best of 2010
Broadway | The fall that seriously injured an actor Monday night in the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was the result of human error, the Actors’ Equity Association said. Christopher Tierney, the 31-year-old aerialist who doubles for Spider-Man and two villains, remains in serious but stable condition after the cable to his safety harnesses snapped, sending him tumbling as far as 30 feet into the orchestra pit. As we reported on Tuesday, today’s matinee has been canceled while the show enacts additional safety measures. However, tonight’s performance will go on as scheduled.
Amid criticism from Broadway actors and calls for the plug to be pulled on the $65-million production — Tierney is the fourth Spider-Man performer to be injured — director Julie Taymor issued a statement, calling the accident “heartbreaking”: “I am so thankful that Chris is going to be alright and is in great spirits. Nothing is more important than the safety of our Spider-Man family and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to protect the cast and crew.” Meanwhile, the New York Post — home to theater columnist Michael Riedel, who’s gleefully chronicled the musical’s many setbacks — quotes one unnamed investor as saying, “We should cut our losses and just get out,” while another worries about potential lawsuits. The Daily Beast provides a timeline of the delay-plagued production, while Mark Evanier offers commentary. [Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark]
Broadway | A fourth actor was injured Monday night during a performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the $65-million musical that’s been plagued by delays and technical mishaps. Aerialist Christopher Tierney, who serves as a stunt double for Spider-Man and the villains Meeks and Kraven, fell about 30 feet when the cable to his harness snapped during the closing minutes of the show. Some equipment reportedly dropped into the audience as well. The performance was put on hold and then canceled as an ambulance arrived at the Foxwoods Theatre to take Tierney to Bellevue Hospital. Tierney is in stable condition, but no further information has been released. [BroadwayWorld, The Associated Press, CNN]
Publishing | Fantagraphics has laid off Dirk Deppey,The Comics Journal‘s online editor, former managing editor, and longtime writer of the Journalista! blog. His final day is Wednesday: “No regrets: The last ten years have kicked ass. I’ve done great things and meet interesting people, and was paid it. How great is that?” [Twitter]
Every year USA Today blogger, and comic-book fan, Whitney Matheson releases her list of the 100 most interesting people in television, movies, music, literature and, yes, comics. The 2010 edition (the 11th annual!), which concluded this morning, features a diverse mix that includes five comics creators:
• No. 74 — Jim McCann, writer of Hawkeye and Mockinbird, and co-creator of Return of the Dapper Men
• No. 59 — cartoonist Lynda Barry, whose book Picture This was released in November
• No. 41 — Jeff Lemire, creator of Sweet Tooth and the celebrated Essex County Trilogy
• No. 39 — Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley
• No. 15 — Robert Kirkman, co-creator of The Walking Dead and executive producer of the AMC television series
As we burn through the final days of 2010, more and more websites and publications are unveiling their best-of lists — so many that keeping up is a challenge. Here’s just some of what’s been released in the past few days:
• The Village Voice selects the best comics and graphic novels of the year, including Steve Tatham and Pete Von Sholly’s Repuglicans, Charles Burns’ X’ed Out, Darwyn Cooke’s The Outfit, and Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil’s Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Deluxe Edition.
• The crew at Good Comics for Kids compiles an impressive list of the year’s best comics for kids, organized by age group.
• Jezebel lists its favorite female comic creators of 2010: Katie Cook, Colleen Cover, Sarah Glidden, Lucy Knisley, Hope Larson, Linda Medley, Nicola Scott, Fiona Staples, Raina Telegmeier and Jen Van Meter.
• Torontoist selects cartoonist Jason Kieffer as one of 2010′s “villains” for his book The Rabble of Downtown Toronto, described as “a collection of forty profiles of street people, many of whom are homeless, drug-addicted, or mentally disabled.”
• IGN.com rolls out its Best of 2010 awards.
• Multiversity Comics counts down the most overlooked titles of the year.
Publishing | Eiichiro Oda’s blockbuster pirate manga One Piece has sold 32.34 million copies in 2010, more than double what it sold the previous year. According to Japanese market survey company Oricon Communications, the series’ five newest volumes have sold a combined 12.5 million copies. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | Comico co-founder Gerry Giovinco weighs in on an eBay listing that includes original artwork apparently left in the stewardship of his former partners Dennis and Phil LaSorda when the company went bankrupt in 1990: “It always was Comico policy to return all art to the creators. If there is art that was not returned, we are in total agreement that it should be returned to the rightful owners of the work. If you are a creator that believes your work could be among this lot, we would suggest you fight to get it back.” [CO2 Comics Blog]
Molly McIsaac starts off this year’s round of Best Manga of the Year lists with a set of choices that points up not only the variety of different stories that occur manga but also what a good year this was:
- The Strange Tale of Panorama Island
- Chi’s Sweet Home
- My Girlfriend’s a Geek
- Ristorante Paradiso
- Deadman Wonderland
That’s a strong lineup with a lot of variety: An all-ages manga about a cute cat (Chi’s Sweet Home), an action-adventure tale with some dark twists (Deadman Wonderland), a sophisticated family drama (Ristorante Paradiso), a strangely stylish horror story (The Strange Tale of Panorama Island), and a couple of titles that break the mold a bit. It’s also an effective rejoinder to those who claim “the manga bubble has burst”—there’s plenty of manga coming out, and a lot of it is good. I felt this list left out some strong contenders—the alt-manga anthology AX has made some of the graphic-novel lists, and Kate Dacey lists three more manga she thinks are deserving of best-of-the-year honors, A Drunken Dream, All My Darling Daughters, and Twin Spica.
Just for fun, take a look at Deb Aoki’s predictions for the hottest manga of 2010. It’s actually a good roundup of the books that did well this year, aside from the CMX titles that were never published. (Sigh.)