[The Internet ate my original post here, which was a very long complaint about the movie The Flash. I'm not going to try to recreate it. The important takeaways were that that A) it has Batman in it, and B) it sucks.]

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Who says Batman doesn't use guns?

This is not the first time I've posted a panel from Detective Comics #78 (1943), and I doubt it will be the last.

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84/2250. Elmer, the Great (1933)
The premise here is that baseball player Elmer (Joe E. Brown in an over-the-top performance of buffoonery that would embarrass Adam Sandler) is such a great batter with such intolerable eccentricates that the Chicago Cubs are forced to lie to him about his love interest in order to ride his bat to the World Series. Of course, the lies lead to crime, specifically a gambling syndicate, that potentially compromise the game. Because that's what lies do.

85/2251. Skippy (1931)
Never heard of the comic strip "Skippy"? I doubt this film will make you seek it out, although I'm lead to believe it was a big hit in its day. Li'l Jackie Cooper breathes life into one of the most famous comic strip characters of the early 20th century in a series of misadventures involving, among other things, dog murder. Seriously. Cooper was nominated for an Oscar for this because everyone is heartbroken to see a child crying over a dead dog. Shame on you, Hollywood!

86/2252. Three on a Match (1932)
While the popularity of the Skippy comic strip inspired a peanut butter brand to steal the name, Three on a Match was built on the popular superstition encouraged (created?) by a safety match tycoon to sell more matches. The story is a salacious tale of intertwining lives of three former classmates. Naturally, the third one to light on the match suffers a bad end, although that's owed more to her use of drugs than her thrifty use of matches. (Trivia note: this movie also supposedly includes Jack Webb's first screen appearance, but good luck spotting him in the crowd.)

87/2253. Private Detective 62 (1933)
Decades before Remington Steele, debonaire but destitute William Powell fast-talks his way into a becoming a partner in a private detective agency. Too bad for Bill that his new partner is no Stephanie Zimbalist and lacks any sort of scruples.

88/2254. The Castle of Sand (1974)
I interrupt today's list of pre-code Hollywood films with this Japanese police procedural with a very strong social justice message. (Lepers are people too!) The last act leans a little too heavily into sentimentality for my tastes, but the extended Dragnet-style investigation that precedes it earned my tolerance as the killer's motivations are finally revealed.

89/2255. Svengali (1931)
From the German Expressionism of the set designs to the Horrific gothic shadows of the lighting and costumes, it's pretty clear this production was heavily influenced (for the better) by the original Dracula. What's most surprising about this adaptation of the novel Trilby is how sympathetic it actually is to the hypnotic outsider Svengali, who really could (and perhaps should) be presented as something of a demonic sexual predator. I think the movie is much less kind to the prudish English fop Billee, who in his own way, isn't any better than the story's titular "villain," although I'm certainly willing to admit that my 21st-century perspective probably colors my interpretation of what "acceptable behavior" is. Worth a watch.

More to come.

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The lesson learned from 10 years of self portraits? Smart phone cameras sure have come a long way.

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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."

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She's a regular George Washington

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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.

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From the Bromance Department:

The Red Bee is finally back in action, tights and all! (Through I think his distinctive new long gray beard might be making the domino mask a little redundant.)

Professional douchebag Peacemaker takes shots at the the Red Bee's blousy sleeves, striped pants, colorful name, and, obviously, his "powers." To his enduring credit, the Red Bee has a great response for all of it!

Friendships begin with first names, Michael
Peacemaker Tries Hard #3, September 2023

The question isn't whether this is the best Red Bee comic of all time; The question is whether this is the best single comic of all time!

It just might be.

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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.



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Watching football this week, I saw a commercial promoting the an upcoming Aquaman movie trailer. That's literally a commercial for a commercial.

Meanwhile, McDonald's has taken to airing commercials featuring movie clips that feature McDonald's product placement, in other words a commercial featuring other commercials.

As loathe as I am to give any attention to a Coca-Cola competitor, the highlight of the televised NFL opening weekend was easily this Frito-Lay ad featuring a handful of washed-up NFL has-beens... plus Dan Marino.


Nothing sells potato chips like a little memento mori.

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To be continued...


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