Thursday, January 29, 2009

This probably calls for a "spoiler alert" ...

... except I figure anyone who is actually following this whole Batman's-dead/no-he's-not business is probably way more up on all of this than I am. All I care about is, this is a very sexy panel, for more reasons than I can count:

Note: You can find the whole issue here, on Scans Daily. But beware, it truly will make no sense unless you really, really care about this stuff.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I'm just a kid trying to make a difference"

News quiz:

1. Is the self-description in the subject line a quote from
a. the anonymous 14-year-old boy who spent 5 hours in uniform (sans badge and gun) on patrol with the Chicago police department, or
b. the 15-year-old Southern California boy who has become an international phenomenon with his "no-cussing" campaign?

2. Which of the above two were you more like in your mid-teens?
3. Which one of the two would you rather have a conversation with today?

The real answer to #1, and my personal answers to #2 and 3, are in the comments. Feel free to leave your own, as well.

As a reward--or possible punishment--for your score, here's the "Don't Cuss" music video:

Shit yeah!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This explains so very much

As this recent item on BoingBoing confirms, it seems Superman co-creator Joe Shuster led a bit of a double life himself--by day, architect of one of the most powerful emblems of, er, traditional American values (i.e., truth, justice, and the Am-Way), while by night (during rough economic times, at least) he earned a bit of extra coin depicting kinky fantasies.

Granted, the illustrations in Craig Yoe's forthcoming book probably won't float my boat; I'm assuming they'll be all het, all the time. But as the cover clearly indicates, Supermannish men will be bound within its pages, so all I have to do is change the gender of those doing the binding and all will be well. (As a side note, I see that the new volume is the followup to a similar, though broader, project.)

This really does feel like the missing link between the realms of playful childhood hero-worship and darker, arguably more adult, desires. Much attention has already been devoted to the psychology of Wonder Woman's creator, and the Shuster saga only furthers the notion that caped crusaders are a bit less vanilla than we have been led to believe.

(I was about to say "less all-American," but maybe it's really the case that "America" has always been a more complicated ideal than some folks would like to admit. Who knows how many pipe-smoking, slipper-wearing Dads throughout the suburbs of the Eisenhauer years hid copies of these strips from their Superman-loving sons and daughters? Seduction of the innocent, indeed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One man's trash ...

Both Warren Ellis and, before him, Dirk Deppey seem to find this admittedly NSFW video so outrageous that they dare their presumably hetero, non-fetish-driven readers to watch it.

Something tells me you are not in that camp. Go ahead. Make your day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dead again

No, I haven't read it yet, and as noted earlier, I probably won't get around to it for awhile. As should be quite clear to even the most casual reader of this blog (and what other kind could there be?), I seriously don't read comics unless they contain images of a hunky man tied up or unshaven or in some sort of deathtrap or with his chest hair exposed--preferably all of the above. If this latest death-of-Batman installment contains enough of that, I'll read it, eventually. Lord knows the dude on the cover up there looks might-tee fine.

I don't really have anything to add to the conversations currently taking place in several hundred blogs, most of it pretty incoherent, misspelled, badly punctuated, and so on. For the record, I only know these conversations are taking place because, after stumbling upon this brief mention, I did a bit of googling to find out how many of my must-haves are included. I gather there is some torture. That's a plus.

Best thing I found was this interview with Grant Morrison about what he's up to. A few lines that struck me as interesting:

"I wanted this story to be mythical. It's on that scale. It's not meant to be about realism. It's not meant to be about politics and about stuff that's happening on the streets. It's the story about what happens when gods start interfering with life and life becomes mythical."

Nice comic timing here:
" The finale is pretty insane. Parallel universes. It's the end of the universe. Everything breaks down. I wanted to do something causality based. I don't think any of us have seen anything like this. It takes it to the point of real, nihilistic hopelessness.

I'm so pleased with it"

And, while I'm not always crazy about Morrison's aesthetic, I admit he's got a point here:
"Once you've seen [the films] Iron Man and The Dark Knight,why bother doing realistic superheroes because now the movies can do them better than anyone. I kind of feel that what it does is free up comics to be a little bit wilder. ... We shouldn't be following the storytelling techniques of Hollywood because they can do it really well. Comics can do all kinds of other things. They can be really crazy and wild and can really stretch the imagination and be really progressive."

Oh, and this recap/think piece seems to make the most sense to a non-comics-follower like me.

Finally, in my travels through cyberspace, I came across this very nice meditation from Ultrasparky on the appeal of superheroes to some of us. It was written well before any of this dead-Batman business, but these lines resonated with me as I read one outraged fan rant after another about Morrison: "A love of comics is just so personal. They've been part of our culture for so long now, pushed and pulled and reinvented in so many ways that they can be something different to everyone." (The Ultrasparky post is really a plug for this outstanding Michael Chabon essay in The New Yorker that I've been meaning to write about here for months. I really should still do that sometime, I guess.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hail and farewell

I learned, mere moments ago, of the death of Patrick "Secret Agent Man"/"Prisoner" MacGoohan from this obit by Johnny Bacardi.

And that one reminds me that I have not yet paid my last respects to two bat-villains who died in recent weeks, namely a certain Catwoman and the only Minstrel I know of. The latter I always found one of the hottest (if silliest) bad guys in the tv show's lineup, and this little bit of gossip suggests he may have batted for my team after all. This isn't the best photo of His Minstrelness (that would by necessity include Batman and Robin rotating and revolving on his fiendish barbecue spit), but it'll do in a pinch:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To the Batcake!

Spotted at a (fully grown) friend's birthday party:

Fun fact #1: I would totally do that Batman, were he the size of a human being or I the size of him.

Fun fact #2: One party guest did not read the area behind our hero as the exit to the Batcave but instead thought it was a graveyard, representing the Guest of Honor as rising/racing from the ashes of his past headlong into the future. Hey, it works for me.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bat Music for Bat People

Three cheers to LP Cover Lover for this delightfully dorky album cover:

which was just one of the finds I turned up tonight in this collection of superhero-themed artwork. The blog also turned me on to this guide to Bat-themed songs recorded during the run of the TV series. There are a few publicity shots of some of the acts, and they're all pretty much as embarrassing as the one above.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Holy Bat-Bargain!

A tip o' the cowl to Bat-Blog for sharing this hot tip about Batman-themed merchandise now in the dollar bins at Target (alongside all the Valentine's Day stuff). I stopped by tonight and walked away with mucho pens, fancy stickers, markers, and a notebook, all for four buckaroos.

Alas, I missed out on the Groom 'n' Go Bath Set, a perfect way to instill prepubescent boys across America with a stubble fetish!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The spirit's not quite willing tonight...

Yep, saw The Spirit this afternoon. Too tired at the moment to post the review I really want to write, but in keeping with my pledge to post something somewhere (not necessarily here) every day, I'll take the easy route and share ...

•This link from SlashFilm to a faux ad campaign, the punchline of which occurred to me midmovie:

(The same site also directed me to Roger Ebert's scathing print review.)

•This TOTALLY UNRELATED clip of the only scene in the forgettable Indiana-Jones-ripoff Jane and the Lost City worth watching, tracked down by the Monk last night when I was telling him that Sam Jones (seen bound and shirtless below) is the star of the 80s Spirit TV movie (where he is also bound and shirtless, much to my delight):

I have plenty to say about the new movie, and maybe I'll even say it here, sooner or later. Meantime, you might want to head to the theater pronto if you want to get in on the ground floor of the next Showgirls cult phenomenon. You heard it here first.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A new year, a new leaf

When my British counterpart/colleague noticed I'd been posting more updates here lately, he asked if I was making up for lost time. Could be--though I've also promised myself that in 2009 I'm going to devote a little time each day to at least one of the many blogs and sites I'm involved with (as Batfan and in my Bruce Wayne existence). Go ahead, call it a resolution if you must. Lord knows I'm way behind with this one and especially this one.

To that end, I made quite a few tweaks to the sidebar on the right tonight. In addition to plenty more links and even a few new categories of them, you can now find the latest updates from the blogs I check most often for H&V-related info, subscribe to this one, and even become a "follower" of H&V. (Yikes.)

While I'm at it, here's more of my ongoing attempt to finally share some items I've been steadily bookmarking for years. (Just call me the Axl Rose of batbloggery.) No overriding theme this time, just odds and ends:

•If, like me, you sometimes take pleasure in obscure comic book heroes and villains from long-forgotten publishers, check out this regularly updated collection of them, which also includes new characters evoking the moldy oldies. The entire Flashback Universe blog from which that list comes is fun, and I've added it to the links sidebar.

•Here's a funny Conan O'Brien/Jim Gaffigan superhero cartoon. (True confession: I wouldn't kick either of these two out of my bed, whether in costume or out. Not sure I'd want them shooting deathrays out of their nipples, though.)

•Despite the horrendous reviews the new Spirit movie has been getting, I will naturally be seeing it. And I will always have a not-so-soft spot in my, er, heart for Sam Jones in the equally ill-fated 1987 tv movie, paid tribute to here. I mean, would you feast your eyes on this man, for the love of God?

•Nice collection of boot-fetish videos on YouTube, which will also point you to plenty of related works. Here's an enjoyable example of Stand & Model attitude:

Minimal, yes, but face it: Had Warhol shot this, it would be playing in museums the world over.

*A reader sent me a link to his 26-chapter BDSM-themed serial, which took him more than two years to complete. I've only dipped in to random chapters thus far, which means I have plenty more to ... chew on.

•Speaking of fiction, here's a reservoir of comics-related fanfic I found somewhere long ago, including some Bat ones. The broader-based home page of the site is now in my links list, too. Oh, and here's a weird, potentially hilarious assignment for your own ill-conceived fanfic.

•Courtesy of another online buddy, here's a Universal Studios Spider-Man getting dressed and doing his duty for the girls and boys, and a few of us oldsters, too. Bonus points for UnderArmour usage beneath the spideysuit:

•I forget exactly why I bookmarked this in the first place--I think it was for a post I was going to write (two years ago) about (male) rape fantasies--but now that I look more closely, I see these are all (?) women victims, so I feel kind of creepy sharing it with you sans political comment. Anyway, here's a semi-famous list, updated here and here.

This looks like a good place to stop for now, but trust me, I've got plenty more where these came from, and this appears to be one of those periods when I'm feeling the impluse to blog again, so stay tuned.