Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No reality in sight

Recorded the Adam West episode of the, ahem, "reality" show Living in TV Land months ago. Finally watched it tonight.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. (Forgive me for belaboring the obvious. I had low expectations, and they still proved unreachable.) I'll spare you my beef with how contrived the whole damn thing feels, and skip right to the idiotic premise that West has not worn the cowl in 40 years, and thus being forced to do so if he loses a fly fishing contest with a radio DJ/batfan will be a major event in his life. Funny, but I always thought the guy spent the last four decades donning that oh-so-sexy headgear every weekend at a car show (which is where I saw him in it about 20 years ago), the opening of a gas station, or on a tv show much like this one.

I won't ruin the ending (the whole thing is pre-ruined, when you get right down to it), but I can guarantee that the thrilling conclusion is nowhere as nice as this:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Quote of the day

"If I was doing the Batman comic, there would be a lot more kissing and hairy-chest activity."

--Grant Morrison, from a fairly old interview (I'm sure you can guess the search words I used to find this one)

By which he is referring to this (apologies if I've posted this image before... oh, hell, I'm not gonna apologize for giving you what you know you want so very, very badly) :

Okay, so how come we have Morrison doing Superman and Frank Miller doing Batman, and (as far as I can tell) everybody's shirt stays on? Not fair!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cue Smiths reference...

Believe me, that's only a tiny part of "the single gayest comic ever printed" as detailed here (a discovery I owe, like so many others, to Beaucoup Kevin).

Speaking of hands and gloves (a longstanding fetish fave of mine), I'm gonna have to agree with Dorian/PostModern Barney that this is a damn fine cover:

That's from the new Batman / Mad Monk miniseries, BTW, and if you know me at all you will be shocked to learn I haven't picked this up yet.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Stamp out crime

Come July 20, I'll be watching the mail a lot more carefully, in hopes of catching some of these:

Thank you, U.S. Postal Service!

(A part of me is troubled by how comfortable a government agency like the post office is with striking up deals with commercial concerns like DC/Waner, but that's been going on for years. And hey, I'm looking forward to seeing PlasticMan & co. on my stamps way more than TeflonMan.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Knight After 9: Fear no evil

It's been far too long since my last update on batlife since my "enlightenment," thanks in part to a busy daylight-world schedule and in part to my not really wanting to take the time to flesh out all the links I've been accumulating lately (as in, for months) to include here. Think I'll save those for some other time and just catch you up on what's been going on lately--not much in terms of plot, plenty in terms of deeper insight. Character development, you might say.

in a nutshell, bizarre as this may sound to some of you who have followed the saga from its earliest days, things are great now on the bat-front. I look forward to my near-daily chats with the Monk with a passion that knows no bounds. All the energy I once invested in trying to escape him now goes into helping him with what he euphemistically calls "the mission." And I've never been happier as a masked crimefighter than helping him commit what many would probably (erroneously) consider crimes.

I have heard from a handful of self-styled heroes lately who call me a coward and accuse me of being weak for allowing myself to be defeated by my archenemy. But I tell them, in all sincerity: I've never felt stronger or more powerful in my bat-career! For starters, all those terms--"hero," "weak," "defeat," "archenemy"--must be placed solidly within quotes, because they no longer apply. The tables have been turned so thoroughly by now that it's almost hard for me to remember a time when those words ever fit without several layers of irony.

There is also a power in the fact that I no longer fear villains of any stripe, because there's nothing any one of them could do to me at this point that the Monk hasn't already done, and surely done far more effectively than anyone else possibly could. (Once again, that last line suggests an adversarial relationship between us that no longer exists. I refer, of course, strictly to the old days before my escape attempt and subsequent awakening.) I've had my mask removed, replaced, and restored by an absolute Master, and anything beyond that seems anticlimactic.

As for those so-called "heroes," I understand now that my true role is not to fight them (though I'll gladly do that, or help them against a lesser foe if the situation calls for it) but to assist in their education as I have been educated. My own transformation has been a difficult one in part because there are so few templates for it--I can't think of any comic book scenario in which Batman or someone like him freely chooses to embrace the symbiotic aspects of his relationship with his ultimate nemesis--and that struggle to find precedents has inspired me to offer my services as a role model to my peers. I can set an example for them: fully Batman, yet fully mindful of my debt to the Monk, eager to learn from and help him any way I can.

(I have a feeling this must all sound like crazy talk to a reader who has not followed the "Knight" entries leading up to this one. Oh, well--if it registers, good, and if it doesn't, so be it. My goal in recording this saga isn't really to convince anyone to think a certain way about me or my adventures, only to describe and contemplate what I'm experiencing as I experience it. The Monk saga is essentially a two-year-and-counting roleplay/collaborative improvisation, and this latest totally unexpected development has been thrilling beyond words. Yet I continue to search for words with which to describe it, celebrate it, share it.)

That's the update. The next installment of this chronicle will be packed with links. You have my word!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Traps, traps, traps

Ah, if only every issue could make such promises:

(For the record, I found this issue at random while testing out ComicSeeker.com, a tool for pricing old comics. Found that via Johnny Bacardi.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I feel so out of it.

I had no idea before checking in on the last week's worth of PostModern Barney that America is busy talking about Superman being gay. Apparently it all stems from this recent cover story in The Advocate.

Having just read the story, I want to point out two things:
1. Alonso Duralde's original article barely mentions the new movie; it's really about a gay reader's affection for comics, and the reasons behind it. (Two of his three theories are patently obvious: alter egos=metaphors for the double life of a closeted teen, and men in tights are sexy. The third--that long-running comics function like soap operas--is less trite; at first I was gonna say that I never really got into soaps that much, but I admit I do appreciate them as a form of storytelling, and I get Duralde's point about the rewards of obsessive reading being the ability to appreciate the footnotes in comics.)

2. Superman remains one of the least "gay" comics heroes out there, at least in my book. Plenty of gay guys (like the Hub) find him hot, but he's ... well, he's no Masked Manhunter, my friends. Love the muscles and the tights, but I miss the angst.

First Batwoman, now this. It's been a busy month for op-ed writers.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Homophobes are a cowardly and superstitious lot

I feel obliged to acknowledge the recent Batwoman-is-a-lesbian media/blogosphere frenzy, but I just don't have the energy to say anything about it beyond pointing out that this BBC story about "the rise of multi-culturalism in the comics" is incredibly simplistic and just plain wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to count. (Learned about the dumbass story from this short item posted by an ailing BeaucoupKevin.)

I've got a sneaking suspicion the people who write stories like this in mainstream newspapers are confusing Batgirl with Batwoman, for starters. As with Pluto/Goofy and Donald/Daffy, I'm sure it happens all the time. It's just that BatGIRL is surely waaaaaaaaay more well known among noncomicsgeeks than her adult counterpart.

Oh, and Dorian/postmodernbarney has posted these hilarious scans from a comic explaining "the real reason there aren't more gay or lesbian superheroes." A laff riot.

Moving right along.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Scarecrow walks at midnight

Discovered this short-lived blog by a self-styled "real life superhero in training" by accident tonight. It's a shame the thing only lasted for 4 entries (the final post nearly a year ago), because the concept is interesting, and I would have liked to have seen where this young man's journey took him. I enjoyed reading his thoughts on faith, evil, time, and sundry other matters.

It's hard to tell how seriously the guy is taking his project of transforming himself into a vigilante, facing danger, and so on; I just hope he's okay. In the absence of actual superpowers, these things are best left to the realm of fantasy--where they can still be every bit as real, in a certain way, only a good deal safer.