§ Nice Art: Jules Feiffer has begun a new comic strip at Tablet magazine, American Follies. Feiffer, 89, finished up his graphic novel trilogy, and keeps on cartooning.
§ Speaking of Feiffer, Paul Morton in the LA Time Book Review looks at that trilogy and the final volume, The Ghost Script:
A decent summary of the intricate plot of The Ghost Script would require spoilers not only of the book, but of the previous installments in the trilogy. As in Kill My Mother and Cousin Joseph— the first set in 1933 and 1943, and the second, a prequel to the first, set in 1931 — we have a cast of characters, none of them great, most at best adequate, and some outright terrible. Each book is divided into several short chapters, most about two or three pages in length. These chapters take the form of short vignettes, mini-strips, mostly without punch lines. The title of The Ghost Script refers to a screenplay supposedly written by blacklisted screenwriters about blacklisted screenwriters. The script, we soon find out, doesn’t actually exist (or does it?!), but everyone — producers afraid that they will be exposed, communist stalwarts who want to make sure the script is ideologically correct — is paying or killing or both to get their hands on the thing.
§ I guess you’ve all seen this “interview” with Stan Lee and his daughter JC, which is very sad for having run, and what it says, and whatever the agenda is behind it. Lee is very old, drifts in and out, and misses his wife. Like I said, sad. We’re lucky we had a lot of time with Stan, and now let’s leave him be. A postscript: the piece lists Lee’s net worth as $50-70 million, a figure a lot of people find inflated.
§ In the flurry of recent comics events over the last few weeks, we missed all sorts of reports. Ryan Cecil Smith on CXC in Columbus:
The Expo was good. It’s not as big as SPX, but the sales were not too bad. I want to do it again next year! A lot of great cartoonists attended. I was so happy to meet a bunch of internet friends for the first time, and also make new ones. All the Billy Ireland staff and the show volunteers were great. This show did a great job of training pro-active volunteers who made an effort to be available and help exhibitor. They were cool. Thank you to everyone at the show who was cool and friendly. I hope I was! I had a good time but also I tried to enjoy these days as a vacation and not hit every part of the programming. The show is nicely spread around Columbus so I enjoyed spending time downtown, around the library, German Village, the Short North, and the university area. Seems like there are a thousand good bars and breweries, and the drinking is way cheaper than LA. I really loved the community involvement in the show.
In the Extreme 1990s, Venom was an antihero for the times. The Brock/symbiote Venom debuted in Amazing Spider-Man‘s 300th issue in May 1988, written by David Michelinie and illustrated by a young superstar-in-the-making named Todd McFarlane. In some ways, the bad guy is a supervillain cut from the old-school cloth: an evil mirror image of the hero he fights, like Superman and Bizarro, or the Flash and, er, the Reverse Flash. But future Spawn creator McFarlane’s wild style and penchant for horror-tinged aesthetics got punched up even further by his successor on the series, Erik Larsen, who emphasized those sharp teeth and that slobbering tongue, making him a very modern man-monster. With a ndesign that emphasized shape-shifting and sheer brute force, Venom was Spider-Man by way of Giger, Carpenter and Cronenberg.
But best of all, I had actually forgotten about this magnificent “evil dance scene” that ensued when Venom took over Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s version. Maybe it is time to reassess Spider-Man 3!
§ There is a thriving comic con culture in India, but unfortunately, there is also Sexual harassment of cosplayers:
“There isn’t enough awareness that cosplay is not consent,” a female cosplayer said on the second and final day of Comic-Con in the city, in a reference to the popular jargon in the cosplaying industry and recouning her experiences of being sexually harassed at the international event. The cosplay scene, costumed role-playing, is often in the wrong light due such instances.
Though Hyderabad’s 7th Comic Con, an annual celebration of all things pop culture, has been growing in size, several accounts of women and in some cases even men, show that sexual harassment can happen anywhere and anytime. Aorin Shariyari, Hyderabad Comic Con’s cosplaying competition judge and India’s only professional cosplayer, said, “Harassment is a huge problem, you have no idea. Guys just try to touch you in one way or another.” Ironically, there are huge signs outlining the anti-harassment policy set up in Con space. A female cosplayer who has been participating in the Comic Cons for the last four years said, “Some people go overboard and get too close when they take pictures and many put their hands in inappropriate places.”
§ Here’s an elaborate off-site at NYCC that I missed.
§ Ace Comic Con rolled out in Chicago this weekend, and it seems to have been the smoothest of these “mega star” events yet, despite some last minute cancellations. Also, many Avengers 4 cast member were quizzed about the upcoming film, including Tom Hiddleston, who spoke out on whether Loki is dead – which is a dumb question since he’s getting a TV show.
“Listen… I’ve heard some amazing theories about this. I was in a park in London a couple of weeks ago, and some guys came and said hi, and they asked me the same question,” Hiddleston said in response to a fan inquiry at ACE Comic Con Sunday. “They said, ‘Hey, listen, we need an answer to this question. All the other times Loki’s died’ — there’s been a few — ‘he stabs with his right hand. And now he’s stabbing with his left hand.’ I was like, ‘That’s incredible attention to detail.’”
Hiddleston also made himself available for many adorable (tho pricey) photo ops.
And Chris Evans allowed that Sebastian Stan is a “sweetheart.” The internet will not pay any attention to that, right?
Evans also had some adorable thoughts about his co-star, Sebastian Stan. Another fan asked what his favorite memories were of filming with Stan over the years. “Probably it’s from the first movie I think in that, with those memories, him and I were both in a very similar place in terms of excitement, uncertainty, and hope,” Evans responded. “I think we both were a little bit of deer in the headlights, unsure of what the commitment meant, unsure of what the journey ahead would mean. But, you know he’s such a sweetheart. He’s such a good guy.”
§ Really, with convention season winding down, it’s time to settle in for Avengers 4 speculation, all day and night. This will be aided by things like this Russo Brothers abstract tweet:
— Russo Brothers (@Russo_Brothers) October 13, 2018
I think it’s Warlock’s cocoon! What do YOU think?
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.