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Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, 11/5/09


§ All the way back in September we interviewed Jeffrey Brown at his SPX panel, and he admitted one of his dreams was to write a story for Marvel Comics. Now he has a blog post called Childhood Dream: Check. And this is why.

§ PvP’s Scott Kurtz — who has not exactly kept his disdain for the Wizard family of products secret, is incensed by a form letter he receives, asking him to consider participating at a future Wizard show:

Your conventions are total horseshit, so it’s wise to stop branding them with the name Wizard. But no amount of polishing is going to make me want to attended any of the 5 turds your company is going to crap out in 2010, especially when you schedule them against other shows in some bullshit dick measuring contests that serves no other purpose but to fracture an already dying industry that I have nostalgic ties to.

Although his anger is righteous, Laura Hudson observes that she’s beginning to feel sorry for Wizard employees at this point:

Similarly, while Wizard has done some pretty unfortunate and tasteless things in the past, it’s a bit unfair to treat every single person who works for the magazine as though they were complicit with each and every one of those incidents, particularly when it comes to editorial and business decisions made way above their pay grade. Hell, there’s no way of knowing whether sales guy was even working for the mag during the Wieringo incident, or even if he knows who Wieringo is.

§ Clifford Meth writes to say that the Gene Colan tribute book he’s been working on will be out early next year.

Marvel Entertainment will release my 128-pg. THE INVINCIBLE GENE COLAN in February, 2010, a visual biography of one of the most brilliant, sublime and influential comic artists in the history of the genre. Includes observations from Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Neil Gaiman, Walter Simonson, Marv Wolfman, Tom Palmer, Steve Gerber, Tom Spurgeon and John Romita Sr., and beautiful, eye-popping art from the Shadow Master himself.

§ Graphic NYC interviews Marvel e-i-c- Joe Quesada:

“I go back to this particular Soapbox column that Stan wrote when I was a kid. I remember it vividly. It was a right after Jack Kirby left to go to DC. Most companies would either ignore it and not publicize that he left, or put some ridiculous gloss on it and make up something. Stan wrote ‘Jack’s gone. He’s going to work for the other guys.’ You could tell there was a tinge of sadness or concern, but then he said ‘You know what? We’re going to be okay, because we still have other great talents…Marvel Comics are going to still be the best comics you can get.’ That was the coolest thing ever: the ability to let me in on what was obviously an internal creative tragedy.”

§ If Benjamin Marra was a song, would Pitchfork like him?

§ If you are a production wonk like The Beat is, you will love production expert Corey J. Breen’s account of how he prepared the WATCHMEN for Absolute remastering. Warning: contains explanations of moire patterns and so on!

Since it was such an old project, the digital files that we had been using for all the umteenth reprints we did all had to be recolored and “remastered”. All those old files, although still amazing looking, would not have looked so if they were just blown up to the Absolute Volume size we needed them at. So what we did was go to the original film that we had for the pages. Since we no longer have the original art to older comics such as this, what we have are the pages in the film library. Back in the day, all our books were shot using film on acetate. Our film library has extensive books all on film, and when we need to reprint them, it is shot from that film, and made digital for us to use. But this poses a lot of problems. Since the film is well, film, and it is old, when you make a digital file from film, it can be dirty, have scratches, and have sections missing, depending on how well the film was originally made. This was the case with the Watchmen ‘film’ we wound up having to use.

[Link via David Pepose]

  1. Scott Kurtz forgot to point out when they named that room after Mike Wieringo in Chicago this year, they got HIS name wrong, too. Unless his name really is “Mike Werringo.”

  2. Does Wizard have any long time employees left? Any that have started working for Wizard in the last couple-three years had to have known what they were getting themselves into.

    I certainly understand in these times that it is important to hang onto the job you have, but I am not going to feel sorry for anyone who recently chose to go to work for Wizard. (I also do not have hate for them just because they work for Wizard.)

  3. I also don’t think Larry Ernst is sitting in his office worried that my bile was intended for him. I think posting a reply to his letter on my website, in such an obviously over-the-top fashion makes it clear I’m addressing Wizard the entity and not the sales guy that triggered my outburst.

    It’s not like I flogged the guy in person or something.

  4. I obliquely mentioned Scott Kurtz in my PW column this month about adolescent behavior in the comics industry, and thought, Well, is that fair? It was a Twitter post, and we all say stupid stuff in those — though my point was more that people are treating vulgar tweets like worthy commentary. But now I realize, yes, yes, it was fair.

    Look, I get that people think that Wizard conventions are horribly run — this is something the company I work for has experienced first hand. But I also heard my boss, not exactly known for his tame tongue, explain in strong but non-abusive terms to the poor Wizard employee who called to ask us to attend one of their upcoming shows why we would not be even considering it. Is it too much to act and express ourselves like grown-ups instead of foul-mouthed 13-year-olds who still get a rush from using naughty words? I guess if it’s reinforced by being quoted, it is.

  5. One time at The Comics Journal in 1995 Harvey Pekar yelled at me for 85 minutes. He stopped at one point to go to the restroom and Joyce Brabner yelled at me until he got back.

  6. Jennifer I can truly appreciate your point of view on this, and I won’t dispute it. I’m being a child in that post on my website. I’m went over the top to make a point. I can’t really defend that.

    If it makes you feel any better, I tried the adult and calm approach with Wizard first, and after they bullied me around WW Texas a bit I decided I didn’t want to be so adult and calm with them any more.

    They care ZILCH about me (or anyone) beyond my booth check clearing. Meanwhile people like Marc Nathan, Sheldon Drum and Jim Demonakos manage to treat nobodies like me with humanity and respect despite not being Wizard.

    I’m happy that I’m available for you to use in posts about adolescents. I hope I’m able to make your blogging easier :)

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