Showing 1 - 10 of 290 posts found matching keyword: comic books

The world will always need a Superman.

The more things change...
Superman #7, 1941

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I like to think I know a lot about comics, and this sure seems like something I should have been aware of before now.

It's a bird! It's a balloon! It's a baby!

"Superman Jr." (drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and inked by Dick Giordano) is from the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide, where it is accompanied by the following description:

SUPER JRS. give licencees the opportunity to use pint-sized versions of DC's most popular heroes, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, and Flash! All have been transformed into the most loveable and huggable mini-heroes you've ever seen!

I mean, yeah, like everyone else, I knew there were Lil' (Justice) Leaguers who have occupied their own corner of the DC Multiverse — Earth-42, 'natch — since 2008. For some reason I assumed that the Lil' Leaguers had been inspired mainly by the popularity of the late-1980s X-Babies comics, an adorably alternate-reality version of the best-selling X-Men from DC's chief competition, Marvel Comics. As it turns out, those 2008 characters were more likely descended from the only Super Jrs. comic appearance: The Best of DC Special #58 digest-sized comic in December 1984.

The really weird part is that 1984 story had actually been created seven years earlier for a format nearly twice the size! According to October 2014 issue of Back Issue magazine — which also includes a list of all known Super Jrs. licensed products — the Super Jrs. were originally developed (by Tom DeFalco, Vince Squeglia, and Kerry Grandenetti) to be used in a DC treasury-sized comic book in 1977 as the first in a whole series of Super Jrs. comics. But the treasury edition line was canceled, and DC instead decided to shop the Super Jrs. characters around for a cartoon series that never materialized, finally printing the comic in '84 to give the digest series a "new" Christmas story.

(I find the Super Jrs. an interesting contrast to DC's Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, also a kid-friendly take on DC's Justice League of America characters — the Zoo Crew began as "Just'a Lotta Animals" — created in the early 1980s as a cartoon pitch only to become a comic series in 1982 yet doesn't appear in that Style Guide. Did the Zoo Crew perhaps have a different licensing agreement?)

Anyway, that 1982 Style Guide entry up there is for a character created in 1977, licensable for a television cartoon that never happened, and who wouldn't see print until 1984. In hindsight, I've certainly seen the cover of that Style Guide before, and I must have confused the Super Jrs. with the likes of Superbaby (first appearing in 1948) or any of the many Superboys or even the several Sons of Superman (some more imaginary than others). But no, it turns out Super Jrs. are their own thing.

Go get 'em, gang!

Aren't comic books great?

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Welcome to June, the 16th annual Wriphe.com Superman Month, this year with 100% less Superman!

As it happens, DC Comics killed off Superman (again!) in last month's Justice League #75. It's an especially bad bit of timing; most days it feels like 2022 has just been one disaster after another.

Super speed and invulnerability, on the other hand...
Wonder Twins #12 (2020)

Maybe not, but a little x-ray vision would go a long way.

I figure things will have to be better by this time next year. That's about how long anyone stays dead in comic books, and the world sure could use a Superman.

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I have a new painting by my mailbox for Saint Patrick's Day:

The green light gives the illusion that we have grass in the front yard

I'd been wanting to incorporate light into one of these for a while, and Green Lantern made the perfect test case.

It's not entirely clear in the image above, but the green glow comes from a string of green Christmas lights attached to the frame. It took four tries to get the ring working just the way I liked it. The successful version you see here was carved from the end of a 2x4. So I'm a sculptor now!

He makes a good night light

I think it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

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Think your headlines are bad? At least you don't live in Gotham City.

Batman always wears a mask when visiting the hospital
Batman #120, December 1958

They saved the elephant, but Batman had to be put down.

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An elegant weapon for a more chivalrous age

Maybe. But the real question is can I fuck them?

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Walter Watched Movies, 2022 edition!

1/2010. Cruella (2021)
Yeah, it looks good, and yeah, it's got a good soundtrack, but this became the first Emma Stone movie I could not make it all the way through. It's not her fault, exactly. She does manage to marginally soften an inherently vile character, but Cruella's character arc is about embracing the evil within. After the end-of-third-act twist making bad people even worse, I decided I just didn't want to spend any more time with any of the awful, awful characters that apparently populated 1970s London. Burn it all to the ground.

2/2011. The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)
Technically, this documentary of the famous Broadway caricaturist was not really new to me. I had forgotten that I originally saw it in college as one of the films the late lamented Bill Marriott showed aspiring artists in his drawing classes. Hirschfield was a master artist who lived an interesting life, and I heartily recommend this to any art (or Broadway) fans out there.

3/2012. The Great Dictator (1940)
I started watching this in 2021, but couldn't get into it. I forced myself to finish it here, and I can understand its historic (and political) significance, but I wouldn't want to watch it again. What can I say? I just don't enjoy watching Chaplin mugging for the camera as the Tramp or as Hitler.

4/2013. Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Unlike The Line King, I thought I had seen this, but apparently I had it confused with its contemporary, Spice World. My mistake. There's no way I would have forgotten some of this content if I had seen it before. ("I still don't understand why you're here." "Because I was in the comic book.") Spice World is a parody of the music business, but Josie is satire, an unflinching social-commentary satire masquerading as fluff. It's maybe even more relevant to life in 2021 than it was to 2001.

The over-the-top overt product placement in this film about subliminal influencing is very, very much the point of this spear. It's become well publicized that the producers received no extra funding from placing the corporate intellectual products in the film, but that sort of misses the point that brands like Target, Revlon, and, yes, Coca-Cola *still* benefited from putting their logos before the eyes of movie audiences, even as a punchline. The beast knows that the only bad press is no press.

Drink Coke! (Josie and the Pussycats)
You know you want to drink a Coca-Cola right now.

More to come.

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Watched just in time for Christmas:

146. (2005.) Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

This movie is infamous because of how public response to its Santa-with-an-axe ad campaign ended up getting the movie pulled from theatrical release. But what it should be infamous for is how it twists the Batman's origin into a (lame) horror story.

As my Christmas gift to the world, I've translated the movie back into comic panels.

Vengeance is a dish best served with cookies
Can't fault this logic

Now you can say you've seen Silent Night, Deadly Night (just like how for years I said I'd seen the R-rated Robocop when I'd only read the PG-rated Marvel Comics adaptation). Merry Christmas!

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It's observations like this that make Clark Kent the <em>Daily Planet</em>'s ace reporter.
from "The Canine and the Crooks," Superman #19, November/December 1942

You tell 'em, Superman!

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Twitter very helpfully reminds me that today is Batman Day 2021. Explains the site: "Fans pay tribute to the DC Comics superhero on Batman Day, which is celebrated each year on the third Saturday of September." The only problem with that description is that it is not true.

Maybe Batman Day is held on the third Saturday of September since 2018, but it wasn't always. As I have documented elsewhere, Batman Day has been all over the calendar since it was first recognized in July 2014. But that's not the part I'm really bothered by.

The word "fans" in that description is misleading, unless you'd describe the corporations who own the Batman intellectual property as fans. Unlike Star Wars Day, which began as a genuine celebration of its source material before being taken over as a marketing exercise by The Walt Disney Co., Batman Day has never been anything other than a marketing exercise by WarnerMedia.

I wonder if whoever crafted that description for Twitter wasn't having a little fun with the wording. The phrase "pay tribute," which has come to mean a figurative giving of praise, was originally meant quite literally. A tribute is a tax levied on conquered peoples. Give your thanks (and dollars!) to your corporate masters, Bat-fans!

Which is not to say that I don't like Batman or think it's uncool to say how great the Caped Crusader is. I'd just like a little honesty in why we chose today to do it, is all.

Sometimes he's a little too honest
Batman #119, October 1958

Honesty! It's what Batman would want.

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To be continued...

 

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