Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010

From time to time, every decade or so, DC comes out with a decent rendition of one of its key creations in the medium of film or television. But, rarely, both at the same time. Or the same decade.


Now, some will disagree and I will honor that disagreement as a gentleman. Times and preferences change. My enthusiasm for re-runs of the 1960s Batman television series and Tim Burton’s big screen remake in 1989 did not translate into a passion for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins or The Dark Knight (though I acknowledge the compelling storytelling and artistry of both that keep fans wanting more). I even found Batman Forever psychologically compelling. And, yes, like many others I celebrated Christopher Reeve as the big-screen Superman and could even tolerate Brandon Routh in the role in the 21st century remake, Superman Returns. And despite its many, many flaws, I still love the 1980s big screen version of Supergirl with Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway and Peter O’Toole.


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Thursday, Feb 25, 2010

Modesty Blaise beguiles. When we first meet her, in her 1963 debut storyline, “La Machine”, she has already retired from a successful life of crime. Two secret service agents request her help, and as they review their dossier on her, the description arises that she has a ‘hint of Eurasian features’.


With her Breakfast at Tiffany’s hairdo, a Jane Russell figure, and a penchant for ditching her shirt, it would be tempting to dismiss Modesty Blaise as a simple pastiche of early 60s pop culture sex kittens added to a James Bond template.


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Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010

Stories about ‘growing up’ are timeless. The time, place, or circumstances may change, but a boy always becomes a man, and a girl always becomes a woman. I could share personal stories about how I did not get along with my father while I was in high school. I am sure you have your own stories. Everyone does. Growing up and becoming an adult is tough. Just as we deal with these problems in everyday life, the characters we read about in our comic books have problems as well.


 


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Monday, Feb 22, 2010

I confess that for years I was one of those readers that sometimes read through a comic book without paying as much attention to the artwork as I did to the writing. This was no doubt due to a combination of my laziness as a reader, and the sometimes formulaic approach some artists take to their work.


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Saturday, Feb 20, 2010

It’s a flashback to an Ennis moment from Way Back When. With Hellblazer #63, titled “Forty”, Ennis was approaching the 18-month mark on his scripting duties for the series that arguably established him in the popular imagination. By this time, his acclaimed collaboration with artist Steve Dillon was already well underway.


“Forty” was a just-kicking-back kind of standalone issue; hugely important to character development, but one that appeared between the major politics of two storyarcs. As to be expected from the title, this issue marks the fortieth birthday of John Constantine, the titular Hellblazer. And the issue tells the story of the rumpled, disheveled, curmudgeonly way in which Constantine accepts the surprise party hosted by his magickal compatriots (if not quite friends).


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