§ Nice art was found on Twitter

Bilquis Evely has been getting strong notices for her work on Wonder Woman and here’s a sketch she tossed off.

Christian Ward’s Black Panther deserves to be its own variant cover don’t you think? Ward is buzy drawing the new Black Bolt series.

Newsha Gasemi is a concept artist/illustrator.

And you can’t go wrong with Paolo Rivera.

§ Tonight in LA, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck will light the iconic Bat-Signal in tribute to late “Batman” star Adam West at LA’s City Hall. The ceremony takes place at 9 pm; there will be special guests and fans are encouraged to attend. This sounds super touching, super LA, and I wish I could be there.

§ In case you missed it, after the massive excitement over the launch of the Black Panther trailer, the news slipped out that Marvel had cancelled The World of Wakanda, a spin-off comic written by Roxanne Gay, and that was a bit of a buzzkill. Swapna Krishna lookedat the cancellation from her viewpoint as a trade waiter, suspecting that it’s habits like this that lead to lower sales for periodicals and swift cancellations.

That’s why I haven’t picked up World of Wakanda yet: Because I was waiting for it to release in trade (it still hasn’t: The first volume releases in bookstores at the end of June). Yes, that’s right: A series that is primarily aimed at a newer readership was canceled before it arrived in the format that these people actually read in. Let that sink in for a second. Comics as an industry is booming. Graphic novels, and even independent series comics, are doing incredibly well. But superhero comics are struggling, and this is the primary reason why: They don’t serve readers. They expect readers to serve them.

I want to dig deeper on all these numbers, but as Krishna’s blunt assertion points out,  the business model for superhero periodical comics is certainly on shaky ground these days. Yet I’m not convinced that any outlet exists that would make a World of Wakanda graphic novel a hit immediately enough to justify the creative costs either. Like I said, I’ll need to dig in more on this.

§ I don’t much link to CBR’s growing army of listicles but comics historian Brian Cronin is jumping in and here’s a couple of good ones! And to CBR’s credit, you can read them all on one page instead of endlessly clicking through.

In case you have forgotten the many many MANY waves of outrage and stupid behavior by comics companies in the last decade or so, 15 Humiliating Comic Book PR DISASTERS will provide a nice trip down memory lane! A few are even older than 10 years, like Northstar’s coming out.

Cronin tosses out some deeper cuts with 15 Times Fans Changed Comic Book History for some interactions going all the way back to the early days of the Marvel Universe. Perhaps the most surprising memory jog: Venom wouldn’t exist if a FAN hasn’t suggested that Spider-Man get a black costume. Ah, the innocent days before NDAs and release forms.

§ Speaking of deep cuts, you’ll need to be an expert in comics of the aughts to remember that controversial artist David Choe once won a Xeric Grant and was supposed to draw the original run of NYX (written by Brian Wood) before setting off on a life as a fine artist, making a gabillion dollars by taking Facebook stock for painting a mural at their headquarters, and then confessing to rape on a podcast. And now he’s back in the headlines with a controversial public mural, that people keep defacing because somehow corporate sponsorship of an admitted rapist seems icky. What a long strange trip. [Via Dan Nadel]

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§ Matt Thorn has a nice round-up of influential shojo manga cartoonists who predate the Forty Niners, the justly famed groups of female cartoonists who revolutionized the genre. Among the pioneers,  Ueda Toshiko (above.) I’ve mentioned this in passing (and without Thorn’s deep knowledge of manga history) but there were very influential female cartoonists in manga from the very beginning of the artform. Just as in American comics history, they are often conveniently forgotten.

§ There are about five million think pieces in the wake of Wonder Woman’s success. How can we move towards a purely feminist superhero movie? is one of them.

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§ One of the reasons the cries of “Fake news!” works so well is that the world is full of…fake news. Such as this: EXCLUSIVE: Lea Thompson Ready to Revive Her ‘90s Sitcom ‘Caroline in the City’: ‘That Would Be Awesome!’ You’ll recall thatwas a cutesy 90s sitcom where Thompson played a cartoonist who reminded a lot of people of Cathy Guisewaite. The actual story is about a red carpet where someone asked Thompson if she’d ever like to bring the show back and of course she said yes because it was totally off the cuff meaningless chitter chatter. These red carpet gotchas and soundbites are fake news at its fakiest.

§ That lawsuit between San Diego Comic-Con and the Salt Lake City Comic Con, drags on and on and on with settlement talks off yet again.

A federal judge on Tuesday canceled a final settlement conference, as one of Salt Lake Comic Con’s co-founders confirmed to FOX 13 they would not be reaching an agreement. “We’re not interested in settling at all at this point,” Bryan Brandenburg said over the phone from San Diego, where he is scheduled to give a deposition in the lawsuit on Wednesday.

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§ MAN Guardians of the Galaxy 2 came and went fast! The movie was so slight and the central story – Starlord and his father – so poorly developed that if this had been the first film in the franchise, it would have been DOA. It kind of soured me on the franchise although I know I’m a minority in that. A third film is on the way and writer/director James Gunn is wrestling with a difficult problem: changing comics canon for the movie!!!

“I’m writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and I finished the first draft of the treatment yesterday,” Gunn revealed at the E3 World Building Panel. “I’m excited about it. I feel really great about it. But there’s one little thing that I had in the first movie. Now, Marvel Canon — MCU — is crazy. There’s the 616 universe which is the Marvel Comics Universe, which people get hung up on that canon, and then there’s the MCU, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has a separate canon (inspired by but not exactly the same as the 616). I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it’s there. And I’m like goddammit. Because I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I’m gonna do it or not. I still don’t know.”

If I were Gunn, I’d concentrate on writing a movie with a beginning, middle, and end and let the canon fall where it may.

§ Kevin Feige confirmed that the Fantastic Four are dead, dead, dead in movies, and long gone in comics, although they are coming back to trading cards. It’s amazing to see how a once defining franchise like this can be buried so deep, but someday someone somewhere will be in need of IP and it will come stretching back, I’m sure.

§ David Nieves has been covering all the E3 news that Beat readers need but apparently there was a sassy Orc at a press conference because that’s how life is now.

4 COMMENTS

  1. That’s interesting about world of wakanda. I wonder if a thicker trade – like 6 issues of Black Panther, 3 issues of world of wakanda and 3 issues of Black Panther and the crew would have worked.

  2. Gunn: “I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it’s there.”

    Ummm… what is he talking about? What was there in the background?

  3. No idea but I really like the appearance of Hward the Duck showing up after credits. If a weapon end racoon and a talking tree can exist in the Marvel Universe, why nota talkin duck?

    Oh and I liked the movie.

  4. I found Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 to be boring. There, I said it, and I’m not sure why the first half of the movie just meandered along, putting in time until the really cool part with the (staying vague here for those who didn’t get around to seeing it yet, but really there is no hurry, you could arrive halfway through ha ha) uh “driverless fightercraft”. That’s when the movie got great, but that wasn’t nearly enough, and really, “enough” with the retro music being the ubiquitous soundtrack, to the point of being exasperating.
    Let’s hope the committee comes up with a better Volume 3.

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