February 10, 2010
“Super Fly meets The Equalizer?” Super fly! That’s why you might want to meet Jay Potts’s Blaxploitation homage, “World of Hurt.” As Potts describes it:
“WORLD OF HURT is a comic strip love letter to the Black action films of the 1970s. I’m not talking about the flicks with signifyin’ Technicolor pimps performing slow-motion karate or anything featuring Ray Milland’s head surgically attached to Rosie Grier’s body. If you want to know where I’m coming from with WORLD OF HURT, check out flicks like Shaft, Superfly, The Mack, Trouble Man, Foxy Brown, or Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off. Although none of these movies boasted massive budgets or flawless production values either, there was an undeniable edge and raw energy to them. These were films that spoke to a previously untapped market of urban Black audiences, who finally got to see their own heroes, and a bit of their own turbulent world, refracted through the prism of the silver screen.”
The weekly newspaper-style Web comic set in the 1970s follows Isaiah “Pastor” Hurt, a streetwise fixer in Pointe Blanc, California, as he investigates the disappearance of a bright young black woman, Alicia Patterson. Not only does it have a serious plot full of all the fist-flying, pow, fighting action you could want, but the Web site features blog entries giving readers the inside scoop on the artistic process.
What we like is that it’s not played for ironic jive-talkin’ laffs. As AintItCool.com put it: “…[S]tories paying homage to such blaxploitation films such as SUPERFLY, SHAFT, and FOXY BROWN are often written as spoofs. In WORLD OF HURT, the danger is real and the tone is straight…Approaching the material with a straight face is something fresh and new and worthy of notice.“
Plus, the clothes.
October 6, 2009
Struggling with the ultimate romantic choice? The one you’ve got vs. the one that got away? Familiar and stable vs. fizzy and exciting? Veronica vs. Betty?
Well, envy Archie.* Looks like our man in Riverdale may get to have it both ways.
As today’s Times reports: “That perennially teenage redhead…made headlines around the world when word leaked, back in May, that he would propose to his longtime love interest, Veronica Lodge, in issue No. 600 of the comic that bears his name. But that issue, published in August, was only Part 1 of a six-part story. Although Archie did marry Veronica, things will take a turn in November, when Archie proposes to the lady in waiting, Betty Cooper. That’s just the latest twist in the romantic triangle that has thrust this nearly 70-year-old character, and his parent company, into the media spotlight.”
How’s he gonna pull that off? Easy: alternate universe! “The wedding story was written by Michael E. Uslan and illustrated by Stan Goldberg, a longtime ‘Archie’ artist. The first half was called ‘Archie Marries Veronica,’ but issue No. 603, on sale next month, is called ‘Archie Marries Betty.’ The end of bachelorhood began in issue No. 600, in which Archie found himself on a road named Memory Lane, which he has often traveled. This time he walked a different direction and encountered a fork in the road. He chose the left path, which allowed him to see his future with Veronica and their twins, and himself working for her tycoon father. At the end of the October issue, No. 602, Archie goes for an evening stroll and encounters the fork again. In the November issue Archie will find himself back in Riverdale High, this time envisioning a future with Betty as his wife. (A set of twins factors into this destiny as well.)”
(Doctor Who fans will recall when this totally happened to Donna Noble, only instead of twins there was a giant bug. And — Halloween preview — let’s not forget Breakup Girl Friday in Ghost Ex!)
But the question remains: who do you think he should wind up with? (“Jughead” would of course be a revolutionary twist, but I don’t think we’re there yet.)
* And talk to The Guy At The End of the Bar.
January 21, 2009
In these trying times it’s important to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. Not everyone has the power to fight crimes of the heart. Meet some sad sack characters with Superuseless Superpowers.
You’d be the worst stalker ever if you could only achieve 99% opacity like The Slightly Invisible Man. No one would feel safe falling asleep in your arms if you had superhuman strength whilst sleeping, but that’s life for The Slumberjack (a.k.a. Hercu-zzzzzz’s). So you can’t fly your date around the world simply by sticking your arms straight out, or see through anything but their see-through negligee, but it sure is better than being the man with the lukewarm touch.
July 20, 2008
According to Scientific American, yes, kind of, sort of, but it’d take a lot more than a celebrity trainer. Read the whole geek-jock Q&A — with the author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero — here.
(Update: more here.)
July 9, 2008
It might be something like this.
Quoth the director in SciFi magazine: “[Episode] Five is about, obviously, zombies who eat fish. It’s about trout zombies, which is very exciting. And then the episode after that is about a group of intergalactic criminals masquerading as a boy band.” Top that!
Quoth our TV tipster: “Until another Wonderfalls or Jack of All Trades comes along, Middleman [along with my beloved Chuck! — BG] may have to occupy the ‘shamelessly embraces-its-own-dorkitude‘ slot.”)
Tags: boy bands
, jack of all trades
, Sci Fi
, Viper Comics
June 27, 2008
Lady, That’s My Skull is our favorite blog that combines kitschy comics history and all things Sleestak. Here’s a delightful time-capsule from the Fifties that they uncovered recently…
In this tale torn from real life, secretarial pool-member Kathy shows the office skanks that predatory slutting around is not the only way to trap a man into giving up his freedom.
Read the rest at Lady, That’s My Skull…
June 25, 2008
I went to see Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at the Met in New York. These pop culture exhibits can get a little bullsh*tty with their what-does-it-all-mean? blurbs, but you’ll have fun if you go in the spirit of the craven organizers (“Superhero movie costumes will bring in the kids!”) rather than that of the hapless exhibit designers (“Well, a loosely knitted shawl is kind of Spider-Man-y, right?”). A few fashion designers actually were inspired by Superman, Wonder Woman or (Tim Burton’s) Catwoman — and here the show works as intended — but the rest is a bigger stretch than Plastic Man.
My big problem with the exhibit is that while due credit is given to the amazing designers and craftspeople that realize superhero costumes on screen, NO credit is given to the original comic book illustrators or editors that created or influenced their designs. (They may be credited on the website, but not in the exhibit itself.) It’s as if superheroes just are — like the Greek gods or something — their origins too arcane to explore, or their designs such a foregone conclusion that if Steve Ditko hadn’t picked Spider-Man’s ensemble someone else would have?
Strangest of all, there is no comic book imagery accompanying the movie costumes and haute couture creations; All the backdrops are from the films, or one of Alex Ross’ (albeit thrilling) photo-realistic paintings. Only on the last wall, crowded together as a seeming afterthought before the giftshop, do we see any comics. But what comics they are! Action Comics #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, Captain America #1, Flash Comics #1, etc.! Sadly, the most valuable items in the show — both money-wise and culture-wise — have the least value to the exhibitors.
May 30, 2008
You’re both in the Fantastic Four. Does that mean you’ll make a Fantastic Pair? Not necessarily!
Check out the Top Five Worst Superhero Marriages and Top Five Least Romantic Comics Couples as rated by the comic sites and ComicBookResources.com and Comixology.com. In most ways, these couples’ differences are more human than super-human: their various love Kryptonites include commitment-phobia, age differences, cheating spouses, skeptical friends, the slacker/striver dynamic, manipulation (in this case, of the four elements). Let’s just hope BG and The Lone Loner never make these lists!