§ High school mash-up of the Red Skull and Batman? No. Golden Bat, a Japanese superhero who predated Batman and Superman.
He was first seen in 1931 (seven years before Superman first took flight and eight before that Gotham City fellow who dressed like a bat) and his exploits were told in kamishibai, which was street theater that used painted illustrations.
The LA Times’ Liesl Bradner explores kamishibai, the Japanese street paper theatre that had a powerful influence on manga. The intriguing medium is explored in the new book Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater.
§ Wired has the latest on that Grant Morrison documentary that has been in the works for a while. The blog post mischaracterizes the effort as a “biopic” which implies some sort of film starring James MacAvoy covering the artist’s triumph over drug addiction and a distant father with the help of a good woman.
§ The New York Times has a graphic novel gift guide curated by George Gene Gustines.
§ DC’s VP of creative services, Ron Perazza, has collated his tweets on making comics, breaking in, and so on into a blog called Perazza. Some of it’s pretty 101:
Don’t paste someone’s art or design into your own; for example as a movie poster, picture in a frame, logo on a t-shirt, photo of a skyline in the background, etc. If you don’t have the permission of the copyright holder of that art or logo then it’s infringement.
Some is a little more inside baseball:
Distorting anatomy or picking specific camera angles simply for the sake of making certain parts of women bigger or more prominent is rarely actually needed in storytelling and usually comes across as sexist objectification – which is probably not the kind of reputation you want to build.
…but click around…you’re sure to find something of use, including many links to other resources.
§ Rob Martin reviews the new collection of Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby, Volume One: 1946-1948
The naturalism on display is astonishing; there’s none of the hammy gesticulating one sees in less capable hands. Raymond’s character effects are occasionally so subtle that one may stare at a panel over and over again, wondering just how he pulled it off. In one scene, Kirby is beset upon by two children who insist on sitting in his lap and pestering him about his gun. Raymond shows Kirby in medium shot, and he isn’t doing anything but sitting, but his annoyance comes through hilariously. The effect is achieved primarily by the suggestion that Kirby is staring blankly past the children, and Raymond’s precision is extraordinary: Kirby’s face takes up less than half an inch on the page. Raymond’s handling of lighting effects is also superb, and his attention to detail in the clothing designs and set decoration is all but incomparable.
To which I’ll add, in this random panel from Google images, you see all that makes a master artist: the precise contrast keeping everything in the very busy composition clear, even the complicated shape of the hands holding the gun against the doorway several feet back. And that’s in a crappy scan. The guy was good.
§ Chris Butcher finishes his live blogging of this month’s Previews and finds many products he feels are overpriced. Click the link to find out why!
§ Laura Hudson assembles geekcentric Nativity scenes from Etsy. To quote James Joyce: Yes.
§ Someone has to mop up the latest Power Girl’s Boob Controversy, and Kelly Thompson just got a Swiffer WetJet. New combatants include writer Jen Van Meter getting into the fray and explaining what she MEANT by the PG Costume Explanation Scene, and how it didn’t quite come out that clear. The art by Jesus Merino didn’t help, but see above under Perazza. PG scripter Jimmy Palmiotti also stops by to view the spillage.
§ Chris Mautner runs through Fantagraphics offerings for next year, and it looks like we’re going to need a bigger Expedit.
§ Brian Cronin kicks off theTop 100 Comic Book Storylines and Jimmy Corrigan, The Great Cow Race, and Blood of Palomar are all in the 91-100 range so you know this is going to be BRUTAL.
§ Not comics but it is a gift guide: Rich Johnston offers an intriguing Anglophile Christmas DVD List.