§ Robot 6 reports the great news that Lance and Carla Hoffman are out of the hospital, while rehab continues. The couple were badly burned last November in the Santa Barbara Tea Fire.

§ Marc-Oliver Frisch really, really liked FINAL CRISIS #6:

What matters is that, ten years from now, when, surrounded by your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, you’re pulling your hardcover edition of Final Crisis off the shelf, you’ll say, blimey, what a shame Kirby wasn’t around to draw this, back in 2009. Because, in an ideal world, there would have been no other choice. Of course you can quibble that the book would have looked better if Mr. Jones had illustrated the whole thing, and so on and so forth. But, honestly, those other guys aren’t doing such a bad job. If there’s anything of substance wrong with Final Crisis, it’s that Jack Kirby didn’t draw it. He could have made it better.

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§ Scans Daily digs into the art oeuvre of the severely underrated Ty Templeton. And if you look at the 20+ year old art above, you’ll see that some things never change!

§ Sean T. Collins has been shopping at Hot Topic. Perhaps you should too.

§ The Connecticut Post profiles 73-year-old artist Frank McLaughlin:

“He may have become the Dark Knight in the movies in recent years, but Batman has always been very good to me,” said the 73-year-old Stratford resident, a nationally syndicated cartoonist who over more than four decades has also drawn such super heroes as Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Captain America.

McLaughlin has also drawn some popular newspaper strips as well, including “Gil Thorp,” “Brenda Starr” and “Nancy.”

Now, after years of also helping teach children at the Sterling House Community Center how to draw comics and cartoons, McLaughlin will try to convey his talents and experience in an adult class at the center which starts next week.



§ An animated movie opened this year’s Sundance Film Festival :

For the first time in its 25-year history, the Sundance Film Festival opened Thursday night with a movie from Australia. It was also the first time the festival has opened with a feature-length animation — one, I feel confident in saying, that is among the strangest animated films ever made. Written and directed by Adam Elliot (who won an Oscar in 2004 for his 23-minute animated short, Harvie Krumpet), Mary and Max chronicles the unusual pen-pal relationship between a shy, gloomy eight-year-old Australian girl from the Melbourne suburbs and an obese, 44-year-old Jewish man living in New York. They meet by chance, when Mary (voiced at first by newcomer Bethany Whitmore and later by Toni Collette) rips Max’s name out of an international address book at her local post office and writes him a letter on a whim.


§ Are you tired of this particular blogfight? We are. It is high time the participants united to fight a common foe.

§ More Bill Willingham at Big Hollywood

1 COMMENT

  1. Final Crisis 6 was ok – it had some interesting bits and bobs but no real emotional weight (but it’s a crisis book so who’s reading it for that?)

    However, it’s certainly something I’d read again – unless Secret Invasion which was a complete disappointment…

  2. Thanks for the Ty Templeton link. Stig’s Inferno was way too much of an influence on young, my already-addled-by-Dante-and-Dore’ mind.

    And also addled by Poe. Whose 200th birthday is today. Just thought I’d mention, since I was in the general neighbourhood, you see.

  3. Thanks for the Ty Templeton link. Stig’s Inferno was way too much of an influence on my young, already-addled-by-Dante-and-Dore’ mind.

    And also addled by Poe. Whose 200th birthday is today. Just thought I’d mention, since I was in the general neighbourhood, you see.

  4. And here I thought you were referring to the Savage Dragon / Spider-Man kerfuffle… Yeah, they should make nice. Or maybe they can be the undercard event for the Larsen/Wacker face-off.

  5. A cynic would say that Willingham went after a weak argument (the social era, with all its negatives, represented by “Ozzie and Harriet“) instead of (one of) the arguments which were “fairly and eloquently made,” because doing so made the piece easier to write.

    Going back to Willingham’s first piece for Big Hollywood: I don’t see any point in having a story show superheroes help the U.S. military combat real-world foes because an ambitious writer will strive to create a fictional reality, not to present a wish-fulfillment fantasy. One of the most difficult aspects of writing superhero fiction might be how to equip the heroes and villains and have them interact with the real world, so that the reader won’t think, “If he can do “A,” then why can’t he and others do “B,” “C,” “D,” and “E” too?” Some writers avoid the problem by concentrating on soap opera-style subplots that minimize interaction with the real world; others do “good vs. evil” morality plays that avoid interaction with the real world as well. Perhaps the hardest stories to write are political or social allegories that address real world situations (e.g., Englehart’s “Secret Empire” storyline in CAPTAIN AMERICA) well. In no way do I see the reader benefit from a story showing heroes helping the troops. Surely he’s not attempting to argue that the cause is noble and just because the heroes are supporting it. Such an argument would already be lost.

    Like it or not, there are political dimensions to terrorism and political-economic competition that separate those issues from intractable social issues, such as hunger and poverty. Heroes could use powers and technology to eliminate terrorism and constrain rogue governments, but in doing so, they would eliminate the stories’ connections to the real world. The reader would end up with SF, in which the drawbacks to the methods employed are examined, or near utopias.

    SRS

  6. Not really related to anything posted by the BEAT, I noticed that the DC Solicitations for April include an action figure described as: “Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman 6.75” h”

    Is that a spoiler for Blackest Night? Did we know Earth-2 Superman was going to be a Black Lantern? I’m just curious if that is a spoiler or if I haven’t been paying attention.

  7. @SRS Even all these years later, it still seems odd to me the way the events of 9/11 were depicted in Marvel books.* Noted despot Dr. Doom crying? Same for Magneto, who could generously be called a genetics-based terrorist? When New York is destroyed regularly by super villains, why should this incident “be different than all others?” Why didn’t Damage Control rebuild the towers?

    For this reasons among many, it’s a good reason that comics should use fictional locations for their cities and fictional governmental leaders as their leaders? (seems weird advocating that during Obamamania)

    *Disclaimer – not a New Yorker

  8. Also: disappointed that Mme. D’Orazio closed the comments on the linked-to thread, because somebody mentioned that Marvel vs. DC is like Chevy vs. Ford and it hit me how wonderfully appropriate that analogy is considering that, in comics as in cars, anyone with any sense buys Japanese.

  9. I agree that superhero stories shouldn’t be based largely on real-life tragedies such as 9/11. If the story fails, it comes off as a clumsy attempt at empathy or sympathy or worse, an attempt to capitalize on and profit from a tragedy. If the story works, all it does is elicit feelings that the reader has probably already had. A writer can just acknowledge that a tragedy occurred.

    Since Stan Lee and co. weren’t SF writers — I’d be interested in seeing someone argue against having deities define and control reality in the Marvel Universe. I don’t see a downside to implementing such a system. Even if one were to go so far as to say that the “base” reality is that Earth’s paranormals are really nondescript humans with no actual powers, that wouldn’t matter, as long as their motivations were genuine and their actions had permanent consequences within the “illusory” reality. The reader identifies with the hero’s personality and emotions, not his paranormal powers. The system would provide consistent, generally applicable explanations for everything that happens. Eliminating “taking over the universe” power fantasies as story material wouldn’t be negative. The primary problem to avoid would be having a writer try to turn deities into characters by giving them human personalities.

    SRS

  10. Re the blogfight: Arguing over the meaning of feminism is a waste of time. Feminism is the energetic advocacy of social equality, with equality demonstrated by the acceptance of women in nontraditional roles. In that respect, men can be feminists too. A woman can argue that she’s satisfied with being a homemaker and mother, and that she’s empowered to do various useful and rewarding things, but accepting male domination as the status quo isn’t feminism. That’s like arguing that someone who’s equal can choose to be subservient. Equality has to be demonstrated for it to exist.

    SRS

  11. “A woman can argue that she’s satisfied with being a homemaker and mother, and that she’s empowered to do various useful and rewarding things, but accepting male domination as the status quo isn’t feminism. That’s like arguing that someone who’s equal can choose to be subservient.”

    I’m wondering if I read this right. Are you saying that a woman who chooses to be a housewife CANNOT be a feminist? Are you saying a feminist CANNOT choose to be a housewife?

    (let’s not bicker about the usage of the word “housewife” either, please)

  12. Compare the meanings of “activist” and “feminist.” A feminist actively seeks social equality.

    Whatever a woman’s background might be, if she chooses to be unemployed, she’s not economically self-sufficient, unless, of course, she’s independently wealthy. For most people, social activism isn’t an occupation; it’s something a person does after providing for his or her basic needs. One can argue about ‘most anything in the abstract, but a woman who’s demonstrated her potential to compete with men at any given position can make a stronger argument than a dependent can.

    SRS