Saturday, April 16, 2016

Art Therapy: "Batman: Hush" Coloring Book (Part 13, 14, 15 & 16 of 104)


Four pages!

Killer Croc!

Showdown at sunset!


New crayons!

Then back to using the old crayons! (The new crayons - which I brought because they were "jumbo-sized" and figured that would be a relief when coloring backgrounds - wound up being awful; they would break up and file away like rubber erasers, then leave behind smears on my hands and crumbs on the pages! So I went back to the Crayolas...stick to making Mr. Potato Head toys, please, Playskool.)

Incidentally, I noticed in a recent Comic Shop News a criticism of DC Comics repri ting their comics into Adult Coloring Books as part of CSN's annual Red K Awards, citing that these books do not meet the standard of a proper coloring book done by a true coloring book artist.

I've never heard something so boring (aside from negative reviews of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice). Who gives a flying fortress? It's a coloring book! There's criteria for a coloring book? Do me a me a favor...grab the issue of CSN with your opinion, sir...use it to clean up after yourself when you've finished letting the horses out of the barn.

Four down...more to go...

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice" ☆☆☆☆☆ (Review)

Spoilers ahead...

I  saw this movie last week and enjoyed it.


I am completely baffled by the intense dislike of this film by the critics. Were Marvel Studios' efforts akin to the works of Shakespeare, Poe, Faulkner, Cervantes, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Dorothy Parker and Guy De Maupassant? Is there a bias?

I didn't find this film "dark", "boring", "depressing", "overlong" or "stupid". If you've been actually reading DC's superhero comics anytime within the last 3 or 4 decades, it's very faithful to the source. But it's not the funeral dirge that it's been likened to. These characters are not comedians, nor are they TV show characters making TV series-style quips; if they did make cracks, it would be in relation to real things as they happen (for ex: the "Is she with you?" "I  thought she was with you!" bit in the film).

Maybe it's a conditioned response. This movie had a four year buildup; sixteen years if you count the initial mention of a Batman vs. Superman film pitch that would've been directed by Wolfgang Peterson - this was during a fallow period when the Batman film franchise was thought to be dead after Batman and Robin and different ideas for a revival were tossed around Hollywood, including a live-action Batman Beyond and a Batman: Year One adaptation that Frank Miller and Darren Aronovsky developed. The Superman/Batman comic book from 2003, a revival of World's Finest, was obviously launched in anticipation of this movie (a reprint of the first issue was offered as a free giveaway comic to coincide with the premiere; DC went out of there way to revise the title credit page to add Bill Finger's name, in keeping with current tradition).

So, with the long wait, who can expect good reviews from critics, podcasters and bloggers who say things like: "I got a bad feeling about the choices Warner Brothers is making with this movie", "I don't really have high hopes for this film", "Zack Snyder is the worst choice for this movie"...with that attitude, you cannot possibly be engaged, you are stuck with the idea that you are watching a disaster.

All I feel I can really say is that I liked it..and I'm glad I didn't follow the bad reviews, otherwise I would've missed out on an entertaining launch that I hope won't be derailed. Yes, it is a sequel to Man of Steel. Yes, Jimmy Olsen gets killed within the first 15 minutes.* But this film is far superior to Man of Steel. It's short on jokes about underoos and flippant references to ancient video games and doesn't rely on cheap heat by sampling pop songs. And the bonus scenes that Marvel Studios usually saves for after the credits are offered before the third act, instead (enough bonus scenes for 4 separate movies, to be speciffic). And maybe the funeral scene at the end could've been shortened by a minute (and is the act of a hand bursting through a coffin exclusive to only vampires & zombies, but not heroes? Why couldn't we see a stronger image of Superman coming back from the dead? Or am I tapping into touchy subject matter?).

You know what? This film was cool. Go see it. I had fun. The people who hated this movie can go take their reviews and wipe their asses with them. Ben Affleck is a great Batman. Henry Cavil has gotten more comfortable as Superman. Gal Godat is a fantastic Wonder Woman. Amy Adams is kind of bland as Lois, though her scenes with Cavil are good. Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor may get his mannerisms and wardrobe choices from Heath Ledger's Joker, but make no mistake, beneath the affectations, this is the manipulative, Machiavellian, egocentric meglomaniac of the modern age comics, so it's very entertaining to see how the two incarnations of Luthor manage to mesh well.

Enough. Go see it.

*DC Comics had a "Jimmy Olsen Must Die!" lapel pin made available at one point; he must've grated on people over the last 77 years.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Art Therapy: "Batman: Hush" Coloring Book (Part 10, 11 and 12 of 104)

April showers..bring coloring book pages. Witness the wealthy man from Gotham in grey and blue rescue an unrelatable kidnapped effete cipher schoolboy from the clutches of working poor mercenaries gone broke from buying gaudy licensed a swirl of pink and orange smoke??

Yeah..much like the corridors, smoke is kind of boring on a coloring book page..then I recall the colorful smoke bombs used in the old Adam West Batman show and rolled with it!

3 down..more to go..

Friday, April 1, 2016

#Top5ComicBooks of 2015 #1: "Amazing Spider-Man #1", Vol. 4

When I was a kid, I always thought Spider-Man was a rich guy. Those gadgets must cost serious way could he afford an apartment (albeit a crappy one) in NYC by taking pictures of himself in costume for millionaire cheapskate J. Jonah Jameson; he'd be better-off shaking down tourists for tips after posing for free photos on Times Square with the other shabbily-dressed cosplayers. Plus, the toys always showed he owned a multitude of vehicles at his disposal - cars, motorcycles, jetplanes, helicopters..and he lives in Forest Hills!! Peter Parker, you rich, boy.

Let's be honest...Spider-Man was always a miserable read. Who gives this book to children? A guy who can't win because his life is doomed. Why can't he win? Why is Parker plagued with bad luck? Because he sucks. He was a sap..perhaps he is destined to remain a sap. At least he's a rich sap now. Money buys time, money pays bills, money pays ideas forward...better to have money and be a guy who inadvertently killed his girlfriend and got his marriage annulled by the Devil so that his 90-year-old Aunt could continue preparing meals for him than a guy with dick in the bank who inadvertently killed his girlfriend and got his marriage annulled by the Devil so that his 90-year-old Aunt could continue preparing meals for him...let him play Ted Kord for a while.

And a happy April Fools Day to everyone. :)