§ Reportedly, the first issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comic by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, will sell 1 million copies, the most single issues of a comic since Batman #500 in 1993. Comicsbook.com reported this, and didn’t mention Loot Crate, which has been behind a lot of the massively selling comics of late. I know people like Star Wars, but if this number holds steady, I expect to hear that there were some kinds of massive extra-DM sales involved. That would average out to 333.33 copies per DM store, which is, I suppose, possible.
The book takes place between the original Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, so expect a lot of “We’ve got to get to Hoth” talk. Also, Jason and John, you’re buying.
§ A comic-con was held in Sao Paulo last weekend. About 20,000 people attended. What did they see?
In addition to seeing the original comic strips that inspired many major superhero franchises, guests also got a sneak-peek at future releases. There will be an exclusive preview of the next Hobbit film, “The Battle of Five Armies”, at the event, with a special appearance from Thorin actor, Richard Armitage. This mixture of attractions caused great excitement.
§ Meanwhile they are planning the first Comic-Con Portugal soon:
The Portuguese convention, which is being held for the first time, is “to make this event a national and international benchmark and to position itself as the biggest pop culture show in Portugal,” according to its organizers. Some highlights of the conference are an appearance by Clive Standen, the actor who plays Rollo in the TV show Vikings, actor Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones, as well as Seth Gilliam, known for playing Father Gabriel in The Walking Dead.
OH BOY! COMICS.
And WHY do they call these things comic cons any more?
§ Looking for your smoking gun on Lichtenstein? this photoset from his studio has it!
§ Zainab Akhtar also picked 10 artists she liked in 2014 and…she nails it. Kris Mukai and Ronald Wimberly. So there.
§ Tom Spurgeon has explained more about his move to Columbus and his new job running CXC the new Columbus based CAF. The good news is that he isn’t giving up running The Comics Reporter! Running even a spuriously comprehensive blog like The Beat with another job is no easy task so, good luck! He’s also contemplating changes:
* CR, completely independent of my taking the gig in Columbus, has been experiencing trouble for quite some time. I’ll be announcing several changes in the way I do CR, changes that are long overdue and may help me to continue doing it and make for a better publication/source in the next few weeks. The model we started in 2004 and still use today doesn’t really work anymore. I hope you’ll bear with me and I hope you’ll be open to me pitching a few things at you at an appropriate time. Watch this space.
Tom is the only other blogger who does kind of the same thing I do, so if he’s changing it means our day is truly over.
§ Hilary Brown interviewed Olivier Schrauwen becuase Arséne Schwauren is one of the books of the year.
Schrauwen: The meaning of the color changes is not fixed; it depends on the context. For instance, the red can suggest a sweet and romantic feeling, but it can also illustrate hellish torment. The choice to work with two colors comes from the fact that I printed it first by myself, on a printer that can only print two different colors at a time. When you overlap the colors you can have quite a rich palette, but I figured it was more appropriate for the story to just juxtapose the colors. It’s a bit crude and brusque, but so is the story.
§ SPOILER. Apparently there is a petition to bring back **** who was shockingly killed in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Sorry to say, she looked pretty dead to me.
§ Director Ridley Scott has mumbled something about why he won’t direct a comic book movie:
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities and I tend not to do that. They’re the hardest single thing to write,” he said. “Taking a comic strip character is very hard to write, because comics are meant to work in one page, to work in frames with minimalistic dialogue. And a lot of it is left to the imagination of the reader. To do that in film you’ve got to be a little more explanatory. And that requires a good screenplay and good dialogue.”
You know, I love Ridley Scott, but there’s a reason they don’t let him say things, because unless he was offered a movie version of Henry, people can say things in movies. On the other hand, the first four movies he directed were The Duelists, Alien, Blade Runner and Legend (with the Apple 1984 commercial thrown in) so…he can kind of do whatever he wants.
And now a bunch of things I had kicking around since before Thanksgiving.
§ For some reason I bookmarked this Gerard Jones account of a trip to DC in the 80s and meeting Julius Schwartz.
§ I also bookmarked this quotes from Johanna Draper Carlson on Lumberjanes:
Lumberjanes is to today what the Dark Knight Returns was to another generation — a book that’s bringing in a whole new audience, an outreach book to a group that can love comics, once comics exist for them. Then it was older readers, those looking for mature content; now, it’s young women interested in active adventures, not appearances. It’s great to see a group of female lead characters (still rare in comics). Being a gang, they’re allowed to have different personalities and interests, instead of just being The Girl.
§ How do superhero costumes fit so well in the movies? they basically scan the actors and manufacture them to the micron. Only Kate Beckinsale and Bradley Cooper can really stand up to this kind of scrutiny.
§ James Gunn obviously hasn’t let his success as a marvel director get in the way of speaking his mind, which is pretty impressive, as with his widely quoted FB post on the flaws in the shared universe idea. He also loves posting mash-up art like Steamboat Yondu, above, and pictures of cure animals. What Gunn doesn’t really mention is that the entire Hollywood system is broken at the moment, along with everything else. It’s basically either small >$10 million films or $150 million blockbusters. No in between.
§ Finally, I greatly enjoyed this in-depth review of the Ellis/Shalvey/Bellaire Moon Knight by Beat alum Steve Morris.
There’s a real lack of baggage in Moon Knight, which is emphasized through Shalvey’s artwork. Whilst out of costume, Moon Knight looks gaunt, tired, and human. But within the costume, nothing interests or bothers the character beyond getting through his latest mission and finishing things. Shalvey puts an incredible amount of blank space in many of his panels, particularly in the fight scenes. Moon Knight’s costume at times is just an outline, with no definition – he’s an empty space within a busy confluence of fantasy, noir, action — whatever genre Ellis’ mood takes the series in. This creates a really distinctive sense of presence, even if that presence seems distant.
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.