Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to the Batcave Part 2

And we're back.

When we left off, Batman was drugged at the wheel, and Robin's demise seemed eminent.

Now the concluding episode: Smack in the Middle

Act I

Space Medicine: Back to the Batcave

Since 1938 Batman has been adapted to the changing tastes of pop culture. In the thirties and forties he was a pulp detective/vigilante, in the eighties he was the reactionary answer to crime and urban blight, and in the late sixties he adapted to the tastes of that generation as well. In 1966 ABC began airing Batman two nights a week. Unfortunately, for complicated legal reasons, none of the series has been released in a home video format. Fortunately, some guy on YouTube called FanOfBats has a bunch of episodes online. Many people object to the series for not taking Batman seriously or just for being silly. Silly is a matter of taste. As for not taking Batman seriously, I suspect it's really a fairly recent phenomena for fans to take Batman seriously. It probably doesn't go much further back than the mid to late seventies. However, even if we are taking Batman seriously, it's a mistake to try and act like such a significant portion of Batman's cultural history just didn't happen. No matter what box one tries to fit Batman into he's bound to escape sooner or later, and then you find that you've been in his box all along.

Instead of selective amnesia, as if there's been some kind of traumatic Bat-molestation that can't, musn't, be remembered, I propose embracing the thing with all its campy deconstruction of the super hero story and off-putting attempt to be humorous, and seeing if there's actually anything we can learn from the thing.

Thus I present the full pilot episode Hi Diddle Riddle.

Act I

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Professor X-savior?

Everyone knows the head, and we do mean head, honcho of the X-Men. Professor X is the ultimate teacher/mentor. We know he's a benevolent tyrant at the head of all X related projects, when he isn't presumed dead or on sabbatical. He has to be a goodie, Patrick Stewart played him for gosh sake. A lot of people, Stan Lee among them, make a natural leap and paint the Professor as a Martin Luther King Jr. stand in. It's a bit problematic, especially when you take into account who his opposite number is supposedly meant to stand in for. It may be more useful to think of Xavier and that other guy (More on him at a later date.) along religious lines, rather than as a stand ins for real historical figures. Xavier representing a gospel of accord, mutual benefit, and belief in the invisible world that links all be they mutant, human, or alien, as for Magneto, well, we'll get to him when we get to him. It's right there in his title, he professes.

Heck Xavier, mutant not saint, already sports a halo of sorts in quite a bit of the promotional art.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Space Medicine: Thoughts on Thoughts

It's been awhile, but here's something to chew on.

There are a few ways to indicate a character's interior thoughts and feelings in the comics medium. They can remain silent, expressed entirely through the way an artist chooses to portray a character. In that case all one would have to go on is dialogue, and facial/bodily expressions. Another way of showing a character's interior life is through narrative captioning. In this form, thoughts are expressed directly in text narrated by a character itself or perhaps by some unseen omniscient narrator. This method has gained great popularity in superhero comics over the last twenty to thirty years. There is however one very classic method of depicting a character's thoughts that seems to have fallen out of favor as narrative captions have come to dominate: thought balloons.