These fine gentlemen were the stars this past summer of A Vida Secreta de Batman e Robin, a Sao Paolo play about the Secret Lives of Batman and Robin. I learned about it here, and you can find more info and an extra photo here. (Don't read Portuguese? Not to worry--Babelfish to the rescue, although you'll encounter translations like this: "The home-bat discloses in the part that wanted exactly was to be the man-butterfly.")
Apparently Bat-actor Renato Pope received at least one death threat for daring to besmirch the sterling reputation (and assumed heterosexuality) of the caped crusader. I am of course intrigued, almost enough to consider booking a flight for Brazil, although I must say the whole premise seems awfully close to a notorious movie about another legendary detective and his live-in companion.
I've written here many times that comic books were my porn throughout my adolescence and into my twenties. So you can imagine how, er, excited I was to discover The SuperBuds, a site devoted to ongoing chapters in the video adventures of Batdude and Throbin (not to be confused with the stars of a somewhat similiar but not nearly as good porn film from the late 80s), along with Webguy, Superguy, Kitty Woman, and other spandex-clad heroes and villains bearing a striking resemblance to certain characters owned by Marvel and DC.
I've never paid to join a site in my life, no matter how tempted I might be, but there was no way I could resist this one. And I can honestly say what I've seen is worth the eleven or so bucks. There's no false advertising; "Batdude" is my kind of man, and you get to see him suiting up, fighting bad guys, being tortured and trapped, and, uh, doing all the stuff you've ever fantasized about him doing with other men, if that's the kind of thing you fantasize about. The outfit is the real nice gray one from SpandexMan. The cheap yellow rubber utility belt is disappointing, although it's easy enough to remove, which I'm happy to report happens a lot. It's also kind of weird that Bats can't afford gloves (since Throbin owns a pair), but I do have a thing for seeing the hero's bare hands, so I can't complain about the omission too loudly.
The first episode I watched had none of that cheezy music that plagues most video porn of the last 20 years or so, and the absence made me happy, but then I noticed it in lots of other episodes. Oh well. The tone is mildly campy, complete with the "POW!"s and "BAM!"s of the TV show, but it's much less annoying (and much hotter) than the aforementioned 80s Bat-Dude. So far, so good.
I don't really see the point in remaining subscribed year-round, because updates don't seem to get posted all that often. I envision quitting after a month, then coming back half a year later to see what I've missed.
Ah, yet another dream of my twelve-year-old self fulfilled in middle age. Life is good!
And by "good," of course, I mean: *Spandex (where appropriate; this lets the Spirit off the hook, though I'll be wanting the tight-fitting suit and frequent bare chests in his case) *beefcake actors, not movie stars *deathtraps, deathtraps, deathtraps (any sort of sublimated BDSM will do)
By coincidence, I stopped at one of these stores this afternoon, in hopes of finding a new Batman mask, since every single one of the maybe half dozen in my collection has some sort of major tear or other problem. Saw almost no bat-stuff, aside from one of those cheesy "muscle suit" costumes that no self-respecting crimefighter would ever wear. Availability seems tied to the movies--which means next year should be much greener pastures than this year.
It's just as well I didn't find one. I mean, could there be anything less sexy than this:
It's smart, it's funny, and it's sexy as hell: illustrator J. Bone has posted his Bat-parody in its entirety on his Man's Adventure blog. I've already got it in comic book form, but I'm more than happy to have a digital version, too.
Seems my man Green Lantern suffers a lot of head trauma.
Sometimes it's the bad guys:
Sometimes it's police brutality:
Sometimes it's just plain weird:
Now, at long last, the hilariously named Hal Jordan Head Injury Project compiles a whole bunch of this stuff. (First learned about it from this Scans Daily post.) I'm not particularly into the head-injury aspect per se, but I do enjoy a good image of Hal knocked cold or otherwise waylaid. There are over a hundred to choose from on the Flickr page, so let's wrap this up with one of my all-time faves, featuring a very wet and freshly unmasked Hal and his equally damp and undisguised pal Ollie:
But I started thinking: who would I want to see play Britt Reid (now that Van Williams is unlikely)? I"m picturing some kind of ruggedly handsome, hypermasculine-but-not-oafish rising star. I'm picturing, in fact, this guy:
That would be Jon Hamm, a.k.a. Don Draper on the new AMC series Mad Men, who by an amazing coincidence happens to be my current Imaginary Boyfriend.
Speaking of the Hornet, if you haven't seen this French fan film (in English), you might want to check it out--and the star, for that matter.
Fun fact: in this version, the bad guys seem to know the name of the man under the mask. Just for kicks, here's a production still of Messr. Manu Lanzi relaxing sans his signature hat:
While I'm at it, allow me to add my voice to those requesting (okay, most are demanding) a Hal Jordan Green Lantern over a John Stewart GL. Unless they mean the host of The Daily Show, in which case I am SO there.
Since I brought up Hal, let's enjoy a few panels of his bare flesh, courtesy of that new fave of mine, Shirtless Superheroes:
Speaking of which, here's a fun fact about your humble narrator: many, many people over the years have praised the terrific visual joke in this scene...
... but I have to say, I don't just find it hilarious, I find it really hot. It's a fetish thing, of course: rubber gloves on top of the usual ones. I just wish the site contained a still of a shot just a minute or two later, in which the batphone rings and our hero takes both pair of gloves off one hand in order to answer it. This is historic, because it's the only time in the series (believe me, I've looked) in which we see Batman's ungloved hand.
Behold: Shirtless Superheroes, a blog devoted entirely to one of my favorite subjects. The writing, which tends to be pretty brief, isn't as high-larious as I would hope, but then that's probably the superhero-fetishist version of saying you read Playboy for the articles, I guess.
In the same spirit of brevity, I'll shut up and share two especially nice entries (out of many) with you:
As you may have deduced, the awful fog of S.A.D. is starting to lift and I'm getting back into my old groove again, including resuming work on this very blog from time to time. (I am under no illusion that I will ever be a daily poster for more than a couple of days at a time--I'm just not built for that.) And part of that work has included adding tags/labels for every single entry up to now, all the way back to April 2003. (Good thing I don't write here that often, or that would have taken months instead of three short evening sessions.)
It has been instructive to look back at earlier entries--haven't reread too many in detail, but I can still detect themes I explored for a while, then dropped, others that I meant to cover from the start but didn't get around to until much later, etc. When I do get around to writing here, it's at least true that I've stuck fairly close to my original intent and purpose for the blog.
I've met (in the virtual sense, that is) a lot of men as a result of writing so obsessively about my own obsessions here--I've met men who share them, that is, and that's pretty cool. By now I"m even blasé about it ("Yep, here's another one..."), which is remarkable given that as recently as a decade ago I thought I was a freak of nature for fantasizing about the stuff I routinely fantasize about.
It also occurred to me the other night that, far from "outgrowing" my adolescent superhero fetish, I've actually developed a rich fantasy life that indulges them on a fairly regular basis, both in the flesh and in the virtual realm. (I realize I haven't written here in a long time about my online roleplaying colleagues, so here's a quick update:) I still look to the Monk with the highest of regard, as my greatest teacher, even my Master in the pedagogical sense, although he and I haven't really extended our storyline in any significant way for perhaps a year now. He refers to this as my having "plateaued," and I think we both look forward to moving past that somehow, some day. In the meantime, I've got at least three fairly new ongoing "cases" involving villains I don't think I've even mentioned here. I've lost touch with some wonderful old friends, and some equally wonderful old enemies, but new ones come into play fairly regularly, and it's always great to reconnect with the estranged ones, too. In short, my bat-life is a lot like that of the comic-book Batman, who battles a mix of longstanding nemeses and Johnny-come-latelies, some of whom stick around and some of whom vanish after a single encounter. One major change is that I'm less interested in sticking to a single "continuity," as the comics geeks would say, than I was during the early stages of the Monk saga. His story overshadowed and interconnected with all the others; now I've got three or more storylines that don't intersect at all, and none of them involve M.
Most of my roleplay activities, and most everything else that I normally find energizing, was on hold for months while I just struggled against the urge to stay in bed for days on end. (Never actually DID stay there that long; just wanted to.) But, as I say, I'm getting my old self back, I think and hope, and it feels great to be alive again, as both Bruce Wayne and the Bat.
1. Thanks, [P-Mod Barney], for tipping me off to this hunky bit of bat-beefcake (er, make that butt-cake):
2. Thanks, Man's Adventure, for tipping me off to Antebellum Gallery's upcoming ToonFetish exhibition. Antebellum bills itself as "the only fetish art gallery in america!" (but didn't the artist Hudson do something like this in NYC in the early 90s?) and I certainly want to revisit the site--and ideally the brick-and-mortar gallery--as often as possible.
3. The Hub and I saw Spider-Man III last weekend. I was kind of dreading it, since I am apparently one of the minority who found the second installment unbearably slow, and one of my coworkers had warned me Part III was even longer and more soap-operaish and featured Spidey even less than that one. Glad I lowered my expectations, because I ended up pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was long and no, I really, truly would not give a shit about Peter Parker, Bruce Waye, Clark Kent, or the rest of their ilk if they didn't also lead double lives as sexily costumed crimefighters. But I was pleasantly surprised by the new movie, which is to say I found the black spidersuit really hot (especially when wet!) and the wee bits of spider-bondage titillating, and so on. The Hub, whose taste in men is roughly the exact opposite of mine, was sufficiently pleased by the presence of young Toby, Topher, and especially pouty-lipped Mr. Franco.
I will spare you the rest of my thoughts on the film, except to say that I think the whole megabudget superhero epic is pretty much played out by this point. Wouldn't it be refreshing if someone would make a simple, cheap, little indie movie about a guy who puts on weird clothes and fights bad guys? And, since I'm clearly delusional here, wouldn't it be lovely if said film were not an origin story but rather a tale that takes for granted the hero's backstory and simply follows his latest adventure, much as the average comic book and/or graphic novel does?
I know you've probably given up on me months ago, but here I am again, ready to leap--or perhaps crawl--back into the blogosphere and pick up where I left off. If you've been here before, you'll notice that I've finally bitten the bullet and upgraded to the new version of Blogger, something everybody else did half a year ago. I found the update a huge pain in the ass when I tried it elsewhere and avoided doing it here as long as possible. Still, this should make the link list a lot easier to navigate, among other things.
Enough shoptalk. Where the hell have I been, you may be wondering. And the answer is: concentrating on life in the daylight/B. Wayne world for the last few months, battling a few new villains in the bat-world, and so on.
Mainly, though, I've been having a fairly miserable winter. The older I get, the worse my semi-annual bouts with Seasonal Affective Disorder seem to grow. After a very happy and productive autumn, my body and mind just sort of shut down, as they are sometimes wont to do from January through April or so--not every year, but often enough. It's weird how closeted I am about depression in my day-to-day life, and even online; only the Hub, my shrink, and a handful of close friends know what I've been going through for the last four months. It occured to me a while back that since I write so openly here about my innermost fantasies,which are potentially far more incriminating, I could also blog a bit about what my psyche has been going through (with the same goal of letting similarly-wired readers know they're not alone)--but then I've just been so fucking depressed that I haven't been able to follow through until now. In fact, I haven't been able to do much more than sleep late, nap, go to bed early, and accomplish the bare minimum at my day job for weeks and weeks and weeks. The batsuit went unused for months, along with this blog and most other evidence of my bat-life. I'm not totally out of the darkness just yet, but I feel myself getting a little more energy as the sun stays out longer and longer. (Perhaps my archetypal comic book hero is not Batman, the Dark Knight, but Apollo, who draws his power from sunlight.)
I've been accumulating all sorts of things to write about here, and I have a lot of catching up to do. (I've also got a few ideas for how to jumpstart Beginnings again, too, so stay tuned.) If you're reading this, thanks for not giving up on me. I've tried hard not to give up on myself (tempting though that may be when I wake up several hours before I want to, my mind fully ready to go on the attack), and I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove again at long last.
I figured bloggers would be all over this by now, and maybe they are, but of the few I regularly check, only Warren Ellis has covered it as of now. (Commenters there have already beaten me to the punch with Aquaman jokes and hilarity over the name of the source publication, Practical Fishkeeping.)
Every fan of the 60s tv bat-show (and why else would you be here if you weren't one?) needs to head immediately to Little Steven's Underground Garage for an amazing two-hour tribute. I've never heard so many versions of Neal Hefti's theme song and ultra-obscure tie-in songs in my life. I'm listening right now both on an FM radio and streaming online, but you should be able to find it archived (episode 249, Jan. 7, 2007). NOT TO BE MISSED.
It only takes a second to raise a dollar. You're only allowed to light it once so tell your friends. Don't let this slow your fight for fair, accessible, equal health care, despite the overwhelming monopoly the drug companies hold.