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Archive Page 2180

August 2023

Bill Griffith's bio of comic strip Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller, and exploration of his world of ink and paper

Story at Washington Post

Some comic strips become indecipherable to audiences outside of their own cultural era, but Bushmiller's Nancy doesn't often have that problem, instead the "gags" are as relevant today as they were when first hatched during Bushmiller's long run from 1925 to 1982.

[Nancy's] newfound viral fame came thanks to an internet meme, known as "Sluggo is lit," that drew on a panel from her eponymous comic, an unexpected but not entirely surprising development for a character who was, by that point, more than 80 years old. "Nancy" the iconic American comic strip had generated headlines months earlier when it inherited its first-ever female creator, the pseudonymous Olivia Jaimes, who draws with a sincere appreciation of the man who created Nancy and shaped her world for more than a half-century: the late Ernie Bushmiller. Legions of Jaimes’s fellow cartoonists hold Bushmiller in the highest professional esteem, among them Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden, who in 2017 published their deep-dive paean to Bushmiller, "How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels." Also among the most vocal industry fans is "Zippy the Pinhead" creator Bill Griffith, who told me in 2018: "In ‘Nancy,’ Ernie Bushmiller created his own reality, where everything is wholly his and the world as we know it has been reduced to its essentials — there’s a Zen-like mastery of form." Griffith expanded on that thesis: "It’s a messy, lumpy, chaotic world we live in, and it’s hard to make sense of it all. But not for Ernie Bushmiller. All he needs are one fence, a tree and three rocks" — a reference to the visually efficient and clean aesthetic of Bushmiller’s "Nancy" strips. "Unlike a justly venerated classic like ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Nancy’ doesn’t tell us much about what it’s like to be a kid. Instead, ‘Nancy’ tells us what it’s like to be a comic strip."

The Nancy strip is one of the dozen or so comic strips that can have vast portions of its library republished today on the internet and still connect effectively with a contemporary audience. Often Bushmiller's gags and treatment of Nancy's world is based on the simple family dynamic of Nancy living with her Aunt Fritzi Ritz, her interactions with on-again-off-again boyfriend Sluggo, and the character of Nancy's re-interpretation of things she sees in her comic-strip world and especially the demands/limitations put on her by her Aunt, which Nancy then follows in a rather eccentric way. Bushmiller's joking often requires a re-interpretation of literal meanings, so word-play is often as important as the clean-lined world shown in the (usually) three panel stories.

Krypto for Superman Legacy?Superherohype

The November 2023 Marvel coming comics

Story at Yahoo Finance

"Batman Immersive" experience in LondonDigital Spy MSN

Season Two of Son of Zorn cancelledComicbook

Batman fan has massive 8,227 piece collection

Story at UPI Press International [English]

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Amazing Spider-Man #32: Spider-Man is now evil

Story at Yahoo News UK

What were the hits, and misses, of the 2023 Summer Box Office Season?UK Guardian

It was the summer of Barbie and Oppenheimer but it was mostly the summer of Barbenheimer, the unlikely double bill of comically opposed movies that turned competition into collaboration. Millions decided to see them both on opening weekend and continued to do so in the weeks after, allowing for a rare global duopoly. While Barbie’s box office remains a momentous achievement, it was the $722m (and counting) made by a 3-hour period drama that really shook the industry, a biopic welcomed like a superhero movie.

A fairly balanced review of the season with attention made to the bombs and near-bombs but also the "hardly a hit, but not tanking either" films like the Mission Impossible 7 Dead Reckoning.

NPR "Blue Beetle is a surprise"

17 Minute Audio "article" at NPR

Batman film spin-off featuring Nightwing is KaputClutchpoints MSN

Movie audiences are bored to death of superhero universesNew York Post

...For a long while, though, Spidey, Batman and Rey were the beloved saviors of cinemas. Since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 with “Iron Man,” entertainment has been clobbered by Napoleonic, sprawling, interconnected, franchises of films and TV series that, while sexy and novel at first, have become unbearable. They’ve gone from a stimulating puzzle to a 7:30 a.m. college course; from epic to laughable; from obligatory viewing to “wait ‘til it’s on streaming”; from printing money to begging for it.

The Flash movie bombed, but the Michael Keaton tie-in toy prospered

Story at Cinema Blend MSN

How the Hollywood strikes could help out superhero moviesMSN The Wrap

How the streaming business is changing and they're adding advetisements to the platformsHollywood Reporter

The Flash movie turns out to have cost another $100 million more to make than was first reportedMSN We Got This Covered

Todd McFarlane is selling parts of his Convention booth, why?

Story at Comicbook

Marv Wolfman comes back to Marvel for a Tomb of Dracula one-shot What If? story

Story at Superherohype and promo article at Marvel

What If? Dark: Tomb of Dracula #1, written by Marv Wolfman, art by David Cutler and Scott Hanna. Cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Goes on sale November 8, 2023.

Wolverine co-creator Rob Liefeld's "horrified" at Deadpool concept art from the 2009 X-Men Origins: WolverineMSN Screenrant

Deadpool and Wolverine are meeting up again in Deadpool #3

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Original page August 21, 2023