The great shift of medium for the comic form, from paper to digital, passed its tipping point sometime in the last few years. Over the same period, the market for “literary” comics-as-books has grown enormously, the economics that supported the popular “pamphlet” comic book format have utterly collapsed, and (with ironic timing) the primary content of those dying pamphlets has become the biggest moneyspinner in the Hollywood arsenal. This makes for some interesting times.
Popular webcomic “Order of the Stick” is running a crowdfunding campaign to gather $60K to fund a *reprint* of a print collection of its freely-available online strips. As I write, it has beaten its goal sixfold, and there are almost three weeks still to go.
Wholesome all-American Archie Comics, one of the few pamphlet-style lines that seems to be in decent financial health, has not just introduced a gay character, they put a mixed-race gay military wedding on the cover. And the latest news is that Archie will be covering the Occupy movement. It wasn’t so long ago that the Archie characters were spouting God’s word on-panel, and spun off a whole sub-line of Christian comics where the Archie gang learned about prayer, scripture and the fires of hell.
The Avengers film is going to launch a new trailer during the Superbowl, the most expensive advertising spot there is. It will do huge numbers at the box office (+ more if it’s any good). Probably 99.5% of viewers will never have read an Avengers comic book, and never will afterwards either. (The real secret of success here: Comics people teaching Hollywood how to do a crossover with film properties. Comic books figured out how this works back in the 30s. Hollywood never did until Aliens vs Predator – which was of course a comics adaptation.) (Although Freddy vs Jason came out first.) (And no, those Abbot & Costello films don’t count.) (True fact: Hollywood has never really understood IP, even while it fights furiously to defend it.)
Comics from around the world, particularly Europe and Asia where the medium is thriving in print as well as digital, are also more available to the English-speaking world than ever before. Two Euro examples:
Billy pointed at this marvellous strip that takes advantage of screen presentation in an absolutely stunning way, and tells a heck of a story as well.
And various comics types have been delightedly sharing this amazing 24-hour comic by Boulet – created from nothing to completion in (just over) 24 hours. Fantastic!
Every single one of these items is just amazing to me. (I won’t talk about Before Watchmen, because after six months of rumours I’d already resigned myself to its existence. And besides, the Alan-Moore-devised role-playing adventures provide all the prequel content I need…)
Maire just found a neat bit of research on what happened to that slave who wrote a letter to his old master. (Here’s that letter – really, really worth a read.)
This one’s been popping up all over, because it’s marvellous: a girl who can say words backwards. I love this video not just for the party trick itself (which is lovely and fascinating) but for the details: the girls in the back seat conferring as they try to come up with the hardest words they can, the guy looking around for inspiration and naming everything he can see which tells you a lot about where they are, the fact they are in a car in the first place, and best of all the way the video ends. (Oh crappers.) It’s all so damn genuine.
What’s wrong with “First Word Problems” (Via Ms Scarlet)
ALIEN linky now: Jones the cat’s view of Alien (Via qarl) and the wonderful ALIEN AGE 11, which is a comic adaptation of Alien made by an 11-year-old who had only read the novelisation and never seen the film (via dritchie).
Your wow photos for the day: Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
And finally, via Mike Sands: cats 4 gold