Some of the most intense debates over minor comic details often come from one single element of the superhero genre: Batman's costume. Yellow oval or black bat? Belt pouches or capsules? Blue and grey or all black? With as many variations as there have been on one of the most iconic looks in history, there's no shortage of things to argue about, and today, we're going to settle one of the most long-lasting debates: How long should Batman's ears be?
Q: Aside from laying groundwork, most Golden Age stuff I've read is not very good. Are there any must-reads from the era? -- @TheKize
A: Listen, if you're having trouble getting into Golden Age books, I do not blame you. I've read my fair share of them over the years, and while I definitely think it's worth tracking down some of those early superhero comics if you're looking to broaden your horizons a little bit, I'll be the first to tell you that they can be hard to get into for a variety of reasons --- and as you said, chief among them is the fact that a lot of those old comics are just not very good.
Of course, you could say that about pretty much any era of comics and you wouldn't be far off from the truth. More than that, though, I think there's a big barrier that keeps the average reader from getting into those comics, and it has a lot to do with when, how, and why those comics were being made.
The camera, tilted diagonally, pans across the crowded dance floor of a nightclub called What A Way To Go-Go as Batman casually walks in through the front door. The music continues, but the dancing stops, as Gotham citizens take notice of the world's most famous crime-fighter in their midst. One of them shouts and points, almost fainting, a cigarette girl offers to check his cape, and the club's owner comes over to personally welcome him, asking if he'd like a table. "I'll stand at the bar," replies Batman, standing in the middle of the crowd in a cape, mask and tights, a bright yellow utility belt full of batarangs and explosives around his waist, "I shouldn't wish to attract attention."
That, according to interviews, was the scene where Adam West understood exactly how to play the role that would make him famous: Reserved and stilted and almost painfully square despite the inherent ridiculousness of everything around him. And fifty years ago today, on January 12, 1966, that scene was broadcast as part of the debut of Batman, the television series that would define not just its title character, but --- for better or worse --- the place of superheroes in American pop culture for at least a generation.
That was Jerry Ordway's solution to the problem that the creative teams behind Superman were facing in the early '90s. After building for years to a wedding between Lois Lane and Clark Kent --- something that had been brewing in comics since 1938 --- plans were put on hold so that the storyline could coincide with the upcoming wedding on TV's Lois and Clark.
The idea was that timing the two versions of the wedding to run at the same time would lead the show's audience into comic book stores and boost sales, but it left the comics with a year of space to fill, and finding something that would take up time and keep readers interested while the TV storyline caught up proved to be difficult. It was so frustrating, in fact, that Ordway's solution ended up being the best idea, and on this day in 1992, DC published 'The Death Of Superman'.
Q: Merry Ask Chris-tmas! What's the weirdest version of the Santa Claus origin story? -- @prograpslady
A: You know, it wasn't that long ago that I wrote about two different version of Santa's origin that were done as stop-motion TV specials from Rankin-Bass, and as much as I love them both, they're not exactly what you'd really expect. I mean, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is essentially the story of a revolutionary who brings down a corrupt European government through illegal toymaking and is then hunted until he has to relocate to the North Pole, and The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus has him raised on the milk of a lioness and taught about Japanese samurai by a twelve foot tall druid who shot laser beams from a silver axe in a war against child-hating goblins.
I guess what I'm getting at here is that even for someone who's spent a lifetime getting used to origin stories with nonsense words like "bitten by a radioactive spider" and "inhaled hard water fumes," Santa's beginnings are pretty weird.
Over the past few years, I've been toting around themed sketchbooks to conventions to get pieces of art from some of my favorite comic book creators, based on Jack Kirby's creations and tokusatsu heroes. This summer, however, I decided to switch things up a little and go with a much broader theme, since some people are not as familiar with the past 40 years of Kamen Rider as I'd like them to be. The result: A sketchbook full of my favorite characters.
Now that I've been through HeroesCon and San Diego, I've gathered up a pretty solid bunch to start out with, and they're pretty amazing. Check below for this summer's crop of sketches from artists like Chris Burnham, Tom Fowler, Joëlle Jones, Ben Dewey and more!
Listen. I love cars from movies. Yeah, I know, you all prefer horses or brisk walking or canoes, but me? I'm an iconoclast, baby. I like cars, and I don't care who knows it. Whether it's ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Party Wagon or even one of those ridiculous murder machines from Death Race 2000, sweet rides are some of my favorite parts of pop culture. And fortunately, artist Ido Yehimovitz feels the same way.
Hot on the heels of yesterday's teaser about the Batmobile that's going to be appearing in Man of Steel 2, AKA Batman Vs. Superman, AKA Justice League Prequel: Avengers Made A Billion Dollars So I Guess We're Doing That Now, director Zack Snyder has delivered on his promise by revealing not just more of the car, but, in a surprising twist, Batman himself, as played by Ben Affleck.
As for the Batmobile, well, we still don't get a very good look at it, but considering that Batman himself shows up, I think that's as fair a tradeoff as we can be expecting. And if you were worried that he might not be frowning enough, set your mind at ease. He definitely looks pretty upset for a dude standing next to a rocket car. Maybe he's bummed because everything is under an inch of soot?
We've known for a while that the upcoming TheAmazing Spider-Man 2was going to feature Electro, the Rhino and the Green Goblin, but I think I speak for all true fans of the web-slinger when I say that we've been waiting for months for the answer to a far more important question. Sure, Spidey's going to fight super-villains, but will he also be confronted with a horrifyingly misshapen baby version of himself that he will inexplicably battle via dance-off?
Well, now we know: Yes. Yes he does. I mean, it might not happen in the movie, but it's definitely what happens in an ad for Evian bottled water, which is somehow even stranger. Watch and be mystified below.
Last Friday, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University opened an incredible pair of exhibits featuring the art of Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson and Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson, and I don't think I have ever wanted to go see an art exhibit more. Curators Jenny Robb and Caitlin McGurk have assembled an incredible collection of original art from Calvin and Hobbes organized by season, as well as Watterson's actual tools of the trade, featuring hilarious commentary by the man himself. Unfortunately, like many people in this world, I am nowhere near Columbus, Ohio.
The good news, however, is that the filmmakers behind Dear Mr. Watterson, a documentary about Calvin & Hobbes and its impact, were in attendance snapping pictures so that the rest of us could live vicariously through them. Check out a few of our favorites below!
It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on .
To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you.
To activate your account, please confirm your password.
When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.
*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.
Welcome back to KLYQ Club VIP
It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://klyq.com using your original account information.