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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Comics Media, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 108
1. Comics losing its most relevant critic as Comics and Cola announces shut down

C&C-headerYesterday Zainab Akhtar announced she was shutting down her Eisner-nominated website Comics & Cola. The reason was not the usual ones — no money in it, moving on, life changes. It was something much more troubling and dangerous.

10 Comments on Comics losing its most relevant critic as Comics and Cola announces shut down, last added: 3/18/2016
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2. Great Geek News diaspora continues with layoffs at MTV

Speak of the devil! The great sunsetting of nerd/geek themed news claimed another victim yesterday when Alex Zalben tweeted: Hey, today was my last day at MTV News. It's been really cool. Bye. — Alex Zalben (@azalben) January 15, 2016 In a subsequent tweet, Zalben explained he had been part of January layoffs. Zalben’s departure […]

1 Comments on Great Geek News diaspora continues with layoffs at MTV, last added: 1/16/2016
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3. The Beat Podcasts!: More to Come – Supergirl Power

In this week’s podcast, the More to Come Crew – The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss the new Supergirl tv show and writing to appeal to female audiences, The New York Review of Books opening a comics publishing imprint, Attack On Titan and what its lack of American press […]

0 Comments on The Beat Podcasts!: More to Come – Supergirl Power as of 11/2/2015 7:21:00 PM
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4. It’s about disclosure in comics journalism

For the past few days there has been a kerfuffle in the extremely high profile, glamourous and profitable world of comics journalism. Rather than comment on this hot mess, I'm going to talk about why it happened. And what we an do to improve things.

10 Comments on It’s about disclosure in comics journalism, last added: 11/5/2015
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5. Gender and Feminism in the Jem and th Holograms comic

We’ve been writing quite a bit in the last year about the slow death of comics media, and one of the reasons is that it’s hard for a small, passion run site to compete with…the New Yorker? Here’s a think piece on the Jem and the Holograms comic by Stephen Burt whose bio tells us […]

3 Comments on Gender and Feminism in the Jem and th Holograms comic, last added: 11/25/2015
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6. Marvel’s Sana Amanat to appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight

If you were wondering who the Face of Comics 2016 is, how about Sana Amanat, Marvel’s Director of Content and Character Development. In addition to developing titles like Ms. Marvel, she’s also become something of a media figure, with a past appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and tonight an appearance with Seth […]

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7. Laderman named EVP/GM for Comic-Con/Lionsgate SVOD service

Seth Laderman.jpg

That nerd-themed SVOD (subscription video on demand) service from Comic-Con/Lionsgate we told you about a while ago, just got an EVP/GM in the form of Seth Laderman, formerly of Legendary and Nerdist. This new service will offer programming themed to Comic-con attendees as well as archival footage from CCI’s library. Laderman was instrumental in growing the Nerdist brand via its podcast network and on YouTube, as well as programming such as All Star Celebrity Bowling, Magic Meltdown, The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Live Show and the upcoming reboot of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. At Legendary he ran operations and oversaw content acquisition and development for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry and worked with Spotify, Twtter and Xbox. So, It’s safe to say that he knows the terrain.

The service is launching early in 2016 — to get the first info on what will be offered, sign up for the mailing list here.

Mr. Laderman, in association with Comic-Con International, will be responsible for programming the service’s broad portfolio of content, including original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history.  The Comic-Con International SVOD service is designed to expand the comics and pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for longtime fans and new audiences.

“We intend to differentiate our service through the depth and diversity of its content, the quality of its curation and the joys of discovering its rich mix of programming,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  “Seth is ideally qualified to create a line-up that delights fans and newcomers alike with a combination of beloved treasures, thrilling discoveries and unique original content designed exclusively to satisfy our audiences.”

“We are thrilled to have Seth join the team. He has the track record, skill set and creative instincts to produce programming that speaks to our fans and extends the magic of the Comic-Con International experience to online audiences around the world,” continued Comic-Con Director of Marketing & Public Relations David Glanzer.  “His unique understanding of fan culture makes him the perfect choice for this position and he, along with Lionsgate, will help expand our horizons by delivering premium quality, fun, and educational content to an ever growing audience.”

“This is a world I know and love, a community I appreciate and respect.  I’m thrilled to embark on this adventure with Lionsgate and Comic-Con International, two of the
boldest, most innovative and visionary brands in fan culture,” said Mr. Laderman.  “It’s an incredible opportunity to engage this awesome fan base and launch a service that will expand the world of Comic-Con by bringing exciting new content to its fans.”

“I worked with Seth at Nerdist, and he speaks our language,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin.  “His understanding of the fan experience and his track record of launching great new digital shows make him the perfect choice to lead the expansion of the pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for future generation fans, geeks, nerds like us and newbies alike.”

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8. The Beat is 11 today!

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It’s July 1st, meaning it’s the day we celebrate the Beat’s birthday and today marks 11 years of daily comics news! It’s a very special day—I even ganked some clip art for the occasion.

I was going to write a long essay here about the State of the Blog but frankly, I’m too wiped out by this early Comic-con stuff. The short version is that every word of this Variety piece on how movie bloggers have gone mainstream reflected everything I’m feeling. While the nerd blogs have “won” they’ve also been co-opted by the system, and the rewards are dwindling as competition increases.

Nobody goes into blogging to get rich. Editors on some movie sites earn $25,000 to $70,000 a year, and many freelancers have to contend with as little as $25 a post, if they get paid at all. And though a successful site can sell for more than $3 million and make $50,000 in ad revenue a month, many owners struggle to keep the lights on. Take Gordon and the Whale, a well-regarded site that closed its doors in 2011, when the roughly $1,200 to $1,300 it generated in advertising revenue monthly barely covered the $900 it was shelling out to run its server.

“I was at Cannes, and it hit me that we had gone about as far as we can go,” said Chase Whale, the site’s co-founder. “There was still no money. We had like 21 people writing for free, and it made me feel like sh-t that I couldn’t pay these people.”

For those still toiling in the trenches, it’s more difficult to stand out from the armies of pundits who keep cropping up.

“If I was starting a movie blog now, I probably wouldn’t do it,” said Neil Miller, the founder of Film School Rejects. “It’s so hard to be noticed, especially if you don’t offer clickbaits and salacious headlines.”


While I often feel like sh-t too, I’m too dumb to quit and too stubborn to walk away. As this year’s comics media diaspora has shown, you’ve got to really love doing this and/or have a cheap rent to continue. It’s increasingly absurd for one person to continue to run a website, even a person with a staff of excellent (but mostly volunteer) writers who do their comics writing between their paying jobs. And instead of teaming up to fight evil, everyone insists on being a lone vigilante like me. I begged David Harper to team up with me so together we could rule the galaxy but no, he insisted on doing his own excellent and already necessary site. See you can still do good things!

Like I said last year, I keep doing this because I don’t see anyone else doing it the way I want to do it. And I’ll keep my archives online for as long as I possibly can so people can see what went on back in the day.. (I see the mysterious new owners of Comicon-com have wiped the servers, Goodbye cromlech.) This is hard work but I still think it’s valuable work.

There’s a lot more to be said about the devaluation of writing (does ANYONE make a living at it any more?) the generational shift from boomers to millennials taking over comics, but you’ll have to catch me at a party at Comic-Con to hear all about it.

Not that I’m complaining! We’ll celebrate our birthday the way we always do, with some cracking good content, including what I believe may be the first ever look at comics in Almaty coming later today, a Terminator Genisys review, a sales chart and all the usual fol de rol. I like to complain but this is still the best job in the world and part of the reason is the Beat’s Elite Operative staff: Kyle, Hannah, Alex, Alex, Torsten, Edie and the rest. Wait until you see what we have cooked up for Comic-Con! You’ll need to go buy some new socks because your old ones got blown off.

And I invite you to attend our annual comics journalism panel to see who’s left standing:

Thursday, July 9 • 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Comics Journalism: It’s About Ethics in Comics Journalism

Gamergate, cheesecake covers and the objectification of women, barking puppies at the Hugo Awards, punching down at Charlie Hebdo, diversifying the multiverse – ethics has become one of the hottest issues in pop culture today, and fandom has converged on comics news sites as a battleworld for debating who should win the culture wars. The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, CBR’s Joe Illidge and Casey Gilly, Comicbook.com’s James Viscardi, Hitfix’ Donna Dickens and other leading comics journalists discuss what, if any, ethical principles should shape news stories affecting the comics community. Attorney and ethics professor Jeff Trexler moderates.


I ceded the moderating to an actual ethics professor so this should be a good one! Sadly the Bleeding Cool panel is at the very same time (qua?) so Rich sends his regards.

Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by every day or so, thanks for commenting intelligently 90% of the time, thanks for advertising, thanks for the many kind words on show floors and in email. Thanks for the tips and hints. Thank you INCREDIBLY for supporting my Patreon. Thank you thank you thank you. Stick around, there is always more to come, and it’s going to be fascinating.

Drawing by Igor Zakowski

10 Comments on The Beat is 11 today!, last added: 7/2/2015
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9. SDCC ’15: DC Comics Meets Lego Arts

Moderator Victor Lucas and Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya

Moderator Victor Lucas and Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya

By Nick Eskey

“Lego” is the toy that let’s allows kids and adult to build from premade manuals, or to create out of their imaginations. Complete miniature sized cities, even worlds, can be made. But what about a something larger than life?

 

Nathan Sawaya is the artist behind the nationwide touring exhibit “The Art of the Brick.” Instead of tabletop pieces, Nathan has created life sized sculptures that defy everything people think of when they hear “Lego.” One of his best pieces is a scale sized T-Rex skeleton. His exhibition has been touring city after city. Soon we’ll be treated to his newest work, a collaborative effort with Jim Lee and DC Comics.

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Yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con, Nathan Sawaya and Jim Lee were present to talk about the upcoming exhibit and more. Nathan first explained how he always had a love for Legos as a kid. When his parents refused to get him a dog, he took his sets apart and made one instead. Later in life, he kept his love of the toy alive as a hobby, building after work on his free time. Eventually his few statues turned into over a hundred, and later a touring exhibit.

Co-Publisher of DC Comics Jim Lee

Co-Publisher of DC Comics Jim Lee

Jim Lee and DC Comics came into the picture when Nathan wanted to build a particular piece for the exhibit: the Batmobile. However Nathan wasn’t comfortable with designing it. He asked Jim for help, and after the comic artist checked out the sculptures and spoke of bigger things with the Lego artist, they approached DC with an idea. And so, the “DC Comics Meets Lego Arts” exhibit began.

Nathan and his team spent the last year putting together this exhibit, using much of DC’s well loved franchises. He said only one thing is still needed to finish it up. Yup, the very Batmobile it started with. This is where Jim Lee took to the sheets of paper taped to the wall. “We’re going to design it here today with your guy’s help.”

Jim Lee making the Batmobile from a shoe

Jim Lee making the Batmobile from a shoe

The first thing he asked of the crowd was what shoe we wanted to use. “One of my tips is that cars all start as shoes.” Jim showed the room by taking suggestions such as slippers to high-heels, and then transforming them into Batmobiles. The panel’s moderator gave the suggestion of a “Dr. Martin” boot, and Jim “kicked” into gear. As Jim Lee sketched, Nathan quipped “I hope he doesn’t decide to change the color to something like chartreuse, cause I bought maybe a million black Lego bricks.”

As one would imagine, the process of building one of these sculptures isn’t always easy. “I have to glue the bricks together. If I make a mistake or if things don’t look right, I have to chisel it apart. And I hate capes by the way.” One of the hardest pieces he had to make for the project he said was the “Superman #1” cover when DC was Detective Comics. The background was in 2D, with Superman and the car he’s holding in 3D. “And of course that cover has a cape,” he said.

Jim Lee and Nathan Sawaya

Jim Lee and Nathan Sawaya

One of the greatest things though about the project said Nathan and his team was the ability to bring such icons to life in such a new way. “Warner Brothers and DC gave us such leeway so that we can show these characters and give them new life.”

What does it take to be a Lego artist? An engineering degree perhaps? Sometimes it just takes imagination and hard work. “I started life as an attorney,” said Nathan. I would come home and work on my Lego sculptures. I had a website that exhibited my work. When my website broke because it got too many hits, I knew I had to make a life change. So I quit my job, and started making art.” As for his scales, the reason why he does life sized sculptures is because he feels he expresses himself better that way. “The larger the sculpture, I might have to use support beams made of Legos. But because I glue the pieces, that tends to be enough.”

When the DC Lego art exhibit launches this November, it will start in Sydney, Australia. From there it will go on its worldwide city tour. As an extra treat for the audience, Nathan revealed a piece that will be a part of the tour: A two faced Batman and Joker.

ArtOfTheBrickDC006

Never before has art, Lego, and DC been merged into a cohesive medium. I sure can’t wait till it eventually makes its way here to San Diego.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15: DC Comics Meets Lego Arts, last added: 7/11/2015
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10. Tom Spurgeon launches a Patreon campaign and a digital magazine

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After making some noises about it for a while, Tom Spurgeon has joined the crowdfunding world for his award-winning Comics Reporter site with a Patreon that is up to over $500 in less than 24 hours. I think I might have been in the first 10 supporters, and I urge all Beat readers to go over and pledge their support. Spurgeon, who also runs the CXC show in Columbus in his spare time, explains his reasons in a post that it was time for a new way of covering comics. but future goals include a return to long form reporting and on general doing it better. But your $2 doesn’t just support Comics Reporter, it gets you whole new thing: a PDF magazine:

I’m going to try and do a monthly publication — The Comics Report — that reflects my best ability to put together a PDF-style magazine. I plan on keeping The Comics Reporter much the same as it always has been. I think I can make site and magazine independent reading experiences with very different purposes, experiences that key on what each form has to offer. I think this will lead to better coverage, and I hope it may serve a growing need for a way into comics that doesn’t count on your full immersion every second of every day. I hope it becomes destination coverage.

Everyone that signs up for the Patreon at $2 or over will get the next month’s issue: starting on September 1 with #1 (there will be a scattered “bonus issue” #0 on the first of August; it will be cool). You can also just send me the cash direct via pay pal for a sub as long as you want one. (send me an extra dollar, too: so $25 for a yearly; $13 for six months, etc.).


A couple of notes on this: I noticed a small spike in my own Patreon, with at least one contributor explaining that he wanted to be even steven—a guess a few people felt guilty for now supporting one site and not the other? Anyway thanks to whoever thought this was fair.

The other thing I that I noted was that Spurgeon had not contributed to any other Patreons, which I thought was interesting given that participating in crowdfunding is thought to be the best groundwork for running one. He told me that would soon be changing though.

You can also just paypal Tom (at comicsreporter@gmail.com) if you want to support him without Patreon taking its cut. I support about 9 other patreons and it’s a not insignificant cut of my monthly takings, and some of the people I support also support me, so we’re literally fassing the same $5 back and forth, diminishing with each transcation as micropayments extracted.

Does that make any sense? I think it does for several reasons. I feel Patreon and Kickstarter and the other crowdfunding platforms are valuable institutions and giving them a cut of that single $5 that circulates endlessly to support the comics industry seems beneficial to me.

Also, less altruistically, there’s a certain aspect of the crowdfunding world that’s built on getting in on hot stuff, so the more money that’s spent, the more people think it’s worth spending money on. So the $5 buys some prestige as well.

Anyway, my campaign in about a year old so I’m going to look at it in another post, what worked, what didn’t, what I’m doing next.

Also, please support Tom and Zainab when you have a moment and a dollar.

0 Comments on Tom Spurgeon launches a Patreon campaign and a digital magazine as of 7/22/2015 6:06:00 PM
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11. Trouble with Comics relaunches

Fans of the Comics Blogosphere of the Aughts, The Wild Bunch is back for one more ride. Trouble with Comics is relaunching for the new era. The site, mostly run by Alan David Doane and Christopher Allen, has been around for a while as an on again off again thing, but it’s time to saddle […]

1 Comments on Trouble with Comics relaunches, last added: 8/3/2015
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12. The money thing part 1: there is none in writing about comics

Time to get meta again! The article The Awl by Noah Davis about rising pay rates for online writing gave hope to millions: Many newer outlets offer fifty cents per word or more—sites like The Verge might pay a dollar per word—as do established publications, including New York‘s blog network and The Guardian. “You can […]

6 Comments on The money thing part 1: there is none in writing about comics, last added: 9/10/2015
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13. The Money Thing Part 2: New writer on Red Wolf is perfect storm of all of today’s comics issues

When is a story not a story? When is the story about a story actually the story? Well strap yourselves in because you're about to find out!

10 Comments on The Money Thing Part 2: New writer on Red Wolf is perfect storm of all of today’s comics issues, last added: 9/10/2015
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14. Great EIC DIaspora of ’15 claims another one: Hannah Means-Shannon leaves Bleeding Cool

OMG how many comics news sites can lose their editors in one year? All of them I guess. Add Hannah Mean-Shannon to the moving on, as she’s exited Bleeding Cool after 2 1/2 years I have many people to thank for their kindness and support during my time as EIC at Bleeding Cool, from comics […]

4 Comments on Great EIC DIaspora of ’15 claims another one: Hannah Means-Shannon leaves Bleeding Cool, last added: 10/27/2015
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15. WATCH: Marvel’s Sana Amanat and artist Phil Jimenez appear on The Nightly Show

The Nightly Show

Last night’s The Nightly Show, the show hosted by Larry Whitmore, examined nerd culture and diversity. Guests included Marvel’s Director of Content & Character Development. Sana Amanat, artist Phil Jimenez (Spider-Man, Wonder Woman), comedian Mike Lawrence and rapper Jean Grae. The show included a “black Batman” sketch and some other discussion of nerdly topics—including a sick burn of Cyclops. (Rachel Edidin powers unite!)

Amanat and Jimenez acquitted themselves quit well, to no surprise, but Grae’s tale of resisting the rap name “Storm” (as a black woman from South Africa) was also of note.

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5 Comments on WATCH: Marvel’s Sana Amanat and artist Phil Jimenez appear on The Nightly Show, last added: 3/24/2015
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16. Review: the Netflix and Marvel team up push Daredevil “Into the Ring”

Daredevil-Netflix-Motion-PosterFull disclosure: I was hotly anticipating the premiere of the Marvel and Netflix team up on the Daredevil television series. Daredevil is a huge part of my comics origin story: I cut my teeth on the Guardian Devil story arc penned by Kevin Smith and expertly drawn by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti. I fell hard for the Man Without Fear and soon discovered Frank Miller’s Elektra Saga arc, realized my childhood heroes of TMNT had written themselves into the Daredevil origin story and that was it: comics officially had my heart.

It’s a nice move to open on Matt’s origin and play it for all it’s horror and sadness. Little boy does the right thing, saves a man’s life by pushing him from a speeding truck and pays for it with his vision. The POV shot of young Matt’s vision slipping away while focusing on the face of his father was chilling and effective. Actor John Patrick Hayden strikes the right tone on “Battlin'” Jack Murdock, trying to do the best thing for his son while constantly aware of his own limitations.

Some of the early action was a tad stilted, in the way of pilot episodes since time immemorial. The human trafficking scene leaned heavily towards cliche and away from actual menace, but was saved by the beautiful fight choreography. Kudos to the fight coordination/stunt double team for their thoughtful work in representing both Daredevil’s radar and boxing background in his fighting style.

The heart of any Daredevil story, or most of them at any rate, is the relationship between Matt Murdock and his law partner and best friend Foggy Nelson. Both Charlie Cox and Elden Henson are well cast: they not only look their parts, but revel in the well-worn patter between the two old friends. An early scene in which the two shop for an office to open their law practice hits all the right notes in script and characterization. We’re meant to believe the events of The Avengers film have left Hell’s Kitchen in ruins, and therefore rents are cheap during reconstruction. This seems more of a stretch than supersonic hearing to me, after all there is a bit of real-life Daredevil in the work of Daniel Kish, but we go with it.

The entire tone of the series evokes the noir sensibilities of the Frank Miller work I was drawn to years ago, and we have veteran director Phil Abraham and showrunner Steven DeKnight to thank for it. While pitching Hell’s Kitchen as noir in present day New York again strains credulity, it’s just right for Marvel 616 and I was happy to see it. And let’s talk about Deborah Ann Woll as the beloved Karen Page. Woll brings goofiness and charm to her performance that’s just right for Karen, and her chemistry with both Cox and Henson is electric.

We get a sneak peak at the crime syndicate that will ultimately become Daredevil’s nemesis. I’m breathless with anticipation for the reveal of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin. We’re only teased in the pilot by his voice commanding henchman Wesley via speakerphone Charlie’s Angel’s style.

There’s a great team of talent behind the scenes of Daredevil: Buffy and Angel veteran writers Drew Goddard and Doug Petrie loom large, and DeKnight’s work on the Starz series Spartacus is some of my favorite television of the last ten years. Pulling in directors like Abraham and Doctor Who vet Eros Lyn bodes well for the tone of the series going forward.

The final scenes wordlessly convey what Matt Murdock is up against as the crime fighting alter ego Daredevil: as Matt pummels the bag in his father’s old gym we see baddies literally laying plans to build their empire in DD’s beloved Hell’s Kitchen juxtaposed with further kidnappings and dirty deeds. The final image of Matt on the roof of his building, listening to the pain of his city before pulling his black mask over his eyes got my fangirl heart beating loud enough for Daredevil to hear it all the way from the Kitchen.

2 Comments on Review: the Netflix and Marvel team up push Daredevil “Into the Ring”, last added: 4/11/2015
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17. Stan Lee joins with nerdlebrity all-stars for comedy film

Audi produced this short comedy advertisement with Stan Lee teaching how to do what he does best: appear in cameos in Marvel films. The short, directed by Kevin Smith with appearances by Smith, Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker, Tara Reid and, poignantly, Lou Ferrigno, sort of sums up where we’re at as a culture right now.

“I’ve studied a lot of acting methods,” Rooker says in the short. “I’ve studied the Stanislavski method, the method method, but I’ve never studied anything like the Stan Lee method.”

In case you’ve never seen a Marvel movie, Stan Lee shows up in almost all of them at some point as an old man in the background, eating a hotdog, driving a cart or pointing excitedly. Hey, it’s a living.

Stick around to the end for a call back to Marvel media when they didn’t rule the universe.

Also, Stan Lee may just have one of the most imitable voices of all times.

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18. Media notes: TRIPWIRE is back; Comicon.com is gone; and Hollywood Heroes debuts

A few things going on out there in nerd media land.

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§ Tripwire Magazine has relaunched their website. Spo far mostly Mad Max, which is no problemn, but comics sstuff on there too. Editor Joel Meadows writes

“We have created a website that we can be proud of and now that we have found a format that works, we shall be updating it regularly with interviews, reviews, columns and more. We’ll also be including audio and video content, making the most of an interactive website,” editor-in-chief Joel Meadows said.

“We have also brought some new faces on board for the website too. Our webmaster Leonard Sultana from podcast An Englishman in SDCC is bringing his web savvy to Tripwire to make it the best experience it can be.”

After the beta period, Tripwire has already given its visitors unique content on Mad Max: Fury Road, columns from Mike (Girl with All The Gifts, The Unwritten) Carey and Jasper Bark.

 

§ My alma mater Comicon.com as new, as yet secret owners, and they’ve jettisoned all the old comments and message boards and the Pulse and the Beat and a ton of other history of the internet stuff. The links go to the Wayback Machine because nothing lasts forever in the cold November rain. Comicon.com launched back in the 90s run by Rick Veitch and Steve Conley and was a true pioneer of the comics website. But now it’s going to be something else, and I’m curious to see what they’ll use that admittedly awesome URL for. Farewell, Comicon.com

§ One of the biggest movie scoopers around, Umberto Gonzalez, has left Latino Review, and partnered with Daniel Alter to launch a transmedia site called Heroic Hollywood. It’s rare to see anyone striking out on their own like this nowadays—Latino Review was sold and El Mayimbe, as he’s known, couldn’t come to terms with them—but movie scoops might be the one area where it works. While the site is still nascent, Gonzalez has been tearing it up with DC and Marvel leaks on his Instagram account.

#Repost @heroichollywood ・・・ HEROIC HOLLYWOOD EXCLUSIVE! HOT #BatmanvSuperman promo art 2/2

A photo posted by Umberto Gonzalez (@umbertogonzalez) on

#Repost @heroichollywood ・・・ HEROIC HOLLYWOOD EXCLUSIVE! HOT #BatmanvSuperman promo art 1/2

A photo posted by Umberto Gonzalez (@umbertogonzalez) on

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19. On minding your social media manners and hot takes

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The priceless Deb Aoki has created yet another masterful Storify called Twitter for Comics Creators – Do’s & Don’ts and rather than embed here, it just go read it. But here’s the nut graph:

Be someone who gives/shares information and ideas, makes people laugh, makes them think, gives them exposure to a point of view that they may not have considered before. Be a friend and you’ll make friends — this is true in Twitter and in “real life.”


Basically what the compilation is about is how tweeting at people to retweet your kickstarter or your comic book to someone you don’t know just doesn’t work. And nether does setting up a twitter account just to promote your book. That’s now how social media works. You have to build up good will and cred and then people will be happy to help out, but you have to make a foundation for that good will first.

Basically a lot of people are annoyed by the blind-side request, as shown in the tweets Deb quotes in her storify. I’m not annoyed exactly but it’s just “one more thing.” Like most people, I try to do good things and help out where I can, and I have a low level nagging sense of letting people down all the time, but meaningless retweets don’t help me or you.

Doing it the hard way does pay off. To cite just one example, I “met” Henry Barajas through interacting through Twitter and eventually he started writing for the site, and we’re now good friends IRL. But it took time. Twitter is a firehose not a Britta filter, and building up good will is a process not an event.

That reminds me of something else that I’ve had in my drafts for a while. In addition to requests for retweets I often get “urgent notifications” on social media as stories break with “WHY AREN”T YOU COVERING THIS RIGHT NOW???!??!??!!!” The specific event that tipped me over the edge was during C2E2. On opening day on Friday there was a teeny tiny kerfuffle when one of the exhibitors (let’s call them Madison) posted on FB that his booth had been vandalized. This led to many calls for an investigation, outrage and one well-meaning website wrote a whole piece calling it an example of “disrespect for the medium.” While I was tempted to join in the outcry, another FB post by a veteran convention goer (let’s call them Dakota) also happened to pop up that complained about how Global Experience Specialists, the set-up company for the heavily unionized McCormack Place are “literally THE WORST conference services company in the U.S.” I’m told that palettes were delivered to the wrong booths, tables and chairs got mixed up and other things that made set-up a pain in the ass.

Anyway, seeing these in close conjunction and examining the picture of the ruined table, it wasn’t too hard to figure out what had happened. And indeed after a bit of outrage and outcry, “Madison” rather sheepishly admitted that probably a forklift had just knocked into the table. If you’ve ever been on the floor of a con pre or post working hours, you know that convention center workers seem to think the show floor is for forklifts what a dune is to a buggy or a mountain to a bike, and knocking things over isn’t out of the question—in fact I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more.

The rest of the show went pretty smoothly, but there was a new Fire Marshall, who took a close look at some booths and told “Dakota” that boxes couldn’t be stored behind their booth, which is as anyone who has been to a con knows, where people store their boxes. Despite these issues, Dakota had a great and enjoyable C2E2, with a lot of business conducted at the show. So basically everyone had a happy ending.

But I didn’t write about the vandalized booth. When I get an outraged call-out I don’t always cover it immediately. While in many instances it’s because I ran out of time (that happens a lot these days), in other instances it’s because the inciting post or incident just didn’t pass my sniff test. I can think of at least two times where I got called out to write about something even though I could tell that what people thought happened wasn’t the whole story, and while I posted something about what seemed to have happened, the truth was something else entirely. And I regret that and won’t do it again.

While it isn’t good for traffic to resist jumping on social media bandwagons with a “hot take,” after more than a decade of writing on the internet, I am here to tell you something very shocking: not everything you read on the internet is true. I certainly don’t do a good enough job of investigating the truth behind the headlines, but I’ll continue to at least attempt to offer a little more insight. And that takes a lot of time.

Now this doesn’t mean don’t send news tips. Please send more of them! But my goal here is to deal in information not as it happens pictures of boxes on the floor. Like I said, I don’t do a great job of it, but it’s the goal. So now you know.

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20. The best comics site out there, The Nib, is changing focus

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The Nib is the best comics site out there, with new comics every day from some of the greatest cartoonists working. Edited by Matt Bors, it’s a model of how a comics site can be sharply observent and politically relevant, and yet still be good comics overal, with both editorial cartoons—Tis Modern World, Tom the Dancing Bug, Slowpoke, Bors own strip—and new work by folks like Emily Flake, Lisa Hanawalt, R Stevens, Ted Rall, Brian McFadden, Erika Moen, Shannon Wheeler and more more more. A whole generation of incisive non-fiction cartoonists, given a paying platform to work for.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to be around in the same form any more.

The Nib is part of Medium, a start up that is devoted to “long form reads.” Like many start ups, it doesn’t have any visible means of making money, so while the site employed Bors and paid cartoonists to create new work, as I all too presciently suggested, that model was too radical to work forever.

I should note that I have no idea what the changes will be. Assistant editor Eleri Mai Harris was let go a few weeks ago, the first warning sign, and now the cartoonists who were syndicated on the site, such as Tom Tomorrow and Ruben Bolling, as indicating they they will not appear there any more. Bolling wrote:

Hey, Tom the Dancing Bug ran regularly on Medium.com’s comic site, The Nib, for about a year and a half, but I’m told that due to changes at Medium, The Nib will be reinventing itself, and will not carry comics on regular basis anymore.
 
I’ve been tremendously impressed with Nib founder/owner Matt Bors and the way he built the site up.  I’d known him as a young, very talented editorial cartoonist, and a friend, but once he grabbed the reins of The Nib he proved himself to be an endlessly energetic, brilliantly innovative editor and comics impresario.  He developed a large, flexible roster of cartoonists and ran fascinating journalism comics, hilarious and fresh humor comics, heart-wrenching autobiographical comics, and on a moment’s notice he would figure out a way to round up local cartoonists to comment on international stories.  He also did all this with great organization, professionalism, integrity and respect for the artists he gathered.
 
My comic played a small part in Matt’s grand webcomics project, but I was proud to be associated with it.
 
The Nib is not going away, and I’ll be watching (and maybe even participating in small ways) how Matt reinvents it, quite possibly in ways that even better lend themselves to his unique editorial talents and vision.

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Just as a reminder, here are the most recent comics to appear on the site, a look at the meat industry by Mike Dawson, Longstreet Farm, that will make you uncomfortable

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And Eleanor Davis’s The Highgate County Fancy Chicken Show, which, like most of her work, is a multi leveled indictment of stereotypes, fat shaming and other shade we throw at people for no reason whatsoever.

These are good comics, and The Nib was full of them.

I’ve reached out to Bors for further information, but I do know that The Nib will be continuing, so let’s not write an obituary just yet. But everytime i clicked on the site, I thought “This is too good to last” and sadly…I was right.

Here’s a selection of twitter outrage over the change — even CNN’s Jake Tapper got in on the action.

I just interviewed Jen Sorenson about her similar gig at Fusion.net the other day. Hopefully this lasts a lot longer.

1 Comments on The best comics site out there, The Nib, is changing focus, last added: 5/28/2015
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21. Andy Oliver replaces Frederik Hautain as Broken Frontier EiC

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The Great 2015 Comics Site Editor-in-Chief Mass Step Down continues as Broken Frontier, a long running comics news and culture site, has announced that Andy Oliver will takes over the site from Frederik Hautain, who held the position since the site’s launch in 2002. Oliver was previously Managing Editor, and they are seeking candidates for that position now. Check out the details here or send an application to joinus@brokenfrontier.com. Like every job in comics journalism, it is an unpaid position.

As we’ve been reporting, Broken Frontier follows Newsarama, Comics Alliance, The Outhouse and Multiversity with changes at the top in the last 8 months or so. That’s pretty much 50% of the comics journalism world right there. With the future of Comics Reporter a little up in the air due to Tom Spurgeon’s new job as festival director, Cmicon.com’s hew mystery owner and other stuff in the ether, and it’s clear that 13 years is a long time to do anything.

Hautain will move to Creative Director, where he’ll oversee branding and strategy, such as the recently concluded crowdfunded Broken Frontier anthology.

“I’m extremely blessed to be able to put the day-to-day governance of our content and staff in Andy’s talented hands,” Hautain says. “In just a few years time, he’s fast become one of the leading journalists to cover indie, alternative and creator-owned comics. On top of that, Andy’s got an amazing eye for new talent, which will continue to be one of the pillars of our coverage.”

Oliver joined the Broken Frontier staff in 2006 and became the site’s Features Editor the next year, eventually moving up to the role of Managing Editor in 2010. In 2011 he launched his popular and influential ‘Small Pressganged’ column at Broken Frontier covering the worlds of self-published, micro-published and alt comics. He is a well-known face on the UK indie comics circuit, was a judge for the 2014 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition, and a contributor to Paul Gravett’s book 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die.

“It’s a true privilege to be trusted with the task of taking Broken Frontier forward as its new Editor in Chief,” says Oliver. “This is a site that is not afraid to give as much attention to handmade DIY culture comics as it does to the seminal work of the form, and one that has never shied away from actively championing exciting new creative voices in the medium. “I am incredibly proud to be at the forefront of this new era in our evolution. After all, ‘Exploring the Comics Universe’ is not merely Broken Frontier’s tagline. It’s our promise and our commitment to you, the greater BF community.”

With a new EiC now in place, Broken Frontier is actively looking for a new Managing Editor to join its ranks. If you’re interested in helping to closely shape the future of the website, check the detailed profile description at http://br.oken.fr/joinus and send your application to joinus@brokenfrontier.com.

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22. Matt Bors on changes at the Nib

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As reported last week, The Nib, the political comics site edited by Matt Bors and run by Medium, is undergoing some changes, and on Friday, Bors explained what’s what. Basically, the site is moving away from daily publishing—and won’t be running weekly comic strips any more—but will continue to publish editorial, satirical and journalistic pieces.

We will no longer be running certain work on certain days or with the same regularity. It’s a departure from what we’ve been doing, for sure, but I came here to experiment with publishing. You’ll see more of it in the coming weeks: response driven features, a new collective I’m building, and anything else I can think of to create interesting comics.

Here’s what isn’t changing: The Nib is always going to be a place for the sharp political cartoons, great journalism and essays that other media outlets are too uninventive or shortsighted to be commissioning themselves.

It will always be that.


In his time at The Nib, Bors has proven himself an exemplary editor, and given a platform to some powerful voices, so I have no doubt that as long as he’s running the ship, the Nib will remain a vibrant site. The once daily Nib newsletter will now go out once a week and spotlight other work by Nib contributors, among other chagnes. In his Friday post, Bors also mentioned a future Kickstarter to collect some of the work from the site—he successfully Kickstarted a book of his Pulitzer Prize finalist comics back in 2012.

With all this talk of change, I wondered what was going on with Darling Sleeper, the indie comics site edited by Jesse Lucas, but it updated today so it seems to be carrying on as before.

Medium was launched as a site for “long form content” by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams two years ago, and like many start-ups is still looking for a revenue source, In december Williams was interviewed by USA Today and talked about the need to clarify what they were doing:

The 75-person start-up started by Williams and his Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, is used by up to 17 million people a month, including President Obama and Elon Musk. It has become an impressive forum for essays on tech and design, book chapters – even poetry.

“It’s easy to jump in and publish something aesthetically pleasing,” says Natalie Bartlett, community and content lead at Rough Draft Ventures in New York. For the past year, she has posted items of entrepreneurs on Medium.

Yet the 2-year-old writing platform is a work in progress amid so many content outlets online, summarily characterized by some as another vanity project by a tech exec dabbling in journalism (see Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media; and Chris Hughes, The New Republic).


In April Williams spoke with Wired about the site, bravely championing quality content before clickbait. The Nib was definitely the former, and hopefully it will continue to develop in that direction.

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23. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods tv series officially green lit by Starz

american-godsFans of the Sandman scribe rejoice: Starz announced today that they have officially green lit an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s New York Times bestselling novel American Gods. Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Heroes) is officially attached, as is Michael Green (Heroes). Both will serve as writers and showrunners. Gaiman will serve as executive producer. FreemantleMedia North America, who has been developing the series for some time, is also attached to produce. Starz has noted that the start of production on the television series, which Gaiman has been talking about for the past few years, hinges on the casting of Shadow Moon. Shadow, a sympathetic ex-con with a penchant for coin tricks, is the central character in Gaiman’s strange tale of old Gods brought to America in the hearts of those who immigrated and their battle with the Gods of modern America like Media and the Internet.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said, “STARZ is committed to bring American Gods to its legions of fans. With our partners at FremantleMedia and with Bryan, Michael and Neil guiding the project, we hope to create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans, who have been casting it in their minds for years.  The search for Shadow begins today!”

Gaiman said: “I am thrilled, ‎scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation. The team that is going to bring the world of American Gods to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura…”

“Almost 15 years ago, Neil Gaiman filled a toy box with gods and magic and we are thrilled to finally crack it open and play,” said Fuller and Green, “we’re grateful to have STARZ above us and FremantleMedia at our backs as we appease the gods, American or otherwise.”

Starz has encouraged fans of the novel to tweet @AmericanGodsSTZ and @STARZ_Channel using the hashtag #CastingShadow to share who they think should play the role of Shadow.

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24. The Beat podcasts with Top Cow’s Matt Hawkins on publishing economics

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Many people ask me, “Why don’t you do a podcast?” and I reply, “I do!” It’s called More to Come and it’s produced by Publishers Weekly. This week, I chat with Matt Hawkins, president and coo of Top Cow. Matt is more than just an inimitable Facebook poster (if you’ve read his stories about standing in line at the grocery store, you know what I mean.) He’s also an industry veteran who’s seen the highest highs and the lowest lows, and in this talk he dishes on the early days of Image and much more.

He also gives small publisher’s perspective on the recent discussion of page rates: basically these are low margins we’re talking about.

It’s something I’m sympathetic to even though it makes things rougher for all of us. It’s a big problem for the entire industry and it will take a group effort to change the status quo.

As a sidebar, here are links to the free #1 issues of a bunch of books Hawkins talks about in the podcast:

Think Tank #1 

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Postal #1
 

Tales of Honor Bred to Kill #1 

Adr1ft #1 

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Echoes #1 

Top Cow has always been very aggressive about free samples of #1s; it’s a tried and true method to get more eyeballs.

Disclaimer: As you can see if you look around, Top Cow is an advertiser for The Beat, however no promotional considerations were made for this post.

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25. Comics site editorial shuffles shuffle continue with Pantozzi, Arrant, Lu

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In the past 12 months, Newsarama, The Outhouse, Comics Alliance, Multiversity and Broken Frontier have all had changes at the top, with various editors in chief leaving. Well, you can add The Mary Sue to the mix, as EiC Jill Pantozzi has just announced she’s moving on.

Pantozzi has a long history as a comics/nerd culture journalist, and worked incredibly hard to make The Mary Sue one of the leading voices for diversity and the female fandom for all things nerd. She’s a gem of a person, as well as a writer, and she’s really earned some rest. I’m sure she’ll move on to bigger and better things, very soon, however.

However in shocking news, earlier this month Chris Arrant was actually HIRED as editor at Newsarama! Like Jill, Chris is a former freelancer for yours truly at Publishers Weekly, and he’s also awesome, with an unsurpassed knowledge of the industry. I congratulated him on DM and even asked what he’s be working on and he replied:

As editor of Newsarama, my immediate goals are continuing in what Mike Doran, Lucas Siegel, Matt Brady and others have done. This won’t be ‘All-New All-Different Newsarama,’ but that being said Mike and I do see areas and avenues to grow in terms of the depth and breadth of coverage we can do.


Doran remains as senior editor at Newsarama, and George Marston is a staff writer.

And finally even here at the Beat some side bar staff box changes. Alexander Lu is working for the next few weeks as Managing Editor, helping us to survive Comic-Con, coordinating coverage from a secret bunker underneath Stately Beat Manor while the rest of us brave life and limb crossing Harbor Drive.

What’s behind all this changeover? I guess a lack of money would be #1 (just a generalized guess—I can’t speak to anyone’s motives.) Comics journalism does not pay anything at most sites (including this one) and the increased pressure on the ones that do pay to build traffic to make a penny from 90 different ad networks is intense.

Like I said just guessing.

Anyway, I’m sure there’s more to come on all this.

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