The 1960s were a difficult time in America for race relations.
The civil rights movement was raging, and the black community was demanding fair treatment from a society that had been built around their oppression for hundreds of years. No longer would ‘Separate but Equal’ (which was anything but) be accepted, and though things in Detroit were perhaps better than in places like Mississippi or Alabama, the tension was still high nationwide. Then in July of 1967, things exploded.
On July 23rd, just before 4 am, Detroit Police raided a speakeasy on the city’s westside. Expected to find only a few people, the club was full with a party for two GIs, just returned from Viet Nam. There were 82 people there, all of whom were black, and the Police decided to arrest them all. In the time it took them to arrange transportation for over 80 detainees, a crowd gathered outside, and with the eventual tossing of a beer bottle by the crowd, at the cop, so began one of the worst US riots of the last 150 years, second only to the events in LA back in 1992.
An evening that started out with a celebration for soldiers returning home from war, resulting in President Lyndon B. Johnson sending troops into the city after Governor George Romney (Mitt’s Dad) declared a ‘State of Insurrection‘ – Over the period of five days, the damage and human loss escalated, tearing the city apart, and resulting in 43 dead, near 1,200 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.
The reverberations of these events still continue to show effects on the city and surrounding areas 50 years later. Metro Detroit has been reshaped because of this, with large portions of the white population leaving the city, and with them taking many of the jobs and most of the money. The city fell into decay and is only recently showing signs of resurrection, following their 2013 bankruptcy – a first for a city of this size.
So all of that said, it’s almost surprising it took this long for a movie.
The new film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty) will feature John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Jack Reynor (Free Fire), John Krasinski (The Office), and Justified‘s Kaitlyn Dever.
The Motor City Comic Con, now in its 27th year, kicks off today at 12:30 pm in Novi, Michigan.
I will be heading there tomorrow morning, it will be my fourth time attending since 2008, and I can attest that the show has gotten significantly larger each year. Starting in 1989, they reported about 2,500 people through the turnstiles. When I went in ’08 it was over 15,000, and last year they reported 50,000. The show has become a real event, and if you’re in the area, it’s well worth checking out.
Some of us are still mourning the loss of SouthLAnd and others are completely wrapped up in The Killing, but starting this weekend, there will be a new cop drama to fill our times with. Adapted from the mini-series of the same name, Low Winter Sun, is the story of a cop who made a decision and the fallout that followed.
In a somewhat unusual move, the AMC version of Low Winter Sun stars the same actor who played the lead role in the British version. Mark Strong plays homicide detective Frank Agnew who, with his partner, Joe Geddes (Lennie James), kills a fellow cop. Of course if it was the perfect crime, there wouldn’t be much of a show so the slain officer is found and the show focuses on the onion like repercussions.
Low Winter Sun is set and filmed in a city dealing with its own demons of late, Detroit. While Detroit isn’t a listed character in the shows credits, it’s not hard to imagine that the city will lend its own flavor to the action much like NYC does to Law and Order and Baltimore did to The Wire. In fact the show’s creator, Chris Mundy, hearkened back to The Wire when talking to The Washington Post.
[box_light]I don’t mean to presume that we’re doing things as well as them, you can draw parallels between Detroit and Baltimore, and Baltimore was a character in that, in such a good way. Let’s try to be that good, but let’s make sure we’re not doing something simply because it’s familiar and somebody … already did it.[/box_light]
Of course it would be difficult to top the brilliance that was The Wire, but not too shabby of a goal to shoot for.
Low Winter Sun premieres this Sunday, August 11th, after the final season premiere of Breaking Bad.
I’m sure nobody is at all surprised that Eric Draven has made it into our Countdown to Halloween. The Crow was a critical success and a fan favorite with a pretty huge cult following. But that isn’t where the story begins. The Crow started life as a comic book created by James O. Barr, and was an even darker and grittier story than the movie.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Rob Liefeld Quits DC, Thousands Rejoice?
Liefeld is a pretty infamous name in the comics world. He’s generally known for his 90’s work, which showcased his startling lack of attention or care to basic human anatomy, and a bizarre fascination with ridiculously sized guns and an inordinate amount of pouches. I know, it’s very hip to hate on Liefeld, but the dude really did contribute to the boom, and subsequent giant bubble burst of comics collecting in the 90’s, and the stigma his art and writing left on the industry is something from which they’re finally recovering. Well it seems he’s quitting DC, and as much as I’d like to celebrate, his reasons, are actually pretty concerning.
“This is the 4th time I quit in the last 4 months. This time it will stick,” he wrote from a theater, where he was watching The Expendables 2. “Never thought the Image section of my book would be topped. This last year was a humdinger. The DC52 chapters will go top all of it. […] Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible. Massive indecision, last-minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thanks. Last week my editor said ‘early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes … made it hard.’ Uh, no, it’s you.”
I’m not Liefeld advocate by any means, but it’s hard to not see where he’s coming from. Things at DC do seem pretty haphazard, and just barely thrown together. I love DC, and they really do have some great writers telling great stories, but lets face it, their editing team has always been one huge clusterf***. With the departure of Morrison for similar reasons, and other writers like George Perez also giving similar complaints, things on the editing front over at DC seem at the very best, shaky, and that’s putting it as nicely as I can. It does kind of explain why George Perez’s run on Superman was total dogshit boring though, and I’m a HUGE Superman fan. I’m just hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to any of my other favorites like Jeff Lemire, or Scott Snyder. That’d be a pretty huge loss to the company that not even a thousand Geoff Johns writing on a thousand typewriters could fix.
In A Startling Move, Mark Millar Is Not A Horrible Person For Once!
So despite being a terrible comics writer, who shits out bad comics purely to be optioned into films, he still somehow is popular, and has a rabid fan base. This fan base has in turn, made him very rich and successful. In a shocking movie, he’s finally decided to use this fan base for good, rather than more evil. It would seem some horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist, generally all around asshole, (the twist is that it’s not Mark Millar!), has been harassing various female comics writers and artists on twitter for quite some time. The guy has posed as several different names on twitter, and has been doing this for about 2 years, according to Sue from @DCwomenkickingass The tweets, emails and god knows what else, all are pretty lousy, terrible things to say, and the lot of them are far beyond typical “Lol you suck” hater tweets, venturing into downright harassment and outright online bullying. Here are collected few: via [BleedingCool].
@happysorceress Vixen? Seriously? LOL. She’s the most usless black female character in comics. And that’s saying something.
@kellysue Captain Marvel sucks. Just sayin. Put that hot little piece of blonde pussy back in black thigh highs and move on already
@CertainshadesL I’m guessing you wouldn’t be as amused if you were being gang raped by black guys in lois lane masks. Yeah, I’m thinking no.
@ronmarz right, because it’s easier to go after spelling when you’re to f***ng lame to deal with the actual point. Nicely played, cunt face
@gimpnelly and being a liberal, you certainly love to embrace hate. You’re just jealous that you’re too ugly to be in porn, f***ing mutt.
@GailSimone calls Condoleeza racial slur and liar, African American fans shocked at Simone’s uncharacteristically intolerant/cruel comments
@MarkWaid refuses to disavow claims that he called Romney’s wife “white corporate whore”, fans shocked at Waids comment
@maguirekevin Kevin Maguire calles Condoleeza Rice an “ignorant ni**er war monger”. Fans are shocked at artists racist comments
@MarkWaid geyser of lies, you mean like when he said that Mitt gave a woman cancer? Whoops! F***ing hypocrites like you make me laughKind of like the time
@laura_hudson said “white people are ruining comics”. Yeah, that’s not irrational, I’m just entitled for not agreeing
@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird eh…bunch of no talent bitches that need a few hours as the star in a tentacle filled hentai film.
@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird poor choice of words. Should have said “victim” instead of “star”. The tentacles are the star.
So Mark Millar finally went and used his powers for good, by writing this on his message board: via [CBR]
So I’m asking you guys a favour. I’ve managed to secure this guy’s name and address, but he’s stateside and I’m unsure what the next step should be. In the UK, he would be charged by the police under the Malicious Communications act, but we have a lot of smart cookies on here and I know there’s several US attorneys who post here regularly. If we have his details and copies of his communication, how can he be prosecuted? If any of the pros who have been attacked here would like to make a case against him I’ll personally cover the legal costs. Twitter, I would imagine, can confirm his IP address if the artists make a formal complaint to the police.Apparently several of those he’s harassed took Millar up on the offer, as today he came back and posted:Thank you very much, but I engaged a criminal lawyer in LA yesterday and have one of the women involved co-ordinating with the others today, hopefully. I don’t want to say much more in a public forum just now as it may prejudice the case and between the details we’ve got and the tweets we saved the police have everything they need. Even if this doesn’t go to court the guy should hopefully be publicly outed in California and the shame of this will not only stop him attacking women online, but also discourage others from trying this in future. I found out last night that this idiot had been making sexual threats to some of the women concerned for over two years now.Again, I stress that readers shouldn’t try googling the names he’s using as innocent parties may get targeted. He’s using false names for the most part, as you might expect. His IP address is all that matters and we’ve nailed the clown. This is a police matter now.
Basically, Millar used some old-fashioned Internet Detectives to get the guys details, and had his police goons send him a cease and desist, or a subpoena, or a effin’ bomb, I don’t know, I have no idea what cops actually do. All of my knowledge about them is from The Wire and Breaking Bad. Regardless, screw that guy, and good on Millar for finally attempting to apprehend horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist assholes on the internet. If somebody shows him Reddit though, he might have a stroke and die, and ironically there’d be one less sexist, racist misogynist left in the world. Hmm…. No.. No that’d be murder. Or at least manslaughter, as so McNulty tells me.
Venom Moves To Philly, Says It’s Always Sunny There.
Alright, I haven’t read a Spider-Man book, in about, oh going on nearly 4 years now. I’ve never been a big fan of his, and despite my hope, that his new movie would be good, it was the worst piece of dogshit I’ve seen since Ang Lee’s Hulk. I’ve never really been that big a Spider-Man fan, when it came to the comics. I remember liking him when I was younger, but that was mostly because of the cartoon on FOX, and really, the toys were pretty cool. When it came to comics I was always a Superman/Batman guy. I know, my predilection for DC is showing again, I’m sorry. But stuff like Venom moving, is something I find innately funny. Especially the entire concept of him going to Philly, just makes me laugh. I know the current Venom is no longer Eddie Brock, and has been Flash Thompson for a while now, and the concept behind the move is actually pretty sound. via [Newsarama]
“Now, he’s trying to do the right thing,” series writer Cullen Bunn told the AP. “He’s reassessing what it means to be a hero. And he’s looking for a fresh start. This means a lot of things for Flash. He’s surrounding himself with new people — such as tabloid journalist Katy Kiernan and his new love interest, the Asgardian Valkyrie. He’s changing his approach to being a superhero. And he’s looking for a change of scenery.”Series editor Tom Brennan, a graduate of Philly’s Drexel University, said it’s time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as L.A. and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the Marvel Universe.“All the while that I lived there, I wanted a superhero for the city of Philadelphia, a town full of heart, hustle and hope — and I don’t care what anyone says — some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Brennan said. “Sure, they don’t suffer fools, and you’ve got to be mindful if you cross against the light, but I found the City of Brotherly Love to be a character in and of itself that I thought more fiction should explore.”
Bahahaha what? Guns? Seriously? Oh man…
I mean that makes sense. Why shouldn’t Philly have its own hero? Superheroes are all around the place in the Marvel U, so lets throw Philly a bone. If Detroit gets RoboCop, why shouldn’t Philly get Venom? But still, the thought of Venom eating Cheese steaks, hanging out on the street, drinking a 40 and singing Biz Markie, just goddamn cracks me up. If they don’t throw in The Gang from It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia in a background panel or something, that’s gonna be a pretty huge missed opportunity.
Scott Pilgrim Creator’s New Project!
If you haven’t read it by now, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up all 6 volumes of the Scott Pilgrim comics, or some collected version and read it. Seriously. It’s one of those things that you wish you could forget about so you could read it for the first time, again. Stunningly, it was turned into a movie that was somehow EVEN BETTER than the comics, by the sheer amount of raw skill in story condensation used, as well as creative filmmaking in general. But I digress, the real hero here is Bryan Lee O’Malley, who really seem to has his finger on the pulse of the current generational zeitgeist, as his work in Scott Pilgrim alone truly speaks to the current generation of young adults. Any project of his is immediately worth noting for this reason alone, and with that, comes the news of Seconds, his latest graphic novel. via [CBR]
“I came up with the general idea for Seconds right after completing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim,” O’Malley says. “I worked in a restaurant in Toronto for a little while to pay the bills while writing the second volume and planning the rest of the series, and I had a few ideas for this other story, a story about a restaurant. So, Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.”Asked whether Seconds will be “realistic” like his 2003 graphic novel Lost at Sea, or feature more fantastical elements like Scott Pilgrim, O’Malley continued, “Seconds is grounded in the reality of this restaurant environment, and I did do plenty of research, so there’s that. It takes place in a town that is like a kinder, gentler fairy tale version of reality. Then it takes off into a story that is very strange, very mental. So it’s a little of both, I guess. The protagonist, Katie, is a loveable spaz, and she’s in practically every panel; her personality drives the story in a way that’s basically identical to my other work. They’re all very subjective worlds. But this is a new subject, so it’s got its own feeling.”
Some might say a comic about a restaurant just sounds like a strange setting, but that’d be ignoring the tons of great indie books that take place in normal everyday settings. I’m really looking forward to this book, and you should be too. Now go, go out and read/watch Scott Pilgrim if you haven’t. Seriously. I’ll wait.
Lois Lane And Clark Kent, Not Happening In New 52.
The current big hoopla in DC fandom is the newfound relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman. However, most fans seemed to treat it as unofficial Official canon, that sure, it’s happening, but it won’t count, and eventually Clark will end up with Lois, because c’mon, Lois & Clark. Duh.
Not so says DC, as they seem intent on not going down the whole Lois route once again. via [Newsarama]
In an interview with the Associated Press, Johns and Lee hinted that the other elephant in the room, Lois Lane’s previously-thought destined relationship with Clark, simply doesn’t exist. AP writer Matt Moore even went so far as to say “She’s still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to.”Lee added to the assumption, and noted that this relationship will reach far beyond just the pages of Justice League or just the reactions of other superheroes.“The way Geoff unfolds the story and the implications of 2 of the most powerful characters in the DCU becoming a team is something that goes beyond the question of ‘What about Lois and Clark?” This is a statement to every nation and geopolitical organization in the entire DC Universe giving creative teams ample material to explore this relationship on so many different levels.”Meanwhile, at the New York Daily News, Lee says he likes that this will get people talking.“If you change anything from the length of a cape to the shape of a belt buckle, there’s always some fan that notices and is appalled.“We’re very lucky to have a very passionate fan base.”
That last quote is really kind of a fancy way to say, “Stop whining nerds, geez”, and get away with it. And you know, I’m okay with it. We’ve seen Lois and Clark together for decades, why not let him have a shot at somebody who can, you know, bear the full brunt, if you will? A woman who can take what he can give? Who doesn’t have to worry about his daring exploits? Sex. She can have sex with him without fear of horrible death. Is what I’m saying. Because she’s wonderful. She’s a wonderful woman. Ugh. I’m annoying myself now. Anyhow, I’ll be interested to see how the whole relationship plays out, because holy hell, that break up will be HORRIBLE. Entire cities laid to waste because of emotional outbursts from both parties. Well, maybe not Superman, but possibly Wonder Woman? Maybe? Oh god am I being sexist? Will Mark Millar send after me now? What’s that knock at the door? OH FU-
Currently in the final funding stages is a documentary titled BURN: One Year on the Frontlines of the Battle to Save Detroit. In the film they explore the relentless fight against the seemingly endless rash of arsons that have plagued the city for years. Original home of “Devil’s Night”, where the city would burn annually, Detroit has always had a history with fire. This is the story of some of the men and women who fight these fires…
This comes from the movie’s official website:
“WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS; IT SHALL RISE FROM THE ASHES.” – FATHER GABRIEL RICHARD, WHO WROTE DETROIT’S MOTTO AFTER FIRE NEARLY DESTROYED THE CITY IN 1805
Detroit is an iconic city. Go anywhere in the world, say “Detroit,” and it strikes a set of images — Motown. Hockeytown. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors. Eminem, 8 Mile … Also crime, foreclosures, poverty, white flight, race … and fire.
But these are mere snapshots, glimpses into a deeper, more complex panorama.
Once the proud center of the American industrial machine — its cars gleamed, its culture was rich, its future boundless. Now, it is an omen, a ghost of America’s future. No one understands this better than the people literally putting out the fires, battling every day in an uncertain war.
BURN is a character-driven documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of Detroiters who are on the front lines, trying to rescue and rebuild it. BURN will follow the firefighters, the men and women charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead. We’ll also look at the educators, the reformers, the activists, the enthusiasts — those who have the vision and the heart to bring a forgotten American dream back to Detroit.
The Detroit Fire Department is one of the oldest, proudest fire forces in the world, and certainly one of the busiest.
Every day, these firefighters face injury, disablement, illness, death. But still they come back, day after day, resolved that they can make a difference.
The city’s future is uncertain — record foreclosures, unemployment, and a struggling auto industry have made it ground zero of the floundering American economy. But there’s still life here. And people are listening. These firefighters and a cast of visionary citizens argue that it’s worth saving, and they’re fighting the battle with unparalleled commitment and a remarkable sense of humor.
BURN will embed with Detroit firefighters and follow a rich tapestry of other Detroit stories. We’ll explore human struggles, hope and personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Until now, no one has properly explored the city with the depth and detail it deserves.
This project was brought to my attention by one of Detroit’s Bravest, my uncle, David Kronner, who has been with the department for just shy of 24 years. And while Uncle Dave isn’t directly involved in the movie, he respects the message behind and it. To get that message out however, they’re still in need of some funding. PBS fronted the cash to produce this 9 minute trailer here. Take a look…
I’ve spoken with the filmmakers, who hope to have the movie done by late summer/early fall, but that will only be possible through additional donations. To help out…