§ Nice Art; In all the Comixology Originals or it was mentioned now nice Abigail Jill Harding’s (artist on Ask For Mercy) art looks, and it is!
§ Marvel has all the pieces in place for a big comeback from their PR disasters of 2017, but first, they need to officially have an apology tour for editor in chief CB Cebulski and his Akira Yoshida phase. The venue was no less than the CBS This Morning??? where Cebulski appeared with vp Sana Amanat and the rehab tour began.
“I’ve always wanted to write and tell stories and it was a different time in cultural politics. And I made some very bad choices at that time, ones that I regret and that I’ve since made amends for and have been working to, you know, really kind of put behind me,” Cebulski said.
“We’re 100 percent committed to diversity…Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn’t been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work — are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has.”
These statements did not fly with Marvel watchers on Twitter, but ya gotta start somewhere.
§ Speaking of Comixology’s Originals announcement from Friday, in addition to their interview here at the Beat, David Steinberger and Chip Mosher appeared at other websites, and dropped other factoids. At Forbes, Rob Salkowitz cut straight to the print-on-demend chase.
Though print on demand has been available as an option for a while, few if any companies have taken advantage of it due to the costs and complexities of managing it at scale. Enter Amazon, which has no problem spending money to gain an edge on customer experience and does everything at scale.
“This is a great opportunity to experiment,” said David Steinberger, CEO and co-founder of comiXology, who heads up Amazon’s digital comics efforts worldwide. “We see a lot of potential for print on demand not just for us, but for existing publishers who can bring backlist titles back into print quickly or offer material that’s hard to fit [into the current distribution model.] We can take those risks on behalf of the publishers, find out what works and help them take advantage of it.”
I may be getting several steps ahead of myself, but is there any concern in growing this aspect of comiXology — publishing creator-owned work, having a print component — that you may be eventually viewed as a competitor to publishers you work with as a distributor?
Steinberger: I don’t have any concern with that, because the way we see it right now is, we’re getting to experiment in ways that publishers probably won’t try themselves. We’re very good partners with the publishers that sell our books with us. We’ll be sharing information about the success, or lack of, of the program. I think there’s a tremendous amount of incredible creators out there. One thing we heard maybe a year and a half ago that, to be fair, scared the heck out of me, was retailers saying, “Oh, there’s just too much great content. I can’t possibly stock all this great content.” If we can be somewhat helpful, to stock or have available content that maybe wouldn’t get the direct market audience right away, and may become a direct market book, I’m happy to do that. I think we would be very proud to be able to expand the amount of genres, creators, creator-types, character lead-types, that wouldn’t necessarily make it to the direct market, and be a channel for that.
§ Iike many of you, I’ve been in denial that Damon Lindelof is making a Watchmen TV show that is “inspired by” the world of The Watchmen. It’s not that it’s any more of a sacred text than any novel or comic, just that….it is so unnecessary. Also, everyone keeps telling me The Leftovers is awesome, but I still wake up at night, sweating and screaming “Prometheus!” – so maybe I need to watch The Leftovers so I can think fewer horrible thoughts about this.
Anyway, paparazzi photos of Don Johnson in a police uniform from the set have been circulating, and apparently somehow these photos are set in Tulsa, which could indicate that the series is partly inspired by a piece of Watchmen background lore:
The exact nature of these individuals is currently being kept under wraps, but new set pics could potentially hint at one familiar face making a comeback. Hollywood Pipeline shared some snaps of Don Johnson on set in Vancouver, which featured him decked out in some sort of police uniform. The site clarified what the images depict with the caption: “Don Johnson appears to head some form of parapolice organization in an alternative universe city of Tulsa.” Unfortunately, you’ll have to head on over to HP via the link below to view them. Back to that caption, though, and while it won’t ring any bells for comic book fans, it’s possible that Johnson’s playing a revamped version of Hollis Mason, the original Nite-Owl. Mason was one of the original superheroes in Watchmen‘s universe who worked as a cop during the 1950s. By the 1980s, he’d retired to become a mechanic – and is killed during the events of the comic.
Personally, I just never want to see anything bonus from the world of Watchmen because it was perfect as is. But this is happening and we need to come to terms with this fact.
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.