Thursday, May 11, 2006

In the neighbourhood

A. gave me a call at work to let me know that CBC radio had an interview with Joe Q. of Marvel Comics on their program The Current (it may be available later today or tomorrow). You may be able to find it in their archives. It was okay (I missed the beginning) when they brought in a professor who wrote a book about Superheroes ™ and a classics professor.

There was some great comparisons to classic heroes and some exploration of how superheroes have moved from being a forum to explore ideas to a cultural idea that is now infused into our everyday lives. For instance the idea of super-villains. There are now people being portrayed as super-villains, in particular the enemy commander super-villain like Saddam Hussein or Osama bin-Laden. But there isn’t anyone being portrayed as the super-hero™ - Bush Jr. is more of a cowboy homage than super-hero™.

One idea explored that I loved was the major difference between today’s heroes versus the classic heroes is that the classic heroes always died. Classic heroes were meant to be portrayed bigger, larger, and stronger than the average person much like our super-heroes™. Some even had gods for parents but in the end each classic hero died whereas today super-heroes™ are required to be serial. Both classic and super heroes are used to explore how people suffer when they take on a burden larger than themselves. Yes they stand up and fight no matter the odds, but the ultimate villain always won (death). So I guess where classic heroes were rewarded for their deeds by dying, superheroes ™ are rewarded for their deeds by continuing to bear their burdens.

There was a bit of talk about how DC characters are more iconic whereas Marvel’s characters were generally created to be conflicted. Yes a heroic death is great, as is iconic storytelling but serial storytelling requires a different type of conflict.

There was also mention of the turn away from the campiness to the maturation of the medium along with the audience. But it ended on a great note when the host asked Joe Q. why the women were still shown in next to nothing? He made the point of the revealing and tight costumes were on both sexes, which is fine, and that there was a bit more diversity in body types compared to ten years ago. But when asked about the heroes out of costume when the men get a regular wardrobe like jeans and t-shirts or suits but the women were still as naked as when they’re in costume he sort of back into a corner of tradition or comparing things to a soap opera. It just wasn’t a credible answer when he could have done a better job.

All in all it was interesting. A co-worker was listening in and made the following comment about Civil War – “Wasn’t that the plot of The Incredibles?”

Man The Incredibles was a great movie.

- - - - -

Also random thoughts.

Comic stories I want to write:
The Last Temptation of Bruce Wayne
Meet Mr. Fist or how I learned to stop worrying and start solving my problems with punching.
The Big Finish
Fox and Wolf
Boom Shaka-Laka

Comic moments I want to write using Tom Waits quotations:
Panel one: Thug looking at Power Girl’s ample bosom – “Hubba hubba, ding ding ding. Baby, you got everything!”
Panel two: Power Girl giving thug a right cross to the jaw – “Hubba hubba, ding ding dong. You’re face didn’t last too long.”

Ultimate Tony Stark – “I got a bad liver and broken heart.”

Aquaman – “The ocean doesn’t want me today.”

Icicle – “It’s nothing but warm beer and cold women.”

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