You Never Know Someone
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, one of my favorite comics writers was Gerard Jones. At the time, he was writing some really fun – and sometimes really different – stuff in the trio of Green Lantern-related books. He did some Batman work, which I could take or leave, and he worked on a Justice League comic (at first with a co-writer and later solo) that was pretty funny. He was clearly liberal, but he was a lot more intelligent than most lightweight armchair libs writing comics, and even went against the liberal line at times. Mostly, his work was just smarter than the usual by-the-numbers crap that was and still is being published.
His work seemed to take a dip around 1993, though, and in a few years he didn’t seem to be writing much for comics anymore, if at all. I believe part of that had to do with clashes with editorial, which was undergoing changes at the time. I saw his name again in the local newspaper’s comics page around 2000 – he was writing a Pokemon strip.
He wrote a few non-fiction books in the 2000s, but I didn’t keep up with those. I heard very little about him after that until today, when I discovered he was arrested about a week ago for possessing kiddie porn and uploading it to YouTube.
I’ve long learned to separate the art from the artist. And he hasn’t been proven guilty yet. But there are limits. I doubt I’ll ever really enjoy his work again.
Real Life Batman Chases Killer Clown
Not a dream, a hoax, or an imaginary story…. a man costumed as Batman went after a clown in Britain, where nutbars have been dressing as clowns to scare and hurt people.
The Telegraph reports –
A photograph has been shared on Facebook of ‘Batman’ seemingly chasing off a killer clown.
BBC Cumbria reported local company Cumbria Superheroes is behind the effort to rid the streets of clowns.
They have reassured that the costumed man is not a vigilante, but just trying to reassure local children who are scared of the ‘killer clowns’.
In another incident, George Birkbeck said he spotted a sinister figure holding a hammer in a Tesco car park in Plymouth on Friday.
The clown was dressed as Batman’s ‘Joker’ character and ran off after Mr Birkbeck brandished a beer bottle at him.
This is where we’re going – life has gotten so strange that dressing as a comic book character to fight bizarre crime actually seems like a natural thing to do.
There was a clown just a couple blocks from here scaring kids at a school recently. Maybe some of the locals should look into this cape-and-cowl idea…
Rocktober – The Dark And Stormy Night Rises
“Everything comes back down to Batman, in the end.” – Donal Graeme
It’s dark and will likely be raining tonight, apropos for the night before Halloween.
A sequel was attempted…
..but ultimately not produced.
The phrase “It was a dark and stormy night” comes from the 1830 novel Paul Clifford, written by Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and was picked up years later by Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, who gave the line to aspiring author Snoopy as part of that decorated WWI Flying Ace’s ongoing efforts to be published.
The novel began thusly –
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents – except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”
Sounds like the setting for Gotham. Or a metal video game.
Schulz had Snoopy write out his novel, starting with the famous line and building from there, and can be read it its (short) entirety here.
In 1981, writer Len Wein and artist Walt Simonson did something fun for the 500th issue of Detective Comics, where Batman originated, by doing a remix of sorts of Snoopy’s novel, presented in its (also short) entirety above.
Somewhere along the line, Charles Schulz did a drawing for DC Comics artist Carmine Infantino, who drew Batman in the 60s –
The Drain Circles Itself
The site Everyday Feminism has published a helpful “guide to triggering” for those not quite up to speed on such things.
Above the article is a content warning –
Content Warning: This article discusses triggering in detail and mentions common topics of triggering (sexual assault, anxiety, health anxiety, depression, death, non-specific fears and phobias).
A trigger warning about an article about triggering.
But the Mobius Wormhole goes deeper. Above the content warning (which is a trigger warning about trigger warnings) is an editor’s note –
Editors Note: Like this phenomenal article, Everyday Feminism definitely believes in giving people a heads up about material that might provoke our reader’s trauma. However, we use the phrase “content warning” instead of “trigger warning,” as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery. This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence. So, while warnings are so necessary and the points in this article are right on, we strongly encourage the term “content warning” instead of “trigger warning.”
Trigger warnings about trigger warnings are triggering. The culture has become an M.C. Escher drawing sucked into itself and spat out as an anti-mirror of reality.
H/T James Taranto (via Ed Driscoll).
Bonus Points: Quote from the article –
As far as I’ve seen, many preventable instances of triggering happen when somebody is exposed to media like books or movies.
And water is wet.
Bonus Bonus Points: As I write this, my wife and I just finished watching Batman Begins, One of the central themes is fear (both on the parts of Batman, the League of Shadows, and Scarecrow). Right this second, she’s watching the special feature on creating the Batman costume, which is deliberately designed to instill fear.
Wonder how long til it’s on the Badthink Movies list?
Pointless Yet Ironic Accidentalism: “…material that might provoke our reader’s trauma.”[emphasis mine] Advertising revenues don’t seem hopeful here.
Back To School
I feel sorry for kids everywhere in the USA today.
From here –
I hated Mondays enough when I was in school, but I hated, hated, HATED the first Monday back after the Christmas break.
Rocktober – Final Friday Finale
Friday Night. Halloween. 12:30 AM EST. Rocktober’s Final Friday Night Videos has arrived… like fist to face.
You can’t kill the metal!
It comes from hell!
Halloween is scary.
Halloween is costumes.
Halloween is metal.
The apex, the sum total, of Halloween is
No one can destroy BatMetal!
BatMetal will strike you down with a vicious blow!
It’s Twosday, two years and two months after I first started this thing, and this is the 200th post.
Past that, I got nothin’ to say, so here’s a fun image with one of my favorite characters cheerily celebrating 200 –
Ack! Wrong 200. That’s not exactly sunshiny and cheerful. Let’s try again…
Better. There’s even a couple shots of Bats smiling. Who woulda thunk it?
Thanks to everyone who hangs out here.
Endless Days Of Dark Knights
Batman is 75 years old today, first appearing in Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands onMarch 30th, 1939. Along with Superman, he is one of the longest running continuing characters to be published without interruption, something that had never been done before or since (although Wonder Woman is set to hit 75 in a couple of years).
That said, he looks pretty young for his age.
This is the guy who ninja-trained Roissy.
Remember the days when it was the Superman movies that were awesome and the Batman movies… not so much? Now The Dark Knight is the height of excellence.
What Kind Of Superman Are You?
It’s International Women’s Day and artist aleXsandro Palombo has done a series called “What Kind Of Man Are You?” featuring images of well-known cartoon characters in scenes of domestic violence.
Characters include Prince Charming and Snow White, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons, among others. I’m not sure what kind of statement he’s trying to make beyond the equivalent of flying a ribbon from your car antenna, but I think he missed the target here. This image, for example…
…isn’t particularly striking, pardon the pun, since we’ve seen Homer do worse to Bart almost since Day One. If anything, Marge is getting off easy (and I seem to recall Maggie launching an unprovoked attack at Homer at one point).
As for the superhero images, they’re pretty tame (seriously, after being hit by Superman, Wonder Woman shouldn’t even have a head anymore). Even the Super Friends cartoon, which looks to be the inspiration here, was more dynamic and energetic. But more importantly, he didn’t need to come up with some new image to show Superman committing domestic violence – there’s tons upon tons of source material in the actual comics.
Those are way niftier ways of trying to murder the one you love, especially if you have super powers. Gotta put some style in your game. But I digress.
So it’s established that Supes was not very nice to his girlfriend. But domestic violence is not always one-sided. Often the woman is an aggressor as well. It’s not as well known because women are generally less likely to manage causing physical harm to the man, which is illuminated through the extreme situation of the Superman-Lois dynamic… what’s she gonna do to him without taking extreme measures?
Which she’s done. Repeatedly. It’s only fair to look at things from Superman’s side of the story and see how Lois has treated him.
Superman isn’t the only one to be the victim of his girlfriend turning on him. Batman’s crazy cat lady squeeze dropped a hurt on him something fierce.
Another aspect of domestic violence that is not often mentioned is that there are times when the woman starts the fight, provoking him into retaliating or sometimes even forcing the man into defending himself. With his greater strength, he is more likely to visibly injure the woman.
The unstated assumption here appears to be that those with power will abuse it unless shamed into restraining themselves. Delving into characters like these undermines the concept – comics and cartoons are loaded with Women Of Power. Aside from Superman, who is more powerful than Wonder Woman? In addition, unlike the caped Boy Scout, she was explicitly trained to fight and even kill. So should we expect a scene like this?