§ So here’s a funny thing – The Beat is actually on posting lockdown since we’re in the middle of moving servers. No time is great for that, but I had a feeling that news would be slowing down right now. Obviously I should never trust my feelings again. So while we can’t resume full posting, in an effort to get out some of what is happening out there, here’s some news briefs.
§ Oscar winning animator Gene Deitch passed away last week at age 95. Deitch (father of Kim) created Tom Terrific, won the Oscar for Munro, and worked on Tom and Jerry among many others things. He was a titan. Condolences to his friends and family.
§ To entertain us during our home time, Kazu Kibuishi is posting a detailed history of the creation of Amulet, his popular nine-volume epic fantasy. Lots of production art and pages from the earliest version of the book, above.
Amulet is a project I have thought about since I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore Film and Media Studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997 when I read the graphic novel series Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki for the first time. It left me emotionally overwhelmed. Soon after, I read Bone by Jeff Smith and felt equally inspired. To me, these books represented some of the highest forms of literature- like The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia but with the addition of worlds and characters fully illustrated by the authors- and the stories within the pages were told in the form of comics!
I immediately knew I wanted to make something like these books, so I set a goal to create a graphic novel series that could deserve to stand on the bookshelf next to the works of these masters. The comic below represents my first attempt at writing and drawing the story. It depicts early versions of the characters Trellis (Trelly the Thief), Leon Redbeard (Leod the Cat), and a cat named Riley. At the end of this series of pages, a few panels of Emily and Navin were drawn before they go on their journey to Alledia, and Miskit is seen as a regular stuffed animal. By the end of drawing these pages, I was already burned out, I felt the results were disappointing, and the prospect of drawing thousands more pages seemed an unacceptable amount of work for a hobby project.
§ Kibuishi has also posted the ENTIRETY of Daisy Kutter one of his early comics and something well worth reading.
§ But it you’re wondering when Amulet Volume 9 is coming out – and many, many young readers are – Kibuishi said not until 2021.
To be honest, not until 2021. I’m coming to the end of a project that I’ve been working on for 23 years so far. Going to give my spidey-sense and writing intuition the time it needs to complete the project properly. Will be a long time before I have this opportunity again. https://t.co/mTbGPjEGne
— Kazu Kibuishi (@boltcity) January 14, 2020
§ With San Diego Comic-Con cancelled for the year, the Unofficial SDCC blog is giving a list of the creators who were to have been in Artists’ Alley:
With San Diego Comic-Con 2020 cancelled, it’s more important than ever to support artists and small vendors. We have compiled a list of as many of the San Diego Comic-Con 2020 artists located in Artist Alley, with Small Press and the full Exhibitor list to follow.
§ Editor and industry veteran Joseph Illidge and his wife have both recovered from COVID-19 – and he told Newsarama what it was like. Very grateful Joe and Lulu got through this.
I live in New York City, and basically the hospitals do not want you to come in for testing unless you are seriously ill or an elderly person because they only have limited resources and they want to utilize those for what they consider priority cases. In the case of myself and my wife, we self-diagnosed based on having certain symptoms coinciding with having the COVID-19 virus; specifically, we had muscular aches and pains, diarrhea, and fever. The convergence of those three led to our reasonable conclusion that we had it.
§ James Gunn tweeted a list of action films to watch during quarantine, and Slashfilm tells you how to watch them.
§ This deserves a longer post, but with all the emergency small business loan money depleted for now, BINC is definitely comics shops and indie bookstores best way to get aid, and here’s a story about that with lots of info.
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) had already distributed $350,027 in Covid-19 relief to 352 bookseller and comic retailer recipients as of Friday, April 17, Executive Director Pamela French told us. “Our first checks went in the mail (and I’m quite proud about this) on March 17th,” French said. “Our programs team is just incredible. We were able to scale, and I think that’s been one of the reasons we’ve been able to turn around and be so successful to get checks into people’s hands, is our ability to scale. We have four full time folks. Without some social workers, who are right now out of work, that volunteered to help us, we wouldn’t have been able to do it that quickly.” The organization has received 672 applications for coronavirus relieve to date. Information for retailers on how to apply for help is at the end of this article.
§ Let’s end with some good news! Back on April 2 it looked like Comics Bulletin had closed up shop.
You may have noticed that our site has gone dark for a couple of weeks. Due to several factors, the decision has been made to close up shop.
Thank you to all of our contributors throughout the years. It's been one hell of a ride.
— Comics Bulletin (@ComicsBulletin) April 2, 2020
This was super sad. A direct descendant of Silver Bullet Comics, one of the original comics news sites on the internet, Comics Bulletin was an excellent site with a lot of great content and passion. What with everything else going on, this ending didn’t get much play, but any time a good site like this goes dark it’s sad. But what made it even sadder was that the content seemed to be gone.
So… reports of our demise may have been premature. The hosting provider was able to get us back online, so all of our content is available once more. We'll probably take a hiatus for at least a few weeks.
— Comics Bulletin (@ComicsBulletin) April 4, 2020
It’s kind of funny that the post announcing its demise got 59 likes and the one announcing its return got 5 but…that’s Twitter for ya.
Anyway, I’m thrilled that CB is back, and here’s a retro review of Y the Last Man #1 to prove it!