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October 15, 2001 - New to the site, and something that I hope becomes a regular item, is the GUEST COLUMN. Our first column is by Christopher P. Reilly, the author of the upcoming 'The Comical Tragedy of Punch and Judy' (October Previews page 216). How I met Neil Gaiman and wrote "The comical Tragedy of Punch and Judy", "I was horrified when I interviewed Neil Gaiman in 1992. In the early 90's I was conducting interviews for Providence, Rhode Islandís "Nice Paper" (which was anything but). My first interviews were with Jim Woodring, Will Eisner, Charles Schulz, Alan Moore and Kim Dietch. I was in Heaven. These were people Iíd idolized for years, and I was calling them at their homes and they were talking to me. I just wanted to establish (for you the reader) that I interviewed people that I liked - Then there was Gaiman."
The Weekly Column Strange Adventures In Comics returns with, 10/10/01
GUEST COLUMN: DAVE HOWLETT, "Once again, the comics industry is abuzz with the giddy thrill of being noticed by Hollywood! Yes, the entertainment juggernaut that continues to happily grind out such blockbuster fare as Most Valuable Primate and Dude, Where's My Car? has once again turned its bulbous head in our direction. The days of concerning ourselves with producing and selling quality comics that can stand on their own merit are thankfully behind us. Now, we can instead spend our time in breathless anticipation of grade-B actors playing grade-Z characters (Ray Park--you know, the guy that played Darth Maul?--IS Iron Fist!), unrecognizable TV series based on unreadable comic books (Mutant X--debuting in syndication this fall!), and the continued languishing in development hell of already lackluster properties (Ghost Rider--coming someday to a theater near you, courtesy of the makers of...Baby Geniuses?!?)." ehehehehehhe
"The two-hour set took some haphazard detours. At one point, a roadie dressed as Spiderman prowled the stage while Tenacious D obscenely reworked that superhero's theme song. There was a not-for-the-kiddies video in the middle of the show that detailed Jack's disastrous and poverty-induced foray into male prostitution. The sum total of the "pyrotechnics" was a couple of plastic mini-rockets shot into the audience by a foot pump." - Tenacious D, Ready to Rock You
Comics can hold eerie mirror to life of war, "WAR COMICS are a classic genre. Comics went to war in World War II, with superheroes battling the Axis powers, and just after the war -- mirroring what was happening in Hollywood -- started to create more realistic storylines featuring regular soldiers. During the '60s, war comics got weird, with Marines battling dinosaurs and riding in haunted tanks. They became personality-driven and soap-operatic, like TV series, with regular "characters" like Sgt. Rock of Easy Company and Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Occasionally, there were insightfully created titles like "Enemy Ace," but these were rare, and almost always DC."
Bin Laden as Lex Luthor, "For weeks we've been hearing about Osama bin Laden, the Saudi sultan of suicide terror attacks, a Geppetto whose wish awakens sleeper cells from Jakarta to Dar es Salaam, a silky-tongued avenger in a turban with a mike in his hand. His language, robes and other trappings may be foreign, but there's something hauntingly familiar about this character, something with deep resonance in U.S. mythology. Bin Laden has been compared to Hitler and Stalin, but his closest model is a home-grown villain. "Arch-foe," "evil genius," "criminal mastermind" -- bin Laden is the rightful heir to the comic book legend, Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor."
A Banner role- Bana morphing into Uni's 'Hulk', "Australian actor Eric Bana has landed the coveted role of Dr. Bruce Banner in Universal Pictures' big-screen adaptation of the Marvel comic book "The Hulk," to be directed by Oscar-winning helmer Ang Lee. The computer-generated, effects-laden project is being targeted for a spring start with a tentpole 2003 release. While Bana is not a household name, the actor has generated interest in Hollywood following last year's limited release of the Australian feature "Chopper," in which he starred. His performance in that film prompted Revolution Studios, director Ridley Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to cast him in their upcoming feature "Black Hawk Down" (HR 11/9)."
Those capes, those tights! TV loves a superhero, "TV loves a man in tights. And, for that matter, a woman in tights. Caped crusaders and crusaderettes have been vanquishing evildoers on the boob tube for almost as many years as the television itself has existed. Come with us now, as we take a look at some of our faves:"
Cartoonist- Pacifism wont be effective against terrorism, "The anti-pacifist political cartoon that generated controversy last week was the work of Eric Devericks, a senior at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore. The 25-year-old draws cartoons for his college newspaper, The Daily Barometer, but has garnered national attention. Last summer, he won a prestigious award from The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and his work has appeared in daily newspapers in Oregon. He has become an occasional contributor to The Spokesman-Review. In a recent e-mail exchange, Devericks talked about the pacifist cartoon -- and the controversy. The cartoon also appeared in the university's student newspaper. "In the days before I created the cartoon I had read a number of letters to the editor advocating a passive response to the horrific tragedy of Sept. 11. Then, on the day of my deadline, I was reading a column (in the Washington Post) in which the author had been critical of pacifism in a previous column, and had received a response that threatened him to apologize or `a series of strongly worded letters would follow.' "It immediately occurred to me how ridiculous this might sound, in light of the magnitude of the tragedy, written not to an American editorial writer but to Osama bin Laden himself."."
Comics- Not So Funny Anymore, "Darby Conley, who writes Get Fuzzy, a light-hearted strip about a single man, his dog and his cat, found it tough to make light of things after Sept. 11. "It's very surreal to sit and try to write jokes, especially when you draw a little kitty and doggie," he said from his Boston studio. But Conley had his characters confront the issue head-on. "I thought the best thing to do was to show how someone might react in a responsible way, which was to have the characters donate blood ó including the dog," he said. In San Diego, Luann cartoonist Greg Evans came upon a similar solution. He wrote a week of strips in which his high-school heroine talks about the disaster with her family and friends. "It would seem wrong to ignore it," he said. "It would seem so artificial, like my characters were living in a cocoon." Heathcliff cartoonist Peter Gallagher chose a different approach. His rascally cat dealt with the matter obliquely, like pretending to be stuck in a tree so he can meet "a real hero" ó a firefighter."
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