25.2.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Seventh Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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A face-shooting and a fatal neck biting! Crooks used to be awesome!

21.2.15

Adventures in Fake Journalism: Magic Man

The film Magic Man concerns a woman's half-hearted investigation into the mysterious death of her mother some twenty years earlier. At one point we get a look at an article concerning that crime - and here it is!

Now, for the text!

20.2.15

Game of Thrones and the Hollywood Atheist Conspiracy

For those who aren't theAvod viewers, the "Hollywood Atheist Conspiracy" is a blanket term I use to describe the frequent habit of entertainment industry types to massively underepresent the religiosity and superstitiousness of real people when creating characters for their products. This leads to the odd sight of horror movies in which the majority of characters don't believe in ghosts, except for a lone kook. This compares rather starkly to real demographic surveys, which suggests that a belief in ghosts is a commonplace opinion, with the skeptics being a small minority.

This tendency shows itself in other ways as well. Prominent atheist characters, sparseness of any religious characters unless the plot requires them, and a general lack of consideration to issues of belief and superstition. It even leads filmmakers and producers to shoehorn atheist messages into places where they have no logical or sensible reason for being. Which brings me, naturally to Game of Thrones.

19.2.15

Production Can Be a Struggle, Folks

So I'm watching Scream Park, and we get to the part where one of the killbillies has to chop his way into a gift shop. Then this happens.


If you're wondering why that looks so strange, not unlike an FMV game from the mid-90s, it's because that's some truly iffy bluescreen you're looking at. Its seems that a condition placed on the filmmakers was that they not damage the amusement park's property at all, so this scene proved something of a challenge.

Also, here's a free tip - if you're framing straight at a set of glass doors like this, if you'd just open the door you want out of the way 90 degrees it would be effectively invisible. By pushing it as far as it would go, you've made it abundantly clear that there's an open door right there on the left of frame, right next to the fake one you've added in post.

18.2.15

The Next Day: Scream Park Edition

The film Scream Park concerns an attempt by the owner of a theme park to arrange the murder of his staff in the hopes that the publicity surrounding the massacre will turn the park into a major tourist attraction. Setting aside whether or not this would work (the film seems to think it would), it's one of the most inept examples in recent memory of a film struggling to obtain a 'the killer wins' ending that I've ever seen.

These are the film's two survivors. Woman and her Boss. After a terrible struggle against some killbillies, Woman manages to save the day, while Boss hides in a closet the whole night. Then, right at the end of the movie, it's revealed that Boss was in on it all along, and murdered Woman's would-be boyfriend because he was romantically fixated on her.

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Sixth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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I think it's time to just take a moment and appreciate the art of the Spirit. Where else are you going to see art like this? Man, what I wouldn't pay for the original black and white art from this page. Like so much Will Eisner art, it's almost like the primitive 40s colouring techniques are defiling the work.

11.2.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Sixth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Dead like lightning? Is lightning an especially 'living' thing? In any event, I like that German guy's style. We need monocles again, America!

4.2.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Fifth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Some things are best experienced without context.

28.1.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Fourth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

That's a rarity - narration that escapes the box to float above characters' heads!

21.1.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Third Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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I'm normally not in favour of clown sidekicks, but it seems that Captain Triumph is in desperate need of some help, since he seems to have aged sixty years and contracted a wasting disease since his last appearance.

14.1.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-Second Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Hubris, thy name is any given supervillain.

7.1.15

The Two-Hundred-Twenty-First Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Was there a fur shortage during the war? Did the army use furs for something? If you tell me that food or guns or rubber or steel will bring you a fortune during wartime, I'll sign off on that statement right away.

But furs? Really?

Am I horribly misinformed about the workings of stateside wartime grey-market commodities?

31.12.14

The Two-Hundred-Twentieth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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Dear lord, is that thing horrible. Is it any wonder so many children are terrified of the Easter Bunny?

25.12.14

Christmas with Robin!

It's Christmastime here at the castle, which makes it the perfect time to talk about the first appearance of Robin, the Boy Wonder, for reasons which are so obvious that I needn't bother mentioning them. Or making them up, in point of fact.

That's a bold way to advertise a new character on the cover of a comic. The most important find of the entire year? Isn't his also the year that Flash Comics were first published? And maybe it's a little pedantic, but how do you classify something you created as a 'find'? I suppose the idea was 'found' in the sense that someone pitched him to an editor and the editor said yes, but that's something of a stretch.

24.12.14

The Two-Hundred-Nineteenth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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"Look out - that cloud's got a gun!"

If you're wondering why the Golden Age was wonderful, the answer is that statement right there. Which could happen at no other time in human history.