§ Norm Breyfogle suffered a stroke on December 17th, but he’s making great progress, as shown in this video; his fundraiser to help with his rehab is still underway and NOW he’s the poster child for medical bill crowdfunding, with this profile in the New York Times. It’s great to see Norm recovering and we send him all our best.
§ The New York Times also covered the Angouleme comics fest complete with a slideshow. Of course, the focus was on Charlie Hebdo, but…as someone who has been following comics media for more than a decade that is still pretty amazing.
§ Everyone was puzzled and angry about the new FF trailer, so they had to watch it over and over again to make sure of what was puzzling and angering them. And then it became Fox’s’ most watched trailer ever. Who’s laughing now, sucker?
§ Cartoonist Robyn Chapman is now employed as assistant editor at First Second, which is win win win for everyone. Congrats, Robyn!
§ And Zainab Akhtar runs down the 20 most anticipated comics and graphic novels for 2015; after a look it’s going to be a very good year.
§ I put together another list of Spring 2015 GNS for PW, but it’s still behind the paywall. I’ll alert the troops when it’s out.
§ SF book shop Borderlands Books is closing in March and the main cause is that California has raised the minimum wage to $12.25 an hour. That will increase the payroll 39% and operating costs 19%. It’s very sad that paying workers the very modest sum of $12.25 an hour will cause an unworkable business model, especially since SF is the second most expensive city to live in in the US, it seems to be a downward spiral. I wonder if this will also affect Californian comics shops?
§ FanX was held over the weekend in Salt Lake City, and it went fine, especially with capping tickets at 50,000—previous shows has some crowding, which was avoided this time:
Halfway through its third and final day, Salt Lake Comic Con announced it had sold out its FanX event and was closing on-site ticket sales.
Unlike previous comic con events, which drew as many as 120,000 attendees, ticket sales were capped at 50,000, with attendance measuring just above that, according to preliminary reports.
“I think we kept it just about the right size,” co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said. ” FanX officials ironed out logistical concerns from previous events, including the second Salt Lake Comic Con that was held just four months ago in September.
Wristbands with RFID chips kept lines flowing in and out of the Salt Palace while the limited ticket numbers ensured the previously crowded convention floor was comfortable to navigate. “I think we’ve learned a few lessons from last time,” Brandenburg said. “I think we kept it just the right size, and our customer support lines were more quiet than they’ve ever been, which is great.”
§ Joe Illidge looks at the history of Storm.
A strong Black woman who survived through poverty and the loss of her parents as a child, discovered her extraordinary gifts and used them to help her people, travelled to America to help on a global scale, lost her powers, refused to become a victim and emerged as a woman strong enough to wrest leadership of the X-Men from a superpowered comrade, became the leader of a band of underground mutants by defeating the band’s leader in battle, returned home for self-exploration, regained her powers, and married King T’Challa, thereby becoming the Queen of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced nations on Marvel’s Earth.
§ Stolen Sharpie has a list of fine fest and small press-y things, but it is far from complete and missing a bunch of CAFs, but clip and save and pencil in. [Link via Panel Patter]
§ Zak Sally has not only released one of the most challenging comics of the last 12 months, but he’s joining Anders Nilsen in doing an end around on Amazon.
§ While I was checking that last bit, I also noticed that Zally has lost the URL LaMano21 which is the site for his publishing company, due to missing a renewal and a squatter moved in and now he’s in a fight to get it back. Which is a good reminder. FOR GOD’S SAKE SET YOUR DOMAINS TO AUTORENEW. Or at least make sure your GoDaddy* emails don’t go to spam. It’s very difficult to get a lapsed domain back and a little attention and it will never happen.
* Yes I know GoDaddy is comprised of sexist pigs but they also make renewing very easy.
§ Finally, this Funnybook Babylon link has been making the rounds, but it is a sobering reminder of just how awful the 90s really were for comics, when Wizard Magazine was considered the hottest cool thing in the biz and ran things like panels of women and explained how hot and sexy they were. I mean yes, people didn’t have internets so they had to find wank material anywhere they could, but this was the best selling item in comics shops for several years.
Why Does Wizard Think This is Sexy? They’ve never seen a real porno magazine before, so the idea of one appearing in a comic book is mysterious and wonderful. This is a tangent, but it always bothers me when people in comic books act like their world actually looks like a comic book. People have distinguishing characteristics besides costumes and colors; if you put different people in (most) superhero outfits, no one would mistake Thor/Iron Man/Captain America/Bruce Banner for Hawkeye just because Mark Ruffalo or Chris Hemsworth put on Jeremy Renner’s costume. I think everyone could tell that it was Zoe Saldana as Gamora even though her skin color was altered, so color-corrected She-Hulk nudie photos would look like nudie photos of She-Hulk with caucasian skin. I haven’t seen anyone go “it’s cool if you post my leaked naked phone pics, so long as you Photoshop my skin to be green, that way no one will know it’s me.”
Thank god we’ve come so far since then.
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.