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§ Nice Art: you can now separately order Emily Carroll’s Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, previously available as part of Short Box. Carroll is a modern master and this sound mighty tasty:

Murder, decadence, cowardice, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs all combine in this gorgeously poignant poem/folksong from Emily Carroll, about the futility and heartbreak one can run into when dealing with vengeance. 28pp, full colour, A5.

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Several other individual comics are also available for order at the ShortBox store. Editor Zainab Akhtar has great taste so order with confidence.

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§ Paul Karasik alerted us to the existence of his short comic about fixing a pipe organ, a topic of great interest here at Stately Beat Manor.

§ Conflict of Interest alert: David Steward II, the owner of Lion Forge and this site, is interviewed in the NY Times:

The New 52 was launching at DC, and I remember distinctly they had relaunched Static Shock, which is cool because they brought that title to the forefront, but then they didn’t have any black creators on it. I remember thinking, “What is this?” It was kind of like a reflection of what someone else thinks that an African-American person is, which is different from actually having more of an authentic representation. Whatever group we are representing, we are definitely having someone of that group be a part of it.

There’s a nice shout out about the Beat in there. The Beat has been mentioned in the Times before, but this was the Sunday Times. It’s a good interview, and if you wonder why The Beat went with Lion Forge, the thoughtfulness Steward displays here is a big reason why.

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§ Also in the Times, Sean Howe profiles African-American artist Billy Graham, whose spectacular art for both Black Panther and Luke Cage was just the beginning of a wide-ranging career.

Graham won awards for his set designs; his plays were produced around the country. And so in the theater world, it was comic books that were the footnote. Billy Mitchell, who acted in some of Graham’s plays, remembers seeing the Black Panther and Luke Cage illustrations hanging on the walls of his apartment. When Graham would tell him he worked at Marvel Comics, Mr. Mitchell found it strange: “How many cats you know from Harlem were working for comic books?” asked Mr. Mitchell, the official historian of the Apollo Theater, where Graham also performed stand-up and M.C.’d performances by the Spinners and the O’Jays. 

§ A very sad story: Avery Scheit was a 17-year-old cosplayer who went to ECCC and had a great time. Unfortunately, she suffered a severe asthma attack at the show on Sunday and suffered heart failure as a result and later passed away. Her family is raising money to pay for medical and other expenses.

§ Superhuman Claire Napier offers A Brief History of the Romantic Entanglements of Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin on the occasion of their wedding. The year by year breakdown includes entries such as the following:

Alien-impregnated and heading into the sun in a doomed spaceship, Kitty and Piotr share a kiss

and it just gets more wild from there. “Brief” is definitely used in the ironic sense here.

§ Rob Salkowitz looks at the webcomics platform Tapas, which runs a lot of numbers while acknowledging some creators doubts about the platform:

The site’s content strategy also shows they are aiming for a completely different audience than traditional North American comic fans. Almost all the comics on Tapas are drawn in the Asian manga style popular with younger readers, particularly girls. It’s unsurprising that the bulk of the platform’s audience is in the 18-24 demographic, 60% female, according to the company. Chang further estimates that 70% of the creators on the site are women. This approach theoretically puts them in competition with high-end streaming manga sites like Crunchyroll or webcomic aggregators like Webtoons, but there are a few significant differences from both the reader and creator perspective.

§ Doomrocket has a lengthy interview with Black Crown editor Shelly Bond on the inprint’s first year and what’s coming next:

Shelly Bond: Thank you! You know, it’s funny. I feel like it’s hard to believe it’s the second year already. [Laughs] People keep saying to me, “How could you put an imprint together in six months?” When you don’t have road blocks, when you don’t have people putting their hands in your face saying no, you can get a lot accomplished when you know what you want. Because the imprint is so small, and because the IDW crew is 100% behind us, [we] can really get it done and do it to our standards. Which, obviously, are pretty high. [Laughs] That’s why we’re here. It’s a boutique imprint. It’s not for everybody, but if it’s for you — then welcome, come on in, we want you to be here.

§ Well damn, an opinion piece at CBR by Hannah Collins and called Fan Theories Are Ruining Our Movie & TV Enjoyment , Let the battle begin!

§ Every Monday my news feed is filled with stories about comic cons that were successful. For instance. Comic Book Fans Come Together For Siouxper DayCon, the precurcer to Fall’s more ambitious SiouxperCon. Rather than run them all, here’s a snapshot of all the stories:

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Suffice to say it was another busy weekend!

§ Black Panther’s box office success keeps going, passing $1 billion at the worldwide box office. But here’s a VERY important stat:

In China, the start is slightly above the range most saw ahead of the weekend and reps the 4th biggest MCU and superhero opening ever in the market. The Wakanda crew sparred with and was slightly edged by last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming which keeps the crown of No. 3 MCU/superhero bow ever.

For year’s its been thought that China wouldn’t accept a film with African American leads. Black Panther keeps proving all these thoughts were wrong.

§ We shared Entertainment Weekly’s 16 covers for Avengers: Infinity War last week, but can you guess which covers are the most popular?  Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, and Thanos.