Showing posts with label lois lane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lois lane. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day to Superman and Lois Lane

Well, it's Valentine's Day, and we're here to talk about the one thing we're an expert on:  ROMANCE.

Just think of The League as your shifty bellhop of love

Aside from my folks, I honestly think my earliest ideas about romance probably came from movies and cartoons, and, later, comics.  I mean, I remember watching Hart to Hart and thinking those two had a pretty ideal relationship, but I don't recall much from TV for adults that informed my ideas about how to actually pursue the ladies or what blossoming romance might look like.

The Leia/ Han relationship of Empire attempted to teach me a lot of things.

1.  Sometimes a bit of verbal combativeness is flirting
2.  Carrie Fischer looks great in a snowsuit
3.  You can find romance when stranded inside a giant spaceworm
4.  When you're ready to make your move, turn off the droids
5.  When it looks like all is lost and it's time to express how you really feel about each other, when she confesses in front of a bunch of strangers, that she loves you, always say "I know".  That shit is COOL.

As much as I appreciated Kirk using the Enterprise as his personal chick-magnet, he never really had an ongoing romance for more than episode or two, and maybe there's something to be learned from that.  Space Bros before Space Ladies.

I was always a little sad that Marion Ravenwood only appeared in one Indiana Jones movie, that is until recently.  She was the only leading lady who seemed like a good match (clearly, Willie Scott was not up to the task).

But, going back further, I do think the Superman movies did a good job of setting up the romance for a strange being from another world and a career gal in the big city.  Aside from Han and Leia, I think the pair I remember pulling for the most in movies from back in the day was Lois and Superman.  Despite all his, frankly, totally awesome powers, it seemed Clark Kent was no better around women than any of us, and could be jut as quickly and totally swept off his feet by a woman who isn't going to notice him until he drops a yacht in front of the police station.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Oh, for Pete's sake, DC. Just let Rob Pratt make Superman cartoons for you.

You'll remember Rob Pratt from his prior Superman Classic cartoon.

These things totally get everything great about pre-Crisis Superman. Especially the circa 1941 years. Just great Lois and Clark chemistry.

Special thanks to SimonUK for showing me the latest video. We've been emailing back and forth today in a sort of geek fest on the topic.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

SW Advent Calendar Day 24

Merry Christmas Eve, Signal Corps!

I hope you've had a chance to get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Holidays, however you celebrate them and however they look in your town.

Like Superman, here, I get to spend Christmas Eve with the lady for whom I'd make the world spin backward.  That's all I need for Christmas this year.

Have a lovely silent night.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amy Adams lands "Lois Lane" as Zack Snyder's star continues to descend in Hollywood

I don't know much about actress Amy Adams.  I haven't seen much of her work, but as I understand it, she's one of those "gets nominated for Oscars" kind of actresses, already at the age of 36.

I have seen her in The Fighter, part of Enchanted (which was kind of cute, by the way), Talladega Nights, and an episode of Smallville.  She's kind of wee, which should help make actor Henry Cavill appear to be a bit taller.

Look, I like Superman Returns.  It strays wildly from the comics, but it at least understood the character of Superman fairly well as a strange visitor from another world wanting to be a part of the world he protects.  A sequel could have been a lot of fun.  But I never got behind the casting of the very-young Kate Bosworth (she was only 23 when the movie arrived).  Bosworth might have been fine had the movie been starting Superman from scratch, but with at least 6 years of shared history between the characters, casting an up and coming ingénue ended up hurting the movie and Bosworth's career more than was necessary.  And, I'm afraid, too often it seemed like Bosworth felt more like babysitter to the child playing her son and less like a mother, which I was never sure if that was the actor or the script...

If you look at the kind of character Lois is supposed to be, her status as an ace reporter, able to make demands of Perry White, etc... before Superman shows up, I've always felt Lois should have a few years on our Man of Steel.  She's a person who has seen it all, she's been disappointed so many times that its less important that Superman can bend steel and fly that wows her, as that he's actually serious about this "I'm an honest guy" business when he could be out exploiting anyone he likes.  A younger person can appreciate that, but to have one's well-earned cynicism repealed?  That's something different.

By the way, part of what Superman sees in Lois is supposed to be that she's a driven, accomplished person who may be jaded and cynical but who still follows a functioning moral compass (and closet belief in social justice).  That's something you can play younger, but it always seemed that Superman would appreciate Lois' habitual fearlessness (all of this is deeply complicated by the diversion in the 1950 and 60's as Lois gains her own title which often features marriage-mad plots, but that's a matter for another day).

Anyhow, in the abstract, Adams seems like a good choice.  Throw some black dye in her hair, put her in a smart suit, get her a digital recorder and a memo pad, and she could be our misspelling Pulitzer-winner.


It seems that Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch came in at #2 behind the debut of the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid flick.  Notable as Snyder if the currently-named director lined up for the upcoming Superman film.

The movie pulled in about $19 million its opening weekend and had about an $82 million budget.  I would expect that it will do well overseas (our international friends only expect plot out of local movies, not from American explosion-fests).

Further, Snyder's movie is tracking at 20% critic rating at, with a 10% rating with Top Critics and just 62% with the audience (and the RT audiences tend to skew pretty highly with anything that's genre porn in the first week or so).

As far along as the Superman movie might be, I can only wonder if DCE and WB are currently looking at the showing on Suckerpunch and having second thoughts about their choice to revitalize Superman during what seems like a curious upswing in the Man of Steel's pop-culture cache.

Back in 2002 or so, WB very publicly gave Brett Ratner Superman to develop, and after Red Dragon had one good week and then one of the most infamous second weeks in box office history, they took Superman away again.  A George Miller directed Justice League was cast and in the works when WB pulled the plug realizing Miller was about to make a terrible movie (it sounds like the usual "oh, dark and gritty is awesome" hoo-hah), and was, I think, about the JLA turning on itself.  Which makes a great origin story... (sigh)

Leading up to the release of Suckerpunch, preview screenings had gone so poorly, rumors were beginning to trickle that Snyder might be pulled off Superman (and that the Superman script was just plain bad).  Now, with an opening just $3 million better than the Owls of Ga'Hoole and $35 million less than Watchmen on only about 600 fewer theaters, man (or, about $9000 less per screen).  Surely somebody other than me at WB is running the numbers...

Frankly, if it tanks, that's fine with me.  Snyder's 300 and Watchmen both showed a lack of an ability to tell a story.  He's never helmed a movie that wasn't written down, page by page for him until Suckerpunch.  As excited as I am about Amy Adams as Lois (in the abstract), I just don't see what he's going to be able to do with the movie that won't be a trainwreck.  The man seems to believe "directing" is the same things as production design, and he couldn't look at still images on a page of Watchmen and understand the emotional beats of the characters expect in a ham-fisted, seventh grade book report sort of delivery.

So, we'll see.  The biggest problem is that the WB has until end of year 2012 to release a Superman movie or rights revert to the Siegels (or something).  The important thing is that WB HAS to have a Superman movie by 12/31/2012, and for whatever reason, WB decided to put its faith in Snyder.

I tell you what, Hollywood, I can't tell you how to make sure something is going to work, but at almost no cost, I am willing to tell you when you're about to screw up a Superman movie.  That is likely about to happen.

But, sigh, who knows?  Superman could be where Snyder surprises me by turning it around and making a movie I don't think plays like an emotionally stunted high schooler aping better stuff he once read and sort of remembers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joanne Siegel, original Lois Lane model and wife of Jerry Siegel, Passes

I'm sad to share the news that Joanne Siegel, one of the few living people with connections to the first days of Superman, has passed. Ms. Siegel was the original model for Superman's originating artist, Joe Shuster, when he was designing Lois Lane. Years later, she would marry Superman's first writer, Jerry Siegel.

Joe Shuster would pass, leaving only one heir, who subsequently passed. Ms. Siegel and her daughter were the sole heirs to Jerry Siegel.

In recent years, Ms. Siegel was famous both for appearing at events commemorating the creation of Superman and for participating in a law suit against Warner Bros., who now own the rights to the Superman character (more or less. Siegel won back some rights in recent years).

Ms. Siegel's efforts both prior to and subsequent to the passing of Jerry Siegel have ensured that the names Siegel and Shuster will always be associated with The Man of Steel.

Ms. Siegel was 93.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Some Favorite Lois Lanes - Part 1

I don't even recall what I was doing, but I stumbled across this image and it got me thinking.

I didn't love the ending of Superman: Birthright, but when it came out, and then when you see it collected... man, I still really like both the look and emotional vibe of that comic. And I always liked Waid's characterization of Lois. Somehow, Yu's take also felt right as the "gangly girl who grew into a beautiful woman but doesn't know it".

This particular image of Lois from Birthright has such an odd sense of...  poetry to it.  (Yeah, I said poetry.  Shut up.) Its a cover, and it tells you what you need to know about the issue, too, I guess.

I think its important that artists remember who they're dealing with when they draw Lois Lane.  She's not deserving of respect just because she appeared with Superman in Action Comics #1, but because she's a great, tough, smart character.   So, you know, take care, fer goodness sake.

Anyway, looking at Lois here got me thinking about some of my favorite comic artists and how they handled Lois.  Over the the years, Lois has been drawn by, I'd guess, hundreds of artists in an official capacity.  Many don't seem to really know what to do when it comes to Lois, and draw "generic brunette woman" into the comic, just not even trying to give her any punch.  Its almost a hallmark of how invested the artist is in Superman how much they try to do something with Lois in the pages she appears.

It all started, of course, with Siegel and Shuster, two dudes who knew instinctively what kind of woman would catch the eye of their new hero.

This leads indirectly to the fellow freaking out on the cover of Action Comics #1
I LOVE Lois Lane in these early appearances.  She treats Clark like dirt for being a weasel, she takes no guff, and she's taking the world by storm.

Lois's foremost characteristic is, of course, fearlessness.  In most portrayals, she also has no idea that she's a very good looking woman (although John Byrne seemed to disagree on that point.  She seemed to know in Man of Steel.)   And she'll sell her child to the black market if it could get her a scoop, but that would be so she could expose the corruption of the Black Market Baby racket, ie:  she's a social crusader who uses the Daily Planet as her megaphone.

What every artist and writer has to strive to do is find a way a way to demonstrate that this person is the sort of person that would draw Superman's interest, and that's no small feat.  In comparison to Superman, fragile she may be, but she also has to be the kind of person who can go toe-to-toe with The Man of Steel, tell him when he's wrong without blinking, and all without writers sliding down the path of making her sound like an unpleasant person (which, some weaker writers have done from time to time).

In addition to Shuster, of the classics I'm a fan of the work of Wayne Boring and Curt Swan, the two primary artists on Superman back in the day.  Boring handled Superman in the 1940's and Swan came on in the 1950's, I think, and departed around 1986.

If Siegel and Shuster have a depressing cautionary tale to tell about Intellectual Property, then Wayne Boring is DC's answer to depressing stories about work-for-hire.  Boring drew Superman comics (hundreds of them) for years.  One day he showed up for work, and had been let go.  Because something was really, really wrong with editor Mort Weisinger.

His Lois is a little more fragile looking than most, but he was there for the post WWII Lois and took part in bringing Superman into the Silver Age.

This is pretty much the stylistic look I associate with Boring: a lot of WTF looks from Lois
He was first teamed with and later replaced by Curt Swan, who had been doing covers and backups and whatnot, and as much as I love Boring for his era, I'm amazed not just at Swan's prolific output, how he came to define a lot of what people think of when the concept of mid-century comics comes to mind. 

Swan would draw Lois for decades, and help bring her right into the 80's.  I actually quite liked some of his 70's-era updates as the "big city reporter" melded with an ERA-era Lois.

Kurt Schaffenberger's depiction, is actually a lot more fun than I think most comic readers know.  He really captured the bat-@#$% crazy mindset of Lois in the late 50's through the 60's and gave a lot of life to the character.  He was on Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane for a huge run of the series. Lois is, no doubt, out of her mind in practically every single issue of the first 80 or so issues of the series, and Shaffenberger displays an amazing ability to draw Lois's many states of crazy.  Below:  blind rage.

In this story, Lois is kind of the Betty Draper to Clark's Super-Don
But my favorite is Schaffenberger's "scheming Lois".

our hero, ladies and gentlemen
The fact that Lois was constantly plotting and petty during the crucial Silver Age era is seen as a big negative by some, especially as she was plotting and scheming to get married, but, you know...  times is times and I don't hold it against the creative teams any more than I would hold it against Lois if she were scheming to get a get stock tips or good seats at a basketball game today.  As much as I enjoy scheming Lois, I'm not sure what kind of comic that would be today.  But I would welcome it on the rack.

There's no doubt about my adoration of the much-more-recent All Star Superman, and as the series progressed, I really began to appreciate what Morrison had written for Lois, as well as how Quitely portrayed Lois.  At first I thought she was a little willowy, but I really grew to appreciate what he'd done in modernizing the look a bit (Lois is the Batmobile of the Superman universe, btw.  Every artist has their ideas.)

Man, this is a couple who has come to an understanding.

this picture is actually how I feel keeping up with Jamie, sometimes
Gary Frank took on Lois in Action Comics and Superman: Secret Origin, giving me a Lois I think I liked as much as Quitely and Yu's.  Frank's style lended itself to making Lois appear almost like someone you might know, and not an airbrushed image of a woman that comic artists do when they aren't allowed to hide behind superhero costumes (I'm looking at you, Ed Benes).

Tim Sale hasn't had extensive opportunity to draw Lois Lane, but I can't argue with the results.

And if you've never read Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, for shame!  His Lois is a nice retroactive approach to the character, appropriate to the astronauts and trail blazers of the era.  And you never doubt the Superman/ Lois dynamic, not for a moment.

So there's a heaping, helping bunch of Lois Lane for you.  Next time we do this, I think we'll talk TV and film.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Middle School Orchestra, Laff with The Dug, Lois Lane, Austin Superman!

Went to a show

So I have a new activity for you people, and I cannot recommend it enough:

Sixth grade beginning orchestra Christmas concerts.

So, this evening I went to my cousin's daughter's orchestra concert, and she's in the mid-tier orchestra (7th and 8th graders).  And, you know, bully for them.  They played a few songs as well as you'd expect a Middle School mid-tier orchestra to play.  They played a song called "Stonehenge" that is reportedly not part of the Conan movie soundtrack, but so help me...  I was waiting for the kids to crush their enemies, to drive them before you and to hear the lamentations of the women.

The sixth graders...  ah....  now there's a small bit of tragi-comedy right there.  There's truly something magical that happens when 80 kids who've never picked up an instrument play "Ode to Joy". 

Support The Dug, spend less than a buck, hear jokes.  Also, I had a joke in there, too

So, as you may know, Corpsman Dug, Jamie's brother, is part of Team Swizzlebeef, a Riff-Trax internet sensation!

Basically, some of the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 have an online gig, and in addition to them adding commentary tracks to movies (new movies!  and the only way to watch a Twilight movie), shorts, etc...  they support a community effort where their fans can send in videos.  So, The Dug and Co. formed Team Swizzlebeef.

If you have it in for Dug, and right now are thinking "but The League, what does this have to do with YOU?"  Rightly asked, I say.

Well, friends, I wrote a gag or two that appears on the video.  I won't tell you which ones, because, frankly, I only remembered one of them.  Booze and time have washed away the rest.  Twitter-Pal JenniferSF also contributed some gags.  Which makes me want to tell Dug:  Drop Fennelly.  He's dead weight.  Hire ME.

You can preview the video and download from this link.

There's a Twitter Campaign for a Lois Lane comic series

If DC cares, I would very much give a Lois Lane book a shot.  I think there's so much potential for a book about a hardcore Journalist in the DCU, in Metropolis and around the world...  Give Lois something to do that can let her live up to her status as household name.

Of course, the book can only be as good as the writer, but DC has a pretty good stable, and I imagine some of those folks would love to write a book that's not strictly about weirdos in capes fighting in space.

Chris Roberson, local Austin-guy, is taking over Superman comics in the near future

Apparently local Austin comic and sci-fi scribe Chris Roberson is taking over writing duties from JMS on Superman.  My comic reading is much less than it was, so I can't say I'm terribly familiar with Roberson's work, but he's got several novels out, and he's responsible for a few comics already at DC.  Big boots to fill, but the internet seems to think the guy has the chops.  I am very excited to hear that an Austinite is getting a shot at Big Blue!