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Still No Howard the Duck

Marvel reveals yet more superhero-laden movies in the pipe for the next 5 years. "And let's acknowledge that between Marvel, DC, Sony and Fox there are now 29 comic book movies coming out between now and 2020" [more inside]
posted by saintjoe on Oct 28, 2014 - 560 comments

The new trend in movies actually is new

Tired of movie sequels? Good news, The Sequel Is Dead -- The Universe Is Where It's At [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 16, 2014 - 98 comments

All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant.

Planned cities are not a new idea (Palmanova, Italy, 1593). From Washington, D.C. (1791), to Canberra, Australia (1911), to Brasilia, Brazil (1957), planned cities have long been an urban dream (from space), perhaps most frequently applied to national capitals. But they don't always work out as planned. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Oct 14, 2014 - 34 comments

"A term that is somehow both loaded and meaningless."

The Washington City Paper has shared its delightfully-snarky extension of the AP Style Guide, detailing how the paper would like its writers to cover topics relating to the District of Columbia. For starters, don't follow the paper's eponymous mistake, and call it Washington.
posted by schmod on Oct 11, 2014 - 22 comments

When the Feds move away, statehood makes a play?

Lately, Washington DC has been abuzz with the FBI's plans to relocate outside of the District. But for some, the movement of major government agencies to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs means something potentially revolutionary: legal grounds for DC to finally achieve statehood. [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy on Oct 1, 2014 - 48 comments

Pretty in ink

Women Who Conquered the Comics World
Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated “underground comix” movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women’s-lib comic books. She went on to become a well-respected mainstream comic artist and writer, as well as a feminist comics critic who’s written myriad nonfiction books on the subject of great women cartoonists and the powerful female characters they created. Naturally, Robbins has spent some time hunting down the original cartoons from the women who paved the way for her career, and as luck would have it, she found the very first comic strip ever drawn by a woman, “The Old Subscriber Calls” by Rose O’Neill, practically in her backyard.

posted by Room 641-A on Sep 16, 2014 - 18 comments

Frozen Is The New Black

Frozen Is The New Black [more inside]
posted by bleep on Jul 9, 2014 - 4 comments

En Fläsh

What if Ingmar Bergman Directed The Flash? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 7, 2014 - 21 comments

"A debilitating brain drain has actually been under way in Congress"

The Big Lobotomy: How Republicans Made Congress Stupid
A quick refresher: In 1995, after winning a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, one of the first things the new Republican House leadership did was gut Congress’s workforce. They cut the “professional staff” (the lawyers, economists, and investigators who work for committees rather than individual members) by a third. They reduced the “legislative support staff” (the auditors, analysts, and subject-matter experts at the Government Accountability Office [GAO], the Congressional Research Service [CRS], and so on) by a third, too, and killed off the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) entirely. And they fundamentally dismantled the old committee structure, centralizing power in the House speaker’s office and discouraging members and their staff from performing their own policy research. (The Republicans who took over the Senate in 1995 were less draconian, cutting committee staff by about 16 percent and leaving the committee system largely in place.) Today, the GAO and the CRS, which serve both House and Senate, are each operating at about 80 percent of their 1979 capacity. While Senate committee staffs have rebounded somewhat under Democratic control, every single House standing committee had fewer staffers in 2009 than in 1994. Since 2011, with a Tea Party-radicalized GOP back in control of the House, Congress has cut its budget by a whopping 20 percent, a far higher ratio than any other federal agency, leading, predictably, to staff layoffs, hiring and salary freezes, and drooping morale.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 27, 2014 - 27 comments

Within Sight And Gunshot

This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
posted by The Whelk on May 15, 2014 - 14 comments

It's only supposed to be 30% of your income

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
posted by desjardins on May 10, 2014 - 293 comments

Nation of Ulysses/The Make Up/Chain and the Gang

How the “Sassiest Boy in America” became the most interesting man in rock-and-roll.
posted by josher71 on May 8, 2014 - 35 comments

"There’s always an inherent danger when comparing two television shows."

Why Scandal beats House Of Cards at its own game
Why ‘Scandal’ can’t hold a candle to ‘House of Cards’
Barack Obama Says Life in D.C. is “More Boring” Than Scandal and House of Cards Depict [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 30, 2014 - 60 comments

The Snows Of Sbarro's

In 2011, the upscale White Flint Shopping mall was closed and planned for demolition, but not before someone went in and photographed the interior and food court in all its pastel-neon-plastic 80s glory.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 16, 2014 - 106 comments

I GET MY IRON FROM BEEF LIVER! SAME AS STAN LEE!

DC vs Marvel: Kitchen Stadium Edition -- In The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook, "Mighty Marvel Superheros show you how to perform heroics in the kitchen creating meals that are out of this world!" Meanwhile.... The DC Super Heroes Super Healthy Cookbook simply promises "good food kids can prepare themselves." Let the battle begin! [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 15, 2014 - 31 comments

Hitting does not solve everything

Cultural Lessons of 2013: Thor is the new Superman
posted by Artw on Jan 3, 2014 - 137 comments

What do you care about a leggy dame in nylons?

You probably know of Paul Dini as the guy who, over the past 20 years brought to television Batman, the beloved DC's animated universe (with Bruce Timm) and Duck Dodgers (among many other things). He's now working at Marvel after 20 years with Warner Brothers. Speaking recently on Kevin Smith's podcast he claimed that executives are spurning female viewers because they believe girls and women don't buy superhero show related toys, which may go some way to explaining the Wonder Woman decision (previously). (via) Dini's comments come at a time when many feel that the gender segregation of toys is regaining strength.
posted by Mezentian on Dec 15, 2013 - 104 comments

San Francisco's secret electric power grid

"While DC continues to race through San Francisco power lines at nearly the speed of light, it does so anonymously. You’ll find no reference to DC power distribution in PG&E’s annual reports or on its websites. Even some utility engineers are unaware of its existence, which raises a curious question: Why is the inheritor of this legacy, the mighty and sophisticated PG&E, still bothering with DC distribution 133 years later?" [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Nov 29, 2013 - 44 comments

There's plenty of blue chip hill rats 'round here ready to jump ship

The unexpected death of U.S. Representative Edgar Englewright (VA-14) launches the beginning of a whirlwind morning for Chief of Staff, Elliott Clarice, and his happy band of misfits. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 28, 2013 - 6 comments

SLPBS:Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

Here's a would-be documentary miniseries that PBS has buried in a single 3-hour bloc. It conatains the perspective that has been lost in all of the reimaginings and reboots durinng the last 15 years. It will broadcast in repeats during the nest 2 weeks, or you can watch it online.
posted by vhsiv on Oct 17, 2013 - 21 comments

Princess Diana of Themyscira

Wonder Woman, a short by Rainfall Films.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 4, 2013 - 34 comments

Shutdown showdown

If the Federal Government shuts down on October 1st, the DC city government is supposed to shut down as well. In a bid to keep the city functioning, Mayor Vince Gray has declared all city employees "essential." Non-voting Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton and the DC GOP are also petitioning Congress to keep the city open. The District's budget comes from local taxes, but needs Congressional approval to spend it's own money.
posted by troika on Sep 27, 2013 - 378 comments

WJSV Complete Day

Thursday, September 21st, 1939, radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C., recorded their entire broadcast day -- from sign on, to sign off. The entire day is available here.
posted by PHINC on Sep 21, 2013 - 46 comments

I Want To Be a Rock'n'Roll Star

In 1986, an episode public-access TV show Forestville Rocks began with these words: "Butch Willis has moved into the most selective rock n roll territory, that of the inspirational primitive. Guided by neither the commercial concerns of mainstream pop nor the calculated artsiness of new wave nor the hip rage of punk, Willis stands quite alone; undaunted, he dreams the rock n roll dream..." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 18, 2013 - 11 comments

Active shooter at Navy Yard in SE DC

Streaming video of local DC news as an active shooter situation is ongoing. There are 10 victims mentioned so far at least two police officers are involved. DCist broke the story before any local news stations did. [more inside]
posted by SuzySmith on Sep 16, 2013 - 507 comments

DC May Look to Raise the Roof(s)

Washington DC has had restrictions on the heights of its buildings since the first year of its existence, thanks to its namesake -- George Washington himself laid down a limit of 40 feet in 1791 (and then suspended the limits, as did several of his successors). The limits waxed and waned over the next century or so until the U.S. Congress, in its capacity as the over-government of America's capital, laid down the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910, setting the upper limit of any building at 130 feet. Now that the city is gaining population again (for the first time since the 1950s), developers and officials may be looking to release the federal height restrictions and give control to the city government (which already has zoning limits in various areas that further restrict heights). The WaPo provides a visualization demonstrating what the skyline might look like if the limits are raised, or even if areas filled out to the current Height Act maximums.
posted by Etrigan on Sep 14, 2013 - 65 comments

20 years, black cat, black cat

It's been twenty years since Dante Ferrando opened the Black Cat Club on 14th St in DC. The neighborhood has changed immeasurably, but the music is still going.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 13, 2013 - 17 comments

Russo Swerve

Chris Sims' amazing pitch for the Superman/Batman movie: "A dang BOOM TUBE opens up, and who comes out? Every Superman and Batman we’ve seen in mass media for the past thirty years." (previously)
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 11, 2013 - 78 comments

an overly-rendered red boot stamping on the reader's disinterested face

"With two years' hindsight, it is more and more apparent that the true shift signified by the advent of the Nu52 was that individual characters no longer matter (to say nothing of creators). The most important brand is not Superman or Batman or Green Lantern and certainly not Shazam or John Constantine, but DC Comics - oops, sorry, DC Entertainment. The most important thing for them is that they have a cohesive universe that can be presented as a legible whole. The great triumphs of superhero comics have traditionally come as a result of the genre's strange, disreputable, tatterdemalion profligacy. But it's becoming harder and harder for companies to justify extending that kind of creative freedom in regards to characters who might each and every one of them (in the minds of Warner Brothers executives) end up as their next billion-dollar franchise. The cruel irony is that without being able to offer that kind of freedom and trust to individual creators, the stories become sterile and vapid, and the IP is degraded. Marvel for the time being have managed to figure out how to walk the tightrope between control and liberty, enough so that a not-insignificant percentage of their line is actually very good, and many more books are pleasantly readable. There just aren't that many DC books I'd stop to pick up for free off the street. " -- Tim O'Neil reviews DC Comics' latest crossover, original sin and why the NuDC is so anemic.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 7, 2013 - 63 comments

"I have no reason to expect compensation"

How DC Contracts Work. Mark Waid, author of Superman: Birthright (drawn on heavily for the recent film Man of Steel), "explains how professionals are generally compensated for working on company-owned characters".
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 25, 2013 - 46 comments

Shady Grove and Foggy Bottom sound like Westerosi names anyway...

You know how you had heard there was a cool video out there showing the growth and construction on Capitol Hill rendered in 3D animation and you were all, eh, I'll watch it once somebody puts it on the same page as the Game of Thrones theme so that I can get the full experience? Well now you have no more excuse.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 17, 2013 - 16 comments

Titum Arum Watch 2013

Washington DC's Botanic Gardens is livestreaming the blossoming process of its corpse flower. The corpse flower, aka titan arum, is well known for smelling absolutely awful. [more inside]
posted by troika on Jul 16, 2013 - 29 comments

World's Finest

DC has uploaded tons of DC Nation animated shorts to YouTube Including My Little Pony creator Lauren Faust's Super Best Friends Forever (previously). Not yet included: Robert Valley's super awesome 70s Wonder Woman.
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2013 - 24 comments

"A culture of dissent must be nurtured and protected if it is to thrive"

The United States' National Security organization has many parts, from the famous (NSA, CIA) to the mundane (OCI, NGA) to the more esoteric (NRO, CSS). But even the most dedicated Washington insider may not have heard of INR. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 26, 2013 - 21 comments

Enough

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Owner of the Washington Professional Football Team). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Jun 13, 2013 - 126 comments

High above the nation's capital...

Ever wondered what the view at the very top of the Washington Monument is like? Construction workers erecting scaffolding (for repairs needed after the 2011 earthquake) donned helmet cams on the day they reached the tip of the monument, so you need wonder no longer.
posted by EvaDestruction on May 15, 2013 - 42 comments

We can’t download a banh mi.

Chris Richards, formerly of DC post-punk outfit Q and Not U asks: Are foodies quietly killing rock and roll?
posted by capnsue on May 11, 2013 - 95 comments

I hope your patience with my bama shit was worth it

Political reporter John R Stanton (aka Big John) has been thinking about the gentrification of DC. Late last night, he tweeted up a story about DC in the old days, personified by a junkie named Raymond.
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

Blelvis

Let Blelvis, the Black Elvis, tell you what he is not doing. He is not begging, and he is not homeless. But Blelvis would never dream of denying you the opportunity to donate to his favorite charity, which, incidentally, is named Blelvis. So he'll just turn around, nice and discreet, while you see what you can spare. The best nation in the world is a do nation, and that's the truth.
posted by josher71 on May 3, 2013 - 18 comments

The Libra husband is not an easy man to please.

The romance comic blog Sequential Crush takes a look at an astrology-themed love story from 1970: "Horoscope, Don't Fool With My Heart!"
posted by The Whelk on Apr 27, 2013 - 13 comments

City Flags Ranked

150 U.S. city flags, ranked from best to worst. Top-rated flags are typically tasteful and abstract, like that of Washington D.C. (#1) or subtly representational, like Madison, Wisconsin's flag(#11), which is more or less a glyph of Madison seen from above. The bottom of the list has some that seem stuck in a briefly popular graphic style, like Provo (#143), but most are timelessly ongepotch like the flag of Milwaukee (#147), which features a boat, a skyline, some smokestacks, some grain, County Stadium, a Native American,and a church. And then there is Pocatello (#150), whose flag was memorably profiled on badflags. (Vexillology previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche on Apr 14, 2013 - 126 comments

Michelle Rhee's "Reign of Error"

DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 14, 2013 - 72 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

"Hoot! Hoot!"

Givens occasionally wonders why his unique fitness regimen creates such inexplicable antipathy. But he doesn’t let it bother him too much. “I just keep on going,” Givens says. “Look here. A man my age ain’t supposed to be doing this. Once they see the shape I’m in, they think, ‘Well, he can’t be too crazy.’ ”
Cedric Givens, DC's backwards jogger. Direct link to Video
posted by peeedro on Mar 9, 2013 - 28 comments

TINY LINCOLNS FOR ALL

The original point of the sequester was that it would be terrible and “inflexible,” which would force Congress to choose a less terrible path, but obviously trusting Congress to not pick the most terrible of all available options was something of a gamble. So yes, sure, “flexibility,” but also maybe just “let’s not do this.” Unfortunately, “let’s just not do this” never comes up as an option on any of the shows, which all presented the argument as, on one side, “flexibility,” and on the other side, “a balanced approach,” which means a shitload of unnecessary cuts plus a bit more tax revenue, which sound nice but is still pointless contractionary policy.
Alex Pareene watched the sunday morning shows so you don't have to.
posted by crayz on Feb 25, 2013 - 189 comments

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

An article in the Washington Post (featuring MeFi's own Sonascope!) about a visit to Baltimore has the Charm City locals seething. Some in the capitol don't think much of it either.
posted by josher71 on Feb 22, 2013 - 109 comments

There are no Black comics writers at Marvel or DC

"As near as I can tell, throughout DC Comics' more than 75-year history, the publisher has only ever hired two black women writers on monthly titles: Felicia Henderson on Teen Titans and Angela Robinson on The Web, both in 2009. That should be put in some perspective: If those numbers are accurate, it would mean that DC has more white women writing monthly books for them right now than they've had black women in the same role in more than three quarters of a century. That said, they are potentially doing better than their principal competition: Try as I might, I cannot find a single black woman who has ever written a monthly ongoing comic for Marvel in the publisher's history." -- Joseph Hughes talks about the lack of Black comics writers at Marvel and DC both right now and historically. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 7, 2013 - 50 comments

"But what is the sane response to an insane situation?"

My So-Called Stalker [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 26, 2013 - 43 comments

Spin out of control

Executive editor Karen Berger will be leaving DC Comics' Vertigo imprint in 2013 Reactions from the comics industry.
posted by Artw on Dec 4, 2012 - 54 comments

Fiscal-Cliff-Diving

There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."
Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 1, 2012 - 214 comments

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