Last Month in Geekdom – Your Monthly News Round-Up for February 2020

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Welcome back to the new and improved “Last Month in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. It was admittedly getting a little hard to keep up with a weekly schedule for this series, so I’m trying out a monthly schedule and we’ll see how that works.This will also hopefully give me more time to devote to weekly reviews, something I would like to focus more on after having a fairly long hiatus. All the news stories are from February, and obviously if there was something major I missed, let me know in the comments. For the top news stories from this month: “Interspecies Reviewers” was pulled from pretty much every platform as the anime was revealed to be more graphic than the manga; fans are calling for the pulling of Amber Heard from “Aquaman 2” after her abuse of ex-husband Johnny Depp was revealed; and the Crunchyroll Anime Awards kicked off its fourth year with a new line-up of winners. As always, be sure to check the articles and videos linked below and have a great March!

Comic News

R.L Stein, the bestselling author of Goosebumps, will be teaming up with artists at BOOM! Studios to create a new comic book called Just Beyond. The novel will be out in October and the story will focus on two kids who encounter a swamp monster horror. Artists Kelly and Nicole Matthews will be brought in to work on the art for this comic. 

Michael Diana, the first cartoonist in US history to ever be jailed under obscenity charges has just gotten off probation after a weekend in jail and a probation that stretched on for 26 years. Diana was arrested for the art featured in his “Boiled Angel” comics that depicted graphic scenes surrounding the “Gainesville Ripper” slayings. He is now the subject of a forthcoming documentary called “Boiled Angels.”

Birds of Prey” wound up being a massive flop for DC Entertainment this month, coming in well under expectations. It may have been one of the worst debuts of one of their films in well over a decade. The movie wade its box office debut with just about 33.7 Million, falling well under its projected 53.5 Million that was made by “Shazam.”

Oscar winning film “Parasite” is set to have a graphic novel adaptation that will collect the meticulous storyboards of the Director Bong Joon Ho. The novel will be released by Grand Central Publishing and will be released in May of this year. 

There’s an online petition circulating that is calling for the removal of actress Amber Heard from the movie “Aquaman 2” after her abuse of ex-husband Johnny Depp was revealed. Heard has been accused through taped conversations that she physically and emotionally beat Depp during their marriage and then tried to pin the abuse allegation on Depp himself. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker will be getting a new movie musical adaptation. Oscar nominated Kristen and Bobby Lopez are working with Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Herzog to adapt Jen Wang graphic novel into a musical. No date or timeline has been announced for the production of the movie. 

DC Comics Publisher Dan Didio has been let go from his job this month in a surprising turn for the company. No one is quite sure about the reasons for his departure, but the rumor mill seems to think it is because of the drop in sales for DC’s comics over time and Marvel’s higher 12% sales over last year and serious restructuring and budget cuts in the company. Either way, Didio is no longer the publisher of DC Comics. His replacement has yet to be announced.

Anime and Manga News

Makoto Shinkai’s film “Weathering with You” has surpassed the North American box office earnings of “Your Name” making it the highest grossing GKids film in North America. The film earned more than 5.05 Million dollars in sales. 

The winners of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards were announced on stream this month. Anime of the year went to Demon Slayer, Best Score to Carole and Tuesday, Best Animation to Mob Psycho 100 II, and Best Director to Attack on Titan season three’s Tetsuro Araki and Masashi Koizuka.

The recent and ongoing Coronavirus outbreak has started to affect anime production as more studios based out of China have become affected by the virus. Many series including Asteroid In Love and A Certain Scientific Railgun are facing delays in episodes as the turn-around of animation has begun to snowball. 

The anime of Interspecies Reviewers has been involved in a lot of controversy lately as it has been pulled from multiple platforms including Funimation, Amazon Prime, and Japanese Broadcast networks for being too graphic. The problem, as Cartoon Cipher points out, may come from the difference in graphic level between the manga and anime versions of the series, with the manga being much less graphic. 

New shows are coming to both Netflix this March, including Bearstars, Lu Over the Wall, and a new season of Castlevania. Meanwhile Funimation has brought Paranoia Agent on board their streaming service this month.  

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Japan, a number of large events have been forced to cancel by the Japanese government to prevent the spread of the disease. Crunchyroll has been trying to keep a running tab on these events, one of the most prominent being AnimeJapan 2020.

Manga Announcements:

Anime Announcements: 

Featured Articles

Nina Morales for The Anime Feminist discusses how the image of the witch has been reclaimed through the characters of magical girls in anime and manga. As someone who sometimes identifies as a witch, I really enjoy seeing articles like this and all the love given to magical girl and witch-themed stories.

In the world of politics, the MSNBC host, Joy Reid, compared President Trump to the character of the Joker. Maria Bustillos, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review, critiques this comparison by taking a look at the Joker and his rise as an antihero. 

BOOM! Studios‘ President of Publishing & Marketing Filip Sablik and Retail Sales Coordinator Morgan Perry, in a meeting with retailers, describe the difficulty of the comics market today, saying that one of its main problems is the overwhelming amount of comics being released at the same time. They then talk about how BOOM! has been rolling back their own direct market releases, focusing more on their key titles to make a place for themselves in the retail sphere.

Featured Videos

Super Eyepatch Wolf delves into the current state of Shonen Jump in this video, taking a look at its top 10 most popular titles and the status of its classics.

Red Bard takes a look at the unique marketing partnership that is Pizza Hut and anime shows, pointing out some of the most blatant advertising instances.

Under the Scope discusses one of the times that anime inspired his life through the show My Roommate is a Cat in this sweet video.

Strip Panel Naked examines the importance of line work and silhouettes in comic art and how they relate to clarity.

The Anime Feminist’s podcast Chatty AF discusses the impact of the manga series Our Dreams at Dusk on the LGBT community and their own personal lives.

Featured WordPress Posts

Reasons to Anime discusses a dilemma they faced sparked by the release of the Ancient Magus Bride manga series they made them reconsider buying the volumes of long-running series. 

One of my favorite blogs, Manga Therapy, discussed Demon Slayer this month and why they think it became so popular so quickly. The post points to the series general simplicity as one of its strong points.

The Animanga Spellbook discusses gender and the butterfly theory this month with a look at the question what if you changed the sex or gender of one of the main characters of a series, would that change something fundamental? Specifically they look at some prominent isekai series.

All Hail Haruhi looks at problematic faves this month and the intricacies of navigating love for something that may have problematic elements. They advocate for a less apathetic approach to accepting problematic faves and instead they promote more discussion and effort to understand those who are hurt by the problematic fave, weighing whether or not it’s worth it to keep it on your favorites list. 

~~Thanks for Reading!~~


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