Missing the Days When the Comic Book Industry Was Still Fun, Long Before Creators Got So Miserly Selling Their Kickstarter Indulgences18 Jul
What would the summer be like without a trip to the local cinema?
Celebrated the twentieth anniversary of seeing BATMAN FOREVER at the movie theater by going to JURASSIC WORLD (Hey, I can’t help it if there wasn’t a new BATMAN movie out yet). Excellent film! I rate it 5 plastic dinosaurs (which, given the current rate of exchange, equals out to 5 stars). Nice logical progression from the foundation of the first film; appreciated the science fiction (not just mindless action); and enjoyed all the minute details invested in bringing this immersive theme park to life. Got to catch part 2 and 3 on TV for the first time too, which added to the enjoyment. Really great bunch of films. Thank you Steven Spielberg (again).
What would the summer be like without a trip to the local comic shop?
As a long time SABRINA: THE TEENAGE WITCH fan, I was very excited about the prospect of a whole new comic book series hitting the newsstands. Major disappointment! The horror! (and not the good kind). While the art was very good in the first few issues that I took the time to peruse, detractingly the whole spirit of the work came off as oppressively gross, tasteless, and extremely mean spirited, especially given the sweet, positive, and sorely missed source material of comics legend Dan DeCarlo. It was my hope that ARCHIE was going to produce something classy and cool, like the Kim Novak/Jimmy Stewart classic BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE (which seems to be the basis for the original DeCarlo character). That would have been a more mature treatment, while also retaining something of the original purpose and heart of the character. I am not adverse to the genre of horror, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre remain two of my favorite actors since childhood; but, as stated before, the new SABRINA seemed endlessly mean spirited, and never suspenseful.
There is a silver lining to all of this…I never have to buy it again (which I won’t). Thankfully, I also tried out a few issues of BATMAN ’66 which I was pleasantly surprised with and greatly enjoyed. From the Mike Allred covers (his MADMAN comics remain one of my all time favorite comic book works) to the fun stories and art, I think I’m going to be a regular reader. And with all the confusing continuity issues going on at DC right now, BATMAN ’66 seemed like the only legitimate Batman story I’ve read for a long time. Maybe it’s because I grew up on reruns of the old Adam West show in the early ’90s and it had more of a lasting impact than I had supposed. I certainly find that West/Ward universe infinitely more preferable and accessible than the current crop of “canonical” books.
Well, that’s all for now, and remember: Freedom is Ink on the Page.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
I recently had the very cool experience of being interviewed for an upcoming article about art (my favorite topic) for the Ocean County College alumni publication Ocean Views. I don’t know how much of my take on things will end up making it into print when the issue comes out later this summer, but I wanted to share herein what I had to say about dealing with rejection, for the benefit of all of you nifty and much appreciated Neptune City-Saturn Town blog subscribers (your blogs are very awesome, I might add) and book series readers. Hope this helps:
Never take rejection seriously; it is only up to the artist to decide the true merit of their own work, for it is the artist who creates the goal which inspires the work, and therefore is the only authority regarding the degree of success achieved through the completion of the work. Interpret each new art piece as an additional step taken toward further improvement, and accept and celebrate any perceived faults inherent in your style or execution, for faults are unique and individual and create a distinctive voice. Always believe in yourself, and get your work out there as soon as you can: you never know the positive and lasting impact the addition of your artistic presence can create.
Hypothetically: if I was living back in the 1950’s, and Neptune City-Saturn Town was the #1 syndicated comic strip in America, and MGM wanted to adapt my work for the big budget Technicolor silver screen, who would I cast as the Beatnik Fox?
After much deliberation…
Gene Kelly would be my ideal choice for good ol’ Foxy. Very easygoing persona.
Audrey Hepburn would be perfect as Foxy’s sister Tawney (you’d have to be reading the books to find out about her).
And breathtaking Doris Day as Foxy’s blushing bride Chick.
Simon Lotsamoney (Chick’s Uncle, and the owner of the Lotsamoney Café) could be portrayed to a tee by a slim Orson Welles.
Yul Brynner would deliver an Oscar Winning performance as Dr. Sananiko/Little Hawk (again, read those books to catch up on all the plot developments).
If they wanted to make the film like George Pal’s “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” and have a bunch of autobiographical stuff thrown in to make it all a framework narrative kind of thing, who would play me? I say wholeheartedly… Jimmy Stewart! After all, I think his role in Harvey makes him more than qualified. If you dwell on it for any length of time there really isn’t much difference between Elwood P. Dowd talking to a six-foot tall invisible rabbit, and me devoting most of my life to drawing an imaginary fox with a little pair of pants for him to wear, and a little turtleneck, and a beret. Especially that self-portrait which Dowd paints of he and Harvey together. I think it hits a little too close to home (laughter).
Sigh. One can dream.