This is an all-new clip from BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1 featuring The Mutant Leader giving his televised declaration of war on Gotham City, Commissioner Gordon and Batman. The Mutant Leader is voiced by Gary Anthony Williams, best known for his recurring roles on “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Boston Legal,” as well as voiceovers as Riff Tamsom on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Uncle Ruckus on “The Boondocks,” and Mongul in “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.” Williams’ casting as the bad-to-the-bone Mutant leader belies his true calling in comedy — he is co-founder and artistic director for the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival in Hollywood.
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, arrives September 25, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. The PG-13 film is produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.
This past weekend, DOCTOR WHO got off to an amazing start. Now we sit down with Show Runner Steven Moffat to talk about the thrill ride that lies ahead over the next few weeks. Plus more with NBC’s GUYS WITH KIDS, and Ellen Barkin talks about censorship and her new series, THE NEW NORMAL. Oh yeah – like the BBC’s SHERLOCK? Are you ready for a manga version?
We preview two new comedies from NBC – starting with Jimmy Fallon‘s GUYS WITH KIDS, featuring Anthony Anderson who is loving his return to comedy from LAW AND ORDER and THE SHIELD. Then there’s THE NEW NORMAL, a show that has already made headlines with one NBC affiliate refusing to carry it. Series regular Ellen Barkin has made her position clear on social media, but we gave her a little more space than 140 characters to explain why this show is important to us all. Plus more trouble with The Turtles reboot and DC’s ZERO issues look to be big, really big.
I love history, always have.What has always fascinated me about the people and events of the past is how truly amazing their stories were and sadly how many have been either forgotten in time or completely been altered through the lens of imperfect history.Thus the true pleasure of this amazing book by S.C. Gwynne in detailing the story of the western plains empire known as the Comencheria that encompassed a giant land mass from Colorado down through Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and into Mexico between the years 1836 and 1875.
Of course recalling some truly boring history classes in both high school and college, I long ago learned that the best histories are those that both entail the big picture of the social, cultural and economical movements that have shaped people at the same time refining this focus by spotlighting particular individuals representative of these greater factors.Gwynne does that to perfection with this book as he sets out to relate the captivating story of the most powerful Indian tribe of them all; the Comanche, considered the best horse soldiers who ever rode into combat.
Sadly most Americans my age first learned their western history via Hollywood movies and television which over the decades offered up two totally different and conflicting images of the American Indians.From the silent movie era on through to the 1940s, the red men of the plains were portrayed as merciless savages. Then, after the second World War into the sixties, the pendulum swung radically in the opposite direction and they were showcased as the noble aborigines victimized by the onrushing invasion of the European bred white society and its Manifest Destiny.Unfortunately both depictions, though containing kernels of truth, are gross exaggerations and for the most part equally untrue.
Gwynne, employing recorded accounts from various libraries, allows them to detail a race of nomads who lived off the massive buffalo herds that covered the plains and were constantly battling each other for supremacy.War was their way of life and they were good at it, inflicting as much destruction and carnage on their foes as they were capable of which included killing women and children, enslaving others and torturing captives. They expected no less from their enemies were they to be defeated.It was a cruel and barbaric way of life totally alien to anything whites of the time had ever experienced.
And as engrossing as this account is, the book then delves into the lives two of the most remarkable characters to have walk across this stage of time; Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Quanah.Kidnapped at the age of nine by the Comanche, Cynthia Ann was favored by them and as she matured became a true member of the tribe that had taken her eventually marrying a war chief and having three children with him; two boys and a girl.
The oldest, her son, Quanah, would go on to become the last and perhaps greatest Comanche war chiefs; a brilliant horseman, strategist and fearless in battle.When Cynthia Ann was recaptured by U.S. Cavalry troops in a raid that killed her Comanche hasband, Quanah, twelve at the time, eluded the soldiers and with his younger brother in tow, escaped to find another related tribe.From that point on he was on his own, a half-breed having to survive in a society that made no allowance for orphans. Through his inner strength, courage and intelligence, he became the Comanche’s most successful war chief and in the end, when the threat of total extermination loomed on the horizon, Quanah had the foresight to surrender and adapt to the new west; that imposed on him and his tribe by the victorious white invaders.
So much so, that by the time of his death, he was a famous, successful farmer who counted Teddy Roosevelt amongst his associates and allies.
“Empire of the Summer Moon,” was a finalist for the coveted Pulitzer Prize and this reviewer believes it should have won.It is a truly powerful reading experience proving once again that truth is always stranger than fiction.Amen.
This week on PULPED!, The New Pulp Podcast, Tommy Hancock is joined by Author Stephen Jared, writer of JACK AND THE JUNGLE LION, its upcoming sequel ELEPHANTS OF SHANGHAI, and his latest release TEN-A-WEEK-STEALE! Listen as they discussed New Pulp, Hollywood, and Hard Boiled!
Also, Tommy is joined by Convention Connoisseur Bobby Nash to discuss why Conventions are important and why Water applied in various ways is a Con-goer’s friend!
A few years ago a demonstrable moron of a moviegoer raised a brief public stink about Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE TWO TOWERS, claiming that this was a sneaky reference to 9/11 and that Jackson was clearly making light of the tragedy.
Informed that the book had existed for forty years and that it was an international cultural phenomenon before the hijackers were born, and that the title was therefore established, the fool doubled down. The existence on an unassailable timeline had no effect on him. He preferred his conspiracy theory, even if it was disproved by facts nobody could possibly counter. The conspiracy theory was more fun, more satisfying and (to him) more empowering.
Clearly an absolute moron, right?
So we now have Rush Limbaugh, claiming that the villain of the new Batman movie, Bane, is clearly lib’rul Hollywood’s sneaky slam at Mitt Romney, just because Romney used to work at a company called Bain.
(This is a connection made by Jon Stewart too, but Stewart, at least, knows it’s a joke.)
Okay. So forget that Bane the character has been around for years and years and years — since 1993, in fact — and that he in fact appeared in a previous Batman movie, during the Clinton Administration; you can argue that this is the kind of thing only stone geeks would know, and no doubt that argument will be made, in defense of Limbaugh’s sloppiness.
But you don’t even need that kind of specialized knowledge to tear this idiocy apart.
See, movies don’t take five minutes to make.
They require time for screenplays to be written, then rewritten; time for the cast and crew to be hired and to gather, time for the sets to be built, for the movie to be made, time for it to be scored and edited. Everybody knows this. Everybody also knows that Mitt Romney has only been the presumptive candidate for a few months. Nobody, but nobody, knew for sure that he was gonna be the guy, when the movie entered production.
Christopher Nolan, beginning to plan this final movie in his trilogy, did not suddenly have the brainstorm, “Gee! I don’t know who’s going to be the Republican nominee in 2012, but just on the OFF-CHANCE it’s Romney, two years from now, I’ll take this one Batman villain whose name is similar to a company on Romney’s resume and everybody will be so stunned by my clever political barb that they won’t vote for him!”
You discern even more stupidity when you realize that Romney’s doings at Bain have only been big-time controversial for a matter of weeks…since long after the movie was in the can. More alleged clairvoyance from Nolan.
And there’s even more than that when you take this into account: if the hero fighting Bane were Marvel’s The Black Panther — a charismatic black guy, and one LITERALLY born in Africa, who has a name of an organization that some idiots think Romney’s opponent supports — then he might have a case. But it’s Batman, a billionaire and a law unto himself. HE’S the Romney surrogate, if you have to believe that Romney has a surrogate in the movie. Thus, the metaphor Limbaugh thinks he sees doesn’t even survive simple knowledge of a character created in 1939, for crying out loud.
What gets me is that even the folks who ditto everything Limbaugh says, who might be able to spot the sheer appalling brain-dead stupidity of this particular claim, will not make the logical leap that he might have his head equally as far up his ass on some of the other things he says.
Seriously, folks: is there anybody out there who contends that this is the only time Limbaugh has just made stuff up? Or is this just the most recent, and obvious?
First, the good news. Scientists are prepared to say that, definitely, god exists.
Now the bad. (He) (she) (it)…oh dang, there are really no appropriate pronouns for a concept that transcends the very idea of gender. Let’s settle for “they” and start again: They – the god thingies – are called “Higgs bosuns,” nicknamed “god particles,” and they permeate the universe. And without them, nothing could exist, could ever have existed. (Unless, that is, there’s a kind of reality we can’t comprehend, and we’re not exactly willing to rule that out, but we’ll never know and anyhow, who cares?) Although physicists have been seeking the Higgs for a half-century because the accepted model of the universe indicated that the things had to be there, it wasn’t until July 4 that they were prepared to say, yep found it. I understand that there was some celebrating in the Land of Labs.
Me, I got my science fix when I went to see The Amazing Spider-Man at the local monsterplex and, later, caught a few minutes of Superman on the tube: the first big-budget Superman, released in 1978 and hyped with the line, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” (For the record, I didn’t.) That flick has flaws, but it’s pretty good, especially for something made when Hollywood was just beginning to learn how to make these kinds of entertainments. The only part I really dislike is the ending: the graphics, though they tell the story, are pretty crude compared to what’s preceded them. And the science…oh woe – the science. (If you want to consider this a spoiler alert, suit yourself.) Lois Lane dies in an earthquake and Superman flies counterclockwise around the Earth and thus – ready for this? – reverses time and goes back to before Lois died and happy endings all around.
Reverses time, does he? By flying counterclockwise. Uh huh.
Nothing in the Spidey flick is quite so nettlesome, but in this reinvention, the film folk chose to explain Spidey’s ability to shoot webs huge distances and make them, apparently, as strong as the occasion warrants the same way Stan Lee and Steve Ditko explained it in the first Spider-Man comic book story, way back in 1962: A teenage Spidey, who gets really good grades in science class, having acquiring amazing powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider, goes home and, you know, tinkers around and comes up with a gadget that a) does the web shooting stuff and b) is compact enough to be worn like an oversize wrist watch.
So: if he commanded such technology, why didn’t he use it for much greater good than he could achieve as a costumed vigilante and, incidentally, plunk his saintly Aunt May down in some swell digs?
For the same reason that Superman didn’t use his godlike time reversal stunt to undo every single bad thing on the whole planet? (I mean saving Lois was nice and all, but…war! Famine! Disease!)
Of course, this kind of story is basically fantasy and, I guess, we all have a private setting for our willing suspension of disbelief. I complain about plot devices that violate the story’s own “reality” and haul us out of the fiction while we try figure out how we’re supposed to accept what we’ve just seen.
Since, in superhero writing, there is a long tradition of writers using whatever’s in the zeitgeist at the moment, I expect we’ll be seeing some costumed dogooder involved with Higgs bosuns pretty soon. I hope I don’t have to mangle my willing suspension of disbelief to enjoy the story, god particle or no god particle.
Just read Emily’s column (which is here) about her, uh, misadventures as a woman who loves comics.
Next year will mark twenty years since I first wrote Jenesis for DC’s New Talent Program. And for the last twenty years everything that Emily said last week has been said ad nauseum by me, Kim Yale, Mary Mitchell, Jo Duffy, Marie Javins, Gail Simone, Joyce Brabner… and the list goes on. Every woman involved in the comics world – writer, artist, colorist, letterer, inker, reader – has experienced the overt and covert misogyny typified by Emily’s experience in that comic book store. Every one of us has been on a Women In Comics panel once, twice or more during our professional lives. We’ve all talked about changing people’s attitudes, fighting the good fight, gaining respect. The faces on the panels, the faces in the audiences, they all change, but in truth, nothing changes.
It’s all the same old guano, just ladled out of a different tureen.
I’ve always said that the comics world is a microcosm of Hollywood, and we’ve all heard or read the stories of what it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood: the struggle for respect, for work, for equal pay (well, maybe except for Meryl Streep). But now I’m thinking, maybe I’ve been wrong. I’m thinking right now that the comics world is a microcosm of American society.
After all, this is an America in which a female law student is called a whore on a nationally syndicated radio show because she wants to be able to get birth control pills through her insurance plan. An America in which the House of Representatives just voted for the 33rd time to repeal the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – which improves women’s access to maternity care, covers birth control without the need for a copay, and bars insurance companies from continuing to discriminate against women. An America in which women in the military who are raped are told to “put up and shut up.” An America in which women are told to hold an aspirin between their thighs – Bwha-ha-ha! That’s a humdinger! – to avoid pregnancy.
And it ain’t just comics or Hollywood. Female nurses – that’s me, folks – make 86.6% of what their male counterparts make, even with the same experience and education. And women in general still make $0.77 on the dollar compared to male earnings.
So what do you do about it? Don’t vote for Romney, that’s for sure. No way is he gonna improve women’s rights.
But what about in the comics world? We’re not quite at the level of law or medical school, where female students now dominate the classrooms, but women are more prevalent than ever in the field, as readers and creative folk. And most of them, I am willing to stake money on, are involved in comics because they love comics, not because their boyfriends or their fathers or their brothers dragged them to a comics shop or to the San Diego Comic-Con.
In other words:
I am woman,
Hear me roar,
In number too big to ignore….
Sorry, I forgot, this is the post-women’s liberation era.
Seriously, my advice to Emily and every other woman out there when confronted with a misogynistic geek?
Laugh at ‘em.
And watch their paraphernalia –
Well, to paraphrase George Constanza:
“The water was cold! It’s shrinkage!”
TUESDAY MORNING: Michael Davis Post-Con
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Emily S. Whitten Post-Civil War
Cover of Life In Hell No. 4, published in 1978. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No, the San Diego Comic-Con isn’t ending early… but today is the official end of Matt Groening’s comic, Life In Hell.
After exploring a world populated by “anthropomorphic rabbits and a pair of gay lovers” for over 30 years, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is putting down his pen and ending his highly acclaimed comic strip, “Life in Hell.”
The last “Life in Hell,” Groening’s 1,669th strip, was released on Friday, June 15. For the next four weeks, editors will have their choice of strips from Groening’s extensive archive before they close up shop in July on Friday the 13, which seems oddly appropriate.
“I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off,” Groening, 58, said by email.
“It’s hard to imagine how the business model that sustained alternative social-commentary and political cartooning for two decades (and is now all but dead) would have evolved had papers not discovered the power of Groening’s strip and its ability to attract readers,” said syndicated cartoonist Ted Rall by phone.
The popularity of “Life in Hell” opened a path for a new breed of alternative cartoonists to appear in alt-weeklies across the country, cartoonists like Tom Tomorrow, Ruben Bolling, Ward Sutton, Keith Knight and Rall. It also showcased the power of sharp, biting cartoons to editors looking to attain and grow a new group of readers.
“Groening is modern cartooning’s rock God, a Moses who came down from the mountain (or the East Village office of the Voice) and handed us the rules we followed,” said Rall.
“Life in Hell” actually earned Groening his big break in Hollywood. It started running in Wet Magazine in 1978, then moved to the now-defunct LA Reader, where Groening worked. The strip eventually made its way to LA Weekly. Its popularity grew, amassing a client list of more than 250 papers, when producer Polly Platt noticed “Life in Hell” and showed it to actor/producer James L. Brooks.
Brooks contacted Groening and wanted him to develop a series of “bumpers” based on “Life in Hell” for “The Tracey Ullman Show.” Groening was a bit apprehensive at the thought of handing over the rights to his characters, so he created the Simpsons to fill the slot.
The title of this article is a variation on the most memorable film quote ever. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” spoken by Rhett Butler to Scarlet O’Hara in the immortal film, Gone With The Wind is the number one movie quote of all time, according to The American Film Institute.
After over two hours of actual time and years of movie time Rhett had finally had enough of Scarlet being a bitch and let her know how he felt. When Rhett finally let Scarlet know he was sick of her shit she came to a realization that she did indeed love him.
If Rhett and Scarlet were from the hood that conversation would have went a little something like this:
Scarlet: Rhett, don’t go. I love you!
Rhett: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn…bitch.
That classic movie in so many ways reminds me of the San Diego Comic Con and Hollywood. How so, you ask?
This so. Every year Hollywood comes to SDCC and every year Hollywood studios, agencies, stars and starlets throw parties. There are as many Hollywood parties as there are reasons to hate Mitt Romney.
That’s a lot of parties.
Every year it seems that little or no comic book people are invited to those Hollywood parties. I know of what I speak as I get invited to a bunch of those parties. I stopped going a few years ago. I got sick and tired of being at a party and the only mofo I knew from the industry was whoever was my plus 1.
Yes, there are exceptions. I’m sure that Len Wein and his creative peers get invited to any studio party that is making one of their characters into a movie or TV show. I’m sure Len gets to bring a few of his peeps but a room full of comic book people you will not see at a Hollywood party.
Except at my parties. Yes, I always have a cool ass celebrity host, this year it’s Jamie Kennedy, and yes I have big name Hollywood types attending but the majority of my guests are good old fashion SDCC and comic book folk.
Yep, good old comic book geeks. Friends of mine, creators I just meet at the con, retailors, mega fans, moms of mega fans and random hot Asian women who I just so happen to find invites for after I have no more invites. Go figure.
Speaking of moms, last year I met this woman who brought her grown ass son to the convention but could not get a pass for her self. We got her a pass to the con and she spent a great deal of my party hanging out with Wayne Brady. That, if I say so myself, was cool.
I’m not knocking Hollywood because that’s just the way they operate. I’m still amazed at the people that got mad at the tiger for mauling Roy. Don’t blame the tiger for being a tiger. I can’t blame Hollywood for being a selfish self-congratulatory entity that sees the comic book industry as an ugly stepchild.
But I’d like all my comic book and SDCC friends and colleagues to remember one thing…
The San Diego Comic Con is our house.
We build it. We own it. We live there.
I do believe that one day soon Hollywood will fully accept us for what we are: an industry without which they would be banking on films like My Left Foot to do 100 million in a weekend.
Yeah, like that shit is ever going to happen.
I hope to see you guys at SDCC and perhaps at my party Friday night.
Oh, and Hollywood, get your shit together, don’t make us go all Rhett Butler on your ass.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Emily S. Whitten Speaks Enlightenment
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Marvels Now and Again