SPX ’14 party poop: this is the year of the Prom and the Wedding

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This weekend the Small Press Expo takes place in North Bethesda, MD. The show is known for its collegial, summer camp vibe, but this year, it is going ALL OUT. There will never again be talk about the pig roast or the softball game or the karaoke or anything else, because this year there is […]

New documentary on the DOOMED Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from 1994

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Before Marvel became the toast of tinsel town, there were some pretty dreadful Marvel-based movies—and I’m not just talking Howard the Duck. Dolph Lundgren starred as The Punisher in 1989, but the movie got only a very limited theatrical release. A 1990 version of Captain America starring JD Salinger’s son, Matt, was so bad it […]

Preview: Hollywood Superstars by Evanier and Spiegle and the lost history of comics

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About Comics is a boutique publisher that specializes in bringing back unjustly obscure comics in affordable editions. They’ve just released HOLLYWOOD SUPERSTARS by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle. Originally published in 1990 via Marvel’s Epic line, it was a non-superheroic variant of Crossfire by the same team, basically behind the scenes tales of Hollywood, seen through the adventures of a team of private eyes consisting of a stuntman, an aspiring actress and a stand up comic. Like Crossfire, it has that slightly elegiac air of people who believe Hollywood’s legend and lore a little too much, told as only a couple of insiders could tell it.

Lessons from 25 years of selling comics

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Since I was just picking a fight with Brian Hibbs, now I’ll quote him extensively. His latest Tilting at Windmills is an anniversary post, looking the original Diamond catalog from when he started in 1989! We’ve lost some soldiers along the way, but the Diamond catalog is now a bloated thing,

The Hermit of Shooters Hill – An Interview with Steve Moore, Part 4

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Here’s the fourth part of my interview with the late Steve Moore, with more to follow. The first, second, and third parts are already online, along with some explanation of how the interview came about. PÓM: You mentioned that you worked with Dez Skinn at Fleetway House. How did you get on with him? SM: […]

The secret of comics history that people on the internet don’t want you to know!

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I was asked not too long ago what was something I was proud of writing on The Beat, and it’s actually something I didn’t write. This post by political communications specialist Brett Schenker entitled Market Research Says 46.67% of Comic Fans are Female from February, was pretty groundbreaking. Why am I mentioning a six month old post? Well, people continue to quote it when they look for demographic information on comics readership, and it represents a solid benchmark in an area where there is shockingly little research. Schenker’s research via Facebook, which he’s graciously presented here, has been quoted in numerous articles and yesterday it was referenced in this Time.Com piece on the new female Thor. I tweeted it again and it got a whole new set of reactions on twitter from people who hadn’t seen it the first time.

Suffragette Lady: An Interview with Kate Charlesworth

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On International Workers’ Day, the 1st of May, Jonathan Cape published Sally Heathcote, Suffragette, the second graphic novel written by Mary Talbot, a semi-fictionalised history of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Britain, and a really well researched and gripping piece of work, in my opinion, and should be read by everyone, everywhere, as it is […]

The Beat’s 10th Anniversary Special: San Diego 2004 photo parade!

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As mentioned earlier this week, The Beat is 10 years old this month! What was it like in the primitive days of 2004? Thanks to the wonders of digital archiving we can tell you! We can even take you back to San Diego 2004 for a look at skinnier but not necessarily better versions of many Beat favorites. So step with us behind the veils of time for….

Small Press Expo announces first guests and alt.weekly focus

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  What a great idea for a comic programming focus: this year’s Small PressE Expo, to be held September 13-14 in Bethesda, MD, will spotlight the history of alt-weekly comics, a powerful if now vanished, platform that saw creators such as Jules Feiffer, Matt Groening and Lynda Barry emerge along with dozens of other. And […]

Conservative comics: if only we hadn’t gotten rid of the Comics Code

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Last week I told you about The Forgotten Man, a graphic novel adaptation of Amity Shlaes’ history of the Great Depression by Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche. As Shlaes is a well known conservative pundit, she’s been using outlets like National Review and Pajames Media to call for the Right to use comics as effectively […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: Godzilla and the Real Professor X

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Fans of X-men: Days of Future Past excitedly point to the film’s overt “social commentary” as a major reason for its success. We always equate the X-men with these kinds of subjects – race, social injustice, politics – but why is that?  Where does that stuff come from? After the success of Spider-Man and the […]

Flashback Tuesday: The Neuromancer comics adaptation

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Considering that William Gibson’s Neuromancer is one of my favorite books of all times, you’d think I’d have remembered that there was a comics adaptation, but no. Epic Comics put out half of it in one 44-page comic, written by Tom DeHaven and illustrated by Bruce Jensen. DeHaven has a look back on his part […]

Incredible X-Men infographic helps you keep the teams straight

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Infographic Created by Shirts.com If such a thing can really be done—and let’s face it, around about NÜ Marvel it got a lot harder. Anyway Beat Contributor and Mistress of the Infographic Arts Kate Willaert has DONE IT AGAIN with a chart showing the evolution of various X-teams, and just how many times Professor X […]

90’s nostalgia culminates with TWIN PEAKS: THE ENTIRE MYSTERY

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My log saw something—and it’s wrapped in plastic. Could it be….TWIN PEAKS: THE ENTIRE MYSTERY, a new Blue Ray set that includes the long lost 90 minutes of missing and alternate footage from Fire Walk With Me? Between Hill Street Blues, justout on Blu-Ray, and Twin Peaks, you have the momma and poppa of everything […]

REAL throwback Thursday: Comics Fandom 1969

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I stole this link from Tom Spurgeon, and I’m just as fascinated by it as he is: it’s a photo of the 1969 Comic Art Convention Luncheon Photo, July 5, 1969 at the Statler Hilton Hotel as annotated and archived by old time fanzine artist John Fantucchio. (Hit the link for a big version — […]

FInger family is “not okay” with DC despite other statements

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I think this statement from the family of Bill FInger, the long uncredited co-creator of most of the Batman mythos speaks for itself. The long memories of comics aren’t just for issue numbers, people. During a recent WonderCon Anaheim panel for Batman’s 75th anniversary, an audience member asked panelists for opinions about the fact that writer […]