So it turns out that Ben Affleck is going to be Batman in the new Zack Snyder Batman / Superman movie. And as a result the internet has let out a collective WHAT?! But personally I’ve been proven wrong about casting before and as a result had a little think about this. And you know what? I think he could surprise us all and deliver something outstanding.
So there’s been some interesting discussion about the classic Batman graphic novel, The Killing Joke. In a podcast with Kevin Smith, comic book writer Grant Morrison said that he always saw the end as Batman killing The Joker, and puts forward convincing arguments for his reasoning.
The internet is now alight with discussion as to whether this is “true” or not, fans going so far as to unearth the original script for any indication as to the validity of Morrison’s claims.
Nope it’s not concept art for a movie or from a new comic, but this fan art for the last stand of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is just amazing. I love art like this, that take something from popular culture and treats it with reverence and respect. It’s by an artist from Portugal who goes by the name of Deadpea. Be sure to check out some of their other amazing pictures, they’re just as awesome! With thanks to Andrew for pointing it out to me!
If I had to list my heroes you’d probably not know one of them. Everyone has heard of George Lucas, Clive Barker and JRR Tolkien but not so many have heard of Larry Hama,. For me he’s up there with those icons.
Larry Hama was the writer of a toy tie-in comic called GI Joe, released by Marvel in 1983 to cash in on the toy run’s popularity. The thing is, it would have been easy for Hama to dial this in. But he didn’t. Sure it had to feature toy of the month and some of those were pretty whacky, but Hama always embraced it, treating his tie-in universe with the respect you’d expect on a big A-list project. No-one was expecting it to last for years, yet I believe at one stage it was Marvel Comics’ biggest seller.
When I was clearing out the old house I came across a lot of my old print publications that I thought I’d lost. I took them with me and, today, have spent the afternoon scanning covers and updating bibliographies. With some magazines I was actually quite surprised just how much I wrote, and whilst I doubt the effort of listing them all will give me any real benefit, it does give me piece of mind that I now have a complete list of my publication history.
In my opinion, Dark Knight is the finest superhero movie ever made. There’s something about the way it builds its own Batman mythos, borrowing minimally from the comics but adding its own twists to make a great movie that you’d love even if you perhaps weren’t a superhero fan.
Avengers on the other hand is a movie for fanboys. And ordinarily that would be a worry. You’d picture this big, soulless movie, with fanboy moments crammed in, trying to tick boxes instead of telling a story. And when you consider that this movie features the leads from three previous Marvel movies… well, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this thing had ‘mess’ written all over it before the ink was dry on the script.
The day job took me to a disaster recovery site yesterday, the idea being that if something happened to a main site, staff could up and migrate to the disaster recovery site and carry on working. But until that happens the place is almost empty. It’s a fantastic site and incredibly eerie. I went into the toilets and had to switch on the lights, the fluorescent bulbs flashing and clicking a few times before coming on fully. It felt like it was taken directly from a horror movie. It’s like a real equivalent of the prison from The Walking Dead comics.
There’s a story that always got told in the collectables industry about HR Giger. It’s one of those stories that has its origin in truth but has grown in the telling, such that I’m no longer sure just how much truth, if any, is left in the story.
The story goes that a young sculptor got the opportunity of a lifetime to visit his hero HR Giger in Switzerland where he was to go through the artist’s work as part of a collectables project his employer had negotiated with the artist. The sculptor arrived at Giger’s house and was promptly shown to an attic storeroom where he was locked in for several days without food and water. The moral of the story is that you should never meet your heroes.
One of the big reasons I prefer the Marvel over the DC universes is the way that with the exception of the Ultimate stuff, it’s largely all taking place in the same universe at the same time. The narratives intertwine and contradict and are usually brought together for whatever the big crisis (i.e. marketing crossover of the given year) occurs.
It’s big and messy and I can see why some people hate it, but there’s something about intertwining narratives that really appeals to me. I love the idea that whilst in one street Spider-Man is fighting Sandman or Vulture, in the next Daredevil is hunting a criminal, that there are lots of stories carrying on at the same time.
Of course, you then get those odd panels where Spider-Man talks to Daredevil and there’s a little asterisk, telling you in the box out to read more about the other character in their own title.
Trying to read all these comics normally would be expensive and not very satisfying. With so many writers and so many stories, there are always going to be those you love and those you hate. It’s not really been possible for me to really investigate the nooks and crannies of the Marvel Universe.
Today, I lack focus. I have 101 ideas.
Today the world holds infinite possibilities; unfortunately infinite time does not come with it.
Today I want to create an anthology, start a fantasy fiction magazine, write an adventure game, put together a writer’s portfolio, write a comics script and do a few non-fiction articles. I have to keep telling myself that ideas are fine but I need to have priorities. So in the back of my mind I’m labelling these with a time commitment, with a view to picking off the low hanging fruit.
I’ve also been thinking of digging up a few old short stories, sprucing them up a bit and sending them out once again. It’s not the inevitable rejections that bother me, just the trying to find suitable markets for stories that don’t seem to sit nicely in genre boundaries and aren’t arty enough to fit those publications that like cross-genre. I just want to tell good stories.
But in the midst of all this indecision and big ideas I’m continuing work on Gods which continues to be an unusual experience. It’s carrying on in the background, almost half forgotten, and it’s still very much a story I’m not sure where it’s going. The word count is surprisingly high but I don’t think it waffles too much. This will still probably need a tighter edit than other things I’ve written but I’m enjoying the freedom of discovering where the story is taking me.