Monday, August 12, 2019
Friday, November 23, 2018
Superheroes. Washington, DC: National Museum of American History. November 20, 2018 to September 2, 2019. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/super-heroes
|courtesy of Grand Comics Database|
Bruce Guthrie has an extensive series of photographs including the individual comic books at http://www.bguthriephotos.com/graphlib.nsf/keys/2018_11_22D2_SIAH_Superheroes
(This review was written for the International Journal of Comic Art 20:2, but this version appears on both the IJOCA and ComicsDC websites on November 23, 2018, while the exhibit is still open for viewing.)
Thursday, September 20, 2018
DC Comics collects a lot of the comic books they've published, but they also have quite a few publications aimed at an adult audience looking for a gift or willing to spend larger amounts on material that interests them. The fact that these books even exist can be amazing especially for someone who grew up in the 1970s when there was one (or less!) collection of comics published per year (The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 started the modern trend of collecting a story arc in a book or "waiting for the trade"). Over the next week or so, I'll look at three of these I've been provided with recently.
The authors Perry (a sf/fantasy novelization writer) and Manning (a comic book historian) do a good job at summarizing the powers and features of the characters in the book (Superman, Cheetah, Aquaman, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, Swamp Thing, Darkseid, Bane, Doomsday, Killer Croc, Bizarro and Killer Frost), but run quickly into the major problem of the fact that these powers are impossible by our understanding of physics, chemistry and other sciences, so how can they be explained? On page 9, the second page of his dossier, Batman writes, "Much of my research has been focused on the composition of Superman's bones and muscles. What combination of organic structures could possible generate his immense strength? I have many theories but all are at odds with conventional scientific thinking." This difficulty with the human scientist Batman trying to understand impossible phenomena continues throughout the book. How can a woman become a were-cheetah?
Monday, September 08, 2014
New York, N.Y. Children's Colony, a school for refugee children administered by a Viennese. German refugee child, a devotee of Superman
- Title: New York, N.Y. Children's Colony, a school for refugee children administered by a Viennese. German refugee child, a devotee of Superman
- Creator(s): Collins, Marjory, 1912-1985, photographer
- Date Created/Published: 1942 October.
- Medium: 1 photographic print.
- Summary: Photograph shows a boy reading a Superman comic book.
- Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ds-04108 (digital file from original)
- Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
- Call Number: FSA/OWI COLL - D 364 [item] [P&P]
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Monday, July 15, 2013
I've just about finished Glen Weldon's new book Superman: An Unauthorized Biography, and can recommend it. You can listen to him on NPR last week -
Bellantoni, Christina. 2013.
How Superman Explains America.
National Public Radio and WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show (July 9).
and the pictures are from his talk at Politics and Prose yesterday, which was fun. When the bookstore posts the video they shot, I'll add link to it.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
As Superman turns 75, what better time to look back over his life? Weldon, NPR blogger, critic, and comics expert, considers not only the Man of Steel's adventures and achievements, but also his place in the culture as the first, and still most popular, superhero.
- 5015 Connecticut Ave NW
- Washington ,
- District Of Columbia
- Postal Code:
- United States
Monday, June 17, 2013
Honestly, the themes don't seem to match up.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Robinson had multiple careers in cartooning including writing a history of comics, being an editorial cartoonist, and starting a syndicate, but he began as a young man in comic books. As a seventeen-year old he began working on Batman as a letterer and inker in 1939. Eventually he became a penciller for the character, and as an employee of what became DC Comics, he met a lot of artists. And thankfully he saved examples of their work, at a time when that behavior wasn't very common.
|Simon & Kirby cover to Adventure Comics #78|
And many of the writers and artists were Jewish. As comics historian Arnold Blumberg noted in his remarks at the preview, "...it's a joy to see the exhibit come to a facility like this and to take a look at it from our unique perspective of what our culture, what our heritage, has given not just to itself, but to the world. The world owns Superman and Batman and all these characters now. Many of them may not have a clue where they came from, who were the kind of people who sat down and created them, but they are now owned by the entire world. They're heroes for everybody and they came from us."
|Siegel & Shuster drawing dedicated to Robinson|
This version of the exhibit does have a tricky dichotomy to it. The uncolored, unfinished single pages of comic book artwork will appeal to a mature (elderly, if they bought the titles originally) viewer, while the idea of a superhero largely is aimed at male teens and younger children. This version of the exhibit caters to the very youngest viewers, with a set of tables, chairs and supplies for making cartoons, a replica of Superman's telephone booth with costumes set alongside it, a Batmobile kiddy ride, a newsstand with comics to read on it, and a piece of "Kryptonite"with a recording that warns one not to get to close.
I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibit with local cartoonists. Barbara Dale (of Baltimore), known for her humorous cartoons, fixated on the original Spirit page by Will Eisner and the Frank Frazetta that was next to it, and thought those two pieces made the entire exhibit worthwhile.
|The Eisner Spirit page that impressed Barbara Dale...|
|...and the Frazetta cover that Dale also admired.|
|Note Wrightson's debt to Lou Fine.|
|Bob Fujitane uses Japanese iconography.|
I had seen a previous version of this exhibit in New York at the Jewish Museum there, but it was reworked as an addition to the massive "Masters of American Comics" show. Any fan of comic book history should take the opportunity to see this version of the show at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. The catalogue can be bought in the gift shop, along with Superman toothbrushes, Batman lunchboxes and hand-painted superhero yarmelkes. The Museum has produced two curriculum guides for schools and plans lectures throughout the exhibit which runs from January 27 - August 28, 2013, and costs $8 or less. More of my pictures can be seen here.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Artistic Director Ari Roth welcomes The History of Invulnerability to the Theater J stage, remarking "In the tradition of David Mamet, David Bar Katz is a writer of muscular Jews with a wild, robust writing style to match. He's got a number of interesting plays: Philip Roth in Khartoum, [staged at the Public Theatre in 2008] Burning Burning Burning [surrounding Shabbetai Tzvi, the false messiah] and The Atmosphere of Memory [Featuring Ellen Burstyn]. He's a great writer for a new generation, and we're glad to start an ongoing relationship with him." Bar Katz is a company member of the prestigious LAByrinth Theatre in New York, which includes artists like Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed the Emmy-nominated HBO presentation of Bar Katz's Oh The Power. Bar Katz also earned two Tony Award nominations for the Broadway production of his play Freak. In an article in CityBeat, Cincinnati, Bar Katz describes himself as a writer who understands the "desire to fight battles in the real world using your fiction."
James Whalen, Alyssa Wilmoth and Noah Chiet
Please note: Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 pm the show will have open captioning for the hearing impaired.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
by Glen Weldon
National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (November 17, 2010)
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
by Linda Holmes
National Public Radio's Monkey See blog's Pop Culture Happy Hour (October 8 2010)
With Glen Weldon of course. And I'm now guessing that Linda Holmes must be in the area too?
Friday, July 09, 2010
Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man and Wonder Woman #1
Saturday, July 10 @ 10pm
Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man and Wonder Woman #1
Wednesday, July 14 @ 9:45pm
Batman Adventures: Mad Love
Friday, July 16 @ 10:15pm
The Uncanny X-Men #127-128
Sunday, July 18 @ 3:30pm
The Uncanny X-Men #127-128
1013 7th Street, NW
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Washington Times March 20, 2010
Meanwhile at Bennett's Best, Greg has a couple of recommendations, neither of which I can get behind.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog February 22, 2010