Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, 12/12/13: These cranky comments by the creator of Rambo just about made my decade

§ Great news! Israeli cartoonists Rutu Modan and Yirmi Pinkus have launched a line of kids comics.

Over the years, they have developed their skills and their creations now range from graphic novels to books of prose for adults. They both teach visual communications: Modan at Bezalel and Pinkus at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan. Last month, they unveiled their latest project: Noah’s Library, a publishing house specializing in comic books for children, which has already released two wonderful comic books for preschoolers. Modan has produced new illustrations for the adventures of Uri Kaduri, one of the first comic-strip heroes in modern Hebrew literature who was created by Aryeh Navon, a pioneer in the world of illustration in Israel. In the 1930s, Navon worked for the children’s weekly “Davar for Children” and would produce a weekly action comic strip that he also illustrated. Poet and author Lea Goldberg, who also worked on the weekly’s editorial board, composed rhymes for each strip that were suited to that week’s plot segment.

§ Jeet Heer and Ethan Rilly did a webcomic together? Sign me up.

§ Lots of GN news in this roundup of activity by clients of agent Judy Hansen including Pashmina, by Indian-American cartoonist Nidhi Chanani and Emperor Poet by Sungyoon Choi.

§ Do you remember NONPLAYER by Nate Simpson? It looked great and it was the buzz book for a month or so. After 31 months and a biking accident, issue #2 is finally on its way.

Thirteen pages into penciling the second issue, Simpson injured his shoulder in a September 2011 bicycle accident. Recovery led swiftly into the start of a new family. With a full-time job also vying for his attention, production on Nonplayer #2 slowed to a crawl. According to Simpson, however, the comic is now circulating among trusted peers. In recent months, he’s also begun work on an unnamed webcomic.

§ David Morrell is the creator of Rambo and a while ago, someone at Marvel thought it would be a great idea to have him write a Spider-Man story. All did not go to plan. The story took forever to come out, and when it did, Morrell did not like the changes:

“Bad news about the second part of my Spider-Man: Frost comic-book series,” Morrell wrote to Facebook. “Someone at Marvel changed my captions, added weak jokes, repeated captions, deleted captions from panels that needed them, and inserted one caption that contradicts the theme. When I saw this early version, I sent three pages of corrections to Marvel. I was assured that my changes had been made, but for whatever reason, the terrible version got printed, destroying the poignant tone of part one. What a pity. This could have been a gem.”

Mainstream authors nationwide are discovering: writing comic books, it’s not for everyone.

Disney Princesses
§ Marvel’s Associate Producer Judy Stephens has more than the average amount of skills. Not only is she a diver and one of the best Captain Marvel cosplayers around, she’s also a very talented photographeras this interview shows. Above image by and © Judy Stephens.

SeagateCreative: What’s the most surprising idea you recently had and why? 

Judy Stephens: It may not be necessarily new or surprising, but taking a model out of the “norm” and placing her/him in a unique location fascinates me – such as a cosplayer in the middle of the Times Square insanity, or the middle of a random field. Lately, I’ve gotten in my head that I’d love to shoot cosplayers in Iceland or another “foreign” place – such as a Sailor Moon-style costume in amongst the volcanic rock formations, or a super hero on a glacier. I’ve shot cosplayers similar to this before at conventions, but have not yet the opportunity to shoot this in a wilder place.

§ The Village Voice weighs in with the weirdest “Best of” list yet this year.

Abby denson dolltopia§ Gift guide: for a limited time, you can buy Abby Denson Dolltopia-themed iPhone case at Tekserve.

§ There is a very real money bin where you can actually dive in like a porpoise, burrow like a gopher and throw the coins in the air and let them hit you on the head.

§ Producers of THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG had to add a female character because Tolkien left them out entirely. Whoops! Enter Tauriel. Philippa Boyens explains why and how:

Philippa Boyens: To be honest, the very first motivation was that there were no female characters in the book at all really… You really feel the weight of that. We knew that you would especially feel the weight of it in terms of a movie. We wanted to find a way to introduce a female character in a meaningful way that had a role to play that felt truthful to the world. This character came into being when we were sitting down literally trying to structure the film and talk about how we thought we’d tell the tale. Once we said, “OK, we’re going to do this,” we needed to think about, “Well, is it a woman of Lake-town? Is it a female Hobbit?” What we found was one of the pieces of the storytelling that felt like it could hold this was the story of the Elves, mainly because they’re kind of mysterious.

Tolkien Nerd analysis: female warrior elves go against most everything Tolkien wrote; a human shieldmaiden would have been way more canonical, but let’s face it, a warrior Sylvan elfette is way sexier.

Comments

  1. Erik Scott says:

    They could dress Evangeline Lilly up as an Ent and I’d watch her. I love her that much.

  2. “for whatever reason, the terrible version got printed, destroying the poignant tone of part one. What a pity. This could have been a gem.”

    Same thing happens to just about everything I’ve done for some producers. They bring me in because they like what I do, then they decide that their own egos are more important, so they poop on it.

  3. Joe S. Walker says:

    They’ve been pissing on Tolkien for over a decade now, what’s one more splash?

  4. Nick Jones says:

    I think the more interesting quote from David Morrell is the following:

    “By way of trying to make it right for those who shelled out for his story, Morrell is doing what he can for those in his area. ‘People who ordered the series from my local comic-book store will receive the three pages of correction that I sent to Marvel, along with my 4-page essay about writing comic books,’ he said. ‘Perhaps these will compensate for any disappointment you feel when reading part two.’”

    Now that is a man who is dedicated to preserving a certain level of quality and his own good name. If he’s that concerned about the integrity of the story in a $3.99 comic book, it definitely makes me want to check out his (non-Spider-man) work.

  5. Stephen Wacker says:

    Heidi, I’m disappointed and surprised that this “makes [your] decade”.

    It was an editorial mistake…like many you’ve made here and in comics you’ve edited, I’m sure. We boned something up in the middle of a double ship week and are working to fix.

    David has actually been pretty understanding about the whole thing and we’re on good terms.

    I understand the “need” to blow this up Bleeding Cool-like, but I don’t understand the desire.

  6. Stephen Wacker says:

    And Nick, you should check out David’s other work.

    His newest novel “Murder As A Fine Art” has been getting great reviews. Start there.

    SW

  7. “Mainstream authors nationwide are discovering: writing comic books, it’s not for everyone.”

    Or at least writing comics for corporate editors isn’t for them.

  8. Hey look, I still have 3 files that sub to Nonplayer!

    While Diamond still has stock of the (2 year old) second printing of #1, I’d like to see a new printing of #1 with some bonus pages (sketchbook-type stuff, maybe an essay about the reasons behind the delay for #2) come out beforehand. But only if there’s going to be a #3 relatively soon after #2. If it’s gonna be another couple of years, then there’s no way to regain the momentum.

    Related: Where oh where is Lady Mechanika?

  9. Tom Spurgeon says:

    I am worried about Heidi’s decade.

  10. So you’re happy that mainstream writers won’t want to write comics?

    You’re happy that Marvel screwed up so publicly?

    You’re so happy that you in fact had a typo in the headline of the article? (which if this was just an error and oversight on Marvel’s part makes yout typo hilarious)

  11. Synsidar says:

    So you’re happy that mainstream writers won’t want to write comics?

    You’re happy that Marvel screwed up so publicly?

    When someone writes something that he thinks is great, and a reader finishes the story and is thrilled by it, sad it’s over, or in any other way happy with what the writer did, the writer benefits. He’s made the world of art a better place.

    There’s not a real reason for someone to do a work-for-hire story on Spider-Man or another corporate character unless he can personalize the story in some way. Marvel’s changes not only weakened Morrell’s story; they negated the reasons for doing the story at all.

    SRS

  12. Maybe she was talking about her favorite color and expressing it in hex code?

    http://www.colorhexa.com/deacde

  13. You guys realize that Heidi’s been using these Buzzfeed-style headlines (“made my decade”, “you won’t believe what happens next”, “it will blow your mind”) for a week or so on her Kibbles ‘n Bits section, and that they’re supposed to be jokes, right?

  14. Rodrigo FTW!

    The sad thing is that these stupid headlines have been getting much better traffic than the old style ones.

  15. Stephen Wacker says:

    “You Won’t Believe The Headline Gag That One Comics Editor Missed!”

  16. Re: David Morrell–Captions, in a modern comic book? I thought this was forbidden by editorial directive. I remember when Stephen King wrote the first issue of his vampire comic book for Marvel he was told that they don’t use captions in comic books any more. After all, why would someone buy a comic written by Stephen King to read his words? Unfortunately this extends even to adaptations of literary works. I bought a comic book adaptation of part of Interview With The Vampire and it had one caption every 3 pages–nothing to establish tone and atmosphere. I passed on a new comic book adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward because it had no captions at all, thereby eliminating 90% of Lovecraft’s words, and Lovecraft was a writer who depended on atmosphere (not dialogue) to make his stories work. This is why people complain that modern comic books take only minutes to read because there’s not much there other than pictures and dialogue. Comic books are not movies, as much as some people want to make them that.

  17. Joe S. Walker says:

    Modern comics are full of captions. Unfortunately they nearly all contain fragments of first-person narration written in a style that’s striving to be as knowingly clever as possible.

  18. There are captions in King’s AMERICAN VAMPIRE story. What there aren’t is thought balloons.

    “I got this kind of embarrassed call from the editors saying, ‘Ah, Steve, we don’t do that anymore.’ ‘You don’t do that anymore?’ I said. ‘No, when the characters speak, they speak. If they’re thinking, you try to put that across in the narration, in the little narration boxes.’

    “I think it’s a shame to lose that arrow out of your quiver. One of the nice things about the written word as opposed to the spoken word in a movie is that you can go into a character’s thoughts. You do it in books all the time, right?”

  19. Torsten Adair says:

    Yup. Thought balloons are not allowed anymore.
    Also, those “crows feet” notations: >sob<

    Also word balloons on a cover. (Which I feel sold the cover story to casual readers.)

    Judging by the recent output of DC, it looks like cover text is being phased out as well. (Quick poll: When was the last time you read the copy on a comic book cover? Or even noticed the art?)

    The best use of captions recently was in one of the last issues of Scalped. The story featured an elderly Native American couple living in a remote cabin. The captions nicely contrasted with the story presented in the panels, at cross purposes but weaving a strong narrative.

  20. “I think it’s a shame to lose that arrow out of your quiver. One of the nice things about the written word as opposed to the spoken word in a movie is that you can go into a character’s thoughts. You do it in books all the time, right?”

    While I agree with this statement, I feel that it is worthy of note, that a competent artist, collaborating with a skilled writer who has some faith in him or her, can also take you into a character’s thoughts without a single written word. Dave Gibbons did it in Watchmen and Eddie Campbell did it in From Hell all the time.

  21. >> Yup. Thought balloons are not allowed anymore.
    Also, those “crows feet” notations: >sob>

    That’s something readers claim a lot, but I haven’t seen any evidence that they’re not allowed. Just not in style, at most.

    We used thought balloons when appropriate in TRINITY, and nobody said boo. I use those roachleg diacriticals (>gasp> Also word balloons on a cover.>>

    I think I did those most recently in SUPERMAN and AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS. Again, out of style, but not forbidden.

    kdb

  22. >> I feel that it is worthy of note, that a competent artist, collaborating with a skilled writer who has some faith in him or her, can also take you into a character’s thoughts without a single written word.>>

    Of course. And it would be a shame to lose that arrow out of one’s quiver, too. But it’s better to have more arrows than one.

    kdb

  23. Ah, the text-eating brackets! I should say, rather:

    We used thought balloons when appropriate in TRINITY, and nobody said boo. I use those roachleg diacriticals whenever it seems appropriate and no one’s ever suggested I shouldn’t, at any publisher, in any editorial office.

    kdb

Speak Your Mind

*