CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Nine years on, and Smallville has shed its history as a Dawson's Creek clone like an unwanted skin, and is now ready to fly...

It’s almost time for a full-on celebration of all things Smallville as it ends its ninth season and has already been greenlighted for its tenth. While the show began as a the Dawson’s Creek of DC Superhero adaptations, it has emerged, in the eyes of this writer, as the most legit adaptation of the Man of Steel since Superman: The Motion Picture.

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Monday, May 10, 2010
"Thriller was the first television program to discover the goldmine in those back issues of Weird Tales," Stephen King writes in Danse Macabre.
Boris Karloff before…

Boris Karloff before…

Stephen King wrote that “probably the best horror series ever put on TV was Thriller, which ran on NBC from September of 1960 until the summer of 1962—really only two seasons plus reruns.”

A horror-anthology show in the style of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, Thriller featured horror movie icon Boris Karloff as the host and occasional star.

Thriller was the first television program to discover the goldmine in those back issues of Weird Tales,” King writes in Danse Macabre.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010
Space God Archaeology: John Romita Jr. defines the visual genre of "The Eternals" just as Jack Kirby did a generation ago.

In this edition of his regular segment on the correspondence between comics and religion, Andy Smith examines that classic creation of industry great Jack Kirby, ‘The Eternals’.

With as much ideological diversity as our own planet may contain, the Marvel Universe has acknowledged thousands more religions since its inception. Even more so than acknowledging them, Marvel has even connected fictional religions to pre-existing ones.

Perhaps one of the more iconic Marvel religions is that of the Eternals. Devised by Jack Kirby, fresh off his New Gods creation and during an apparent religion kick in the ‘70s, the Eternals were a race born from the Celestials.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tim Burton's 1989 adaptation of Batman introduced the notion of the superhero as metaphor for both the celebrity and the tortured artist.

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky.
And as I wonder where you are,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.
—Hank Williams (1923-1953), “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

There are millions who know his name
Everybody loves him.
Why is it that he feels so alone?
Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise crazy
Just be glad it’s him, not you.
If you had Tom Cruise’s troubles
You might be Tom Cruise crazy, too.
You’d flash your big white shiny smile
And buy expensive shoes
But you’d be the only man on Earth who couldn’t enjoy Tom Cruise.
—Jonathan Coulton (1970-present), “Tom Cruise Crazy”

Growing up in oppressive suburban America, Tim Burton felt trapped. And in a place filled with nothing but white picket fences protecting white houses filled with white families, what creative individual wouldn’t? It’s no wonder, then, that the acclaimed auteur of such films as Big Fish and Ed Wood found himself struggling with depression, fighting to escape from the box suburbia attempted to trap him in.

It’s a theme inherent in most of his work; in his retelling of Planet of the Apes, the astronaut Leo Davidson finds himself in a backwards society, trapped by those who would make him a slave as he attempts to return to his homeworld. The recent Alice in Wonderland subverts gender expectations of your usual Burton film—and for the period in which it takes place—as young Alice Kingsley rejects British customs and instead decides to make her own way in the world, taking what most people of the time would consider a man’s job.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Surely not? Surely not Batman on Broadway?! What's next... Batman on Ice?

I’ve been in a bit of a funk ever since I heard about the planned Broadway adaptation of Batman. Some things just shouldn’t go from the page to the stage and Batman’s one of them. Now, yes, I can imagine a child enjoying the Bam! Pow! Action of the Dark Knight live and in the flesh, but there’s just something wrong, nay, unholy about a Batman stage show.

First off, it reminds me of when I saw Bugs Bunny in Space on stage as a child. An enjoyable outing, but do we really want Batman reduced to the level of the legendary, albeit hardcore cartoony character Bugs Bunny? What’s next: Batman on Ice? Actually, that would be kinda cool. I might prefer that to a stage version of Batman. There’s just something wrong with Batman flying around stage like Peter Pan with Jungian shadow issues. Especially if there’s no music.

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