Short and Scrappy
July 3, 2008 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Batman has really let himself go.
posted by interrobang at 9:19 AM on July 3, 2008

My superhero geekdom has failed. I don't recognize him or him.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:24 AM on July 3, 2008

Oh, wait, scratch that. #16 is Iceman with powers activated. Sorry, the costume design (or lack thereof) threw me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2008

Well, unless I missed the issue where he went through Customs, Superman *is* an illegal alien...
posted by recoveringsophist at 9:28 AM on July 3, 2008 [7 favorites]

That was a great photo series. I was trying to figure out if guanabee was a gawker project and discovered that they're apparently owned by "exacto media". Look at the wierd google results for exacto media. I don't get it. Anyone know the backstory on guanabee?
posted by serazin at 9:34 AM on July 3, 2008

It took me a few before I got it: It's like those guys that have PhDs in their country but have to take a job scraping gum from underneath tables in the US because of {racism, language barriers, illegal status, other}.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious for everyone else.
posted by DU at 9:34 AM on July 3, 2008

(Which would make Superman the opposite of that. He would just be a regular son-of-a-super-scientist on Krypton, but here he's got something "above his station".)
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on July 3, 2008

DU, I think the artist statement talks about the "superhuman" tasks an immigrant must perform in order to both survive here in the US and send money home to support family and community there.
posted by serazin at 9:40 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that too.
posted by DU at 9:41 AM on July 3, 2008

This is one of those projects that sound like an awesome idea when you first think of it.

Then you go out and take the pictures and you're still all "This is going to be so cool; it's like I'm making an important statement here about the relative powerlessness of immigrants in our society, and how that means they have to dislplay a superhuman work ethic to succeed. And you're right to think that-- it's an important statement, a treue statement, and one that needs to get made.

But then you get back to the darkroom (or the photoshop cs3), and you're processing everything, and you realize that what you have are pictures of a bunch of adults who look vaguely ridiculous because they're wearing colorful, baggy pajamas.
posted by dersins at 9:43 AM on July 3, 2008

Those are costumes that you can buy at the store for Halloween. They look ridiculous because they ARE ridiculous.

But, hey, the same superheroes were recently used for a photoshoot with Lindsay Lohan.

The fact that these immigrants can send back 500 dollars a week while living in one of the most expensive cities in the nation is a pretty heroic task. They gave up their families, their homes, and their way of life to try and do "more". And considering how often the New York City lifestyle, experience is reported as one filled with poor struggling actors, hipsters, financial types, trust fund babies, and the like and how everyday a person in NYC is automatically confronted with someone who has "more" in terms of wealth, power, clothes, and whatever, the fact that there are people out there who are not only surviving in one of the most expensive places in the US but are also giving up their incomes for the benefit of others is, well, it's a fairly different side of the coin that is Gotham City.

posted by Stynxno at 9:51 AM on July 3, 2008 [9 favorites]

Who cares about that? Yo. There's finally a black super hero, motherf***ers!!!!!

Good ol' Diddy and his drunken videologs...
posted by miss lynnster at 9:56 AM on July 3, 2008

Oh, poor AguaHombre.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:04 AM on July 3, 2008

I disagree dersins. Merely the showing of them in ridiculous outfits makes you stop and take note of their efforts and obvious struggles. Living in NYC, these immigrants are practically faceless to those of us whose tables they bus, trash they sort, etc. I find it poignant. And this one is just perfect.
posted by adamms222 at 10:05 AM on July 3, 2008

This is El Chapulín Colorado, a Mexican superhero parody, which inspired Bumblebee Man on The Simpsons.

Sadly, El Chapulín Colorado is pretty awful "humor", and the guy portraying him is a right-wing asshole. But you can't have everything, I guess.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:15 AM on July 3, 2008

Faint of Butt: in your first linked picture, that's El Chapulín Colorado, a superhero from a Mexican kids' TV show of the same name.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:18 AM on July 3, 2008

Quick, now someone do their employers as Super-Villains!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:22 AM on July 3, 2008

This is such a great photo-set. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
posted by cazoo at 10:25 AM on July 3, 2008

@Faint of Butt: #11 is El Chapulín Colorado
posted by fjom at 10:31 AM on July 3, 2008

Doh! Must use "Preview".
posted by fjom at 10:36 AM on July 3, 2008

I was trying to figure out how a bike messenger could afford to send $2K a month while a window washer only sends $500, and then it hit me: Life insurance premiums.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:38 AM on July 3, 2008

The buffoonery of their costumes does hint at some kind of self-delusion or impotence, the intentionality of which I find questionable. But it invites thoughtful consideration of the value of time versus money for these people who live their lives away from their loved ones, waiting for a change of circumstance that may never come.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2008

Sweet, racism.
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:32 AM on July 3, 2008

Since when is Mike Teevee a superhero?
posted by The Gooch at 11:39 AM on July 3, 2008

I don't know why, but I find these photos extraordinarily poignant. And not, I don't think, in a condescending way.

Mission accomplished, Ms. Pinzon.

(I should note that I have a soft spot in general for photographs of people wearing costumes.)
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 12:12 PM on July 3, 2008

Hey, are we still saying ndrwr prvrts or was that deleted, too?
posted by humannaire at 1:18 PM on July 3, 2008

AHAHAHA, he's got El Chapulin Colorado, but OMFG, SPIDERMAN! That photograph is awesome.
posted by liza at 1:42 PM on July 3, 2008

Sweet, racism.

That's Stynxno, all right. Always hating on the Mexicans. Tsk, tsk.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:43 PM on July 3, 2008

So how many of us are here either latinoamericanos or latinos?
Because you just can't fake knowing El Chapulin Colorado.
posted by liza at 1:44 PM on July 3, 2008

btw, Dulce Pinzon is kind of a dirty pun.
posted by liza at 1:46 PM on July 3, 2008

y ahora, quién podrá defendernos?
posted by papalotl at 1:58 PM on July 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

yo! El Chapulin Colorado, no contaban con mi astucia!
posted by dov3 at 2:25 PM on July 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

Y la profesora Sabater saca su marcador rojo y corrige los exámenes :

Paplotl : Y ahora, ¿quién podrá defendernos?

dov3 : Yo, el Chapulín Colorado.
¡No contaban con mi astucia!

Gramática niños, gramática.
posted by liza at 3:55 PM on July 3, 2008

¡Presente seño!

oh and btw joakim, many of us grew up with that show and adore the "awful humor" you so pedantly dismiss
posted by papafrita at 4:50 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

La profe Sabater se puso estricta. Profe, corrige muy bien el español, pero le falló el nahuatl, paplotl es papalotl.

Y qué maravilla descubrir otra persona acá con nombre en nahuatl. Había un ozomatli, y otro que no recuerdo. ¿cuántos seremos en total?
posted by micayetoca at 9:32 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I dont get it. It's cool anyway. By the way Lou Dobbs sucks
posted by celerystick at 11:50 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Excellent. Thanks for this, Stynxno.
posted by generalist at 10:18 AM on July 4, 2008

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