Posts Tagged ‘batman’

Spoiler: If cats could talk, they wouldn’t

I’d just like to point out that the above page isn’t a piece of creepy fan art… this is the last page of Catwoman #1.  Apparently the new DC Universe is all about on-panel, partially costumed superhero coitus.  The entire issue was pretty awful, but this awkward fap-baiting has convinced me that I don’t need to buy any more issues of Catwoman. At least not with its current creative team.

 

From Video Warriors Ravens Grew Red

I have long been searching for footage of Video Power, a 90s game show focused on video games and the people who play them. All I could recall about the show was haunting images of little kids in kinky velcro suits, so it was somewhat difficult to Google without breaking the law. This morning I finally remembered the title and was able to dig up this YouTube clip. There’s a lot packed in there, but I’d like to call out a few items:

1. Everyone had ADHD in the 90s. You can easily tell the medicated (the contestants) from the unmedicated (the hosts). I was kind of worried that the guy in the powder blue blazer was going to talk so fast that he caught fire. Maybe we were just really, really excited about video games in 1991?
2. Pre-teens were kept in cages. Most visible at the 24 second mark. Again, something I remembered about the show but was afraid to Google.
3. Kids were really bad at shopping sprees. So you’re covered in velcro… and everything around you has a velcro backing on it… and you manage to walk away with five games? And one of them is Batman?! Here was my fantasy strategy when I was eight years old: knock over all the isle kiosks, then just roll around on the floor. I remember screaming at the TV when contestants would just grab three copies of Bayou Billy and that’s it.
4. Poor dude won a Neo Geo. He was probably pretty pumped until he went to Toys R Us the next morning and realized his parents would have to mortgage their house in order to afford a game for it.
5. “Write to me and tell me In five words or more why you should be a contestant.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a minimum on things like this. I’m not really sure how this could be expressed in less than five words. “I am good at video games.” That’s six words right there. I wonder if these kids took the five word minimum to heart and grew up to write the brand of long, nerdy blog entries that are dismissed with tl;dr.

I miss niche shows like this, and game shows in general. Do game shows exist anymore, outside of Jeopardy and the Price is Right? Or have they all evolved into “reality challenges” like Survivor and Flavor of Love? At least Game Center CX is keeping the dream alive.

 

A paper architect for a paper world

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The first work of David Mazzucchelli I had experienced was 1987’s Batman: Year One, written by Frank Miller. It was beautifully illustrated, even if the story was typical Frank Miller crap. The interesting thing is… that was Mazzucchelli’s last superhero book, aside from guesting on a Fourth World section in 2000’s wonderful World’s Funnest (which deserves a post of it’s own). What kind of jerk starts with Batman and works his way up from there? It’s illogical. What could be better than Batman?!

Well, lot’s of things, but in particular: Asterios Polyp.

This book is so well considered that it’s hard to grasp. Every page is gorgeous to the point of contention. It took me a long time to finish, just because I was studying every panel. The visual language used backs up the narrative and the overall theme of duality and division so well. Man and woman, living and dead, cyan and magenta, backwards and forwards… this is a very complete work of art, and easily one of the best graphic novels I have experienced.

The story itself is… concerning. I’m not sure how else to label it. I relate too much to the main character to be able to discuss it properly. Basically: Asterios Polyp is a great artist (in the academic sense only) who has lost his true love due to his own pretentious ignorance. His view of the world has failed him and he seeks to rediscover himself. The story is narrated by his stillborn twin brother.

I can greatly expand on the beauty contained in this novel, but that would be at odds with the nature of this blog. I’m sure actual sequential art scholars already have that angle covered. Asterios Polyp is beautiful and heartbreaking, and easily worth the twenty bucks that you would normally spend on hoagies and Dogfishhead.

 

Spoiler Alert: Batman is, uh, on vacation

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Batman & Robin! Number one!

Today is a huge day. How often do you get to buy a first issue of a regular Batman series? This is the first time in my lifetime, as far as I know. Let alone a Batman #1 illustrated by Frank Quitely (Flex Mentallo, All Star Superman) and written by Grant Morrison (everything good, ever).

Morrison’s run on the “normal” Batman book was amazing and it totally set this shit up. If you haven’t been paying attention: there is a new Batman, there is a new Robin, and it is going to be awesome. Here is a direct quote from Morrison: “With the collections out, we’ve got Batman & Son, we’ve got The Black Glove, we’ve got Batman R.I.P., and then we’ve got this one, Batman & Robin, and then, hopefully, there will be a final volume, a fifth volume.”

I am excited, to the point of contention. Fuck Grant Morrison for making comics fun again!

 
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