Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett dives into some remaining news from New York Comic Con, including news on BD, inclusive cosplay, Nancy Drew, and Riverdale.
Not surprisingly, I haven't entirely finished writing about NYCC yet because I keep finding stories about it online. Like the Publishers Weekly piece, “New York Comic Con 2017 Sells Record 200,000 Tickets.” Clearly there was a lot going on there beyond the usual suspect panels and appearances.
For instance, although it was previously reported, for fans of European comics such as myself, there was the news that U.K. based Titan Comics debuted Statix Press, a new international imprint featuring licensed European comics (see “Titan Gets Global with ‘Statix Press’”). The French Comics Association, a trade group, and Europe Comics, a digital and licensing venture, both held signings and panels featuring artists with newly published U.S. titles.
Not that you need it at this point, as further evidence that inclusion not only doesn’t hurt anyone, it can do immeasurable, unimaginable good, there was this piece from The Verge, “How costumers are using cosplay to overcome mental and physical disabilities.” Apparently “it was hard to miss the significant number of people eagerly taking to the show floor in wheelchairs or walkers.” Panelists at a Cosplay and Disabilities panels said conventions like this served “as judgment-free zones that allowed them to unleash their creativity through costuming” and that “cosplay also lets them improve their social skills and seek out friends with common interests.”
I thought there was something familiar about the Variety headline, “NBC to Redevelop ‘Nancy Drew’ Reboot Series”, but it took me a second to recall that there had been a Nancy Drew pilot at CBS back in 2016. There the teen detective had been upgraded to an NYPD homicide detective. In an attempt at diversity they cast Person of Interest’s Sarah Shahi (an actress of Iranian/Spanish descent) as Nancy. Clearly, it was Nancy Drew in name only, and just barely that. Luckily, it didn’t go to series.
Although it was only just a year later, NBC decided it was their turn to try and revive/revise the character for Prime Time TV. For reasons unknown, they went with a high concept premise even less likely than the one of the previous pilot. The twist here being that the show isn't even about Drew but rather "the author of the most famous female teen detective book series who is thrust into a real-life murder mystery. In need of help, she turns to her two best friends from childhood.”
Of course, the books were ghostwritten by several authors operating under the pseudonym “Carolyn Keene.” One assumes by “two best friends” they mean Bess and George “who have a real axe to grind about the way their supposed best friend chose to portray them all those years ago.” But with a premise this intrinsically meta, there’s no telling if any of the characters will be going by their previously established names. Raising the reasonable question, in that case, why even bother to link it to Nancy Drew in the first place?
While I’m still writing about Riverdale, at least tangentially, the UK’s The Independent had an interesting piece on the series, “Riverdale: The American comic book hero who inspired the hit Netflix series.” In the UK, the series runs weekly on Netflix and the “dark mystery show” has apparently “captivated British teens” even though the Archie characters are essentially unknown there. The story does a solid job of recounting the history of the brand as well as how the characters have changed over the years and states, “It’s difficult to impress upon British audiences just how important Archie is in the States.”
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com