February 9, 2010 |
"Books should offend you," a professor told my literature class 30 years ago, when I started college. "They should make you squirm and sweat. They should keep you up at night. " He paused for effect. "Have a nice a day," he concluded. Everybody laughed, of course. But the joke was on us. Americans want to feel good, and they want the same for their kids. So we try to protect them from books that hurt. Look no further than J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, which remains one of the most frequently challenged books in American schools and libraries.
February 8, 2010 |
With the launch of its new "RoboCop" series, Dynamite has masterfully adapted a classic 1980s movie franchise while respectfully and powerfully making it relevant to today's readers. In the world of "RoboCop," a terminally wounded police officer returning to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by his memories, things are looking bad for America and her economy, unemployment is skyrocketing, the country is fighting two wars overseas and some of our biggest corporations are failing.
January 18, 2010 |
The big news last week was Sony's shake-up of its lucrative "Spider-Man" movie franchise. While fans seem horrifed at the idea of a reboot without director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire, here's what some folks inside the comics industry think about the idea. (For more on comic books, see Page 44.) "I actually think it's a good idea," said local writer/artist JS Earls ("Pistolfist"). "It's all about communication and if you keep telling stories with the same actors and directors, it's more difficult to communicate with your audience effectively.
September 15, 2009 |
There's this misconception in the West that every Iranian is scum, that all men force women into marriages, then beat them, and that everybody is a fanatic. It's like arguing that Western society is typified by the Inquisition. - Marjane Satrapi Next year, Philadelphians will have the chance to think, discuss, and argue all things Iranian, thanks to Iranian-French author Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, The Complete Persepolis, which will be announced today as the selection for the 2010 One Book, One Philadelphia.
September 8, 2009 |
Incredible as it may seem, a dozen Labor Days have gone by since Princess Diana's tragic death in a car crash during that holiday weekend in 1997. At the time, Comics Guy felt the media attention was overplayed. Diana was famous for being famous, part of a royal family with no real power, and she was lauded for visiting AIDS patients as if she was Mother Teresa. In fact, Mother Teresa herself died a few days later and her passing received only a fraction of the coverage Diana's death received.
September 1, 2009 |
Iron Man and Spider-Man are joining the family of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Cinderella in a $4 billion deal announced yesterday in which Walt Disney Co. will buy Marvel Entertainment Inc. Under the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Disney will acquire the rights to 5,000 Marvel characters. Many of them, including the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, were cocreated by the comic book legend Stan Lee. Disney chief executive officer Robert Iger said Marvel's comic books, TV shows, movies, and video games amounted to "a treasure trove of content.
June 29, 2009 |
Although most of the public thinks of comic books as "kids' stuff," there are few titles being published for small children. Indeed, the average superhero comic is either too violent, sophisticated or boring for those 10 and younger. There are far more "Mature Readers" titles like "The Boys: Herogasm" (see below) than books like "Scooby Doo. " The convenient excuse is that with so many other entertainment options available to them, kids have left comics. In reality, comics have left kids - young boys and girls will happily read comics that are aimed at them and that engage them.
June 10, 2009 |
There are very few places a grown man can say out loud, to strangers, without clearing the room, "I was wondering if a Picasso in a parallel universe would look the same. " On this April evening, in an Old City storefront, that comment sparks a burst of enthusiastic chatter about physicists Nicola Tesla and Werner Heisenberg, the probability of a parallel universe having a different time zone, and naturally, the television show Lost. Welcome to Brave New Worlds' inaugural comic book discussion group.
May 15, 2009 |
Comic-book artists and writers hope their super creative powers will attract families to the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention here this weekend. Focused on literacy, the convention will bring award-winning comic-book creators to the Free Library tonight and to the Crowne Plaza Hotel all day Saturday. The convention was conceived by a small group of visual storytellers, artists, and their fans, who began meeting 20 years ago in relative secret in Philadelphia. They had recognized one another's talents from a distance by admiring comic books.
December 26, 2008 |
Hard-boiled and half-baked, The Spirit mashes vintage comic strips with new-fangled CGI, sucking the very life out of a mid-century pop icon in the process. Frank Miller, who began his career as an artist for Marvel (Daredevil was one of his early assignments), now seems bent on transposing the multi-panel, word-balloon format of comic books to live-action film in the most soul-crushing ways. Having collaborated with Robert Rodriguez on the green-screened, pinup pulp of Sin City, Miller takes his solo directing shot with The Spirit.