Friday, January 04, 2008

Occasional Links: The "Trouble With Harry" Edition


Harry Harry Harry!

Who has hair like that in reality, anyhow?

Quote Of The Week:

" What I don't want is for this to turn into a public pissing match."
--JMS, at the end of a loooooong e-mail to Newsarama "clarifying" "One More Day" issues

"Old Superman"/Thirtysomething Slacker Spider-Man

On a Byrne Board thread discussing "One More Day," John Byrne reflects on the phenomenon of comic book characters aging along with their creators & editors:

"This is something that has long bedeviled Superman. He has a tendency to turn into a middle-aged guy, as his writers, artists and editors turn into middle-aged guys. I remember vividly a model sheet Curt Swan did of the character back in the late Seventies. There he was with a kind of jowelly face and a thick midsection, looking a whole lot older than his traditiona "29". When Jose Garcia Lopez was hired to do the style guide for the characters, it was something of a revelation to have his Chris Reeve- like Superman being held forth as the official version!"

This brings me to the apparent Mary Jane-less Peter Parker in "Brand New Day." He is back to living with Aunt May, unemployed, oversleeping, and over-qualified even for crap jobs. In a word, there is a slightly disturbing injection of realism into Peter's current situation. I had to move back to the family home for three years when I was in my late twenties. Your mom waking you up for breakfast the first few days is cool and awesome. Several months later, it becomes depressing. It must be even more depressing if you are a dude and get that nice five-o'clock shadow going.

Should comic books grow with the readers? Should they reflect the realities of life such as your elderly Aunt yanking your lazy unemployed ass out of bed and refusing to cook you wheatcakes? Should middle-aged readers read a middle-aged Superman?

Harry, what do you think?

The Bible, Manga Edition

I knew this would happen eventually...
Welcome to the kick-ass Jesus of The Manga Bible, "God's Word as you've never seen it before!" The first English manga version of the world's bestselling book was released in February last year. The publisher, Hodder Headline, describes it as "a faithful adaptation of the Bible, injected with new energy" by the "dynamic, action-based artwork" of Siku, "one of the UK's hottest comic talents". Siku's other work includes Judge Dredd in the comic 2000 AD and a computer game, Evil Genius.
Check out the notes the publisher provides for youth group leaders to make Jesus more palatable for today's kids:
Teachers and youth groups can consult online notes on how to introduce The Manga Bible. "Start the session by going around the group and asking everyone to answer the question, 'Which celebrity do you most admire?' " the notes advise. "Explain to the group that we're going to look at one of the most admired 'celebs' of all time: Jesus …
That's right, kids: You have Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Jesus. Not necessarily in that order.

You can read more about the Manga Bible here.

Epochs of Val

You know how various segments of Earth's history has been separated into epochs? I've realized that my life so far can be separated into four general epochs:

Daniel Striped Tiger -- 1-10 yrs.

Ralph Macchio -- 10-16 yrs.

Young Alec Baldwin -- 16-25 yrs.

Old Alec Baldwin -- 25-35 yrs.
I am currently in the Old Alec Baldwin period of my life. The next epoch may be CGI Cary Grant in a Mentos commercial, I'm not sure yet.

Turn Those Old Comics Into Gold

On New Comic Day (The Holiday Delay Edition) on Friday, why not use your brand new DIY comic book wallet to dispense your cash for more comic books? Keri Smith takes you step-by-step through the process of making one.

Still the best wallet:

Jules don't do any DIY.

Video: Spider-Man With Wah-Wah Guitar

For a long time I thought the 1070s Spider-Man Tv series was just a dream I had as a toddler. But no, it was real. Complete with wah-wah guitar.


  1. You know, the concept of Spidey going from semi-successful guy that's a superhero with a wife (that clearly loves him insanely enough to strike a deal with the devil for him) to unemployed and living with Aunt May is about the most depressing effing thing I've ever seen in comics. And I've read The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come.

    Superpowers or not, if I went from a life like that to one where the only upshot is a steady supply of wheatcakes, I'd have to put a webshooter to my temple and pull the trigger.

  2. yeah, i agree.

    L-A-M-E. I don't want to see Spiderman macking on girls and going on dates.

    Now Spiderman is just a douche bag who wants ass.

    And that's not someone I can relate to anymore.

  3. I don't mind the OsCorp JeriCurl (tm) but the Alfred E. Neuman thing is KILLING me.

  4. "Macking".

    Is that a 90s phrase? What kind of abomination is it? Someone help me out here.

  5. There's only one funky 1970s version of Spidey in my eyes...

  6. So if they make the Manga Bible into an anime, would Jesus grunt and pose for three episodes before summoning loaves and fishes?

    Would he get into a knock-down drag-out fight with Pilate, shouting the names of his ninjuitsu techniques?

    ...that would be so awesome.

    PS: I like how, in the tag list sidebar, the "Jesus" tag is right next to "Jim Shooter." ^_^

  7. ill second that, mmmm old alec baldwin, mmm...

  8. As far as Harry's hair, y'know, I've seen some old movies from the 40s and 50s where guys sported that wavy 'do exactly as ol' Harry and Norman have, but for the life of me I can't remember any of their titles. Guess it's a weekend of Turner Classic Movies for me.

  9. "Superpowers or not, if I went from a life like that to one where the only upshot is a steady supply of wheatcakes"

    -- the wheatcake line, if I'm not mistaken, is actually taken from like a Betty Boop cartoon where the running joke is that all the diner has to serve is wheatcakes. It was like "We have wheatcakes or wheatcakes. Or you could order wheatcakes." And at the end they say "what? no wheatcakes?"

    Mind you, I might have imagined this.

  10. "Now Spiderman is just a douche bag who wants ass."

    I just had this flashback to those old Superfriends cartoons narrated by Ted Knight. And him reading the above line in that ultra-serious, square voice.

  11. "Mmmmmm...Alec Baldwin"

    yes. any vintage will do.

  12. "Now Spiderman is just a douche bag who wants ass."

    Well, maybe Peter will only lust for Mary Jane, and probably masturbate to a picture of her from MySpace.

    Hmm.. didn't they try Peter jacking to MJ that in the manga version?

  13. Going from Spidey to Supey, while I do think that Superman should remain the traditional 29 in many ways, up until Infinite Crisis/OYL I saw Supes as a guy in his late 30's, respected in the journalism world by his readers and peers, enjoying his life with a successful journalistic wife, great parents who raised him right, plus he is the most well known hero/alien on Earth, and has a dog with a cape.

    Why fuck that up? Why introduce creeping shitty movie elements like Clark acting like a idiot, Perry and his peers showing no respect, and with Perry mentioning that Clark has been working at the Planet for TEN YEARS this means his achievements, respect, a Pulitzer, his novels, have been retconned out of continuity? Eff that.

    My point is, in the last twenty years Clark Kent/Superman have matured more than his previous fifty years... Earth-1 and Earth-2 combined.

    Now his marriage to Lois has gotten worse, because now Lois hasn't done shit since OYL. Cries and nags like the "houswife" archtype, which is bullshit for Lois Lane... but the norm for Silver Age Lois.

  14. The Japanese Spider-man is Wheatcakestastic:

  15. I think the thing about Superman looking older in the Silver Age and how odd that suddenly seemed may actually have more to do with a phenomenon that affected society as a whole, the rise of the cult of youth. I think someone on one of the featurettes on the DVD for "Mona Lisa Smile" summed it up rather nicely (quote from memory): "The 1950s were a time when 18-year-olds wanted to be like 40-year-olds, today 40-year-olds want to be like 18-year-olds." You still had a bit of the in 1960s Marvels, what with young Peter frequently putting on a tie and all that.
    I'd also say that with the possible exception of Jack Kirby people tended to look more realistically proportioned in Golden and Silver Age art than later, when exaggerated anatomy became the norm.

  16. I remember seeing the pilot for that 70s Spider-Man back in the 80s. They left Uncle Ben out completely. But the wah-wah pedal was indeed pretty cool.