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By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Comics Still Wonderful In Spite Of It All
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, gary groth
, Michael DeForge
, simon hanselmann
, spx 2014
, twiddle rompus
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At SPX, following the Ignatz awards, a very special wedding took place, as cartoonist Simon Hanselmann, author of Megahex, wed comics in a ceremony presided over by SPX Executive Director Michael Thomas. Michel DeForge, currently on tour with Hanselmann, stood in for comics, althuogh several acual comics were present. Hanselmann, who is a cross dresser, appeared in a lovely wedding gown, and a brass band serenaded the wedding party which consisted of Annie Koyama, Annie Mock, Jason Leivian, Sean T. Collins, Julia Gfrörer and Gary Groth.
When I first heard about this, I thought it was going to be funny but cringeworthy, but it turned out to be funny and memorable in a very performance arty way. Hansellman wrote vows that were amusing and accurate at the same time, and since everyone falls in love with comics all over again at SPX, making the union legal seemed a very appropriate thing to do.
As you’ll see, the big moment came when Hanselmann’s publisher Groth jumped up at the end to kiss the bride and kiss the two did. Which again, is usually what happens when you fall passionately in love with someone, or even comics. Brigid Alverson has some still photos and the money shot but you’ll have to go here to see that.
After the ceremony, Hanselmann cut a giant wedding cake, eventually tearing out chunks with his bare hands and giving them out as other attendees cavorted around the chocolate fountain and an equally enthusiastic and fun prom got under way a few meeting rooms down. People will be saying they were there for this for years to come. The social aspect of SPX has always been one of the biggest appeals of the show—I remember back in the day at the picnic people climbed trees and threw water balloons at each other. In a wacky way, this was the perfect update.
This was DEFINITELY an SPX to remember!
Photo by Brigid Alverson
They totally went there.
And why not? We’ve never really known Richard Grayson have we? What was a “Robin” anyway? Someone who ate worms for a power? And now he’s a super spy. With a very catchy slogan.
The new Grayson debuts next week from Tim Seeley and Mikael Janin.
Apparently for a year a statue of Spider-Man that proved he is a MAN loomed over a playground at the Lotte Shopping Center in Busan, South Korea. Since I can’t post the pictures directly here, suffice to say that Spidey has a big old boner. According to Kotaku, sculptor Eunsuk Yoo did not understand why the erection that was erected might be offensive.
I am the artist who made this piece. My reason for it was that I wanted apply the natural physical phenomenon to a superhero depict whats’s natural in the morning without lies and superficial-ness in a comical way.
There have been some comments on various community sites and Facebook pages that this is lewd and a disgrace to the source material. Lotte Shopping Center has received many complaint calls this morning from a certain organization, and after their meeting, it was decided that I have to either modify or take the statue down. Instead of modifying my work, I’ve decided to take it down.
It was ok for about a year and now it has to be taken down due a sudden interest in the piece, which is sad. But I understand that a piece that could be potentially interpreted as lewd can be offensive at a place like shopping mall. It’s disappointing, but I’ll reach out to the public with a better work next time.
To be fair, the sculpture is high on a building, and Spidey’s manparts may not have been all that visible from the ground. But now the statue went viral in Korea and went went up…must come down.
I could make some more puns about this, but Chris Sims has that covered.
To see the shocking uncensored photos, go here!!!!
For those longing for the days of Barbie’s crapping toy dog Tanner, we have very good news: there is a new generation of toy animals that take little toy dumps on command. Although this being 2014, the girls who own the pets are fashionable “Moxie Girls” and the lovable pets with “the silly poo” are a bunny a koala and a unicorn. It turns out unicorn poo looks a lot like a small plastic ball, which is a huge relief for all. Turns out the main varieties of toy turds are glitter, rainbows and jewels.
These toys have been around for a while, but it reminds me that I should have investigated this phenomenon at Toy Fair more thoroughly. Dolls that wee and poo never really go out of style for children of any age who like to laugh.
With comics sales stalling out after a sustained period of growth, many comics publishers are looking to get out while the getting is good. it’s no secret that many companies have been in it to be acquired by a larger media company, and today’s revelation of the shocking DC-buys-Dynamite rumour, has sent many more of them tumbling into my inbox. Here’s an exclusive look at who’s in talks where.
RUMOUR: DC TO BUY DYNAMITE
Source: Two Headed Nerd podcast where one of the hosts said, I’m going to break something here on the show. A rumor I heard while I was in LA, with a person who will remain unnamed who works for Dynamite Comics. This person told me “DC actively trying to buy Dynamite Comics”, and news like this, I didn’t think anything of it when I heard this rumor. I was like ehhh, that sounds kind of fishy. And then this [DC and Dynamite teaming up on a BatmanShadow crossover] pops up this week, and I did go hmmm. So just throwing it out there.” He can’t say if it was a staff member or a freelancer.
Analysis: Dynamite’s books skew heavily to the older male demographic that DC targets so adding The Green Hornet to the Greens Arrow and Lantern line-up would unite verdure for all times. However, most of Dynamite’s comics are licensed pulp properties, which DC had a go at a few years ago and ditched due to the costs. Maybe DC is buying Dynamite for it’s coloring department?
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Dark Horse buying Oni
Source: Bedroom blogger who was trying out Tumblr.
Analysis: Dark Horse has been ramping up its creator owned line, and by buying Oni would consolidate Portland’s two biggest publishers and add some attractive office space to Dark Horse’s already formidable building. A lot of money should be saved on letterhead and Keurig cups. In addition, Joe Nozemack and James Lucas Jones could spend more time with their families.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Dynamite buying Dark Horse
SOURCE: Something somebody said in the bar that time
ANALYSIS: Dark Horse previously owned the Gold Key licenses that Dynamite is now publishing. By purchasing Dark Horse, Dynamite would have access to the spellbinding JIm Shooter era on these characters as well as DH’s backlist library of reprints of Ripley’s Believe it or Not comics by Esteban Maroto. Plus, Dynamite owner Nick Barrucci is a big fan of Spyboy.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Dark Horse Buys Dynamite
SOURCE: I overheard it on Tinder
ANALYSIS: Dark Horse previously owned the Gold Key licenses that Dynamite is now publishing. By purchasing Dynamite, Dynamite would get back these coveted comics, as well as Dynamite’s backlist library of reprints of Project Superpowers. Plus, Dark Horse owner Mike Richardson is a big Vampirella fan.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Amazon buys Thrillbent
SOURCE: Piece of paper found blowing along side of the road
ANALYSIS: Amazon has been slowly ramping up its comics offerings, including a bunch of in house comics which have yet to get much traction, or even appear. Mark Waid’s Thrillbent portal already has a bunch of recognizable characters and has perfected its mode of digital storytelling. This puts Amazon ahead of the game with proven tech and content. Plus, Jeff Bezos always wanted to meet Mark Waid.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Marvel buys The Outhouse
SOURCE: The other day Jude Terror said to me, “I marvel at how many good comics there are,” clearly code for being acquired.
ANALYSIS: While Marvel has largely given up tweaking DC execs on a daily basis, this is a way to expand their comics coverage, promote their digital initiatives, and compete with The Onion for eyeballs. Plus, Joe Quesada has always been a fan of Elf with a Gun. Finally Marvel would like to acquire The Outhouse’s coloring department.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Platinum buys Comixology
SOURCE: Mumblings overheard outside Scott Rosenberg’s house
ANALYSIS: Platinum Entertainment has been looking to get back into the game and owning something that does things would be a great way to start that.
IS IT TRUE: No
RUMOUR: Robert Kirkman acquires MGM
SOURCE: Thought it would be funny to write it here
ANALYSIS: Kirkman has so much money his accountant told him to make an investment, and buying a movie studio would be a lot of fun! Plus he will make good use of its coloring department.
IS IT TRUE: No
The rumor’s provenance was impeccable: director Bryan Singer.
But given the date…
Still, casting Gaga as the resident mutant singer/dancer/disco queen, it would kinda be genius.
Mocking the comfy tropes of The Family Circus is a joke that never gets old. Or as Stephen Colbert put it last night, “We’re getting all relaxed and average.”
What really happened in Jakarta???
Yahoo Answers….the raw id of our unknowledge….the cry for help in a darkling plain of the unknown. Some lass named Jann wandered in there and asked:
Where can I see DC or Marvel comics online for free?
I want to see those comics, or that style, like superheroes, I’m not interested in Manga
But no one heeded her cry.
So again she wrote:
There most be an online site were you can see them for free, like scanned or something like that
And then, a savior named Natalie took pity on Jann’s plea:
You can’t; I’m afraid you’ll have to buy them. Comic books aren’t like manga, there isn’t anywhere on the internet where you can read them– for free, at least.
No, comics aren’t like Manga.
But if Jann is reading this….check out our Webcomics category…lots and lots of free comics to read on the Internet right there. If you search and search, there are even a few Marvel and DC comics for free on the internet.
You’ve always wanted to see Darkseid painted in the style of Francis Bacon, haven’t you? Just admit that you have or things will go badly for you.It’s part of the latest “The Line It Is Drawn” sketchup at Comics Should Be Good, and there is much more of that ilk, like Black Canary Scream and so on.
This particular painting is the work of Nick Perk. You can see lots more of his funny mashups if you poke around that site.
we’re outta here.
We’re hearing that DC Comics is in turmoil today after popular lunch spot McGee’s changed their bean salad recipe: instead of cannellini beans, the salad now contains navy beans, and the change has everyone upset.
Rattled staffers have been complaining bitterly. “Cannellini beans are mild in flavor and hold their shape well,” said one prominent editor. “Navy beans don’t have the nut-like flavor I prefer.”
The complaints were said to be especially harsh over at MAD, where one worker was heard to say “This is the worst lunch ever.” Another summed it up succinctly: “Bean Crisis.”
A series of meetings is being planned to cover lunch options and how to drive internet traffic with meaningless headlines.
Eisner nominated writer Ian Boothby is probably best known for his work on The Simpsons comics, but he also contributes to the Canadian humour radio programme, The Irrelevant Show. Now all his superhero themed sketched have been collected in one webisode.:
As an appetizer for the coming season, we’ve put together some of our favourite Superhero sketches in a special Webisode! You’lll hear Superman is a Jerk, Woman-Man, and the Supervillain Lifetime Achievement Award, plus many more. Enjoy, nerds and non-nerds alike!
We can’t embed it but it’s available in the link.
For those who don't herd sacred cows, Tucker Stone's weekly comcis reviews at TCJ are always worth a read, but especially because you might miss things like him highlighting a panel of a happy space toilet from a recent issue of THE HIGH WAYS by John Byrne.
David Goyer, a Hollywood vet perhaps best known for co-writing Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, is going to direct a a new version of The Count of Monte Cristo which is billed as having “a graphic novel approach” in Michael Robert Johnson’s script.
Now what does this mean?
This experience [producing the Man of Steel Superman movie] helped Goyer land the new gig because Constantin’s approach for Monte Cristo will be akin to the refurbished take Warner Bros. did on its Sherlock Holmes movies as well as its DC heroes. In fact, one source tells The Hollywood Reporter that a buzz phrase for Monte Cristo is “19th century Dark Knight.” Constantin put an ultra-modern spin on a literary classic with Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers, which didn’t catch on domestically but performed solidly internationally.
You may recall that Alexander Dumas’s original tale 19th century tale featured a man named Edmond Dantes who is wrongly jailed and then emerges from prison with a new swagga persona and a plot to find a treasure he heard tell of while in the pen to help exact his revenge on those who sent him to jail. So far, so good, as far as this “graphic novel” thing goes.
The surprising twist is that Dantes (played by Ryan Gosling) has a secret lab where he builds a giant robot with the aid of a wise tinkerer played by Morgan Freeman, and is able to transfer his persona into the robot. This comes in handy when aliens attack the Earth with the goal of stopping the French Revolution. While attempting to stop the aliens, Dantes teams up with another guy named Jean Valjean (Channing Tatum) who also has a giant robot. Together the two start a team called “Le Revengeaux,” gathering an unusual gang of misfits—a reformed thief named Oliver Twist who can turn into a puddle of water (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a feisty prostitute named Hester Prynn (Jessica Chastain) who is trained in the ancient art of Qigong.
It will be an exciting film.
PS: When I was a kid I always thought this story was called The Count of Monte Crisco and wondered what it had to do with rendered vegetable oil. Later I discovered that there was a delicious sandwich called the “Monte Cristo” consisting of a deep fried ham and cheese sandwich. Life is beautiful.
PPS: because I just can’t let this go, over the weekend I was chatting with some comical folks about the co-opting of the term “graphic novel.” One had seen a magazine feature billed as a “two page graphic novel!” I guess there are worse things to have than frivolous co-opting of the name of your literary form.
And speaking of the Center for cartoon studies, perusing their front page there’s some unbelievably exciting news on a variety of fronts, including news that Jon Chad has been accepted into the US astronaut program, and news of the CCS kickboxing team triumphing over Dartmouth. What caught our eye was the news that after vewing the CCs movie, a producer thinks White River Junction would be a great setting for a reality tv series. The ‘Junc?
Charismatic and talented young people chasing their dream? Check. A picturesque, isolated location? Check. Mounting pressure and plenty of deadline challenges? Check. After the documentaryCartoon College caught a television producer’s eye, NBC exec Miles Bradford knew he had all the elements for a hit show.
Frankly, we’d be more interested in a ghost hunt set in the Coolidge Hotel but, you never know.
It started with this press release:
Coast City Comics is proud to announce the display of some rare comic books from the Golden Age, recently unearthed in Portland, Maine and estimated to be worth over $10,000 in value. The showing will be for one day only, this coming Monday, on the first of the month.
There are a variety of titles from publisher Zeus Comics, dated from the late 1940s to the mid-50s. They were found in a wall during renovation of a house in Portland’s West End by comic creator Mort Todd. The comics, considered very controversial and risqué in the 1950s, include such titles as WEIRD MENACE, RED NIGHTMARES, FORBIDDEN FANTASY, SPIKE JONES and THE BLACK LEATHER KID, among others.
These comics were the target of psychologists, politicians and concerned parents during the 50s, when comic-book burnings were regularly sponsored by towns and churches. Not many of these comics are in existence today, so even beat-up copies are valuable.
These valuable publications will be on display for one day only, this Monday, from 11AM to 6PM at Coast City Comics, 634 Congress Street in Portland, Maine.
Hm one day only…April 1… okay we get it. Factor in the involvement of Mort Todd
, and ZEUS COMICS
begins to look like an elaborate retro comics line. Mark Martin
seems to be another perpetrator, but the stuff looks like good old faux-historical fun!
Is there anyone who doesn’t wish there was a real Spike Jones comic?
While nerdlebrities are a big draw at comic-cons these days, as we’ve noted in the past, trying to throw a celebrity-only show can be a dismal affair. But with the rise of nerd culture, autograph shows seem to be picking up, even on the local level. For example: while going through our mail, we found a press release for a show called The American Music & Pop Culture Expo. Sounds promising. The event was held this past weekend in a Hershey, PA gymnasium and headlining guests included Bronson Pinchot and Butch Patrick. If that was not enough to excite you:
Other guests, who will be appearing at the expo, include Paris Themmen (best known as Mike Tee Vee in the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Matt Hardy (professional wrestler), Geri Reischl (best known as Jan Brady from Sid & Marty Krofft’s Brady Bunch Variety Hour), David Orange (best known as the Sleepy Klingon from the motion picture Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), and Triston Johnson (Zombie Barn Walker from AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead).
Now, we’re sure that those who attended had a swell time—organizers promised a “brisk and fantastic” show—but isn’t it time to really start demanding some kind of credentials for nerdlebrities?
“The Zombie Barn Walker” and “The Sleepy Klingon.”
Is that really what is has come to?
“Hey Dad, what did you do in the 80s?”
“I was a sleepy Klingon, son. They need 40 winks or it’s the Doomsday Machine over and over again.”
As for the Zombie Barn Walker— did you SEE how many zombies were in that barn????? How do you know it was really him?
We have nothing against those who brushed with fame using the scrapings from the fame lint remover to make a buck or two but…give us working cartoonists any day. No matter how dismal the comics industry may seem at times, it’s got to be better than being known as the third Romulan from the left.
So how was the event? Chris Mautner of Robot 6 went and seems to have had a good time.
The event itself was a bit like a schizophrenic flea market. At one table you might find a gentlemen selling vintage toys. A few steps away someone else might be selling vinyl records. Across the way someone else might be selling dolls, or hot sauce, or antiques or a mish-mash of stuff that suggested they had recently cleaned out their basement. One inventive gentleman was selling light switches with decoupaged Marvel comic book characters on them.
The piece includes an interview with the Sleepy Klingon himself. We won’t spoil it. Let him have his moment in the sun.
Recently, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich declared his support for the idea of a moon colony. Even more recently, he was roundly mocked for this even though manned space flight is one of the glories of American history. Wired asked space enthusiast Warren Elliswhat he thought of the plan:
I get the impression he didn’t really get warmed up until he reached Florida. Speaker Gingrich, as a “historian,” will be well aware that Nixon announced the Space Shuttle program to replace the closing Apollo program in order to retain Florida and keep the aerospace industry on his side. With Shuttle closing, it’s the most obvious thing in the world to walk into Florida and say, “I will give you all the money to build stuff.” You’ll probably see him do the same in California.
Ells offers much more on space and Earth’s relationship to the same in the interview.
The ruckus prompted cartoonist Sam Henderson to rerun his own thoughts on moon colonization utilization non humans.
Cheryl Lynn has the scoop:
In a stellar move that has stunned the comics community and has quieted critics who have claimed that DC isn’t making proper strides in regards to ethnic and racial diversity, DC has released information concerning the final prequel project in the powerful Before Watchmen arsenal. Newsstand Boy by creators Eric Wallace and Scott McDaniel was announced this morning by DC’s co-publisher Dan Didio.
[Thanks, Martha Cornog]
Back when we interviewed Jeffrey Brown about his movie at Sundance, he mentioned an upcoming humor book called Darth Vader and Son that features gentle humor on the topic of Darth as dad to Luke.
Well, he’s now posted some cover sketches on his blog.
And here’s the final cover.
The book is out from Chronicle in May.
Not only is it the Simpson’s 500th episode this weekend
Not only did creator Matt Groening get his star on the Walk of Fame today
But RALPH WIGGUM is getting his own comic book later this month.
It’s part of a new quarterly series of Simpsons One Shot Wonders focusing on other more obscure Simpsons castmembers, including Bart Simpson’s pal, Milhouse; the adventures of Li’l Homer Simpson; and an issue dedicated entirely to Maggie Simpson. Future issue will even take fan suggestion into account, so let’s all get out there and prepare our Patty and Selma campaign.
Creators include Sergio Aragonés (MAD Magazine, Groo the Wanderer), Mike Kazaleh (The Adventures of Captain Jack), Carol Lay (“Story Minute,” The Big Skinny), James Lloyd (The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis), Jesse McCann (Scooby Doo), and Mary Trainor (The Simpsons Library of Wisdom).
“At signings and conventions, interest in Ralph is always off the charts. I’m happily amazed by the wide swatch of people who claim him as their most beloved ‘Simpsons’ character,” says Nathan Kane, Bongo Comics creative director, in a statement. “Not only is Ralph Wiggum an Everyman, he’s Everyman’s unintentionally hilarious, and unflappable younger brother.”
I know we link to these every time, but you don’t want to miss them. In her review ofThe Vow for Vanity Fair Lisa Hanawalt nails the sidekicks this time. We’d also note that her venues are getting bigger and bigger. Hanawalt ftw.
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Although we get all the PR, we haven’t been covering Vivid’s Axel Braun directed series of porn parodies of geek-beloved franchises because, well, it’s not really in our target demo. However a recent release backs up what we’ve been told by porn industry insiders for quite a while: these nerd-themed parodies are the only hot category in the original porn business as homemade sex tapes and VOD have changed the entire distribution model. As Braun told Die Screaming:
A: The geek community is heavily tied to science fiction, comic books, and superheroes. With the mainstream movie industry focusing on these types of projects in recent years, geeks suddenly became a very important target audience. They are incredibly dedicated fans, excellent critics, and their massive networking can literally make or break a movie. When the proliferation of the Internet killed DVD sales, I decided it was time to stop trying to lure back the typical porn consumers from the dark side of free adult content, and I went after a different demographic. Geeks were an ideal target, and being one of them it was fairly easy to know what they wanted: parodies of cult movies, TV shows, comic books, or superheroes, infused with obvious deep knowledge of the subject matter, tons of nerdy references, and obsessive attention to detail. And boobs. How could I lose by being so totally awesome?
The parody porn boom started with 2010’s BATMAN XXX which was one of the fastest selling adult movies of the year. Quickly picking up on what was selling, Vivid has followed with Spider-Man, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star wars porn parodies. The series has even won Braun two “Director of the Year” awards from the AVN awards, and producer Steven Hirsch
an AVN Visionary award.
The moral of the story? Identifying market trends quickly helps you stay on top of a fast evolving marketplace.