The Alcott Analysis: Batman Returns

Like Batman, Batman Returns presents three protagonists, almost the same protagonists as 1989‘s Batman — a deformed freak of a gangster (this time the Penguin instead of The Joker), a blonde who’s crazy about bats (Catwoman subbing for Vicki Vale), and Batman himself. In addition to its three protagonists, it offers an antagonist from outside the traditional Batman world — a ringer, if you will, in the form of businessman Max Shreck.

It would be great to report that Batman Returns takes all of these worthwhile, interesting characters and weaves them into a single, unified story, but it does not. Instead, it presents two separate stories, each compelling in its own right, and kind of sutures them together like the irregular chunks of vinyl of Catwoman’s bodysuit. As this is an unusually complicated narrative with three separate, competing plot strands which actually take place in utterly different genres, let’s separate out each character’s storyline and examine them one at a time.

Dan Piraro wins the Reuben

Via email from Hogan’s Alley, the winners of the Reuben Awards from the National Cartoonists Society: Seth MacFarlane won the Television Animation division award. Ronnie del Carmen won the Feature Animation division award. Tom Richmond was the Newspaper Illustration division award. Glenn McCoy won the Gag Cartoon division award. Debbie Tommasi won the Greeting Card […]

Linda Gold: 1949-2010

Linda Gold, wife of longtime industry figure Mike Gold and mother of Adriane Nash died yesterday morning of a heart attack., as reported by Glenn Hauman. Gold was a familiar figure at shows and a frequent message board commenter and her loss is felt in many places today.

BEAT MAY GIVEAWAY #8: Baker, Hernandez, Darcy

Okay we’re wrapping up our Beat Giveaway Frenzy with a special THREE BOOK DEAL. First up:SPECIAL FORCES by Kyle Baker, a dark parody of war set in Iraq about a mentally disabled teen-aged recruit and a tough girl from the wrong side of the tracks who have to fight their way home after the rest […]

RIP Gary Coleman

The Different Strokes star has died from head injuries sustained in a fall. And then there was Todd. [Helper Monkey edit: Conrad Bain, also still around, at age 87.]

DC announces war one-shots

Darwyn Cooke, Ivan Brandon, B. Clay Moore, William Tucci are among the creators involved in bringing back a series of DC war books as one-shots this September, it was announced this morning.

New comic alert: Pablo Holmberg’s EDEN

Speaking of D&Q, they just showed off a new book called Eden by a Argentinian cartoonist, Pablo Holmberg, a.k.a Kioskerman.

Clowes in and over the news

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes continues his media rounds in his local paper:

Clowes, an illustrator for the “New Yorker,” is traditional in other ways, too. At a time when print is down and young cartoonists are turning to the Web, Clowes still draws everything by hand — “I’ll never type in a url to look at comics,” he says — and he was so shaken when Cody’s Books closed in Berkeley that he relates it to how a Catholic would feel if the only church in town shut its doors.

The summer’s fogotten comics movie…MARMADUKE

And on a somewhat lighter note…Fox has released stills from this summer’s doggie comics movie, which stars Owen WIlson as the voice of Marmaduke, along with Lee Pace, Fergie, Goegre Lopez and William H. Macy, among others. The film is based on the comic strip featuring the large Great Dane by Brad Anderson, which began in…1954. The film is a combination of live action and CGI. Can Fred Bassett be far behind?

Thought for the day

A little perspective via Writer’s Digest publisher Jane Friedman: Stat from BEA: 7% of books published generate 87% of book sales. And 93% of all published books sell less than 1,000 copies each.


Very sad news in the comics community.


Today we are giving away a cult comics classic which was published in 1987 but still speaks to today’s issues. Before there was Wesley Gibson or Dave Lisewski or Flex Mentallo there was…Eddy Current, the story of an inmate at a mental asylum who finds himself melded with the “Dynamic Fusion Suit” he ordered from an comic book ad and escapes to save the world.

BEA Day 2

As mentioned previously, we were at BookExpo America all day Wednesday, and will be there all day Thursday. The show is much smaller than in recent years — the children’s book section which once took up the entire bottom part of the Javits is now just a corner of the main floor. The Diamond alley of comics publishers seems smaller this year, as well, although Dark Horse, Image, Dynamite, IDW and Marvel are all set up, along with a few others.

By contrast, Fantagraphics was set up in the Norton Booth right at the front of the hall and was practically the first thing you saw as you walked in. They are giving away galleys of Moto Hagio’s HERE COMES THE SON and Joyce Farmer’s SPECIAL EXITS, which we have and have flipped through, but haven’t had time to read yet. Something to look forward to in life, thank God! Fanta assoc. publisher Eric Reynolds explained that he felt that this year it was more effective to pay for more galleys to give away than to have an author appearance, and given the alacrity with which people roaming the floor scoop up those galleys, it might be a good idea.

Disney joins Marvel’s fight with Jack Kirby

Disney has issued a memo supporting Marvel in the rights dispute with the heirs of Jack Kirby. THe document is included in the post; we don’t have time to read it now, but we’ll join you back here for the discussion.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits — 5/27/10

Wow, so many links and things that we can’t even begin to give you a teaser. Just read it!

BEAT MAY GIVEAWAY FRENZY #6: Cat Eyed Boy Volume 1

Do you like the Twilight Zone? Do you enjoy horror movies? Do you like mischievous half-human observers who set off events of mutilation, transformation and dismemberment? Then you will like today’s giveaway, CAT-EYED BOY Volume 1 by Japanese Horror master Kazuo Umezu. OF this volume AICN wrote: The manga offers an inclusive look at oddities […]