Category Archives: Comics

Flash and Les Mis in the Golden Age of Radio and Comics

Two of my fan interests sort of intersected* with a pair of articles I wrote last night, as I found myself looking at the Flash and Les Misérables in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

I review Orson Welles’ Les Misérables radio play over at Re-Reading Les Mis. Last weekend I stumbled on a cassette recording of the 1937 series, but since I don’t have anything portable to play cassettes on anymore, I went looking online, found it at the Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio collection, and listened to it on the way to and from work for several days. (I wish I hadn’t already used the Cassette…now I remember pun.)

A 1943 Flash comic book features Jay Garrick playing every role at once in a stage play, quick-change style, when the entire cast is quarantined for a measles outbreak. I’d recently updated the scans on an old post on the one-man team trope. The Disneyland outbreak made me think of the story, and I’ve posted a few scans at Speed Force.

*They’ve been intersecting all week, actually, since the actor playing Pied Piper on the Flash TV show is playing Marius on Broadway right now, and has been posting Les Mis-related stuff.

Looking Forward to iZombie

iZombieiZombie has a premiere date! The comedy/horror/murder mystery show launches March 17 on the CW.

I’ve been describing iZombie as a mash-up of the Robeson/Allred comic’s premise (woman becomes a zombie, but can keep her mental faculties as long as she eats one brain a month…then starts picking up memories and personality quirks from the brains she eats) with Pushing Daisies (someone able to communicate with the dead in an odd, but limited manner teams up with a detective to solve murders) and Veronica Mars (produced by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero), all of which sounded promising, since I liked the iZombie comic, Pushing Daisies, and Veronica Mars. Based on the previews I’ve seen online and at SDCC last summer, that description is (if you’ll pardon the expression) dead-on.

CW has the first look trailer for the show.

ComicBookMovie has the official synopsis of the show. Rose McIver stars as the main character, Liv, who takes a job in the coroner’s office to satisfy her need for brains, but gets found out by her boss…who is actually quite fascinated. As she picks up memories and skills from murder victims, she helps a detective solve cases while seeking the man responsible for her own zombification.

The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive article talking with the producers and stars about the show’s tone, characterization, how Liv differs from Veronica, the nature of zombies on the show (if they don’t eat brains regularly, they turn into classic Romero-style zombies) and so on.

It looks like it will be a lot of fun, and while it’s got half-season-wonder written all over it, you never know. I mean, the fact that we got a second season of Pushing Daisies qualifies as a television miracle!

Back to the Beach: Long Beach Comic Con (2014)

Outside Long Beach Comic Con 2014

I did something different at Long Beach Comic Con this year: I went for two days instead of just one! Well, one and a half days, really, but it is a first. The con is still small enough that I can do the whole thing in a day, but there were Saturday-only events and one Sunday-only event that I really wanted to attend.

Before I left, I skimmed over my posts about previous years’ cons. Last year I felt particularly unfocused most of the day until I figured out what I wanted to do…at the end of the day. So this year I approached LBCC with a few goals in mind:

  • Young Justice panel
  • S.T.A.R. Labs Mobile Research Unit (an interactive promo for the Flash TV show)
  • Bargain collections
  • Artists & interesting indie books

Continue reading

Not Invited to the Avengers Ball

The Avengers Ball

I was at the grocery store yesterday with my 3½-year old son, and he stopped as we passed a bin of balls. Most of them were solid or mottled, but he immediately picked up the Avengers ball, plastered with the logo and the heroes.

He turned it around for a bit, looking it over, then looked up at me and asked, “Where’s the Black Widow?”

I looked at it myself. Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America…they were the comic book versions of the characters, but the lineup was clearly chosen for movie recognition. (We haven’t shown him the movies, but his mom is an avid Marvel Puzzle Quest player, and he’s learned the characters from watching her.)

And no, there was no sign of Black Widow. (To be fair, I didn’t see Hawkeye either.)

“That’s a good question,” I told him, suggesting maybe we should ask Marvel.

Really, Marvel — and DC too (someone got him a Justice League T-shirt when he was younger that subbed Green Lantern for Wonder Woman in the DC trinity) — you don’t have to be afraid that boys won’t want your merchandise if there’s a girl on it. They aren’t going to be bothered that she’s included, unless you teach them to be.

But even a three year old notices when she’s missing.

Comic-Con 2014 – Now That’s Better! (Writeup, Photos and Cosplay)

This year’s trip to Comic-Con International in San Diego went a bit better than last year, when we ended up losing an entire afternoon to an ER visit. That didn’t happen this year. (Well, not quite…) Even better: we managed to catch some fascinating panels, meet some artists and writers, find some cool stuff, see people in awesome costumes, and even learn some useful information.

(For the TL;DR folks, you can jump straight to the full photo album on Flickr.)

The Paper!It’s been a while since either of us attended in costume, but this year Katie put together an Alice costume from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Some parts were collected across weeks of shopping trips, but we made the vest, and she made the necklace and beaded the belts together. It was the most elaborate costume we’d done since my Jay Garrick Flash costume in 2009. I think it came out great, but she was disappointed that so few people seemed to recognize it. For Friday she bought back her Yomiko Readman costume from a few years ago.

As far as other cosplay went, I noticed an unusual number of costumes from Princess Mononoke and Battlestar Galactica (both versions). Katie spotted several women as Quicksilver (X-Men: Days of Future Past–style. By our count there were at least five. There were a lot of Frozen costumes (and before you object, Elsa has super-powers and a character arc that reads like an X-Men storyline — wish I could take credit for this, but I saw someone make the point on Twitter & can’t remember who). One of my favorite costumes that I didn’t manage to catch a photo of was Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-it-Ralph, complete with her race car.

Also: Every Cersei Lannister we saw was carrying around a wine goblet. Every. Single. One. Continue reading