she has been answering questions. Dave Bautista is also there and has been connecting online with fans concerning cooking. Vin Diesel, who voices Groot, already said that the Guardians would be part of the movie, and then Chris Pratt was the first to officially announce he was in the movie. Pom Klementieff (Mantis) is also there for the shoot. Since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is coming out after Thor: Love & Thunder, this looks to follow up the fact that Thor left with the Guardians at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

 

 

§ Meanwhile, WandaVision has been delighting and perplexing people for two weeks. The episodes that were screened for critics have all aired, so I guess here is where things get even more fractured. Based on this still of Agnes, it looks like we’ll be in the 80s next, and I’m getting a Golden Girls vibe here.

If you’re looking for an Easter Egg guide, Den of Geek has every label and fruit cataloged for possible meaning. And it seems there is a LOT of meaning. But even non MCU experts seem to be enjoying this trip down sitcom memory lane, as Melanie McFarland writes at Salon:

“WandaVision” is a highly calculated construct made for people like me, but foremost it’s made for Marvel to boast that it has taken an artform long disregarded as common, even lowbrow, and used it to elevate the medium. By artform, of course, I mean television. And comic books. And, well, industry-killing superhero franchises. “WandaVision” is a calculated intersection of all three. It assumes an emotional connection to TV history and at the same time takes advantage of the ways that our interaction with the medium has evolved. Previously I argued that it’s somewhat less important for the viewer to be steeped in Marvel lore than to have an affection for classic TV. Episode 3, “Now In Color,” further convinces me of this.

§ RIP actress Mira Furlan, who died at age 65 of complications of the West Nile Virus. Furlan had roles in two SF classics, Babylon 5 and Lost, and Rousseau was my favorite Lost character. Babylon 5’s J. Michael Straczynski had a lovely remembrance of her on Twitter:

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