Here's something non-spoiler-y: According to the LA Times, Warner Bros. is distributing religious Man of Steel resource packs to pastors who want to include lessons from Man of Steel in their sermons. You can see what those lessons entail at the Man of Steel Ministry Resource site.
Now. If you're looking for a spoiler-free review of Man of Steel, you can find my review right here. After the trailer, I'm going to be talking about the climax of Man of Steel. Let me repeat: You should assume that everything after the trailer is made out of spoilers. (I'll get back to that ministry thing after the jump, too.)
(In the film section this week, you can find my review of Man of Steel, which I had to shear down to 300 words to fit the constraints of print. But since the internet doesn't have a word count, I thought I'd share my full Man of Steel review here. This review, as in the one in the film section, is spoiler-free. I really want to talk about spoilers, but I'll save that for a clearly marked post early next week.)
Even though he’s the original superhero—let’s for a moment pretend Doc Savage doesn’t exist, for simplicity’s sake—Superman might be the single hardest superhero to get right. We’ve heard all the complaints a million times before: He’s too powerful. He’s too pure. He’s too earnest. He belongs to an America that doesn’t exist anymore. First, the complainers probably haven’t read Grant Morrison’s excellent 2005-2008 comic series All-Star Superman, which gave us a positively positive, folksy-but-godlike Kansas farmboy who could create whole universes and fend off intergalactic threats without breaking a sweat and still managed to tell a terrific story. Second, let it be said that Henry Cavill, in The Man of Steel, proves those doubters wrong by giving great Superman: He grins a lot, flashing a great big wide welcoming smile that would leave Batman rolling his eyes. And he moves like he’s indestructible. This is a man who doesn’t fear stubbing a toe or, say, getting hit by a mack truck, but he is always slightly worried about accidentally crushing these delicate fleshy humans all around him.
And as you probably already suspected, Amy Adams is a wonderful Lois Lane, a gutsy, smart reporter guided by a strong sense of justice. And Michael Shannon, who is the closest thing to a Christopher Walken our generation is going to get, is a great, creepy General Zod, the nightmare side of the Superman coin: Godlike power honed with military discipline and a pragmatic worldview that puts Kryptonian lives above all else. (And since the score is such a vital part of this film, let's take a second to mention here with the major players that Man of Steel's score, by Hans Zimmer, is absolutely incredible. Superman's main theme is rousing and catchy and completely original. Most modern film composers could learn a lot by locking themselves in a room with Zimmer's work for a month or two.)
The goal with the film is obviously to pull a Batman Begins for DC Comics’ most recognizable intellectual property. They’ve even got most of the Begins team together behind the scenes: David S. Goyer wrote the script, and Christopher Nolan produces. But while Begins delivered a few surprises and felt like a layered reimagining of the Batman story, Man of Steel glosses over the same story beats we all know by heart.
We open on Krypton, which seems to be intentionally the opposite of the cinematic Krypton we’ve already seen: While Marlon Brando’s Jor-El walked around a pristine crystal palace, Russell Crowe’s Jor-El frets over a dusty, brown-and-grey desert land, replete with dinosaur-like creatures and incredibly phallic machinery. (Some of the Kryptonian design feels like floor-model H.R. Giger leavings.) We get to see some of Kal-El's childhood in Kansas and his God-bless-America upbringing by the Kents (a could-be-better Kevin Costner and Diane Lane). We very briefly meet Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) and the rest of the Daily Planet masthead before Zod is introduced into the plot and the movie becomes a straight-on conflict. There’s none of the nimble self-awareness or ingenious reinvention of Christopher Nolan’s first Batman movie, only good-guy-versus-bad-guy schematics that play out just about the way you figure they will.
So it looks like a couple of people were taking pictures of cosplaying women at comic book conventions and then selling pillows with photographs of the women printed on them. The pillows are no longer for sale. This story gets creepier and creepier the more you think about it.
I've Slogged about the upcoming salary dispute between Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel's movie-making division. It looks like Marvel wants to treat the talent in their films the same way they do the talent in their comics: Interchangeable, in service of the intellectual property. But that's going to be a harder sell with movies than it is with comic books, especially since it looks like Avengers director (and upcoming Marvel TV show Agents of SHIELD developer) Joss Whedon is in Downey's corner:
He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can. The day he was cast, I went up to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige and said, “You brilliant son of a bitch.”
It's a pretty great interview, and you should read it all. Whedon also talks about how he hates that there are no female-led superhero movies on the horizon:
It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
Matt Smith has announced that he's leaving Doctor Who. I'm not a big enough Who fan to thoughtfully suggest new Doctors—I've only ever seen the Eccleston season all the way through—but local novelist Matt Ruff has a pretty great suggestion:
So I've given it some thought and I've decided #thenewdoctorwho should be Lena Dunham, with Grumpy Cat as her companion.
— Matt Ruff (@bymattruff) June 2, 2013
Yes! The internet would love it!
It's the last Friday of the month, and that means it's time for Slog Nerd Happy TONIGHT at Raygun Lounge!
The Raygun Lounge opens at 5pm, and Slog Nerd Happy commences shortly thereafter. Come hang out, have a beer, play a game! See you there!
The film sets from the original Star Wars movie are just sitting there in Tunisia, rotting away. They're kind of beautiful.
(Thanks to Slog tipper Ben.)
Though it's hard to write meaningfully about Star Trek Into Darkness without spoiling anything—it's packed with surprises—this review will be spoiler-free. Which means I have to keep the specifics about the plot to a minimum. (I'll do a spoiler-filled review after everyone gets a chance to see the movie this weekend.) So here goes: The crew of the Enterprise runs up against a mysterious man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch, a delight of growling disdain) and then they find themselves drawn into a much larger conflict that could imperil the entire United Federation of Planets. As is shown in the trailers and on the poster for the movie, the Enterprise suffers a considerable amount of damage along the way.
So let's start with the good news: With one unfortunate exception, the actors are all growing pleasantly into their roles. Some of them (Chris Pine as Kirk, Simon Pegg as Scotty) choose to riff on the performances of Star Trek: The Original Series actors while wisely not hewing to staid impersonations. Zachary Quinto's eerily exact Spock feels less like a perfect copy of ST:TOS Spock and more a kind of seance—is it insulting to say that this is the role he was born to play? And Karl Urban's DeForest Kelley schtick, all bad metaphors and outraged puffery, is hambone acting at its finest, which makes sense, because no one in their right minds would want to watch an understated interpretation of Bones. Of all the actors in rebooted roles, Zoe Saldana gets shortest shrift. Her Uhura is an embarrassment, the highest-profile female character in the movie pushed to the periphery, only earning a line when it's time for her to react to men, never truly getting a great moment of her own.
And now for the bad news: There's very little trekking in this Star Trek. Outside of a pre-credits taste of interstellar adventure involving a dilemma around that classic Star Trek saw, the Prime Directive, way too much of this movie is set on Earth or is simply floating, semi-stationary, in outer space. The script from Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof doesn't get the point of Star Trek, really: It's too petty and small and uninterested in adventure. A silly little analogy to current events wraps the movie in the wrong tone, and the pacing, with a series of tense, exciting action scenes layered between some very long expository passages, is downright weird. Star Trek Into Darkness is a pretty thing to look at—the 3D is decent, but by no means necessary for enjoyment of the movie—but it's just so dumb and uninterested in the possibilities of the premise that it feels like a waste. And one of my favorite parts of the 2009 Star Trek reboot, the commitment to comedic adventure, fails to materialize here. This movie is too busy dwelling in darkness to remember that Star Trek should be about optimism and aspirations and fun, and that's a goddamned shame.
Pitch Black was a fun little pulpy creature feature. I think I tried to watch The Chronicles of Riddick once, but I certainly didn't get all the way through. Now, nine years later, the third movie starring Vin Diesel as Riddick is about to be released. It's titled Riddick. Here's a trailer:
Is it me, or did that trailer feel like five times longer than it really was?
The PINTO tag at Suicide Blonde brings Kirk/Spock slash fiction into the age of the .gif, and it's totally fucking adorable.
(Thanks to Twitter user The Amateur Cineaste for turning me on to this.)
As promised/warned, here is the first official teaser/trailer for the most awesome, yet annoying to type, show of the fall season Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And it features every fanboy's current fave, Coulson. And his car! And somebody punching somebody else in the face with fire, I think? I dunno. Life moves fast when you're with the annoying to type Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D! (That's why you should also read io9's report on "Every single clue hidden inside the Agents of SHIELD trailer!")
Deadline Hollywood has a great piece up right now about how Marvel Comics' notoriously cheap business practices are running headlong into actors who feel they're worth more than they're getting for starring in Marvel's wildly profitable movies.
The issue going forward is how many of the Avengers stars and starlets are still bound by early agreements and longterm options which Marvel can continue to exploit individually. To counter, I’ve learned the Avengers cast are becoming united behind Robert Downey Jr who is seen as the “leader” – like “a big brother” in the words of one rep - for all the younger actors in the ensemble. “He’s the only guy with real power in this situation. and balls of steel, too. He’s already sent a message that he’s not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like shit,” one source explains. Another rep tells me, “I have four words for Marvel – ‘Fuck you, call Robert.’” As Downey himself has said publicly about his $50M-plus payday, ”I’m what’s known as a strategic cost,” adding that Marvel is “so pissed” he earned that much.
It's funny—this almost exactly mirrors the way that Marvel has mistreated comics creators for decades now. (Read Sean Howe's excellent Marvel Comics: The Untold Story for more information about the history of Marvel's shameful history with artists and writers.) But unlike comics, where Marvel successfully bet that fans wouldn't care who was drawing Iron Man as long as Iron Man comics came out every month, I don't think an Iron Man 4 starring, say, Joel Edgerton as Tony Stark will be breaking any box office records, although it might still be a profitable movie. Could you imagine an Avengers 2 with an almost-entirely new cast? This issue, rather than superhero fatigue, might wind up being the thing that upends the Marvel Comics movie universe.
Since it's in the bizarre position of being the third film in one series and the seventh in the larger Marvel Comics movie universe, the average viewer will probably enter Iron Man 3 with at least two questions: With its focus on a solo superhero, can it possibly outdo the over-the-top team geekfest that was Joss Whedon's Avengers? Or will it at least be better than the property-management-obsessed mess that was Iron Man 2? The answers: Of course not, and, oh my God, so much better.
New Iron Man writer-director Shane Black treats Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark as less of a superhero than a jittery cross between James Bond and Thomas Edison, a wholly American, tech-obsessed adventurer. But he's got a sensitive side: Stark is suffering anxiety attacks after saving the world at the end of The Avengers, and his nervousness manifests as a lack of sleep, a compulsion for building dozens of new suits of armor, and an inability to be close with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, surprisingly likable)...
Slog tipper Tim asks, "Are we going to stand for this depiction of Seattle?" Tim was linking to a Slate story from yesterday headlined "Seattle Is Overrun With People Who Dress Up Like Superheroes and Cause Trouble." Here's a sample paragraph:
Seattle, being a somewhat silly place, is the home town of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a group of eccentric citizens who roam the streets wearing homemade superhero costumes, occasionally attempting to stop crime but mostly posing for photographs. Last year, several of the Rain City members inserted themselves into the protests, attempting to stop the anarchists from causing trouble. The independent review on May Day 2012 found that the superheroes just made things worse: “Rain City Superhero Movement individuals were allowed to participate in the melee at 1010 5th Avenue (U.S. Appeals Federal Courthouse). Their participation resulted in allegations of assaults/crimes.”
I'm ordinarily the first person to come to Seattle's defense when a journalist pokes fun at Seattle's provincialism. But the answer to your question, Tim, is that there is no defense for this shit. Our city deserves every ounce of ridicule that it gets for tolerating—and even, on the media's behalf, encouraging—these sad little children LARPing their little-kid fantasies all over the city. This is one case where a little street harassment could do some good; I'd love to see an entire block of Seattleites shouting "GROW UP" at these preening fuckwits as they mosey around feeling good about themselves.
Phoenix Jones trolls the parts of town where drunk people mill about after bars close, looking for a fight and calling it heroism. He causes more problems than he solves. I have no problem with him wandering around Emerald City Comicon acting like a celebrity, but the people of Seattle need to let him know that he's not welcome on our streets until he puts on his big-kid pants and behaves like a responsible citizen. The anarchist clowns silly-stringing Phoenix and his dress-up fanboys was a good start, but if you can think of any legal, nonviolent ways to shame these jackoffs into retirement, I'm all ears.
Did you know that the word "superhero" is jointly owned by Marvel and DC Comics, and that anyone else who uses the word is likely to get a cease and desist order? There's a suit to change that fact, but it's going nowhere fast, The New York Daily News explains.
Ray Felix grew up idolizing Spider-Man, Batman and other stars of Marvel and DC Comics. But when he created his own superheroes, the companies he once loved became his archenemies.
Felix' battle with the comic conglomerates began after he registered his online comic series "A World Without Superheroes" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Marvel and DC opposed the move on the grounds that the companies own the trademark on the word "superhero." Almost two years later, the case is still awaiting a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board.
Felix says he knows he'll probably lose, which is a safe bet when you're battling an unholy consortium of lawyers from both Time Warner and Disney. But still: This is bullshit.
As of today, your Kinect is now good for something: You can use it to place Pizza Hut orders through your XBox. That is all.
Iron Man 3 is almost here, but it's not the only Marvel movie coming out this year: In November, the Thor sequel, The Dark World, will be released. Here's a trailer:
Visiting New York two weeks ago, I wandered into the great gallery of Ed Winkleman and found the works of Shane Hope.
The hype of Hope is strong.
He creates his own 3D printers to make his boggling works, about which:
Accelerating progress in nanometer-scale science and technology continues to expand the toolkit with which we can eventually assemble things from the atom up. This will potentially give rise to nearly costless systems for controlling the structure of matter itself.
The statement about Hope's exhibition grows more byzantine and absurd as it progresses, in a hilarious mirroring of what happens when you fall into the batty surfaces of the works.
Forever optimistic, Hope puts forth these pieces as plans for playborground ball pits of pure operationality all about an atomic admin access-privs picturesque.
In Hope’s own words, “So run this, for here’s how you in the form of pathetic-prophetic techno-poetics for reals forge future’s futures: nano-nonobjective-oriented ontographic scribblin’ on scriptable-scalable species-tool-beings... metacompetitive metabolisms of things-executin’-things-executin’-things-executin’-things…”
Got it. The gallery web site is here, and more pictures are on the jump.
But you should pre-order it anyway!
Did you like Devil in the White City? Of course you did. Who doesn't? Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America was a guidebook published for visitors to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Daniel Burnham might've picked it up, though he's never once mentioned (the book was written before we began to worship architects as artists). H. H. Holmes's hotel might've rated a mention, had it been built when the book was composed. If you're a DitWC fan, this book will complement your enjoyment of Larsen's.
CBDN guides potential visitors to "free and easy" shows, saloons, carousels, masquerades, and other fun things to do away from the Fair itself. It's a fascinating artifact of the late 19th Century, when any woman who flirted with a man on the street might be an "adventuress" who planned to take him for all he was worth, via blackmail, the badger game, or the panel room. A taste from that chapter, with our notes after the jump:
The term adventuress is applied to women of careless reputation who, being much too smart to endure the ignominious career of professional demi-mondaines, resort to various shrewd schemes to fleece the unwary. Some of their class work in concert with male partners, and in such cases the selected victim generally becomes an easy prey. The confidence man may be dangerous; the confidence woman, if she be well educated and bright, as well as pretty, is irresistible except with the most hardened and unsusceptible customers. The shrewdest old granger of them all, who steers safely through the shoals and traps set for him by male sharpers, will go down like the clover before the scythe under a roguish glance, as it were, from a “white wench’s black eye,” as Mercutio said.
There is no mortal man in this universe of ours, be he never so homely or ill-favored, who does not cherish in his heart of hearts the impression that there is a woman or two somewhere whom he could charm if he wished to. It is the spirit of masculine vanity that forms the material upon which the adventuress may work. With the art of an expert she sizes up the dimensions of her victim’s vanity the instant she has made his acquaintance and plays upon it to just the extent she deems expedient and profitable. If it were not for masculine vanity, the American adventuress could not exist.
Along with my colleague Paul Durica, I've introduced, edited and annotated this fascinating bit of history. Some key features you might like: lots of dirty jokes, along with serious economic history (the chapter on gambling, for instance, includes the Chicago Board of Trade as just another way to lose your shirt, along with back-alley craps games or faro banks in saloons). Reminders of how cities change, and how they stay the same. Very cool illustrations, and lots of double-entendres (watch for the "delicious lays").
But all in the service of scholarship. Pre-order! Use the code DURICA13 for a discount.
Today at Disney’s CinemaCon presentation, the studio announced that beginning in 2015 we’ll see a new Star Wars movie every summer. The plan is to begin with Episode VII, written by Michael Arndt and directed by JJ Abrams, then alternate between standalone “spin-off” movies and new Episodes in the core storyline.
You see, if we cut the goose wide open and take a look at its intestines, we'll be able to figure out how it lays those golden eggs. Then we'll all have more golden eggs! It's what we like to call a win-win situation.
Robot 6 has a list of all the nominees for this year's Eisner Awards, which are basically the comic book Oscars. It's a solid list, mostly full of the usual suspects (Seattle's Fantagraphics Books is well-represented, as is Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' excellent Saga and Chris Ware's Building Stories). They're all good comics, and you should check them out. But two Seattle cartoonists are in a direct competition for one award: Ellen Forney and David Lasky (along with Lasky's co-writer, Frank M. Young) are nominated for their works of non-fiction. Here's the full lineup for the category:
Best Reality-Based Work
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)
A Chinese Life, by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, by Julia Wertz (Koyama Press)
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, by Ellen Forney (Gotham Books)
You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart, by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)
Forney, of course, is last year's Genius Award winner for Literature. But I really liked The Carter Family, too. And I've always been a fan of New York cartoonist Julia Wertz's autobiographical comics, too. Who will win? Can you possibly handle all the drama? The winners will be announced July 19th, during the big San Diego Comic-Con International.
Yesterday, writer Brian K. Vaughan published a press release announcing that Apple had banned the new issue of his very good ongoing comic book series Saga due to some very small images of gay sex. Comixology CEO David Steinberger just published a blog post saying that the issue will be available for sale on iOS devices after all:
As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.
We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.
Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.
After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.
Say, does anybody else smell bullshit? I swear, I've got a strong whiff of some bullshit over here.
This just in from SIFF's press office:
Yesterday, the Seattle International Film Festival announced that its 39th fest would open with Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing; six hours later, the Opening Night Gala became single-greatest success in SIFF box office history.
"We are thrilled with the success of Much Ado and for what it means for this year's Festival and film's theatrical release," said SIFF Artistic and Co-Director Carl Spence. " This is a great triumph for us as an organization, for the Seattle film-going community, and of course, for the 'Whedonverse' at large. As Whedon has famously said, he has the 'smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of [fans],' and I'd have to agree with him, and add that his Seattle fans are among his most devoted."
SIFF 2013: Already a lovefestTM.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples's science fantasy comic Saga is the best ongoing comic book series in the business right now. The first trade paperback, which you really should be reading, is selling like crazy. Readers are jumping on board all the time. And Apple refuses to release tomorrow's Saga issue number 12 on any of their apps because it features gay sex. The Beat reports that Vaughan has released a press release about the ban:
As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.” Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit.
Apologies to everyone who reads our series on iPads or iPhones...
Vaughan recommends that Saga fans go buy a physical copy of the book from their local comics retailer instead. Unless your comics store owner takes to the issues with a pair of scissors before you go to buy a copy, you're guaranteed to get the story intact, just as Vaughan and Staples intended. Fuck Apple's ridiculous censorship. I could go on the Comixology app on any iPhone or iPad right now and buy any number of comics with scenes of graphic violence. This is bullshit.
Big Monday for nerds: First, there's the SIFF news, and now University Book Store is selling tickets to their July 2nd event with Neil Gaiman. Gaiman will be reading from his upcoming The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and he says this will be his final United States book tour ever. I have a feeling these are going to sell out quickly.
Go buy tickets right now.
UPDATE 3:36 PM: Sold out!
@thsea —Yes, just a bit ago. SOLD OUT!— University BookStore (@ubs_events) April 8, 2013
Looks like SIFF is getting a red hot nerd injection this year:
Start the Festival in style with the SIFF 2013 Opening Night Gala! The evening features the Seattle premiere of Much Ado About Nothing, with director Joss Whedon and cast members Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg scheduled to attend.
Follow the link to buy tickets. We did a Slog poll on the trailer of Whedon's Much Ado adaptation, and Slog is apparently very excited about this movie. I'm thinking a whole lot of people are dying to see Whedon and his crew in person on opening night, too, which means this could be the biggest SIFF opening night gala yet. It's definitely going to be the nerdiest.
Phil Foglio, half of the local team that makes the webcomic and prose novel series Girl Genius, has posted on Facebook about all the troubles his books are in, now that his publisher Night Shade Books is in the process of going under:
So– Got a call from our agent, telling me that Night Shade Books, the American publisher of the Girl Genius novels, is folding. This made me sad. I became markedly less sad when my agent assured me that our sales were sufficiently good that any number of other publishers should be interested in picking us up, so– Hurrah! Well…maybe hurrah.
You see, there's the whole tedious business of disengaging ourselves from Night Shade, which has decided to sell our contract to another publisher in order to cover their debts. This other publisher, Skyhorse, is perfectly willing to buy Night Shade's assets (our contracts). However, they will rewrite them and everybody now gets paid a flat 10% of net sales. Let me put this another way; If I was a monkey, I'd be throwing this.
Foglio goes on to explain the different scenarios, including one in which the prose books published by Night Shade might remain in a publishing limbo, out of his control forever. Let's be clear about the fact that the Girl Genius comic isn't published by Night Shade, and the property still belongs to the Foglios, so it's not like this is the end of Girl Genius; it just means that readers might not get access to the books that have been published by Night Shade for a long, long time. This is a shame.
Phil and Kaja Foglio are the kinds of working artists who have done everything right in their careers—they're great to their fans, they've contributed to Stranger charity auctions, they're out cheerfully representing their work at every local convention I've ever attended—and because they decided to be published by a smaller, quality independent press, their work (or, in the best-case scenario, their wallets) might suffer for it. This isn't how the publishing industry should work.
(Via Bleeding Cool.)
The great comic book artist, who helped drag superhero comic books out of the stodgy Golden Age and into a more modern era, has died. He was 87. Infantino drew some of the greatest comic book covers of all time, including this one, this one, and this one. If you're looking for more of his artwork, I suggest checking the Infantino tag on Tumblr.
I would encourage you to go read this post at The Mary Sue about why Doctor Who has not had a single female writer since 2008.
If a show has zero female writers, it’s not because there are somehow zero female writers who are qualified to do that job. In the Guardian article [that inspired the Mary Sue post written by] Jenny Colgan, who wrote a Doctor Who tie-in novel, [she] points out just a few female writers with a “proven track record” in sci-fi, among them Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling, Ursula le Guin, and Suzanne Collins...the TV and film industries, more than just having a long history of being male-dominated, were built upon the idea that men hold leadership positions, whether it’s being a director or a writer or a studio exec. With few exceptions, that’s how things were in the formative years of the industry, and that’s how they’ve continued to be, even though few(er) people think (or would admit to thinking, at least) that women can’t do the job.
Television writing is still a male-dominated job. (For proof of that, go read Lauren Weedman's great piece about her time writing for The Daily Show.) The only way that's going to change is if people demand to see a change. Because television writing is such a non-visible role, though, the demand is low. And because men write for television, we're less likely to see strong female characters on television. It's a cycle that's only going to stop if we shine some light on the process.