Saturday, April 30, 2011

…The American Way

I heard about Superman’s decision to ‘renounce his American citizenship’ last week and I have been waiting to actually read Action Comics issue 900 before passing judgment.

“…I’m sorry, what was that?” you may ask, “something about Superman?”

If you have not heard by now here are the details: Here are more details: Here are even more details:

“WHAT!? The writers and publishers have turned Superman into a traitor!”

Nope, I’m not jumping on that bandwagon; unlike these quotable souls here: [NOTE: Not my blog - not my choice of language. However; it's still an interesting set of quotes.]

The one word that comes to mind describing the situation that the publishers have placed the Man of Steel and that word is BRILLIANT.


Let’s look at this through the eyes of a writer and publishing house. Issue 900 of Action Comics is a collection of stories from several writers and artists giving their take on the iconic character. DC did not just hand the keys to anyone to tell the stories in issue 900. No, they brought out some members from the A-Squad. Richard Donner, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer are all amazing writers who have large volumes of high quality writing to their names. Mr. Goyer wrote the story that is causing all of the controversy; I also happen to be a BIG fan of his work. It must be very exciting as a writer flipping a static character into a dynamic one making what is old new again. He is not a minor player in this field. In fact a smart publishing house that had access to some of the finest talent in the industry may be very pleased with having a comic book from the nineteen thirties relevant once more; controversial to the point that it is making worldwide press. John Q. Public is once more buying a Superman comic book! Chances are it will be a third or a fourth printing of said publication by this point. People are going to want to read it for themselves.

Simply Brilliant.

I haven’t read any Superman title since the “Death of Superman” & “Rise of the Supermen” story arcs back in 1993. I will pick up issue 900 because I stand with John Q. Public – I want to read it for myself. As a fan and a guy who likes to write all sorts of different stuff I can see the story arc that could sprout from the seeds planted in issue 900. To quote the Joker from The Dark Knight, “It’s all part of the plan.”

Everyone knows the history, really. Kal-El, the Last Son of Krypton is the BIG ONE when it comes to American immigration stories in the world of Comics. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster designed him that way in 1932. “The pair sold the rights to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938” and in June 1938, Action Comics # 1 went on sale. Superman was born. The truth be told Superman is the prototype for all the other comic heroes that followed. The Man of Tomorrow has been around now for 900 issues – that’s 73 years. His popularity has ebbed and flowed over those years but to the masses the first image that creeps into the collective unconscious when someone mentions the words; comic book, is Superman. Superman is American pop-culture and people identify with that whether they read comics or not. That disenfranchised Kryptonian is a shared cultural touchstone, so to speak.

As a fan, a writer and a Geek for all seasons I can’t wait to see what’s next for Kal-El. I just may have to add Action Comics to my subscription again. These notions would not have crossed my mind if it weren’t for the story arc that is about to launch from a company with several tricks still up their sleeve.

…Brilliant DC, simply Brilliant.

[NOTE: Evil Chicken would like to thank his favorite second brain, Wikipedia and his friend the Internet for the information disseminated for this blog you’re just read, Gentle Reader. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Until next time, I’ll see you at the Comic Book Shop – I’ll be the one picking up the 4th or 5th printing of Action Comics issue 900.]

Friday, April 22, 2011

So Dad, What was a Movie Theater Like?

I read a very good article on Ain’t It Cool News by Nordling called, “Nordling Advocates For The Theatrical Experience!” It can be found here: If you are a movie geek you will grok it mightily. I would have simply posted on AICN, however, gremlins appear to be attacking Harry’s site right now so I thought that I would post my reply right here on Chicken Scratch. Here it is in its entirety…

Here, Here!

Firstly, Nordling, that was a brilliant article.

The motion picture industry is just that, an industry. They are built to make money and technology and our ever increasing short attention spans make turnover of product faster and faster. The trick for the average person buying a ticket is separating the ‘Must See Opening Days’ from the Red Box rentals – the wheat from the chaff. The ART is still there (thank God), it must be or it will simply not sell. Not for nuthin’ but that’s one of the main reasons why AICN is what it is ~ as a consumer of what the movie industry is selling it is just bad business sense to simply buy a ticket to a movie without doing the market research first. You learn to listen to good advice. I have a family of 5 and unless I have a vested interest in a film (i.e. an event picture) I am not taking the troops; it’s just too pricy. Since we are in a confessional frame of mind I am more likely to purchase a single ticket for a matinee showing on opening day. I love the communal experience of a theater but these days I really have to pick and choose such communal experiences.

I stand by my opening statement; Nordling, that was a Brilliant Article. Thanks.

Both Shakespeare and Captain Kirk called the future, “The Undiscovered Country”. What the future holds for the multiplex is up for grabs. How do you think the future will unfold, Gentle Reader?

I’ll see you at the multiplex… for as long as I can.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

All Terrain Armored Transport for America

I’m not going to lie to you, Gentle Reader; we are in a slump. We consistently are confronted by bad news Stateside; the economy, the jobless rates, we are mortgaged to other countries three times over, we don’t produce too much these days in science or technology and there are wars on three fronts… some might be tempted into saying something like, “Our best days are behind us.” In a world where corporations are now considered individuals (thanks Supreme Court!) it is hard not to envision the future looming like Darth Vader in a room full of Padawans representative of the evil Empire in the much beloved Star Wars saga.

Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, JOIN ‘em!

I was poking around Twitter (WIRED’s Underwire, specifically) and found this: Yes, that’s right; there is an effort underway to build a full sized – fully functional AT-AT right here in the good ole, U S of A. Let’s face it we are excellent consumers and, as is alluded to in this particular blog posting, one of our favorite consumer items is Popular Culture. As a red blooded, American Geek this pleases me. To think that Adam Savage from Mythbusters has been made privy to these plans shoots my patriotic, Midi-chlorian count off the scale.

They are calling for people to spread the word – which is, as it happens, exactly what I have now done. To quote from this blog, “…Now the rest is up to you. Spread the word. Get organized. We can get this done. If America can put a man on the Moon, we can bring a little bit of Hoth to the Earth. To volunteer to help, email”.

Remember you real-life nephew of your Uncle Sam, the Force will be with you… Always.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life, the Universe and Everything

Douglas Adams came up with the title that I have borrowed for this quick little ‘catch-up’ blog. Much is afoot and I thought that I’d drop some crumbs as to why I have not been the best of consistent bloggers most recently; of which I a deeply sorry, Gentle Reader.

1. Oscar beat me this year. “The King’s Speech” was a massive sleeping giant that I did not take into account as I put my Academy Awards blog together this year. I had second thoughts but I stood by my choices. Oops. This year goes to that little golden, bald guy. I’ll try to think more like the Academy next time. By the By, Ann Hathaway and James Franco did a great job of hosting.

2. A project is materializing that I really can’t talk too much about yet. Suffice to say, when the time is right I will not be shutting up about it. I will give you a hint, it will be cool and you will want to be there.

3. I’m seriously considering going back to school for a Masters degree in my chosen field. That’s all I can really say about that.

4. Charlie Sheen. That’s all I’ve got.

5. “Firefly” is being re-played on the Science Channel and I LOVE it. I missed it the first time around when it was on Fox before it was cancelled. I missed it the second time when it was rebroadcast on Sci-Fi. I’m not missing it now. Just what was Fox thinking canceling this show? Really. Whedon is an amazing writer/director who really has a knack for creating worlds that I want to visit. I can’t wait to see what he does with ‘The Avengers’.

6. I’ve been losing weight. No diet this time at bat; I’m just watching my calories. We are trying to get in more Geocaching too which is a great way to get out there to see what’s around the corner.

7. I think we; my family the Evil Chicken 5, are going to be getting a new “Mother Ship” (central computer). This means that I will be inheriting the old “Mother Ship”. This is a good thing. My laptop (that I am writing this little blog on, BTW) is getting long in the tooth. I started booting up yesterday afternoon just so I could type this now. Hey, who knows; maybe I’ll blog more if I can turn on my computer? It could happen.

So there you have it; a bird’s eye view of the craziness that I have been part and parcel to as of late. Apart from recent tardiness the fact remains, Gentle Reader… I’m still here.

See you soon,

~ Evil Chicken