The Beat has all the Marvel and DC sales info that the hardcore stats junkies want. Nothing truly surprising, except for all of the books held for the end of Civil War, some serious drop offs in the numbers on the Ultimate books over the last few years, and lateness on a lot of DC books from people working in Hollywood.
The BBC has made an arrangement with YouTube to air clips on the popular website, already servicing two of their three planned channels.
Up already and of interest to Doctor Who fans – on-set video diaries from David Tennant, the current Doctor, and from Freema Agyeman, the new companion. Freema makes her debut as Martha Jones when the new season of Doctor Who begins airing in Great Britain the end of this month.
No word yet on the availability of Torchwood, the PG-13 rated (maybe R-rated) spin-off from Doctor Who. The series is being broadcast in much of the English-speaking world, but no arrangements have been made in the United States as of yet. Torchwood‘s Captain Jack will be returning to Doctor Who for the final three episodes of the upcoming season.
Over the last 30 or so years some comics have tried to bring the "real world" into the medium. One of the first and best examples was written by my fellow ComicMix columnist Denny O’ Neil. His epic story about Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy becoming hooked on drugs is a classic. That story was written over 30 years ago and could have been written today. It still holds up.
I will resist the urge to ask Denny why Speedy had to get hooked… hee hee hee.
Denny may not remember, but I often think back in fondness to a day I gave him a ride home from DC Comics. That, for me, was a good day. Denny most likely was thinking "tuck and roll" as he looked for an opportunity to jump out of the car.
That story Denny wrote was on the forefront of comics that tackled the real world. Since that comic there have been many comics that tried the real world approach — some of the finest have been Marvels, Kingdom Come and of course the granddaddy of them all, Watchmen. Now all of those comics and many others have dealt with the question, "What would happen if superheroes really existed?"
Well, none of those comics dealt with what really would happen if those superheroes existed in the real world… and tried to get a date.
You know those cavemen who hawk insurance on teevee? Well, now you’ve got to give them proper respect. They’re getting their own sitcom pilot.
According to Variety, ABC announced they are planning to do a series pilot based upon the Geico commercials created by Joe Lawson, the copywriter who created the original spots. If available, Jeff Daniel Phillips and Ben Weber will be offered the chance to reprise their roles in the new series.
No word yet on who might be sponsoring the series. Maybe State Farm?
At New York’s Museum of Modern Art, highbrow meets lowbrow once more – and, as usual, doesn’t get it.
“Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making” is organized by Roxana Marcoci, curator of the department of photography, and features "nearly 30 works in drawing, painting, sculpture, video and installation made over the last 16 years by 13 artists who borrow one way or another from comic strips, cartoons and animation."
That’s right, all the artists swipe from the comics format without once considering the point of comics — to tell stories. Some of us believe everything that can be explored about the form was already done in Lichtenstein’s day, which is why some of us will never exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art.
The first American Anime Awards were handed out at the New Yorker hotel in (where else) New York last Saturday, and by popular demand (Sid Popular sent us an e-mail – and thanks to Steve Allen for that gag!), here are the winners:
Best Actor: Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist, Macross)
Best Anime Theme Song: Rewrite (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Best Actress: Mary Elizabeth (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG)
Best Comedy Anime: FLCL
Best Actor in a Comedy: Dave Wittenberg (Zatch Bell)
Best Anime Feature: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Best Actress in a Comedy: Debi Derryberry (Zatch Bell)
If you think we’ve come a long way in butting out of people’s personal affairs, remember this: the last anti-miscegenation law prohibiting people of different races from marrying was repealed on November 7, 2000. Seven years later, an interracial couple breaks down one of the last barriers to a normal American family life: the newspaper family comic strip.
On April 2nd, the Creators Syndicate will be debuting Charlos Gary’s Cafe Con Leche. Gary, a 39 year old cartoonist living in Chicago, got his start with a strip called Working It Out. It was initially carried by the Chicago Tribune, but is now syndicated by Creators. He told Editor & Publisher"Cafe con Leche is about an interracial couple learning about each other’s cultural background. It’s loosely based on the first year of marriage to my wife Agustina, who is originally from Argentina."
This marks the second time a newspaper strip has been built around such a theme. Color Blind ran for one year, at the end of the 20th century. Let’s hope Cafe Con Leche enjoys a much longer run.
Chiller, a new cable TV channel from NBC Universal, launched today. It offers horror and thriller programming like Twin Peaks, Tales From the Crypt, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, American Gothic, Friday the 13th: The Series and other shows that never really fit on the Sci-Fi Channel. It also, as you would expect, be running movies in the same, uh, vein — Psycho, The Haunting, Showgirls, the usual.
But here’s the fun part. Earlier today, here’s what their website said tonight’s schedule was:
The Shinning? Och! The wee lad who’s been coding the website’s seen the Treehouse of Horror one taa many times! (Sadly, it’s been fixed now. Very hard to be chilling when people are laughing, I guess.)
Chiller is airing on Direct TV, channel 257; otherwise, complain to Dish TV or your local cable provider.
Some wag said 9/11 marked the death of irony. Well, that was certainly ironic.
Gwynne Dyer, writing for the London Independent, pointed out recent Doonesbury strips have been parroting the official Bush / Cheney line that the people to blame for our defeat in Iraq are "those brutal, stupid Iraqis."
Whereas the strip has never voiced support for the war – and, in fact, has been quite supportive of how our troops have been mistreated by our government – some recent strips have portrayed performance as, according to Dyer, "lazy, cowardly Iraquis shun(ning) their duty… It is a shameful, childish lie."
Personally, I didn’t get quite the same drift, although I understand where Dyer is coming from. Garry Trudeau couldn’t be reached for comment, being too busy removing the shoe from the other foot.