Image source: The Motley Fool. Astronics (NASDAQ: ATRO)Q4 2020 Earnings CallFeb 23, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ETContents: Prepared Remarks Questions and Answers Call Participants Prepared Remarks: OperatorGreetings.
Image source: The Motley Fool. Astronics (NASDAQ: ATRO)Q4 2020 Earnings CallFeb 23, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ETContents: Prepared Remarks Questions and Answers Call Participants Prepared Remarks: OperatorGreetings.
YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar made mass arrests and appeared to use lethal force on Sunday as they intensified their efforts to break up protests a month after the military staged a coup. There were reports of gunfire as police in Yangon, the country's biggest city, fired tear gas and water cannons while trying to clear the streets of demonstrators demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power. Photos of shell casings from live ammunition used in assault rifles were posted on social media. Reports on social media identified one young man believed to have been killed in Yangon. His body was shown in photos and videos lying on a sidewalk until other protesters were able to carry him away. A violent crackdown also occurred in Dawei, a much smaller city in southeastern Myanmar, where local media reported that at least three people were killed during a protest march. The fatalities could not immediately be independently confirmed, though photos posted on social media showed a wounded man in the care of medical personnel, and later laid out in a bed under a blanket with flowers placed on top. Confirming reports of protesters’ deaths has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources. Prior to Sunday, there had been eight confirmed reports of killings linked to the army's takeover, according to the independent Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. The Feb. 1 coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party would have been installed for a second five-year term in office, but the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained her and President Win Myint, as well as other top members of Suu Kyi's government. Sunday’s violence erupted in the early morning when medical students were marching in Yangon’s streets near the Hledan Center intersection, which has become the gathering point for protesters who then fan out to other parts of the city. Videos and photos showed protesters running away as police charged at them, and residents setting up makeshift roadblocks to slow their advance. Some protesters managed to throw tear gas cannisters back at police. Nearby, residents were pleading with police to release those they picked up from the street and shoved into police trucks to be taken away. Dozens or more were believed to have been detained. Demonstrators regrouped later Sunday and security forces continued to chase them in several neighbourhoods. There was no immediate word on Yangon casualties. Sounds of gunfire could be heard in the streets and there were what appeared to be smoke grenades thrown into the crowds. “The Myanmar security forces’ clear escalation in use of lethal force in multiple towns and cities across the country in response to mostly peaceful anti-coup protesters is outrageous and unacceptable, and must be immediately halted,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch. “Live ammunition should not be used to control or disperse protests and lethal force can only be used to protect life or prevent serious injury.” “The world is watching the actions of the Myanmar military junta, and will hold them accountable,” he said. On Saturday, security forces began employing rougher tactics, taking preemptive actions to break up protests and making scores, if not hundreds, of arrests. Greater numbers of soldiers have also joined police. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, as of Saturday, 854 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced at one point in relation to the coup, and 771 were being detained or sought for arrest. The group said that while it had documented 75 new arrests, it understood that hundreds of other people were also picked up Saturday in Yangon and elsewhere. MRTV, a Myanmar state-run television channel, broadcast an announcement Saturday night from the Foreign Ministry that the country’s ambassador to the United Nations had been fired because he had abused his power and misbehaved by failing to follow the instructions of the government and “betraying” it. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun had declared in an emotional speech Friday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York that he represented Suu Kyi’s “civilian government elected by the people” and supported the struggle against military rule. He urged all countries to issue public statements strongly condemning the coup, and to refuse to recognize the military regime. He also called for stronger international measures to stop violence by security forces against peaceful demonstrators. The Associated Press
The ITV skating show has been blighted by injuries and Covid cases during the current series.
Security forces battling a decades-long insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir are alarmed by the recent arrival in the disputed region of small, magnetic bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan. "Sticky bombs", which can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, have been seized during raids in recent months in the federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir, three senior security officials told Reuters. "These are small IEDs and quite powerful," said Kashmir Valley police chief Vijay Kumar, referring to improvised explosive devices.
Covid UK: Coronavirus cases, deaths and vaccinations todayAre coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authorities
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The Ailuromania Cat Cafe, which was the Middle East's first cat cafe when it opened in 2015, hopes the relaxing properties of its 25 rescue and shelter cats will help find them their forever homes. Now Ailuromania hosts cats from a government-run animal shelter in the neighbouring emirate of Ras al Khaimah, hoping to increase adoptions. The cafe's name Ailuromania is a play on the Greek-derived English word for a lover of cats: ailurophile.
“We have to be careful who we believe and where we get our information from.”
Using photo ID in British elections will harm democracy, say US civil rights groups. Government warned that proposed ID laws disproportionately affect people from poorer communities
Anas Sarwar claimed Nicola Sturgeon would ask the same of a politician from another party.
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Malcolm Jones/The Daily BeastToday we got another three inches of snow on top of the two feet already blanketing the yard. While I sit inside, watching this fresh hell descending, I pass the time dreaming of a small, sunny island off the coast of South Carolina.I don’t just think about Daufuskie Island when it’s miserable outside. Since I visited for the first time a year and a half ago, I have thought about it a lot in fair weather and foul alike. Like all places marinating in their own history, it is light and shadow, bitter and sweet. There is something beguiling about it, and something haunting. Once it gets its hooks in you, it doesn’t turn you loose.For an island only about 5 miles long and a little over 2 miles wide, it makes a big impression.The southernmost point in South Carolina, Daufuskie sits across Calibogue Sound from Hilton Head, and the part of the island where I stayed looks a lot like Hilton Head: Haig Point is a tastefully developed gated community that respects the ecology of the terrain it inhabits—the first thing the developers did upon purchasing the property was hire an archeological team to identify any historical elements that needed preserving. The houses, golf course, tennis courts, restaurants, beach club, and stables are all tucked into the landscape with a minimum of ostentation. If there were an architectural style called Quietly Palatial, that would pretty much sum up Haig Point. Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast The most arresting features inside its boundaries are the carefully tended remains of the slave cabins that were once part of the plantation—one of eleven at plantation peak—that once occupied the property.The slave cabins were the first things I saw in the morning and the last things I saw before turning in at night. They’re just ruins now--roofless, partial walls--poking up here and there through the manicured landscape. The ruins are made of tabby, a durable coastal building material composed of lime, ash, sand, and oyster shells fused into a substance strong enough to withstand a hurricane and the wear of time: The plantation that once contained those slave cabins has been gone for 150 years, but remnants of the tabby cabins stubbornly endure, physical manifestations of a stained past.Daufuskie is not geared for daytrippers. I encountered several batches of very confused and frustrated tourists cruising the island’s unpaved roads in rented golf carts (the primary means of transportation on the island, where cars and trucks are banned). “We’re lost” and “We’re not sure what we’re looking at” were two common comments. One exasperated man I drove past exclaimed, “All I’ve seen so far are horses!” And a very angry woman insisted, “There’s nothing to see here.” Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast I was grudgingly sympathetic. Grudging because she was wrong, sympathetic because Daufuskie is no Hilton Head, no Disney World, nor even as manicured and managed as the average state park.Haig Point takes up about a quarter of the island and is restricted to homeowners. The rest of Daufuskie is dotted with a few other developments (including one that’s currently defunct, complete with a derelict golf course that made me think “zombie movie” every time I drove past), but mostly it’s beaches, marshes, and thick woods where the infrequent house sits tucked back from the road, nearly hidden in the shade of the massive live oaks that tower overheard. Little graveyards lie back in the woods, some with fresh graves, some that have been there for centuries. The human footprint on Daufuskie is light, but relics tell us it’s been there for 9,000 years.Confused tourists notwithstanding, there is plenty to see on the island, all of which lies under the protection of the National Register of Historic Places. But it’s not easy to uncover Daufuskie’s rich culture unless you’ve done some homework, brought along a map, and, preferably, hired someone local to show you around. Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast There are several guides available, but I don’t know how you could do better than Sallie Ann Robinson, who besides conducting tours is a sought-after caterer, cookbook author, local historian, and all-around force of nature with an infectious laugh that could put a smile on the face of a corpse.Robinson was born on Daufuskie and went to school there (one of her teachers was the author Pat Conroy, who wrote about his year on Daufuskie in the thinly fictionalized memoir The Water Is Wide). For years after school, she lived and worked on the mainland, but once her family was grown, she returned (“I just kept being called back”), and today she’s the island’s foremost ambassador.Robinson’s tours aren’t usual in any way. As she pilots her golf cart full of tourists around the island’s sandy lanes (there are almost no paved roads), she skips most of the drony historical recitations that characterize so many tours--"After the Spanish came the English…"--and concentrates on her own story. This sounds a little self-serving, but the more you listen, the more you realize that her story is indeed the island’s story: an isolated but well-knit, self-sustaining community of Blacks and whites who for several centuries lived quite apart from outside influence. Daufuskie didn’t get telephone service until the early 1970s. Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast When a historical benchmark does crop up in Robinson’s narration, she always supplies the human element that makes it relatable. Electricity, for example, did not come to Daufuskie until 1953, but that changed things very little at first because, as Robinson pointed out, even such a basic staple of modernity was beyond the reach of many residents: “We didn’t have TV growing up, ’cause most folks couldn’t afford to have their houses wired.”What was most interesting about Robinson’s narrative was the chance to hear someone who has lived through a historical epoch tell it from the inside.Daufuskie is at the geographical epicenter of what historians call the Gullah/Geechee corridor. Gullah and Geechee are virtually synonymous names for the sea island culture and creole language that sprang up among enslaved people living on the sea islands of the Carolinas and Georgia (the names have Indian origins, and Georgia natives are more apt to self-describe as Geechee). Both the culture and the language blend elements drawn from the people who commingled on the isolated sea islands: Africans, English colonists, and Native Americans. And the key to the Gullah culture’s survival was the isolation. It thrived thanks to the indifference of the outside world.But the stories told by historians are not always the same stories told by the people who lived that history.“When we were growing up, our mom and dad would sit us down and tell us stuff about their time and what was here and where we came from,” Robinson said, standing in the sanctuary of the First Union African Baptist Church that has stood at the center of the community since 1883. But her parents’ lessons weren’t about being special or being different. Island life was all she knew as a child, it was her whole world. “I remember tourists coming here in the seventies and saying, where are the Gullah people? We’ve come to hear the Gullah. And we just looked at them, ’cause we’d never heard that word before. Who be that? And that be us. But we didn’t know we were speaking a dialect or language.”The Gullah culture has been imperiled for decades. Growing up in the Carolinas in the 1960s, I heard my mother talk about people in the Lowcountry who spoke a mysterious language called Gullah, and even then she told me that Gullah was slowly vanishing. Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast In 1900, Daufuskie had a population as high as 3,000 people. But by the middle of the 20th century, pollution from the Savannah River had wiped out the oyster beds on which most residents depended for their livelihood. After that, the population dwindled as islanders moved away to the mainland. Today, the population hovers just above 400 full-time residents.Most of the island’s economy now depends on tourism, and there are plenty of vacation homes and several good restaurants. Lately a small but thriving artist community has taken root, and there is even a microbrewery. But while this sounds like a lot of coastal resorts, it is somehow different.Gullah culture may have waned but it has not vanished. Not long ago, a New Testament in Gullah was published. And the locals, Black and white alike, do what they can to honor and protect that culture. It’s endangered but it’s still alive: just look at all the household doorways painted a light blue to keep spirits at bay. In many cases, that paint is still fresh.And the island itself has kept its natural character. Yes, there are roads and maps, and a gated community and vacationers, but there is also something indomitably, mysteriously wild about Daufuskie. Sea turtles still come up on the beaches to lay their eggs. Rare fox squirrels still race through the trees, and alligators and egrets patrol the golf courses. Malcolm Jones/The Daily Beast Still accessible only by ferry or barge, Daufuskie remains a place apart. You have to really want to go there, and once you’re there, you have to give yourself up to the woods and the water and the lack of signposts. You have to be willing to get lost. Once you do that, once you give up being in control, then you begin to see. And then you can begin to learn. You may not feel at home right away, but you understand why people who come here never want to leave, and why people who did have to leave want to come back. That’s what I loved about the place. That’s why I dream about it.I also keep thinking about something Sallie Ann Robinson told me. “When we were little kids, and we did something bad one time, my daddy got mad and said, ‘Y’all keep acting like that, they’re going to come and put you in jail.’ And we just looked at him and said, ‘What’s a jail?’”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Michael Buckner/GettyIn 1983, Stan Lee, then Marvel Comics publisher, gave insight into his editorial feedback: “Hey, that shot is too weak. If you want a guy punching something, look at the way Jack Kirby does it. Let’s try and get that kind of force. This shot is too dull. Even if it’s a man walking in the street, look at the way Gene Colan does it. It looks interesting even if there’s no action.”During Lee’s editorship of Marvel Comics, a 20-page issue had about 100 panels for epic battles and human foibles. Lee’s direction maintained visual momentum, and tied together narratives of many characters. That overwatch created Marvel’s universe; his marketing instincts invited readers to join a re-imagination of a child’s medium.Abraham Riesman’s clear-eyed, anti-nostalgic biography True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, shows Lee’s discontent with those skills, how he took more credit than he deserved. He was brilliant, ever-optimistic, and believed in himself too much.“That was a core tragedy of Stan’s legacy,” Riesman wrote. “He was never able to put his most inarguable achievements front and center and instead opted for the ones that were most debatable.‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee“It’s possible that [Lee’s] greatest talent was editing; the only other skill that competed with it was his flair for promotion. He never sold himself as comics’ greatest editor or comics’ greatest salesman,” which he may have been, “but rather as its greatest ideas man,” a title True Believer argues he didn’t deserve.Marvel’s Fantastic Four debuted in 1961 with a deep weirdness compared to Superman’s corporate polish, or the adult-themed horror of the 1950s EC Comics. Marvel’s heroes targeted the new concept of teenagers with characters fantastical and strange, presented with Steve Ditko’s crazy angles, Jack Kirby’s inhuman designs, Stan Lee’s snarky dialogue.Does it matter who created the characters? Simplistic, childish concepts like The Thing? Iron Man? Dr. Strange? A web-shooting teenager is ridiculous—until Lee examined each panel to ensure a gripping narrative. Lee didn’t write the stories, as much as provided dialogue to fine-tune the artist’s premise. Kirby and Ditko might plot narratives, panel the comics, conceive the story’s direction, and conceptualize ideas.“What’s another word for plotting?” Riesman told The Daily Beast. “Writing.”Lee eventually claimed to have created most of the characters, that he was the brilliant wellspring, not just a grown-up guiding hand and energetic marketer. From interviews and well-documented research, Riesman shows Lee’s early willingness to give fair credit becoming an aggressive campaign of self-promotion. In one 1966 newspaper article, Lee was compared to actor Rex Harrison and credited with dreaming up the entire slate of Marvel comics. Jack Kirby, a 30-year veteran of the industry, was called an “assistant foreman in a girdle factory.” Many relationships have ruptured for less.Because the idea of “Stan Lee Presents” was too tempting. That phrase became an iconic signifier of an era, deserved and sometimes not.“It was true across Stan’s entire life, that if he came up with an idea, other people may have built up the idea, but ‘there was no idea before me’—that mattered a lot for him,” Riesman told the Beast.True Believer is not gossip. Riesman unpacks the humanity that makes popular culture bloom and fade. It is worth exploring the choices, compromises, relationships, and bitterness behind these ideas, especially when they spawn billion-dollar film franchises that drive modern entertainment.Comic book fans will react defensively toward Riesman’s account of Lee’s serial credit-taking. An argument in Lee’s favor is that any writer’s room features give-and-take. Lee and Kirby might say they conceived aspects of the Fantastic Four, and the truth is merely in the middle.“This is a dangerous line of thought for a historian,” Riesman wrote. “We should not ignore the possibility… that one of them was lying and the other telling the truth.”There was no writer’s room. Kirby wrote at home, bringing pages to Marvel after he finished the penciling. Stan’s snarky, snappy dialogue provided critical personality compared to the tin-eared scripts of DC’s Batman or Superman, but the 20 pages were often someone else’s creative vision. Getting fair credit was not easy; artists were freelancers and Lee, Marvel’s company man. The artists were also terrible salesmen for their own merits. When Kirby did speak up, his “original impetus [for characters and ideas] was always something sad and mundane,” Riesman told the Beast. “Kirby was ‘I needed to put food on the table,’ as opposed to ‘this was an evanescence of ideas from me, Stan Lee, the wonderful genius.’ It was mundane versus exciting.”Kirby died in 1994, years before Marvel’s resurgence. Ditko, creator of Spider-Man, holed up in a New York apartment, mailing out Ayn Rand-inspired screeds—an old crank difficult to take seriously before his 2018 death.Lee died at 95 in 2018—nearly 60 years to stake claims, appear in movie cameos, and pose for thousands of fans’ pictures, including with Riesman in 1998. Six decades to turn Stan Lieber, an immigrant’s son, into “Stan Lee,” an American icon. A perfect story, sold well.“Culture wants an unambiguous story about how things we love come into being,” Riesman told the Beast. “This idea that Stan’s the guy who created these characters, created Marvel, owned Marvel—none of those things are true. There’s always this vagueness or incorrectness about what he did. We should embrace that ambiguity.”Riesman uses a Lee quote to open a chapter: “If I myself possessed a superpower, I’d never keep it secret.”Riesman didn’t uncover any specific trauma in Lee’s childhood to make him that needy. Lee just wanted more, seeing comics as a springboard—Riesman chronicles test shoots of talk shows, hustling on the college speaking circuit, and book and screenplay ideas.“He didn’t want to be remembered for the past,” Riesman wrote, “he wanted to be relevant in the present.”Riesman’s research shows that Lee’s parents Iancu and Celia had left Romania at a time of growing anti-Semitism. His father’s village was the site of pogroms and violence. The past was no comfort.Lee’s career began at Timely Comics through a cousin’s husband, Martin Goodman. His first byline was “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge,” a two-page text story in May 1941’s Captain America Comics #3, accompanied by two panels of Kirby art, their first collaboration. “Stan Lee” took the byline, not Stan Lieber. Lee later explained he wanted to save his real name’s first appearance for the novel he would someday write.Lee’s father, Iancu, had Americanized his own first name to Jack; now Stan dropped his last name, and that connection with Jewish relatives and a lost homeland. Maybe there was trauma after all. Like Riesman wrote, Stan didn’t want to be remembered for the past, but relevant in the present.Each paragraph in “The Traitor’s Revenge” matches a comic panel’s on-point action: “In an instant, both Steve and Bucky peeled off their outer uniforms and seconds later they stood revealed as CAPTAIN AMERICA and BUCKY, Sentinels of our Shores! ‘Let’s go!’ cried CAPTAIN AMERICA!”Once World War II began, Lee spent his patriotic Army duty writing training manuals and projects like an anti-venereal disease campaign—“VD? Not me!”Riesman wrote, “The key thing to remember about Stan Lee’s war years is that he was a propagandist…accomplishing military goals through simple, direct messaging designed to instill emotional reactions of loyalty and excitement.”Propaganda is too sinister. Lee communicated with a military audience using that culture’s language to inspire a collective understanding. Propaganda? Or mission-focused?That approach drove Lee’s banter with readers on each comic’s letters page. In 1965’s Strange Tales #135, a 300-word letter, from Tim Miller of Pontiac Michigan, presented ideas about the origins of Dr. Strange’s incantations, e.g., “I invoke the Hosts of Hoggoth.”“Tim, you frantic fans are the greatest!” Lee (most likely) responded. “No matter what we make up, right out of our cornball heads, there’ll always be some Marvel madman who can explain the whole thing with such logic that we end up thinking we took it from a history book!”Tim Miller probably never got over himself. All it took was a back-handed compliment, Lee’s self-effacement, and a little alliteration.“By the time he became famous,” Riesman wrote, “Lee was a wizard at stirring his readers up with direct addresses, often using the martial phrase ‘face front.’ Such verbiage sought to make the masses feel as though they were members of a legion of devoted followers who would do whatever their commander asked of them.”Lee craved the adoration, Riesman said. “He didn’t care about superheroes or comics… but he loved getting people behind something.”Lee used a jaunty style for bylines like “Unpredictable Stan Lee,” “Unmatchable Jack Kirby,” “Unbeatable Johnny Severin.” Stan came first. When he stopped writing, “Stan Lee—Editor” appeared as a brand-new credit line. Lee’s collaborators didn’t appreciate this creative bigfooting, Kirby and Ditko only the most famous. Kirby’s former assistant Mark Evanier explained to Riesman that, “Unfortunately, from day one, Jack Kirby was doing part of Stan’s job,” the writing, “and Stan was not doing part of Jack’s job,” the drawing.Despite all that, True Believer is not a revisionist take-down. It’s not unkind, nasty, or unfair—Lee’s just a creative man who wanted more than he earned.Riesman digs into Lee’s later-life efforts to recapture the fragile magic—Stan Lee Media and POW! Entertainment. Lee schmoozes Pamela Anderson’s brother to get her to star as Stripperella—a pitch that actually came to fruition. Lee didn’t write any of the 13 episodes, but it’s still Stan Lee’s Stripperella on the DVD case.Riesman interviews Lee’s business associates of his final years, Peter Paul and Keya Morgan, greasy self-promoters who are happy to provide some gossip and defend themselves against various allegations. None of it’s surprising. Of course Lee was an easy mark, and made bad choices with bad business partners. Of course he rants and raves with difficult family members. He was an old man too ashamed to admit he was put out to pasture.The important part of this story isn’t that it ended badly, it’s that it happened.Riesman interviewed Lee for a 2016 Vulture article, a half-dozen emailed questions sent through a publicist—a somewhat taunting experience, Riesman said, with closer access dangled, but ever out of reach. In those emails, Riesman asked Lee about growing up in New York and its Jewish culture. “It was a fascinating answer; he answered the question about New York, completely ignored the part about Jewishness,” he said. Stan’s brother Larry Lieber told Riesman that their father, Iancu-Jack, felt Stan had turned his back on Jewish faith, ignoring the struggles of Israel, and baptizing his daughter, among other criticisms.That bitterness makes sense. Iancu left Romania in large part because of violent anti-Semitism; now his son wrote comic books about silly monsters (Bruttu? Sserpo? Zzutak?) in a world full of real monsters. It’s like an Iraq veteran baffled why their child wastes time on TikTok—maybe not grasping that followers can be monetized.“The only topic I would have liked to talk about in a more substantive way was his childhood,” Riesman said. “He wasn’t a prince, so historians aren’t chronicling his youth; there’s just his brother.”Larry Lieber, that younger brother, is the tell-tale heartbeat of Stan’s story. Larry had worked in comics since the early 1950s, and had retired from penciling the daily Amazing Spider-Man newspaper comic strip in 2018 after 32 years. He’s not the last surviving artist or writer from the old days, but his work was among the last pieces of cultural DNA connecting back to the old days. The brothers’ relationship had been acrimonious—at least from Larry’s side. They worked together now and then, and Stan didn’t completely cast him aside, but there was a constant distance.At one point, Larry had left Marvel to work for the old boss Martin Goodman at a different comic company. Stan didn’t offer a raise to stop the move, just appealed to family loyalty that had been, at best, one way. “The guy’s got millions!” Larry recounted to Riesman. “I can’t pay my rent! And he’s telling me not to write for them!”Stan had returned to New York for a comic convention and didn’t tell Larry he would be there; Stan badgered Larry into giving a deposition against Jack Kirby’s estate; Stan’s wife Joan belittled Larry with fake friendliness.In the 1970s, “when Larry was struggling to get Stan to throw some work his way. Stan kept passing the buck. Larry… eventually turned to one of the editors for help. “Well, Larry,” he recalls the editor saying, “it’s the consensus of opinion here that the only people Stan thinks about are himself and his family, and that doesn’t include you.”Larry is not nostalgic.“I mean, everyone I know is going. Gone. And I thought, did I lose him?” Larry told Riesman. “Can you lose somebody you never had?”It’s a tragedy to leave a story there—an angry brother alone at the end. So let’s not leave it there.June 1962 was just the Fantastic Four and the Hulk, with Spider-Man debuting in August. Some buzz, some promising sales. Stan, Jack, Larry, Steve also cranked out comics of suspense and monsters, but new ideas were coming.Martin Scorsese’s 1970s movies were something new; that group did the same for 1960’s comics. They even beat Scorsese to the punch—in June 1962’s “Bully Boy,” a sci-fi melodrama in Tales to Astonish #32, an under-estimated teenager makes an over-the-shoulder threat, “Are you talking to me?” before wiping the floor with four goons. That dialogue beat Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle by 14 years. The penciling is Kirby’s, nobody’s credited for the dialogue but it was probably Stan, and maybe Larry helped with the script. Ditko hung around, prepping Spider-Man. Look around, the revolution’s happening in New York and there were minds at work—Stan, Larry, Jack, Steve, many more.True Believer’s origin story begins in 2015. Riesman misunderstood editor David Wallace-Wells' request for a review of Stan’s new graphic memoir, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. Riesman thought Wallace-Wells wanted a long-form profile, so he compiled research and interviews—until Wallace-Wells “informed me that he’d meant I should write a short book review. Oops,” Riesman wrote. But, intrigued, Wallace-Wells greenlit Riesman’s subsequent 10,000-word Vulture article on Lee. After Lee’s death, Will Wolfslau, editor at Crown Publishing, visualized a book’s scope in that article about Lee’s life of triumph and hubris. He reached out to Riesman’s agent with that idea.Had Wolfslau shared Stan Lee’s credit-taking worldview and punched-up writing style, the book’s title could have been Wonderful Will Wolfslau presents True Believer, scripted by Able Abe Riesman.Wolfslau did see that potential in Riesman’s article, but follow-through is the author’s domain. In 2021, editors stay in the back pages, thanked in the acknowledgments.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Germany and France could approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines for over 65s just days after Angela Merkel said she was too old to take the jab. Thomas Mertens, the head of Germany’s vaccine committee, revealed it would "very soon" update its recommendation on the jab.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to ask President Joe Biden to consider sharing part of the U.S. coronavirus vaccine supply with its poorer southern neighbor when the two leaders hold a virtual summit on Monday, U.S. and Mexican officials said. Biden is open to discussing the matter as part of a broader regional effort to cooperate in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but will maintain as his “number one priority” the need to first vaccinate as many Americans as possible, a White House official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Lopez Obrador has been one of the most vocal leaders in the developing world pressing the richest countries to improve poorer nations’ access to the vaccines.
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Milan Bandic, the controversial long-serving mayor of Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, has died from a heart attack, his office said Sunday. The populist Bandic was one of Croatia’s best-known politicians, running Zagreb for the past 21 years amid a series of corruption scandals. Croatia's anti-graft authorities have launched several investigations against Bandic, who was detained in 2014 but was still later re-elected to the post.
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