The Mix : What are people talking about today?
Even though some of us think that superhero stories would be swellerific if only it weren’t for those bad guys, that notion flies out the window when a villain — or a villain to be — is given such a consistently nuanced and rich portrayal. The actor who does that for Lex Luthor on Smallville (and whom many consider one of the best aspects of that show), Michael Rosenbaum, has confirmed that he will be departing the series at the end of next year’s season.
Even though that’s a long way away, viewers are doubtless already wondering who if anyone could take Rosenbaum’s place, and speculating that, if the show’s creators are wise, they’ll wrap up the entire series next year and go out with a bang. Of course, it’s based on comics, so you could always have Lex die and be resurrected as another actor…
With Christopher Eccleston making such a big hit in Heroes, one could scarcely have imagined anyone else that could have brought forth the intensity and range to the first season of the revived Dr. Who series. Well, David Tennant, of course, who’s done a bang-up job on Series 2 and (from what we hear) 3 and is wonderfully easy on the eyes to boot. But — Hugh Grant?
According to Paul Hayes at Outpost Gallifrey, "actor Hugh Grant has expressed his regret at not taking on the role of the Doctor when the BBC Wales production team offered it to him on the off-chance back in 2004." Grant is quoted as saying, "I was offered the role of The Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered… "The danger with those things is that it’s only when you see it on the screen that you think, ‘Damn, that was good, why did I say no?’" Grant doesn’t rule out future guest shots, though: "I’m in talks about a one-off role. I’d prefer to be a baddie. They’re always much more fun to play." The possibilities are a bit overwhelming. Not to mention the setup lines.
Of course, Hugh had already played the Doctor previously, in the Comic Relief benefit piece, The Curse of Fatal Death, co-starring Rowan Atkinson, Jonathan Pryce and Joanna Lumley.
The New York Comic Con is beginning to look like San Diego East. Expect lots of stuff that’s comics-related but isn’t necessarily graphic storytelling on paper.
Case in point: ICv2 reports on Starz Home Entertainment’s presence at the con, where they’ll ill screen the second direct-to-DVD Hellboy movie, Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron, on Saturday morning at 10:30, and sponsor a panel featuring Mike Mignola later in the day. Starz is also sponsoring a panel featuring Stan Lee at 1 pm on Saturday, where Stan-the-Man will discuss his animated shows that Starz is distributing on DVD.
Wizard has a nice overview of DC’s upcoming weekly series Countdown, including an interview with head writer Paul Dini, who will supervise other writers (including Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Tony Bedard and Adam Beechen) plus a revolving cadre of artists (including Jesus Saiz, Jim Calafiore, Carlos Magno and David Lopez) working over Keith Giffen breakdowns, the same way that the company’s current wildly popular 52 is arranged. Buzz and expectations are already high for this one, and it isn’t even coming out until May!
For those who still can’t get enough, Newsarama has an interview with DC Senior VP-Executive Editor Dan Didio and Senior Editor Mike Marts (who will be editing the series) talking about the project in greater detail. The first block of four covers will be done by Andy Kubert and Tim Townsend. This is a very big deal for those of us who’ve only ever seen Tim’s magnificent and award-winning inking work at DC’s "crosstown rivals."
Have you ever seen a Venn diagram? Here’s an example:
John Venn first published these diagrams in 1880, although similar diagrams were used up to a century earlier. In the above example, the adjectives "happy," "short" and "male" all intersect in the middle, with overlaps also occurring between happy short females and sad short males and so on.
I’ve long thought of my life as a series of intersecting Venn diagrams, overlapping and looping back across time and friendships. For as long as I’ve been socialized I’ve been a joiner, but once I discovered pop culture I both narrowed and widened my spheres of comradery. David Cassidy fandom was probably first; although he was a major media star in the early ’70s, it was the age before personal computers, when paper ruled in the form of fan magazines and newsletters and penpals. At one point I had about 150 penpals (it was okay, stamps were only about 6¢ each in those days), about half of whom were Cassidy fans. We considered ourselves part of a secret cult, sharing a special bond that nobody else could understand.
Because connections in those days were much slower and lower-key than today (and entertainment choices considerably fewer), they were sustained longer. Where today someone could be branded a pariah within the space of a few hours for committing a faux pas an in online fan group, it took months for me to be kicked out of David Cassidy fan clubs for daring to suggest we were all gaga over a fictional media creation and that was still okay. Or maybe these leisure activities just seem more leisurely in nostalgic retrospect. Perhaps everyone thinks the hobby or media crush they were into as kids is more intense than the same interests seem to them later in life.
Good news from our friends at ICv2 — the rise in sales of periodical comics last year is continuing, thanks largely to event comcis like Marvel’s Civil War and DC’ 52. There was a less than 5% drop between Civil War #s 5 and 6, and the most recent issue sold more than twice as much as the #2 title (another Civil War tie-in), Civil War Return.
As expected, Marvel titles constituted 7 out of the top 10 best-selling titles and 15 out of the top 25. Six titles sold over 100,000 units to retailers, and the next six sold above 90,000, including four issues of the weekly 52. Full details at ICv2!
Marvelous May, DC’s scheduling nightmare, Stan Lee and tons of news and previews — we it all in the fourth Comicmix Podcast, now downloadable right here, right now:
Plus — Timeline, a guide to new variant covers, a reveal on Battlestar Galactica, Buffy and … John Wayne?