§ Back in the saddle!


§ I went to see the Delacroix show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art just before it closed (thanks to Elim Mak for goading me to do it!) and whoa…seeing all that stunning art in person in one place was mind boggling, breath taking…you supply the adjectives. Eugene Delacroix is one of the great painters of France, and considered one of the last of the “Old Masters” (whatever  that means.)

Also, Delacroix loved tall tales and adventure (hence his reputation as a “Romantic”) and while the young kids were trying to make their art look as real as possible, he was just rereading Ivanhoe and other Walter Scott potboilers, and drawing what his imagination fired up. Plus, people couldn’t up and  travel the world willy nilly, so a single trip to Morocco – arranged as part of a diplomatic mission – just blew his mind and recurred in his work for the rest of his life. Like his idol Lord Byron, Delacroix was fascinated by the Greek Revolution, but never visited Greece in his life.

I’m always sobered when I think of the great minds of the past and how they created from their ability to process the world, and not the tsunami of media we have in our pockets. We have access to everything visual that Delacroix could have dreamed of at our fingertips – we have no need of “Old Masters” any more.



§ Nice Art: Caspar Wijngaard is a rising star and he posted some nice process stuff from Limbo, which came out a few years ago. He’s now on that Peter Cannon book everyone is talking about.


§ Black Crown Editor Shelly Bond responded to this with an earth shattering idea:

I agree all comics writers should be forced to learn to letter! It would solve a lot of problems.

§ Best of’s continue to trickle in and TCJ.com has the HUGEST with dozens of people weighing in on their favorites.

And the fine folks at Smash Pages also weighed in.


§ I don’t think I ever linked to the entire Top 100 Comics of All Times as voted on by a bunch of folks and written up by Steve Morris, with some guest editorials along the way. You’ll never guess the Top 10! This was a very thought-provoking list indeed. Sandman #19 was the #100 issue so no spoilers if you are just getting to this!


For the first time in twenty years, as the Atlantic points out, a whole year’s worth of copyrighted works will enter the public domain in the U.S. on January 1, 2019. Under the terms of the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, works first published in 1923 will enter the public domain, meaning anyone can re-publish them, or chop them up and use them in other projects, without asking permission or paying the old rights holders. You can record new versions of the musical compositions; you can show the movies for a profit; you can even remake them. Amazon can sell you the ebook and keep all the money, and Project Gutenberg can give you the ebook for free. The Atlantic has a short list; we have a longer one below.

Steamboat Willie will go into the public domain in 2024, despite Sonny Bono and the Disney Company’s best efforts to stop it. Of course copyright is a pretty weak concept these days but it can still bite you on the ass once in a while.

§ The Beat’s health columnist Kriota Willberg chats on The Virtual Memories Show podcast.

§ Over the holidays the Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Jr wrote all about Comicsgate, and I think this is the final form of the story, at least for now.

§ It was the Golden Globes last night and the BIG news was that Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse won for Best Animated Feature. The Hollywood Foreign Press is a small weird organization and the winners don’t necessarily mean that much for Oscar, but as Amid Amidi wrote on Cartoon Brew, breaking the hold that Disney/Pixar has on this category and recognizing a trly groundbreaking work is exciting:

As we wrote earlier tonight in an analysis on Twitter, this win represents something much more than just a single film winning an award. It’s a victory for the entire animation industry, showing that our art form shouldn’t be defined by a particular style of filmmaking.

It’s a victory for anyone in animation who believes in the richness and potential of the art form, and it’s a victory for audiences who are hungry for new kinds of storytelling, new experimental approaches in visual treatment, and new types of films that appeal to more than family audiences.

The producers called out Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli in their acceptance speech and…wow, I never thought I’d live to see this day.

§ Perhaps the most retweeted event was  a brief film made by the Black Panther cast: Danai Gurira (killing it in her red carpet looks this awards season), Lupita N’yongo and Michael B. Jordan just goofing around and setting a thousand ships on fire.

Also, Kyle Buchanan quizzed Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige on the red carpet about MArvel rival films Spider-Verse and Aquaman, and Feige revealed he is a polite, respectful fellow by saying he LOVED both of them.

I mean not that he was going to trash them but still the view is nice from the high road.


  1. Re: Public Domain and copyrights

    Most of the movies I watch these days are bootlegs of hard-to-find movies from the ’70s and earlier. The companies that legally own them won’t make them available (on DVD/BluRay or streaming), but you can often find them on YouTube or certain other sites that Shall Not Be Named.

    I used to be totally against film piracy, but with the shuttering of FilmStruck, the decline of DVDs, and the pathetic selection of pre-1980 movies on Netflix, I’ve changed my mind. Sometimes I don’t feel like waiting years for these movies to turn up on TCM.

  2. “That Top 100 list is awful.”

    That crappy “Death of Superman” issue (from 1992) doesn’t belong in the Top 500, let alone Top 100.

  3. Fascinating, George! It would not have occurred to me that such a market like that exists but it makes perfect sense.

    Just on your topic, in Australia we still have a network TV station that every Saturday shows a parade of older films, that begins with the oldest first. So, at 10am, there’ll be what I take to be as a pre-1939 (judging by its look and sound quality, to me) movie, that was either filmed in England or has England as the high cultural touchstone of the age. And then, into the afternoon/early evening, they’ll progress to a Hollywood star vehicle, like Wayne, Monroe, Cary Grant, or the like. Usually three movies overall, and I usually like to see what they’re playing, at least. I can see why you’d want any access to any film, screened on TV or some other form of bootleg, just any way you can get it, if you can’t.

    When DVD collections were popularly sold off, I picked up a tonne of older films in a local pawn shop, for a dollar or two each. All kinds of westerns, John Mills WW2 pics, Alec Guinness, or genre-crime or rom-com. A matter of recognising an actor’s or director’s name (eg Billy Wilder), and I’d pick it up. Great fun, but that was years ago, now.

    Don’t really hunt for golden-age classics in the same way as I did. Really glad to have seen films including Knife of the Hunter and Key Largo, for example, though (Cape Fear was on late the other night and I just had to DVR it). I don’t claim your level of comprehensiveness about older films, but that’d suck if all sorts of movies are falling through the cracks (and maybe critics that point out such movies are aging, less on TV, and you have to hunt around for lists online instead – I only learnt of Knife of the Hunter by watching a preeminent aging critic, here in Australia). I’d be bootlegging too!

    Saw Vice. Not cutting down on DVD purchases, but I’ll just have to shell out some additional for the occasional film. If I go to the flicks often enough, then perhaps I’d broaden the range of films. Until then, picking and choosing.

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