Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucille Ball's 100th

this is way better than the issue when Jerry Lewis meets Superman

Today is the 100th birthday of Lucille Ball. She passed in 1989, but she's more than made her mark on pop culture. I do wonder, though, if kids today even understand references to "Oh, Ricky! Waaaaaah!" or a dozen other Lucy-isms.

I make it sound like I had this really depressing childhood of spending summers watching re-runs by myself on KBVO, but it was a fun childhood of spending summers by myself watching re-runs on KBVO. Yes, Beverly Hillbillies was my favorite classic TV show (oh, that Jethro), but by 8th grade I started to actually quite like I Love Lucy.

The more I watched the show as I got older, and quit thinking of it as the show that my grandparents watched when they were in town (they also really, really liked Hunter.  I have no idea why.), the more I came to appreciate the dynamic of Ricky and Lucy, and, of course, I better understood the context of the show at the time.

how Jamie never wound up in a similar situation, I'll never know

That Catwoman Pic? a fake

apparently this was a Photoshop job. Well, what do you want? The outfit they had Adriane Palicki in for the WW pilot teasers was clearly 50% photoshop, filters, etc.., but was still the official WB picture. We'd gotten the pic from Project: Rooftop, and went back to give them proper attribution, and they posted that it was a fake. By a faker.

I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer before seeing Hathway in the costume.

But visit the post anyway and see a gallery of prior ladies to put on the cat-suit.

Hathaway as Catwoman - a good look at the suit

A little Darwyn Cooke, a little-90's Catwoman with the gloves and boots, a strong influence from the Huges' covers. Not really grokking the goggles, but okay.

But can she top some of the classic Catwomen?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: Attack the Block

A while back SimonUK mentioned he'd somehow already seen Attack the Block at a festival, and vouched for it, stating that when it came to Austin this summer, we really needed to go see it.  Some of the producers and talent involved are from the group that brought us Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, some loving takes on familiar genres, infused with smart-alec humor and a fan's know-how enough to both play with conventions and know what's important about retaining some of those conventions.  But all without getting too precious, I think.

Attack the Block does not, I repeat, does not feature Simon Pegg, but I promise you it is still a very good movie.

First picture of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman is - yup, that's Catwoman

cick for mega-sized

Here's the first official pic of Anne Hathaway as everyone's favorite thief/ femme fatale, Catwoman, in the upcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. That certainly looks like the catsuit she's been wearing in the comics the past decade, originally drawn by Darwyn Cooke, I believe.

However, the goggles and blue lights are new.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this scene is all about (its not like the Catwoman I know and love would bother to ask before running off with the Bat-Pod).   

Mostly I'm just happy to know there's a new (if final) installment in the Nolan Bat-films.

oh, here's some unofficial pics.  She looks good, I think.

Signal Watch Reads: Superman 714

Superman 714
Grounded Finale
Chris Roberson - writer
J. Michael Straczynski - plot outline
Jamal Igle - penciller
Jon Sibal & Robin Riggs - inkers
Macelo Maiolo - colorist
John J. Hill - letterer
John Cassaday & David Baron - cover
George Perez & Guy Major - variant cover
Wil Moss - associate editor, Matt Idleson - editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

With this issue, Superman will end a 72 year run. Sure, it went for a long stretch where the powers that be renamed the title The Adventures of Superman, but we all knew what the score was. Issue 714 isn't just the end of the much-discussed Grounded storyline, its also the conclusion of one of the oldest, continually published periodicals in American history. Really, Superman has been on the stands for just under a third of the lifespan of the US.

The Grounded storyline took a lot of guff when it launched under Straczynski, and it struggled to meet scheduling deadlines, eventually seeing two fill-in issues by Willow G. Wilson and then the entire story was handed over to rising star Chris Roberson. And, frankly, Roberson's intervention didn't just turn the ship around a bit and keep it on course, he managed to prove that there are no bad ideas, just weak execution and turned Grounded into one of the best Superman reads the monthly comics have enjoyed of the past decade.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Picture of Henry Cavill as Superman

click for mega-sized
Only twice before have I had opportunity to see someone in the suit for the first time.  Dean Cain in TV's Lois & Clark and then Brandon Routh in Superman Returns.

Truthfully, there's nothing here I don't like.  The suit isn't drastically changed and looks more like the traditional suit (see how long this DCNu suit sticks around now), the symbol is actually a throwback to the Golden Age, and its hard not to like the physical power suggested with the destroyed vault behind him and the determined look in the eye.

In fact, the whole thing gives me a feel of early Superman.

Superman would later give this move over to his friend, The Kool-Aid Man.
And I've thought Cavill looked about right since I saw the first pictures of him.  He's not got the same sharp features as Reeve or Routh, but a new look for Superman is okay by me.  Superman's had a lot of faces over the years.

I also don't mind the textured suit.  With today's high-grade video for movies, I think its appropriate to have something for the light to catch on.  And, of course, the boots are exactly right, and I'm a freak and that matters to me.

Casting, costume, etc... are all in place and I'm pretty happy.  Let's hope Zack Snyder doesn't direct this thing right into the ground.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: Captain America - The First Avenger

I really liked this movie.  How's that for a review for you? 

I kid you not, I realized at about the 1.5 hour mark, I'd been smiling since the first two minutes.  That's not hyperbole.

I may not be the world's biggest Captain America fan or Marvel aficionado (I know two readers to this site that way trump my Cap fandom - Jake and CanadianSimon*), and while I've always liked Cap, somehow I never really became the kind of guy who picked up Cap every month.  I've been a "get the trade" sort of reader for the past few years, and I've picked up a few backlog items, certainly don't grab all the "let's flood the market" stuff Marvel tends to do with characters whenever their sales show signs of a pulse.  Prior to Brubaker coming on Cap, the longest run I think read was the entirety of Waid's Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty when that was in print.

Like Superman in the DCU, I think you can point to Cap as the moral center and heroic inspiration for both other characters in the Marvel U and for what the Marvel readership immediately clicks to when they think about "which character exemplifies unfettered heroism the most?"  Deep down, both Steve Rogers and Clark Kent have a lot in common, and its the "we do the right thing because its the right thing to do" aspect of both which really appeals to me.  Whether Steve Rogers got his ability from Vita-Rays or whether Superman got his from his alien physiology, these characters were going to make a difference in the world somehow just based upon who they were.**

Monday, August 1, 2011

What We've Been Up To: Dealing with a large and growing collection of comics and related junk

So, on Tuesday night Jamie flew out to see The Dug and K out in Berkeley, and she took PalNicole with her.  I am trying to save my vacation dollars (not so much my days as I have plenty of those), and so I didn't go with.  I am going to try to get tickets to the Noir City Film Fest, and so I'll be in SF hopefully this winter (likely January 20th).  Budgets, people.

I did, however, take Thursday and Friday off work.  And I had a gameplan, which was why I didn't want to screw it up by spending a bunch of time pondering imponderables here at The Signal Watch.  Thus:  Hiatus.  Thanks for your patience.

Here at League HQ I maintain a home office which a few of you have had opportunity to visit.  On some show on Spike, it would likely be referred to as a "man cave", but its far brighter and cheerier than what I'd guess many man-caves to be.  Its where I keep my comics in boxes, display my action figures and toys, etc...  Its a homey little spot, but it doesn't get enough attention, nor have I been good about organizing my comics of late.  Basically, I had more than three long-boxes worth of comics that weren't really bagged and boarded, and hadn't been entered in the online database I use to inventory my stuff.  (I use an online service called

this represents about 16-18 months worth of Superman reading.  I should mention, after taking this picture, I realized I hadn't added my "Superman/ Batman" issues to the bin.  Also:  Jeff the Cat is always around.

This stuff is incredibly time consuming to deal with, and its not a good project to pick up and then do in bits and spurts.  Comic organizing all kind of has to happen either weekly or with a single, sustained effort once in a while.  Cleaning all those toys and shelves?  That isn't exactly something you want to do every day, and when you do it, man...