Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy!

Universal Studios Creates a Comic Book Imprint

Can I be very honest right underneath this headline? I don’t know why anyone was surprised by this announcement when it broke via Variety on Wednesday. Major players in the television and film industry have had their hands in comics for a long time. DC Comics is owned by Warners Bros. which is owned by AT&T. Marvel Comics falls under the Disney umbrella. Netflix bought up the Millarworld catalogue and retain publication rights in partnership with Image Comics who acts as printer.

From where I sit writing this, Universal jumping into the ring is something of an inevitability.

What is cool about this then, Ashley? Why write about it at all?

I’m so glad you asked!

The first effort from UCP Graphic will be an original comic-book series, “Proctor Valley Road,” from Alex Child and veteran comics and TV writer Grant Morrison (pictured), who will co-write the first five issues. Boom! Studios will publish the series, which tells the story of a group of teenage girls suspected in the disappearance of several teen boys in a 1964 California beach town.

**UCP Graphic being the official name of this new venture

The part of the announcement which has caught my eye is the Grant Morrison of it all. Your mileage on him as a creator may vary, but it cannot be denied that Morrison has been a power player and innovator in comics for decades. As a massive fan of his work, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see him have an amount of creative control and oversight in this new project. Yes, the move of placing Morrison at the center of UCP Graphic feels much more like the Netflix/Mark Millar relationship and, yes, there’s a chance he is involved in name only. Either way, I have respect for Universal knowing they need to consult with someone who has been in the comic book trenches rather than simply handing this project to entertainment executives who may have never dealt in publication – and in comic book production in particular.

In addition to the comic book/graphic novel development of it all, Universal has its eye on the audio game as well under the umbrella of UCP Audio. This feels like a concerted effort to occupy the same space as the Ben Percy-penned Wolverine podcast Marvel has released (I actually reviewed Wolverine: The Long Night on a past Major Spoilers Podcast, so go back through the archives and give it a listen!).

Studio president Dawn Olmstead had this to say:

Similar to our strategy with launching UCP Audio, we want to offer storytellers the opportunity to create for multiple content platforms including graphic novels. Our goal is for UCP to be a home for great storytelling, no matter the medium.

Fun fact: UCP produces the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. With this piece of knowledge this pair of announcements feels even more like an inevitability to me, personally. As with all new ventures into genre content it’s very exciting. Tons of promise. As more information trickles out we’ll see how it is all shaping up!

Chris Evans Passes the Shield to Young Hero

**tw: scars, injured child

Here’s your feel-good story of the week! For many people the roles they play are work and they shrug them off at the end of the day. For others, the responsibility of playing iconic heroes follows them into their day-to-day life. I think many of us can agree that Chris Evans embodies what we think of as Captain America in all aspects of his life.

A story broke across the internet of 6-year-old Bridger standing up and protecting his little sister from a vicious dog attack. Turns out, like all of us, Bridger is a Captain America fan along with the rest of us and when Evans learned this he reached out with a heroic gesture to this real-world hero.

Watch the full video from Evan’s official Twitter for a good cry:

https://twitter.com/ChrisEvans/status/1283736235756924928

Tales of Arcadia Hits Netflix August 7th

In an official press release from Netflix sent out last week we learned the third installment in Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim), Trollhunters series will be coming to our homes sooner than later!

DreamWorks Animation has revealed that Wizards, the third chapter in visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s eight time Emmy-winning Tales of Arcadia trilogy, will debut on Netflix August 7.

Many cast members will be reprising their roles from the franchise’s previous series with new talent joining including: Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Frozen 2), Stephania Neatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), James Fulkner (Game of Thrones), and from my all-time-favourite-movie(s) John Rhys Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones).

The press release continues:

Tales of Arcadia first launched in 2016 with the Emmy-winning series Trollhunters, including a first-ever Emmy win for del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas for Outstanding Directing, followed by the second installment 3Below in 2018. On the surface, Arcadia appears to be a slice of timeless Americana, but it is no ordinary town. It lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that make it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards.

Tales of Arcadia has been a series in production for a long time now on Netflix and I can remember when Wizards was first announced. I am definitely excited to have this in my queue for August. Are you looking forward to binge-watching? Let me know down in the comments!


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About Author

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian girl by day and Robin by night. She lives in Los Angeles now and stars as Ensign Williams in THE RED SHIRT DIARIES, co-hosts the GEEK HISTORY LESSON podcast and writes for Top Cow.

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