Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tpull Moves On from Comic Fodder

I want to take a minute to note the conclusion of Tpull's run as Head of Writing About Comics over at Film/Comic Fodder.

You can read his farewell column here.

He cites the best reasons I think one can hang it up: he is recently married. His wife is someone he wants to spend time with. I tip my hat.

Travis is a professional writer, so it was a pleasure when he joined up at Comic Fodder back when I was cranking out columns at that site circa 2007. When work and life got to be a bit much and I had to bid Comic Fodder farewell, he not only took the job of primary blogger, he greatly improved the content of the site, producing up to four comic review columns per week, covering a dozen or more comics.

On top of that, Travis wrote great columns and think-pieces on a weekly basis.

People, I don't know if you've ever tried to run a comic blog, but that is no mean feat.

One of the greatest things about Travis's columns stemmed from his absolute love of comics. That enthusiasm buoyed his approach, keeping him from taking the easiest of all routes for reviewers: the negative spiral.

The easiest thing in the world to do is to criticize. If you don't believe me, its because you're likely slow, and lack the critical thinking skills necessary to ponder such an idea, you nitwit.

Travis' reviews looked for the good and bad, managed to skirt much company or even genre bias, and were always a much better yard marker for the actual quality of a comic than 99% of the rest of the reviews out there on any given day. Add in Travis' greater understanding of the content of a comic than darn near any reviews at the more trafficked sites, his ability to analyze stories, writers, artists, etc... I don't know if it was his natural talent or a concerted effort that kept his reviews from playing the "it all stinks" card that so many other reviewers don't just give in to, but some have made a name for themselves by gnashing their teeth, but he was consistently fair and always provided insight.

I'm going to miss those columns.

On the other side of it: in his farewell column, Travis mentioned the joy of returning to reading comics without having to wear his critic's hat. I can empathize. Reading comics, in particular superhero adventures, shouldn't be a task to check off, and I've been down that particular path myself. I think Travis did better than myself at managing to avoid ever getting too bogged down with the responsibility of the schedule, but I am glad that he can close the comic and not have to worry about turning on his laptop.

Vaya con dios, TPull columns. You'll be missed. But I wish the best for you and Mrs. TPull.

Up, up and away.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Noir Week at the Cinema Club

To the Signal Corps operating in the Austin, Texas District of Texas Sector...

Let me know if you're interested in joining up for any of the following:

Sunday 7/11: Alamo Cinema Club at the Ritz: The Prowler

Some classic film noir with a special mini-lecture by film noir expert Eddie Muller.

Monday 7/12: Alamo Cinema Club at the Ritz: Cry Danger

See above. Different movie, same guest presenter.

Tuesday 7/13: Sunset Boulevard at the Paramount

I finally watched this one in its entirety this year, and it more than earned its reputation. Totally brilliant.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Set Your Schedule by the Signal Watch

Just an announcement.

I've gone and made a calendar for Signal Watch stuff as a Google Calendar. You can see Cinema Series screenings we're considering, any local parties or events, and whatever else that's Signal Watch related that may be of interest.

If you want to add these things to your Google calendar, just search for the calendar belonging to signalwatch at gee mail (daht com).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lady Liberty at the Ready

Lady Liberty, 1918

found at Shorpy, a great photo blog.

Love the picture, but we do have some ideas about violence = liberty, do we not?

Happy Fourth of July

America. @#$%, yeah.

this poster bleeds awesome

Keep 'em flying, indeed.


This kind of stuff happens all the time in the US of A

It's right there in the name...

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! And happy Fourth of July to all of our friends across the world!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

...and the American Way!

Happy pre-Fourth of July!

editor's note: I started gathering these images a while back, but our good friend Ransom beat me to the Independence Day Superman post. So, yeah, you're going to see some of these same images twice. That Ransom... sometimes he comes up with great ideas, too...

It will surprise many that I don't especially identify Superman with Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie. The comics and movies of Superman have long been intergalactic/ pan-dimensional in scope. So its hard to imagine a guy with an astronaut's view of Earth deciding borders mean a whole lot when push comes to shove.

But... Superman is often held up as a Red Blooded American. Heck, both George Reeves' and Christopher Reeve's portrayals of Superman made no bones about Truth, Justice and the American Way.

Superman, by the way, has a really great international fanbase. I'm always impressed how many folks from all over the world wind up on the Superman Homepage, on Superman facebook pages, etc... Perhaps Superman's global/ pan-galactic view of assisting all of humanity is a reflection of what a flag waving American can and should be. And, at the end of the day, when we're doing things right, its the best we can do when we do set foot on the soil of other lands. Heck, The Signal Watch's own KareBear is set for another trip to Kenya to help distribute glasses to our friends on the far side of Spaceship Earth. That sounds like something maybe we should consider being a good American.

So let's hope us Americans can be as awesome of an American as Superman. Or KareBear.

Now, let's have a look at Superman doing a bit of jingoistic flag waving.

From the upcoming run on Superman

Seriously. This weird dude punched Superman so hard he wound up back in 1776. And it was awesome.

This looks like the start of the world's nuttiest musical.

You likely don't look quite this awesome with a flag.

Well, Cap might look exactly that awesome with a flag.

Even eagles want to hang out when Superman gets patriotic

Truth, Justice... all that stuff.

That eagle is back...

This is the first Superman comic I recall ever buying.

The Justice Society knows how to have a Fourth of July party...

Now he's just showing off.

There was a time when it seemed perfectly reasonable that Superman would share his secret identity with the President.

Of course, Kennedy was hanging out with a lot of comic characters back in the day.

Just be glad that rocket landed in Kansas and not Mother Russia.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Short Break

I have some stuff that needs doing, and so will disappear from blogging for a short while.

for example, this bottle is not going to empty itself

A pre-programmed post or two will appear during this down time. Please amuse yourself in my absence.

I could look so sweet...

Sometimes Jamie says I have too many things with the Superman shield emblazoned upon them. What Jamie doesn't really know is what a small percentage of the stuff I could be picking up. Especially when it comes to apparel.

But then one ponders what designers seem to want to do with the Superman logo when they can apply it to "street" or "urban" wear. Sometimes jackets make Superman cry.

But maybe I'm wrong... maybe a jacket like this could really turn things around for me...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day, Simon!

Yes, today marks the merging of the British colonies in 1867 to form the power we now know as CANADA!!! Happy Canada Day, ya'll!

Our own Signal Corps Captain, Simon, is a maple leaf loving son of a moose. He's nuts for hockey, is unfailingly polite, knows a whole lot about Terry Fox, and pays for everything in Loonies. He is distinctly Canadian.

So let's help him celebrate Canada Day with the finest things Canada has shared with their belligerent jerk neighbors to the south.

Before moving to Cleveland, Superman co-creator Joe Shuster was from Toronto, Ontario. That "American Way" bit was added 15-20 years after the character first appeared.