BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
Conventions | Vocativ put together an interesting, if somewhat late, video report about the Middle East Film & Comic Con in Dubai, often viewed by Westerners as a conservative Muslim city. Yet the April convention, which drew about 35,000 attendees, featured both women in traditional hijabs and cosplayers in somewhat-revealing costumes. More interesting still, the number of women artists outnumbered the men. The piece also touches upon the reaction to the new Ms. Marvel, a Muslim teenager from New Jersey. [Vocativ]
Creators | “Never having known how to work in this style, suddenly in my 80s, I discover I can”: Jules Feiffer talks about his latest graphic novel, Kill My Mother, a noir-ish tale that is a sharp departure from his earlier work. [Los Angeles Times]
In his relatively short career in comics, Troy Brownfield has worked on it from all angles. He’s worked as an editor for Fangoria’s comics line as well as the Scream Factory, he’s written comics for the likes of Dynamite’s Buck Rogers franchise and DC’s Batman 80 Page Giant, and he’s been a writer about comics for Newtype USA and Newsarama. But for his recently launched webcomic Sparkshooter he’s relying on a different skillset: managing bands.
“When I first had the idea for Sparkshooter, it sort of came in fully formed,” Brownfield said. “I’d really started working with bands, doing everything from moving equipment to writing songs to booking gigs, when I was about 16. I didn’t play in a proper band myself at that point (though I still played sax in the ‘basketball band’ at school), but my best friend was playing guitar and formed a group by senior year. It became the center of our social orbit for our last year of high school. Going forward, I was constantly involved with bands and music scenes for years.”
Launched on Feb. 29, Sparkshooter is The Rolling Stones meets Avengers. Vs. X-Men: ten bands vying for success in a Battle of the Bands competition set in Brownfield’s hometown of Indianapolis in the year 2003. After years of managing, booking and just being around bands, the ideas for Sparkshooter came on pretty quickly.
Crime | The 18,753 comics in the collection of a Colorado drug kingpin — dubbed the “nerdiest meth king ever” by the Denver Post — sold for $125,050 at an online auction held by the U.S. Marshals Service. Prosecutors say Aaron Castro, who was sentenced in November to 45 years in prison on drug and extortion charges, planned to launder profits from a major methamphetamine distribution ring by opening a comic store. (According to forfeiture documents, he even stashed some of his meth in his comics collection). Castro reportedly became so obsessive about his collection that he “began to struggle with money because he would spend his drug money on comic books.” Proceeds from the auction will go into either a special account to fund forfeiture actions, or to law-enforcement agencies that assisted in the Castro case. [Denver Post]