Libraries | An editorial in the Lewiston, Maine, newspaper praises a local school board’s decision last week to leave the 2007 comics anthology Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age in the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School library following a parent’s complaints about “objectionable sexual and language references”: “American culture can be graphically sexual and explicitly foul and it’s important that young people learn how to navigate that world in a responsible way. The best possible way, of course, is for parents to steer their children through that process, but not every parent does and many children are left adrift. So, the next-better place to learn is the school library, where a responsible adult can help educate children about their hormone-charged emerging feelings in a confusingly sensual culture.” [Sun Journal]
Business | Wizard magazine founder Gareb Shamus, who resigned earlier this month as president and chief executive officer of Wizard World Inc., will sell most of his shares in the company to his successor, who’s expected to be named next month. [Bleeding Cool]
Awards | The Visual Effects Society has named Stan Lee as the recipient of the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals whose “lifetime body of work has made a significant and lasting contribution to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry by way of artistry, invention and/or groundbreaking work.” Previous recipients include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen and James Cameron. The award will be presented Feb. 7 at the 10th annual VES Awards. [press release]
Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund reports it raised $12,500 last weekend at New York Comic Con. [CBLDF]
Awards | Comic-Con International has opened nominations for the The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, which awarded to “an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.” [CCI]
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.
If I had $15, I’d first grab hold of my favorite of DC’s New 52, Batwoman #2 (DC, $2.99). J.H. Williams III has successfully kept up to the immense expectations he accumulated following his run with Greg Rucka, and the artwork seems to benefit even more by J.H.’s input into the story as co-writer. Next I’d dig down for two of my regular pulls, Northlanders #45 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Uncanny X-Force #16 (Marvel, $3.99). For my final pick, I’d have to miss a bunch of other titles for the chance to get the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 #4 (Image, $4.99). I love the anthology format, and having that plus the good cause plus the a-list talent makes it a must get; seriously, can you imagine one comic book containing new work by Frank Quitely, Williams, Mark Waid, J. Michael Straczynski, Matt Wagner AND Craig Thompson? BELIEVE IT!
Daniel Clowes’ Death-Ray is not only getting the hardcover treatment this fall, he’s also getting three dimensions.
The creator’s site announced this weekend that the Oakland Toy Corp has designed a Death-Ray “action doll” that will be sold on Press Pop’s website beginning June 9. The 12″ doll is limited to 200 sets, costs $105 and comes with “the Ray Gun to erase all the people you would rather not see.” It will come in a box designed by Clowes.
In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from Big Two stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night. Among the various adaptations, though, some creators have emerged as magnets for Hollywood types — and unlikely and under-recognized one is Daniel Clowes.
Clowes was one of the driving forces of alternative comics in the ’80s and ’90s, and was identified as one of the earliest “literary” cartoonists — that is, cartoonists whose storytelling goes above the level of stereotyped “traditional comics” and into the level of literature. His work was quickly embraced by the younger generation, and Clowes illustrated over 20 album covers, several skateboard decks and even a soda brand. Crumb director Terry Zwigoff picked up the story of Ghost World, which appeared in several issues of Clowes’ anthology Eightball. After the success of Ghost World, Zwigoff and Clowes followed it up with 2006′s Art School Confidential, also based on stories found in Eightball. Clowes has also worked on several movies not based on his work, including a project with Michel Gondry.
With those two alt-films released and successful, here’s a look at some other Clowes stories and ideas for adaptation:
I’ve been anticipating this since Daniel Clowes teased it at the Alternative Press Expo in October … Tom Spurgeon broke the news this morning that Drawn & Quarterly will release a hardcover version of Clowes’ The Death-Ray next fall.
Much like Pantheon did when they repackaged Clowes’ Ice Haven as a stand-alone hardcover, the book will repackage and re-release an issue of Clowes’ Eightball — issue #23, which came out in 2004 and starred the outcast-turned superhero. The Death-Ray has also been optioned for film by Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions, with Chris Milk attached to direct
“The Death-Ray is one of the most perfect and fully realized comics of the past decade and it is nothing short of the highest honour to publish,” said Chris Oliveros, editor-in-chief and publisher of Drawn & Quarterly in the press release. “The story of the alienated Andy is drawn and written to perfection with Dan’s signature subtle humour, stylistic eloquence, and understated social commentary–showcasing all of the hallmarks of why Dan is one of the preeminent cartoonists of the comics medium.”
You can find the entire press release after the jump.