A HAPPY SLUGGOWEEN
…since I’m a bit short on time and low on energy, but I just wanted to point out this new weblog that I just noticed in my referral logs: Love and Maggie, a clearinghouse of news and links for the work of the Hernandez Brothers. A very nice resource for fans of Jaime, Gilbert, Mario, and their army of characters.
The site mentions Jaime and Gilbert’s appearance at a store in Portland, OR to celebrate Wonder Woman Day…and my old friend Matt reported to me that he got to meet them there and talk about my hometown (and Matt’s former stomping ground) of Oxnard for a few minutes. And he got his Ill Repute album covers signed. So, you know, cool.
Hey, maybe they could give it to the guy who made Return of the Swamp Thing, so we could have an origin movie just as crazy that completely nuts sequel! Sure, it’d make about ten bucks in the theatres, but I’d be happy and that’s what’s important.
Hey gang…your pal Mike has been busy over the last week or so doing, you know, some stuff, so posting here has been a little thin for a while, and may continue to be so for a bit longer. I apologize, but it’s also cut into my End of Civilization prep time, so this one’s slightly truncated compared to previous installments. If I can, I’ll try to come back to this Nov. 2009 edition of Previews with some additional, non-EoC discussion, but for now…please enjoy these fine items selected from the pages of America’s Favorite Catalog That Doesn’t Have “Victoria” in the Title:
p. 129 – World of Warcraft Collectible Coin Sets:
p. 183 – Obamouse:
“The economy is crumbling like stale roquefort. We are at war with Owl Kaida, our soldiers being targeted by their traps, poisons and predators. When the nation, perhaps the whole world, needs change, one rodent steps forward to offer it: Barack Obamouse. But if his daring plans for the country are to succeed, he will have to win over his skeptic political rivals and countrymice, including Hen Beck, John McCrane, Sarah Penguin and Ratt Limbaugh!”
I am honestly at a loss for words.
p. 307 – Will Green Lantern T-shirt:
“I said ‘hi Will!’ That’s your name, right, on your shirt?”
“Oh. Who’s Will, then? Some rock star or something?”
“No, no…it’s a shirt about Green Lantern. You know, the superhero.”
“Oh, yeah, sure, I loved Green Hornet. His real name’s Will? I thought it was Van Williams.”
“No, you see, there are lots of different colored Lanterns, each representing a different part of the emotional spectrum. The Yellow Lanterns are ‘fear,’ the Red Lanterns are ‘rage,’ and the Green Lanterns are ‘will.'”
“Um…is ‘will’ an emotion?”
“Okay, look, I’m taking off the shirt. See? I’m no longer wearing the shirt. Stop talking to me.”
p. 315 – Battlestar Galactica Series 4 Action Figure Assortment:
Shorter, more jokey: “Look out for that black hole, Herbie!”
p. 332 – Super Goof Mini-Maquette:
p. 338 – Iron Man Movie Arc Reactor Prop Replica:
p. 344 – Lightsaber Chopstick Sets:
“First unveiled at San Digeo Comic-Con 2009 where fans got to compete in chopstick competitions against real-life 501st Stormtroopers….”
They’re stormtrooper-approved, kids!
Looking at the fingers touching the “laser blades” in this pic strikes me as oddly unnerving. “AUGH MY FINGERTIPS”
p. 359 – Star Trek Starfleet Logo Flask:
Also, if this were actual Starfleet branded material (yeah, I know, work with me here), does this mean Starfleet is encouraging its forces to carry around their own source of emergency sauce? Or maybe Scotty just knocked out a one-off of these during a downtime in Engineering, while he was feeling a bit cheeky. And drunk.
p. 359 – Star Wars Darth Vader Helmet Clock Radio:
That said, I totally want one of these.
p. 361 – World of Warcraft Leather Wallets:
p. 361 – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal:
NOTE: would probably really worry nosy moms.
Andrew also has a post about two horror-film tie-in video games for the Atari 2600. To think these were “controversial” at the time! Now they just look sort of quaint, almost like you’re playing little abstract paintings. Still fun, though!
I only bring this up because I see folks selling full sets of the rings on the eBay. And apparently not just pre-selling the rings prior to release…there are people selling sets of the actual promo rings that stores received a week or two ago. I’m guessing these are shops doing so (it can be hard to tell without an attendant “About Me” eBay page), but it seems a shame to go for the short term profit rather than using the rings in-store to encourage some excitement about the related funnybooks. Then again, maybe these stores aren’t reaching the sales plateaus required on the specific DC books you had to purchase in order to receive the rings, so they don’t need the promos and who am I to judge?
“The drink consists of lemon, lime, whatever fresh herbs they have handy (this time I got parsley, chives, and mint, all picked from planters at the bar) muddled together with sugar, Pimms, gin, and a bit of soda water. It was a pretty funky drink, but I would probably order it again.”
And he also photographed it thusly:
Anyway, thanks to Jef for sending this along…I got a kick out of it!
And I saw this:
Okay, nobody’s perfect (except, if I may quote Employee Timmy, Jesus and Batman), and goodness knows I’ve made my share of spelling errors and typos on this site, and I’m sure there are probably one or two or a dozen right here in this very post for you folks to jump on and mock as soon as I publish this. But I also don’t have any editors (“Noooooooooo!” “Quiet, you.”) and I’m not asking you to pay out $3 to $5 per entry to read my site, so long as you don’t count my subtle gesturing toward yonder PayPal Donation button. And while we’re a long way from, as I recall, Valiant Comics’ consistent inability to tell “it’s” from “its” or “who’s” from “whose,” it’s still just slightly embarrassing to see these errors creeping in. (And before any Marvel fans get too smug, please enjoy.)
…not to be confused with the 10-in-1 Scope which, frankly,
would probably give you a better chance of survival
Following up from yesterday…the picture I was trying to pull out of my memory, rather than digging out the magazine and refreshing my recollection, was this one, provided by an anonymous commentator. I had a few details incorrect, such as there not being Harley Quinn in lingerie, but rather a naked Catwoman (bet you’re clicking through now!). The specific animation “no-nos” illustrated in the drawing (also listed by Jarrett in yesterday’s comments) are as follows:
3. Breaking glass
7. Child Endangerment
Now there are guns all over the place in Batman: The Animated Series, but the drawing shows a gun putting a Fearless Fosdick-esque hole right through the Caped Crusader, so maybe the guns were okay in the cartoon so long as no one was shown getting hit. Of course, there was that episode I was discussing last time where Gordon was shot during a police raid, but it’s not like we saw it onscreen. I think I saw a clip of an interview with Bruce Timm or Paul Dini talking about this particular episode and how they were somewhat surprised they were allowed to get away with it.
Drugs and breaking glass…weren’t there references to “drug busts” in this series? Obviously, that’s different from the intent of this particular ban (represented by a hypodermic needle in the Timm drawing). And I could have sworn there was some glass broken at some point, though that may just be me filling in details in my head rather than recalling any actual events in the show.
And religion…characters on the show sure did say “my God” or “oh my God” a lot, which always kind of surprised me, since I thought even a mild epithet such as that may be verboten. Okay, again, not was probably meant by the ban on religious content, but still I wanted to note it.
Jon notes being freaked out by some elements in particular Batman episodes when he was a five year old, which 1) made me feel old, since I was an adult when this show started, and 2) made me think about the vague childhood memories I had of television shows I watched when I was a kid. Watching Batman and some of the weird-ass stuff that popped up on that show, it made me think on occasion “I wonder if there’s some adult walking around now haunted with some bizarre image or sequence from this show that s/he only half-remembers from childhood, and has no idea where it came from?” I know I had more than one or two of those types of memories, some of which having been cleared up by the internet (like this intro to a kids show and this segment from said show). If you may forgive me an old fogey moment, I can’t help but wonder in this age of everything ending up on DVDs/the internet/etc. if memories of shows like these ever get a chance to become mysterious and vague, fleeting images seen once and filed away in some dusty corner of the brain. Ah, I’m sure they do and I’m just overthinking it, but there you go.
Chad mentions the Two-Face origin episode as being a significant example of the mature storytelling possible even with the limitations placed by Standards and Practices…something I myself noted…back in April? Good gravy, I’ve been taking my time going through these DVDs, haven’t I? I think adding impact to Harvey Dent’s transition to Two-Face is the fact that he’d been a recurring supporting character in the series up ’til that point, and thus had even more audience sympathy than a character introduced in the same episode he becomes a villain.
And Roel mentions that the animated translation of the Bane storyline from the comics was oversimplified to the point of hurting the narrative. I haven’t seen this episode in my DVD-watching yet (though I may have caught it on TV, if I’m recalling correctly), but it sounds like it’s a similar problem with the Superman/Doomsday DVD. In the comics, you really did feel the loss of Superman as the character literally did not appear for half a year or more, and his actual titles were suspended for a couple of months. In the animated version, Superman is “dead” for what, ten minutes? You don’t get a chance to miss him, and the impact of his alleged “death” is lost. For Batman, of course no one expected the studio to have a series of Bat-cartoons with Bane running around, Azrael taking over, Bruce stuck in a wheelchair, etc. But I’ve no reason to doubt Roel’s analysis of the adaptation, but I’ll find out soon enough when I get to that episode in my Bat-marathon.
And Tom asks “Where’s MODOK,” which got me to search on the phrase “BATMODOK” which turned up only a reference (no image, alas) to a convention sketch on a message board. I can picture a giant-headed Batman in a floating chair fairly easily. Probably actually happened in one of his comics during the 1950s, I bet.
So long, Soupy.
I’ve noted before that I’ve been renting the season discs of Batman: The Animated Series from Netflix over the last few weeks, and, as I’m sure will not come as news to most of you, this is some spectacular cartoon work. This really does feel like the definitively iconic versions of these characters, even with some of the leftover details carried over from the Tim Burton films (the Penguin’s flipper-hands, the references to the Joker’s real name).
A fun thing to do while watching these cartoons is notice just how closely the show’s creators toed the line of Standards & Practices’ acceptable violence/content levels, and just how much they were able to get away with for a kids show. For example, lots of characters falling from great heights into a river…nearly always followed by a shot of said fallen characters climbing out of the river and clearly not drowned. (I recall an image drawn by producer Bruce Timm, I believe, from an issue of Cinefantastique showing all the things they were absolutely forbidden from doing: Harley Quinn in lingerie, injury to eye, hypodermic needles penetrating flesh, etc. – probably online somewhere, but I couldn’t track it down.)
That said, they got away with some amazingly intense material…Batman, under the effect of a fear gas, thinks he sees his parents walking away from him and into a dark alley, followed by two gunshot flashes from within…and then the alley turns into a huge-ass gun that rises out of the now-crumbling and collapsing surrounding buildings, a dark river pouring from the barrel. I mean holy crap.
I just finished the third disc of Season Two, which had the episode where Commissioner Gordon, in his hospital bed recovering from a gunshot wound that he felt he was too old and slow to avoid receiving, telling Batman that he wished he could be a hero like him. And Batman replies “you are a hero.” And if you watch that scene and don’t get choked up a little…well, you probably thought Old Yeller had it comin’, too.
Anyway, great cartoon. Like I need to tell you folks that.