Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
When Washington D.C. began licensing same-sex marriages last week, this story came out on the paper edition of the Washington Post with this photo on the front page. (WARNING: the photo depicts two men kissing) The paper received complaints from upset readers, some of whom canceled their Post subscription. Andrew Alexander, the Post's ombudsman, responds: "There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change."
Superman The Musical! A flop on Broadway about the Man Of Steel was made for TV once in 1975 and never again with Leslie Anne Warren, David Wilson, and Loretta Swit (but you can find it on amazon.)
Kevin O'Neil, classic 2000ad artist, co-creator of Marshall Law, frequent colaborator with Alan Moore and the only artist ever to be outright banned by the Comics code Authority ("there’s nothing you can change — the style is unsuitable!”) talks at length in an epic interview at the comics journal: Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.
With the recent news that Christopher Nolan will be "godfathering" the next Superman film into production for Warner Bros., one can only hope that his project fares better than previous attempts. Previously.
Dissonance is a biweekly show on D.C. micropower FM station Radio CPR featuring interviews and guest DJ sets from longtime local punk musicians, artists, and activists. [more inside]
“Well, it seems to be happening a lot sooner than I thought. I understand now that this [is] considered a pet project of Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor. That he is determined to impress new bosses by building on DC’s biggest selling comic book of all time with multiple prequel comic miniseries and spinoff ongoing projects.” [more inside]
Legend has it that Phidippedes ran 26 miles to Athens from Marathon to announce the success of the Athenian army's surprise suicide attack against the far larger Persian army, starting a grand tradition: Dying during marathons. [more inside]
Ben Ali, co-founder (with his wife Virginia) of Ben's Chili Bowl, died yesterday. Ben's is a favorite spot of politicians, actors, sports figures, and everyday people of all backgrounds. Back story on Ben's and some video of Obama at the bowl. [more inside]
Wednesday Comics, DC's spectacular new oversize anthology featuring characters from Batman to Adam Strange and Kamandi in one page installments of serialized stories, launched yesterday to much acclaim from the internet. USA Today will be reprinting the Superman story for the duration of the comics 12 week run.
They've been rumoured to be an item for some time, but in X-Factor #45 Rictor and Shatterstar, formerly of X-Force (the most 90s comic of all time), finally kissed - giving the comics world two more confirmed gay superheroes and making the X-Men Universe Relationship Map out of date (Shatterstar creator Rob Liefeld has however vowed to undo it). Meanwhile over at DC flagship title Detective Comics is now fronted by the new lesbian Batwoman - ironically a character who was introduced to make Batman seem more hetro.
Green Lantern Movie Trailer (fan made)
Darkseid tries to join the Legion of Superheroes, Batman wrestles the serpent in the garden of Eden, Clarke Kent shoots Abraham (Brainiac) Lincoln... Hall of Silver Age Elseworlds first pages - from DC Silver Age Elseworld stories that never happened, from the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant collection, which was pulped after controversy surrounding Letitia Lerner, Superman's Babysitter - which later became the only story in the collection to see print again.
Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
Just imagine! Coming Super-Attractions features vintage DC comics in-house advertisements spanning the decades. Enjoy!
When did this ball go so wrong? As thousands of people get out their best clothes, spring for pricey tickets and head to DC for a fairy tale night of dancing at one of the 10 official Inaugural Balls, the Washington Post takes an amusing look at the decline of the once-glamorous event, which has now become a hideous, tacky ordeal complete with coat check riots, box wine (at the cash bar!) and phoned-in cameos by the exhausted First Couple. If you must go, here's some sage fashion advice. If you ignore wise counsel not to buy a fancy dress, make sure to register it to avoid the dreaded dress dupe.
Fans of both Dead Space (and comic books in general), will be happy to learn that the first issue of the new comic book mini-series based on the game has been released online, in full, for free here. Not a fan of Dead Space but like comic books? There are lots of other comic books online that can be viewed for free, like stuff from DC Comics, Marvel and Image. There's also a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who comics online for your viewing pleasure (in fact you can even make your own with the latter).
"The last eight years, in terms of engagement, [Washington] D.C. has just been a photo op for the president, or a foil," says Tommy Wells, a social worker turned D.C. Council member. [more inside]
"The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely...if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job". Michelle Rhee is polarizing, inexperienced, abrasive, and young - and with urban school systems all over the country watching, she is trying to rebuild DC's famously troubled public school system (link to full series). [more inside]
Neil Gaiman celebrates 20 years since the first publication of Sandman. Yes it’s that old. Io9 lists five ways in which Sandman changed the comics world.
Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
Who is the mysterious Shadow Candidate for Shadow Senator of the District of Columbia? Marx Cafe Bartender Damien Ober, kind of. Ober wrote a series of campaign ads (which can alternate between provocative, sophomoric, and simply creepy, depending on your point of view) in response to D.C.'s lack of congressional representation, and hired an actor to sit in the darkness portraying his unnamed candidate. After viewing the videos on youtube, however, the D.C. Libertarian Party has decided to give him a for-real shot at the for-fake position.
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what are the most important people in the political spectrum eating for breakfast then? Obama eats eggs, McCain eats cereal, Pelosi eats... ice cream? Politicians and reporters divulge their breakfasts inside the beltway.
The Green Lantern movie is back on! Minus Jack Black! Early concept art is looking exciting, though sadly we’ll never see Paul Newman in the role of Hal Jordan.
Superman rebooted! - The next Superman movie will be ignoring 2006’s Superman Returns, something that has been suggested by comic book writers when asked how to save the franchise. Mark Millar has his own idea of what Superman needs: Mark Millar.
Who watches The Watchmen? Kevin Smith has, Dave Gibbons has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way maybe YOU won't either.
The Pisces Effect is a statistician's find that birth sign may predict likelihood of Olympics medal victories relating to Zodiacal attributes. Past statistical studies indicate Pisceans may be bad drivers...with perhaps some fluctuation for hemisphere. One columnist feels Washington, D.C.'s problems (and potential) may be attributable to being Pisces. Maybe Pisceans [flash; auto/unstoppable sound] have more luck as horses. Previously: [post] [comments]
The Joker is Batman's main nemesis. Why him? Why not some other villain?
He wanted his espresso iced, but the coffee shop wouldn't let him. "Hey man. What you're about to do … that’s really, really Not Okay." [more inside]
Heller v. District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court's first actual interpretation of the Second Amendment, has just come down. In a 5-4 decision, the Justices ruled D.C.'s comprehensive handgun ban to be unconstitutional. Antonin Scalia writes for the majority.
I though documenting my early sex life would be a perfect reason to use Polaroids to do something other than take naked pictures, yet to still play on the sexual identity of the medium. I lived in Alexandria from 1980 to 1999. These were my formative years and they determined the way I dealt with women. A guy documents the spots in his old neighborhood (SFW) where he got kissed, dumped, laid or confused as a kid, and tries to work out "what went wrong." (via, via — both NSFW)
Superstar Scottish comics writer Grant Morrison is about to tear the DC Universe apart again with Final Crisis, the latest in a series of apocalypses and world ending events he's inflicted on various comics worlds over the years. But there was a time before fame when he wrote the tie-in comic for ZOIDS, the robot dinosaur children's toy. So what did he do? Ushered in the apocalypse, in the form of THE BLACK ZOID.
After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
Washington's Other Monuments is a photoblog by photographer Lloyd Wolf chronicling "the many sad memorials erected by friends & family to honor murder and other violence victims in the Washington DC area. These spontaneous, homemade, heartfelt creations are found on streets throughout the region. They are often the only physical tribute to the many slaying victims." Washington Post article. [via Eddie Campbell]
"In a possibly historic ruling, a federal judge Wednesday determined that the heirs of Superman co-creator, Jerry Siegel, are now the rightful owners of one-half of the copyright of Superman, and have been since 1999."
For over the past year, John Seavey has been reading through Marvel's Essentials and DC's Showcase Presents reprints in order to examine the title comic's storytelling engine. From classic characters to barely-footnotes, much of the bedrock of Silver Age heroes are represented in the column's archives. [more inside]
The Losers Cover Gallery showcases the bold design sense and unique art style of UK comics artist Jock, who also produced much of the interior art for the VERTIGO series. Losely based on a WWII comic of the same name it became a fast paced action caper with a political edge under writer Andy Diggle, and the covers reflect both the themes and the cinematic style of the comic.
In his own words (YouTube). In the 1980s and 90s, Washington, DC had a mayor-for-life who liked to smoke crack, a murder problem so bad that even the basketball team was renamed, and one exceptionally prolific graffiti writer named 'Cool "Disco" Dan', whose simple graffito with quotes appeared everywhere in the DC area. Now, most of his "work" has been painted over, torn down, or ripped off. Some locals wonder... which one will be the last tag standing?
Co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko is famous for weird, distinctive art, his 1966 departure from Marvel Comics, and granting very few interviews in the course of his decades-spanning career, preferring to let creations such as The Creeper, the Objectivism-inspired Mr. A, and Squirrel Girl speak for him. Okay, Squirrel Girl not so much. Jonathan Ross turns the spotlight on the artist in the BBC4 documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko. Did they find him? Well, that's The Question, isn't it?
This fall is going to be a good season for some giants of American art in Washington, DC. Edward Hopper comes to the National Gallery from Boston. Asher Durand opens at the Smithsonian. And Ansel Adams travels to the Corcoran.
Picnicmob would like to invite you to a picnic and seat you precisely with those most like you.