BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
The saga of the Grand Prix d’Angouleme has taken another sour turn, as one of three finalists for the festival’s top honor has asked people not to vote for her.
French illustrator Claire Wendling said she doesn’t want the Angouleme International Comics Festival award, writing on Facebook, “Would you like to please me? Don’t vote for me any more.”
Alan Moore, Claire Wendling and Hermann have been named as finalists for the Angouleme International Comics Festival’s Grand Prix.
The announcement arrives two weeks after the unveiling of an all-male list of nominees for the festival’s top honor sparked calls for a boycott, leading 12 creators to ask that their names be withdrawn from consideration.
Under fire, organizers briefly offered up a revised list that included six female creators, only to quickly change course and announce academy members could vote for whomever they like.
The ever-popular “Batman: The Killing Joke” by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland gets a turn toward the theatrical with a dramatic reading of the Joker’s monologue titled “The Emergency Exit.”
Performed by Aaron Williams — an actor/director and not the Buffalo Bills safety, although how nuts would that have been? — the black-and-white video features the performer speaking in front of a mirror while smoking a cigarette, giving the reading a very, very classic film look. Also, from his manner of speaking, whether intentional or not, Williams channels a bit of Mark Hammill’s Joker from “Batman: The Animated Series” and does a great job at it.
Check out the video after the jump.
In celebration of “The Spirit’s” 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment will release a new hardcover collection of Will Eisner’s renowned creation.
“The Spirit” has passed through the hands of several legendary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Jeph Loeb. DC announced the book at the DC Entertainment Retailer Roadshow.
After initially announcing he would decline the Angoulême International Comics Festival’s Grand Prix Award, Jeremiah creator Hermann has reluctantly altered his position.
“Under friendly but insistent pressure from publishers, fans and colleagues who don’t understand his position, Hermann changed his mind and seems now to accept the Grand Prix if he eventually wins it,” reads a statement posted this morning on the Belgian cartoonist’s official Facebook page.
The prize is presented annually to a living comics creator, with the winner traditionally serving as president of the jury for the following year’s festival. Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson received the honor in 2014, becoming only the fourth non-European to do so, but the famously reclusive cartoonist declined to attend. He did, however, create a poster for this year’s festival.
Legal | Illustrator Greg Theakston tells The Comics Journal that during his Christmas vacation, he plans to file a police complaint against the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, alleging it stole about 3,000 photocopies of Kirby’s pencil work. Theakston gave the photocopies to the museum, but he contends it was intended to be a loan, while the museum says it was an outright donation. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because Theakston has been threatening legal action since August. [The Comics Journal]
Creators | Paul Tumey posts a charming series of letters from Pogo creator Walt Kelly to a young pen pal (who had a pet alligator named Albert), along with plenty of backstory. [The Comics Journal]
He may tired of Earth, these people and being caught in the tangle of their lives, but even Dr. Manhattan can’t resist the siren’s call of Wal-Mart and its low, low prices. Or at least its conveniently placed bicycles.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that a 27-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, man was charged Tuesday with petit theft after he allegedly tried to walk off with a $130 bike from an Orlando-area Wal-Mart.
After eight years, Alan Moore has completed the epic first draft of his long-discussed novel Jerusalem, which clocks in at more than 1 million words.
“Has finished the first draft of his second novel, Jerusalem,” the writer’s daughter Leah Moore announced Tuesday on Facebook. “Now there’s just the small matter of copy editing a more-than-a-million word document, and its all done.”
The Verge offers a bit of context for that staggering figure, noting that it’s the equivalent of more than two Lord of the Rings novels, or the first three installments of the Song of Ice and Fire series. The Guardian adds that it’s 200,000 words more than the Bible.
Retailing | Books-A-Million had a good second quarter, and CEO Terry Finley gives at least part of the credit to graphic novels: “We also saw strong growth in the graphic novel category, with continued success with titles related to AMC’s The Walking Dead series and a renewed interest in several manga series [that] drove sales increases.” And to boost that, the retail chain, which operates more than 250 stores nationwide, is planning Marvel promotions throughout September. [ICv2]
Conventions | Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Dan Farr is trying to measure how much money attendees are spending. In terms of hotel beds, at least, the convention seems to be dwarfed by trade shows, but with people coming to Salt Lake City from 48 states for the recent spinoff event FanXperience, that may be changing. Still, even in San Diego, attendees spend only about $600 per person; if Salt Lake attendees are similarly thrifty, the convention may not be a significant player in the Salt Lake City convention scene. [The Salt Lake Tribune]
Like most people, I prefer not to dwell too much on Fox’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the 2003 film adaptation that could only have been assembled through a game of telephone, with each person involved passing along a whispered description of the acclaimed Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill comic until it finally reached the director.
However, Florian Liedtke appears to have given the movie a good deal of thought, or at least enough to create a video he dubs “The REAL League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Produced for a university project, it’s a dreamlike title sequence, using O’Neill’s art. Essentially, it’s a stylish a motion comic, set to “The Other Side” by Woodkid (with some creative, and occasionally inspired, recasting).
“Unfortunately, the curators of the exhibition ‘Comics Unmasked’ at the British Library have been overwhelmed by the Gothic vision, at the expense of every other contribution to the medium. And as creative as [Alan] Moore’s gothic is, it is still a lot less interesting than the material that has been left out of the exhibition. It is an aesthetic for adolescent boys who think that unhappy and twisted stuff is correspondingly profound, while comedy is trivial and facile. The truth is often the other way round, where horror and gore are really just sentimentality, prurient and moralistic at the same time, while comedy allows marvellous slippages of meaning that are much more intelligent […]
The gothic does encourage some flashes of imagination, but it is quite taxing to see yet another raddled prostitute eviscerated – in spattered ink, of course – for the entertainment of troubled adolescents. How much wittier to peer through the Desperate Dan-shaped hole that Desperate Dan leaves in a brick wall – right down to the buttons on his shirt. Where are those truly subversive characters, the Bash Street Kids? They’ve been elbowed aside by the showroom dummies (an unintended self-satire) in the Guy Fawkes masks that loiter in the shadows of the exhibition, threatening nothing.”
Although not a name most would associate with the digital age, Alan Moore is nevertheless spearheading the development of an open-source app that will enable anyone to produce digital comics.
Called Electricomics, the app is described as both a comic and a free, “easy-to-use open source toolkit,” published by Moore and longtime collaborator Mitch Jenkins’ Orphans of the Storm, and funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, which supports “projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector.”
Veteran British writer Steve Moore, one of the original contributors to The Fortean Times who’s also credited with teaching a young Alan Moore how to write comics scripts, passed away over the weekend at age 64.
The news was first reported this morning by Strange Attractor, a journal for which Moore regularly wrote. “Steve was a warm, wise and gentle man, with a surreal sense of humour and an astoundingly deep knowledge that covered history, the I Ching, forteana, magic, oriental mysticism, martial arts cinema, science fiction, underground comics and worlds more,” the remembrance states.
A contributor to 2000AD, Warrior and Doctor Who Magazine, Moore’s list of accomplishments includes pioneering the Future Shocks story format and co-creating “Red Fang,” “Valkyries” and Axel Pressbutton. A longtime friend of Alan Moore (no relation), he wrote “Young Tom Strong” and “Jonni Future” in Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales, as well as a novelization of the film V For Vendetta.
Retailing | Hastings Entertainment, which operates a chain of 149 stores that sells books, comics, video games and more, has announced a $21.4 million agreement to merge with two companies owned by Joel Weinshanker, president and sole shareholder of Wizkids parent National Entertainment Collectibles Association; Weinshanker already holds 12 percent of Hastings’ outstanding shares.
“NECA is a significant supplier of movie, book and video game merchandise and collectibles to the Hastings superstores, and we’ve had a close and growing business relationship with Mr. Weinshanker over the last decade,” John H. Marmaduke, Hastings’ chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Mr. Weinshanker, through his affiliation with the estates of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, and his company’s management of Graceland, is one of the leading drivers of the lifestyle industry, and we believe Hastings’ business will continue to benefit from our relationship with him and NECA.” Marmaduke will retire with a $1.5 million cash payout once the merger is approved. The announcement was followed by press releases from two New York City law firms that say they’re investigating the plan on behalf of Hastings shareholders. [press release]