(1) That eye-popping photo comes from A Candid Interview w/A Man Claiming to be George R. R. Martin at GRRuMblers:
Scorpiknox: What happened to you while you were down at Aussie Con? You look like a new man!
George Martin: …What happened was a few weeks ago I borrowed Ty’s Crocodile Dundee boxed set in preparation for World Con. While I was watching Croc I, it struck me that a genuine Aussie-Style walkabout might do me some good, help turn off my brain, so to speak. As a result, after World Con, I spent a week in Australian outback with an indigenous guide.
(2) If you can imagine, media giant USA Today is asking whether Comic Con is too big:
Even a couple decades ago, it was still about the comics,” says Ted McKeever, author and illustrator of several comic books, including Metropol and Meta 4. McKeever made his first appearance at the convention in 1986. “Then Hollywood came in,” he says. “And the event got bigger and bigger. We’ve been pushed to the side.”
That’s literally in some instances. Comic-book peddlers once had run of the center. Now they are relegated to a few aisles, competing against massive movie and TV billboards and “booth babes” who hand out promotional items.
I was thinking to myself, “So there’s the reason Worldcons aren’t as big as Comic Con, because we’re above that kind of tawdry marketing” — ‘til I suddenly remembered we’re not. Remember what Dave Kyle wrote in “Sex in Fandom” —
There was a lot of joking about the con name for Cincinnati in 1949 because Cinvention was, of course, pronounced “Sinvention.” Whether or not that inspired Lester del Rey, he did deliver a talk on “Sex and Science Fiction.” Our London celebrity guest was E.J. “Ted” Carnell (whose presence was in part due to Forry Ackerman’s promotion of the Big Pond Fund, a precursor to TAFF). We suggested he, as a fan turned pro, follow Lester’s talk with something about his British Carnell (carnal) knowledge. Statuesque Lois Miles became “Miss Science Fiction” for the weekend with a newspaper spread.
If the only thing needed was an eager willingness to sell out, the Worldcon should have turned into a megacon by 1950.
(3) R*K* Millholland’s Something Positive comic shows What cats see when you laser-point them.
(4) Smallville’s Clark Kent has waited longer to put on Superman’s cape and tights than Jethro Bodine spent in the sixth grade:
After 10 long years, Clark Kent of “Smallville” is finally ready to suit up – star Tom Welling reveals that his character will finally don Superman’s famous red cape, blue tights, and “S” shield and take flight in the CW series’s final episode.
The actor who plays Clark insists that doing otherwise would have been like exposing the show to green kryptonite:
“Some people might be a little upset that it’s taken this long, but I think that we have to embrace the fact that if we’d done it in the first season, the show would be over,” 33-year-old Welling.
(6) The animated Neil Gaiman appears in an episode of PBS’ childrens series Arthur on October 25 reports Wired:
Gaiman’s role comes in an episode called “Falafelosophy,” inspiring one of the kids who’s trying her hand at writing and illustrating a graphic novel. It’s paired with what sounds like a suitable companion story, “Tales of the Grotesquely Grim Bunny,” about changes on the shelves at the local comic shop.
(7) Read Andrew Steeves’ My Staring Contest With Wil Wheaton to fully enjoy the payoff:
I rehearsed my pitch over and over in my head, before finally approaching him. “Excuse me, Mr. Wheaton. I know you have a pretty big line, but… well, I’d like to challenge you to a staring contest.” Hardly before I can get the last word out of my mouth, Wheaton leans forward and says one word.
(8) Author Mark Rayner is repeating his successful contest inviting entrants to design advertising posters in a retro style for products from fictional futures. The winner gets a “walk on” appearance in Rayner’s next book. (I think one of the most remarkable posters from last year’s contest is the ad for the US Postal Service based on the movie The Postman.)
(9) Somebody at Fox News is collecting faux advertising, too. Joseph T. Major sends a link to a 50’s-style pinup posed beside an ultra-complicated gadget who says, “A spindizzy going sour makes the galaxy’s most unnerving noise!” The writer appreciatively comments, “We’re not sure what a Graviton Polarity Generator is, but we’re definitely getting one.”
Joe’s footnote is, “The alternative title of They Shall Have Stars is Year 2018! so it won’t be long.”
(10) Yes, that’s Han Solo frozen in carbonite with an elevated glass top as an executive desk. For the fan who has almost everything.
(11) Of 17 everyday products made to look like the Starship Enterprise David Klaus wants the cufflinks: “I’ll bet Gene would have loved them.” The pizza cutter is my favorite.
(12) Today’s Andrew Porter trivia answer: “You can find my real name on the membership roles of the 1963 worldcon; there’s also a photo of me at the banquet. The answer’s also in Idle Minds #4.”
[Thanks for these links goes out to Andrew Porter, James Hay, Joseph T. Major, Ron Oakes, David Klaus and Taral.]