§ Top news today! The city of Scottsdale, AZ, hopes to erect a statue in tribute to cartoonist Bil Keane who was a citizen of the town. While you’d think a statue dedicated to the artist of Family Circus might include a diorama of footsteps strewn across a park, this one will feature a 9×7 bronze statue of Keane with the four Family Circus kids riding him like a pony. Hopefully this statue does not have a “torture variant.” The above photos are artist’s renditions.
The finished statue, which cost about $100,000—raised from donations and the Keane family—will form the centerpiece of a pavilion at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.
§ This may be gone by the time you read this, but the 2002 Superman-meets-Batman script by Andrew Kevin Walker and revised by Akiva Goldsman is making the rounds. This was one of several aborted WB attempts to get a new superhero film off the ground after the disaster of BATMAN AND ROBIN. Director Wolfgang Petersen was briefly attached. The film features a Batman with a dead wife and Superman with a divorce so they can have those adventures that only men who have loved and lost can have.
§ Not enough praise has been given to Tom Neely’s Popeye. I want to change that.
§ Corey Blake pored over records of 25 years of Eisner Awards—and three of the preceding Kirby Awards— and emerges with 25 factoids. There is a lot to be said about them all, but first off, there’s the Todd Klein matter:
The Best Letterer category was added in 1993, and it’s only gone to someone other than Todd Klein five times. This means he has won the most creator awards in the history of the Eisners. Apparently the category is programmed to be repetitive: of the five other wins, Stan Sakai and Chris Ware each won twice, including Ware’s win this year for Building Stories. This is the second time Klein has gone two years without winning. The fifth winner was David Mazzucchelli, the only person to have won Best Lettering just once, for his stunning Asterios Polyp. After 16 wins, they might as well just rename it The Todd Klein Award for Lettering.
Blake also notes that the first three Hall of Fame inductees—Eisner, Kirby and Barks—were all alive at the time.
§ Here’s a lengthy review of that Blue Is The Warmest Color French graphic novel by Julie Maroh.