Saturday, July 2, 2011

Here's an ad for Austin Books (its Green Lantern-centric)

This aired on local cable to promote Austin Books and Comics and the Doug Mahnke signing during the release for Green Lantern. I volunteered, but they had no GL costumes in a 54 long.

I think it turned out pretty well!

Noir Watch: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Let us just get this out of the way:  Lana Turner

Okay. I now feel prepared to move on.

About 12 years ago, I actually read the original James M. Cain novel of The Postman Always Rings Twice and liked it so much at the time I saw no real reason to watch the movie immediately afterward. Fortunately, I've pushed a lot of memories out of my brain in order to make room for stuff like Superman, name of my dogs' vet and Jamie's birthday, and I could no longer remember how the novel ended anymore.

I recorded the movie off TCM this week, and finally gave it a whirl.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's called Super-Social Networking: The Kryptonian

Hey, ya'll!

As much time as I spend on The Signal Watch, we're just one site.  There are all kinds of nice folks out there doing good work, and, sure, there are Superman fan pages out there, but this is 2011, the age of Friendster (Tom is still my only friend... ) and whatnot.  Alone, the Signal Watch is but one site.  Together, we are a full-on-barrage of Superman, comics and pop culture information!

Let me introduce you guys to The Kryptonian, a Super-Site from right here in sunny Austin, Texas!

Anyway, somehow I missed this, but it seems our friends at The Kryptonian recently spotlighted The Signal Watch on their site.   We are completely flattered, and we want to make sure we're highlighting their work a bit more than the link we've made permanently under the Superman-related sites over there in the menu bar.

Aaron covers Superman news, manages a Super-forum, talks comics and movies and generally has put together a site we're visiting now on a daily basis.  He's building a neat community, and I look forward to watching and participating in the site.


Signal Watch Watches: The Hustler

So, I finally watched The Hustler.  Oh, I've tried to watch it before.  I've rented the movie at least three times, put it on the DVR, etc... and failed to watch it every time.  I have missed screenings at The Paramount, etc...  but Thursday evening I joined Jason, Amy and PaulT (aka: "The Commodore") for a viewing.

this is how people crowd around when I'm blogging

Happy Canada Day to Our Friends in The North

Happy Canada Day, amigos!

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

To my fellow Americans who may be heading out for a long weekend, I wish you a very happy Independence Day!  And to our friends in other nations, there's a reason we're not picking up the phone on Monday (and/ or Tuesday in my case).

Liberty and Justice for All, indeed, Cap!
Be happy, healthy and safe, and we'll be right back here when you return from weenie roasts, family gatherings, beach trips and fireworks displays.  Now go out there, salute a flag and your freedom.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

DC brands DCNu as "New 52", releases somewhat muddled video

First:  Look, Dan. Yes, your old Super Friends characters are ABSOLUTELY more famous than DC itself. Most people don't even know that Superman comics are still being published (including Pal Nicole who LIVED IN MY HOUSE), but they know who Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman are. Everybody knows those characters. They even know Aquaman, Flash and Green Lantern. And they know about Marvel. But, no... John Q. Public does not know the name of DC Comics.

Second: You are NOT launching 52 "all new series" unless "all new" means something completely different from what you've been saying in print about continuing and retro-fitting continuity and more or less copping to the fact that the #1's are a stunt. Yeah, you're relaunching Superman and Aquaman, but we'll have to see on the rest...

Third:   Do not post a picture of a re-designed Deathstroke next to Jim Lee saying "everybody knows these characters". Let alone a re-designed OMAC. If you want new readers - don't assume they know anybody but those guys in your JL promo art (that's bad editing).

Fourth:  Good get on putting Morrison in front of the camera, but "what people are feeling right now" juxtaposed with Harley Quinn's halter is... who is steering this ship?

Fifth: "start collecting comics" is a terrible pitch. Start READING comics is how you tell people how to engage your medium. I collect comics with my thousands and thousands of comics. Sally Q Public doesn't want to hear that she needs to start hoarding in order to enjoy your characters.

Sixth:  Day and Date Digital. You know, I like Day and Date Digital. In fact, it sounds stupid to do it any other way (who would read the NYT if you could only get it 24 hours after the print edition?). I have mixed feelings on the fact that they are making a big deal about this as the old policy was so... lunk-headed.  Talking about how smart they are with the new policy feels... weird and self-congratulatory.

Seventh:  As long as comics are only in Direct Market, the industry won't grow. Maybe the Day and Date Digital effort will help, but... something about this whole effort seems wasted if they don't announce in July that comics will be on teh shelf at your local drugstore.

Eighth:  Didio pointing out that he's been there 10 years and they're in need of a desperate move like the New 52 is... well, its weird.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Does a superhero have to have tragedy in their past to be interesting?

Well, it certainly doesn't hurt.

I have long admired the work of Heidi MacDonald at The Beat  Heidi had a neat column a while back on her blind spot in geek culture when it comes to The Green Lantern.  This may not seem surprising to you, but to those of us in the online comics-fan world, that's surprising to the point of being funny.  Being around that much and not knowing much about GL in that context just seems sort of impossible.  It seems her knowledge of GL was, apparently, about equal with my knowledge about... oh...  Hunger Games or Breaking Bad.

In regards to Hal Jordan's origin, Heidi says, and I quote:
Let it be noted, this origin story is notably lacking in drama or conflict. And it was only recently that Johns even retconned in the dying dad thing, which is still not a great motivator (I just learned that yesterday!) Not like dying Uncle Ben or Thomas Wayne or Krypton. No Hulking out, no Iron Man with a bad heart ready to blow at any moment. It’s pretty straightforward…  probably just too straightforward for my tastes. Over the years, I didn’t get why so many guys identified with Green Lantern, but I think now it is just this simple storyline: cocky guy gets great powers. Who wouldn’t identify with that?
Firstly, I think it odd to insinuate that being a jerk and still wanting a flashy ring that will give them whatever they want is strictly a guy thing.  I have seen Sex and the City: The Movie.  (thanks, I'm here all week!  Try the veal!).

Monday, June 27, 2011

So, DC's take on Supergirl with DCNu/ Relaunch/ New 52

The more things change...

Several years ago the Supergirl title launched with sales near 100,000 copies.  It soon plummeted down to a fraction of that number and is now a mid to low-mid tier seller for DC (Supergirl sold about 21,000 copies in May).  No doubt, Supergirl could and should be selling better, but its impossible to know what sales could be on the title as DC has been spinning the Superman titles into editorially mandated storylines since 2007 or so.  It has been nearly impossible to know what the status quo is for Supergirl, her supporting cast, where she lives, etc...

Keep in mind, this is the same Kara Zor-El who attacked Air Force One, supported an Amazonian attack on the US capitol, joined Darkseid briefly, was running around with known super-villain Captain Boomerang, and fleeing about half the scenes she was in weeping and awash in self-pity.  Also: the crystal spikes, the crazy Columbine memories, and a mission to kill Superman from a crazed father...

hey, DC.  Thanks for making me look like I should be on a watchlist every time I bought this @#$%ing comic.

The book was a total disaster for longtime Superman and Supergirl fans, and readers left the title in droves.

When Pre-Schoolers compose songs about Superman and Flash

An old chum of mine now lives in Seattle.  Apparently he's putting the words of Pre-Schoolers to music and performing them. 

This song is about the time Superman and Flash ran into a couple of large mammals in a cave.

Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to hear the song (its about 1:30).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Action Comics 902

Action Comics 902
Written by:  Paul Cornell
Art:  Kenneth Rocafort
Editors:  Wil Moss and Matt Idleson

Supposedly the line-up for the ReLaunch/ DCNu Justice League

I actually kind of like that new Superman costume as seen here.  That's just no good for nerd-rage.
This was posted at Bleeding Cool citing the line-up in a way I didn't quite agree with.

On the left, they said that was Deadman, Atom, Element Girl and Firestorm.  I don't think that's Element Girl, I think that's Dr. Light.  (That doesn't look anything like Element Girl, imho, and they put a dot of white in her eyes like, you know... light.)

In the middle, we clearly have Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg(!)

On the right they're calling it:  Green Arrow, Hawkman, Powergirl and Mera.  I don't think that's Powergirl, as much as I love me some Powergirl.  I suspect that's Black Canary.  I mean, it COULD be Powergirl, but with Wonder Woman on the team and Superman...  it seems a bit redundant.  And, of course, all of these characters (including Dr. Light) have longstanding JL ties.  Certainly Canary has a much, much longer history with the JL than Powergirl.

So... we'll see, I suppose.