News and Notes: Tomasi, FLIGHT Jr. etc

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§ Bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s run on Wonder Woman continues to get press, including this piece at CNN.com:

“My kids looked at me and they were like, ‘Mom, you totally have to write ‘Wonder Woman!’ ” she told USA Today. (Gallery: Wonder Woman and Picoult)

So Picoult rearranged elements of her hectic work schedule and dove into research. (She admits to not being much of a “Wonder Woman” fan growing up — “X-Men” was more her speed.) Looking back on the character’s six decades in comics, Picoult found the story focused more on Wonder Woman’s exploits as a superhero and less on the life of her alter ego, Diana Prince.

That angle baffled her. Diana Prince is a far more interesting character, she says, and offers plenty to work with.


§ DC Group Editor Peter Tomasi has left his day job and gone exclusive with DC to pursue his writing career. Always highly regarded as both a writer and editor, Tomasi has sold a screenplay and has many comics projects in the hopper:

“It’s titled Black Adam: The Dark Age and it picks up right where 52 left off and leads into the start of Countdown. It’s being drawn by Doug Mahnke, inked by Christian Alamy and edited by Mike Siglain. The pages that have come in are pretty damn spectacular! It follows Adam in Kahndaq and around the rest of the globe as he searches for the magical word he lost in 52.”

And after that? Where will Tomasi show up next at DC?

“Honestly, I’m interested in everything here. There’s a great stable of characters at DC that I would love to write. I’ve edited quite a wide variety of books in my tenure here, so I’m looking forward to casting my net pretty wide and tackling established characters along with developing new properties. No reason to limit myself at this juncture when so many doors are open.


§ Also over at Newsarama, Kazu Kibuishi announces a “Flight light” for kids. FLIGHT EXPLORER will be out from Ballantine in Spring 2008 and will include strips like “Jellaby” by Kean Soo, “Missile Mouse” by Jake Parker, “Zita the Spacegirl” by Ben Hatke, Steve Hamaker’s “Fish N Chips”, Johane Matte’s cat story, Phil Craven’s “N” and an unpublished “Copper”story.

Newsarama: So, at what point did the idea for Flight Explorer come into the picture?

Kazu Kibuishi: I had been hearing a lot of librarians and booksellers talk about how much they wanted good comics for younger readers, and I saw how there was so little of it out there with the exception of Jeff Smith’s Bone. Flight always contained a high percentage of material that would be perfect for young readers, but the more mature content often steered parents and librarians away from sharing the books with kids. A few of the Flight artists are also parents, and I could often feel their desire to be a part of a book that was more appropriate for their children, and the voices in their own stories reflected that. On top of this, I could feel that for some of the artists, the kid-friendly material was starting to impinge on their desire to tread more into the older kids’ fare, and the last thing I wanted was for artists to feel that they had to write for younger audiences and not for themselves. I mean, really, I think that it’s just when you have kids, your kids become that self that you write for.

When Flight 4 came together, we ended up with more material than we expected and all of it was of the highest caliber work we’ve seen so far. We overshot the expected page count by 80 pages. People often told us that we should just hold extra material back for the next volume, but knowing that we’ll have even more material on top of that when the deadline for the next one comes around (as well as the fact that the artists would like to be included in the most current volume), I decided I needed to come up with a different solution. And since I still didn’t feel we were ready to raise the frequency of publication, I decided it would be a good idea to create a new kids’ version of Flight.


§ Ah exhibit on African-American contributions to comics at Jackson State U in Mississippi shows that Comic books have become hot again thanks to the successes of NBC’s ‘Heroes,’ the Spider-Man films and the revived Superman and Batman franchises.:

The exhibition ‘Other Heroes: African-American comics, creators, characters and archetypes’ focuses on topics such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and racial stereotypes.

‘The show really wants to focus on racial representations through that particular medium,’ said John Jennings, co-curator of the exhibit, which runs through the end of June at the historically black university. He curated the exhibit with comic book partner Damien Duffy. Jennings said he is talking to other universities about having the exhibit tour.

Some images have been taken out of the comic setting, enlarged and mounted on gallery walls in the university’s art building. More than 50 artists contributed to the exhibit including some selections by Denys Cowan, artist for ‘Hardware,’ which depicts a man who turns high-tech vigilante to stop his employer, who has links to organized crime and drugs.

‘I think people are going to be surprised at the mastery of the storytelling,’ said Jennings, who describes the works as anti-mainstream and trying to break misconceptions.

Comments

  1. Glenn Simpson says:

    I live in Jackson, and called about possibly going to view the exhibit. Apparently it’s open Mon-Fri, from 9am to whenever the student workers leave, which apparently is around noon…

    Very disappointing.

  2. ChaosMcKenzie says:

    I don’t want to be a big troll or anything – but have you read any of the new Wonder Woman arch? It has to be the worst thing done to the character – EVER. It reeks of Sex in the City feminism, where Wonder Woman has been reduced to tongue in cheek double entendres, bashful flirting, taking sexual commentary from a man as if it was all she wanted – I’m amazed there hasn’t been any backlash from the usual comic punduits or ladies of higher standards….

  3. I don’t understand when an author makes remarks like Picoult that a character is uninteresting. Shouldn’t she have noticed in her research that if a talented creator does a book like Wonder Woman that the results are good? George Perez obviously first comes to mind regarding WW. A statement like hers makes me think she’s just not up to the challenge of writing a character like WW, regardless of what we actually get.

    Her first issue was okay, though a little too overwritten. The part about WW inspiring the woman was the best thing about it.

  4. CBrown says:

    Re: Flight. I have or have at least read the first two volumes, and I can’t recall anything close to “mature” content that would scare librarians away. Not to mention the fact that when I go to MY local library, I see LOTS of material in the kids’ section that I personally would shelve in the adult section, so I don’t believe very many librarians are very vigilant on content-standards of the comics they purchase. In fact, my reaction to the Flight material that I’ve seen is that it is very, very beautiful, but innocuous to the point of being a sleep-aid. Exactly what is included in any volume of Flight that makes a Flight Jr. volume necessary?

  5. Jim C. says:

    She admits to not being much of a “Wonder Woman” fan growing up — “X-Men” was more her speed.

    That’s odd. Last year she said something totally different, though memorable:

    “I was never a 13-year-old boy, so I didn’t read comic books, ever,” she says.
    Source:
    http://www.bookpage.com/0603bp/jodi_picoult.html

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