Actual Asian person Ken Watanabe potentially offered role in AKIRA remake

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The long on-again, off-again life action Akira movie is decidedly on again at Warners, with Jaume Collet-Serra to direct the Steve Kloves script. Given that AKIRA is a worldwide classic of anime and Japanese film in general that hugely influenced both animation and the cyberpunk movement, it seems ripe for reinvention in that Hollywood way.

And of course, also in that Hollywood way, despite the story being set in and infused with Japanese culture, because American moviegoers are all white and cannot be persuaded to pay money to watch Asian people on the screen, the film is being moved from New Tokyo to “New Manhattan ” (essentially New New York) and replacing all the Asian characters with white people if casting rumors are true.

DC New 52: Here come the crossovers

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Just like the girl in the above panel from SWAMP THING, the New DC Universe is beginning to BRANCH OUT (haw haw) and get ENTANGLED (hee hee) in the vines of….continuity and crossovers! This according to hints and forebodings from EIC Bob Harras:

RIP: Anne McCaffrey

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First woman to win a Hugo Award (1968, for “Weyr Search”)
First woman to win a Nebula Award (1969, for “Dragonrider”)
First with a science fiction title on the New York Times Bestseller List (1978, The White Dragon)
Named Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America (2005)
Joined Science Fiction Hall of Fame (June 2006)

Nice Art AND Gift Guide Yuko Shimizu art book

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Yuku Shimizu, the illustrator best known in comics circles for her covers to various DC books, has a new art book out. While this surely qualifies as Nice Art, it might also make a nice gift for someone!

Gift Guide: Drew Friedman's new Tor Johnson print

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Drew Friedman’s print shop offers this stunning view of wrestler/Ed Wood Jr stock player Tor Johnson for a mere $150. Friedman’s site contains many more prints of a similar quality level: Frank Sinatra. The Three Stooges. JF. Surely you know someone who would like such an object as a holiday gift? If not, you are hanging out with the wrong class of people.

Mark Millar: Digital comics should not be day and date

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Mark Millar has staked a place out for himself as both a franchise comics creators, able to sell books on his name alone, and someone who isn’t afraid to hold a renegade opinion — and he is prepared to defend his answer with his own logic, which may or may not conform to what is generally considered common sense. Thus this long piece in which he says day and date digital is not a good thing for comics, suggesting that a theatrical to dvd type model make more sense — print being the theatrical release, digital being the DVD. Digital readers “aren’t as hardcore as the first group, but they’re a great place to recoup any money lost in the initial phase. Digital comics are like TV rights to me in that they’re the tertiary phase of all this. These are for the most casual, mainstream readers or viewers and much cheaper than the primary or secondary waves. They’re a great way of pulling people in for the next product coming out in theatres or in comic stores, but absolutely not the bedrock of your business.”

Comics among top-grossing book apps on iPad

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Every month, AppData releases a list of the top-grossing apps for the iPad, and once again
comics apps lead the pack for the book category. Predictably, comiXology is at the top, but it’s followed closely by DC, Marvel and The Walking Dead. The chart represents purchases made THROUGH an app, not sales of an app.

More Occupy Comics reports: Sarah Glidden in Miami

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Matt Bors writes to alert us to a news Occupy Comics sketchbook — Sarah Glidden on Occupy Miami. Glidden was in town for the Miami Book Fair, but found time to visit the OWS site.

She explains more here, including the view from Europe where she’s currently working:

BOOSTER GOLD latest superhero to get his shot on TV

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Continuing the quest for a follow-up to Smallville, Booster Gold is the latest DC superhero to get a TV development deal, this time at the SyFy channel, under Greg Berlanti’s production banner. The script is being written by Andrew Kreisberg, formerly of Fringe.

Booster Gold appeared on the final season of Smallville, so he isn’t a complete TV virgin.

As Marvel Turns: Buzz and Business Factors

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The business side of Marvel has been quite a wild ride lately. First you had layoffs. Then you had cancellations. Then iFanboy wrote a piece about what other titles were falling into roughly the same sales range on the Diamond estimates, and could conceivably be in danger of cancellation. Then Ivan Brandon got worked up about such talk of sales levels and cancellation. Right on cue, a title on the iFanboy watch list (Daken: Dark Wolverine) got cancelled. Bickering ensued. Now Kiel Phegley is stepping back and taking a more measured look at Marvel’s line and business factors than we’ve seen, thus far.

I’d like to add a few factors into the discussion of what goes into deciding a book’s fate.