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OLD-TIME RADIO AND COMICS HEROES BURST BACK ONTO THE SCENE!
03/28/12 @ 4:15 pm EST
Source: USA TODAY | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? (Hint: The guy dresses up in a cape and runs around at night. And it's not Batman.)

The Shadow still knows — as do Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet and other heroes of 1930s and '40s radio shows, pulp magazines and movie serials.

These good guys are making a comeback, though mainly in comics and feature-length movies. Next month, The Shadow receives a comics reboot courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, which also publishes ongoing series starring Flash Gordon and Green Hornet plus a new title with pulp hero The Spider that's due in May.

On the big screen, a masked Seth Rogen stung bad guys in last year's The Green Hornet. And in The Lone Ranger, in production for release in 2013, Armie Hammer rides tall as the title cowboy with Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto. Baby Boomers grew up watching the Clayton Moore TV series in the '50s, although the saga began as a 1933 radio show in Detroit.

Though these characters may not be as well known as today's comic-book superheroes or the Star Wars and Harry Potter clans, they were the bee's knees for a generation that was decades away from the Internet and iPods.

Before Batman, there was the alter ego Lamont Cranston donning the shadowy mask and hat while haunting radio waves as The Shadow, voiced by Orson Welles in the late '30s.

And before Superman and Captain America there was Flash Gordon, an all-American space adventurer who tussled with planetary tyrant Ming the Merciless in sci-fi comic strips by Alex Raymond and serial films starring Buster Crabbe.

"The '20s and '30s are seen as a very romantic age, with the criminal underworld of urban America and high adventure of exotic foreign locations providing a bit of an edge," says Garth Ennis, who is writing the new Shadow comic. "The reality, I'm sure, would have been mostly a lot more mundane and occasionally quite grim."

He's crafting The Shadow as a dangerous champion of law and order with a flair for the dramatic, and he is embracing one of the vigilante's oldest and most famous traits: his habit of laughing as he consigns his enemies to their doom.

"I decided to be fairly sparing with it," Ennis says. "If he started howling every time he threw a punch or fired a shot, it would get old fast. So I decided to preserve the laugh for moments of deep, dark, extreme humor."

His take on The Shadow comic is a bloody affair, where the mysterious figure dispatches bad guys with violent aplomb. More than 70 years ago, though, audiences had to visualize with their imagination what was going on during the radio-show exploits.

The popularity of the old Shadow and Green Hornet radio shows and their ilk in their heyday is best compared to programs children flock to today, such as Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer, says Martin Grams Jr., a radio-show historian and author.

Back then, kids and adults would read books, pulps and comics because they were a cheap form of entertainment, and radio was an even bigger medium because it was free.

Some adaptations tank

While movies measure success with box-office receipts, commercial sponsors would gauge ratings of radio shows based on the number of giveaway premiums offered during the commercial breaks — such as various Lone Ranger rings and badges. They were then used to persuade sponsors to stick around because of a large listener base.

It wasn't just kids, either. Housebound and disabled people "who couldn't go visit their local movie theater had the opportunity to enjoy action and adventure with the turn of their dial," Grams says.

"The business of pop culture was defined during the 1930s and 1940s when movie producers snatched up the screen rights to popular radio programs and produced motion pictures, serials and film shorts based on the properties."

Since then, movie studios, TV networks and comics publishers have attempted adaptations of those characters, with varying results.

The Lone Ranger TV series began in 1949, ran eight seasons and defined the character for many. Flash Gordon sped off to space with live-action and animated shows, and a 1980 film became a cult classic with Sam Jones clad in a white shirt bearing the word "Flash."

But two more recent movies, The Shadow (1994) with Alec Baldwin and the 1996 Billy Zane vehicle The Phantom (based on the comic strip from the '30s), were not exactly heroic at the box office. And Disney's new big-budget John Carter, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp sci-fi hero, has thus far tanked.

"My theory is that modern audiences have a hard time accepting un-ironic heroism unless it's presented just right," says Eric Trautmann, writer of Dynamite's Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist series. (A devotee of the era, Trautmann has a Maltese Falcon on his desk, a statue of Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a Buck Rogers blaster and a replica 1930s radio.)

He concedes that pulp is difficult to write because it requires a certain innocence. Nazis show up in his series, but when they're the evil-doers du jour, modern audiences can't help but think of the Holocaust, "a sort of demise of innocence for the Western world." That makes it a lot harder to take the proceedings seriously.

'We're all geeks in a way'

"The obvious inclination is to keep things a little more self-referential and cartoony, tongue firmly in cheek," Trautmann says, "and that kind of thing really works against the story, the character, and readers' and viewers' embracing the tale."

Those characters of yesteryear, however, remain important in the history of pop-culture heroes, says comic-book artist Alex Ross, one of the creative spearheads of Dynamite's pulp series.

"Seeing how a character like The Shadow would influence every other flamboyant costumed hero in history was very interesting to me," he says. "A load of the earliest superhero fashions came from the artists swiping from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."

Heroic fiction draws from a lot of the same wells. Without John Carter in 1917, Trautmann feels we probably don't get Flash Gordon in 1934, a quintessentially American protagonist whose "unflappable 'can do' attitude and unshakable optimism would resonate in almost any era." Without Flash, there's no Luke Skywalker or Han Solo in Star Wars, and without that, we don't get Avatar.

"Even Star Trek owes a debt to period literature —Captain Kirk as Horatio Hornblower in space," Trautmann says. "Heroic fiction shares those archetypes and themes, so that influence is probably so ingrained now that a modern practitioner might not even be aware of what influenced the sources he or she is drawing inspiration from."

Affection for heroic pulp specifically — as with old-school sci-fi, fantasy and mystery stories — seems to be cyclical, Trautmann says. But the resurgence of these characters is also being helped by an overall nostalgia for the early- to mid-20th century, from Boardwalk Empire to Mad Men.

"It's been a rough decade or two," he says. "Looking back on what seems to be a simpler, less complicated time is certainly appealing."

Curiosity and a drive to seek knowledge are probably the main reasons people like to revisit historic pop culture, Grams says.

"We're all geeks in a way, trying to intake all the information we can on a comic-book character or movie, then digest, then recollect to friends to show how much more we know than they do."

The historian enjoys seeing kids introduced to heroes that were a seminal part of their grandparents' lives. He says it's a good bet they know tons more about The Hunger Games and Twilight than old Shadow magazine tales, and have no idea of the existence of Lone Ranger radio shows of yore.

"In my experience," Ennis says, "these characters tend to be pretty strong to begin with: They go through periods of revival, then slump due to overindulgence, then lie dormant, then undergo the next revival. But they always come back."

And, Grams notes, "the oldies are still the goodies."
MORE NEWS...
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART ACQUIRES COMICS
11/23/14 @ 8:16 pm EST
Source: Washington Post | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


A collection of underground comic books are among the new acquisitions of the National Gallery of Art.

The 176 comic books — collected by Abigail and William Gerdts and given to the gallery — are the first comics to enter its permanent collection.

Published between 1964 and 1977, they include work that influenced major modern artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, according to curator Judith Brodie, head of modern prints and drawings.

“They were all drawing their inspiration from cartoons and comic books. It seems totally logical that we’d want a representation of those,” Brodie said. “This is a way to supplement the collection.”

The Gerdts’ collection is among the acquisitions the museum’s board of trustees approved at its Oct. 2 meeting and announced Friday. It includes the museum’s first work by Robert (“R”) Crumb and is bookended by important issues of “Zap Comix,” founded by Crumb in 1967, and “Arcade: The Comics Revue,” published a decade later.



“Arcade,
COMIC BOOKS COME TO LIFE AT VIRGINIA COMICON
11/23/14 @ 8:05 pm EST
Source: Rochmond Times Dispatch | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


A mishmash of spandex-clad superheroes, everyday comic book fans and curious newcomers filled a hall at the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday for the Virginia Comicon.

“It’s the biggest one we’ve ever done,” said Ben Taylor, panel director at the event, which is, at its heart, a comic book convention. “We’re kind of swinging for the fences, and the community seems to be responding to it.”

This year, the convention doubled its floor space and more than doubled ticket presales, he said. Attendance and presale numbers for this year weren’t immediately available, but last year the Virginia Comicon had about 3,000 attendees with about 400 tickets presold, he said.

“One show, you’ll see a lot of ‘My Little Pony,’ ” he said. “Another show, you’ll see a lot of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ... It changes as often as the cultural zeitgeist does.”

The event features vendors, panels, podcasts and other ways for fans to get into their favorite franchises. But it also offers nonjudgmental camaraderie, Taylor said.

“Here ... people won’t judge you for liking Thor; people won’t judge you for liking the Hulk,” Taylor said. “They’ll be like, ‘Batman’s awesome!’ ”

Rhudy Williams, 43, of Natural Bridge Station, was in full costume as a Cobra infantry trooper from the G.I. Joe franchise.

“I used to be into comic books many years ago, but then I got a car, and I couldn’t afford comic books and a car,” he said.

Then, he did a recent graphics job on a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta, and went with a Cobra theme for fun. He decided to follow up by seeing if he could get a costume, he said, and now here he was at a comicon.

Samantha Onstad, 21, of Warrenton, was at her first comicon at the invitation of her sister. She had just picked up prints depicting characters from a variety of games and shows, including “Bioshock,” “Firefly” and “Supernatural.”

“I really love it,” she said. “There’s a lot of great stuff that’s really letting my nerd flag fly.”

COMICON
BLACK PANTHER ONGOING IN MAY?
11/23/14 @ 7:42 pm EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Black Panther | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


From September, Marvel EIC Axel Alonso said, “Let’s see. A water-fowl, a tree rat and a jungle cat just might factor into our plans.”

January sees the launch of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

March sees the launch of Howard The Duck.

May sees the launch of the Christopher Priest Black Panther Collection. And, you know, they announced a T'Challa film. Can we expect a new Black Panther ongoing series to join it? (Via Bleeding Cool)

Black_Panther_Vol_3_1
‘HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY—PART 1’ POSTS TOP 2014 DEBUT
11/23/14 @ 7:34 pm EST
Source: ICv2 | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
As expected The Hunger Games: Mockinjay—Part 1 topped the weekend box office with the highest debut of 2014 so far, an estimated $123 million. But the penultimate Hunger Games film’s debut was down 22% from the opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158.1 million), and in spite of strong holds from Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, the box office total of the top 12 films was down 15.4% from the same weekend last year when Catching Fire debuted.

Some will no doubt play the lower opening figures for Mockingjay—Part 1 into some sort of a big deal, but the decline was to be expected given that Lionsgate decided to break the final Hunger Games novel up into two parts, which means that Part 1 provides mostly set-up and context for Part 2. Critics gave Part 1 the lowest rating yet for a Hunger Games film (67% positive), and opening weekend audiences gave Part 1 an “A-“ CinemaScore compared with the “A” earned by Catching Fire.

It also appears that Mockingjay—Part 1 played closer to theHunger Games core audience than Catching Fire with 60% of the crowd female compared with 57% for Catching Fire, and 52% of the Mockingjay crowd under 25 versus an even split for the previous Hunger games film. The somewhat less robust than expected opening for Mockingjay doesn’t spell decline for the franchise, the finale will score a bigger opening, but it does open the door for James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy to retain its spot as the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the domestic market (GotG is currently at $331 million and not likely to go much higher). Right now it looks as if the race for 2014 domestic box office supremacy could be very tight indeed.
THE INFINITE LOOP GETS ITS FIRST ENGLISH PRINTING AT IDW
11/23/14 @ 7:31 pm EST
Source: IDW | Categories: IDW | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment




In anticipation of Paris Comics Expo, IDW Publishing is pleased to announce they will be bringing to print The Infinite Loop, the wildly successful Kickstarter-run project, as a 6-issue miniseries starting in April 2015.

The Infinite Loop is a science-fiction series that asks the age-old question, “What would you risk for a chance at true love?” Meet Teddy, a young woman who lives in a faraway future where time traveling is a common practice and her job is to maintain the status quo by correcting time paradoxes. But when she meets Ano, “a time paradox” and the girl of her dreams, Teddy must decide between fixing the time stream or the love of her life, both of which have unique consequences.

The Infinite Loop began earlier this year as a wildly successful crowdfunded project created by the team of writer Pierrick Colinet and artist Elsa Charretier and described by Comic Book Resources’ Robot 6 as “channeling early-period Steve Rude with the page composition of George Pérez…” For the comic-book series, Elsa will be providing all-new covers. Issue 1 also features a variant cover by Stéphanie Hans.

“When Elsa showed off a sample copy of issue 1 at this October’s NYCC, everyone at IDW who saw it was desperate to bring it here. The talent and creativity abound on every page. This book is a very welcome title to our roster,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief.

“I’ve always loved American comic books, and I’ve always written that way, so having one of my book published monthly is really meaningful to me,” said co-creator and series writer, Colinet. “Especially for this story, which is so personal and important to us. And I’m glad we got to join the fantastic IDW team, who showed a true excitement towards The Infinite Loop from the beginning.”

The Infinite Loop Comes To U.S. Audiences April 2015

“Having The Infinite Loop released in the US is so incredible for us,” said co-creator and series artist, Charretier. “When we started working on this story, we were on our own, just the two of us, trying to make this book happen. Crowdfunding and the huge support we received gave us the opportunity to complete it, and now IDW is allowing us to present it to a whole new audience!”

Adventure, Science-Fiction, Love, and Time Travel. What else could you would want? Don’t miss this soon-to-be international hit!



WHO'S THAT SAVING SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN?
11/23/14 @ 7:23 pm EST
Source: DC | Categories: DC | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #13 yet and do not wish to know what happens, stop reading this post now (major spoilers ahead!).

It’s date night for our favorite heroic couple.Like any couple, the night starts off with some friendly banter between Clark and Diana, a few chivalrous gestures by Superman and high hopes for a great night on the town in New York City...

Unsurprisingly though, their date night is quickly cut short. There’s no such thing as a “night off” for a superhero. Suspecting that the sudden bad weather encapsulating New York City is an unnatural occurrence, Superman and Wonder Woman are off to find the storm culprit who ruined their evening. Their search leads them to Atomic Skull and Major Disaster who put up a surprisingly strong fight and are able to detain Superman and Wonder Woman in their lightening web.

However, just as Atomic Skull and Major Disaster are about to flee the scene, an unknown superhero appears to seemingly save the day!

See below as Wonder Star emerges out of nowhere to rescue Superman and Wonder Woman. Who is this mysterious being and what is his super power? Can he be trusted?

The new creative team debits: Peter J. Tomasi (script) and Doug Mahnke (pencils). The issue is available in stores now!



DAVID LAPHAM’S RETURN TO CROSSED
11/21/14 @ 8:47 pm EST
Source: Avatar | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment




David Lapham has penned some of the most vital stories in the Crossed Universe. From Crossed: Family Values to Crossed: Psychopath, his influence and characters have defined the depths to which those infected by the virus will go to attain their miserable goals. The celebrated scribeCrossed66-FatalFantasyhas returned to the pages of Crossed: Badlands to tell a story of deprivation that drives a normal man to become a monster.Gavin Land was a family man until a ruthless pornographer abused and killed his daughter. Vengeance drove Land to attempt to kill the man that shattered his life, but when he lands in prison he discovers just how far evil extends. While locked behind bars his wife and son are abducted and suffer aCrossed66-Torturesimilar fate. He’s truly lost everything, except the burning heat of revenge. When the Crossed outbreak lands him on the outside, even the grinning hordes of infected can’t stand between him and killing the man that destroyed his family.Crossed66-WrapLapham shows us the decent into madness fueled by revenge in this essential arc in the Crossed cannon. Crossed: Badlands #66 is in stores this week.
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM CONCLUDES
11/21/14 @ 8:42 pm EST
Source: Avatar | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
George R.R. Martin’s unlimited imagination delivers the final chapter of his fantastically original tale, In the House of the Worm this week in local comic shops. In the House of the Worm #4 reveals the final fate of Annelyn and the Meat Bringer. Surrounded by Grouns and terrifying InHouseofWorm4-Paintedworms, this spoiled young man discovers the truth about the races of the fantasy realm. If he is able to survive the terrors of the absolute dark below ground, he has a chance to change the world. Or become a martyr as some truths are meant to not be uncovered. Fan favorite George R.R. Martin introduces anotherInHouseofWorm4-Wrapdistinctly original story that will appeal to Game of Thrones fans. Stop by your local comic shop to discover a new tale from one of the biggest names in fantasy fiction.
DC ENTERTAINMENT RINGS IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY DIGITAL SALES
11/21/14 @ 8:34 pm EST
Source: DC | Categories: DC | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


This holiday season, DC Digital provides plenty of things to be thankful for – over 750 things, in fact! To celebrate Black Friday, DC Comics will offer 750 issues of iconic Batman stories on sale for 99 cents each for seven days, running November 25-December 1. Plus, on December 1, fans can also purchase 23 essential Vertigo graphic novels for $4.99 each during the Cyber Monday Sale. Get a jump start on holiday shopping and take advantage these incredible deals.

Be sure to check out the complete list of titles on IGN and get your hands on every last issue at the DC Digital Store, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, ComiXology, and Google Play!
ARCHIE COMICS WELCOMES HARPER LODGE BACK TO RIVERDALE
11/21/14 @ 8:30 pm EST
Source: Archie Comics | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Harper Lodge - Archie Comics



Following in the tradition of groundbreaking new characters like Kevin Keller, Archie Comics introduced Harper Lodge, Veronica's cousin, in last June's ARCHIE #656 to a huge response from fans.

Archie Comics is proud to announce that the fan-favorite character, who happens to have a disability, will be returning in a brand new story by writer/artist Dan Parent!

Harper's latest venture: writing a romance book about the boys in Riverdale, has everybody trying to figure out the big question: Who is Harper writing about? Will the gang be able to solve the mystery? Find out why people are raving about Harper and how she fits in perfectly with the rest of the gang in Riverdale!

Harper returns in ARCHIE #665, on sale 3/4.

READ DYNAMIC FORCES' INTERVIEW WITH DAN PARENT ON THE CREATION OF HARPER LODGE by clicking here! Then come on back to the DF Page for more NEWS!

 
RECENT NEWS

Latest News
Updated: 11/23/14 @ 8:16 pm

1. NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART ACQUIRES COMICS

2. COMIC BOOKS COME TO LIFE AT VIRGINIA COMICON

3. BLACK PANTHER ONGOING IN MAY?

4. ‘HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY—PART 1’ POSTS TOP 2014 DEBUT

5. THE INFINITE LOOP GETS ITS FIRST ENGLISH PRINTING AT IDW

 

Latest News
Updated: 11/23/14 @ 8:16 pm

1. NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART ACQUIRES COMICS

2. COMIC BOOKS COME TO LIFE AT VIRGINIA COMICON

3. BLACK PANTHER ONGOING IN MAY?

4. ‘HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY—PART 1’ POSTS TOP 2014 DEBUT

5. THE INFINITE LOOP GETS ITS FIRST ENGLISH PRINTING AT IDW



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