Tagged: Plastic Man

Batman: The Brave and the Bold to be feted at The Paley Center

comiccon_braveboldWarner Archive Collection and The Paley Center for Media, in conjunction with New York Comic Con, proudly present a special event celebrating Warner Archive’s upcoming Blu-ray™ release of Batman: The Brave And The Bold on Friday, October 11 at 7:00 pm. The popular animated television series will be celebrated with an episodic screening and a lively panel discussion featuring Diedrich Bader, the voice of Batman, at The Paley Center for Media in New York City (25 West 52nd Street).

Extremely popular on Cartoon Network, Batman: The Brave And The Bold teams the Dark Knight with some of DC Comics’ favorite and more eclectic heroes, including the Blue Beetle, Plastic Man, Green Lantern, Kamandi, Doctor Fate, Jonah Hex, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Mister Miracle and The Atom. The combinations create a perfect mesh of fast-paced action and humor for the first season, which spans 26 episodes.

Batman: The Brave And The Bold is Warner Archive Collection’s first-ever animated release on Blu-ray™ disc. Anticipated street date is early November 2013.

Fans attending the October 11 event will have the opportunity to watch an episode and select clips of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, and hear from a distinguished panel that will include Bader, producer James Tucker, 8-time Emmy Award-winning dialogue director Andrea Romano, and Warner Archive podcasters Matt Patterson and DW Ferranti. Moderator Gary Miereanu might even have some unique prizes waiting for a few lucky audience members.

A limited number of free tickets are available for the general public. Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the New York event on must RSVP via email to BatmanBATB@gmail.com.

The body of all fan RSVP emails MUST include the following:

  • Name of the entrant
  • A valid email address
  • The name of the media outlet/website by which the entrant learned of the screening

Tickets will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis, and fans will be notified via email.

Martin Pasko: Got Jokes?

Pasko Art 130704By now, those of you who probably greeted with thudding indifference my first regular post here last week may be whining (privately) about my tone.

As of this writing, that piece hasn’t gone up yet, so I haven’t yet read the comments I probably won’t get. No doubt some of you will slander me as a cranky old fart. I would prefer that you read me, if you read me at all, as Grumpy Cat with alopecia and a litter box that looks like a Mylar snuggie.

My purpose here is mainly to provoke thought, but in this overcrowded blogosphere, what that means is, one has to provoke, period. So I also try to entertain by trying to be funny. (I have some experience with this, having been paid to do so on several occasions.) I’m counting on there being ComicMix readers who know that “shock jock” doesn’t have anything to do with Lightning Lad’s penis.

Which brings me to my subject today (Why Patton Oswalt Is So Lonely At Comic Book Conventions). Fanboys have no sense of humor? Well, why the fuck not?

You like to laugh, right? And you love comics, right? Where is it written that loving something means you can’t see its absurdities? (Oh, wait. Married Geeks = a minority. Forgot.)

OK, now that we’ve solved that problem…

Assuming you do like laughing and you like comics…WTF have you got against a one-and-done, and getting both fixes from the same place? Why do so few of you have any interest in comic books that aren’t populated by characters so teeth-grittingly grim that they always look like they’re on the crapper and constipated? Is it too gross to contemplate the idea of a comic book that tries to make you laugh?

Where have all the funny mainstream comics gone? Plastic Man has either gone all deadpan or invisible; Kyle Baker’s given up on the Big Two; Joe Quesada probably doesn’t even know WTF Not Brand Ecch was; and Mike Richardson won’t be blowing any money on another Instant Piano anytime soon. But when did the industry get so risk-adverse? When did their commitment to product diversity become so transparently lip-service?

I know being married to the floppy is a burdensome job, but let’s all learn to lighten the load by leavening it with laughter, aight? In the grand scheme of things, comics aren’t really that important, yo. Your school, if you’re unlucky enough to go to one, will still have textbooks designed to turn you into a Marching Moron. Or it will keep you in debt till long after comics have ceased to exist.

Your job, if you’re lucky enough to have one, will still suck, and the fries that go with it will have been reconstituted, blow-dried, flavor-sprayed, and frozen by a 12-year-old Chinese girl in one of those two-cents-an-hour laborers’ dormitories that gave Mitt Romney a hard-on. And even if you don’t get around to reading this till September, your phone company will still be letting Black Ops guys look at pictures of your junk.

Me, I will recklessly continue trying to bring smiles to your lips, despite your dogged resistance. If I and like-minded writers can’t be funny in comic books, I, at least, will defiantly and unapologetically try to be funny about them – as I did here, and got hugely trolled for it by a lot of Geek jobs who sounded like they were about to cry.

That’s why you’ll also find in my columns that there will be links for some things you don’t immediately understand but also for others that you do.

Well, FYIYCTAJ. And I’ll let you figure out what that stands for on your own time.

You’ve been warned. But imagine a smiley face after that.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman



justice-league-doom1-300x4021-2474974When Mark Waid joined the creative team on JLA, he told a pretty terrific story about Batman’s secret protocols for neutralizing the Justice League of America falling into Ra’s al Ghul’s hands. In the “Tower of Babel” story, he used it to take out the League in order to execute a plan for world domination.  It made for a fine story arc that allowed Batman to leave the team for time and resonated with fans given the weighty thematic material. It has endured in memory and prompted Warner Premiere to approve JLA: Doom, an adaptation as a part of their ongoing series of direct-to-DVD animated features

The resulting production, on sale tomorrow, is bittersweet because it marks the final script from the talented Dwayne MacDuffie. And it needed series editing which clearly was not done, making it a deeply flawed adaptation of the source material. The dramatic core is here, but given short shrift in two brief scenes while the remainder of the story is a series of chaotic and badly choreographed fights strung together. Any semblance of characterization for the heroes or villains is seemingly accidental as the story allowed the JLA to trade blows with a variety of familiar villains. (more…)

DENNIS O’NEIL: Patron Superheroes?

Got a concept for you. Ready?

Patron superheroes.

You’re lovin’ it already, aren’t you?

For those of you who have never been Catholic, here’s a quick definition of patron saint, via the invaluable Wikipedia: “A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person…(They) are believed to be able to intercede for the needs of heir special charges.”

I mean, when you think about it superheroes and patron saints have a lot in common. Both are dedicated to helping the good guys (though the definition of “good guys” is liable to change) and both have powers that help the aforementioned good guys. You’re Lois Lane falling from a window, you yell and here comes Superman to prevent you from splatting. You’re a Giants fan, you want your team too win the Super Bowl, you pray to the appropriate saint and – yay Giants.

Okay, maybe your saint didn’t affect the game directly – though who knows? – but he or she obviously had some influence on the final score. I mean, saints obviously have a lot of clout. And these things are, by their very nature, mysterious.

Now, I don’t know if there is actually a patron saint of football, or a patron saint of the Giants, or of the New England Patriots, but if not, these surely are blanks easily filed in. If we can put a man on the moon, we can give he Patriots a patron! And by the way, there is a patron saint of athletes: St. Sebastian. So what if a Giants fan and a Patriots fan both prayed to Sebastian? Gee, another darn mystery…Maybe whoever prayed loudest?

We’re going to ignore “pagan” deities, who had a lot in common with both saints and superheroes because…well, this is a Christian country! (I believe I heard a guy wearing a suit on television say that, so I know it has to be straight.)

And that brings us to patron superheroes, though there really isn’t much to say about them, once you acknowledge the similarities between saints and superdoers. It’s just a matter of dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s, and you can manage that on your own.

But to help you get started, here’s a brief, off-the-top-of-my-head list of heroes and what they might be patron of.

Superman – immigrants.

Plastic Man – politicians.

Spider-Man – entomologists.

Green Arrow – acupuncturists.

The Human Torch – arsonists.

Invisible Scarlett O’Neil – wallflowers. (No relation, in case you’re wondering.)

The Flash – athletic shoe manufacturers

Captain Marvel – electricians.

Captain Marvel Junior – electricians’ assistants.

Hoppy the Marvel Bunny – fertility.

The Shadow – sundials.

And to make it an even dozen –

Blue Beetle – unhappy rock stars.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

Review: ‘Plastic Man the Complete Collection’

Review: ‘Plastic Man the Complete Collection’

There are many reasons why Plastic Man has endured as a comic character starting with the imaginativeness of Jack Cole’s stories. He was the first elastic hero. The first hero who started life as a criminal only to reform when he inherited his powers. He was also one of the few truly amusing animated series from the 1970s.

[[[The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
]]]snuck in at the end of the decade, lasting two seasons from 1979-1981, and was a fun offering from Ruby-Spears. The 35 solo Plastic Man adventures have been collected by Warner Home Video in a four disc set, now available.

While Plastic Man: The Complete Collection
is the title, it’s not entirely accurate since the Comedy/Adventure Show featured segments dedicated to Baby Plas, Plastic Family, Might Many & Yukk, Fangface and Fangpuss, and Rickety Rocket and none are collected here.

The series, which benefitted from the writing talents of comics veterans Mark Evanier, Steve Gerber, Roy Thomas, and Norman Maurer among others, was playful in a way most other Saturday morning fare was not. The show arrived at a time when networks were overly concerned with cartoon violence and how viewers may try and imitate the antics seen on screen. As a result, their other recent offerings of Saturday morning cartoons from the 1960s and 1970s contained a ridiculous warning that they were not suitable for children. Tellingly, this collection does not include that warning.

While the animation team wanted to emulate Cole’s manic style, ABC insisted on a fresh approach which unfortunately left Plas saddled with the fawning girlfriend Penny (who subsequently married him and mothered Baby Plas) and Hula-Hula, the comedic sidekick in the Woozy Winks role. The rotund Hawaiian was given Lou Costello’s character and vocal characteristics which softened his buffoonery.  They globe-trotted from case to case aboard their jet, directed by their Chief, an attractive older woman who barely tolerated her ductile detective.

Each exploit pitted the trio against dastardly villains, most of whom desired wealth and power although a few had motivations that smacked of social relevance such as the Weed in the very first episode. The foes are nicely varied and interestingly, Toyman arrives for repeat appearances which is odd considering they never fought in the comics. In fact, only two foes from Plas’ comic books are used: Dr. Dome, introduced in the short-lived 1960s series, and Carrot Man, who debuted during his more creatively satisfying series from the mid-1970s.

Like Cole’s original stories, Plas reshapes himself into a variety of objects to go undercover and viewers see him since he retains his red and yellow costumed appearance. He never takes things too seriously and has some good quips to keep things light.

The episodes are supplemented with two special features. The first is a 14 minute mini-documentary on the character’s history and appeal. In addition to the usual talking heads of Jerry Beck and Mark Evanier, ComicMix’s own Alan Kistler contributes many cogent thoughts. The other extra is the unaired 10 minute pilot produced for the Cartoon Network in 1996 by a new generation of animators, including DC veteran Stephen DeStefano. It’s a very different look but equally amusing tale and one wonders why it was not picked up.

If this is the Plastic Man you grew up watching, then this is the DVD set you’ve been waiting for. If you’re unfamiliar with the character, I strongly recommend the DC Archives volumes reprinting the Cole stories which remain inventive and fun.

PREVIEW: ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ with the Atom, Aquaman, Plastic Man and the Elongated Man!

PREVIEW: ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ with the Atom, Aquaman, Plastic Man and the Elongated Man!

We’ve obtained preview footage of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode, “Journey to the Center of the Bat!” airing this Friday, January 30 on Cartoon Network at 8:00 PM.

This week Batman’s life hangs in the balance when he is poisoned by Chemo, who is under the control of the evil Brain.  The Atom races to the rescue with Aquaman by shrinking down and entering Batman’s bloodstream.  While Aquaman and the Atom battle the infection deep inside Batman’s body, Batman struggles to end Chemo’s rampage and defeat the Brain!  This week’s teaser features Elongated Man and Plastic Man teaming up to derail a bank heist and capture the criminal Baby Face. Take a look…


Plastic Man’s Animated Adventures Coming to DVD

Plastic Man’s Animated Adventures Coming to DVD

Warner Home Video is apparently readying the Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Hour for a DVD release. On Friday, Mark Evanier mentioned on his News from Me blog, “This afternoon, I had to go out to the Warner Brothers lot to be interviewed for little behind-the-scenes videos that will appear on two upcoming DVDs of cartoon shows. One is of the 1979 Saturday morning Plastic Man series, which I worked on for one season. The other is of the 1985 syndicated Jetsons revival, which I worked on for about an hour.”

TV Shows on DVD notes that when they surveyed people in 2007, the series topped their charts. When a Warner exec was asked during a chat earlier this year, hey replied, "We are looking at all of these, and hope to have news for you in 2009."

The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
ran from 1979 to 1981 on ABC. Produced by Ruby-Spears, it aired right after Super Friends and was either 90 minutes or two hours and was comprised of segments featuring Plastic Man (voiced by Michael Bell), Baby Plas, Plastic Family, Mighty Man & Yukk, Fangface and Fangpuss and Rickety Rocket.

On this series, Plastic Man had Penny as a girl friend who became his wife, voiced by Melendy Britt and their child, Baby Plas, had his own escapades. Woozy Winks was unfortunately replaced by Hula Hula, a Hawaiian sidekick.

Reviewing Kyle Baker

Reviewing Kyle Baker

I was taking stock recently, reviewing the silver past and anticipating a golden future when I was struck by the fact that for the past six months I’ve given books by Kyle Baker to friends and relatives on every possible gift giving occasion and then some.  This speaks well of Mr. Baker, whose line of books now covers every possible demographic.
For the very young or people who just don’t like to think about a nemesis more personal than hunger or gravity, there is his autobiographical work of family theft known as The Bakers.  As a comic or a collection these gag panels, comical strips and full-length comic novellas start small and suck you in to a quite often very complicated gag, a combination of motives and subplots only a very accomplished technician such as Mr. Baker can execute.  They are wonders of timing and staging that show how valuable he must have been during his sojourn in the Hollywood cartoon business, and how his talent for real-life details would have driven the kidvid fantasists to make his work there living heck.  Everything in The Bakers universe can be imitated by a real family and has probably bedeviled your real family in its time.
In the book-shaped The Bakers: Babies and Kittens (Image Comics), the second book of it’s kind (after The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong Somewhere) Mr. Baker confounds the people who have spent their lives in a futile flight from cute.  Like R. Crumb, his command of the medium and knowledge of what the eye likes (before the consciousness can muck things up) seduces his audience into taking a ride it thinks it has been on before, and a kiddy ride at that.  But the plastic elephant takes a wrong turn and you’re soon in a fix that Ricky Ricardo and Harold Lloyd would shudder to consider.  He then spares us the usual sitcom sermon and leaves the world of The Bakers as delightfully unbalanced and full of comic inevitability as it was in the beginning.
Comics is a near perfect medium today, unencumbered by commercials, your neighbor’s cell phone, the sponsor’s amoral code of standards, the way the electronic media is really after your time.  No, you’re in the driver’s seat, Mr. Comic Reader (or should I say “Mrs.”?).  It’s your choice:  Read it one panel at a time, sit down and read the whole thing at once.  Laugh.  Read that panel over again (you don’t have to wait till summer or even to download it).  Put it down on the coffee table and read it again later, or recommend it to your roommate.


Kyle Baker Goes Through The Looking Glass

Kyle Baker Goes Through The Looking Glass

Howard Stern may be the self-proclaimed Master of All Media, but Kyle Baker is giving him a run for the title in the graphic story-telling media.  He’s got his autobiographical family comedy, The Bakers, in development for television at Fox.  He’s got his reality-base war comic, Special Forces, at Image.  Abrams just published gorgeous hardcover and paperback editions of Nat Turner.  He’s worked on Captain America and Plastic Man for the Big Two.  He’s won every award comics can give.

And now, Papercutz is reprinting his early work, Through the Looking Glass, adapted for First Comics’ Classics Illustrated in 1990.  Full-color, 56 pages, and gorgeous.  Just $9.95, in time for the holidays.

This is the newest volume in Papercutz’ re-issue, following Michael Plessix’ version of The Wind in the Willows and  Rick Geary’s adaptations of Great Expectations and The Invisible Man.  

Happy Birthday: Hilary Barta

Happy Birthday: Hilary Barta

Born in 1957, Hilary Barta began his comic book career in 1982 when he was hired at Marvel to help ink The Defenders #108. In 1984 he moved to First Comics to ink Warp, and slowly graduated to penciling as well. In 1988, after work for Eclipse, Marvel, and First, Barta launched both Marvel’s What The—?! and DC’s Plastic Man.

He has penciled and inked many other books for Marvel, DC, Malibu Comics, Image Comics, Bongo Comics, Dark Horse, and others. He’s best known for his slightly surreal, humorous style, which you’ll be seeing on several upcoming Munden’s Bar stories!