§ Slate has a cartoon-character color wheel which is enlightening. Please hit the link for the whole thing.

§ This much travelled link interviews Boudewjin Pelt, a Dutch programmer who invented two plugins that make all life coloring comics possible.

Pelt’s innovations, simple in nature, have changed the way digital artists work. Two tools, called Multifill and Flatten, also referred to as the BPelt plugins, drastically simplify color “flatting,” a step in which artists fill line art with large blocks of color before adding more detail—all done in the ubiquitous digital-art suite called Photoshop. This part of the job can be extremely time-consuming for colorists if done using conventional Photoshop tools, such as brushes. “I’d estimate they save me 45 minutes of work on each comic strip I make, which is pretty significant,” says Jacques.

§ A fellow who is involved with it, UTA’s Brent Weinstein, feels that VidCon Could Eclipse Comic-Con, a notion I dispute to some extent although I’m sure cons for people who create YouTube content will get much bigger and the stars will get bigger, esp, when the conventional media is involved in dumbass thigns like not running CBS on Time Warner Cable:

But this past weekend in Anaheim, I attended an event that could grow to eclipse Comic-Con in terms of its impact on popular culture and that increasingly important intersection between creator and consumer. For three days beginning Aug. 1, the Anaheim Convention Center was home to the fourth Annual VidCon Conference (which counts UTA as a consultant), the annual gathering of the companies and individuals who create the most popular programming on the internet, the brands who support them, and the super fans who fly in from all over the world in order to meet their favorite stars. Spending three days in the throngs of YouTube stars and their legions of fans made me realize one thing: this is only the beginning.

BTW, every time I talk to a “new media” person about The Beat they always say “you gotta do videos!!!” Since I don’t do videos, I guess I’m screwed.

§ USA Today chats with Brian K. Vaughan about Saga, Private Eye and Under the Dome

A: [Private Eye] is something I wanted to write about because I’m obsessed with the idea of privacy and it does feel incredibly topical now — not just because of Snowden and the NSA and how much is the government listening to our phone calls or reading our e-mails. It’s also how much are we willing participants in this? Are we sacrificing our own privacy by putting stuff up on Facebook and Twitter?

I think there is a possible future where maybe we do just take a hard turn away from the Internet and we do start valuing our privacy again.


§ Tim O’Shea talks to Tim Gibson, whose Moth City on Thrillbent is one of those great looking comics everyone is talking about these days.

When we first discussed doing this interview, you said of Moth City as it progresses, the story starts slanting away from political thriller and crime and more into horror and action. Was that your intent with the story initially, or has it organically changed in that direction?

That was always the intent. Moth City is a bit of a love poem to genre and pre-Code comics, so there are a lot of tones in there, from Westerns to mystery. I’ve worked pretty hard to keep those pages turning and the surprises coming, hopefully with the character’s conflicts acting as the backbone of the story.

§ Speaking of art, this will keep you amused for a long time.

§ At Salon, a media critic Ian Williams claims that Corporate America murdered geek culture—espousing a theory going around that people have chose entertainment likes as their assumed “ethnicity” but Williams points out that we’ve reached this as almost a feudal state:

As a thought experiment, imagine brand loyalty that doesn’t have people nearly coming to blows over Doctor Who and Star Wars; think, instead, of the argument in question being over Disney and BBC. Or, for a starker contrast, instead of people dressed as Marvel characters at ComicCon, imagine Geico geckos or Progressive Insurance Flos. This is essentially already happening: what is Superman in the twenty-first century but a corporate mascot, albeit one with a lavish backstory? It’s no wonder that non-geeky media desperately tries to cultivate geek cred in the form of viral commercials or a presence at conventions. Having brand loyalty so intense that it can incite real or simulated violence would be a remarkable windfall for any company able to harness it.

§ Remember that “weird” teaser from Marvel and Disney yesterday? Inside the MAgic fgures it’s a comic based on a stalled movie idea:

It’s filed on Marvel.com under the “Comics” section, so the project appears to be a new comic book. And with that creepy font style, the one “weird” Disney attraction that immediately comes to mind is “Museum of the Weird,” an early concept for The Haunted Mansion, developed by Imagineer Rolly Crump. In 2010, Disney was working on a movie based on “Museum of the Weird” but ultimately scrapped the project. Could a “Museum of the Weird” comic book be on the way? Stay tuned for complete 2013 D23 Expo coverage later this week, including this news.

[Have you seen a story that should be kibbled? Email us! ]


  1. Heidi, there are two video solutions:
    1) The Beat rents a table at a con, and industry people stop by to chat and drink, kind of like Royko and Terkel at the bar. Live stream. Archive. Snippets on here the week/month after.

    2) The Beat finds someone willing to do a video podcast.

  2. I think people predicting video will be the next big thing are looking in the wrong direction. It was like when everyone thought China was the next huge market solely because of their population and didn’t consider how that population had no money. (I made a lot of money betting the other direction on that.) People want engagement, not necessarily video. Video just looks sexy because Netflix and YouTube are making so much new content. But at the end of the day, people will go with what they relate to best. That’s why social media is hanging in there.

    PAX is well on its way to eclipsing SDCC because people feel a connection to it (plus video games are the modern entertainment choice). It’s really not that hard. It’s kinda like why motion comics are hitting with a thud but comic video games and movies are so hot – the old media still works but the engagement is so much higher with movies and video games.

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