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July 2023

Frazetta's Dark Kingdom (originally cover to Karl Edward Wagner's Kane novel "Dark Crusade") has sold for $6 million, making it the top amount paid for phantasy-comic book artworkArtnet

Frazetta’s Egyptian Queen (1969), which appeared on the cover of Eerie Magazine no. 23, previously held the record, after selling at Heritage for $5.4 million. The auctioneer has sold several Frazetta works in excess of $1 million, including Death Dealer 6 (1990) for $1.7 million and A Princess of Mars (1970) for $1.2 million.

Dark Kingdom Frazetta Parody

Parody by Kudzu


Indiana Jones $60 million start?Variety MSN

That’s a decent amount of money for a tentpole that’s aimed at older audiences, but “Indiana Jones 5,” one of the most expensive movies ever, cost $295 million before marketing. It’ll take a heroic feat, one that would test even an enduring legend like Indiana Jones, for the fifth installment in the decades-old franchise to become profitable in its theatrical run.

Indiana Jones V, like a number of other recently released films, is about time-travel, and like those other films (that have bombed) I imagine the production company wishes they could travel back in time and release the movie to a pre-pandemic audience where hitting a billion dollars (or at least clearing $600 million) in box office was much more easily done.


Fanboy Rampage: Erik Larsen Vs Roy ThomasBleeding Cool


All of the covers to Detective Comics in three volumes

Story at Batman-news

Not every cover is instantly recognizable, though, which is one of the things that makes digging through longboxes so fun. With over a thousand issues to its name, DC’s flagship series Detective Comics has had enough covers printed over the past nine decades that not even the most hardcore fans would be able to place them all, with images ranging from odd to iconic and everything in between.


Exclusive Mondo poster for PlayStation 5 game Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 at San Diego Comic-Con 2023Superherohype


Indy Five failure means "chaos" at Disney You Tube – This is saying there is warfare in the offices back at Disney over whether the people who made Indy Five are to blame, or if the publicity and marketing people are to blame. The film has just begun its run but already there is a major blame-game afoot, presumably the pressure is from the mounting list of flops coming out of Disney's various sub-brands, and worse yet, the stock price for Disney has fallen while the flops come out.

This at Deadline Hollywood says there's still a shot at a $60 to $80 million take for the opening earnings of Indiana Jones Dial Soap of Destiny over the 5-day July 4th weekend in the USA.


Gal Gadot on female-led moviesBoundingintocomics

...Gadot [rebuked] Hollywood’s misogyny narrative in regards to moviegoers, but she also recently rebuked Hollywood’s gender swapping trope. She told Total Film via Hollywood in Toto, “I wanted to show a great story about a female character who is doing it in the action genre. Right? She is thriving. But at the same time, how many times have they just switched gender? ....They take a story that all about the men and they just change it to a woman, and then go shoot it? To me, it was so important in the DNA to make Heart of Stone a little different, because men and women are different. They’re built differently, they operate differently," Gadot stated...


Well, this doesn't sound good

"Art of Ultron: AI looms over the comic book industry"

Story at Reuters

In February of 2023, the Copyright Office limited the scope of Kashtanova's copyright registration for "Zarya of the Dawn." It found that while certain elements of the comic book could be protected, the AI-generated art used therein was not. Although Kashtanova wrote the prompts, Midjourney "originated the 'traditional elements of authorship' in the images." Even Kashtanova's edits in Photoshop did not amount to a "sufficient amount of original authorship." However, Kashtanova was the author of "Zarya of the Dawn's" "text as well as the selection, coordination, and arrangement of the Work's written and visual elements. That authorship is protected by copyright."


stan

Roy Thomas reacts to Stan Lee DocumentaryHollywood Reporter

...beginning in the 1960s when the new “Marvel Comics Group” and its heroes erupted on the scene and gained pop-culture traction, he increasingly turned “Stan Lee” into a spokesman for comics in general, for Marvel in particular, and arguably for himself even more in particular. Stan Lee, as I knew him from mid-1965 till the end of his long life, was not a man with a fragile ego. Or, if fragile it was, it was far better shielded behind that winning smile and glib tongue than Tony Stark’s heart is behind Iron Man’s armor.

The real question, I suppose, is whether he deserved his status as the major creator of the so-called Marvel Universe.


Stan Lee exhibit coming for Comicon Museum

Story at KSWB


Kiersey Clemons says The Flash movie was cursed

News article summary at Superherohype and actual interview at Nylon

Clemons has an interesting insight into The Flash (she plays Iris West) because she started off in the DCU movies as a young actor in her early twenties in Snyder's Justice League then had her scenes cut out when Joss Whedon took over (and then put back in for Snyder's revisionist Justice League Snyder Cut), and since she is now thirty years old and has been working on The Flash during its long and tortured production with multiple directors since being announced in 2014 (The Flash was originally scheduled for a 2018 release) she's an eyewitness to the whole saga of the largest bombing movie of 2023 (so far!)

“Only a few days ago, I was wanting to just disappear into the abyss because The Flash fans are making me feel terrible about myself, I was just really going through it. Crying all day ....

If you want to read about the difficult path to theatres for The Flash this Gizmodo article has a timeline with highlights of all the speed bumps and crashes.


Valiant comics teaming up with Alien Books for 2024 publishing schedulecomicbook


Former Marvel publisher Shirrel Rhoades bringing out "never-seen superhero content" by Stan Lee

Reads like a promotional piece at Benzinga


Here Comes Indiana Jones V

Indiana Jones Dial Soap of Destiny is now launched into 4,600 movie theatres (and presumably is the last one with eighty-year-old Harrison Ford who starred in all of the previous Indy films) and that means there's enough seats to make a lot of money before one of several scenarios play out:

  1. bad word-of-mouth spreads echoing what the various film critics say, ie., the film is lousy.
  2. its a fun but "not perfect" film, then maybe the weight of the past movies popularity* and the marketing blitz will overcome a lot of the problems and Indy 5 gets a $500 to $800 million take.
  3. the most unlikely twist, but it happens from time to time, the film is actually quite good and pleasing and the film critics just can't parse it because, well, they're Film Critics.

* Though people give Crystal Skull a lot of kicks for either being bad or mediocre, it was the second highest earning film of 2008. Only Nolan's Dark Knight made more money.


Some Box Office June 30, 2023

Films ranked by earnings:

  • $825,549,316 Worldwide - Guardians of the Galaxy III
  • $711,985,029 Worldwide - Fast X
  • $571,566,727 Worldwide - Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • $503,682,613 Worldwide - Little Mermaid
  • $346,188,360 Worldwide - Transformers Rise of the Beasts
  • $217,550,850 Worldwide - The Flash
  • $130,429,878 Worldwide - Elemental
  • $20,661,605 Worldwide - Asteroid City
  • $7,200,000 Worldwide - Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • Recently finished in theatres:

  • $2,320,250,281 Worldwide - Avatar: The Way of Water
  • $1,307,168,400 Worldwide - The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • $463,616,575 Worldwide - Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  • $427,259,159 Worldwide - John Wick: Chapter 4
  • $207,954,502 Worldwide - Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
  • $133,438,006 Worldwide - Shazam! Fury of the Gods
  • $25,326,625 Worldwide - Renfield

The Polecat

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The "Wild West" of comic book retailingComicsbeat

What happens when we move from having a single monopoly to having three different ones? Well, in many cases, costs rise precipitously for most retailers...

I’m also deeply concerned how this further solidifies a move towards Tuesday street dates, given how much effort that stores have put into branding Wednesdays as New Comics Day. Further, currently there are many reports of stores all over simply putting out new comics as they receive them (often as early as the Thursday before), and there doesn’t appear to be any enforcement mechanisms in place, let alone any significant efforts to distinguish between legitimate brick-and-mortar stores, and fans setting up wholesale accounts. We’re moving even faster now from a reasonably stable system to the Wild West where “anything goes....”


So DC/Warner movies will have two different Batmen?Game Rant MSN The Two Batmen


James Gunn has picked a new Superman: David Corenswet

Story at Hollywood Reporter MSN


Black Widow would-be-director says Marvel Movies 'Poor Taste'

Story at Variety MSN


Scarlett Johansson will be doing Transformers cinemablend


More bad news:

Comic sales continue to declineBounding into Comics


Charles Shulz home for sale, doesn't include any Peanuts artSF Gate - MSN


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Verdusa Spider Tee

Verdusa Spider Tee – Amazon


Original page July 2, 2023