May 1, 2015 |
Philadelphia missed out on the first wave of hard-boiled American crime writing 90 years ago. Civic corruption was a main concern in many of those stories, and Philadelphia famously did not care about such things. By the time the city made its mark in crime fiction, such social issues had fallen by the wayside, and the individual took center stage. Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, American crime stories offered up legions of small-timers, desperate men who struggled against long odds and almost always lost.
July 21, 2012 |
Debuting in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939 (a mint copy will get you $1 million or more today), artist Bob Kane's Batman didn't have the otherworldly powers of DC's big star, Superman, but he did have a cool cowl and cape getup, a nifty alter ego (Bruce Wayne, millionaire philanthropist), and a determination to rid Gotham City of its crooks and goons. Getting his own comic book the following spring, Batman has been with us ever since, with his rogues gallery of neurotic nemeses, his trusty footman Alfred, that Robin kid, and various girlfriends and girl-fiends wondering why Bruce Wayne and Batman are never in the same place at the same time.
October 3, 2011
Don't dumb down the classics Having read all of the books mentioned in the article "Adapting classic books into graphic novels" (Wednesday), I have no words to express my horror at dumbing down these classics and turning them into comic books and "graphic novels" under the guise of "increasing literacy. " I wouldn't touch these publications with a 10-foot pole. Please, rethink this one. Classics are classics for a reason. The authors show us how ideas can be expressed by their extraordinary use of language and understanding of history and how it relates to conditions in society.
September 28, 2011 |
We all know how the story goes: book becomes bestseller, bestseller becomes Hollywood blockbuster. It's expected that our favorite reads will one day leap off the page and onto the silver screen. But today, popular volumes are finding a second life on the shelf, visually reimagined as comic books. A seemingly limitless number of classics are available in kid-friendly comic versions, from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to A Tale of Two Cities. The Diary of Anne Frank, Fahrenheit 451, and even The Book of Genesis have all been transformed into comics.
August 23, 2011
Invincible. Amazing. Unstoppable. When I was a kid, such larger-than-life language sucked me into the world of comic books. They featured ordinary people for the most part, who through a set of bizarre circumstances acquired powers that made them superheroes. The Avenging Angel. The Diabolical Dr. Doom. And my all-time favorite, the Uncanny X-Men. The combination of great illustrations, over-the-top prose, and riveting story lines kept me spending my 25 cents each week for the next cliff-hanger.
June 3, 2011 |
Writers and their writing are serious business, but scribes enjoy a fun side, too. Art Sanctuary's 27th Annual Celebration of Black Writing, which began May 27, will end with a lighthearted flourish - a daylong event Saturday at Temple University that promises to live up to the festival's theme for this year: "Word Play: Let's Have Some Serious Fun!" The free event will include panel discussions and workshops as well as outdoor musical and comedy acts, and a family pavilion with activities for children, teens, and adults.
May 14, 2011 |
There's nothing quite like a hard-core horror pic about a vampire-hunting priest to get the blood pumping on date night. Priest is not that movie. A derivative mutt that haphazardly mixes half a dozen incompatible genres, this 3D picture reteams director Scott Charles Stewart and star Paul Bettany, who churned out the equally addled Legion in 2009. The two pictures are twins. Legion featured Bettany as a rebellious warrior-angel who descends to Earth on the eve of Armaggedon to save a woman from drooling, icky-looking demons.
August 22, 2010 |
Comic book writer John Arcudi hates superheroes. Always has. Always will. A strange admission for the creator of one of the year's most critically acclaimed superhero graphic novels, a god somewhere (WildStorm, $24.99). "I was never really interested in superhero comics when I was a kid," says the Philadelphia author in an eyebrow-raising statement. "To me, the whole idea of superhuman beings is so ridiculous. . . . I find them absolutely impossible to understand.
August 13, 2010 |
FOR A MOVIE that's so hip in terms of its visual style, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" has been in the works for a long time. The process started in 2004 when director Edgar Wright first got Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel shortly after publication. Just off "Shaun of the Dead," which features its own unique mix of styles, Wright was instantly drawn to "Pilgrim's" hyperkinetic mash-up of comic book, video game and manga. "This is your next movie," he thought. But it wasn't.