#392 Writing the Book on Miller’s “Daredevil”

daredevil2Tim Across America pt 2! In Nashville, Tim visits with his brother Paul about his progress on his book about Frank Miller’s Daredevil run. What was Daredevil like before Miller got ahold of the book? What was Miller’s inspiration for making it more of a gritty crime book? How did he end up contradicting his own original take on the character?

Also, a visit with The Great Escape in Madison, TN!

#049 “Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Catwoman” & figure-drawing class

Tim & Brandon discuss “Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Catwoman” by Ron Marz and Igor Kordey! Also: Brandon talks about an online figure-drawing class he took, and we different philosophies of how to become a versatile artist. Is it better to start with figure-drawing training, or is it better to figure out your style on your own? How important is it to have experience drawing “Bigfoot” funny comics? (originally published November 13, 2006)

REVIEW: Supergods – What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

By Grant Morrison

Spiegel & Grau 2011

Grant Morrison is a decisive subject in comics. Many love his work. Many love to hate his work. Many just don’t know what to think of him.

What Morrison delivers with Supergods is a unique text about comics. It is part history, part deconstructionist analysis, part personal memoir, part reflexive view of his own work. It is a varied and interesting book that provides some fascinating insight into his ideas about the superhero.

The book follows a basic chronological structure that is divided along 4 ages: Golden Age, Silver Age, Modern Age, and Renaissance (starting the late 1990s). He deconstructs covers of famous comics such as Action #1, Detective #27, and The Dark Knight Returns #1. Certain key characters and stories are reflected on. It is not really any unique ground that is tread as far as the history of comics is concerned, were it not for Morrison’s uncanny intellectualizing of the materials in a way that augments their historicism with a psychological attention reflection on the material. Continue reading REVIEW: Supergods – What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Arkham City: New Takes of the Batman Characters from the Comics and Movies

I recently bought the video game Batman: Arkham City and was amazed by the content. Batman: Arkham City involves Gotham City being taken over by the villains that Batman has sent to Arkham Asylum throughout the years.  The Batman villains have taken some of the residents of Gotham City hostage and some of the Gotham City Police officers hostage.

Batman: Arkham City begins with a segment where Bruce Wayne is making a speech.  While he is speaking, Vikki Vale is shown reporting on the speech.  In the middle of Bruce Wayne’s speech, he is kidnapped by Hugo Strange’s henchmen.  Bruce Wayne is then taken to a room and tied up in a chair.  Then Hugo Strange begins to talk smack to Bruce Wayne.  From there the game starts.  When the game starts, you have to use your XBOX controller to get Bruce Wayne to escape from captivity in the chair.  The screen will give you hints on what buttons to push in order get Bruce to rock back and forth in the chair.  Rocking back and forth will get Bruce to fall and break the chair, thus escaping from captivity.  Once you get him to break out of the chair, Hugo Strange’s henchmen will start running in the room to give Bruce Wayne the beatdown.  It will be your job to fight off the henchmen.  Once you defeat the henchmen, you will have to find the rocket that Alfred will send to Bruce.  This rocket will have the Batman suit in it for Bruce to change into.  From there, you will be able to put Batman into some serious action.

What makes Batman: Arkham City so great is the fact that players of the game can choose to go anywhere they want.  Players can choose the outcome of the game by going anywhere in Arkham City.  Wherever you go in Arkham City will depend on what happens.

Each villain has their own section in Arkham City that that villain owns.  Each villain’s territory is guarded by their henchmen.  When you are far away from a villain, you will encounter thugs that have bats.  The thugs with baseball bats are easier to defeat.  However, if you get close to a villain, you will encounter henchmen with guns.  The thugs with guns are a lot more difficult to defeat.  You will have to use more of a strategy to take down thugs with guns by using smoke pellets.  Once you get Batman to use the smoke pellets, you can get Batman to hide in the smoke and capture the thugs one by one.  Doing this takes a long time to do because Batman will have to use his harpoon to hang from the top of buildings and swoop down on the gun armed thugs.  You have to wait until the right time to get each thug.

The thing that really makes Batman: Arkham City stand out is the fresh new takes on the Batman characters.  Batman: Arkham City does a good job at mixing elements from the Batman comics and all of the Batman movies.

In Batman: Arkham City, The Joker is supposed to be dying from a fatal illness.  As Batman runs through Gotham City, you will overhear people talking about The Joker dying.  There are also parts in the game where you can see the Joker’s sickly looking face.  Just like in the cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, The Joker is voiced by Mark Hamil from Star Wars.  Also, Kevin Conroy, who voiced Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, also voices Batman in the Batman: Arkham City video game.

The interesting thing about The Riddler’s voice is that it sounds just like Jim Carrey in the movie Batman Forever.  However, The Riddler is voiced by Wally Wingert, who did work on the cartoons Family Guy and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The Penguin is a villain that had a very good makeover in this video game.  In this game, the Penguin has an English accent.  This works considering The Penguin’s proper look.  Another makeover for The Penguin a change in his monocle.  Instead of a monocle on The Penguin’s eye, he has a piece of a broken beer bottle lodged in his eye.  Other characters featured in Batman: Arkham City are Barbara Gordon, Harley Quinn, and Bane.

If you lose at a certain level, you will hear some very harsh words from the villain who owns the territory you where in when you lost.  This will definitely motivate you to play the game over again.

All of the different elements taken from everything related to Batman makes Batman: Arkham City a great buy.  The game will have you playing for hours with riddles that you will not want to stop trying to figure out.

Kumar’s Link Regurg-a-thon #2!

I like the art of Adam Hughes very much, but this statue is bad:

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/03/24/batgirl-statue-adam-hughes/

Not comics, but this seems to be the season for Leiji Matsumoto movies:

CG Captain Harlock — http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-03-24/captain-harlock-new-cg-pilot-images-staff-revealed

Live Action Uchu Senkan Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers in the US) — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jExoH_JjMZg

Galaxy Express 999 is one of my all-time favorite manga. Some day we are going to cover it on the podcast, I swear.

When you are not listening to Deconstructing Comics, I highly recommend you check out Gary Groth’s interview with Todd McFarlane from the early days of Image. Hilariously and  predictably, within months of this interview McFarlane began engaging in various business practices which contradicted much of what he states here. He did, however, stand firm by his word that there was no point in him trying to improve as an artist:

http://www.tcj.com/multimedia

Finally, Fantagraphics has a preview up of their new CAPATIN EASY book, one of my all-time favorite newspaper strips:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Captain-Easy-Soldier-of-Fortune-Vol.-1-by-Roy-Crane—Previews-Pre-Order.html&Itemid=113

KS

#196 Batman Begins…and Ends

9/7/09 Batman Begins…and Ends

Frank Miller produced two of the most influential Batman books ever, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, within a short period in the mid-’80s. The stories present the end and beginning of Batman’s career, respectively. Tim and Kumar talk about what’s good, and in some cases maybe a bit annoying, about both books.

ERIC’S “TAKE THE DARK KNIGHT TO THE IMAX!” COMICS NOW! NEWSLETTER

VOL. 10 #10 – October 2008

INTRODUCTION
————————

Now that I live in a larger city instead of the tiny, little, backwater town
in the Appalachian Mountains that I used to, I now have access to an IMAX
theater. So it was that at 8:00am Sunday a few weeks ago, I decided to
check out the new Batman movie in all of its IMAX glory (certain action
sequences and interstitials were filmed in IMAX’s super-large 70mm film
format goodness.

The Dark Knight is absolutely spectacular. In fact, the supporting cast is
so excellent that you might not notice that there isn’t a whole lot of
Batman time in the film. In addition, Heath Ledger is freaking spectacular
as The Joker (and this scripting of the Joker is the most accurate of the
villain to date).

Continue reading ERIC’S “TAKE THE DARK KNIGHT TO THE IMAX!” COMICS NOW! NEWSLETTER