Showing 1 - 10 of 180 posts found matching keyword: batman
Tuesday 26 September 2023
Who says Batman doesn't use guns?
Detective Comics #78, 1943
This is not the first time I've borrowed a panel from 'Tec #78, and I doubt it will be the last. Some comics are just too good to be ignored.
Friday 22 September 2023
I've been going through an ELO phase lately, collecting all of their studio albums. (Judge me if you want to, but you can do a lot worse than ELO.) And that led me to this animation that used tracks from ELO's 1981 album Time as an unauthorized soundtrack.
Don't blink, or you might miss Batman and Robin!
Believe it or not, that animation was originally created 40 years ago by university students for a 1983 Japanese science fiction convention DAICON IV. I'd say it stands up about as well as ELO's music does, which is to say "Very Well."
Monday 18 September 2023
Oops. I completely forgot that on this past Saturday, I meant to post about Batman Day 2023. Sorry. That was my bad. If I didn't mention it, how would you know you were supposed to celebrate by buying something with Batman's face on it?
What better way for a corporation worth nearly $30 billion to commemorate their own for-profit intellectual property (that they acquired in a 1967 buy-out of National Periodical Publications) than via an annual event (created and promoted by Warner Bros) in which you give them more money? Billionaire Bruce Wayne would indubitably agree. That's how Christmas started, too.
If you missed out on Saturday, it's not too late. Your Local Comic Shop may still have copies of the three "Batman Day" branded reprint comic books DC sold to retailers to give away as door-busting loss leaders for their event. Or, if you prefer, you could go online, where the "free" comics are currently selling for... checks ebay.com... $8. Seems fair. Even scalpers have to put bread on their table.
But let's face it, you're not going to a comic shop. Batman may be DC's best selling comic book, but that's still only a few million dollars a year. The real money comes from the Batman television and movie fans who haven't touched a comic book in decades. That's why Warner Bros has curated a selection of DVDs, t-shirts, coffee mugs, action figures, posters, LEGOs, bedsheets, party supplies, cocktail guides, car seats, toasters, and much, much more on their officially licensed "Long Live The Bat" store at Amazon.com. Huh. I didn't know I needed a toaster that burnt the bat signal into slices of bread, but I guess, yeah, maybe I do.
Show off your love of Batman; make rich corporations richer. It's a win-win. I'm just sorry I didn't mention it sooner.
Thursday 14 September 2023
Mark Evanier, who has written a few comic books in his day, recently posted on his website, newsfromme.com, a YouTube of a Japanese take on Neal Hefti's familiar Batman television theme. Since I don't have time today to come up with anything better, I'm reposting it here.
Wednesday 6 September 2023
This Batman and Football month has been a little light on the Batman so far. That shouldn't come as a big surprise. They literally don't make Batman comics like they used to.
These days, the trend is to focus more on the incredible wealth, the impossible physical feats, the extended family of once-were-Robins, and the acrobatic sex with bondage-geared Catwoman (and her whip). Think of it as Batman for a prurient HBO audience.
I like my Batman to lean a little more on the cerebral side, with a heavy dose of "Detective" in my comics. He's genuinely determined to make the world a better place through his force of will, and for him that means solving crimes that the police can't.
The fact that he dresses like a bat professionally should be treated like a personality quirk grown from a damaged childhood, tolerated by others because of Batman's great genius. (Consider that Scotland Yard never built a Sherlock Holmes signal.)
While it increasingly seems that "my" Batman belongs to the past, I can live with that. I'm sure everyone's favorite characters are the ones they grew up with. I hope I'm wrong, and one day a better Batman will come along, but in the meantime, we've always got yesterday.
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Friday 1 September 2023
The 18th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month got off to an inauspicious start last night when my cable provider Spectrum unexpectedly dropped ESPN from its lineup without warning just as Florida was preparing to kick off the season against Utah.
Apparently Disney wants Spectrum to pay a boatload for the privilege of sharing the same content you can get directly through a subscription to Disney+, and negotiations have stalemated as Spectrum rightly fears trying to pass that charge along to their subscribers like me, who are already paying $110 a month for a package that somehow no longer includes ESPN or ESPN2 or the SEC Network (or Disney or FX or nearly a score of others I can't say as I watch much).
I assume this tactic is intended to make me call Spectrum and demand they raise my rates to get ESPN back. Given that Disney and the other Hollywood producers don't seem very interested in paying writers or actors to create other content — today marks day 122 of the WGA strike and day 49 of the SAG strike — they rightly recognize that live sports is currently (and perhaps for perpetuity in the age of AI) their most valuable commodity.
While I respect Disney's right to try to negotiate for Spectrum's 15 million subscribers, I'm not particularly happy about becoming a pawn in these hardline tactics or the timing of all of this coming at the dawn of football season, especially since for the foreseeable future, it looks like I'll have to leave my house if I want to watch Monday Night Football or a wide selection of college games. It sure seems like Hollywood doesn't really care who they inconvenience in their quest for the biggest possible buck, and that just plain sucks. I won't forget this. As my father always says, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.
And Gators... Gators lose 11-24, according to my local evening news. So it's not all bad. The University of Florida football team losing is a good start to any season.
Tuesday 14 February 2023
As previously mentioned, I recently had to replace my telephone. A new device calls for new backgrounds, and these are what I am using for my locked/unlocked screens respectively:
For the record, Batman & Robin are by José Luis García-López, and Superman is by Evan "Doc" Shaner. Together, they make the World's Finest pair of Pixel 7 phone backgrounds!
Wednesday 28 September 2022
Variety reports that an upcoming Propstore auction of television and movie memorabilia will include a Batarang that is expected to sell for between 11 and 17 thousand dollars. Sure, Bruce Wayne is rich, but there's no way that he pays that much for those things; he leaves them everywhere.
What really gets me about that price is that it's not a 1960s-era Adam West Batarang (a giant blue banana grappling hook) or even a 1980s-era Michael Keaton Batarang (a snap-out palm-sized bolo), but the chest-logo machete Batarang used by Robert Pattinson in The Batman, which came out earlier this year!
Which makes now as good a time as any to do this:
120/2129. The Batman (2022)
Short review: I hated it. Yes, it's a (marginally) new take on the character in cinema, but it's a spectacularly dumb one. For more than three hours, Batman wanders through leftover Fight Club sets acting like a plainclothes detective (wearing fancy dress-up) from Se7en who breaks every law and needs his butler to feed him clues. Catwoman is in the film just so Batman can look heroic by comparison! I think Robert Pattinson got the role because Peter Sellers is dead.
That said, I really don't want to be too hard on scrawny little Pattinson here, especially in the COVID era. Like poor Christian Bale, who had to talk while his bat-cowl squeezed his lips like a toothpaste tube, Pattinson is clearly trying to do the best he can with the lackluster material he's given to work with by writer/director Matt Reeves. For example, at the climax of the film, as a determined Batman injects himself with... well, I don't know what — it's neither telegraphed nor explained, I expected to hear Boris Karloff's voice saying "Batman's heart grew three sizes that day." There's only so much craftsmanship and subtility that you can expect from the guy who co-wrote Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
My condolences to whoever pays $15,000 for that Batarang.
Friday 16 September 2022
How'd that old commercial go? "You got chocolate in my Batman!"
I didn't know it when I picked this up at my local Fine Foods Store, but this is the third year Hershey's has produced a DC's Super Hero Bar. I think it's a fun idea, even if the candy itself doesn't really seem to understand how sequential art is supposed to work.
This reminds me that back in art school in the 90s, I made a white chocolate candy bar in which each "panel" told a different chapter of my life-up-til-then story. I created a custom wrapper, too. I assure you, it looked better than it tasted.
By the way, don't miss out on International Batman Day 2022, which Warner Bros has decided is tomorrow, September 17. (It used to move around the calendar a lot, but this "holiday" seems to have settled into the third Saturday in September in recent years.) Celebrate it however you like.
Personally, Batman recommends chocolate.
Monday 12 September 2022
104/2113. The Green Slime (1968)
The important thing about this movie isn't that its monsters are lame and its human characters are stupid — were the first 15 minutes of this the inspiration for Armageddon? No, it's that the script was co-written by the guy who co-created Batman, Bill Finger. Viewed through the lens of a Silver Age comic book story, it's not *all* bad.
105/2114. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Should have been titled "Catharsis: The Movie." The whole point is that all characters are having the very worst weekend of their lives, and if you can laugh at that, maybe you can laugh at your own problems, too. Kudos to the entire cast for pulling this off so well.
106/2115. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
Another movie that I'd seen in bits and pieces over the years. Well, now I've seen it all in one sitting, and it is very much just as depressing as the album (which is probably why I haven't listened to that all the way through in decades). Sadly, its key themes of the loneliness of mental illness and the seduction of fascism as a panacea to difficult problems is probably just as relevant in modern America as it was in early 80s Britain, and I'm pretty sure we don't have any better solutions now.
Coke is for crazies!
107/2116. In Harm's Way (1965)
John Wayne and Kirk Douglas lead an all-star cast through an epic that equal parts soap opera and war film, and in typical fashion for director Otto Preminger, it's pretty darn ambivalent about both. I've generally liked the Preminger films I've seen, this included. Maybe I should make an effort to see more.
Coke is also for rapists!
108/2117. Car Wash (1976)
"A Day in the Life of a Full Service Car Wash" is a great idea for a film and I loved it. 'Nuff said.
More to come.