sells, well, costumes. But they also have made some interesting infographics over the years. The first few were what you'd expect, Halloween statistics
(direct link to the long, long image
), but later they got into the "evolution" of super hero designs, costumes and logos, from Iron Man's suit
), Superman's shield
), Wolverine's costume/image
), the look and some facts about Doctor Who
), and even a character map of interactions in Alice in Wonderland
). [more inside]
Wonder Woman will be finally be appearing on the big screen, though not in her own film. Instead she'll appear in the untitled Batman vs Superman movie set to open in 2015
that will be directed by Zack Snyder
. The character will be played by actress Gal Gadot
Starships were meant to fly
R.I.P. Lou Scheimer
- Mr Filmation
- an Emmy and Grammy Award–winning American producer
of cartoon and live TV - has died
He was a co-founder of Filmation
, a company known mostly for minimally-animated but US produced cartoons
(often with reused backgrounds) and a small cast of stock voice actors (including himself
) that dominated the airwaves for decades . [more inside]
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
75 Years of Superman in 2 Minutes
(SLYT) supervised by Warner Animation's Bruce Timm (YAY!) and Man of Steel's Zack Snyder (no, he doesn't ruin it).
"In comic books, as in the moving image, the frame is the constituent element of narrative. Each page of a comic book is a frame which itself frames a series of frames, so that by altering each panel's size, bleed or aesthetic variety, time and space can be made elastic. Weisinger and Boring's Phantom Zone took this mechanism further, behaving like a weaponized frame free to roam within the comic book world. Rather than manipulating three-dimensional space or the fourth dimension of time, as the comic book frame does, The Phantom Zone opened out onto the existence of other dimensions. It was a comic book device that bled beyond the edge of the page, out into a world in which comic book narratives were experienced not in isolation, but in parallel with the onscreen narratives of the cinema and the television. As such, the device heralded televisual modes of attention." - Daniel Rourke on Superman's Phantom Zone
As soon as it was announced that Ben Affleck would play Batman
in the sequel to the Superman reboot, twitter-ers were a-flutter with jokes and bemoaning the choice
, and YouTube user started putting together a Man of Steel 2 Comic Con Teaser Trailer
, in the style of the original Comic Con MOS audience recording
. YouTube user soylentbrak1
, aka "Steve," recently released a slightly longer, cleaner version
of his fan-made trailer, pulling from 20 different video sources, including features of the rumored role of Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor
. If you like that sort of thing, soylentbrak1 also made a Mad Max: Fury Road trailer
and over 100 other short clips in tribute to films, franchises, and dreams of what could be.
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
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".
... it's all crap
Character designer veteran Phil Postma
has a blog, Minion Factory
, where he often likes to explore the possibilities of Pixar-like reinterpretations
of such things as Superman
, Star Wars
, Star Trek
, and Pulp Serials
(and much, much more).
Although the new Superman movie by Zack Snyder (previously
) has put off critics with its appropriation of 9/11 imagery
and riled fans with its revision of the superhero's moral code
, Warner Bros. Studios is hoping Man of Steel
will win over the Christian market
. In interviews, Snyder is talking up "Christ-like parallels
" in his reboot of the character created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
. For those who'd like something more theologically grounded, the studio's marketing department is offering sermon notes entitled "JESUS - THE ORIGINAL SUPERHERO
" [PDF] by Dr. Craig Detweiler, M. Div., and organizing free pastor screenings through faith-based PR firm Grace Hill Media
. They aren't the first, however, to notice similarities between Jesus and Superman (among other popular cultural figures)
A lovely recollection of pop-culture mentors, and finding culture pre-internet.
"Uncle Mike didn’t play D&D; paintball battles in the Everglades were more his thing. But for the next few years he kept passing along books he’d finished, including 1984’s Dragons Of Autumn Twilight. The first installment of the D&D-based Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, it’s by no means a classic in the genre. But it helped solidify my devotion to what would eventually be called geek culture. Back then, the term would have been meaningless to me. And it would have made my macho Uncle Mike laugh his ass off."
A poster showing the evolution of Superman, 1938 - 2013.
It covers the big guy's appearance in comic books, live-action, animation, Elseworlds and other comic book variations, and marketing and promo images.
Superman is a good guy. More than that, Superman is the best guy. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932, he's the archetypal superhero, a man of enormous power who places himself in service to the powerless. To borrow a famous phrase from the 1940s Superman radio serial, he stands for "truth, justice and the American way".
- Why Orson Scott Card isn't the right man to write Superman
. [more inside]
: "The first nine Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios from 1941 to 1942 are a wonder of animated retrofuturism, giving us a peek into a world that not only had a flying superstrong protector, but also filled viewers' heads with dreams of autonomous robots, comet-controlling telescopes, and machines that could shake the Earth. These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive," but now Warner Bros. is releasing them (remastered) on YouTube. The first short, "Superman"
(also known as "The Mad Scientist,") was nominated for an Academy Award. Also see: The Super Guide to the Fleischer Superman Cartoons
. Find links to all nine episodes and more inside. [more inside]
In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Alan Moore and Superfolks: Part 1: The Case for the Prosecution
, Part 2: The Case for the Defence
, Part 3: The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore
Undecided on election day? Sat through all the debates and still not sure who's right and who's wrong? What you're really looking for is an endorsment by people you can trust completely, you can look up to, true heroes? Well, J. Caleb Mozzocco has taken the trouble to interview a representative cross section of superheroes
and is starting to see a pattern. [more inside]
"From off the streets of Cleveland" goes the tagline for American Splendor
, but in fact, from 1972 to the end of his life, Harvey Pekar lived in nearby Cleveland Heights. Much of that time was spent inside the Cleveland Heights Library.
On October 14, a memorial and statue honoring Harvey Pekar's work will be dedicated
inside the library, "Harvey's first love and second home
". [more inside]
The television program Adventures of Superman
aired in first run from 1952 to 1958. When it ended, producer Whitney Ellsworth
-- not that one
-- sought to produce a follow-up series, The Adventures of Superpup
. The show
concerned an anthropomorphic super dog, Superpup
, whose secret identity was mild-mannered reporter Bark Bent. (Bark was assisted by ace reporter Jimmy Olsen, who was now a mouse hand puppet
living in Bark's desk drawer.) Naturally the producers cast little people in dog masks
, as one does. [more inside]
is far from perfect, yet its flaws don't diminish the film's impact. Its greatness originates in its respect for Superman's decency; in Routh's graceful, almost balletic incarnation of the character; and in Bryan Singer's decision to express the hero's goodness in a cascade of iconic images as beautiful as superman himself--challenging us, daring us not to fall in love with him." A video essay from Matt Zoller Seitz and Kan Cancelosi about Superman Returns.
While the world ponders the impact of superheroes on the population in the wake of this weekend's tragic (and still unfolding) events in Colorado, and some ponder what a return to the bad of days
of comics might mean, Warner Brothers has released two slightly different trailers for their attempt at latest updating Superman for the modern era: The Man of Steel
, in Pa Kent or Jor El
is a Peanuts-esque webcomic about the Justice League
(via Comics Worth Reading
). The tone is alternately sweet
, and poignant
. Because it's hosted on Tumblr it's a little awkward to work through the strips in chronological order. Start here
Comics author Grant Morrison
talked to Playboy about the Super Psyches of some of his favorite superhero characters
. (Clean interview, NSFW website)
"iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC... I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation
of my book was announced to discuss it. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices." writer Chris Roberson ends his relationship with DC Comics
, pointing at a post
by David Brothers as a summation of his ethical concerns. Roberson's work at DC has included turning around Superman after J. Michael Straczynski left mid-story
, iZombie and a spin-offs from Vertigo's Fables featuring Cinderella as a super spy
. He is currently working on the creator owned Memorial
, published by IDW.
Sam Daly has an Internet show
. Sam Daly's dad is Tim Daly of "Wings"
(and some shows about gangsters
). For the last decade, Tim Daly has also been the voice of Superman in the DC Animated Universe
started by Batman: The Animated Series
including Superman's own show
. To prepare for the new animated DVD feature Justice League: Doom
, Tim Daly really
got himself back into the role. Perhaps a little too much, so Sam has enlisted co-stars
Nathan Fillion and
Michael Rosenbaum to help out. Everything went better than expected
.Apologies in advance for any work lost due to archive binging or getting lost in TVTropes.
Last month How Did This Get Made (previously
) held a live panel discussion of Superman III
, a movie that started as a bizarre pitch involving everyone from Brainiac to Supergirl and Mr. Mxyzptlk
, and ended up as a Richard Pryor vehicle. However for some truly crazy stories you may want to skip ahead to part II, where they are joined by Jack O'Halloran
- Non from Superman I and II, boxer and son of the head of Murder, Inc. - who talks at length about his life, the movies, and choking Christopher Reeve.
Stetson Kennedy died yesterday at 94.
and writer was best known for infiltrating
the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan
, increasing public resistance
to the organization and helping lead to the revocation of their national charter
. Kennedy revealed details of the KKK to writers of the popular radio show "Superman,"
giving the Man of Steel a new postwar enemy
through 16 episodes
of the series "Superman vs. the Klan"
. [more inside]
Their universe-wide reboot only weeks away, DC Comics has released 52 new logos for their books
; they've been met with some praise and much griping
. But what makes a good superhero logo?
Maybe the design history of Daredevil
), The Hulk
), The Atom
, (parts 2
), World's Finest
, ), The Legion of Superheroes
) or Superman
can shed a clue. [more inside]
The most recent issue of Superman, 712, was supposed to have a certain storyline, but it seems at the last minute, DC Comics decided to nix that storyline and instead publish a five-year-old story about Krypto the Super-Dog. These sorts of things happen, but Comics Alliance opined
(with some help from direct sources) that the change was due to DC not wanting to feature a Muslim superhero (the original story had Superman aiding "Sharif", a Muslim superhero.) The theory is, after the brouhahae surrounding the Muslim Batman
and Superman renouncing his American citizenship
, DC is hesitant to add any more fuel to the "DC hates America" fire.
"But," says comic-book muckraker Rich Johnston
, "I have inside DC stories that are telling me the REAL reason the story got nixed." He claims it's not about Muslims, it's about...well, just see for yourself what it's allegedly really about
"...authorities would try to find the culprits and would seek to clean up the monument
, but it was unlikely to happen right away."