§ This promo piece for Heroes in Crisis has everyone buzzing that the Crisis Era is back, and grimdark deaths are coming. It’s well known that someone is going to die so horribly from a gunshot would that all of DC’s superheroes will be sent into therpy for their PTSD in this upcoming mini series, but Json cohen argues that DC Comics and Tom King Shouldn’t Kill Anyone in Heroes in Crisis:
Seemingly in opposition to how King talks about the project, DC marketing has placed all its focus on the murders that will take place at the beginning of the story. While King describes the concept as a means to discuss real issues, DC really wants you to know that one of your favorite superheroes is going to die, with house ads in DC Nation, the publisher’s industry magazine, focusing on the tease. One ad giving you a lineup of characters and saying three of them are accused of murder. Another ad claims two of the assembled heroes WILL DIE.
The question then becomes what is the actual focus of this series. Will it be a thoughtful exploration of gun violence and trauma or a whodunnit capped off with a double homicide involving your favorite DC heroes? But what about the characters whose lives hang in the balance? Death in comics may not mean what it once did, but for two characters to be shot down in such a violent and graphic way leaves a certain kind of permanence to it all.
BTW I’m not certain who is going to die from the above art, but I’m pretty sure it is n’t anyone who has a movie coming out so probably the kid with the bow and arrow set? I’m not too excited about all this, but I’m not the target audience.
§ Speaking of DC movies, Stephanie Holland compiled a list of All Of 25 announced movies and TV shows based in the DCU. It’s a bit of a mess, between stuff that seems to be happening – against movie goers will like the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie – and things that sound cool but have been in the lost project freezer for a long time, like Justice League Dark.
§ I wanted tofollow up a little on the July Sales numbers and Comichron has a fuller report. July was a strong month, but one of the reason sales were up so much is that July 2017 was a REALLY shitty month for comics.
As noted here Friday, the comics shop market made up considerable ground in July comparison with a weak July 2017, thanks to the Batman wedding storyline and several high-profile launches. Retailers ordered $44.64 million worth of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in the month; the year-to-date deficit, piled up in winter, was cut in half to less than 2%. Click to see the comics sales estimates from July 2017. Both Marvel and DC contributed, combining for a dual market share of 70.69%, the highest proportion of the market seen since October 2011, right after the debut of the New 52. DC’s Batman #50 led the comics list with nearly 441,000 copies shipped; it was the third regularly priced item of the year to top 400,000 copies.
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** VENOM creators together for 1st time EVER! It's true! Only took 30 years to get all 3 #VENOM creators in the same place! This was a recent convention in Phoenix where Jim Salirup (on the right who was the editor) told me we had all worked together but had never physically been in the same place at once. On the left is writer David Michelinie. TODD #venommovie #weareone #reunion #spiderman #marvel
§ Todd McFarlane posted this nice picture of the creators of Venom meeting for the first time.
§ Here’s an essay by someone who has had not one but two graphic novel memoirs published about members of their family.
§ Wizard World Chicago is this weekend, their biggest show of the year, and they want to make it ‘a perfect fan experience’
Wizard World Chicago, a four-day celebration of comics, cosplay and celebrity guests, has been a summer fixture at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center since 1996. The Chicago-area Comic-Con marketplace has gotten crowded in those 22 years — C2E2 at McCormick Place, Walker Stalker Con, Creation Entertainment’s “Star Trek” and “Supernatural” shows — but Maatta shuns the idea of rivalries.
“We’re all doing our own thing,” he said in a phone interview. What is Wizard World’s thing? “Our job is to make this a perfect fan experience,” he said, and that starts with customer service.
Maatta won’t be in an L.A. office while thousands of fans descend upon Rosemont; he’ll be on the convention floor, where he says he enjoys seeing the costumes and feeling the energy of the room. He’ll also be taking calls, as Maatta’s phone number will be available to guests. “If something is amiss, I want to know about it,” he said.
§ Speaking of conventions, there are currently seveal legal battles going on over Nichelle Nichols, who has been diagnosed with dementia and has been put in a conservatorship. Here’s a good article by Jamie Lovett about what’s been happening.
It was previously reported that Nichols has been diagnosed with dementia, but an individual describing herself as a friend of the actress has challenged that notion, accusing Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnson, of trying to exert undue control over his 85-year-old mother. According to TMZ, Angelique Fawcette has filed legal documents claiming that Nichols wrote a note to her son in March 2017 informing him that she wants to amend her will after he told Nichols “I can’t wait to get rid of this sh*t and sell [your] house and property.” Fawcette also claims that the dementia diagnosis is illegitimate because the doctor who examined Nichols, Dr. Meena Makhijani, is not a trained psychiatrist and lacks the necessary qualifications to make such a diagnosis. Fawcette goes on to say in the legal documents that she has observed Nichols regularly performing daily tasks without assistance, and claims that the most help Nichols has ever needed is an occasional reminder that a bill is due.
Several show runners have privately expressed concerns over Nichols’ mental state, and when she appeared at San Diego this year she did seem to be faltering – but also happy, funny and clearly enjoying herself. I can state from first hand experience that seeing this inspiring woman also brought joy to a lot of people. I just don’t want to see her legacy sullied by pushing her beyond her limits and I’m cure no one else does either.
Unfortunately, as Lovett points out, safeguarding senior citizens has always been a problem, and now that so many nerdlebrity icons are elderly – and with so many chances for lucrative public appearances – a whole new set of problems has arisen. The Stan Lee saga is but the best known and most horrifyingly spectacular of them. Even William Shatner – no spring chicken himself at age 87 – appeared on the John Oliver show to talk about the importance of setting up guardianships.
I think it’s all of our responsibility to let our older icons spend their last years with dignity. Maybe we don’t all need that one last autograph.
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.