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ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 1989 | By John Barbour, Special to the Daily News
Call it a laughter explosion. Ten years ago there were fewer than 20 comedy clubs in the United States. Today there are some 225 of them out there, dedicated to making people laugh for a $10 to $20 cover charge and the price of a drink or two. It's a growth rate of nine clubs a year for the last quarter of a century. And thousands of comics are laughing their way to the bank. They can find work on some 700 stages where comics are featured, not to mention the growing number of comedy shows on television.
NEWS
December 30, 1992 | by Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
The Rodney Dangerfields of Mummery say that cutting time off their comic performances in the New Year's parade is no laughing matter. Murray Comic Club President Rich Porco says he'll cooperate fully with Mayor Rendell's challenge to speed the parade, but he's tired of Comics getting blamed for delays and rowdiness. "We're stacking people more tightly. We're discouraging conversations with sidewalk fans. We're urging immediate reaction to signals by starters and officers to keep the parade moving," Porco said Monday night as he issued marching orders for his Comic army of 1,900 clowns, wenches and characters.
NEWS
February 15, 1991 | By Andy Wallace, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don't tell the kids, but Julius Tarshis, the man who used to make the color plates for the printing of Batman, Superman and other great comic figures, loved the Sistine Chapel. "When he went to Rome, he sat there for four hours looking at the ceiling," said his daughter, Sandra Herbets. "He flipped out - literally -when he went to Europe and Spain. My mother would walk out (of a museum) and come back and he would still be there. " Mr. Tarshis, 87, who studied to be an artist, but who made his living as a photoengraver for comics, died Tuesday at his home in Meadowbrook, near Jenkintown.
LIVING
January 18, 1987 | By Richard Zacks, Special to The Inquirer
The odds of succeeding as a stand-up comic are pretty small. First, you play in smoky bars for all the food you can eat, then graduate to opening in Chattanooga, Tenn., for a country-and-western act. Then, if you slay 'em on all the college campuses and People magazine does a paragraph-long profile, maybe you get a shot on cable television. Cable has turned into an electronic Borscht Belt for comics who would be big. It's the slippery middle step between local and national fame.
NEWS
May 1, 2001
Can't we have other continuous-plot comics besides "Gil Thorp"? We used to have Mary Worth, Brenda Starr, Dick Tracy, etc. And why is "Gil Thorp" relegated to the back pages? Everyone tears the paper apart looking for it. My kids went through a snowstorm to get the Daily News to see what happened to Gil. MARION VANDERGRIFT, Philadelphia
NEWS
August 21, 2011
Stan Wischnowski is the editor of The Inquirer 'You have removed several really good comics. . . . You indicate some can be found online. What if one does not have a computer? You have crammed all the comics onto one page, and puzzles on another. . . . You have changed your editorial pages, which was no improvement. . . . What's going on here?!" These sentiments of a longtime reader are representative of the mail I've been receiving as a result of recent changes in the paper.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 1989 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
"The more you drive, the less intelligent you are," theorized Miller, the spaced-out auto mechanic in Repo Man. And now, with Speed Zone - at last count the third film about that yawning cross-country car race, the Cannonball Run - you have irrefutable proof of his theory. A moving violation in more ways than one, Speed Zone stars SCTV alumni John Candy, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty as entrants in the unsanctioned road event that is the cinematic equivalent of a demolition derby.
NEWS
March 4, 1996 | by Lewis Beale, New York Daily News
"Doesn't Pat Buchanan look like the kid you went to school with, the one who was always beating up the kid who looked like Steve Forbes?" Another "Late Show," another riff from a Letterman monologue. It's the day after the Iowa caucuses, and Dave is ready for a season of political jokery. Same as it ever was. But in election year 1996, the state of political humor is not what it was in the 1960s and '70s, when Dick Gregory, Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce attacked serious issues with wit; Vaughn Meader and David Frye sold millions of albums by impersonating presidents; and Johnny Carson's nightly monologue was as important to the TV age as Will Rogers' musings were to the Depression Era. "It has to do with the climate of entertainment" today, says Paula Poundstone, who has done comic coverage of the political conventions for "The Tonight Show.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2015 | Jerome Maida, For the Daily News
After fans have waited for years - some die-hards would say decades - for the cultural phenomenon that is "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," what can one do to sate the appetite for new adventures, which seems as vast and infinite as space itself? One answer: Check out the plethora of comic book adventures coming out every month from Marvel. Star Wars comic books and novels have always been popular, but now that they are being published by Marvel and have the full marketing muscle of Disney behind them, they are dominating comic book shops just as the movies have dominated theaters.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2009 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Amazon Queen is put out. Hercules and other warring males are muscling in on her and her gals. "Stupid men!" she spits. "You have no chance against us as long as we wear Aphrodite's magic girdle!" What's amazing about that line is not that a character in a Fringe cast would use it, but that someone else did: It and all the lines in Super Heroes Who Are Super! from Plays & Players come straight from the comics - in this case, the very first Wonder Woman, from 1942. Ten actors, scripts in hand (and in the case of Melissa Lynch, looking great in her red Wonder Woman dress)
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2016 | By Elizabeth Wellington, Fashion Writer
Even if you're just the occasional reader of Jump Start , West Philadelphia native Robb Armstrong's 27-year-old award-winning comic strip, you're likely to assume Armstrong lived quite the charmed life. At the heart of the daily strip, the largest ever syndicated by an African American, is the perfectly nuclear Cobb family, helmed by Philly cop Joe and wife Marcy, an emergency-room nurse. Marcy and Joe have four children: nature-loving daughter Sunny, snarky son Jo-Jo, and a set of fraternal twins.
NEWS
April 24, 2016 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
It's a late night at Sansom Street's Helium Comedy Club, and Doogie Horner - an absurdist stand-up comedian and former Philadelphian who recently moved to Queens - is on stage, talking about his debut album, recorded at the club last year, and his coming gigs in the area. "I'm a delicate man made for a smaller planet," Horner says, echoing both the title of his album ( A Delicate Man ) and his awkward position as a new family man in a hipster-conscious New York City borough, joking about difficulties at Home Depot and his habit of "pulling his back while sitting.
NEWS
April 15, 2016 | By Howard Gensler
AS TATTLE has been following the comics of Horsham-based Zenescope Entertainment since we met founders Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha at a comic-book convention years ago, we were excited to learn last fall that the company's Van Helsing character was getting her own TV show, which was confirmed through imdb.com. More impressive, filmmaker/playwright Neil LaBute ( The Company of Men , Nurse Betty ) is the show's writer/showrunner and Kelly Overton ( Legends , True Blood )
NEWS
April 11, 2016 | By Patrick Hamilton and Allan Austin
Patrick Hamilton is an associate professor of English at Misericordia University. Allan Austin is a professor of history and government at Misericordia. Comics' first black superhero - Marvel's Black Panther - is undergoing a bit of a renaissance this spring. The character, played by Chadwick Boseman, will soon join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuting in May's Captain America: Civil War before headlining his own film, scheduled for release in 2018. In addition, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award winner and MacArthur "genius grant" recipient, will write a new Black Panther series with artist Brian Stelfreeze.
NEWS
March 25, 2016 | By Jerome Maida, For the Daily News
Although Batman and Superman will appear and fight on the big screen for the first time in a film hitting screens this weekend, the seemingly odd matchup has happened several times in the comics. Why are Superman and Batman presented at cross purposes so often - and why do fans enjoy that conflict? "People find the conflict between Superman and Batman compelling because the disparity in power levels of the two characters means that Batman will always have to come up with some incredibly clever strategy to survive and even triumph," said comics writer and historian Danny Fingeroth, author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society . "On the other hand, Superman's character will be tested as he has to battle an adversary who is so much less powerful, without killing him or looking like a bully.
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer
In the comic book world of author Pearl S. Buck, the superhero is on a crusade without a cape, mask, or phone booth for a quick change. Johnny Everyman, a civil engineer by day and night, fights for ethnic and racial justice using only his powers of persuasion. Billed as the "friend of the people of many lands," Everyman was the Nobel Prize-winning writer's effort to spread a message of acceptance and cross-cultural understanding in the 1940s, when the world was at war and prejudice and xenophobia were widespread.
NEWS
February 12, 2016 | BY JEROME MAIDA, For the Daily News
As Deadpool looks to break the box-office and comic-book superhero mold for movies this weekend, Fabian Nicieza, who cocreated the groundbreaking character in comics with artist Rob Liefeld exactly 25 years ago, in February 1991, says he couldn't be happier. "I generated the civilian identity [of Wade Wilson], his personality, the tragic aspect of seeking a cure for cancer leading to a cure that cost him his sanity, and his ability to function in society in any kind of a normal way," Nicieza said.
NEWS
January 29, 2016 | By Patrick Rapa, For The Inquirer
If you ask Cameron Esposito, seeing your face on a movie screen isn't nearly as thrilling as seeing your name. The Chicago-born, L.A.-based stand-up comic known for her amicably in-your-face style, personal anecdotes, and swooping "side-mullet" has recently started to diversify. She just got back from the Sundance Film Festival, where two films by young directors - J.D. Dillard's Sleight and Kerem Sanga's First Girl I Loved - featured her in supporting roles. "Because of my stand-up stuff, and how much of my career involves promoting yourself as a brand, I see my face a lot," she said in a recent interview while on the ride home from LAX. "But one thing I haven't seen a bunch is my name on a single title card.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2016 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Jerry Lewis, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wiig - all comedians who changed their careers with a dramatic turn. As old-time agent Milt "Junior" Karp (Kenny Morris) explains in Bruce Graham's latest, Funnyman , now at the Arden Theatre, "No one takes a comic seriously until they do something serious. " So it is with Chick Sherman (Carl N. Wallnau), who, as a child vaudevillian, was forced by his parents to smoke cigars and dress like a dwarf so they could avoid child-endangerment charges (see: Buster Keaton)
NEWS
January 10, 2016 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Bruce Graham's Funnyman opens at the Arden Theatre on Thursday. The lead character, aging vaudeville slapstick comic Chick Sherman, speaks for Graham - Philly's most Philadelphia playwright - when he says, "Nobody takes comics seriously until they do something serious. " Much of Graham's theatrical output engages people, places, and events from his past. North of the Boulevard is a blue-collar affair set in the Darby auto garage his cousin owns. His first play, Burkie (now 35 years old)
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