That's That Shit: 5/8/2013: The World Desperately Needs Another 'Crow' MovieA comics news article
That's That Shit
Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 05/08/13
Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.
Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.
BUT FIRST SOME MUSIC
THE WORLD BE CRAZY, Y’ALL
New Crow Film Lands Its Lead
It’s Nobody You Know
Nick Hanover: The forevergoing Crow reboot has cycled through a stupid number of potential leads, with everyone from Bradley Cooper to Channing Tatum to Mark Wahlberg floated around as a possible Crow. But the winner(?) of the Crow sweepstakes is none other than Luke Evans. “Who,” you ask? Oh, you know, that guy from the background of films like Immortals and Clash of the Titans, and, uh, that other bird movie, The Raven.
Evans status as a virtual unknown isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, since Brandon Lee wasn’t exactly a superstar when he took on the original role. By being an untested star without a heaping portion of public expectations to live up to, Evans might just be able to have some fun with the material, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s also got the lead in Dracula Year Zero, which means he may have two huge Gothic hits on his hands. Or he may continue to be unknown if they flop, except then he’d be cursed, too.
Danny Djeljosevic: Yeah, sure, why not? The concept of The Crow is infinitely sustainable but it seems like every Crow property is just a rehash of the first one. Which is a dumb thing to recreate -- the original comic is unparalleled in its rawness and you could redo that in any context and put an exciting new spin on it. I hope this one isn’t just a remake of that first movie, with Eric Draven revenging over his girlfriend again.
Andrew: But are goths still a thing? Didn’t they all get absorbed into like K-Pop and Dubstep? Is this exclusively for 30-somethings that think they can never watch the original? I just don’t get what the market for this is beyond “WELL COMIC BOOK MOVIES DO REAL WELL NOW GUYS.”
Danny: The mentality behind it is “We’re a movie studio and we’re banking on brand recognition to make successful films.” And I don’t know very many goths, but I think there’s always going to be a subculture of people who dress like vampires and wear their darkness on their sleeve. Anyway, it’s basically a horror-tinged action movie, there’s always a market for that.
Dr. Strange Film is (Probably) in the Works
Goateed Actors Everywhere Brush Up on Their Jazz Hands
Nick: Fresh off the ridiculous box office success of Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke in an interview about what was next for Marvel films. That of course brought a lot of expected announcements, but the biggest tidbit was that Dr. Strange was very much on Feige’s radar and the character is “sort of up next for us to dig into and explore.” Dr. Strange has been rumored to be in development for quite some time, but Feige’s recent discussion seems to make it clear that the character is a priority for him and the studio.
Which is kind of weird, honestly, since the Marvel Film Universe has tried to stay away from magic as much as possible, with even the Thor franchise kind of relegated to its own realm and treated in some ways as a world of magic-like technology rather than straight up fantasy. It will be interesting to see how Dr. Strange, the master of the occult, is integrated with a Marvel U that has kept magic to a minimum, and it will be even more interesting to see how the film works from a special effects perspective.
Danny: The post-Avengers Marvel Studios landscape is pretty exciting, I think -- their huge gamble paid off so now they can branch out into less straight superhero territory. That’s why Iron Man 3 was more of a Shane Black action movie than an average superhero flick, that’s why they’re doing a sci-fi movie with Guardians of the Galaxy.
As for how the special effects will work, it’s a Marvel Studios movie so it will be pretty cheap.
Andrew: After all if there’s one thing you should go cheap on in a movie about magic, it’s actual movie magic.
C2E2 Announcement Round-Up
Lots o’ Cool Stuff, Y’All
Nick: C2E2 went down over the weekend and there was a lot of great announcements that came out of it. Dark Horse in particular had a slew of big reveals, like the news that they now have the ElfQuest rights AND the Halo rights, which is a coup considering Halo was previously housed at Marvel. And in what is maybe the best news ever as far as I’m concerned, they’re bring back Geoff Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy which, seriously y’all, is fucking awesome. On the new series front, they also announced a new series from Alex de Campi and various artists (Simon Fraser included!) called Grindhouse, which should be amazing. There was also the expected announcements about new Hellboy series, and the confirmation that Locke & Key will get a coda with Alpha.
IDW had some neat news about reprints, like Kevin Eastman’s Zombie War and Christian Gossett’s The Red Star, meanwhile Image announced a new series from Kurtis J. Wiebe called Rat Queens that will hopefully be better than its preview pages make me think it will be, and Marvel made some kind of silly announcements like, “Hey guys! Wolverine is killable now! OMG!” There was also confirmation of the X-crossover “Battle of the Atom” and the fantastic news that Declan Shalvey will be illustrating Deadpool starting with issue 13.
Danny: Good stuff all around, pretty much. Dark Horse scoring a couple solid licenses and MORE SHAOLIN COWBOY HOLY SHIT.
Andrew: I know IDW does a lot of tie-ins but generally how good is IDW stuff? I don’t really know much beyond the fact that they do Star Trek comics and I think an old Independence Day comic.
Danny: IDW puts out a variety of licensed comics of varying quality (Star Trek, GI JOE, Transformers, Doctor Who, My Little Pony) as well as original stuff (Memorial, Locke & Key, whatever John Byrne’s feeling that month) and some really nice archival material.
Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett’s Lady Sabre Kickstarter Project Meets Goal in a Day
Nick: This week Rick Burchett and Greg Rucka’s Kickstarter to fund a deluxe graphic novel edition of their webcomic Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether shattered its goal, and at press time it has received nearly double of what was asked. Rucka and crew have described the comic as a series “about adventure and romance and excitement and, to paraphrase the great Zaphod Beeblebrox, ‘really wild things,’” featuring a swashbuckling heroine at its center in a story that recalls Alan Moore’s ABC series, specifically things like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Tom Strong. Burchett’s art is gorgeous and reminiscent of Sunday serial masters like Winsor McCay.
The series is currently available to check out for free online, but the Kickstarter will allow for it to be reproduced as a gorgeous hardcover, with bonus material. There’s still time to donate to it, as Rucka and crew have enabled stretch goals that will give backers special goodies if the Kickstarter goes past certain financial points.
Danny: “He does it in a day!!” Excellent news. I’ve been meaning to check out Lady Sabre for a while. It’s always inspiring when there’s excitement for a non-superhero comic.
Andrew: I always, always love it when good webcomics become things you can buy and read without staring at a screen for several hours.
Danny: Andrew Tan: 20th Century Analog Boy.
Zack Snyder’s Superman Film Made Jim Lee Cry
Anchors Remarks About Comic Art Made Entire Industry Cry
Nick: Over the weekend, Jim Lee dropped by CBS’ New York news studio to discuss Free Comic Book Day and the upcoming Superman film, which led to the usual shenanigans, including a big juicy pull quote from Lee about how the film made him cry and, more depressingly, a not entirely off base statement from the anchor wherein he was surprised that “you have different people doing these drawings,” since “it seems like they’re all sort of drawn the same way.” Yeah, it’s kind of shitty, and the guy could have done the minimum amount of research, you know, like how I could have done the minimal amount of research and learned his name in order to differentiate him from all those other news anchors who basically seem to do the same thing and all kind of look and sound the same.
Snarkiness aside, though, DC kind of has a big problem with what’s left of the New 52 in regards to their big iconic titles. The DC house style at the moment often makes the titles indistinguishable and the efforts they have made to stand out are sadly reminiscent of Marvel’s more adventurous Marvel NOW titles. Not every Now title is a hit, but you can tell them apart, they have fun with the form and they at least put some energy into being remarkable. So while it’s certainly fun pointing out LOL THAT NEWS ANCHOR IS A DOUCHE LOL, this should also serve as a big notice to us that we still have a long way to go before we succeed at getting the population at large educated on what comics even are.
Danny: That has pretty much been my problem with DC’s output as of late -- so much of it adheres to the same kind of boring house style. That’s... not a great way to make comics in the 21st century that people will like and want to read. That is, however, a great way to create “product” and “content.”
The Marvel NOW! contrast is apt (and I’m glad it wasn’t me saying it this time) -- all those titles are pretty much the same basic thing (superheroes! punching!) but the creative teams appear to be allowed to make each of them feel distinct. I’ll take the illusion of diversity over samey, generic stuff any day. I just want comics to be good.
THIS WEEK'S NEW HOTNESS
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
(Prudence Shen, Faith Erin Hicks; First Second)
Danny: I really enjoy the work of Faith Erin Hicks. She’s really prolific, has a great style and she does a lot of work in the young adult genre, which is the demographic that comics should be exploiting the most after kids’ comics. In her latest, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, co-created with Prudence Shen, we’ve got high school antics, unlikely friendships, robotics and cheerleaders. I’ve actually got an advance copy sitting next to me from First Second and it looks like a really fun read.
Andrew: You could almost say “Nothing can possibly go wrong by buying this book!” Anyone know if First Second is looking for a new PR associate?
Nick: It’s great to see more and more webcomics get print releases, simply because it allows them more permanence than web hosting does, and because cranks like me still love to have physical totems. I haven’t read the webcomic myself, but like Danny I’ve got enough, erm, faith in the creative team to trust it’s worth picking up.
Chin Music #1
(Steve Niles, Tony Harris; Image)
Danny: The 30 Days of Night guy and the Ex Machina guy team up for a story of mobsters and monsters in prohibition era Chicago. Should be enjoyable -- Niles makes some entertaining horror comics and people seem to like Tony Harris. I haven’t heard much hype for it, but I imagine it’ll sell pretty well.
Nick: Chin Music has been in the works for a while, and it should be a natural fit for people who are digging Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, as it similarly hybridizes the supernatural and noir. Harris seems like a great fit for the material, too, as his work is full of vintage style, masterful detail and sharp iconography, as his stints on Starman and Ex Machina so capably prove.
Andrew: I hope it’s about using skeletal chins as xylophones.
Danny: That’s in my new anatomical music comic called Body Rock.
Suicide Squad #20
(Ales Kot, Patrick Zircher, Jason Keith; DC)
Danny: After a 19-issue run by writer Adam Glass that carries the distinction of ruining characters that were just fine the way they were (Amanda Waller, Deadshot’s mustache... and Harley Quinn, I guess), Ales Kot of Wild Children and Change teams up with artist Patrick Zircher for a bold new direction and all that jazz. There’s a five-page preview on CBR and it’s got more personality than the stuff preceding it, so I’m jazzed to see how Kot fares in a corporate comics environment (albeit with a fringe book).
Andrew: Kudos to you for not making the obvious “suicide squad/ruining characters” joke.
Danny: What’s the obvious joke there? Ruining characters by making them commit suicide?
Andrew: Pretty much that. Hence making them Glass’s own Suicide Squad.
Nick: I don’t know why I hang out with you guys.