INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.
So find out what we thought about the final issue of It Girl & the Atomics, the latest Edison Rex and more.
The College of Charleston’s selection of the acclaimed graphic novel Fun Home as recommended reading for incoming freshmen was criticized by the Palmetto Family, an advocacy group whose “vision is to transform the culture in South Carolina by reclaiming the values and virtues of marriage, the traditional family model and sexual purity.”
“If this book were a magazine it would be wrapped in brown paper,” Palmetto Family President Oran Smith is quoted as saying. “We reviewed every book assigned in SC this year. Many were provocative. This one is pornographic. Not a wise choice for 18-year-olds at a taxpayer-supported college.” The College of Charleston says it is standing by its choice.
The film 2 Guns, based on the comic by Stephen Grant and Mateus Santolouco, and published by BOOM! Studios, opened this Friday, bringing Grant and the publisher an increased level of media exposure. The film topped the North American box office charts, bringing in a very respectable $27.4 million, and the first issue of the comic book sequel, 3 Guns, landed in stores. I thought the film was much better than its “55” rating on Metacritic would indicate; it’s a smart action film with some great performances by Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Bill Paxton and Edward James Olmos.
More importantly, this is the first film from the BOOM! Studios library to make it to theaters, and the company and its “creator share” model have been front and center in news coverage. Most notably CEO and co-founder Ross Richie landed a guest writing gig with The Hollywood Reporter, where he detailed a lot of background comics knowledge on the Hollywood trade magazine’s audience. He some creator-owned comics history, dropping names like Don McGregor, Paul Gulacy and Jack Kirby over the course of his columns. And then there was the New York Times piece that follows the 2 Guns story from an “insulting” first paycheck to the “just shy of seven figures” Universal Pictures paid for the rights. “Ultimately, it’s become the most successful thing I’ve ever done,” Grant told the Times. And he wrote that Pope comic back in the early 1980s that sold so well for Marvel.
In a move similar to the one Image Comics announced right before Comic-Con, Thrillbent launched its own webstore, offering downloadable PDF files of its comics for a variety of different price points. Most titles are 99 cents, with Mark Waid and Peter Krause’s Insufferable being available at a “name your own price” option. Thrillbent is also selling copies of the all-ages Aw Yeah Comics! series by Art Balthazar and Franco for $1.99 each.
Waid actually announced Thrillbent’s intent to sell DRM-free digital comics at the “Digital and Print: Friends or Foes?” panel at Comic-Con International. “Personally, I actually like owning the files,” he said. “I’m comfortable enough with cloud-based stuff, but given a preference, I’d rather own the files just because I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t have internet connectivity and I suddenly remember that album I wanted to listen to or the comic book I wanted to read, and I don’t have access to the cloud at that moment.”