§ Nice rack! Jim Demonakos is running a Kickstarter for The Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack and you have a precious few hours to still get one. Support the KS and you get one with white or black trim for $299, $50 off the final price. This campaign has long since made its goal, but let’s face it, everyone wants a Spinner Rack.
§ Hyperallergic profiles Tyler Cohen and her graphic novel Primahood: Magenta which deals with parenting issues:
In her graphic novel, Primahood: Magenta, Cohen relates these kinds of quotidian stories about her daughter’s early childhood — among them, tales of playground fights, kid crushes, and lots of running around. Like many parents, as Cohen watches her daughter grow up, she’s always carefully considering the lasting consequences of her words and reactions. When her daughter is insulted that other kids called her a boy, her mother’s response is: “Maybe you have to teach them there’s yet another type of girl.” Cohen herself hasn’t worn a dress in years; her alter ego in the book is dubbed “Mama Pants.”
§ And Hope Larson discusses All Summer Long, her new GN:
That feeling of lazy freedom and inevitable change is captured in “All Summer Long,” a new graphic novel by Hope Larson released earlier this week. The story follows 13-year-old Bina during her first summer break away from her best friend, Austin, who is off to soccer camp for a month. Without her usual partner in crime, Bina ends up spending more time indulging in her love of music. But in addition to being introduced to new bands and learning to play new songs on her electric guitar, Bina makes new friends, stumbles into new responsibilities and discovers that not all changes are bad.
§ Parade has ID’d the Nerdiest States in America using metrics measuring interest in Harry Potter and Warcraft, the number of pop culture conventions, and the number of video game, comic book and tabletop game retailers per capita. The winners and each states obsession.
1. New Hampshire – Game of Thrones
2. Vermont – Magic: the Gathering
3. Maine – Magic: the Gathering
4. Alaska – Warhammer 40,000
5. Montana – Star Trek
6. North Dakota – Star Trek
7. Rhode Island – Game of Thrones
8. Washington – Star Trek
9. Wyoming – Magic the Gathering
10. Idaho – Star Trek
The last time I ran info from this kind of survey – sorry no idea where or when- I do recall that the nerdiest state was Utah. I don’t know if they used different metrics or if New England just got hella geeky fast. This survey seems to show that the more rural and cold a state is, the nerdier it is. Perhaps those long winter tabletop games did it.
§ Every year after the Eisner Awards, comics journalists get mad about the comics journalist nominations. This year the task is left to CP Hoffman, writing at the redesigned WWAC :
The last several years have seen an explosion of insightful comics criticism, as well as hard-hitting reporting, not only at comics-focused outlets, but also at general pop culture sites and in the mainstream press. We’ve seen women, people of color, queer folks, and other who had for too long been excluded from the comics discourse find homes for their voices. Critics have brought intersectional and interdisciplinary ideas to comics criticism, leaving the field far stronger than it was before. And yet, aside from PanelXPanel, this list feels extremely familiar, while also being unrepresentative of the broader universe of writing about comics. Three of the nominations, for instance, went to publications focused on comics that were decades-old. While Jack Kirby, for instance, continues to exert a lasting influence on comics that is definitely worthy of exploration, when 60% of the 2018 Eisner nominations for comics journalism/criticism focus on work published in another millennium, it’s easy to get the sense that the nominations aren’t entirely relevant.
Honestly, I feel the noms this year were a little print-centric, but Hoffman’s suggestion of a nomination for Buzzfeed for their (admittedly excellent) coverage of harassment in comics also feels wrong to me. Here’s the main thing:
Also absent are all five of the 2017 Eisner nominees, including winner The AV Club. (And, yes, as well as Women Write About Comics, though the bulk of my personal comics writing from 2017 appeared at Comic Book Resources, Nerdist, and Book Riot.)
Basically every Eisner jury has its own ideas and doesn’t like to repeat previous juries.
UPDATE: It turns out that Hoffman, along with Francesca Lyn and Nick Hanover, is putting together a new award for comics journos! Follow thread for plans.
§ Speaking of Women Write About Comics, Claire Napier will be stepping down as EIC at the end of the month, although we suspect (and hope) she’ll still be chiming in on comics here and there. Wendy Browne will take on the EIC mantle and Nola Pfau will be managing editor,
§ Speaking of excellent comics journalism, The MNT reprints an essay by Rosie Knight called Is The Direct Market Holding Comics Back? which offers a wide-ranging critique of our current delivery system.
It’s strange how abstract and archaic the ins and outs of comic book sales can seem as a fan. Before I worked in retail, I only had rudimentary knowledge of the direct market and all I could really be sure of was its inevitability. When you’re a fan who regularly buys weeklies, you quickly become accustomed to the idea of Diamond and the direct market being the only way to purchase comics: you pre-order if you can, you pick them up, you read them, rinse, repeat. Once you begin to work in retail you realize how strange and restrictive the model truly is, not to mention the damage it’s doing to the industry as a whole.
§ Speaking of which, I was chatting with a prominent comics retailer the other day who told me “The direct market needs to die.” Cue ominous music.
§ Holy Shit, that is a lot of comics.
CONVENTIONS!!!! So much to write about.
§ I keep talking about Con 3.0, or maybe 4.0. Need to figure that out some day. Here’s a con 3.0 that I really like: Ballpark Comic Con on May 12th. The Somerset Patriots, an indie baseball team in the Atlantic League, (I did not even know such a thing existed) will hold a comics event at TD Bank Park.
Ballpark Comic Con offers fans and comic books lovers a unique experience combining family fun, baseball, and all things comics. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Super Sparkee T-Shirt. Sparkee will be dressed as Super Sparkee during the game and be available at a picture station. Fans are encouraged to dress up as comic characters and participate in costume contests for great prizes.
In addition there will be photo ops with Captain America and Spider-Man, and the Patriots will wear comics themed jerseys. Baseball and comics – activities for all.
§ Here’s a very nice write up of WICOMICON, the pop-up con held last weekend in Baltimore, by vendor Aiden McFarland:
It also felt like the attendees were all thanking us, and making effort to spend at least some money at as many tables as possible. All our fellow artists and vendors were also supporting each other, we all seemed to be throwing money at each other throughout the day. REPRESENTATION AND COMMUNITY SPACES MATTER We saw adorable children in cosplay. Baby queers buying representation merch. Young POCs excited to have art and comics that showed people like them. We saw people forging friendships and relationships. The entire day was full of laughter, smiles, and the true definition of what community should be and feel like. I wonder, honestly, if the failed event could have succeeded so well had it happened.
§ It looks like M’Baeku is hitting the convention trail!
AVENGERS INFINITY WAR LINKS:
Honest, this will only go on for another day or two. SPOILERS!!!!
that new avengers movie was kind of clunky, boring, and sloppily acted; still fun to see all those special effects, i guess
— Tom Spurgeon (@comicsreporter) May 2, 2018
This is a valid and informed opinion on the movie. Yet I went to see it again at a 9:30 IMAX matinée yesterday and the small audience was crying when it ended. A small child was crying. Another child was comforting her mom, who was really upset. I’ve really never experienced anything like this. You can call it cheap emotional manipulation (because it is) but people care about those characters.
§ And indeed, here’s Bryan Bishop at The Verge to explain how hollow the ending was because we know it’s only comic book death.
In the moment, the emotional impact of seeing all of those characters vanish is undeniably powerful. This is a franchise where no topline hero has truly died or even abandoned the series. I’ve seen the film twice, and both times, the audience in my theater has had the same gasping, horrified visceral reaction. It’s a cinematic moment, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern blockbuster filmmaking. But the best way to gauge viewers’ reactions to the ending is watching how they respond to the credits, and what comes after. Marvel fans have gotten used to two extra moments at the end of the studio’s films: a mid-credits scene and a post-credits teaser, Infinity War drops the mid-credits scene, and subs in a title card, which crumbles to dust in the same way the fallen Avengers did. Both times I’ve seen the film, the audience has groaned audibly at that title card, as if they were hoping for some light-hearted moment of reprieve to make everything a little better. (The lone post-credits scene does tease Captain Marvel as a possible savior, but it’s hard to get too excited after watching Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury disintegrate.)
§ Another group chat, this time at Wired:
Parham: As “endings” go, this might be Marvel’s most ambitious. I understand these are comic book characters we’re talking about, so no one is ever really dead—as you guys mentioned—but still. I remember being upset when I first saw it. It’s not that I didn’t think Thanos would ultimately win, I just didn’t think more than half of the cast would be killed off. And it wasn’t even that I thought it was cruel, it just felt … dumb. A few days removed from it, I actually don’t mind. With half the cast “gone,” it allows for an interesting, even more ambitious part two. Wong, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man are sure to be back. Plus all new characters—Captain Marvel and, fingers crossed Angela, Valkyrie! And maybe even some characters who haven’t been introduced into MCU yet.
§ Newsarama lays out the misdirection in the trailers, which had altered scenes from the movie. Like Thor having an eyepatch in scenes where he actually had two eyes. SNEAKY.
§ And here come the think pieces!!!! How Marvel Studios Rose as Movie Stars Fell
The story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of intellectual property over movie stars. It banked on nostalgia and cool factor, rather than 1980s-style goldmine payouts for a handful of movie stars. Not long ago, a bankable movie star was seen as key to a blockbuster. The Marvel Cinematic Universe eschewed that notion from the start, with main characters played by two actors from the little-seen “Zodiac,” a supporting actor from a panned “Fantastic Four” adaptation, and an Australian who was best known as a soap opera star… and that guy who was in the first five minutes of 2009’s “Star Trek.” “The days of the Arnold Schwarzenegger action hero are in the past,” comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian told TheWrap. “The movies now are the stars, and the stars are a smaller piece of that puzzle than they used to be.”
§ For the record, on my second viewing I liked it even more, and I even teared up a bit. This two hour forty minute movie just rockets by.
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.