Yes, we can tell it’s that time of year, because photos start showing up of you with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Yam.
Special thanks to Rebecca Badurina (she’s on the right) for providing photos and information.
I’m not the man I used to be. But comics aren’t what they once were, either.
Allow me to elaborate, on both myself and comics.
First, me. A looming godlike Presence — you can call him “Mr. Editor” — would like me to introduce myself. Well. I’ve gone past many of my Catholic boyhood shibboleths, but I’m still stuck with the one that insists that no Gentleman speaks favorably of himself — we’re supposed to be like medieval knights, only without all the skewering and clanking. Still, when a Looming godlike Presence commands… Okay, quick and dirty, I’ll tell you what I was.
Starting in 1965, when I took a job as Stan Lee’s assistant, I was in the comic book business. As a writer, I did hundreds of comics scripts, some of which got noticed. Also, I was an editor for 23 years, most recently of the Batman franchise, and, even more recently, a teacher of comic book writing, a job I still happily do. I’ve also written novels, non-fiction books, a few teleplays, a lot of short pieces, including stories, reviews and introductions. And columns — I’ve done those, too. And I’ve shot off my mouth in public quite a bit. That’s what I was. What I am, as these words are typed, is a semi-retired slug.
We cool, Mr. Presence?
Can a cult phenomenon be manufactured? In the case of Joss Whedon’s "Buffyverse," it helps to have a head start. The series has been off the air for almost three years, but it’s spawned legions of loyal fans salivating over, among other things, the Season 8 comic book debuting next month. And this coming Friday and Saturday, February 19-20, fans will gather at the IFC Center in NYC to celebrate the 26th birthday of their fictional heroine for two nights of trivia, games and a midnight showing of the Sing-A-Long episode of the TV show, led by IFC’s in-house live Buffy cast. Rumor has it tickets to the event go quickly, so can queuing up in costumes be far behind?
IESB reports that Gianni Nunnari will produce and Sylvain White will direct the next big-screen adaptation of a Frank Miller comic, Ronin. Nunnari, who owns the movie rights to the work and has a first look deal with Warner Bros., revealed this news at the press day for 300. (Via SuperHeroHype, Wilson Morales at blackfilm.com interviews White about his plans for the movie.)
This would seem to put pay to long-ago news of Darren Aronofsky co-writing and directing the film — except that, as Warren Ellis mentions, news that Nunnari would also be bringing Ellis’s and Chris Sprouse’s graphic novel Ocean to film is absolutely untrue. Says Ellis, "I imagine Mr. Nunnari was misheard, or misspoke and will correct himself shortly. No film company has ever attempted to purchase the media rights to Ocean, which are owned by Chris and myself."
Here is the full list of NYCC panels — seven pages printed out, which I needed to do in order to actually see the panel times because they didn’t show up against the black background on screen unless I first selected all the text. (This appears to have been fixed.)
To tell you the truth, I found more of interest on Friday than on the weekend days. Friday’s where they seem to be sticking all the "women and comics" panels. But why are they putting "Capturing Female Readers" opposite "Comics Bloggers" (Friday at 2:30 PM)? What are female comics bloggers supposed to do about that, huh? Considering that, I’d warrant, most new female comics fans are coming to the hobby via blogging, it’s just a weird counterprogramming move. "Mothers and Daughters: Female Graphic Novelists and the Family" (Friday at 6:30 PM) also sounds interesting, and it’s opposite Vertigo, which is not family friendly, and Stan Lee, who is not female, so that’s perhaps a good move.
Dave Roman reports that the annual Nickelodon Magazine "Best of Comics" issue his newsstands this week. The 52-page issue collects various comics from Nickelodon’s The Comic Book, including "Viking Crush" by Dan Abdo and "Idiom-tastic Animal Detectives", by Travis Nichols, both mentioned on the list of "100 Distinguished Comics" in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Comics 2006.
According to Dave, "Continuing the tradition of last year’s Best of Nick Mag comics, this latest collection will impress readers with an incredible variety of talent. You’ll discover work by groundbreaking comics creators such as Jordan Crane, Justin Green, Jason Lutes, James Kochalka, Michael Kupperman, Brian Ralph, Souther Salazar, Jason Shiga, Craig Thompson, Sara Varon, and many more. This special issue also spotlights several cartoonists and offers behind the scenes articles that are fun for the casual reader and a great resource for young artists."
For those who can’t tell the players without a scorecard, Joss Whedon fans have put together a comprehensive guide to the upcoming Buffy Season 8 comic series, including links to interviews with Whedon, announced series writers, and major plot points. Check back early and often.
Via Jessa at Bookslut, the folks at Nerve.com present their latest in a series of Sex Advice columns, Sex Advice from Comic Store Clerks. So someone must be getting some, or claiming they are at any rate. Good lord, is it NSFW (Not Safe For Work).
Also via Jessa: Graeme’s analysis of the Spidey "Loving Me Killed You" revelation about Mary Jane.
I feel somehow…unclean…
Colleen Doran reports on her blog that not only is she a featured guest at the New York Comic Con next month, but "I spoke with JMS recently, and yes, we will be going back to work on The Book of Lost Souls. I will spend the rest of the month of February wrapping up projects and then I very much look forward time with Jonathan and Mystery and the very creepy/sexy villains in the new storyline." Colleen will have art from the previous Lost Souls series with her at her NYCC booth.