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§ Nice art: Molly Ostertag watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and made a little comic sequel.

Read the whole thing in the link and be prepared to dab your eyes.

§ Well, the lollygagging of summer is over and the hectic buzz of fall is here. NYCC is in a month! 41 Graphic novels are coming out! Fall TV! Joker! And more exciting things at the Beat!

§ Comicbook.com actually has us prepped with a list of pumpkin flavored food, including pumpkin….spam. Trader Joe’s will soon be unloading the pumpkin spaghetti sauce, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin cheese, pumpkin salsa and everything else, maybe as we speak. My favorite pumpkin food is the pumpkin tortilla chips which used to go great with TJ’s serrano salsa….now tragically discontinued. It’s the green sauce, always the green sauce.

§ In today’s super wacky news, a Catholic school in Tennessee has banned the Harry Potter books because they say magic can be good and also if you say “Accio Budweiser!” your beer will come flying right into your hand. No really.

The publication obtained an email from Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at Saint Edwards Catholic School parish, which was sent to parents. In the email, Reehil explains in the email that he has consulted several exorcists in the U.S. and Rome, and it was recommended that the school remove the books, the Tennessean reports. “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev. Reehil said of the seven-part “Harry Potter” book series. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” the email continues.

This is not the first time there’s been a Harry Potter ban because of religious concerns. Nor will it be the last, I’m afraid. Religion is a powerful drug.

§ COMICS! Kim Jooha examines experimental cartoonist CF’s comics made on receipt paper.

Since 2016, CF has made two sets of receipt comics. Each set has three comics made of a sheet of receipt paper around 40 feet. The materiality of the comics shows us CF’s persistent interest in the ephemerality of comics medium. Receipt paper is cheap, disposable, and ephemeral. It is weak in heat and sunlight; it changes color and loses the ink. It is not intended to be archived for a long time. It is not to be re-read several times. Once you read it, it is hard to re-roll it and the re-rolled “zine” differs greatly from the original state.

§ Calvin Reid looked at at the webcomic portal Webtoon and their business model, and these are some impressive numbers.

Webtoon’s site and app attract about 55 million global visitors monthly, and about 15 million global readers daily, according to spokesperson Kim Estlund. Since its launch in the U.S., the site has focused on building the brand and growing the number of creators that use the platform, Estlund said. Some Webtoon series (among them Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe and True Beauty by Korean artist Yaongyi) attract more than a million readers a week globally.

§ It. Has. Happened. The official NHL website has written about Check, Please! and Breaking the Ice.

Ngozi Ukazu and Gaby Epstein are unicorns — women of color who live in football-obsessed Texas and illustrate and write hockey webcomics and books with an LGBTQ perspective. “It is extremely weird,” said Ukazu, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. “We’re very different from your typical hockey fans. But the number of people who I’ve met at comic conventions who are every shape and size, from every place in the world, those are hockey fans. It’s interesting that these fans aren’t as visible.”

§ I missed this NY Times op-ed by Dustin Harbin about his horrible bike riding facial injury and the subsequent crowd funding campaign to cover his medical bills. Thankfully, Harbin has raised more than $50,000 of the $75,000 he’ll need. via

§ Mady G, at The Nib has a lovely comics about The Wonderfully Queer World of Moomin and its creator, Tove Jansson.

§ Comings and goings: Lauren Sankovich is leaving her position as editor at Milkfed Criminal Mastersminds to pursue a graduate degree in geology. Turner Lobey will replace her. Good luck Sanko! Comics will miss you!

§ Of all the people upset about Spidey leaving the MCU, perhaps the people who write Comcast’s channel listings are the most vocal.

§ Todd McFarlane is unafraid of being a first time director on the new Spawn movie.

“No. This is easy,” the comic book creator said at FAN EXPO Canada when asked if his first directorial effort makes him nervous. “Question number one, ‘Todd, are you nervous about being a first time director?’ No. Should you, as a human being? Yes, of course I should, but I don’t. I’ve directed this movie a thousand times in my brain.” “If any of you saw this movie called A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper directed that. First time director. You tell me that movie looks like a first time director,” McFarlane continued. “He was smart enough to surround himself with good people. I’m gonna be the least experienced person on that set, they’re gonna make me look good all day.”

McFarlane has directed videos, and that was good enough for David Fincher, so we say knock yourself out.

§ A film starring dear, dear Gerard Butler called Angel Has Fallen has led the box office for TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS, although it was two kind of puny end of summer weeks. This has prompted a Gerard Butler Revival, including Bilge Ebiri’s beautifully titled I Think I Love Gerard Butler:

This all makes him somewhat antithetical to most of our ideas about movie stars nowadays. He’s not a superhero, for starters. He’s not absurdly ripped in the way The Rock is, nor does he possess seemingly supernatural fighting abilities, à la Jason Statham or, say, Tony Jaa. He has some of the qualities of late-period Keanu Reeves, but Reeves, who is five years older than Butler, has achieved another level of grace entirely with the gorgeous, otherworldly John Wick movies. Gerard Butler is, in a word, accessible. He is not a golden god — even if he did once literally play a golden god in Gods of Egypt.

Evidently, Ebiri is unaware of youthful Gerard’s first foray into loincloths, when he played Attila the Hun. But The Beat remembers.+

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Director Todd Phillip’s @jokermovie is intense, raw and soulful. He’s talked about how his take on the Joker is not beholden to the character’s comic book roots. That said, there’s absolutely nothing in this film incongruous with our understanding of who the Joker is. If anything, Joaquin Phoenix’s mesmerizing and unsettling turn as the Joker gives us a deep and fully realized look into one of our favorite villains, and I’m sure elements will be embraced going forward in our ongoing, ever evolving mythology. That’s what powerful, compelling stories do. And without a doubt—long time DC fans will be spending a lot of time unpacking the many story revelations and questions this harrowing cautionary tale raises. #joker #thejoker #dccomics

A post shared by Jim Lee (@jimlee) on

§ Well lots of buzz about that Joker movie! And now we understand why Warners didn’t want to show it to fanpeople at SDCC – it seems to radically flout “continuity.” But Jim Lee is here on Instagram to give it the rub.

Director Todd Phillip’s @jokermovie is intense, raw and soulful. He’s talked about how his take on the Joker is not beholden to the character’s comic book roots. That said, there’s absolutely nothing in this film incongruous with our understanding of who the Joker is. If anything, Joaquin Phoenix’s mesmerizing and unsettling turn as the Joker gives us a deep and fully realized look into one of our favorite villains, and I’m sure elements will be embraced going forward in our ongoing, ever evolving mythology. That’s what powerful, compelling stories do. And without a doubt—long time DC fans will be spending a lot of time unpacking the many story revelations and questions this harrowing cautionary tale raises. #joker #thejoker #dccomics

§ Our colleague Sean T. Collins has been writing every fucking day this year about the film Road House, and by God, he’s up to day 245. Well, in the words of Sarah Conner, “In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.”

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