BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
Following through on one of the promises of Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s successful Indiegogo campaign to fund a new Middleman graphic novel, the cast of the short-lived television adaptation reunited for a table read of The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation, which was of course captured on video.
“Why is this man smiling?” Grillo-Marxauch writes beneath a photo of himself at the reunion. “Might be that I am in the middle of one of the happiest moments in my middle-history!”
Fans of Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine’s The Middleman, rejoice: The writer has announced plans to resurrect the beloved comic turned short-lived television series as graphic novel funded with the help of crowdfunding.
Debuting in 2005 from Viper Comics, The Middleman centers on Wendy Watson, a struggling young artist who’s recruited by a secret agency to fight evil alongside the Middleman, a title and job passed from one incarnation to the next. The comic was released as two miniseries and a graphic novel before it was optioned by ABC Family for the short-lived TV show starring Matt Keesler and Natalie Morales. A subsequent graphic novel, billed as the show’s “series finale,” was published in 2009.
According to the post on Grillo-Marxuach’s blog, McClaine will return for the new project, which bridges the comic-book and television continuities. What’s more, “the original series cast has agreed to reunite for a live reading of the script to serve as a crowdfunding premium.”
The crowdfunding effort is targeted to launch later this year, with the graphic novel to arrive in time for Comic-Con International 2014.
Creators | Ahead of the premiere of the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, the 89-year-old Lee discusses the big-screen success of his co-creations, the fairy-tale appeal of superheroes, his favorite character (he doesn’t have one), and a time when he was embarrassed to admit he wrote comic books: “Oh well, in the beginning, comics were the lowest rung on the cultural totem pole. I’d go to a party and people would say ‘What do you do?’ ‘Um, uh, I’m a writer’ and I’d try to walk away. And the guy would follow. ‘What do you write?’ ‘Oh, er, stories for kids.’ Well finally he’d pin me down and I’d say, ‘Okay, I write comic books’ — and boy, he couldn’t get away fast enough. Now, though, I walk into a party and someone sees me and they say, ‘Sorry, excuse me a minute, President Obama, I have to go over and say hello to Stan Lee.’ Well, okay. Slight exaggeration on my part.” [The Star-Ledger]
Conventions | The Calgary Sun previews this weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Calgary Sun]
Conventions | Jimmy Jay wonders whether Comic-Con International in San Diego could expand to two weekends, like the Coachella Music Fest. [ComicConMen]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
It’s a week of familiar faces for me this time around. If I had $15, it’d go on Action Comics #8 (DC, $3.99), which completes Grant Morrison’s first story arc on the title — even though we’ve already had the second one; thanks, fill-ins! — as well as Supreme #63 (Image, $2.99), with Erik Larsen illustrating the final Alan Moore script for Rob Liefeld’s Superman knock-off (I’d love to see a well-done collection of all of these issues one day, now that the Moore run is completed). Also on tap, the final issue of OMAC (#8, DC, $2.99) and the long-awaited return of Busiek, Ross and Herbert’s Kirby: Genesis (#6, Dynamite, $3.99), because a man needs as much well-done Jack Kirby-inspired comics as possible, goshdarnit.
If I had $30, I’d add Hulk #50 (Marvel, $3.99) to once again celebrate what Jeff Parker had managed to do with a book and concept that, by all rights, should’ve disappeared a long time ago. (In all honesty, I much prefer the Red Hulk to the classic version these days, and it’s all Parker’s doing, along with his various artistic compatriots on the title.) Everyone who isn’t reading it: This is a jumping-on point issue! Try it and see if you don’t love it, too. And, despite the unevenness of earlier issues, Matt Fraction’s Casanova: Avarita #3 (Marvel, $4.99) is also a must-read; I really didn’t like the first issue, but loved the second. We’ll see where the book goes next.
Should I be splurging, then this week the splurge is on Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery Deluxe HC (DC/Vertigo, $22.99). One of my favorite comics of all time, I’m likely going to end up getting this over-sized, recolored reprint just because I genuinely can’t resist the optimistic, hopeful tone of the book and its love of superheroes.