Monday, May 31, 2004

My Life in Bubblegum

Wow, thanks to the Topps Flashback section of the Topps/Bazooka Joe website, I can revisit all the touchstones of my lifelong fetish in one convenient location: not just Batman but THE GREEN HORNET, MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., the original PLANET OF THE APES. Alas, no cards of shirtless, caged Charlton Heston; no bound-and-doomed Napoleon Solo; no Green Hornet in peril; the Batman set displayed is the kink-free tie-in to the 1966 movie, not the glorious S&M-crazed packs drawn by Bob Powell and Norm Saunders. But still. All this site is lacking is THE WILD, WILD WEST to complete my childhood introduction to masculine heroism... and since the site seems to be updated now and then, there's always a chance.

Plenty of other artifacts of my youth are there, too, like LAUGH-IN, the moon landing, the Beatles, Evel Knievel, and more (plus some fascinating pop-culture icons from earlier and later eras). But those images trigger a completely different part of my brain than the aforementioned. For me, batfascination is not a nostalgic exercise; it's still very current. "Flashbacks" are about looking back on the innocence of childhood (specifically your own) from a distanced perspective, generally encouraging you to feel superior to the past (Look at those crazy hairstyles! Those wacky sofas!), which I think is simply a way of encouraging all of us happy consumers to perpetuate commodity culture's relentless insistence on newness. But Batman is still very much with me, a myth from my past that constantly informs my present and, I assume, my future.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

What Fanboys Talk About When They Talk About Love

Stumbled upon this page of bitter debate while doing one of my beloved Google searches for bat-keywords (in this case, "Batman tights/ripped/shredded," I think). It's a 2003 thread on Ain't It Cool News regarding the fanfilm "Dead End," and if you have some time to kill, wade through the verbiage for some revealing discussion from (presumably) hetero batgeeks re how best to depict Our Hero, loaded with subtext about the beauty of the male body, in particular the bodybuilder who plays him in "Dead End." (Maybe I shouldn't assume they're all repressed, because at least one brave soul here outs himself as a gay man who is therefore better qualified to critique the bat-actor's abs than everyone else.) Basically the old tights vs. rubber suit argument, with the obligatory reference to Schumaker's nipplesuit. Call me a peacemaker, but I'll be happy to fetishize either option.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Another fan film coming...

Here is a trailer and sneak peek at a new bat-fan film, "Batman: In the Flesh." (Most tantalizing part of the site for me is the line on the page just before the one I'm directing you to, which reads "Click here to enter Batman in the flesh." Now THAT's something I'd be happy to do anyday.)

Looks promising on many fronts--interesting premise, lots of telling details which will resonate with readers of the comics, AND the possibility for some deathtrap action and/or beefcake--and I just hope the full film gets made eventually. I'm all for the phenomenon of fan films, though obviously they cost a lot more money and take a lot more time to create than their prose equivalents, so the risk of getting shut down by the copyright-owning studios must quite daunting to the makers. What I'd really like to see, of course, is a film version of a slash story, but I'm not holding my breath.

Throughout the 70s and 80s I fantasized about making a big-budget batfilm of my own, though in retrospect I now acknowledge that the plot was secondary to convincing hot guys to suit up and act out my s/m/b/d dreams. Guess that's why Tim Burton got the call from Warner Bros and not me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

RJ McCaffery- Superheroes and the Social Eye

My introduction into the world of "Blog This!" may just lead to more entries like this one:

Just stumbled across this essay while avoiding work (is there any other way to discover things in this world?); a little too English-major-y for my taste, but one of the poems discussed, "The Superhero's Shrunken Tights," is pretty enjoyable on its own. For all the wrong reasons, I mean.

Saturday, May 15, 2004



First glimpse at the new Christopher Nolan movie with Christian Bale as Our Hero. Too soon to say whether it will avoid the pitfalls of the earlier movies (or create some new ones), but at least the outfit (and the guy wearing it) looks nice.

The Skin I'm In

Okay, so yes, I've been away awhile. Again. But upon my return, I discover that Blogger has radically revamped (and almost even idiot-proofed) itself, and the changes look mighty appealing to me, given that they've streamlined a lot of the little stuff that used to prevent me from writing more often. I've just spent, oh, a couple of hours changing the look -- I believe the term is "skin" -- of my blog and I'm still not totally happy with it, but I'm getting there. I enjoy learning as I go with this stuff. And I beg all of you who know HTML to bear with me.

Speaking of skin, my latest excuse for not writing here is an unpleasant and very painful rash-y sort of thing, which has me not wanting to move around much at all. And donning a batsuit or any other sort of costume/uniform is the farthest thing from my mind these days.

Which has me thinking about those few situations in life when the erotic impulse is on hold: illness, grief, looming work deadlines. Come to think of it, I've faced all three of those for the last several months, so I guess it's no surprise that my bat-duties have taken a back seat lately. I can't tell you how frustrating it was to finally have my schedule (and my psyche) freed up enough to resume batplay, and then have a chunk of my body covered with miserable little bumps...

Actually, I wasn't intending to write so much about myself in that last paragraph; I wanted to make a point about how the body -- any body -- tends to shut itself down now and then. And that was going to lead into some thought-provoking discourse on ... uh, I forgot what the discourse was going to be about. See?! I'm hurtin' here, people.

Oh, one more thing: in the new, improved version of this blog, you, dear reader, can now at long last leave comments of your own. And I encourage you to! I've never liked the feeling of jabbering into the abyss here; from my very first entry I had hoped to make this more of a dialogue than a monologue. I get great e-mail every now and then from people who stumble across this site, which always makes my day, but since there seem to be so many of us out there who share similar fetishes (and the stigmas and logistical problems surrounding them) I think it would be great to see some other voices represented here, too.