UPDATE: "The Flash" Hasn't Cast Savitar, Says Berlanti
TV, Comic Books
Bruce Springsteen has teamed with cartoonist Frank Caruso to create Outlaw Pete, a children’s book based on the music legend’s 2009 song about a bank-robbing baby who “cut his trail of tears across the countryside.”
The song, which appears on the album Working on a Dream, was inspired by the 1950 children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill, which Springsteen’s mother read to him when he was a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” the singer/songwriter said in a statement.
The idea for adapting the song into a book, using Springsteen’s lyrics, originated with Caruso, who in 2012 helped pay homage to the band Wilco in the Popeye comic strip — part of an unusual crossover that saw lead singer Jeff Tweedy as a potential suitor for Olive Oyl in the animated video for “Dawned on Me.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy are on their way to Walt Disney World in Florida, and they’re coming to dance.
According to the Disney Parks blog, a Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party is being planned as part of a “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Aug. 23. Per the post, guests can dance to the film’s best-selling soundtrack — at least until Star-Lord and Gamora show up to retrieve the tape.
Soundtracks have become an integral component of movies, television shows and video games. How important is a great soundtrack? There’s a video online that removes John Williams’ from E.T., leaving the triumphant moment at the end feeling lonely and empty. Swells and the rhythm of the full orchestra pull you in emotionally.
Can music be added to a comic? Years ago, that would have been a silly question, conjuring images of opening the book and hearing a tinny tune playing like something out of a greeting card. But now that comics are online, in a digital realm where greater integration between different kinds of media? It not as ridiculous a prospect as it sounds. Besides, it’s already being done.
Music and sounds are more prevalent in Flash-style webomics. Stuart Campbell’s Nawlz uses a futuristic electronic soundtrack to create a palpable sense of unease. It’s almost as if there’s something buzzing at all times to subconsciously frazzle your nerves. As you search the page to figure out what to click on next, you feel on guard. Will this next click bring the music to a halt? Is this comic setting me up to be frightened by a loud noise? It’s weird how much a soundtrack can ratchet up the anxiety. The effect is not unlike watching a horror movie, where more than half of the frights are due to sounds and music.
Three organizations representing Hollywood actors, directors and screenwriters have thrown their weight behind an effort to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the heirs of Jack Kirby that could have ramifications far beyond Marvel and the comics industry.
The case, as most readers know by now, involves the copyrights to the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Thor and other characters created or co-created by Kirby during his time at Marvel in the 1960s. The artist’s children filed 45 copyright-termination notices in September 2009, seeking to reclaim what they believe to his stake in the properties under the terms of the U.S. Copyright Act. Marvel responded with a lawsuit, which led to a 2011 ruling that Kirby’s 1960s creations were work for hire and therefore not subject to copyright reclamation. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision in August 2013, which brings us to the Kirby family’s petition to the Supreme Court.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Screen Actors Guild-Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief that insists the Second Circuit’s ruling “jeopardizes the statutory termination rights that many Guild members may possess in works they created.”
If you ever wondered how actor Clark Gregg prepared himself for Agent Coulson’s death scene — or, rather, “death” scene — in The Avengers, you only need to listen to KCRW’s “Guest DJ Project.” Hint: It’s music, but any additional information is probably above your clearance level.
For this week’s episode of the Los Angeles radio show, the star of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. compiles a track list that includes Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” Public Enemy’s “Caught, Can We Get a Witness” and Radiohead’s “Go to Sleep.”
Manga | Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has knocked longtime bestseller One Piece from the top of Japan’s manga charts. Market research firm Oricon reports that Attack on Titan, which has 13 volumes in print, sold 8,342,268 copies in the first half of the year, making it the bestselling series in Japan. One Piece, which has long held that title, sold 4,936,855 copies of 73 volumes, but it did top the charts for single-volume sales, with 2,825,339 copies sold of the latest volume. The numbers cover the period from mid-November to mid-May. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee talks about his history with Batman in advance of DC’s 75th-anniversary celebration for the character. [Asbury Park Press]
What’s cooler than seeing your favorite band in a small venue? How about seeing your favorite band and getting a comic featuring them at that same show?
As a part of Tumblr IRL (“In Real Life), Swedish synthpop band Little Dragon performed a free “pop-up” show for fans Friday in Los Angeles, and with them was artist Brian Butler. Butler is a friend of the band and the creator of Nabuma Comics, a limited-edition comic that features the band members getting stuck inside a strange world that exists in their keyboardist’s beard.
And what a beard it is:
One of the common comments when people see the work of J.H. Williams III is that it looks like fine art. It is, and as it turns out he has some fans in Blondie. This week the rock band debuted the packaging for its upcoming album Ghosts of Download, and it features a expansive set of artwork that Williams created exclusively for the release.
“The package design is a unique one, there will be two albums in one package – featuring the Ghosts of Download album along with another album of Blondie’s greatest hits newly recorded, and a deluxe version with all kinds of extra goodies,” he explains on his website. “I did all of the design work for Ghosts, while the Hits portion was done by someone else. I worked on every visual aspect of this release, from concept, to cover design, to booklet design, and all the same for the Vinyl Double LP. There are different pieces or alterations for the CD versus the vinyl, and the same situation for some foreign versions of the release – GO COLLECTORS GO!”
While “Let It Go” has received most of the attention (to say nothing of an Academy Award), Disney’s Frozen has plenty of catchy tunes, including “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” Now that song gets its moment in the sun (so to speak) with a parody called “Do You Wanna Kill the Batman?,” performed by SydneyAmber as Harley Quinn.
It works even if you’re unfamiliar with the original, as a lonely Harley tries to persuade The Joker to join her in a little mayhem, and perhaps mend their relationship.
Conventions | Organizers anticipate as many as 70,000 people will attend MegaCon, held Friday through Sunday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, up from about 60,000 last year; that could translate to $23 million impact on the local economy, according to the Orlando Business Journal. Guests include Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Chuck Dixon, Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Stan Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti, George Perez, Herb Trimpe, Mark Waid and Skottie Young. However, the names drawing the most attention may be The Walking Dead stars David Morrissey, Danai Gurira and Steve Yeun. “We are the first convention in the U.S. to have both David Morrissey and Danai Gurira at the same time,” Jason Smith, MegaCon’s director of operations, told Florida Today. “The show is definitely a fan favorite of our attendees.” [MegaCon]
The always-busy writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are back with a Kickstarter campaign for Denver, a 72-page original graphic novel for mature readers illustrated by Pier Brito. As with most things involving Palmiotti, there is an interesting angle to this particular project (his sixth Kickstarter) in that the creators have added a soundtrack to the story, written and composed by Hans Karl. Denver comes equipped with a direct story pitch: “… one man going against all odds to get back the woman he loves, all set in the not-too-distant future.” With 15 days left on the campaign, Palmiotti was happy to discuss this latest Kickstarter.
While a lot of nerdy parody videos and songs can be a chore to endure, Not Literally Productions’ ode to shipping, “I Ship It,” is really enjoyable, in part because it spoofs Icona Pop’s ubiquitous “I Don’t Care,” which bores into your brain like one of those eels from Star Trek II, but also because the lyrics are pretty clever.
For instance, “You’re on the canon ground, I’m up in crack ship space; Let’s start a shipping war, I don’t care if I get hate; Don’t like my pairings? Well, then you can hit the bricks; This is my OTP, I’ll go down with this ship.”
I apologize in advance for getting this stuck in your head.
Art and music collide in San Francisco this weekend as cartoonist Jim Woodring teams with jazz musician Bill Frisell for “a delightful live multi-media collaboration.” Woodring will join Frisell on Saturday for both an evening and matinee performance, in which Woodring will create live digital illustrations, projected on Miner Auditorium’s large video screen, to accompany and inspire the music.
This isn’t the first time the duo has collaborated: Frisell provided the soundtrack for Woodring’s Trosper, published in 2002 by Fantagraphics.
The matinee begins at 2 p.m., and the evening performance at 7:30 p.m. You can find more details on the SFJazz website.
If DC Comics can do 3D covers for Villains Month and Marvel can release Deadpool variants, it seems like they could make room on their publishing slates for, oh, I don’t know, a series that depicts some of their most recognizable characters on classic album covers.
That request isn’t as random as it seems (well, maybe it is), as artist Robert Jiménez painted Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Catwoman, Doctor Strange and Lobo on LP sleeves for an art show, and they’re pretty amazing. Unfortunately, he’s already sold the originals, but he hopes to create more soon.
Check out some of the pieces below, and the rest on Jiménez’s website.
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Joining us today is Charles Soule, writer of Thunderbolts, Strongman, 27, Swamp Thing, Strange Attractors, Red Lanterns, Superman/Wonder Woman and more.
Now let’s get to it …