As we head into the weekend, here are some of the cool things the geek crowd is talking about ...
1. Will Tintin Set a Record?
Saturday brings an amazing auction of all things Tintin in Paris. Up for grabs is the original cover art for 1932's Tintin in America. This is one of only five surviving ink and oil gouache-style Tintin covers and one of only two in private hands. The last time this painting sold it went for $973,000 (at today's exchange rate).
It will likely become the first piece of comic book art to break the $1 million barrier.
If you can’t afford that, there’s a ton of other stuff, from ashtrays to crayons to old editions to even a signed set of matches. All vintage.
2. Green Lantern Is Gay!
DC Entertainment announced via a media blitz today that the much-speculated character to be reconfigured as gay will be Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern created in 1940. The story confirmed Bleeding Cool’s scoop from awhile back and caused a few jokes to be made at poor Lantern’s expense. [In the comics, the character had a weakness to wood. I'm not kidding.]
There are those that quibble that this Lantern isn’t the “real” Lantern because he's not named Hal Jordan, more commonly known as the modern Green Lantern and the character made into last year’s movie. But Scott is going to be the leader of the super-team in the comics series Earth-2. He will also be one of the most powerful members and one of the most prominent. (The issue in question, by the way, comes out next Wednesday.)
And those that think this character is going to turn impressionable readers into homosexuals is like saying that a character who is Jewish or Buddhist will turn a reader Jewish or Buddhist. After all, in recent years Batwoman was reintroduced as a lesbian and the stories written and drawn by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III didn't dwell on that fact. Their Batwoman stories were some of the better ones the superhero medium had to offer.
James Robinson, when is he “on,” is one of the better writers out there (his Shade mini-series is one of the best comics of the year), so Scott is in good hands.
3. Best Idea of the Week: A Jack Kirby Museum
There’s been a lot of talk this spring of comics creators rights.
Before Watchmen, a line of comics based on the Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons creations from the 1980s that launches with Minutemen #1 next week, has folks debating the ethics of bad deals and using characters when their co-creator doesn’t want them used.
The success of The Avengers, meanwhile, has people debating the shabby treatment by Marvel of Jack Kirby, who co-created many of the Marvel characters including many of the Avengers. There is also the litigation between Kirby’s heirs and Marvel.
Indie comic creator Zak Sally (via Comics Beat) suggests the creation of a Kirby museum as the best way to honor the creator. This is a great starting point for a debate: standalone museum? A wing of an existing one? In Kirby’s hometown? Should partial proceeds go to his heirs? Do Marvel and DC contribute? Do I hold my breath on that last one?
4. Kidd-ing Around
The original graphic novel Batman: Death by Design came out this week in comic shops (June 5 for book stores) to high expectations. The reason? It’s written by Chip Kidd, known for his award-winning art design of covers and an author in his own right.
The elements are ingredients that get fans and intellectuals salivating: Batman, a 1930s time period, a Fritz Lang/Metropolis setting, architecture.
Right now, though, it’s getting mixed reviews – while some love it (Ain’t It Cool News), most are saying it’s so-so, mainly due to the story. The art by the Dave Taylor, however, is getting raves.
Check it out for yourselves. (This will be part of my weekend read.)
5. Prometheus Premieres
Some people, let’s call them publicists and marketers, throw out the words “highly-anticipated” for a lot of stuff that, quite frankly, ain’t.
But that is the best way to describe Prometheus, the sci-fi Alien prequel from Ridley Scott. There’s such a rabid interest for this movie, which must be making Fox, the movie’s distributor, very happy, since it’s got three live-action movies coming out this summer and they are all R-rated. Risky.
One way of measuring the interest? THR’s review was tweeted 170,000 times.