Comic Book Brain
The Tashen Marvel Comics Book Library

Archive Page 2178

August 2023

"The summer of toys"Hollywood Reporter

The Barbie movie success has produced a surge in toy sales (along with the latest Transformers move, which did alright, boxoffice-wise) but on the other hand, no surprise, The Flash, etc., hasn't materialized a toy bonanza.

More Toy Summer

The Legend of the Affleck Batman Script

Director Matt Reeves of the Pattinson The Batman film talks about his reactions to the Affleck Batman script and whether he could, or could not, direct itDesimartini

The Affleck script for the not-made Batman film is assuming legendary status as more time passes between the Snyder DCU era and the present, with the string of cinema bombs left by Warners to divide the distance, and so the Snyder-Affleck-Cavill era begins to have a bit of a golden glow around it, because however much the box office may have disappointed Warners back then, it is nothing compared to the catastrophic losses incurred since. Marvel and DC movie productions unreasonably got into a situation where they're all supposed to make a billion dollars and reality refused to participate in that illusion.

The Hive comic book store, the oldest in West Texas, to close down Aug 27thHouston Chronicle

How DC updated Charlton comic charactersMSN CBR

The mystery of why did Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, disappear?

Two new books are coming out from Watterson - one new, one a Calvin and Hobbes Compendium. From the article at American Conservative: "...when Watterson’s publisher announced his first new book in nearly thirty years. The Mysteries is a “modern fable” with illustrations by the caricaturist John Kascht. At seventy-two pages, the book itself is a slight thing, in no way a return to the daily grind of the funny pages. It is being sold exclusively in print. And, typical of Watterson, press access is limited."

Story at American Conservative and at Daily Cartoonist

Too frequently, however, was his seclusion interrupted by nosy fans. In 1998, a reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer staked out Watterson’s house in Chagrin Falls. He caught the cartoonist on the front lawn and the two debated, off the record, the nature of privacy. Watterson made his points forcefully. “He wanted to debate,” the reporter recalled. “It was almost collegiate.” In 2003, Cleveland Scene sent another reporter to Watterson’s neighborhood, who also returned empty-handed. That same year, Gene Weingarten, then as now the Washington Post’s resident nerd, flew to Cleveland and posted up in a hotel room, with a message sent through Watterson’s parents, accompanied by the bribe of a rare comic book, declaring that until he was granted an interview, he would not leave. But Watterson had no interest in comics, rare or otherwise. The next day, his editor at Andrews McMeel, Lee Salem, told Weingarten to fly back to Washington."

Marvel Studios removes Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch from Official MCU Timeline BookComicbook

This seems kinda far-fetched

"Deadpool 3 is Marvel Studios' last hope"

Story at Movie Web - lots of speculation in the article

Matt Reeves' Batman II is moving forwardMSN Screenrant

Disney shuts down Singapore animation

Story at Bounding into Comics

Ant-Man / Scott Lang fictional "tell all" memoir Look Out for the Little GuySuperherohype

Published under the Disney-owned Hyperion Avenue label.

Batman is a fascist! All three versions of Blue Beetle

Story at Games Radar

Nia DaCosta says that superhero fatigue is a real thing but her new movie The Marvels can beat it by being "wacky"The Wrap MSN

Is Disney/Marvel caught in a cycle of self-deconstruction?

Headline "priceless comics fly off the shelves" – no its not a shoplifters story

Story at Daily Herald

If you had an extra $25,000, you could have bought a lower graded and popular Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book from 1962, which features the first appearance of Spider-Man, being sold by Tray Curtsinger of the Dangerously Terrific Comics.

Marvel Waterpark and Resort plannedForbes

Martin Scorsese said Marvel movies are really just theme parks instead of cinema, and this kind of news doesn't exactly work against that argument.

Quick Review: Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning

Tom Cruise and his production team must have planned on stellar international box office because certain segments of the film feature slowed-down dialogue, repetition and pretty extensive exposition to make sure we (the international audience, many of whom would be enjoying the film with subtitles) understand what's going on and who the bad guys are.

More Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning

Stan Lee and the "Exploitative Industry" of comic books

Article at The Nation acts as a rebut to the documentary Stan Lee that Disney+ began streaming on June 16. From the article: "...this is a work of corporate propaganda designed to promulgate the idea that the Marvel superheroes were primarily the creation of Lee in his capacity as editor, with artists like Ditko and Kirby merely carrying out his vision."

The article focuses on a major logical explanation for the corporate fudging of facts: if Stan Lee is the master creator among lessor creators, he acts as a shield as a corporate employee against the claims of original creation by the freelancers outside of that corporate shield. I.e., it's a dodge to escape responsibility toward the original creators.

...if comics are breaking people now, they have been doing so for a long time. The American comic book industry was created in the 1930s by figures like Harry Donenfeld and Jack Leibowitz, early powerhouses at DC Comics, who were one degree away from being gangsters. With a background in bootlegging and “racy” semi-pornographic pulp magazines, the foundational comic book publishers ran low-rent, fly-by-night operations, with little scruple about granting any more rights to cartoonists than they had to.

...[Stan] Lee’s self-promotion often gets chalked up to egotism. But there is an economic motive that is perhaps more important than his undeniable tendency to peacock. Lee joined Marvel Comics ... Lee proved supremely useful to Goodman and future owners of Marvel because he stood as a shield against claims by freelancers. If Marvel could claim that Lee, as editor, was the creator of their work, then freelancers had no rights. Aside from a few bumpy years later in life, Lee maintained ties with Marvel till the end. When Marvel was fighting Kirby in court, they had Lee as their prize witness.

The exploitative element of comicbookdom

I've been reading about the comic book industry since the mid-1970s, and the drum beat of how the business can, well, fail a person, has been persistent.

In the broad view, the distance between comic books and the rest of the art world narrows considerably once you compare the conditions of both, which is to say, it is the same thing: failure and the exploitation by non-artists of artists is a standard feature of the art world.

The more narrow view, though, is that the industry has often been operated in an unscrupulous manner, though usually legal, but with that horrifying paradigm of this: bitter "old" comic book vets warning incoming comic book practitioners with "get out now while you're still young."

How can this be? Because the professional comic book world of artists and writers is rather small, there is the reachable level of earning a living, and in enough cases, earning an above average financial reward, which helps spur on the developing writers and artists, and this is in addition to the sheer obsessive love for the medium which many artists and writers have (or at least had).

There's also the "club" of the professional comic book world that keeps out the people they don't want, and helps props up people that have good connections but are otherwise "past their prime" or are, perhaps, simply not good at it and cannot generate sales on their own outside of a teamup with other, "better," artists and writers.

In this way the comic book world has the same slippery ethics of every other industry which "protects its own" and this smacks of an old-fashioned medieval guild, but whether this is a sum negative or perhaps the best the industry can manage to help insulate creators from the raw realities, I don't know.

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Original page August 21, 2023