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REVIEW: Alita: Battle Angel

REVIEW: Alita: Battle Angel

I’m not a major Manga fan but am certainly aware of the most popular and enduring properties, such as Gunnm, a.k.a. Battle Angel Alita, which ran from 1990-1995 and was adapted into two-part anime. By 2000, James Cameron had been made aware of the series and immediately wanted to bring it to the big screen. He allowed himself to get repeatedly distracted so he eventually handed off the directing chores to Robert Rodriguez, who took the mammoth script Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, and honed it down to something 20th Century Fox could afford.

After all that build up, several other Japanese stories had made it to American audiences, with few making a positive splash (Ghost in the Shell, anyone?). So, when Alita: Battle Angel finally arrived this year, audiences were primed to be awed or disappointed. Had the film arrived two decades ago, it would have been a far more interesting and arresting story, but by now so many of its elements had been mined elsewhere that it felt less than fresh.

Alita (Rosa Salazar) is a cyborg with a human brain, discovered in Iron City by Dr. Dyson (Christoph Waltz), who brings it back to life and names her after his deceased daughter. We’re in a world three centuries after an alien attack devasted the world in what is now called The Fall. Life is cheap, criminal enterprises run rampant, and survival is always iffy.

Alita remembers nothing of her past but over time discovers her battle instincts so while she’s a on a quest to establish herself, she fights in order to control her destiny. While Dyson is a positive influence, his ex-wife, Dr. Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) is less so, working for the criminal entrepreneur Victor (Mahershala Ali). With junk dealer Hugo (Kennan Johnson) as her only friend, Alita enters the Motorball games to earn money to help him, which is where many of the set pieces occur.

It’s a visually rich story and the worldbuilding is fine, no surprise from Rodriguez, who shifted from his Grindhouse days to his special effects-laden kids films. It’s nice to see him blend interests here. The cast is certainly diverse with some big names in an unusual genre offering. Uncredited is Edward Norton’s criminal Nova, seeded here for the hoped-for sequel, and other familiar faces include Jackie Earle Haley, Rick Yune, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jai Courtney.

The problem beyond the feeling of having seen it all before, is that the characters don’t snap to life, playing their parts without complexity or variety, deadening what could have been fascinating.

The film, out now from 20th Century Home Entertainment, is available in the usual varieties, including the Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD combo pack. The AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1 is perfectly fine, if unexceptional, just like the film itself. It does capture the color palette quite well even if the CGI portions are just a little soft. Better is the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, helping bring the world to life.

While the packaging boasts two hours of extras, they’re more perfunctory than revelatory.  We have a variety of behind-the-scenes pieces ranging from short to medium-length starting with The Fall (5:05), Iron City (3:19), What It Means to be a Cyborg (2:28), Rules of the Game (2:52), From Manga to Screen (20:47); Evolution of Alita (19:43) is an overview of the character. Motorball (6:02), London Screening Q & A (26:38) with Cameron, Rodriguez, Salazar, Waltz and Connelly; 10 Minute Cooking School: Chocolate (5:28); and the confusingly named 2005 Art Compilation (2019) (14:20).

The most fun extra is Scene Deconstruction (10:47), which allows the viewer to use the remote’s color buttons to toggle through various levels of digital rendering for four sequences: I Don’t Even Know My Name, Just an Insignificant Girl, I’m a Warrior, Aren’t I?, and Kansas Bar.

The Law Is A Ass #447: Daredevil’s An Entrapment Keeper

The Law Is A Ass #447: Daredevil’s An Entrapment Keeper

So, I guess Daredevil is a lot smarter than I thought he was. Which, considering some of the bonehead plays he’s made in the past – Mike Murdock, anyone? – wasn’t all that high. However, in Daredevil #595, Matt (Daredevil) Murdock actually showed some smarts.

No, it wasn’t in acquiescing to the orders of the newly-elected mayor of New York City, Wilson (the Kingpin of Crime) Fisk, that Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, of which Matt was an employee to, “build cases against the vigilantes” to fulfill Kingpin’s campaign promise to “clampdown on non-governmental exercise of authority.”

A smart Matt Murdock would have pointed out to his boss the DA that the office didn’t really have any grounds on which to build a case. Stopping super-powered criminals isn’t a crime. One might even say it’s a public service. If an average citizens sees a crime being committed do we want a public policy that says they should do nothing? And if not, then why do we want one for our above-average citizens?

Moreover, I know of no anti-vigilante law in place in New York City or New York State that the heroes would be violating with their actions. I’m not saying in a world of super-powered people such a law wouldn’t be enacted. I’m just saying I don’t think that has happened yet.

Even the Superhuman Registration Act which prompted the first Civil War in the Marvel Universe seems to have been junked. In Daredevil vol 2 #25, the Supreme Court ruled that masked super heroes can testify in court while still masked. If that was even a question, it would imply that the SHRA had been shelved. If all hero were required to reveal their identities by Congressional law, the whole case about whether they could testify while masked would have been unnecessary. And believe me, the Supreme Court doesn’t like to take cases that are unnecessary. Hell, it only takes a small number of the cases that are necessary.

Even New York’s anti-mask law wouldn’t help justify a crackdown on vigilantes. New York Penal Law 240.35(4), specifically forbids two or more people to congregate in public while wearing masks to conceal their identities. That law wouldn’t generally apply to people like Spider-Man or Daredevil or Ms. Marvel, as they usually work alone and not in congregations. Of course, they’re not in congregations. Crime doesn’t take Sundays off, so neither can they.

It also wouldn’t apply to people like Luke Cage or the Punisher; they don’t wear masks and their civilian identities are known to all. I’m not even sure it would apply to the Avengers, as I think the civilian identities of most of their members are either known to the general public or, in the case of Captain America, to the government. Either way, if they’re wearing masks, it’s not to conceal their identities. So, why are they wearing masks? Maybe they like extreme hat hair.

So the anti-mask law would only apply in some limited instances like the Champions or Marvel Team-Up, which feature two or more masked heroes. But only if they’re acting in New York. And probably only if the villain they were fighting was lame. I think the authorities might look the other way about costumed hero activity, if Dr. Doom were attacking again.

So, yeah, a smart Matt Murdock might have asked his boss on what grounds they build cases against vigilantes. Matt might even have pointed out that hamstringing the costumed heroes would, in the long run, be a bad thing for the city. Costumed villains either wouldn’t be similarly limited or wouldn’t care if they were. Either way, they would continue to commit crimes without adequate resistance if only the non-powered police and not, say, Thor could have at them.
Matt could even have told his boss they should ignore the directive. I seem to recall a few other direct orders from another Chief Executive, which his underlings either ignored or refused to put into operation. So Matt’s actions wouldn’t have been without President— err, precedent.

Matt did show some smarts. He told his assistant that “it can take a long time to build a case… years, sometimes.” Recent events have certainly shown that to be true. Meanwhile, the heroes could be free to act, while the cases against them were being built. Slowly.

But Matt showed his real intelligence later in the issue, when he was on patrol as Daredevil and stopped what appeared to be a simple mugging in Hell’s Kitchen. Turns out it wasn’t so simple. It was a police sting operation designed to find and arrest Daredevil.

No, it wasn’t intelligent for Daredevil to fall for the trap. With his hyper senses he should have detected the presence of the other police officers laying in wait and not fallen for the trap. No, Daredevil showed his intelligence when he told the cops, “This is entrapment. It’ll never stick.”

Because it wasn’t entrapment. That’s what made Daredevil’s statement so brilliant.

Entrapment is a legal defense that argues, “Government agents may not originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person’s mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the Government may prosecute.”  The key to this defense is that the government implants the criminal design into the mind of a person who was not otherwise predisposed to commit the crime. Daredevil was already in costume and looking for crimes he could stop. He was pretty much predisposed to being a vigilante. The fact that he found a government sting operation that gave him the opportunity to do what he already wanted to do wasn’t entrapment.

And that’s why Daredevil saying the sting operation was entrapment was so brilliant. Not too many weeks earlier, in Daredevil vol 5 #20, the Purple Children combined the mind control powers they inherited from their father Killgrave, the Purple Man, with Killgrave’s own mind control powers to make the world at large forget that Matt Murdock and Daredevil were the same person. After Matt had his secret identity purpura ex machinaed back into place, he didn’t want to risk losing it again.

That’s why he told the police that what they did was entrapment when he was a good enough attorney to know it wasn’t. It was to fool the police into thinking that in his secret identity Daredevil wasn’t a lawyer who would know the definition of entrapment.

It was brilliant!

Unless, of course, Daredevil wasn’t trying to con the police after all and he really didn’t know the definition of entrapment. Please tell me that wasn’t the case and that Matt/Daredevil did know the definition of entrapment. Please tell me Matt/Daredevil wasn’t as clueless about the law as usual.

Please?

The Dead Don’t Die comedy shambles home in Sept.

The Dead Don’t Die comedy shambles home in Sept.

Universal City, California, July 25, 2019 –  A quiet town finds itself under attack from the undead with the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled in the comedy, THE DEAD DON’T DIE, arriving on Digital on September 3, 2019 and on Blu-rayTM, DVD and On Demand on September 10, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Showcasing exclusive bonus features not seen in theaters including insight from the cast and filmmakers, as well as a closer look at the making of the film that takes fans deeper into this “giddy apocalypse with no way out” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker). Starring Academy Award®† winner Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge, Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters), Adam Driver (Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, BlacKkKlansman) and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” Boys Don’t Cry), THE DEAD DON’T DIE is a “hilariously fun” (Adam Patterson, Film Pulse) and irreverent film unlike any you’ve seen before.
 
Directed by indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Paterson, Only Lovers Left Alive), THE DEAD DON’T DIE features a powerhouse of an ensemble cast including Tilda Swinton (Suspiria, Trainwreck), Steve Buscemi (Hotel Transylvania Series, Fargo), Danny Glover (Proud Mary, Lethal Weapon Series), Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Get Out), Rosie Perez (“Pure,” White Men Can’t Jump), Iggy Pop (Gimme Danger, Coffee and Cigarettes), Sara Driver (Stranger than Paradise), RZA (“Snowfall,” The Man with the Iron Fists 2), Selena Gomez (Hotel Transylvania Series, Spring Breakers), Carol Kane (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Dog Day Afternoon), Austin Butler (The Intruders, “Arrow”), Luka Sabbat (“Grown-ish”) and Tom Waits (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Book of Eli).
 
In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behavior. No one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing the town: THE DEAD DON’T DIE – they rise from their graves and savagely attack and feast on the living – and the citizens must battle for their survival.

BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES:

  • Bill Murray: Zombie Hunting Action Star – Bill Murray discusses his fear of being typecast as an action hero.
  • Behind-the-Scenes of The Dead Don’t Die – A collection of behind the scenes moments from the set of The Dead Don’t Die
  • Stick Together –  Jim Jarmusch’s frequent collaborators talk about his filmmaking style, and what makes The Dead Don’t Die stand out from other zombie films 

THE DEAD DON’T DIE will be available on Blu-rayTM, DVD, Digital, and Movies Anywhere.

  • Blu-ray unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. MOVIES ANYWHERE is only available in the United States.

FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Selena Gomez and Tom Waits
Casting By: Ellen Lewis
Music By: SQÜRL
Original Song: Sturgill Simpson
Sound Designer: Robert Hein
Costume Designer: Catherine George
Editor: Affonso Gonçalves
Production Designer: Alex DiGerlando
Director of Photography: Frederick Elmes A.S.C
Co-Producer: Carrie Fix
Executive Producers: Norio Hatano, Frederick W. Green
Produced By: Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan
Written and Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY:
Street Date: September 10, 2019
Selection Number: 62207775 (US)/ 62208340 (CDN)
Layers: BD 50
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.78:1 Widescreen
Rating: Rated R for zombie violence/gore and for language
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian and Latin American Spanish Subtitles
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Run Time: 1 Hour and 44 Minutes 
 
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD:
Street Date: September 10, 2019
Selection Number: 62202003 (US) / 62202004 (CDN)
Layers: DVD 9
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: Rated R for zombie violence/gore and for language
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French European/ French Canadian and Latin American Spanish Subtitles
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, French European Dolby Digital 5.1
Run Time: 1 Hour and 44 Minutes  

New Trailer for Ang Lee’s Gemini Man

New Trailer for Ang Lee’s Gemini Man

SYNOPSIS:

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.  The film is directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renowned producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger.  Also starring are Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.  Gemini Man opens in theaters October 11, 2019.

PARAMOUNT PICTURES, SKYDANCE and JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS Present

In Association with FOSUN PICTURES

A SKYDANCE / JERRY BRUCKHEIMER Production

An ANG LEE Film

DIRECTED BY: Ang Lee 

SCREENPLAY BY: David Benioff and Billy Ray and Darren Lemke

STORY BY: Darren Lemke and David Benioff 

PRODUCED BY: Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY: Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Guo Guangchang, Brian Bell, Don Murphy 

STARRING: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong

Wakandacon is back with all things Black

Wakandacon Forever– okay, this weekend only, but still!

Wakandacon, a three-day Afrofuturistic convention that celebrates Black culture, was created last year by siblings and Chicagoland natives Ali, David, and Matt Barthwell. They were inspired by the futuristic society depicted in Marvel’s comic book series and box-office hit Black Panther to curate a space for Black creatives that recaptures the communal magic of Wakanda. At the heart of the convention is the concept of Afrofuturism, an artistic and cultural framework for imagining tech-savvy, self-determined futures for Black communities.

Originally at www.chicagoreader.com

Originally at www.chicagoreader.com

Wakandacon Forever!

The Law Is A Ass #446: The Kingpin Becomes A Night-Mayor

The Law Is A Ass #446: The Kingpin Becomes A Night-Mayor

The Law Is A Ass #446: The Kingpin Becomes A Night-Mayor

Well, you didn’t think he was going to take it lying down, did you? He’s the Kingpin of Crime, for crying out loud; Mister Passive-Aggressive, without the whole passive part. After Matt (Daredevil) Murdock got a trial court to agree that super heroes could testify anonymously and while masked – you did read the last four columns, right? – Wilson (the aforementioned Kingpin of Crime) Fisk appealed that decision. And when the Supreme Court upheld Matt’s victory, the Kingpin turned to Plan C.

He got elected mayor of New York City.

What is it with New Yorkers in the Marvel Universe and their elected mayors? First it was J. Jonah Jameson, who had to up his game significantly just to reach incompetent. Now the Kingpin of Crime?

(more…)

The Simpsons Season 19 Arrives for Christmas Giving

The Simpsons Season 19 Arrives for Christmas Giving

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment proudly presents THE SIMPSONS
THE COMPLETE NINETEENTH SEASON – bringing the citizens of Springfield, (state currently unknown) to DVD December 3. This release features numerous classics and comes loaded with bonus features including full audio commentary accompanying every episode, providing a peek behind the curtain to learn more about the residents of 742 Evergreen Terrace.
 
As the season following the historic debut of The Simpsons Movie (in 2D!), THE SIMPSONS THE COMPLETE NINETEENTH SEASON includes a number of beloved episodes such as the Sideshow Bob focused adventure “Funeral for a Fiend,” the WGA-nominated “Homer of Seville,” and the Emmy-winning “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpsons Mind.” Guest stars from the season include returning fan favorites Kelsey Grammer as the aforementioned Sideshow Bob, David Hyde Pierce as his brother Cecil Terwilliger and Glenn Close as Mona Simpson, as well as Stephen Colbert, Matt Dillon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jack Black, “Weird Al” Yankovic and MORE!
 
THE SIMPSONS THE COMPLETE NINETEENTH SEASON is currently available for pre-order and will be available on December 3.
 
THE SIMPSONS THE COMPLETE NINETEENTH SEASON DVD BONUS FEATURES

  • Audio Commentaries on All 20 Episodes
  • Introduction By Matt Groening
  • Special Language Feature
  • Thank You

 
THE SIMPSONS THE COMPLETE NINETEENTH SEASON DVD SPECIFICATIONS
Street Date:                  December 3, 2019
Prebook Date:              July 20, 2019
Screen Format:             Widescreen 1.33:1
Audio:                           English Dolby Digital 5.1
                                      Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 French Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:                      English SDH / Spanish / French
Total Run Time:           Approximately 500 minutes
Closed Captioned:       Yes

Dear AT&T: Static on the line is a GOOD thing

Dear AT&T: Static on the line is a GOOD thing

TO: Randall L. Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer, AT&T
CC: John Stankey, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Media

Dear Mr. Stephenson,

My name is Michael Davis. I’m sure you know me as I have been a loyal AT&T phone customer for many years.

I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m a bit off my rocker. How ON EARTH could you know me just because I’m an AT&T phone customer?

That’s just silly.

You know me because I have my home, cell phone as well as my Internet and cable with AT&T.

I’m told you have a sense of humor and I hope my opening gave you a chuckle. What the remainder of this letter holds is far from funny.

I’m sure you’re aware when AT&T purchased Time Warner, it became the owner of DC Comics. DC Comics holds some media rights to Static a.k.a. Static Shock through an arrangement with the copyright owner and content creator Milestone Media a company I co-founded.

Full disclosure: DC Comics and I have history. Once I was a welcomed creator; however, the last two decades have seen me banned, literally blacklisted. Long story short; I said the right thing to the wrong person. Please don’t take my word for any of this— the paperwork is readily available at DC. However, this narrative isn’t about me. This article is about property now under your control— the aforementioned Static Shock.

I am no longer a part of Milestone, and they have nothing to do with this letter. I am representing myself and the millions of fans of Static Shock waiting for his return.

Simply Googling Static Shock will enlighten you to the sheer power and reach of the much-beloved character. There are thousands of fan clubs and fan films. Static is a favorite choice of new and seasoned cosplayers from child to adult.

Here’s the kicker—the vast majority of the fans of Static were born after the series had run its course both on television and the comics.  In other words, its sheer word of mouth behind the enormous appeal of Virgil Hawkins, aka Static.

AT&T is the nation’s second-largest advertiser— imagine spending no advertising dollars but seeing the demand for your product grow year after year.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence of Static Shock.

“AT&T gives you more for your thing, More entertainment, Internet, and unlimited plans. More for your thing. Yeah, that’s our thing.”

The Your Thing national campaign from AT&T and BBDO focused on the uniqueness of its customers’ request for things that mattered not just words spoken in support of a product.  How significant AT&T’s support of the Black community is evident to me by your doings with Believe Chicago.

I don’t point out AT&T’s investment in the African American community, both financial and social, to suck up. I’m not that guy— if I was, I believe I’d still have a home at DC. No, I point out your involvement because I feel there’s a chance, albeit a slim one my plea and the pleas of millions of fans will not be lost in the abundance of requests received by a corporation the size and scope of yours.

Put bluntly, Static is a national treasure among millions of fans, both black and white. However, among black kids, he’s more much much more. As a black man who grew up with so little black representation in media and almost none in the superhero space, so few I had to create my own— it saddens me beyond measure that today is just as bleak as yesterday.

Ignoring the impact of Static makes little sense financially. However, ignoring Static‘s prominence in the black community is corporate callousness at its highest level, in my opinion.

History aside, I nevertheless consider DC’s universe the best in the industry, and the vast majority of those employed there are among the elite in comics.

Dan Didio and Jim Lee are remarkable people who are real fans of the medium. Before they joined DC, I was in business with Dan at ABC-TV and Jim at Image Comics. Nothing but good came from those creative arrangements.

There are companies on the net as I write this selling Static Shock merchandise as if they had licensed them legally from DC and Milestone and they have not. They do so openly with no worry of being caught, let alone punished by one of the world’s most powerful corporations.

If that doesn’t underscore the banking power of Static, then nothing will. 

Static Shock generates millions of bootleg dollars while black kids continue to make their own Static Shock content because Warner Bros. and DC Comics will not.

Sir, I’m thoroughly and painfully aware of legal agreements that supposedly make impossible resolutions to what seems a simple fix.

My response is— so what?

Static‘s impact can do wonders with boys and girls of color who see little to strengthen identity put much to weaken it. A president who often speaks of the first black president as unintelligent and lazy. A country returning to a time when if black merely waiting for a friend at Starbucks can get you arrested.

An America where a black man simply saying ‘lower Alabama’ can get you thrown out of a Hilton Hotel and threatened with arrest. Protesting to the police the Hilton’s prejudicial actions can get you killed. So, the thing to do was leave the hotel humiliated rather than face that possibility.

That happened to a guy I know.

Static is more important than a contract, and more significant than any agreement meant for commerce and revenue. A beloved black character not just kept alive by word of mouth but flourishing alone is a goldmine for AT&T if it makes a billion dollars or not a dime.

Agreements are vital; I’m just saying exceptions made for the greater good I would argue keep us dare I say civilized. I’m currently breaking an agreement preventing me from discussing the very matters this article covers, doing so for the greater good.

That “agreement” is a damning smoking gun evidence of a decision made with malice. What did I do to justify a sustained policy of exclusion?

My contributions to the company were never in question; they are stellar. So stellar are my doings at DC it begs the question: is Static Shock being held back because of a personal dislike of Michael Davis?

I’ve been labeled troublemaker, among other things. That’s true—I’m trouble when approached like I’m a child talked to like I’m stupid.

I’m far from stupid. Can’t say the same for the person who sent a fraudulent letter with false information in a bid to stop me from becoming President & CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks.

That’s stupid.

Having two employees lie to try and frame you?

That’s criminal.

I said Milestone is capable of exploiting Static with or without DC’s involvement, but I hope it is with DC that the next stage of Static happens. DC does the best books in the industry, and the power of AT&T and Time Warner’s reach is awe-inspiring.

The knock, on black content, is diversity doesn’t sell. That usually comes from those who don’t sell diversity because they can’t. 

Milestone’s Reggie Hudlin Derek Dingle and Milestone’s inventor Denys Cowan can sell diversity. They have done so all their professional lives.

Static has a worldwide following ignored by DC and Warner Bros. With help from AT&T Warner Bros. and DC Comics I believe Static will do the kind of numbers as a movie to rival or even surpass Black Panther.

Lastly, I leave you with this.

I have history with AT&T also. Your company are sponsors of my forum the Black Panel. I’ve also been invited to participate in various AT&T art shows at AT&T corporate in New Jersey.

Speaking of art, AT&T has one of the most celebrated art collections in the world.

Among the acquisitions are paintings by William T. Williams, underscoring AT&T’s dedication to Black America. Mr. Williams was the first Black artist inducted into Janson’s History of Art.

When that moment happened, he refused. He refused because he felt Janson should acknowledge other black artists that came before him.

Janson did just that; they included other notable African American artists.

The Janson History of Art did that regardless of the time and money it took to accomplish this. Janson is the world leader in art history publications, and to do so was a massive undertaking.

However, it was the right thing to do.

There’s a DC Comics connection to Mr. Williams. The painting used to represent his work is called Batman. Just so happens, Batman is my favorite superhero, I was obsessed with the 60’s TV show.

So much so it drove me to love drawing Batman, which kept me inside and helped keep me alive. My sister and grandmother both died violent deaths that could have easily been me and almost was.

My love of drawing Batman turned into loving art that led to working at Mr. Williams studio. I was working in the studio of a world-renowned artist at a very young age.

I was ten.

He had me ‘work’ in his studio to keep me safe.

William T. Williams is my mentor, my hero, and my cousin. Batman was named with me in mind. So, a DC Comics character is featured in the most influential art history book in the world because of me.

I needed heroes to help me stay alive and when real ones were not available, I found them in comics. I’d like to work with DC again but if it will help get Static to the next level, I’ll sign an agreement stating I won’t use the letters D or C for the rest of my life.

That’s ridiculous, I know.

Not as ridiculous as ignoring the almost 800,000 views David Kirkman’s Static Fan Film has in only weeks on YouTube fueled by just word of mouth. Now think about that number with the power of AT&T Warner Bros. DC Comics and Milestone all operating in concert.

Please consider taking a moment and examine what may be possible.

“AT&T gives you more for your thing, More entertainment, Internet, and unlimited plans. More for your thing. Yeah, that’s our thing.”

All the millions of Static Shock fans ask is for you to do your thing.

—Michael Davis, PhD
Los Angeles, CA
July 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate Featurette from SDCC

Terminator: Dark Fate Featurette from SDCC

At SDCC, Paramount offered upa  fresh look at November’s continuation of The Terminator franchise.

Terminator: Dark Fate will open in theatres November 1, 2019.

DIRECTED BY: Tim Miller

 PRODUCED BY James Cameron, David Ellison

 EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Edward Cheng, Tim Miller, John J. Kelly, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn

STORY BY James Cameron & Charles Eglee & Josh Friedman and David Goyer & Justin Rhodes

 SCREENPLAY BY David Goyer & Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray

STARRING Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta

GrimJack announced as Russo Brothers’ next project at SDCC

GrimJack announced as Russo Brothers’ next project at SDCC

The Manx Cat is out of the bag.

Grimjack is being developed at Amazon by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO Studios and being written by Kevin Murphy, the creator of Defiance, Heathers the Musical and Reefer Madness. Grimjack, created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman, is the adventures of John Gaunt, hard-boiled barbarian who walks the mean streets of the interdimensional city Cynosure, where magic works on one side of the street but not the other, technology becomes sentient down the block, and swords and a bad attitude work everywhere.

If you want to read up on GrimJack before everyone else, here’s your chance— ComicMix is publishing the original runs in Omnibus format. Dive in now!