Pixel Scroll 2/17/19 May The Pixels Be Always In Your Favor

(1) GRRM BOUND FOR BELFAST. TitanCon EuroCon 2019 has announced their first Guest of Honour, George R. R. Martin.

Science fiction, fantasy and horror writer George R.R. Martin began his SFF career in comics, writing letters to the Stan Lee-written Fantastic Four and Avengers in the mid-1960s, and published his first novel in 1977. A multiple winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, Martin was already critically acclaimed for his novels Fevre Dream, Dying of the Light and Tuf Voyaging, and his work on the Wild Cards superhero anthology series, when released his game-changing fantasy novel A Game of Thrones in 1996….

George was instrumental in TitanCon’s creation, as you can read about in our TitanCon History page, and appeared at our first pre-con Moot. So it is only fitting that he returns to Belfast to see our take on EuroCon!

TitanCon has announced two other participants as well —

We are also proud to present our, for the first time ever, Toastmutant!

Pat Cadigan and Peadar Ó Guilín have agreed to achieve some sort of symbiosis and appear as our Toastmutant – as if there was ever any doubt that we wanted, nay needed, them both? We hope it wont be too messy! We know they are going to be wonderful hosts, and Pat will turn the party out, whilst minding Peadar and helping him curb his cannibalistic tendencies.

(2) OOPS! ChiZine Publications suffered a little bit of a disaster this weekend at Boskone:

Brett and Sandra are at Boskone 56 right now. Our entire stock of books was mistakenly put out on the freebie table.

If you grabbed a book from or see someone with a CZP, CHITEEN, or CHIGRAPHIC book, please tell them to return them to us at our dealer’s table, location A5. Or you can just come and pay for it! We are reasonably priced!

They later posted some good news:

We are quite overcome. Thank you to all the fans, readers and everyone at Boskone 56… A bunch of our missing books (that were mistakenly put out on the freebie table) were returned! We have recovered almost a full third. So our dealer’s table no longer looks so sparse. Come by and see our wares!

(3) CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY AWARDS. Given February 16, the 2019 Cinema Audio Society Award winners were light on sff. The only genre winner was:

MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED
Isle of Dogs
Original Dialogue Mixer: Darrin Moore
Re-recording Mixer: Christopher Scarabosio
Re-recording Mixer: Wayne Lemmer
Scoring Mixer: Xavier Forcioli
Scoring Mixer: Simon Rhodes
Foley Mixer: Peter Persaud, CAS

(4) BLACK PANTHER. Kenneth Turan, the LA Times’ revered film critic, presents his case: “Oscars: Why ‘Black Panther’ deserves to win best picture”.

…Nowhere is it written, though voters sometimes act as if it is, that the Oscars are an elitist award for which mass-appeal movies need not apply. In a sane world, intelligently satisfying an enormous audience should be one of the things the Oscars are all about.

The key word there is “intelligently,” and if you’ve watched more than your share of superhero movies, you know that quality is often in short supply in a genre dominated by business-as-usual boilerplate.

Coogler (who cowrote with Joe Robert Cole) ensured that “Black Panther” would be an exception, in part by retaining his core creative team of collaborators, including composer Ludwig Goransson and production designer Hannah Beachler (both Oscar-nominated) as well as editor Michael P. Shawver and cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

Adding costume designer Ruth E. Carter (also nominated, for the third time in a distinguished career) was icing on the cake….

(5) COMPETING MARVELS. Adam Lance Garcia, in “The Twisted Story of How We Wound Up With Two Captain Marvel Movies (And Why One is Named SHAZAM!)” on Yahoo! Entertainment, discusses the backstory of how C.C. Beck and Bill Parker created Captain Marvel for Fawcett Comics in 1940, how National Comics sued Fawcett claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, how Fawcett killed Captain Marvel as a result of the lawsuit, and how Marvel resurrected the name for a different character in the late 1960s, forcing DC to rename the character Shazam! when they revived it in 1972.

First we need to rewind to 1938, when Superman created the superhero genre overnight, and comic book publishers, eager to get into the burgeoning superhero market, began creating countless flash-in-the-pan heroes in an attempt to recapture the magic of Superman.

Heroes such as Major Victory, Stardust the Super Wizard and Air-Male and Stampy — yes, these are all real — would only last a few issues before being tossed into the dustbin of comics history.

But in 1939, writer Bill Parker and artist C.C. Beck created a hero that, for a time, would become the most popular superhero in the world.

His name? Captain Marvel….

(6) TRAILER SPOOF. Not only does this Captain have a split personality, she can’t remember one of them…

In this animated parody of the Captain Marvel movie trailer, the titular Capitano gets her mission to eliminate Skrulls confused with her personal hatred of senior citizens, Talos reveals what a true megastar he is and Nick Fury refuses to throw the first cat-punch. Let’s war party!

(7) IDEAS. Andrew Liptak, in the February 17 edition of Wordplay, tells what he’s looking for at conventions:

…Cons can sometimes be frustrating (your milage will vary from con to con), but I’ve been finding these sorts of events excellent for networking within the SF/F field, but not so much for getting anything productive out of them when it comes to the panels and programming. My standing advice for authors — if you’re looking for inspiration / advice / information that will be useful to you as a writer — is to hit up industry conventions and conferences instead. My trip to the West Point Modern War Institute’s conference last fall generated more useful ideas and talking points than I’ve gotten at places like Boskone or ReaderCon. I did get one solid idea for a story out of one panel, and I’m going to try and write that up this week… 

(8) EXTENDED DOOM. Here’s a long-version trailer for DC’s Doom Patrol, which DCUniverse began airing on February 15.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 17, 1912 Andre Norton. She penned well over a dozen series, but her major series was Witch World which began rather appropriately with Witch World in 1963. The first six novels in that series were Ace Books paperback originals published in the Sixties. (Died 2005.)
  • Born February 17, 1930 Ruth Rendell. whose full name of Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (née Grasemann) is quite wonderful. I know her only as an English author of very superb thrillers and somewhat disturbing murder mysteries but ISFDB lists her as doing horror as well to my surprise in the form as three novels, to wit The Killing DollThe Tree of Hands and The Bridesmaid, plus a not inconsiderable amount of short fiction that is fantasy no doubt. She was also the editor of A Warning to the Curious: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James. (Died 2015.)
  • Born February 17, 1939 Kathy Keeton. Founder and publisher of Omni. It was founded by her and her partner and future husband Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse. It would publish a number of stories that have become genre classics, such as Card’s “Unaccompanied Sonata”, Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” “and “Johnny Mnemonic” and George R. R. Martin’s “Sandkings” to name a few of the stories that appeared there. (Died 1997.)
  • Born February 17, 1947 Bruce Gillespie, 72. He’s one of the major Australian SF fans and is best known for his long-running fanzine SF Commentary. Over the years, he’s published The Metaphysical ReviewSteam Engine Time and is currently putting out Treasure. He was fan guest of honour at Aussiecon 3, the 57th Worldcon held in Melbourne in 1999.
  • Born February 17, 1954 Don Coscarelli, 65. A film director, producer, and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep, the latter based a novella by Joe R. Lansdale whom I’ve met and who is a really nice person.
  • Born February 17 1974, — Jerry O’Connell, 45. Quinn Mallory on Sliders, a series whose behind the broadcast politics is too tangled to detail here. His first SF role was on Mission to Mars as Phil Ohlmyer with the SF dark comedy Space Space Station 76 with him as Steve being his next role. He’s done a lot of of DCU voice work, Captain Marvel in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Clark Kent / Superman in Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Justice League: Throne of AtlantisJustice League Dark, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen where he also plays Cyborg Superman. The latter film is kickass excellent. 
  • Born February 17, 1979 Dominic Purcell, 40. Best known as Mick Rory / Heat Wave in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Dracula from Blade: Trinity. He was lead as Tim Manfrey in Primeval where I’m assuming the giant croc ate him. Was that a spoiler? Oh well. Blood Creek, previously known as Creek and Town Creek — marketing woes? — has him as Victor Alan Marshall mixing with the occult and Nazis. Lastly I’ve got him on Beastmaster as Kelb in a recurring role.

(10) I’M SORRY, I’LL READ THAT AGAIN. “Maine farm’s bid to save ‘Game of Thrones’ goats imperiled by crackdown on semen” was a headline in the Bangor Daily News this week. The story involves efforts to sustain an endangered breed of goats. One of them was eaten by a dragon on Game of Thrones, but that was a CGI dragon and not really why they’re endangered….

Much of the semen comes from goats in Johanna Thorvaldsdottir’s flock on her farm, Haafell, in Borgarnes, Iceland. Thorvaldsdottir owns the world’s largest flock of Icelandic goats, with 208 in total. Her goats were the lucky flock featured in the 2014 “Game of Thrones” episode.

(11) HAVE AN APPLE, DEARIE? Paste Magazine delights readers with news that “Colleen Doran Adapts Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples for Dark Horse Comics”.

Today, we bring Gaiman fans even more glad tidings: “Snow, Glass, Apples”, Gaiman’s chilling retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, will join Dark Horse’s growing stable of Gaiman adaptations courtesy of The Sandman contributor Colleen Doran, who previously adapted and illustrated Gaiman’s Troll Bridge.

In typically topsy-turvy Gaiman fashion, Snow, Glass, Apples portrays a not-so-evil queen desperately trying to stop her wicked step-daughter’s “happily” ever after that was never supposed to be. Stopping ever after, however, is no small task…

(12) PLUS CA CHANGE. Despite tons of changes going on, Forbes contributor Mark Hughes thinks the DC Extended Universe is going great (“Why The Future Of DCEU Movies Looks Brighter Than Ever”). The article is long enough to strain the attention span of even those who haven’t been Twitterized, but maintains an almost uniformly positive view throughout. Some of the additions and changes below to the DC movie universe are recent and some date back a few months, but the stuff addressed in Hughes’ article includes:

  • An Aquaman spinoff, The Trench, has been announced
  • The Aquaman sequel has signed a screenwriter
  • Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed from the original mooted date, leaving only Shazam! and Joker on the 2019 slate for the DCEU
  • The Flash is still in preproduction with no start date announced
  • James Gunn—after being booted from working on the Marvel Cinematic Universe—has been hired in the DCEU
  • The next Suicide Squad movie will be a “soft reboot” rather than a sequel and will drop Harley Quinn
  • There seems to be no future for the Jared Leto version of Joker (from Suicide Squad) so don’t expect Leto to share the screen with Margot Robbie (at least in the DCEU)
  • Superman probably will not take to the screen for the next few years; a Supergirl movie is up next in that corner of the DCEU—circa 2021
  • After losing one writer-director-actor (Ben Affleck), The Batman movie has a writer-director (Matt Reeves) on board, but the script is still being polished
  • Rumors are ongoing about New Gods and Green Lantern Corps projects, but nothing is firm on either (especially the latter)
  • Tons of other potential projects are mentioned, but they’re even more speculative

(13) MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. [Item by Mike Kennedy.]NPR: “Ph.D. Student Breaks Down Electron Physics Into A Swinging Musical” (The title is slightly misleading in that it’s about formation of Cooper pairs, superconductivity, and even delves a little into quantum computing).

It took [PhD candidate] Senarath Yapa six weeks to choreograph and write the songs for “Superconductivity: The Musical!” — a three-act swing dance depicting the social lives of electrons. The video is based on his master’s thesis, which he completed while pursuing his degree at the University of Victoria in Canada.

[…] “Superconductivity relies on lone electrons pairing up when cooled below a certain temperature,” Senarath Yapa told Science. “Once I began to think of electrons as unsociable people who suddenly become joyful once paired up, imagining them as dancers was a no-brainer!”

(14) BOOK FUNNIES. This kind of listicle can be tedious; or it can illuminate basic truths. Well, OK, not basic, but a lot of truths (“21 A+ Jokes About Books That Will Make You Snort-Laugh”). Many in Buzzfeed’s collection of tweets about books relate to genre works; many others are simply relatable.

(15) PHONE HOME. ScienceAlert.com says “An Asteroid Will Block Our Brightest Star on Monday, And Astronomers Need Your Help”.

An occultation of Sirius (by an asteroid named Jürgenstock) will be observable in parts of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean Monday 18 February and some astronomers are asking for your help. (Note the this projected path of the occultation is a major shift from that reported at the time the ScienceAlert article was written. That earlier prediction crossed a large swath of North America.)

Full instructions for how to help can be found in a post in this post by Bill Merline and David Dunham.

(16) IS THIS COOL, OR WHAT? Put me down for “What?” This idea definitely fits my notion of “counter-intutive” — “Elon Musk Says SpaceX Is Developing a Complex ‘Bleeding’ Heavy-Metal Rocket Ship”.

The spaceship is designed to be refueled in low-Earth orbit in order to propel 100 passengers and more than 100 tons of cargo at a time to Mars.

But the success or failure of the launch system – and by extension Musk’s plan to back up the human race – may boil down to the viability of two major and recent design changes, which Musk has described as “radical” and “delightfully counterintuitive.”

One change involves building the spaceship from stainless-steel alloysinstead of carbon-fibre composites.

But the most surprising shift, according to aerospace-industry experts, is the way Starship will try to keep itself from burning up in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth.

Instead of relying on of thousands of heavy ceramic tiles to shield Starship from heat, as NASA did with its space shuttle, Musk says the spaceship will “bleed” rocket fuel through tiny pores to cool itself down.

In theory, putting liquid between Starship’s steel skin and the scorching-hot plasma generated while it plows through atmospheric gases would prevent the ship’s destruction

(17) HELP ME OBI-WAN SHOE-NOBI. Time to upgrade your kicks? Maybe this is what you’re looking for (DorkSideOfTheForce: “Inkkas Star Wars New Rebel Footwear Collection is now available”). They’re available in a wide range of unisex sizes, but apparently not in various widths. Most styles are slip ons, but there are also lace ups including some high tops.

These are the shoes you are looking for. The Inkkas new Star Wars Rebel Collection has arrived with characters such as Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca.

Available for both men and women the new Star Wars Rebel Collection by Inkkas is here! Take your pick from boots, to high tops, and slip-on shoes representing both the Rebellion and The Empire….

Who run the world? Girls. Who run the universe? Also, girls. Obviously. The Future is FEMALE, y’all, and these tough and brilliant characters are all the reminder that we need to stand up and fight for what matters.

*bleep bloop bleep bloop* We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, R2-D2! That heroic droid always knows exactly what to say. In case you need some translation help: this shoe features a clean and striking representation of one of our favorite characters on a sleek, slim slip on shoe.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Sophie Jones, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, JJ Chip Hitchcock, Mlex, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/17/19 May The Pixels Be Always In Your Favor

  1. (5) That’s a decent article, but it skips over two other things that make the story even weirder:

    1. Shortly after Marvel created their own Captain Marvel character – as kind of a generic space-opera hero – they completely revised him to be a superhero who pops into existence when needed, to take the place of an ordinary young man, via a vaguely defined piece of alien technology. In other words, a science-fiction version of the original Captain Marvel/Shazam. The writer said he meant it as an homage, but it’s kind of ironic given that Fawcett was sued out of existence for designing a superhero who resembled another superhero much less closely than that.

    2. Immediately after Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel in 1953, a British publisher who had the reprint rights in England decided to continue with their own unauthorized version, “Marvelman”. Fawcett wasn’t around to sue them, and Marvelman ended in 1963 so Marvel Comics didn’t care either. However, in 1982 Alan Moore revived the character (in a dark adult version, of course) and when the new series came to the US, Marvel Comics decided any title with “Marvel” in it was unacceptable even though in this case it was older than their own company. So the US publisher renamed it “Miracleman” for the rest of its run. After the publisher folded, there was a long legal struggle over the rights, and they ended up being bought by… Marvel Comics, who then decided to reprint the series and change its name back to “Marvelman”.

    So, Marvel Comics now not only owns the name “Captain Marvel”, which it used at one point for a character who was a lot like Shazam except in outer space, but also “Marvelman” who started out as the closest possible ripoff of Shazam in every way. But Shazam is the one who had to change his name. Comics publishing is weird (note, what I wrote above is the short version of that story).

  2. Great to see David Thayer is still at it! Haven’t seen him in years, or even heard from him.

    Haven’t seen Colleen Doran either, but her new project sounds pretty interesting.

  3. I never heard of Toon Sandwich before, but I thought that was pretty funny, so I’d be happy to see more from them.

  4. Marvel Comics decided any title with “Marvel” in it was unacceptable even though in this case it was older than their own company.

    The age of it doesn’t matter, because trademark depends on use. “Marvelman” hadn’t been used as a logo (or other mark used in trade) for decades, during which time Marvel Comics had popularized their adopted company name (and even introduced a character briefly named “Marvel Man”). Any trademark rights in the British Marvelman had long expired by the early 1980s, and probably never existed in the US anyway.

    If I remember correctly, Marvel also pointed out that they could make trouble over Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer, since Marvel had some minor villains named the Rocketeers, but once Eclipse changed Marvelman’s name to Miracleman they dropped that, because, again, they didn’t care about that, just about protecting their company name.

    But Shazam is the one who had to change his name.

    He didn’t, really. Marvel’s trademark rights had prevented DC from using CAPTAIN MARVEL as a logo since the early 1970s, but they’d called the character Captain Marvel that whole time.

    They changed the name because they didn’t want to have a character whose name they couldn’t use as a logo. Which is sensible, but it was voluntary.

    Ironically, Marvel also had a character named Miracle Man, who had appeared more often than their Marvel Man, and they could have contested that, too, but they didn’t care — they just didn’t want a competing publisher using their company name.

    Other characters in similar situations include the Golden Age Daredevil, who is in the public domain but Marvel has an active trademark on the title DAREDEVIL. And for a while Marvel lost the rights to the title CHAMPIONS, because they’d allowed the trademark to lapse. The role-playing game company that picked it up later let it lapse themselves, and Marvel’s gotten it back now.

  5. 16) I like the idea of using rocket fuel for evaporative cooling because nothing bad could possibly happen should the resulting vapor gets too hot.

  6. 9) Slight nit picking, but when someone “is” a character in an animated film, it is called voice, and is not playing a role. Or is there a better way to clarify this?

    I often get a little sidetracked when people express awe for the “actors” in an animated film, and credit for the animators is given a back of the bus treatment.

    It was a few years back that some of the better known voice actors were grousing about being set aside for big name screen actors, and not those who were developed vocal talents and possessed credits of long standing.

    14) Many years ago in High School, I signed by homework papers as
    Robert J.R.E.I. Whitaker. A teacher pinned me down and asked “what do those stand for?”. I said “ridiculous extra initials.”

  7. The next Suicide Squad movie will be a “soft reboot” rather than a sequel and will drop Harley Quinn

    And presumably, the joker with her. Granted, she was a good part of the movie (with Will Smith IMO), but generally only when she didn;’t have to deal with Mr. J

    Here in 2903, we’re about to reboot Suicide Squad–on a space station around Io. I

  8. Robert Whitaker Sirignano nitpicks Slight nit picking, but when someone “is” a character in an animated film, it is called voice, and is not playing a role. Or is there a better way to clarify this?

    No. They are playing a role. My. Birthday notes, my write-up rules.

  9. Trying to watch Supernatural tonight and the DVD player starts acting up. I have no disc and I must stream.

  10. Unexpected title credit-yay!

    Apparently I missed the expected news that Netflix Punisher is cancelled and Netflix JessicaJones will end after season 3.

    Will Disney/Marvel/Hulu bring anything of them back? I doubt it, unless they want to really do the defender series now… (And if there will be a new punisher series, I hope they keep Bernthal, as ge nailed the character and is the sole reason Im still watching season 2s misconceptions about psychology and mental illnesses)

    @cliff: LOL

  11. @7: I wonder whether those industry conferences are better or worse than general-interest conventions at providing cross-checks on the ideas he’s scooping up.

    @9: Norton was also about diversity when diversity wasn’t even a word, and about leads who grew beyond being truly beaten down (rather than just misunderstood geniuses/supermen) long before that was fashionable. For me, her writing style hasn’t survived the suck fairy, but I think I learned a lot more from her work (a lot of which I read before finishing elementary school) about being a decent person, without ever being preached at.

    @16: ISTM that if they’re going to bleed anything, they’d get a better result with water, which has a very high specific heat and state-change energy (whatever the proper term is for the latter).

    @Cat Eldredge: you tell him! (Entirely aside from type specimens such as Robin Williams’s genie(sp?), who put in a lot that the scriptwriters hadn’t thought of.)

  12. As crossover comics have been a thing for some time, has there ever been a crossover of all the different Captain Marvel/Marvel Man superhero characters. They could all have a huge fight about trademarks. I’m guessing Marvel would win as they’ve got a bigger roster of Captain/Ms Marvels.

  13. The next Suicide Squad movie will be a “soft reboot” rather than a sequel and will drop Harley Quinn

    She’ll be a lead in Birds of Prey, which is filming, so she’s not being dropped that hard. Plus it looks like the latest update is that she’ll be in Suicide Squad after all.

  14. Chip say to me you tell him! (Entirely aside from type specimens such as Robin Williams’s genie(sp?), who put in a lot that the scriptwriters hadn’t thought of.)

    The voice actor always effectively finishes out the character with their voice as the animation is only one aspect of that character. Just think of Kevin Conroy in Batman: The Animated Series as a prime example of how much the voice actor adds to what the animator did. Or Mark Hamill as The Joker in the same series.

    And credit goes to the Voice Director such in this case Andrea Romano.

  15. 16) I like the idea of using rocket fuel for evaporative cooling because nothing bad could possibly happen should the resulting vapor gets too hot.

    Yes, it’s counterintuitive, and yes it’s fun to poke fun at them, but I -suspect- that they may have actually thought about that and have some reason for pursuing the avenue they’re pursuing.

    I mean….they have a pretty decent track record so far. I don’t see anyone else doing SF tailfin first soft landings!

  16. Eli wrote:

    …after Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel in 1953, a British publisher who had the reprint rights in England decided to continue with their own unauthorized version, “Marvelman”. Fawcett wasn’t around to sue them, and Marvelman ended in 1963 so Marvel Comics didn’t care either. However, in 1982 Alan Moore revived the character (in a dark adult version, of course) and when the new series came to the US, Marvel Comics decided any title with “Marvel” in it was unacceptable…

    Oh, Lordy, the whole Miracleman/Marvelman ownership rights were significantly more confused than anyone should ever have to deal with. I was a huge fan of the Moore/Gaiman revival, so wound up following the resulting suits with a mix of horror and disbelief.

    There was a fellow named Dez Skinn who supposedly had the rights. He managed to convince Alan Moore and others into doing Marvelman stories in Skinn’s magazine Warrior. Skinn’s rights apparently turned out to be a myth; see the details in the Wikipedia article on he controversy, which is remarkably even-handed.

    The U.S. publisher, Eclipse, supposedly got some of the rights from Skinn/Moore/Gaiman, but since Skinn didn’t actually have them in the first place, things were on very shaky ground. Then Eclipse and most of its records were destroyed in a flood. Todd McFarlane claimed to have bought the rights at Eclipse’s bankruptcy sale, but was never actually able to come up with the paperwork showing Eclipse had received the rights. This eventually led to the whole Gaiman/McFarlane lawsuit, which McFarlane lost big time.

    All of which is pretty peripheral to the original Fawcett/DC over Captain Marvel except for the ongoing similarity of names and the big takeaway lessons – don’t believe you have the rights until you get the paperwork trail, and don’t even trust that trail if any of the intermediaries are not longer around to verify the transfers.

  17. re: voice actors, also motion capture actors.

    Just the other day a friend and i were discussing the massive changes in movies brought about by computer power and CGI. We discussed that the acting of a motion capture character owed a lot to the person being motion captured. Thinking Andy Serkis in LoTR and the Planet of the Apes series.

    Are we on the cusp of finally creating CGI characters that are NOT in the uncanny valley? And what are the implications of that?

    The Frozen 2 trailer released last week was amazing because of the step up in the animation. The opening sequence where Elsa is running into crashing breaking waves has animation of the water that is photorealistic. Many people who saw it had no idea it was animated until Elsa came into frame.

    I remember a Hugo winning story about a stage actor that was rebelling against live actors being replaced by robots. Hive mind? Can anyone recall the story? In any case, it looks like CGI instead of robots will be taking over.

  18. Techgrrl1972: I remember a Hugo winning story about a stage actor that was rebelling against live actors being replaced by robots. Hive mind? Can anyone recall the story?

    Connie Willis’ All About Emily is about an artificial person whom the main character, a famous actress, suspects of wanting to push her out and take her job.

  19. Techgrrl1972,
    Another Connie Willis, “Remake” is a short novel where CGI has replaced live actors in movies. It was a Hugo nominee. Is that the one you’re thinking of?

  20. Actors being replace by some sort of technological solution (the details escape me at this point) was also a plot point in Ben Bova’s The Starcrossed, his riff on the travails of the “Starlost” TV series.

  21. A couple of catchup notes now that Boskone is over:

    14th, birthdays: Teller has also provided (consulted, trained, etc.) magic for at least two Shakespeare fantasies I know of; Macbeth some years ago in IIRC New Jersey, and The Tempest a few years ago in Boston. (I saw the latter; Ariel was on stage as a card mechanic while the audience was coming in, and Prospero “vanished” his book (followed by the sound effect of a splash), among many notable bits.)

    15th, Arisia: I see the newsletter gives a warm-body count ~500 below the membership (the latter being AFAICT what was quoted in the newsletters) — and even so the hotel was crowded; I don’t know why they thought they could bump the cap 40% from what it last was (IIRC) there.
    Letting Marriott buy Sheraton/Westin was a big (but hardly unexpected) US govt. error — but Boston was especially screwed as it has no big Hyatt or Hilton (the other major chains still standing, AFAICR) and the independent Park Plaza is a wretched location — very little intermediate-size function space, and the small spaces are almost all two floors (via friendly stairs or slow elevators) above the upper of the two main floors.

    Techgrrl1972’s story sounds most like “The Darfsteller” to me.

  22. The Darfstellar. That’s the one I was remembering.
    But now I need to go seek out the others, because they sound interesting…

  23. @Camestros Felapton: All of the DC/Marvel Captain Marvels appeared in JLA/Avengers, aka Avengers/JLA (written by Filer Kurt Busiek) with a few provisos:

    1) Carol Danvers did appear, but at the time of publication had not yet taken on the title Captain Marvel and so appeared as Ms. Marvel, Warbird and possibly Binary (time travel shenanigans)
    2) I don’t think Captain Marvel Jr. appeared, not having yet been a member of the JLA at the time of publication, but it’s possible Kurt (or artist George Perez) sneaked him in somewhere and I didn’t notice.

  24. If I remember correctly, Marvel also pointed out that they could make trouble over Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer, since Marvel had some minor villains named the Rocketeers, but once Eclipse changed Marvelman’s name to Miracleman they dropped that, because, again, they didn’t care about that, just about protecting their company name.

    That doesn’t sound like much of a case. Marvel has never in its history used the word “Rocketeer” or “Rocketeers” in the name of a comic book. For that reason any attempt to claim it as a non-registered trademark would be extremely difficult.

  25. That doesn’t sound like much of a case.

    Comics history is full of legal threats that don’t amount to much of a case. One time, Marvel sent Valiant a cease-and-desist letter over X-O MANOWAR, on the grounds that Marvel owned the letter X for comic book logos.

    Valiant told them to fuck off, and they fucked off.

    The point wasn’t to win an actual court case, it was to indicate that they could trouble for Eclipse, which didn’t have the money for any sort of extended fight over this stuff, to get them to change the title of MARVELMAN.

  26. One thing I want to note is that contrary to something said upthread, when Marvel Comics reprinted Miracleman, they did not in fact change the name back to Marvelman.

    (Oh, and don’t get me started on Moore’s version of Gargunza being too stupid to live.)

  27. One thing I want to note is that contrary to something said upthread, when Marvel Comics reprinted Miracleman, they did not in fact change the name back to Marvelman.

    They reprinted the MIRACLEMAN stuff as Miracleman, and reprinted MARVELMAN stuff as Marvelman.

    As I understand it, they want to keep the name Miracleman for the Moore & Gaiman stuff, to distinguish it from (a) the 50s Marvelman stuff and (b) any future use they might want to make of the character, in the Marvel Universe, which they would do under the Marvelman name.

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