Pixel Scroll 4/11/24 One Scroll, Furnished In Early Pixelry

(1) IT PAYS TO BE A GENIUS OF COURSE. The Steampunk Explorer updates fans about the Girl Genius Kickstarter:

Call it mad science or just good storytelling, but Phil and Kaja Foglio are blazing through Kickstarter with their latest Girl Genius graphic novel. The campaign for An Entertainment In Londinium reached its US$50,000 funding goal within 24 hours and is now in six-figure territory. It launched on April 3.

Stretch goal rewards include the “Envelope of Madness” with bookplates, bookmarks, and other printed items. Backers will also get PDF downloads of Volumes 12 through 14. All Girl Genius titles are now available for 50 percent off from DriveThru Comics through May 5.

The campaign itself runs through May 1. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

(2) OCTOTHORPE. Episode 107 of the Octothorpe podcast unpacks“The Significance of the Acorn”.

At Eastercon we welcomed Stunt Liz, Nicholas Whyte, to the podcast for the first time, and he brought an excellent tartan rocket! We discuss Glasgow 2024’s April Fool’s Day joke, before moving onto the Hugo Award finalists, what we think of Telford, and chatting about a lot of British TV.

Transcript here.

John, Alison, and Nicholas Whyte stand in front of a projection of the Octothorpe podcast and behind a panel table. Each of them wears a convention badge, and Nicholas holds the Glasgow Landing Zone Rocket. Nicholas is looking at the camera, while John and Alison are not quite as good at this. The table they stand behind holds beers, coffees, convention newsletters, phone batteries, microphones, and table tents.
Octothorpe at Levitation. Photo by Sue Dawson.

(3) HUGE RESPONSE. “’Joker 2′ Trailer Hits 167 Million Views in First 24 Hours” reports Variety.

The trailer launch for “Joker: Folie à Deux” was no laughing matter for Warner Bros. The marketing for the studio’s upcoming DC sequel, headlined by Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, got off to a stellar start with 167 million viewers in its first 24 hours. The teaser trailer went online right after it debuted at Warner Bros.’s CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas.

Sources tell Variety that the “Joker” sequel’s trailer numbers and social engagement surpassed that of the first “Barbie” trailer to become Warner Bros.’ biggest launch in recent years. The release was no doubt bolstered by Lady Gaga’s massive 150 million follower social media footprint. The trailer instantly became the #1 trending video on YouTube on premiere night and currently boasts 15.6 million views and counting on that platform alone, where it remains the #4 trending video nearly two days after its launch…

(4) ANOTHER DISNEY CASTING KERFUFFLE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] OK, this has gotten out of hand. It seems like every time there’s a movie remake (especially a Disney remake) somebody has to find way to get all bent out of shape about casting. Much of the time, a racist way.

But this time they jumped the gun extra early. There’s a rumored casting of a live action remake for Disney’s Tangled. But, let’s be clear, there’s no further rumor of the remake itself, just the casting.

So now some people online are jumping all over the actress (Avantika Vandanapu) who happens to be Indian-American. Because reasons. Stupid, racist, reasons. 

As one online commentator said, the haters seriously “still need a hobby.” “Avantika Vandanapu receives backlash for rumored casting as Rapunzel in ‘Tangled’ remake” says Variety.

…Although Avantika’s rumored casting received criticism from some on social media, fans also showed support for the “Senior Year” actress.

“These comments are so awful. I’m so sorry girl you are perfect,” one Instagram user wrote, while another added, “She is my Rapunzel ❤”

“Never Have I Ever” star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan also appeared to weigh in on the online controversy, writing on X Tuesday, “And they finally woke up to realize it was all just rumors and the sources never existed. … And to the racists, y’all still need a hobby (for real)”…

(5) ELUSIVE BRADBURY COLLECTION. Episode 2 of Phil Nichols’ Bradbury 101, first aired in 2021, is devoted to a rare OP anthology.

DARK CARNIVAL is Ray Bradbury’s great “lost” book, one of his finest short story collections. But it’s out of print, and has been for decades! Find out why in this episode..

(6) TRINA ROBBINS (1938-2024). Trina Robbins, artist, writer and editor of comics, died April 10. The New York Times has a biographical tribute.

…In 1970, Ms. Robbins was one of the creators of It Ain’t Me Babe, the first comic book made exclusively by women. In 1985, she was the first woman to draw a full issue of Wonder Woman, and a full run on a Wonder Woman series, after four decades of male hegemony. And in 1994, she was a founder of Friends of Lulu, an advocacy group for female comic-book creators and readers….

…Ms. Robbins was responsible for the first publication of some notable cartoonists in The East Village Other, including Vaughn Bode and Justin Green, but she took particular pride in the women’s anthologies she edited and co-edited, and in their explicitly feminist content: It Ain’t Me Babe Comix, Wimmen’s Comix and the erotic Wet Satin.

She also designed the famously skimpy outfit for Vampirella, a female vampire who appeared in black-and-white comics beginning in 1969 — although her design was not as skimpy as the costume later became. “The costume I originally designed for Vampi was sexy, but not bordering on obscene,” Ms. Robbins told the Fanbase Press website in 2015. “I will not sign a contemporary Vampirella comic. I explain, that is not the costume I designed.”…

Prior to her career in comics, Robbins was a clothing designer and seller, and for awhile a pinup model. She was in contact with fandom in the Fifties and Sixties, and posed for the cover of an issue of Fanac, the fannish newzine, wearing a propellor beanie and with her feminine attributes strategically covered by a copy of Fancyclopedia.

Harlan Ellison and Trina Robbins at the 1955 Midwestcon.


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 11, 1920 Peter O’Donnell. (Died 2010.) London-born Peter O’Donnell was the creator of the Modesty Blaise comic strip along with illustrator Jim Holdaway sixty-one years ago. She has no past as she doesn’t remember anything about her life before escaping from a displaced persons camp in Greece after WW II at the age of fifteen. She runs a criminal gang called The Network, and takes her last name from Merlin’s tutor. Her sidekick, of course she has one, is Willie Garvin, to give a bit of friendship in her life.

Peter O’Donnell from the rear dustjacket flap of the Archival Press edition of The Silver Mistress. Photo by Robert K. Wiener.

O’Donnell and Holdaway met when they worked together on a strip about Romeo Brown, a dashing private detective and reluctant ladies’ man, that ran in the tabloid Evening Standard for most of the Fifties. Blaise, too, would run here. It was quickly picked up globally running in the US, Australian, Indian, South African, Malaysian and other papers as she had a great appeal.

After Holdaway’s death in 1970, the art was by Spanish artist Enrique Romero. He would leave eight years later with three artists replacing him until he came back until the end of the strip with it still running in the Evening Standard thirty-eight years after it debuted. 

Yes, it became a film which came just three years into the running of the strip. My did it piss O’Donnell off. Why so? Because he was hired to write the script which they then shitcanned and wrote a new one that had almost nothing to do with characters, the storyline or, well, anything else with the strip. Remember that friendship between her and Willie? Here it becomes full blown romance. And that’s just one of many, many changes. 

A later film, Modesty Blaise, would be done as a pilot for a series that never happened and yet another film, My Name is Modesty Blaise, would be done for yet another series that never happened.  The one had O’Donnell as a consultant and he liked it.

My Name is Modesty Blaise would be the only one with a British actress as the first had an Italian actress. Now Modesty wasn’t necessarily British as O’Donnell repeatedly said her nationality was deliberately not revealed. 

I’ve not touched upon the plethora of books, short stories, graphic novels and original audiobooks that came of these characters in the part sixty years, and I’ll skip detailing them here. 

So there you are. I did enjoy the strip when Titan, one of many who did, collected them in trade editions. I think there’s at least fifty trade paper editions available right now on Amazon. 


(9) BE KIND TO YOUR WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS. This July, Marvel and Disney honor the 90th anniversary of Donald Duck and the 50th anniversary of Wolverine with an unexpected mashup adventure—Marvel & Disney: What If…? Donald Duck Became Wolverine #1.

Crafted by two acclaimed Disney comic creators, writer Luca Barbieri and artist Giada Perissinotto, MARVEL & DISNEY: WHAT IF…? DONALD BECAME WOLVERINE #1 is the latest comic book collaboration between Marvel and Disney following the What If…? Disney Variant Covers of the last few years and the highly anticipated Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1 one-shot comic out this June. Fans can look forward to even more exciting crossovers between Marvel heroes and Disney icons throughout this year and next! 

The comic will introduce Donald-Wolverine along with all sorts of reimagined Disney and Marvel mashups in a wild adventure inspired by one of Wolverine’s most memorable story arcs, Old Man Logan. In addition, the saga will revisit some of the greatest moments in Donald-Wolverine’s history including his time spent with Weapon X and the Uncanny X-Men!  

Travel to the near future where chaos rules as Pete-Skull transforms Duckburg into a super-hero-less wasteland. Only Old Donald Duck can turn the tide, but he’s given up his battling days and prefers naps and his grandma’s apple pie over fighting villains. But when Mickey-Hawkeye comes knocking at the door with Goofy-Hulk at his side, Wolverine-Donald has to make a choice! Will a trip down memory lane change his mind to save the world? Or will the lure of the backyard hammock and a long nap keep him from popping his claws one last time?

(10) FOLLOWING GODZILLA’S ACT. Variety learns, “‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ Renewed, Multiple Spinoffs Set at Apple”.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” has been renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+Variety has learned.

In addition, Apple has struck a deal with Legendary Entertainment to develop multiple spinoff series set in the so-called Monsterverse….

…The official description for Season 1 states: “Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ tracks two siblings (Sawai, Watabe) following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch. Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army officer Lee Shaw (Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later where Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows.”…

(11) SO WE’LL WALK UP THE AVENUE. “They Made a Movie About a Pack of Sasquatches. Why?” The New York Times asks the filmmakers.

…An earthquake and an eclipse weren’t the only natural rarities that happened in New York City this past week. Did you hear about the sasquatch in Central Park? The makers of “Sasquatch Sunset” sure hope you did.

That’s because the sasquatch was a costume and his stroll through the park was a publicity push for the new film from the brothers David and Nathan Zellner. Opening in New York on Friday, the movie spends a year in the wild with a sasquatch pack — a male and female (Nathan Zellner and Riley Keough) and two younger sasquatches (Jesse Eisenberg and Christophe Zajac-Denek) — as they eat, have sex, fight predators and reckon with death.

Droll but big-hearted, the movie sits at the intersection of the ad campaign for Jack Link’s beef jerky, the 1987 comedy “Harry and the Hendersons” and a 1970s nature documentary, down to the hippie-vibe soundtrack.

Is it a family-friendly movie?

KEOUGH It depends on the family. [Laughs] I think the audience is everybody. It might be scary for small children.

DAVID ZELLNER It’s rated R for nudity, which is the funniest thing.

(12) CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER. Meanwhile, Camestros Felapton has fled the country, leaving behind to distract pursuers “McEdifice in: MYCOPHAGE! Part 1”.

Cliff “Edge” McEdifice is MYCOPHAGE the intoxicating new thriller from Timothy the Talking Cat, Straw Puppy and the ghost of Michael Crichton.

It is the Year 1995 and Cliff “Edge” McEdifice (ancestor of future soldier Chiselled McEdifice) is entangled in a web of conspiracy, tendrils and webs.

(13) NEXT TREK. “Star Trek Origin Movie Officially Announced By Paramount For 2025 Release” at ScreenRant.

Paramount Pictures officially announces the next Star Trek movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters in 2025. As reported in January, the next Star Trek movie isn’t the long-delayed, Chris Pine-led Star Trek 4 produced by J.J. Abrams, which remains in development at Paramount. Rather, the next Star Trek movie is an origin story directed by Toby Haynes (Star Wars: Andor) and written by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter).

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Arnie Fenner, Kathy Sullivan, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

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18 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/11/24 One Scroll, Furnished In Early Pixelry

  1. First!

    Just started listening to John M. Ford’s The Scholars of Night. It sounds like it’ll be fascinating from your descriptions of it.

  2. Congratulations! – I just hate it how the File system swallows my comments into moderation front no matter how I try to hide my URL or even name. (Missed the first-by-the-post by two damn minutes today but anyway.)

    I found the Scholars perhaps least successful of JMF’s various (sub)genre excursions, although the genius is still clear.

  3. 5) FWIW, it looks like HarperVoyager in the UK just did a reprint of Dark Carnival, and you can order copies from resellers on US Amazon.

  4. (1) Or as Phil’s said, “gaslight adventure”.
    (4) No. These people literally have no life. They game, live in a basement, and hate/are terrified of the world.
    Birthday: O’Donnell, Modesty Blaise. Yep.
    Cartoons: Off the Mark:
    “There once was a boy from the city
    Who met what he thought was a kitty.
    He said “nice little cat”, and gave it a pat.
    Then buried his clothes out of pity.”
    (10) Let’s see, growing up in Philly, before I was in my mid-twenties, I knew “people who like San Francisco hate LA; people who like LA hate SF.” So I assume they destroyed SF to get even with all the times LA’s been destroyed.
    And I still want to see Godzilla Minus One.
    (12) I want to see him make it 60 meters in 50 sec when he’s inside a building…
    (13) Ok. I give up. How the hell can there be an “origin” story for Star Trek?

  5. @mark
    Frisbie had a story about opening his front door one morning, to feed his black-and-white cat, and it was sitting with three or four black-and-white not-cats. The cat was glad to come inside. (They actually don’t object to skunks. And most skunks are well-behaved when left alone.)

  6. (1) Woohoo!

    (4) Somebody pointed out that the inspiration for Rapunzel may have originated in a Persian epic poem. (There were also variations found in Irish myth and in a Greek martyr, among others.)

    (6) I’ll have to find my copy of “Dope” — it was recently reprinted in hardcover.
    The original Vampirella costume is amazing. There must be a lot of Scotch tape or something on the planet Drakulon.

    (8) I always meant to get started on Modesty Blaise.
    BTW Peter O’Donnell also wrote Gothic and historical romance as Madeleine Brent — and those books were quite popular. Sadly, the books are playing hard-to-get nowadays.

  7. @mark–I grew up in a quite densely settled urban suburb of Boston. We had skunks. Spent a substantial amount of time with my cousins in a not-urban suburb in the region south of the city called the South Shore. Skunks. Lived for twenty years in the very thickly settled biggest city in the Merrimack Valley part of Massachusetts.

    I have to wonder what part of the country, offering otherwise suitable climate for skunks, doesn’t have skunks in cities. Cities offer a fine habitat for skunks, opossums, raccoons, raptors, rabbits, and coyotes. And other critters.

    When I was a kid, we learned young not to bother the black and white critters that look like cats if you aren’t paying attention. They’re fine neighbors if you don’t bother or harass them.

    Just read Safety Test by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Good story.

  8. I grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley. We had skunks, raccoons, Possums, and the very occasional turkey or coyote that would wonder up Calabasas Creek. After I moved to the mountains, San Jose got a family of beaver, mountain lions started venturing within a half-mile of downtown, and it wasn’t unusual for deer to wander up and down parts of one of the busiest streets, El Camino Real, during the pandemic.

  9. Thanks for the Title Credit.

    (13) Not particularly interested in an origin story. Take that as read and give us a new story.

  10. 13) No one needs and “origin story” for Star Trek – it is known already, what happend and a re-hash isnt drawing anyone in the cinema. It didnt work for Star Wars, and it makes even less sense in Star Trek.

    One Scroll. One Pixel. Together they write crime.

  11. @mark: “Gaslamp Fantasy” is the Foglios’s usual term. Though I have to say that the idea that GG is gaslighting us all is a curiously intriguing one! 🙂

    (13) I thought they already did the origin story in that movie where they went back in time to rescue the inventor of the warp drive.

  12. (13) So in February of this year, Lucasfilm confirmed an upcoming Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi movie, exploring the ancient history of their galaxy with an emphasis on the formation of the Jedis. Yes, another origin film from them.

  13. (1) One of the many excellences of Girl Genius is how effortlessly it blows right by the Bechdel test without even slowing down.

  14. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: April 14, 2024 - Amazing Stories

  15. (4) TL;DR: Rant about racists.

    A long time ago, I followed someone on Twitter whose voice I adored as a narrator. They are married, and their spouse is also in the same business. When I was followed back, it was by both of them. When the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid was announced, the spouse posted “(hashtag) NotMyAriel, Take your pick of these ladies, please” with a photo of four famous white redheaded actresses. I DM’d them asking why. Their response: “I love Hallie. I’ve worked with her. She’s brilliant But. For me. It’s a movie based on an animated feature by Disney. Based on a Nordic tale. I have a visual conception of what a Nordic mermaid would look like. I see a pale pre-Raphaelite redhead. I am of African American heritage (great grandmother). So it’s a casting issue for me, not a racial one. I keep seeing the casting pendulum even in audiobooks swinging away daily from talented established narrators because of skin color or nationality. Recently a producer insisted that a Brit narrate a Churchill piece. When I told him what if we could get John Lithgow (American actor who won great acclaim for playing Churchill on THE CROWN) he said, oh, wow. could you really? Suddenly the Brit requirement didn’t matter. I’m just waiting for the pendulum to swing back to the middle.” Note, they didn’t even spell Halle’s name right (this is copy and paste from the DM), and while I understand the “Brit requirement” not mattering, we’re still talking about white people being cast. Instead of seeing the swing of the pendulum towards people of color to finally give them representation, they saw it as taking work away from “established” artists (read “white people”). It makes me so angry that there are respected people in the industry who still don’t understand that it doesn’t freaking matter if the casting matches the source material. There’s a TikTok of Katie Sackoff learning about the original Starbuck after she was cast in BSG, checking the internet forums for their thoughts, and saying “Fuck ’em”. I know that’s not about color, but you get my point. Representation matters, and I was so happy to see that there was a wonderful outpouring of young fans of color at the original Little Mermaid announcement who were thrilled that they finally had a Disney princess “who looks like me!” (Note: while Tiana in The Princess and the Frog was black and voiced by a black actress, the character spends most of the movie as a frog.) And the most awful thing about the Tangled casting racist reaction is it was attacking the actress on her social media, who hadn’t said anything, about a fancast, ie. some random person’s opinion, not an official announcement from Disney.

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