§ Nice Art: Rachel Stott tweeted this sweet version of Sue and Reed Richards and Twitter went nuts. And why not? It’s not the preoccupied STEM couple we’re used to seeing.
Twitter can have a little more domestic Fantastic Four, as a treat pic.twitter.com/PEML0TYsUI
— Rachael Stott (@RachaelAtWork) October 18, 2020
§ Self plug: At this weekend’s Diversity Comic Con, I moderated a panel on “COVID-19’s Impact on the Comics Industry” with Stanford Carpenter (Comic Scholar), Gina Gagliano (Random House Graphic), Andy Schmidt (Comic Experience) and John Siuntres (Word Balloon) and with four such plugged in and talkative guests a very interesting conversation ensued. Spoiler: You may not like the answer to “Is the pamphlet doomed?”
You can watch the rest of the panels on the DCC YouTube channel here.
§ Speaking of virtual cons, FIYAH magazine held FIYAHCON 2020 – For BIPOC+ In Speculative Fiction this weekend, and it was a big success, judging from the social media reaction. The event included the first ever Ignyte Awards! which included an award for Best Comics Team which was won by These Savage Shores by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vitorio Astone, Aditya Bidikar, & Tim Daniel.
§ I haven’t been watching Lovecraft Country because of my HBOMax woes, but I know I missed out on something excellent, and will catch up on it over the long, brutal winter. Comics artist Afua Richardson created the comics for the character who is an artist, and got a shoutout in the finale. Nice one!
— Afua Richardson (@AfuaRichardson) October 19, 2020
§ Speaking of HBO’s previous nerd-based hit, Easy Watchmen Halloween Costumes Including Sister Night shows that if there is a Halloween wherever you are, costumes based on the TV show are the default now, not the comics.
In 2020, the key to a good Halloween costume is an excellent, in-character mask. All the more reason to dress up as a superhero who already wears one, and it’s been awhile since we’ve seen superheroes as interesting and as real as the characters from Watchmen.
I predict many Sister Nights, and in the alternate world where comic cons have been going strong in 2020, I bet they would be this year’s Adventure Time. I wish I could see them.
§ In Japan they are releasing a collection of a little-known original comic strip by manga legend Osamu Tezuka:
A collection of newspaper comic strips by the late manga creator Osamu Tezuka featuring handwritten dialogue as well as previously unreleased works will be published as a set of books in November. The three-volume box set titled “Tezuka Osamu Comic Strips” includes the complete stories, in the size they were originally drawn, of “Tiger Land” — a comic about the coexistence of humans and animals — published in 1974 in the Japanese Communist Party’s daily, currently known as Shimbun Akahata, among others.
§ An event! In some parts of the world — namely, Berkeley, CA, you can see an exhibit of art: Jack Katz The Golden Age and Beyond- Pop-Up Art Exhibition. The event takes place Oct 24-25, with Katz in attendance on the 25th. Social distancing must be observed. Katz is a Golden Age comics artist who later helped the self-publishing movement get going with an eccentric saga called The First Kingdom. The exhibit includes oil paintings, sketches and comics.
Katz is now 93 years old, and looks pretty spry in his Wikipedia photo from two years ago. Amazing. He’s one of the last living Golden Agers so this should be quite a treat.
§ I never thought I would link to AARP The Magazine here, but David Hochman penned a long piece called Stan Lee’s Last Days: A Shocking Tale of Love and Abuse that included new interviews and research:
As we approach the second anniversary of Lee’s death, a half-dozen civil suits are pending and a criminal elder-abuse prosecution by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office remains mired in pretrial maneuverings. The courts have yet to shed light on many of the details and the veracity of the elder-abuse charges against several people. Elder-abuse cases are difficult to bring to trial, tough to litigate and hard to win. Was Stan Lee, like 1 in 10 Americans over age 60, a true victim of elder abuse, which can include physical violence, emotional torment, financial exploitation and willful deprivation? Plenty of evidence and testimony suggests that may be true.
I don’t need to tell you how sad this all is, and if you were closely following Lee’s last days, there won’t be too much new here, except a reminder that a lot of people who latched on to him in his final days seem to be true scumbags. Stan may be controversial, but he deserved better.
§ The NY Times tells us Your Local Bookstore Wants You to Know That It’s Struggling. Although book sales are surviving COVID, some stores aren’t.
The message: Buy from these shops, or they won’t be around much longer. According to the American Booksellers Association, which developed the campaign, more than one independent bookstore has closed each week since the pandemic began. Many of those still standing are staring down the crucial holiday season and seeing a toxic mix of higher expenses, lower sales and enormous uncertainty. Even though book sales have been a bright spot in an exceedingly grim national economy — they rose more than 6 percent so far this year compared with last year, according to NPD BookScan — most of those purchases are not going through independent stores. Surging interest in specific categories, from educational books to titles on race and antiracism, continues to boost some booksellers but has dropped off for others. Still, local independent stores have hustled and reinvented themselves during the pandemic. Mailing books to customers, which used to be a minuscule revenue stream for most shops, can now be more than half of a store’s income, or virtually all of it for places that are not yet open for in-person shopping. Curbside pickup has become commonplace.
§ OH NO! It seems Suicide Squad director David Ayer has really been fired up by Zack Snyder’s success getting that Justice League cut, and is keeping up his campaign to get his OWN director’s cut. He just kicked things up a notch with this tweet:
I took the hits like a good soldier when the studio cut hit the streets. It’s who I am.
I watched my cut for the first time since it was abandoned.
It is f*cking amazing. On God.
I felt guilty for years like I f*cked. Nope. It’s fire. It’s the tone of the Comicon trailer 100% https://t.co/sFlFiGW5yN
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) October 17, 2020
I took the hits like a good soldier when the studio cut hit the streets. It’s who I am. I watched my cut for the first time since it was abandoned. It is f*cking amazing. On God. I felt guilty for years like I f*cked. Nope. It’s fire. It’s the tone of the Comicon trailer 100%
Movie Web gives a bit of context:
The first teaser footage for Suicide Squad that was released at Comic-Con in 2016 promised a dark, brooding look at a gang of supervillains forced to do the government’s bidding on a suicide mission. Unfortunately, according to David Ayer, the studio felt dissatisfied with his tone for the film, and they ordered extensive edits and reshoots to bring more humor into the storyline, which led to the muddled, messy vibe of the theatrical cut of Suicide Squad.
While one would LIKE to think a more coherent movie exists out there somewhere….do we really need this campaign? DO WE REALLY??? History will be the judge.