Tag: comic books

Holy reboot, Batman! To debate the merits of the latest incarnation of Batman, this time with Matt Reeves directing Robert Pattinson in The Batman, Jack brings Young Americans stalwart Alec Dent, who writes about culture and checks facts for The Dispatch, back to the show. Jack was not a fan; Alec was (after a second viewing). Tune in for the exciting clash of opinions, along with broader thoughts on the enduring appeal of Batman as a character.

Stan the Man and How He Transformed Comics

 

Comic books started out in the mid-twentieth century. Originally they were “kid stuff.” As the twentieth century ended they had become a major cultural influence. No man was more responsible for that transformation than Stan Lee. Stan Lee: A Life in Comics, by Liel Leibovitz explores Lee’s life in a biography revealing the man and his influence.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922, Lee grew up in New York City. Good with words, Lee grew up a reader, retreating into books and writing as his father’s career collapsed during the Depression. After high school, deciding to become a writer, he shortened his name to Stan Lee. Comics were not adolescent Lee’s main interest. He read and enjoyed the newspaper comics, but his real love was literature. Shakespeare and movies fascinated him.

Lee drifted into comics. After high school, following a series of unsuccessful jobs, he asked an uncle for help. His uncle sent Lee to Timely Publications, owned by another relative. Timely published pulp – anything that sold. The newest hot seller was comic books. Lee became the errand boy for comic book illustrators Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

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If you’re like me, and I know I am, you’ve been following the slow and painful death of the mainstream comic book industry. After a gigantic peak in the 90’s, the industry in the past decade has been cratering rather alarmingly with low sales and comic book shops closing their doors or simply ending comic […]

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Shall we file this under “What’s wrong with Ricochet”? Seriously people? The Largest blockbuster movie to ever flicker across the movie screen and no one has yet posted about it. It made over a billion dollars in four days over the weekend, it will probably make another billion dollars by the end of this weekend, […]

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I will spare you my full review (with Film Culture and Did You Know) but if you’re interesting you can click this link: http://tomconinereviews.blogspot.com/2019/01/teen-titans-go-to-movies-direction-by.html Here’s a mini-summary: I watched the movie on a lark because a few friends of mine are compiling lists of Best Of for 2018. My job, being that I’m the resident geek (which is weird […]

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  Direction by Ruben Fleischer Screenplay by Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel Story by Pinkner & Rosenberg “Eyes, Lungs, Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!” – Venom   To be fair to that Three Star rating, Venom is garbage. There isn’t any real reason you should be watching this ill-conceived, Shared Universe-disconnected, pandering […]

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  Direction by Peyton Reed Screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari “Well, the ’60s were fun, but now I’m paying for it.” – Stan Lee   Ant-Man and the Wasp, or Marvel Cinematic Universe Episode 20, or Phase 3 Part 8, or Ant-Man 2, is the family-friendly respite […]

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“Right now, America is in a state of fundamental moral conflict. On the one side, we have a group of people with incredible power available at their fingertips. Most of them have no desire to hurt anyone and simply wish to be left alone. A relatively minor few have abused that power and caused catastrophic […]

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Since the current state of politics makes me cry I thought I’d share some posts about one of my favorite topics, comic books. There are lots of strange comics out there, some well known and some not so much. Everyone who either was a kid or has had kids in the last thirty years is […]

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Heroes, Violence, and the Devil’s Tempation

 

marvels-daredevilnEditors’ Note: This post contains spoilers regarding the first seasons of “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones”, as well as references to other superhero movies and shows.

Given its dependence on violence, the superhero genre struggles under a childish reluctance to explore its implications. As a general rule, superheroes — exemplified by Batman and Superman — are not allowed to kill their antagonists, but are expected to bring them to justice and (hopefully) repentance. Villains don’t always live to commit another crime or threaten another city, but they are far more likely to meet their end through suicide or their own hubris, rather than at the end of a hero’s fists, blade, or — God forbid — gun. And even when this hero’s rule is broken (even Superman and Batman have killed), it’s rarely give the weight it deserves, and is often undone by the genre’s reliance on resurrection and reboots.

https://youtu.be/m5_A0Wx0jU4

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To be clear, “Peanuts” is a closed book.  It was the music of one man’s soul, who chose to end it and then died mere hours before that end was published.  Then there was a gap, about ten years long.  More recently there has been new content under that brand, including the movie opening this […]

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The Power of Mediocre Children’s Fiction

 

”””””””””nancy-drew-books-cover”””””””””Reach back in your mind to the time when you emerged as an independent reader. You could choose your own material, and didn’t have to rely on others to read it for you. What stories did you prefer? For some of us, the books that drew us in weren’t sophisticated. In fact, there’s a good chance the books you’re recalling were formulaic series that publishers cranked out at high volume. Although it’s tempting for parents to steer their children toward richer literature, there is a case to be made that you actually derived benefit from your obsession with Superman comics or your seven weeks in a row of checking out Babysitters Club books.

Students who learn ably to read and write early on, and then build on that knowledge exponentially throughout their education, are ones who enter Kindergarten already primed with a large vocabulary. This vocabulary development comes from regular conversation with loved ones at home, life experiences such as outdoor walks and petting zoos, playtime with other children, and hearing books read aloud.

With such a stimulating and varied daily life, children build a network of long-term memories through which to interpret anything new they come across. The more they know — the greater number of connections they formed — the faster new information is meaningfully processed and assimilated. A child’s knowledge can be expressed and demonstrated in terms of vocabulary, words with their attendant associations and indication of familiarity with a domain. Any book that increases that word-hoard, filling out familiar concepts and introducing new ideas, strengthens the mental network and thus lays the groundwork for further learning. In sum, reading mediocre children’s fiction makes you smart.