Tag Archives | Comic Books

The League of Regrettable Superheroes: The Eye

Regrettable_final_300dpiWith the recent surge of caped crusaders flying, swinging, and leaping from comic book pages to the big and small screens, a revival of the classic superhero is clearly under way. But for every Batman, Green Arrow, or Flash, there’s a slew of forgotten superheroes who failed to become household names.

To memorialize these forgotten vigilantes, Jon Morris has created a gorgeous, colorful tome dedicated to the lesser-known champions of comic book past.

According to Morris, “Right now, we’re in the middle of a superhero boom in movies, but most of the heroes who are getting a shot at silver screen success are the flagships characters—X-Men, Batman, Hulk, Thor, Superman—the characters who always get all the attention. I thought it would be fun to shine a light on the lesser-known characters who, either by design or circumstance, never made it off the ground.”

Below is an excerpt about The Eye, a disembodied floating … eye.… Read the rest

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Power Records…forgotten treasures of the 1970s: Man Bat

As a child of the early 1970s (what Hunter S. Thompson called “this foul year of our Lord, 1971″ to be precise), I have many warm and fuzzy memories of sitting with rapt attention beside my 3 speed (33 1/3, 45 & 78 speed!) portable record player — the cool kids call them turntables nowadays — listening and reading along to Peter Pan’s action-adventure sub label, Power Records. I had everything from Space 1999 to G.I. Joe (the fuzzy headed one with the Kung Fu Grip, not the 1980s cartoon one, philistines) to Planet of the Apes to Marvel Superheroes and I practically wore the grooves off of the 7″ of vinyl goodness.

Luckily for the annals of Pop Culture History and our collective audio-visual enjoyment, Rob! at the Power Records Blog is doing a marvelous job at finding, scanning, and sharing these forgotten classics, including the soundtracks themselves.

Below you will find a taste of one my personal favorites, the gorgeously illustrated “Robin Meets Man Bat”, a compilation of Detective Comics #400, #402 and #407- the first appearance of the Jekyll & Hyde cum Dracula anti-hero (and Batman adversary), Man Bat.… Read the rest

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The X-Men are Sooo Gay

"Resolution" by Ponderosa http://destiny.ponderosa121.com/art-resolution/

“Resolution” by Ponderosa http://destiny.ponderosa121.com/art-resolution/

You might not have noticed through the dense fog of fantastic abilities, leather and spandex outfits, hot celebrity portrayal, general mayhem, and multiple future storylines, but X-Men represents the landmark queer literature of popular culture. Complete with secret identities, powers that awaken during puberty, viscous social and government oppression, as well the constant struggle for equality—there are few ongoing works that so totally embody the struggles of others, outsiders, revolutionaries, and other such nonconformists as wholly as X-Men does.

Filmmaker, comic book writer, and pop culture maniac Kevin Smith famously remarked: “Little kids walk out of the movie they’re all like, ‘That Wolverine! Snikt! Snikt!’ I’d go ‘Come here, little kid. Do you like Wolverine? That means you love cock. Nevermind Snikt, Snikt. Dick. Dick.'”

Wanna know more about the queer parallels in the X-Men universe? Here are a few time-vampirig papers, chapters, and articles on the subject.… Read the rest

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Read The Very First Comic Book: The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck

 

Obadiah Oldbuck

Via Open Culture.com

Comic books, as any enthusiast of comics books won’t hesitate to tell you, have a long and robust history, one that extends far wider and deeper than the 20th-century caped musclemen, carousing teenagers, and wisecracking animals so many associate with the medium. The scholarship on comic-book history — still a relatively young field, you understand — has more than once revised its conclusions on exactly how far back its roots go, but as of now, the earliest acknowledged comic book dates to 1837.

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, according to thecomicbooks.com’s page on early comic-book history, “was done by Switzerland’s Rudolphe Töpffer, who has been considered in Europe (and starting to become here in America) as the creator of the picture story. He created the comic strip in 1827,” going on to create comic books “that were extremely successful and reprinted in many different languages; several of them had English versions in America in 1846.

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Op-Ed: When it comes to comics, let’s put literary criticism back on the shelf

Tim McFarlane/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Tim McFarlane/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By David Sweeney, Glasgow School of Art

For the second year running, the Edinburgh International Book Festival returns with Stripped 2014; a strand dedicated exclusively to comics and graphic novels. It has even commissioned its own graphic novel – a dystopian vision of Scotland’s future called IDP:2043 – as a centrepiece. But this absorption of comic books into a culturally highbrow setting should not go unquestioned.

A few years ago I attended a public interview featuring David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed HBO television series The Wire. Simon’s questioner, a seemingly beleaguered broadsheet journalist, started off by comparing the series to “a novel”; Simon seemed puzzled by the comparison and asked the journalist to elaborate. The Wire was like a novel, the journalist explained, because it was a text of “high quality”.… Read the rest

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Torture Okayed Through Pop Culture

Diverse torture instruments.

Diverse torture instruments.

Noah Berlatsky analyzes how pop culture (movies, comic books, television) makes torture “ok.” He writes that “Torture, pop culture says, is effective, fun, and even funny.”

Noah Berlatsky writes at Splice Today:

In Frank Miller’s influential 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, Batman drags an unconscious perpetrator up to a rooftop, and hangs him upside down with his eyes covered. When the bad guy wakes up, Batman begins to question him, and then uncovers the guy’s eyes. Hundreds of feet above the city, the bad guy starts to scream in terror, prompting our hero to ruminate smugly about how much fun he’s having.

Last year, in the film Olympus Has Fallen, the American agent played by Gerard Butler stabbed a North Korean bad guy in the knee to get him to talk. The audience at the preview I attended cheered enthusiastically.

Last weekend at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Sarah Palin declared to an enthusiastic audience that the current administration is too nice to jihadists.

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Betrayal, Freedom and Justice: Forces of Order, Why V Embraced Anarchy (excerpts from Alan Moore and David LLoyd’s ‘V for Vendetta’)

via chycho

V_for_vendettax

Without a doubt, if you were to ask any comic book aficionado to put together a top five comic book creators list, Alan Moore would be in every list. Some even consider him to be the greatest comic book writer of all time.

“When waiting for a train at London’s Victoria Station in 1984, Gaiman noticed a copy of Swamp Thing written by Alan Moore, and carefully read it. Moore’s fresh and vigorous approach to comics had such an impact on Gaiman that he would later write; ‘that was the final straw, what was left of my resistance crumbled. I proceeded to make regular and frequent visits to London’s Forbidden Planet shop to buy comics’.” – Neil Gaiman: Journalism, early writings, and literary influences

Neil Gaiman – 3 books that have changed my life

Alan Moore has touched many hearts, and his creation that has influenced more people than any other is his masterpiece ‘V for Vendetta’, which he co-created with David LLoyd.… Read the rest

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Jack Kirby and Comic Book Mysticism

Jack KirbyYou may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Jack “King” Kirby was a comic book artist/writer/creator between the 30s and the 70s, whose work is arguably the most influential in the medium.  He created and co-created some of the most recognizable superheroes: Captain America, Thor, the Silver Surfer, the Hulk, the X-men, the Fantastic Four, the New Gods, and on and on.

His era of the comic industry is marred by poor pay-rates and draconian business models, where more often than not, artists were handing over their creations for pennies, and were happy just to get their name in the credits.  To make any money at it, Kirby would sit at his drawing board for twelve to fourteen hours a day, pushing out four or five comics a month. … Read the rest

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May I Recommend a Post-Apocalyptic Movie, a Brilliant Thesis about Society: Joon-ho Bong’s ‘Snowpiercer’, Based on the French Graphic Novel ‘le Transperceneige’

via chycho

Snowpiercer_poster


Note: If you are a post-apocalyptic movie aficionado and appreciate the ones that provide an in-depth critique of our civilization and the problems that we face, then you should skip the write-up below and just watch Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’, especially if you enjoy accessible Korean movies – the dialogue in the movie is mainly in English.

If you do plan on reading what’s below, please keep in mind that I don’t like providing spoilers, so I’ve refrained from discussing too many details, but instead have approached this write-up as a recommendation. The write-up will probably make more sense post-viewing.


There is a certain intensity about Koreans. I realized this during the early 1990’s while attending university. One of my roommates was Korean and he was kind enough to introduce me to his world. We became very close and he and his friends welcomed me into their midst.… Read the rest

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From the Pages of Barry Ween: What We Would All Like to Do and Say to the Minions of the Surveillance State

via chycho

barry_wee_8

Barry Ween is a fictional “10-year-old boy who secretly possesses the most powerful intellect on Earth”. His escapades are brilliantly depicted by Judd Winick in the pages of “The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius”.

Barry is a genius, and we’re not talking about the regular Einstein type of genius, or beyond belief Tesla genius, we’re talking about 350 I.Q. “by far the smartest organism on the planet” genius. We’re talking about “self-awareness-in-the-womb-smart” (click images to enlarge).

Being the smartest creature to ever walk this earth, he realizes early on that for his safety and the safety of those that he loves, he would have to remain hidden. After all, we all know what humanity is capable of once fear of the incomprehensible and the unknown takes hold.

His first few years were long and arduous but he withstood them, and at the age of 10 he acquired enough freedom to explore the limits of science and understanding, albeit, still in secret.

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