Publishing | DC Comics joins the Kia Soul, Goldfish, My Little Pony and several others on Advertising Age’s annual list of America’s Hottest Brands: “With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones. Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.” [Advertising Age]
Broadway | Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have changed their tune on the $75 million musical; previously they predicted they wouldn’t make back the money invested in the show without franchising it in other cities and countries, but now they predict they’ll make it back entirely from the Broadway run. They also are considering adding in new scenes and a new musical number to the production every year, “making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.” [The New York Times]
I’ve been a big fan of Caanan Grall‘s webcomics Max Overacts for awhile now, so I was happy to see that he’s now raising funds through IndieGoGo to release the first print collection of Max’s adventures.
On IndieGoGo, Grall details his plans for the book:
My initial quote (Which is almost the entire fundraising goal, plus some to allow for postage) is for 3000 copies of a 164 page full colour book at 8 x 10 inches. That’s only slightly smaller than the original artwork so the details will shine through! If we only make it halfway to the goal, that’s still good enough for 1000 copies, so everyone will get their orders. Please don’t be afraid of that huge goal! I’m not!
The book will collect the first 142 strips plus 12 exclusive strips not seen on the web, focusing on Max’s sister, Andromeda. See Andi at work, meet some of Andi’s band mates, and even witness the moment Jacob fell for her and she didn’t even notice him.
Plus, there will be an extra two strips if some daring fans step up to the 500 dollar plate, to have themselves put into an actual strip in this book itself, interacting with Max, Janet, Andi, Klaus, etc. Two awesome readers will be immortalized in book form for the ages! YOU will be on people’s shelves. In libraries! Beside home lavatories! YOU, yes YOU, may eventually be… in a dollar bin! *gasp* Plus… you’ll get to hang the original in your house.
Tim spoke to him recently about the strip, and I’ve already donated because I’d love to see the book on my shelf, so if you’re interested, head over there and check out the various rewards Grall’s offering for donating.
Longtime readers of Robot 6 know there is much love among the gang for Max Overacts, the popular Eisner-nominated webcomic by Caanan Grall. The webcomic came off of a brief hiatus in June 2011. Here’s the basic premise of Max Overacts: “The strip is about Max’s unbridled optimism, and his quest to be the next greatest thespian. He wears his heart on his sleeve for his self-proclaimed leading lady, Janet, and lords his ‘planned’ status over his ‘accidental’ older sister, Andromeda. His best friend is Klaus, when his ventriloquist doll, Curio, isn’t around.” In addition to discussing the strip, we also talk about his recent Muppet Thor mashup.
Tim O’Shea: How much of an effort was it to design the relatively large cast of Max Overacts? How long was it in the development stage before you found Max’s voice?
Caanan Grall: Most of the characters were pretty easy to figure out. I tried tons of different looks for Max, but inevitably ended up back at the very first one I sketched. The funny thing is, when you make up characters, and the name and character traits come first, it’s almost instinctual that the first design you do is the right one. Max’s parents probably went through the most changes, because at first, the characters weren’t defined enough. They began life on the sketchbook page as the standard harried parents, always struggling to stay one step ahead of the bank, and two steps ahead of their kids. Now, they’re still like that, but they’re fine with it. They’re not rich, but they’re happy, positive people.