April 27, 2016 |
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.
April 24, 2016 |
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.
April 15, 2016 |
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 )
April 11, 2016 |
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.
March 25, 2016 |
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.
March 15, 2016 |
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.
February 12, 2016 |
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.
January 29, 2016 |
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.
January 22, 2016 |
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)
January 10, 2016 |
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)