Routine Check 10/15/12

– This has turned out to be fairly well-traveled news thanks to some news outlets misleadingly running it as “David Fincher taking new horror film to Kickstarter,” but I still want to point out that the long-gestating movie adaptation of Eric Powell’s The Goon is raising some funds. I’ve always thought it sounded like too much of a hard sell as a CG-animated film to actually get made, but now that it’s stuck around this long (and without losing the involvement of Fincher or the extremely well-cast Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown), I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t. There’s been a little controversy over the details of the campaign, namely that it’s a fundraiser to develop some pitch materials to raise further funds for the actual movie. I understand the blowback against A-listers using a site designed for upstart DIY efforts in questionable ways, but I also think it’s just an inevitable side effect of the general shift towards crowd-funding being a major component of the arts across the board. If the campaign is honest about what it’s doing with a fan/potential-investor’s money, then I would argue it’s the fan/potential-investor’s job to read that information and decide if it’s something worth contributing to. Maybe I’ll change my mind as Kickstarter saturation continues, but for now I feel OK about linking to an opt-in fundraiser for a movie I’d like to see, even if I personally don’t feel a burning need to give them my money over someone else.

– As less contentious Kickstarter projects go, here’s AV Club detailing one for the radio serial parody podcast The Thrilling Adventure Hour that looks promising on a couple different levels. The initial goal, a new graphic novel that would compile several short stories based on the show, grabs me immediately for the potential involvement of Ben Edlund (the underground comics wizard who created The Tick before largely leaving drawing behind for TV writing) and his protege Jackson Publick (who followed a similar path from Tick spin-off comics to Adult Swim wonderboy), along with some well-liked “rising star” artists like Evan “Doc” Shaner and Chris Moreno. Also interesting is the unique way the podcasters are handling the potential overflow that happens with a lot of mid-to-high-profile Kickstarters when fans continue donating after the goal is met: once the graphic novel is funded, any further donations go into a multi-tiered plan for a web series, a concert film, and a motion comic, with the result being a clever investment package that can be satisfied with $55,000 but makes room for up to $200,000. Not to mention the bonus value of people like me looking over the project and thinking, “Man, I should probably be listening to this Thrilling Adventure Hour thing.”

– I missed the screening tour of the Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something, so I’m glad to see Pitchfork‘s update about a DVD release, which will also be available with a new rarities LP and photo book. I am a big, big, big fan of Reatard and the documentary (which features footage mainly taken before Jay Lindsey’s death in 2010) looks great.

– Wow, it’s been a while since The Onion put out a brand new, non-archival book… Looks like the last one was their faux atlas in 2007. They’ve put up a preview for The Onion Book of Known Knowledge, a “definitive encyclopaedia of information in 27 volumes” that releases October 23. I would count Our Dumb Century as one of the all-time greats of original humor books, and it looks like this one is similarly ambitious.

– Apropos of nothing, here’s some amazing photographs of Bob Kane showing off some Batman paintings. Any links to it I’ve seen have been quick to mention that it’s extremely unlikely the infamous credit hog actually painted anything in the photos, but they are really delightful nonetheless.

– I really enjoyed the movie Argo (and so did the packed audience in Hilton Head, SC, who pelted Ben Affleck’s director credit at the end with a hilarious round of “Good for him!” applause) and equally enjoyed picking through the bizarre true facts of the case all over the Internet afterwards. Wired has a great showcase of real-life artifacts left over from the operation, including some prime concept art from Jack Kirby. One of the biggest misconceptions about the operation, which is only barely clarified in the movie, is that the script was either “fake” (as in never intended for production) or a throwaway that nobody wanted, when in fact it had been legitimately developed as Lord of Light, after the novel on which it was based, which is when the Kirby art was actually commissioned. As a result, a lot of the photos going around for Argo are only tangentially related to Tony Mendez’s exfiltration scheme, though anything that even touched that story is pretty fascinating.

Tom Spurgeon has a useful rundown of the overflowing news nuggets coming out of New York Comic Con. Lots of interesting little things in there that will probably make bigger comics news when they’re closer to reality… I’m particularly interested in tasty-sounding new graphic novels from Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire and a sort-of-vague collaboration between web-comic masters Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, and Anthony “Nedroid” Clark somehow based on the arcade game Galaga.

– Finally, R.I.P. Harris Savides. I felt guilty and ridiculous looking over his credits that his wasn’t a name I knew on sight, since his filmography is jam-packed with movies of which I very specifically loved the cinematography — The Game, Elephant, Milk, freaking Zodiac… he was also the primary DP for Mark Romanek’s legendary music video run. For a relatively short credit list, he managed to work with Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, Noah Baumbach, and more in addition to his semi-regular status with David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, and Sofia Coppola. Slashfilm has some nice words about him and a healthy compilation of links and clips.

Today in streams and freebies: If you don’t want to pay to see it in front of the Finding Nemo 3D re-release (and who does?), Pixar has put up their new Toy Story short, Partysaurus Rex, for free viewing online. Why am I not watching that right now? Meanwhile, NPR is streaming the Beck-curated Philip Glass remix project, REWORK_, which has a lot of intriguing names attached. And hey, look, my frequent favorite band of Montreal is streaming a new rarities collection at MTV Hive, who also have a brief explanatory interview attached. Those are some quality streams and freebies, man, get on it.


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