Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Frigging Watchmen Movie

Due to my amazing powers of research, I was able to find out some amazing stuff about the Warner Brothers' new movie entitled "Watchmen". Read and enjoy the following fifteen or so "Film Facts"!

  • Did you know? "The Watchmen" screenplay was written by Frank Welker (voice of Uni the Unicorn), who hates both comics and children and wants to die?

  • Did you know? Billy Crudup (slated to play "The Comedian") has one of the zaniest last names in filmdom? This title had been held in the past by actors named "Frank Crud" (1982-1997), "Cruddy Crudpants" (1960-1981) and "Crudly Crud Encrusted Crud" (1945-1959).
  • Did you know? In 1941 the "Zaniest Actor Name" award statues were made out of wood instead of metal because of World War Three or something?
  • Did you know? Hollywood hates children and fun?

  • Did you know? The screenplay for this film was written in thirty-seven minutes?

  • Did you know? "The Watchmen" movie was originally based on a "comic book"? Duuh!

  • Did you know? The comic book was written in 1986 and optioned for movie rights in 1987, and the original cast was actually very different? I paid fifty cents on e-bay for the original cast release photo from Warner Brothers, exhibited below:

  • Did you know? I am very easily amused? Well it's true, silly!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Holy Waste of Time, Batman

Hat tip: Polite Dissent

So basically they spent a week of R&D time in the Batcave making a special mummy-killing ray gun that wouldn't work. Mummies by definition being dead and all.

Batman's the smart one.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Let the Girls in the Sandbox

I'm not going to get sidetracked by crying about Adam West and Batman and the image of comics since. Adam West didn't ruin our image. We did.

I'm posting the following to say that Minx Comics may eventually give us the biggest influx of female comics fans since Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Sure they'll start younger but if this works, there will be even younger chicks in comics shops totally ignoring the hell out of fans of the X-Men.

I agree with Sam in sentiment about lousy writers on comics culture in general but I think the MINX line needs to be covered and DC was right to take a stab at it. It's all about market share and anyone who can't see that isn't listening to the hush that falls over the room when you talk comics with non comics fans. They talk about the movies that are out and are amazed at how many of them are about comics and they may mention that one of their kids likes those little japanese comics but then someone else walks up and they start talking soccer practice and circus camp.

It's because the other kid is probably a girl and girls don't do what boys do so if parents want to give the lives of their kids equal weight, they change the subject.

The Minx line is to get those "Tween" chicklets back into the conversation. They are not meant for bitter jaded 30+ men who just want their favorite past time to remain free of the taint of those peripherally interested and solidly post modern.

The other thing is, they really do have to sell the shit. You make comics aimed at girls and how do you get them in front of the girls when most shops look like the bedrooms of either their brothers or their 30+ creepy uncle?

You do it by getting the word out to their parents who control the cash flow for those kids.

Yes, you will have to write a few pandering articles but so what really? As long as you get the info right, there shouldn't be any harm. It's just journalism. Not always at it's finest but it has to be done. You also can't really write a piece on the new happenings in comics without covering some history. People don't write about Barry Bonds without mentioning Ruth, Mantle or Mays. They don't write about LeBron without mentioning Jordan and Bird.

Personally I'm just glad I don't have to read another article all about how comics have grown up because some bitter 30+ tool with a degree in graphic design is drawing comics about a fat loser who sits on his couch mastubating and peeing in his sink, while thinking of what his life could be like if he only choose to use his super intelligence for something other than beating video games.

That stuff is some bullshit but it sure is hip. I can't stand it. If I want to go to a party in Bucktown, wearing a distressed BJ and thr Bear T-Shirt, oily jeans and my Steve Maddden shoes, with bed head while drinking a PBR, those are the comics I'd read. Those are the comics i'd read. I can't wait until Peep Show gets turned into a movie. THEN we'll see some maturity and how much comics have grown up. If you felt betrayed by Spiderman 3, watch out for the hit your image could take in the future.

All I'm saying is that comics publication is a business and I'm ok with the folks at DC approching it that way. Let the girls come in and play and lets stop being so hung up on our image in the eyes of the general public that we aren't willing to take a look at what can improve it.

Asking the Important Questions

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This cover raises a great many questions.

What power would come in most handy for belt-whipping the Axis Powers? The speed of Mercury? The Power of Zeus? The stamina of Atlas? The strength of Hercules?

Would the wisdom of Solomon have told you, "Just f*cking PUNCH them"?

What are Hitler and Tojo's safewords? I bet it's "pumpernickle" for both of 'em.

Was Mussolini out somewhere having a manicure?

Is it possible to look at this picture and not hear a little voice in your head go "tee-hee-hee!"?

And most importantly, WHO'S HOODOO?

So many questions, so few answers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

TV is Your Connection to the Whole World

Recently, I was alerted to the following article about a new line of comics:

Pow! Romance! Comics Court Girls

It's Minx! The comix for chix that stinx!

The article was like "blah de blah girls are reading comics wow that's so weird blah de blah de blah", which is fine, but what really caught my attention was the title of the story, written by Matt Phillips who is stupid. Here it is again:

"Pow! Romance! Comics Court Girls".

The Batman TV show premiered in 1966, and so Matt Phillips has used a 41 year old formula to write his article headlines. Besides comic books, there is no other industry in America that can claim that its products have been promoted by the same headline for almost half a century.

Here are just a few articles that use the exact same headline:

Pow. Zap. Bang.
How God makes your action-packed life like a superhero's.

Campus Life, June/July 2005

Pow! Zap! Cartoons hit Southend Library
17 July 2001

Zap! Pow! Islamic superheroes to save the day
By Hassan M. Fattah The New York Times

Pow! Bam! Zap! Pollution Fighters Crowd the Horizon
January 1998
National Science Foundation

And ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Every time a newspaper reporter has to write a "those sissy comic books for idiots are hip again!" article, they reach way in the back of the shelf and pull out that same turgid lump of forty year old feces.

Written by two failed and bitter vaudevillians, one a legal moron and the other a spoons player, the "Batman" television show was notable mostly for "The Batusi" dance step, a brief resurgence in the coolness factor of spoon-playing television writers, and five hundred zillion headlines to top off puff pieces about comic books.

Here are some additional variations on the headline formula:

"Pow! Zap! Look at what these comic book nerds are doing now!"

"Whap! Zing! Pow! I Can't be Bothered to Think of a Headline!"

"Pow! Kablammo! A famous celebrity reads one of those sissy comic books!"

"Pow! Zap! Please end my misery!"

And it's all due to the good work of those rascal idiot vaudevillian writers of the Batman television show who have defined comic books in the public eye for the next fifty eons.

Dave Sim talked about television for a bit in his comic, Cerebus, and while being appalled just now at the laziness of newspaper reporters writing about comics, I was reminded of one of Mr. Sim's points, that television is the true world hegemon ("hegemon" is fruity professor talk for "the biggest gorilla in the zoo"). What I find really weird is that comics, for the past forty years, have been defined to the general public with a reference to a TV show that was on for two years (1966-1968) and which was vaguely based on one single comic.

Put on your tinfoil hats, people! I'm gonna tell you the unmitigated truth about the way the world is run! The people in charge don't want you to know this, but they can't stop the power of the people to write paragraphs on the web!

The way television defines comics is how the general public defines comics. To the great monolithic entity of television, comics are only what that one show starring that one fat asshole in the dumb looking bat suit was. "Zap! Pow!" is how television refers to the comic book. "Zap! Pow!" is how the general public thinks of comic books. The exact same thing happened to science fiction: to Television, "science fiction" is what that dumb show in the 60s was about with the fat guy kissing a lot of green women. How many television news reports have you seen that can't speak two sentences about science fiction without a reference to Captain Spock on the Star Trek? Hmm? How many?

It was suggested to me that it was "okay" for writers to come up with lazy headlines like this because comics have to be sold to the public. That implies that if the news report or article doesn't reference the Batman television show with "Zap! Pow! Kapenis!" at the very beginning of the story, then no one's going to "get" comics.

I categorically disagree with this. Writers have been using the "Zap! Pow! Comics are lots more filthy than you remember!" headline formula for forty years, exactly nine years longer than Fred Savage has been alive. Despite this headline, in the past forty years, the comic book market in this country has done nothing but shrink. If using that idiot headline is supposed to sell comic books, it hasn't worked at all.

Think of it: Suppose every sports story in newspapers always began with the same headline referencing an event from 40 years ago. From stories about the Chicago Bulls to the Seattle Mariners to the Duke Lacrosse team, imagine that every single headline began with "Joe Dimaggio Hits Another Home Run!"

After 40 years of seeing the exact same headline for sports news stories, probably the people who read newspapers would start to think that sports really haven't changed very much in the last four decades. Why bother reading the news story? I already know that Joe Dimaggio hit a home run; he did the same thing last time Tiger Woods scored 9 under par. Why, after 40 years of that stupid headline, sports might only appeal to an aging group of overweight smelly men who remember Joe Dimaggio.

But, for whatever reason, the young girls like reading those backward comic books about 9 foot tall guys with long hair who act all tough but who are really sensitive once they meet exactly the right feisty teenage girl. They're coming into the bookstores to buy those stupid comics despite the lazy dumb-ass headlines about the Batman television show, bless them.