Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #153
It’s Friday… time for a little look see at all the comics news that Joe and Richard can throw your way with a new Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense)… enjoy.
Comics for Vegas:
On 1st October 2017, more innocents lost their lives to one man with far too many terrible weapons, in Las Vegas. 58 died, over 500 were injured, and the shock of the event reverberated around the world. Obviously that shock stopped short of either the NRA or The White House, as we’ve seen no change in any prospect of gun control in the US.
Image Comics will be releasing their Vegas benefit comic Where We Live in May 2018. The work is curated by JH Williams III, Wendy Wright-Williams, Will Dennis, Dave Stewart, and Image Comics’ Publisher, Eric Stephenson, with all proceeds to be donated to the Vegas GoFundMe campaign.
“The book will include a variety of perspectives with key themes exploring: value of a compassionate society, need for communication/conversations, mental health stigmatization, access to healthcare, gun violence, common sense gun control, history of the 2nd Amendment, why the 2nd Amendment is important to gun owners, role of the NRA in national & local politics, balance of safety & privacy/freedoms, aftermath of tragedy and how individuals & communities persevere, role of the media in tragedies, ongoing need for survivor support, and appreciation of Las Vegas as a community.”
Movie News: Joss Whedon can’t think of a Batgirl story…
Back in mid 2017, Joss Whedon was announced as writer/director of the forthcoming Batgirl movie. This past week he stepped down, telling The Hollywood Reporter:
“It took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story,”
And talked of DC/Warners being “so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for failed?”
So… no story. Oh, Joss, Joss, Joss. Maybe have a look at the damn source material? My vote is for the recent run Cameron Stewart, Brendon Fletcher, and Babs Tarr. Simple.
I smell burning books…
HBO has released a trailer for their forthcoming TV adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, based on the novel by the great Ray Bradbury. Ray, for my money, is one of the great American writers of the 20th century in SF or any genre, and Fahrenheit 451 remains, for me, one of the most important novels of that century, a warning against wilful ignorance, of state and societal censorship, of the power of stories, of words and idea and an absolute touchstone for those of us who believe in defending the freedom to read without restrictions. It will be interesting to see how the TV series, which stars Black Panther’s Michael B Jordan and Shape of Water’s Michael Shannon, approaches this important literary work. (via Live for Film)
TV News: Good Omens in 2019, all on course for a great adaptation:
It’s not due until 2019 from the BBC, but the advance word from the cast and the set is good. The latest interview with David Tennant over at The Herald Scotland, talks of getting the subject and the tone of the Gaiman and Pratchett adaptation just right. Not a surprise in many ways, as the showrunner for the series is Gaiman himself. And you’ll be sure that Gaiman will be working very hard to ensure the show sticks to his dear friend’s vision and he keeps to a posthumous request from Pratchett that Gaiman writes all 6 episodes.
(Via The Herald Scotland)
(Tennant and Michael Sheen as Crowley and Aziraphale)
TV News: Some stuff difficult to turn into films and maybe TV says Guardian.
Basically, in a world where the TV studios and streaming services are all looking for the next big hit, Game Of Thrones style, comic books, alongside sci-fi and fantasy novels, are fair fodder for the machine. And while you can’t get the brilliance of Moore and Gibbons’ Watchmen over in a two-hour movie, being able to stretch it out into ten, twenty hours of TV gives you way more leeway. Or basically… money.
For example, here’s a bit from the Guardian piece:
So with scorn from authors, and scepticism from fans, what prompts these attempts at the unfilmable? Ego is a consideration, and a desire to succeed where others have failed. With the advance of special effects, previously challenging books are now within the realm of possibility. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is the best example of this, with Amazon’s eye-wateringly expensive take on the books currently in development. The need for streaming sites to seek their answer to huge hits such as Game of Thrones may also be a factor. Adaptations of ambitious books make headlines, fuel interest and – if done correctly – can be spun out into decades-long franchises.
Answer number one to their first question: MONEY.
Nebula Awards Shortlist
Meant to post this last week, but beter late than never – the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) posted the shortlist for the prestigious Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book:
Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (Knopf; riverrun)
The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty (Orbit US)
Jade City, Fonda Lee (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK 2018)
River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing)
Passing Strange, Ellen Klages (Tor.com Publishing)
“And Then There Were (N-One)”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3-4/17)
Barry’s Deal, Lawrence M. Schoen (NobleFusion Press)
All Systems Red, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
The Black Tides of Heaven, JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing)
“Dirty Old Town”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 5-6/17)
“Weaponized Math”, Jonathan P. Brazee (The Expanding Universe, Vol. 3)
“Wind Will Rove”, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 9-10/17)
“A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld 1/17)
“A Human Stain”, Kelly Robson (Tor.com 1/4/17)
“Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time”, K.M. Szpara (Uncanny 5-6/17)
“Fandom for Robots”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny 9-10/17)
“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM”, Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex 8/17)
“Utopia, LOL?”, Jamie Wahls (Strange Horizons 6/5/17)
“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 9-10/17)
“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”, Matthew Kressel (Tor.com 3/15/17)
“Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)
The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Get Out (Written by Jordan Peele)
The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit” (Written by Michael Schur)
Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green)
The Shape of Water (Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Written by Rian Johnson)
Wonder Woman (Screenplay by Allan Heinberg)
The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
Exo, Fonda Lee (Scholastic Press)
Weave a Circle Round, Kari Maaren (Tor)
The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
Want, Cindy Pon (Simon Pulse)
The Nebulas will be announced at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 17th-20th and feature seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions. On May 20th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center and is open to the public. The Nebula Awards recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.
Goodkind proves not so good or kind…
This is absolutely despicable behaviour by a bestselling fantasy writer – artist Bastien L Deharme tweets that Goodkind apparently does not approve of his artwork for the cover of his new book. Okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion. What is not cool is then to go on social media, trash talk the artist’s work as “laughably bad” then use that to promote the book by asking people to post comments saying what they think of it to win a copy of the book. So, essentially Goodkind is showing enormous disrespect to the artist who would have worked on his book cover according to outlines and briefs from the publisher, doing so in public, setting out to openly humiliate Deharme on a public form then laugh it off as a wheeze for a small competition.
That’s absolutely awful behaviour by any creator to be so rude, dismissive and downright nasty to another, and seek to humiliate them and belittle their work in this manner. I hope the rest of the science fiction and fantasy community tells Mr Goodkind exactly what they think of his dishonourable behaviour. I think rather than Deharme’s art he has shown exactly what sort of man he himself is, and is it not pretty.
Update: a couple of days after I added this to this week’s Stuff Goodkind posted an apology. Well, more like one of those apologies that doesn’t really feel like an apology or acknowledging he behaved like an ass… “The contest and poll below is poking fun at my own book. The artist is obviously an exceptionally talented creative. The problem is with the publisher. I created the poll as a way to poke fun at the cover art, because it is a poor representation of characters within the book. Characters I am deeply passionate about. It’s impossible not to be emotional about such things, when I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life devoted to their every nuance. In no way do I feel the quality of the art is rendered poorly. For any misunderstanding, I apologise to the artist, his friends, and of course my own community here.”
To be honest, given how his original post seemed designed to publicly humiliate the artist this really doesn’t come across to me as much of an apology, more like oops, behaving like a total, insensitive boor has generated a lot of backlash. Yeah, who would have thought that a lot of readers would react badly to your behaviour, eh?? I’m glad the artist has had so much support from the SF&F readers and authors community after Goodkind’s attack. Great way to promote your new book, Terry… (update via the Guardian)
Explore the British Library’s wizardry
Couldn’t get to London for the British Library’s The Story of Harry Potter? Rejoice then, wizards and muggles alike, for you can now explore many of those treasures online courtesy of the British Library and Google Culture! There’s a huge amount to browse through via the magic of the interwebs, from histories and development of the Harry Potter tales, the designing of those worlds, histories of magic and lots of art to enjoy. Bookmark now for later browsing at your own leisurely pace.
(Buckbeak the Hippogriff by Jim Kay for the Prisoner of Azkaban, from the British Library’s Potter celebration)
I am the Master and you will obey me…
Over on the Doctor Who Companion good chum of the blog Matt Badham makes the case for a solo Doctor Who comics series based around the Master. Matt seems quite happy with any of the incarnations, from Missy to Derek Jacobi’s incarnation, but he is especially keen for one based around the original Master from the Jon Pertwee era, as portrayed by the late Roger Delgado, and I must admit if they were doing a Master run that would be my first choice too.
(Doctor Who featuring Jon Pertwee, some Sea Devils and the original Master, art by Rachael Stott)
Sarah McIntyre’s Tedx Talk
The wonderful and sparkly Sarah McIntyre gave a Tedx talk at Whitehall, and now the whole thing is up on YouTube. Sarah always has terrific insights into the creative process and is always worth listening to:
Bud Luckey, RIP
Sad to learn of the passing at age 83 of Bud Luckey, artist, veteran animator and voice artist for numerous animated characters. From animating for Sesame Street to working for Pixar, Bud had a long career, drawing, animating and providing voices, but he is also the unsung hero who came up with the design for Sherrif Woody in the original Toy Story. Woody was slated to be a ventriliquist’s dummy, but Bud pointed out a lot of people had seen horror tales about creepy ventriliquist dolls and suggested the cowboy sherrif. Of such team spitballing interactions are later utterly iconic characters born…
Of the massive changes in animation across his career from counting lesson cartoons hand-drawn for Sesame Street to cutting edge digital animation at Pixar, Bud made the most lovely comment in a 2004 interview: “I like to think 30 years ago, I used animation to teach kids their numbers and now these kids are teaching me how to animate with numbers. So it was a good deal.” What a wonderful way to look at it. (via the BBC)
Kevin Smith in hospital
Thinking good thoughts in the direction of uber-geek Kevin Smith and his family as he recovers from a massive heart-attack suffered after a health episode during the recording of a two-part live special. He completed the first segment but feeling very unwell had to be rushed to hospital where thankfully they were able to diagnose and treat him in time. He later tweeted from his hospital bed “After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka “the Widow-Maker). If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground.” Hoping for a speedy recovery… (via ScienceFiction)
Dunfermline Comic Con cancelled
Sad to hear the Dunfermline Comic Con in Fife this weekend has had to cancel, a victim of the extremely severe weather hitting Scotland this week, with most rail and bus services suspended and police advising not to travel, it is understandable that for safety’s sake they will have to cancel, but what a bitter blow to the fans, the creators who were attending and all those unsung heroes, the volunteers and organisers who actually make the cons we enjoy take place, not to mention the financial cost (their FB post says tickets will be refunded, but please be patient as original funds raised by sales went to events planning, paying for guests etc, so this will be a big financial blow too). (via Tripwire)
Update, as of last night a Go Fund Me has been started to try and help the con and the organisers, local indy comic store Little Shop of Heroes. As money from tickets sales etc have already gone into paying for the con, venues, vendors, supplies and more they are now way out of pocket and without the con taking place, no way to recoup some of that during the event, not to mention the question of refunds for ticket holders. I can only imagine what an intolerable strain this puts on the con and the store’s business, all caused by a horrible, freak burst of terrible weather wrecking something wonderful they bring to their town. Please chip in if you can and of course, please do pass the link around the geek community.
Down the Tubes at the British Library
Some good news from John Freeman on veteran Brit comics site Down the Tubes: “I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be chairing an event at the British Library in April, the first event downthetubes has ever been a partner in organising.
Titled “Venturing off the page: exploring multimedia, animation and new narrative forms” guest speakers will be Kate Ashwin, Yomi Ayeni, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Bryan Talbot and Priority Booking for British Library members has just opened, with tickets for general sale released on 8th March 2018.
We’ll be exploring the impact of new technologies on how we read, create and understand comics, and investigating the challenges of archiving them for future readers – no easy task as software and platforms continue to evolve.”
(the Archivist at Work, by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey)
The British Library has had some terrific comics and SF&F events over the last few years, several of which we’ve reported on, so great to see them continuing – more details over on DTT
The Leicester Comic Con takes place on June 9th, and the tickets are now open for sale, so circle the date in your diary and book those tix!
Cartoon roundup time:
Tom Gauld in the Guardian Review on a problem all heavy readers have – my home is full of piles like this overflowing the shelves…
Chris Riddell in the Guardian on the bizarre comments of Brexit minister David Davis that the UK will not become some Mad Max dystopia after Brexit. When ministers of state have to tell you honest, we won’t fall apart into feral, apocalyptic post-civilisation disaster it really is the opposite of reassuring…
Tom Tomorrow in the Nib, following the horrendous slaughter in a Florida school and the seemingly endless ability of some in the US to put the right to own weapons of massive firepower over the safety of children: