Happy Monday, people. Hope you enjoyed that Supermoon.

§ I have several excellent candidates for the new indie chart analyst here, including some writers I wasn’t previously aware of, so I’ll be sifting through those this week. In the meantime, Chris Rice…paging Chris Rice…

§ I promise I will do a San Diego wrap-up piece even if no one cares about it. Hopefully tomorrow.


§ Those three pages of “Pearls Before Swine” art that included work by Bill Watterson (along with creator Stephan Pastis) went up for auction on behalf of Team Cul de Sac at Heritage and the three strips sold for a total of $74.040 to three separate collectors who wish to remain anonymous. The money is going to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The strips were displayed at Heroescon a few months ago and they were very cool; I’m sure the folks who bought them are very pleased with their purchase.

§ Not a Buzzfeed piece! Not an Upworthy piece! Graphic novels: a misunderstood medium! It seems one woman in Massacusetts, Boston U. lecturer Laura Jimenez, thinks folks just don’t get how much information is in those graphic novels!

To create these pointers, she surveyed “expert” graphic novel readers, including “the guys who hang out in gaming shops and can talk about every issue of Aquaman,” she said in a recent BU News article. The strategies she developed from those conversations all involve ways of extracting information from the page that go beyond merely comprehending the words. Jimenez’s experienced readers would approach a novel by first skimming the whole thing to absorb its overall aesthetics. Then they’d turn back to the first page, where they would “study the background, setting, and time period”; then they’d consider the characters, and examine the colors to “determine the mood of the book.” Only then would they settle in to read it.

§ In all the excitement over those gazillion WB movie dates, folks seem to have forgotten that Guillermo del Toro is chugging along on his “Justice League Dark” project, and so far, no one has told him to stop! It’s not known if Constantine will show up, esp. with his own V show coming along, but according to Del Toro, the cast may include “Etrigan the Demon, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Constantine, The Floronic Man, and many, many others.” If WB makes a movie with The Floronic Man in it, all will be forgiven.

§ This piece by Dave Itzkoff for the NYT from last week about the creators of Rocket Racoon contains some VERY interesting information about Marvel’s “settlement” or whatever you want to call it, with Bill Mantlo, who, you will recall, is in a hospital due to brain trauma he suffered many years ago. His brother Mike explains that this agreement was not Marvel’s idea:

Michael Mantlo, whose brother created Rocket Raccoon with the artist and author Keith Giffen in 1976, said he was grateful that Marvel had arranged the “Guardians of the Galaxy” screening for Bill. But he did not know a movie was planned until comics fans contacted him on Facebook a few years ago.

Michael said he had then contacted Marvel executives and told them, “If you’re making a film with Rocket Raccoon, you need to talk to me about the use of that character.”

“The negotiation started at that point,” he said, “and we managed to secure a very nice contract for Bill.”

I’ve been hearing of late that lawyering up and making a good, discrete case for yourself is the way to get some of that equity, which for the movies, anyway, seems to be enough for a few nice dinners. On the other hand, someone at San Diego — I honestly forget who— told me about how a character they created was used in Arrow, and the check was two figures. Which is just how it worked out. YOu gotta know when to hold em, and know when to fold em.


  1. Michael Mantlo has disputed the accuracy of Itzkoff’s quotes re: Bill Mantlo and Marvel. When I remember where Mike’s comments appeared, I’ll send them your way.

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