Showing 1 - 10 of 152 posts found matching keyword: batman
Saturday 18 January 2020
from DC Special Series #6 (1977)
I might have watched that Gotham television show if there had been a greater emphasis on giant props. Or *any* emphasis on giant props.
(Also in that issue: Captain Comet cures his own concussion with telepathy, Wonder Woman saves the U.N. building with her lasso and invisible jet, and Green Lantern quotes Rhett Butler. Because comics are awesome.)
Friday 13 December 2019
Created by Kerry Callen of KerryCallen.Blogspot.com
That's my Batman!
Monday 23 September 2019
Batman Day was this past Saturday. It should not be confused with Batman's birthday. According to the 1976 DC Comics Calendar, Bruce Wayne was born on February 19. Or April 7, depending on whether we're talking about the Earth-1 or Earth-2 version. (Don't even get me started on Earth-3.)
If you missed the date, don't blame yourself. Batman Day crawls blindly around the calendar like its namesake. In the past five years since it was created, it has never been held on the same date twice: July 23 (2014), September 15 (2018), September 17 (2016), September 23 (2017), September 26 (2015). If you can find a pattern in those dates, congratulations! You can be the super villain who crashes Batman Day 2020. You can call yourself "The Sequencer" and wear a costume covered in brilliantly colored, shiny sequins. Trust me; that's how comic book villains work.
In celebration of the "holiday," 10 cities across the globe gave promoters permission to shine the Bat-signal on their skylines despite it not being a Bat-emergency. Fans in Barcelona, Berlin, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York, Rome, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo. That's a lot of cities for one hero to visit in a day. Batman's a billionaire, not Santa Claus.
The event advertised participation in 13 cities, but Los Angeles denied permits and Paris had an infestation of anti-government rioters (a situation that sounds more like a job for Superman). Meanwhile, Montreal's celebration was interrupted by a nutcase with a megaphone, which if you ask me, is about as Batman as it gets.
Hrm. He needs more sequins.
Friday 13 September 2019
Speaking of movies I don't know why anyone would make: Batman: Hush. That's the latest direct-to-video animated Batman film from the factory at Warner Bros Home Entertainment.
The movie is based on 12 issues of the Batman comic released in 2002/03. Jeph Loeb — the pen behind Commando — was credited with "writing" the story, although he admitted that most of what he did was create ad hoc justifications for what Jim Lee wanted to draw. Jim Lee, you see, is one of the true superstars of the comic world. Back in 2002 he has just been bought out by DC Comics and they wanted to get their money's worth. That meant putting Lee on the best-selling comic, Batman, and letting him do his thing.
As you might guess, the result was that "Hush" is a series of cool looking images hanging from a story frame that barely makes sense. ("Barely" is probably too generous a word.) Few cared at the time because of Jim Lee, and the collected comics continues to be best sellers because of Jim Lee. Creating a movie from that story while subtracting Lee's distinctive personal visual style is like reading War and Peace translated from the original Russian into pig latin.
So why would Warner Bros bother with such a doomed exercise? I'm guessing because people have heard of "Hush" and don't realize (or care) that it is based more on visual art than story. And Warner Bros is only interested in squeezing as much cash from each extant property as possible forever and ever. Their corporate motto: Diminishing returns are still returns!
If you're really interested in who/what "Hush" is, do yourself a favor. Go buy a comic instead.
Wednesday 11 September 2019
Friend Chad recently asked me if I had any interest in the upcoming Joker movie. You know the one. It just won the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. My answer, in short, was no. In long, it was *hell* no.
As a longtime reader of comics, I have a well-established mental image of what I expect from Batman and his rogues gallery. As a general rule, I don't enjoy films about gangsters (which Joker was in the 40s) or films about serial killers (which Joker has been since the 80s). I've seen both Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers exactly once, and that's each one time too many.
My biggest problem with the film is that the Joker is unequivocally a villain. Pure capital-E Evil. However, a story's protagonist has to be relatable to its audience. Just as the short-lived Joker comic series of the mid-70s focused on its eponymous star's zany antics (and minimized the collateral damage), to put the character at the center of a film it becomes necessary to humanize him, to turn him from villain to anti-hero. No, thank you.
Call me a prude, but I don't see any reason to make a film exploring how someone becomes a narcissistic, mass-murdering sociopath on the scale of the Joker. In fiction, the Joker has beaten a child to death with a crowbar, slaughtered an entire talk show audience on camera, and gassed the United Nations General Assembly. All for giggles. If such a monster existed in the real world — an Osama bin Laden-squared — would you pay to see that person's biography on the big screen?
Joker works best in comics as a larger-than-life malevolent force of nature, the personification of the chaos that Batman strives to eliminate from the world. That's exactly how "Why so serious" Heath Ledger played him (and "This town needs an enema" Jack Nicholson before that). If you insist on reinventing the character, I'd say making him mortal is the wrong direction to go. Forget realism for a character that is inherently unreal. Give us a film about how Cesar Romero's wacky Joker earned his place as Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime with a painted-over mustache (the anti-Groucho Marx!). Or choose to elaborate on any random Joker entry from silly The Super Dictionary.
But don't try to remake Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy with a super-villain behind the greasepaint. Once was enough for that one, too.
Tuesday 3 September 2019
The Super Dictionary has a well-deserved reputation for, shall we say, unusual definitions of words, but the above is not really a page in the Super Dictionary. It's a poster by artist Marco D'Alfonso currently for sale on m7781.storeenvy.com.
I still have my original Super Dictionary on the shelf right in front of me, and I'm sure that its actual definition for "happy" is much less warped.
Never mind. Super Dictionary, you win again!
Sunday 1 September 2019
Today is the start of the 14th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month! Yesterday was a busy day on and off the gridiron, so let's get straight to the news.
Yesterday, the Georgia Bulldogs opened the season on the road against Vanderbilt and won easily. Theirs was the only game played between SEC opponents, so Georgia's win puts them in first place in the conference!
Speaking of the conference, winning the SEC East might be easier than usual for the Bulldogs this year. South Carolina fell to North Carolina of the ACC (2-10 in 2018), and Missouri was beaten by Wyoming of the Mountain West (6-6 in 2018). Wyoming had been winless against teams from Power Five conferences since 2014, but that's nothing compared to Georgia State of the Sun Belt Conference. They were also 2-10 in 2018 and hadn't beaten a Power Five team ever... until they ruined Tennessee's season with a 34-30 win. That's not strong competition.
Speaking of winning, the Miami Dolphins won't. One week ahead of the start of the season, the Dolphins have traded their starting left tackle for multiple picks in next year's drafts. Dolphins' management had already telegraphed their intention to tank 2019, but I don't have high hopes for their ability to ever convert all the draft picks they're banking into a winning team. Number One overall picks are no panacea for a team full of mediocre talent and an ownership with no idea what a winning team looks like.
Meanwhile, Batman is still Batman.
Poster by Marco D'Alfonso
Friday 7 June 2019
Not everyone loves Superman month, especially not that fickle Lois Lane.
(By the way, in case you were unaware, Tom Peyer is the writer and editor-in-chief of Ahoy Comics, and has been making some great comics lately. I whole-heartedly recommend The Wrong Earth to anyone who enjoyed Adam West's Batman.)
Wednesday 22 May 2019
Spoiler warning: I like movies.
58. (1497.) Trafic (1971)
While not as charming as Tati's earlier works — a result of fewer characters and the more anonymous "modern" setting — his commentary on the transportation industry of the early 70s has plenty of well-earned chuckles.
60. (1499.) Happy Death Day (2017)
The only genre of horror film that I enjoy is the old-fashioned, gore-filled slasher flick, especially ones where the hero gets in the last licks. Happy Death Day delivers all that plus some great character development and romance (with an overt nod and wink to the classic Groundhog Day). It figures that it was written by an established comic book author. It's a lot of fun.
61. (1500.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
I remember reviewers panning this film for being a shallow example of style over substance. That's true. But there's plenty of room in the market for stylish spy movies in the mold of the Sean Connery James Bond films of the 60s. (Not coincidentally, Ian Fleming played a role in the creation of the original U.N.C.L.E. television series.) I liked it.
62. (1501.) It Started with a Kiss (1959)
The highlight of this silly romantic comedy is the prominence of the Lincoln Futura, the concept car that Chuck Barris would repaint into the 1966 Batmobile. Awesome to see it rolling through Europe.
63. (1502.) Sing (2016)
I thought this movie would be a crass exercise in corporate synergy, Universal using its movie arm to promote its music catalog... and I was right. It's okay, but ultimately hollow and unsatisfying bit of pop music fluff (especially because most songs are limited to short snippets).
66. (1505.) Lady Street Fighter (1981)
I watched this whole thing, and I can't tell you what it was all about. I can say that the title is very literal: some woman with a bad accent got into a lot of fights on streets. So bad it's good. Man, I love TCM Underground.
More to come.
Friday 12 October 2018
"I haven't been very good about updating the 'work' section of this site lately (so much of what I've done in the recent past is app coding, which doesn't show off very well)" is what I wrote in 2013 as introduction to a post promoting the first postcard design I'd made to promote a local Halloween event.
Well, I've still got that job.
As you can see, zombies are taking a bit of a back seat to super heroes these days. As well they should.