§ Nice Art: Michel Fiffe spotlights Vince Giarrano, yet another 80s comics artist that only Fiffe could find and honor in his special way.
§ Abhay Khosla examined a Steranko page and an “homage” page and all I can think it “the colors, the colors.”
§ Here is a NYCC report with a twist!
§ The San Diego vs Salt Lake lawsuit drags ever on, with an appeals court staying a lower courts ruling that FAnX must pay CCI $4 million dollars. More motions and appeals are underway, and this will never § The Times of India spotlights Meet the big four who ruled Comic Con 2018 at Hyderabad, and they are not who you expect!
§ Graeme McMillan revisits his aughts stomping grounds, the original Fanboy Rampage, with a nostalgic looks at the Bill Jemas era at Marvel. Honest to god, it makes 2018 Marvel look like as harmless as a sloth eating a leaf.
Jemas’ time with Marvel didn’t pass without controversy, however. He was famously outspoken online, whether it was calling DC Comics “AOL Comics” — because of its parent company’s relationship with AOL at the time — or getting in public fights with Marvel talent, including one disagreement that led to a “bet” over whether he was a better writer than Peter David, a longtime Marvel writer whose Captain Marvel series of the era had low sales. (Jemas’ famously ghostwritten contribution to the bet, a six-issue series called Marville, was a series of crass, often offensive, jabs at comic culture, DC Entertainment characters and Ted Turner.)
§ BTW, ancient sloths could be as big as elephants. Think about that!
§ Let’s look at some numbers today, shall we? WB announced they were shutting dow DramaFever, a streaming service for Korean serials. The reason was partly viewership, partly WB planning to consolidate all of its streaming stuff into its new service, but also, everything is way more expensive now because of the competition:
According to a source familiar with DramaFever, licensing costs for U.S. distribution commanded by top K-dramas have rapidly increased in recent years, bid up by larger SVOD players like Netflix and Amazon — making the genre-focused over-the-top video business unsustainable. A show that used to cost $800,000 to license for streaming now goes for around $1 million per season, according to the source.
Even a relatively obscure space like K-dramas!
§ Elsewhere, Netflix discovered that rom-coms like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before are very popular for home viewing.
The company also singled out “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” as one of its “most viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing.” Netflix released a series original movies as part of its “Summer of Love” over the past few months, including “Set It Up,” “The Kissing Booth,” “Like Father,” “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” and the aforementioned “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” The company said Tuesday that it was already in production of “the next set of original rom-coms” for its members.
Do you see? It is not always superheroes all the time.
§ There’s a soul sapping bombshell every five minutes theses days, but this one hits home for us web-content providers, although the news has been known for years – that Facebook knowingly inflated, and then covered up that it knew it had inflated, its video-content views. This emerged in a complaint filed by several advertisers who are alleging that Facebook committed fraud by inflating their numbers:
The case stems from September 2016, when a report from The Wall Street Journal found that Facebook had miscalculated the time spent watching videos by 60% to 80%. The report set off a stream of other metric miscalculations reported by Facebook and changes to how metrics were handled at the social-media company. Facebook also set up a measurement council and began working with the Media Ratings Council to complete an audit of its metrics.
According to the lawsuit, the video metrics were actually inflated by 150% to 900%. The lawsuit also alleges that Facebook knew about the metric disparity in July 2015.
“In an internal response to one such inquiry, a Facebook engineer discussed the numerator/denominator mismatch: ‘I remember [another Facebook engineer] mentioned when computing the average, we only consider views greater than three seconds, but use the total watch time (including those under three [seconds]),'” the lawsuit says.
This is especially poignant because I remember around this time how people were being told they HAD to “pivot to video” because that’s all anyone was going to use to learn any more. And countless journalists were laid off or forced to make videos which they were not very good at. Not everyone is good at video. Shorter:
If you missed it: today it was confirmed that Facebook massively & knowingly inflated its video-view statistics, which had the DIRECT consequence of 90% of media orgs firing writers in favor of expensive video producers, who also got fired when it turned out video was worthless https://t.co/WqdAUBIe6L
— Chris Conroy (@dyfl) October 17, 2018
Again, this has long been known. And now, YouTube does have huge huge viewership among kids and even some adults who don’t have the patience to read. But it’s amazing how anyone can think that Facebook’s control of media has anything beneficial to anyone anywhere except Facebook.
§ Oh and it turns out Instagram Has a Massive Harassment Problem – you may recall that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which is not all that great at handling abuse:
Farbstein has tried to make the harassment stop. He said he’s filed numerous reports through Instagram’s internal reporting tool, but the company takes days to address them, if it does at all. Most of the time he simply deletes the messages and comments himself. “The reporting system is almost like it’s not there sometimes,” Farbstein said. “You want it to end, but you also know that nothing is going to happen if it takes months and months for your report to go through. It produces more fear and anxiety … than whatever’s posted.”
§ On a more positive note, a study has shown that female superheroes and sci-fi characters have a major impact on girls, who are very interested in seeing female characters in their entertainment.
The findings? Kids want to see heroes who look like them. It’s something we already knew but means the world to have it confirmed by science. The study was an online survey conducted with 2,431 kids ages 10-19 as well as parents of 5-9-year-olds to answered on their children’s behalf. Every demographic expressed a desire for female heroes in sci-fi and among superheroes, especially characters who are people of color. The study found that this kind of representation can impact kids’ confidence and self-image, as well as influence their career choices. Another finding from the study — one that was unsurprising but still heartbreaking — is that teen girls are significantly less likely than teen boys to describe themselves as confident, brave, and heard. It’s even more significant among girls of color. Additionally, a third of teens surveyed agreed that girls have fewer leadership opportunities than boys.
Wait, I guess that wasn’t all that inspiring after all since women in speaking roles (let alone SUBSTANTIAL ROLES) still are far fewer in number than male characters. See Jane has all the numbers for you.
§ In perhaps more hopeful news, youTube went down for a bit last night, and people suspect Thanos was to blame.
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.