Harry Shearer To Return To "The Simpsons"
A few quick odds and ends from the week that was in rapid-fire fashion.
SAN DIEGO POST-GAME:
But the experience of Artists’ Alley also requires seeing people who are just here because they’re hanging on to a dream that will likely never come true, a piece of themselves that is dedicated to something that will always exist outside of themselves, no matter how hard they might race after it. You can almost see the difference in their eyes, a kind of quiet panic, a brain firing synapses that keep saying, “This isn’t right, this isn’t right, this isn’t right.” They were supposed to be famous by now. They were supposed to be something other than this, something other than people trying to get a flood of fellow humans headed toward Bumblebee to stop for a second and notice them and say, “Hey, you’re the best artist ever.” But the flood rushes past, not even having the dignity to sweep them along with it.
If you have a passion, you have a Mecca. For an Elvis fan like my mother, Mecca is the jumpsuit-ladened halls of Graceland. For a Muslim, Mecca is a city called Mecca in Saudi Arabia where the Prophet Muhammad was born in AD 570. And for nerds, Mecca is San Diego Comic-Con. Over the years, this show has morphed from its original incarnation as a gathering place for grand debates on which character would win in a fight, Hulk or She-Ra, to today’s Hollywood showcase, where producers can unveil who has been cast in the US$300-million Hulk vs. She-Ra movie.
ITEM! Benito Cereno writes a Metamorpho script as a birthday present:
Holy crap, dudes, I think Metamorpho is for real dead this time, because he is smooth pinned to the ground by a grip of harpoons and has a big, gaping hole in his chest. His face shows him to be in agony, and he is reaching his hands out, as if towards us, the readers! His body also seems to be falling apart at the seams. Behind him gloats Black Manta, that guy from Aquaman, holding his harpoon gun up in the air and shaking his fist in victory.
Also! Behind him floats the deadly Negamorpho, evil twin of Metamorpho! He has a totally black head with a nose, eyebrows, not a harelip, and other features that Metamorpho sometimes has when artists draw him off model. His shirt part is blue and yellow where Metamorpho’s is orange and purple, respectively. His legs are, uh, the opposite of mud? and metal? And his belt buckle has an “N” on it instead of an “M.” (It stands for “Negamorpho.”) Anyway, Negamorpho is like a gaseous cloud of evil, swirling about a panicking Sapphire Stagg, who cannot escape his clutches.
METAMORPHO says: S-s-sufferin’ Sapphire! I never thought I’d go out like this, baby!
Then METAMORPHO says: 86’d by my evil twin and–>choke!<–that guy from Aquaman!
We love to watch those who violate and/or betray liberal-democratic values being dealt with, but not because we believe that a fascist state would be better than a democratic one. In fact, the superhero is a figure who serves to return, in narrative form, democracy to its ideals, where everyone is society is protected from the power wielded by those who care not a whit for fairness at all. For brought up as many of us in the West, and particularly in America, have been, quite consistently marinated in the popular tenants of democracy, we long to live in a world where the reality of our civil society and the claims made for it coincide more closely. And the superhero, rather than being a symbol of how the audience should turn to authoritarian government, draws its power from our knowledge of how democracy often doesn’t work while desperately wishing that it did.
ITEM! Zyduck the Honorable writes about Spider-Man as an aspirational figure, and three Bronze Age moments of Peter Parker displaying individual characteristics:
Spider-Man’s got it harder, though, because he’s got to be an aspirational figure for everybody. He can’t even be a character type like Tony Stark or the Human Torch because Peter Parker has to be all things to all comics fans. He’s the part in all of us that screws up, feels alienated, feels alone and always on the outside of things. He represents youth, and if we’re not still as young as he’s supposed to be, we can at least remember when we were. Because he’s so universal, he’s got to be extremely broad, and indeed, as is often pointed out, because of the full face mask you can very easily imagine your own face under there.
ITEM! Sims the Obligatory reads the worst Batman comic, like, ever:
“Widening Gyre” is the most compelling argument I’ve seen for the distinction between fan-fiction and “legitimate” comics writing being purely monetary, because there is no qualitative distinction whatsoever between what Smith’s doing here and what JokerScarz666 puts up on his LiveJournal. Smith’s writing on Batman is marked by nothing so much as a pervasive immaturity. He writes like a 13-year-old in every possible way.
THIS JUST IN! Jon Adams draws a comic strip about San Francisco comic shops. Praises Sime, disses Hibbs, film at eleven.
BREAKING NEWS! Rich Johnston reveals Thunderstrike revival by DeFalco and Frenz. Bill Reed is only man on internet to be terribly excited about this. No, really. Thunderstrike– Eric Masterson– definitely my favorite Marvel character. I’m mildly concerned about possible retcons, but I think Tom and Rom will handle it with their usual aplomb.
WUX-TRY! WUX-TRY! Axe Cop and Dr. McNinja team up; faces across country rocked so hard they fall off:
What bits of internet reverie got your goat or wet your whistle this week?
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