Off-Panel: Check Your Blasters at the Door

Welcome to Off-Panel, your weekly digest of comics news, from the gutters and beyond.

Fun Home, the Tony Award-winning musical by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron—based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir—will end its Broadway run September 10 at Circle in the Square, producers announced June 21. The musical will have played 26 previews and 582 regular performances.

That’s the bad news; the good news is that the national tour starts the following month. If you have the opportunity to see this history-making show, grab it. Full disclosure: I overlapped in college with the actor who originated (and is still appearing in) the role of Medium Alison, but she probably wouldn’t remember me. (Hi, Emily! …Yeah, didn’t think so.)

In the wake of a shooting specifically targeted at members of the LGBTQ community, Flame Con in particular has reason to think some attendees might be on edge — the organizers say they’re also working to get extra security at the event. But just as the shooting deeply changed how it felt to see gunfights on screen at last week’s E3 gaming show, it forces us to reconsider how we translate the violence — even the cartoonish, bloodless kind — of genre fiction into the real world. Cosplay is a creative art in its own right, but it’s also a kind of public performance, which impacts the experience of others at the show.

Broadway’s on my mind, and I’m reminded of how the Hamilton Tony Awards performance managed to effectively interpret the Battle of Yorktown even though the show’s muskets didn’t make the trip uptown for the broadcast. Similarly, FlameCon’s total weapons ban—toy props included—acknowledges guns as both troubling and nonessential. I’m looking forward to the kind of cosplay we get when we’re prohibited from reflexively strapping on the ubiquitous sidearm. ICYMI, Panelteer Emma has some suggestions.

I’ve done this long enough that I can generally eyeball a speech balloon and get a good idea of how much text will fit in there. But it is rarely smooth. And there is often compromise. That and comic translation is almost all dialogue. Doing natural-sounding dialogue takes practice, and is something I am always striving to be better at.

Manga translator Zack Davisson gives Paste a fascinating look at his work on Shigeru Mizuki’s The Birth of Kitaro. You’ll come away from this interview with a whole new appreciation for the talent and research necessary to successfully translate sound effects.

Well, this is purely subjective… but in this man’s opinion, Geordi and Data are the stone cold coolest two dudes in the galaxy. When I thought about this story I asked myself “If this is the first and last Trek story you ever write, what would it be?” and the answer was obviously Geordi and Data being awesome science bros solving space-science mysteries with ethics and math together across the universe.

Marc Laming’s cover for the debut issue of the Donny Cates/Mack Chater/Sandra Lanz Star Trek: Waypoint has Deanna Troi in pants and William T. Riker in facial hair. Inside, Geordi and Data have science adventures. This is The Next Generation adaptation I’ve been waiting for. Read io9’s interview with Cates and Lanz about this IDW anthology series out in September.

I was six years old and my father mentioned that, in America, there was a Batman TV series. I asked what this was, and was told it was a series about a man who fought crime while dressed as a bat. My only experience of bats at this point was cricket bats, and I wondered how someone could convincingly dress as one of those.

Over on Buzzfeed, Neil Gaiman shares an excerpt from his essay collection The View from the Cheap Seats. He writes passionately about the Batman covers that first captivated him in his youth, but this bit about cricket is what I’m going to go cross-stitch now and hang in my hallway.

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