ANIMATED COMIC COVERS. More please. Make this a reality.
Daniel Clowes’ Death Ray is one of the only consolations of the end of summer.
The Death-Ray will be in stores in Fall 2011. It is the story of the teen outcast Andy, an orphaned nobody with only one friend, the obnoxious-but-loyal Louie. They roam school halls and city streets, invisible to everyone but bullies and tormentors, until the glorious day when Andy takes his first puff on a cigarette. That night he wakes, heart pounding, soaked in sweat, and finds himself suddenly overcome with the peculiar notion that he can do anything. Indeed, he can and as he learns the extent of his new powers, he discovers a terrible and seductive gadget – a hideous compliment to his seething rage – that forever changes everything. The DEATH-RAY utilizes the classic staples of the superhero genre - origin, costume, ray-gun. sidekick, fight scene - reconfiguring them in a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery and an obvious affection for the bold Pop Art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the the darkness of the human psyche.
Motion-picture rights to The Death-Ray are in development with Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions, with noted director Chris Milk attached to direct.
It’s not a huge secret that I’m a fan of the Captain America series, and while I thought I knew a good amount about Cap’s origin it seems there’s a lot of things that are lost over almost 70 years of retconning, and the repeated freezing and unfreezing of Steve Rogers.
I did a little research and found some interesting, and really cool stuff:
Simon said Captain America was a consciously political creation; he and Kirby were morally repulsed by the actions of Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the United States’ involvement in World War II and felt war was inevitable: “The opponents to the war were all quite well organized. We wanted to have our say too.”
Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) — on sale in December 1940, a year before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but a full year into World War II, showed the protagonist punching Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the jaw — sold nearly one million copies. While most readers responded favorably to the comic, some took objection. Simon noted, “When the first issue came out we got a lot of… threatening letters and hate mail. Some people really opposed what Cap stood for. Though preceded as a “patriotically themed superhero” by MLJ’s The Shield, Captain America immediately became the most prominent and enduring of that wave of superheroes introduced in American comic books prior to and during World War II.
After America became involved in World War Two, Timely Comics superhero Captain America’s Jewish creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby pitted their star-spangled warrior against the Nazi agent Red Skull. Captain America’s alter ego Steve Rogers could be seen as a symbol for the way Jews were stereotypically depicted as frail and passive. That is, until he took a serum that transformed him into the robust Captain America. The serum was created by “Professor Reinstein,” an obvious nod to famed Jewish physicist Albert Einstein.
Illustration by Thomas Boatwright
I for one think it’s fun to see different takes on our favorite comic heroes. It’s safe to say I like most of the Elseworlds stuff I’ve come across, primarily because I find it refreshing and interesting to see a new perspective that plays on the things we love about them.
I think it’s inherently human to want to know how people we admire would react if placed in new and strange circumstances, when faced with challenges we all face without the help (or hindrance) of superpowers.
I really like this piece, even if it wasn’t intended to be provocative or if it was just a quick sketch. No one lives forever, and no one dies a perfect death. Death is something we all fear and hate (and aren’t prepared for) and I think that’s why as admirers of these characters, we’re outraged when some of them experience it. They almost always come back, but for a time we’re left to dwell on the idea that something so full of meaning, hope, and redemption is gone forever, and we’re forced to look at this eventuality for ourselves. Life is finite, everything great in this world has a beginning and an end.
But I’m always glad when they come back, even if it’s all retconned to hell.
Source: Flickr / hammotime
Heard from someone that this was as good as Mignola’s Batman Elseworlds run, The Doom That Came To Gotham.
So I purchased on the Ebays.
In 1876, the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia is turned upside down by the appearance of Clark Kent, a man blessed with numerous super powers. With the Industrial Revolution in full swing, Clark quickly finds himself falling in with Thomas Edison and his assistant Lex Luthor to help move technology forward in leaps and bounds. As others with remarkable powers arrive on the scene, it truly seems to be an age of wonder—but how far will those with technology go to keep their superiority?
So over the weekend I visited one of the 2 used book stores on the west side of Madison (as I do periodically, to snag trades for 1/3-1/2 the cover price) when I came across this treasure for $1.50.
You see, Captain America 409 was the first comic book I ever read. As I re-read it this past Saturday afternoon, Gruenwald’s cheesy dialog and Rik Levins’ lines took me back to 1992 in Meadowood Pharmacy, getting yelled at by the clerk for reading and not buying. I remember being embarrassed, paying for the book with my $2 allowance and running all the way home so I could finish reading. It wasn’t until about halfway home I realized I left my change at the store. Oh well.
My copy was long ago destroyed or lost, and now I’ve got one back. Bagged and boarded for $1.50.
I’ve no excuse for waiting so long to watch the animated pilot for The Amazing Screw-on Head.
I will say it’s every single thing I love about Mignola, from the art to the dialog and all the jokes in between. Nigh perfection. It’s sad that SyFy never picked it up as a series but I suppose it might be for the better. They’d be hard-pressed not to ruin it at some point, and never had the chance.
You can watch it in its entirety here.
Go watch, it’s absolutely brilliant and its humor might even cause you to make water in your pantaloons.
(PS While you’re at it, head on over to the boss▲battle™ Mignolaverse®affiliate HeckYesHellboy and click the follow button. kthanks.)