News 'n' kibbles — 5/6/10

§ Johanna Draper Carlson rounds up reactions to the end of the Zuda competition model, and some speculation as to how the system may have been gamed. We haven’t really noted this news, but in tandem with that announcement, Zuda also announced the return of Kevin Colden’s I RULE THE NIGHT, which had been on […]

Are superhero movies creatively bankrupt?

201005061502.jpg That’s more or less what Matt Zoller Seitz is saying in this widely-quoted Salon piece : The comic book film has become a gravy train to nowhere. The genre cranks up directors’ box office averages and keeps offbeat actors fully employed for years at a stretch by dutifully replicating (with precious few exceptions) the least interesting, least exciting elements of its source material; spicing up otherwise rote superhero vs. supervillain storylines with “complications” and “revisions” (scare quotes intentional) that the filmmakers, for reasons of fiduciary duty, cannot properly investigate; and delivering amusing characterizations, dense stories or stunning visuals while typically failing to combine those aspects into a satisfying whole.

As Iron Man 2 is poised to become the biggest opening ever, it’s worth revisiting the genre and pointing out that as movies — like movies with themes and acting and set pieces that aren’t fights and so on — the genre has gotten as formulaic as the wifebeaters all of Marvel’s heroes wear. We’d slap Seitz on the wrist for conflating “comic book” with “superhero” in the above quote — and while we can’t argue that SUPERMAN RETURNS and Ang Lee’s HULK were the most daring attempts at a larger meaning, they still weren’t all that…successful.

Knight Life celebrates second year

knightlife_book.jpg Cartoonist Keith Knight reminds us that not only has his syndicated comic strip Knight LIfe lasted two years, it has a book collection coming out, The Knight Life .  In a press release Knight joked at his relief the strip had lasted this long:

“The bottom fell out of the economy just as my strip launched. And I became a first-time father one month later…I figured if I can make it through these first coupla years, I can make it though anything.

The 200-page collection hits in June and includes strips that never made it to print due to “risqué” content.

xkcd's revealing color survey

201005061323.jpg At the blog for the insanely popular webcomic XCKD, Randall Munroe directly confronts issues of gender, fashion and whether a color can be construed as “dusty”

Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among women: 1. … Kind of an incense-bomb-set-off-in-a-Bed-Bath-&-Beyond vibe. … Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among men: 1.