Monday, December 12, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANKIE

30 comments:

  1. Completely unrelated, but I finally saw Dr. Strange!

    You were right, JMD, it's definitely the kind of film that needs to be seen on the big screen. The visuals were stunning, but I never felt so overwhelmed that I became desensitized.

    And I was impressed with how DR. STRANGE distinguished itself from other Marvel Studios brands, not just visually but philosophically. I'm happy they didn't simply substitute magic blasts for bullets and lasers. There's a core difference in the way Strange approaches problem-solving and that comes across beautifully in the film's climax.

    If I'm not mistaken, Scott Derrickson actually has a minor in theology, which serves DR. STRANGE well.

    --David

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    1. I really enjoyed the fact that, for the most part, the movie was untouched by the wider MCU. You could walk in and enjoy it on its own terms without having any continuity in your head.

      For better or worse, some of these movies are becoming more like the comics: meaning you need a PHD in superheroes to know/remember all the crossover elements.

      Scott Derrickson seems like a very interesting guy. And he was clearly the man for the job!

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    2. To your point about the ever-expanding film continuity, I noticed the opening Marvel sequence now references imagery from previous films instead of comics panels.

      --David

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  2. I have an unofficial PhD in super heroes. :) Also, David, I do not like the new opening for the Marvel movies. I liked the comic panels better.

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    1. I also have an unofficial PhD in superheroes. My official title is "Doctor Mister." :)

      I preferred the comic panels, too, Douglas. There was something cool about the idea of the comic pages coming to life. That said, I don't feel too strongly about it. Just liked the previous openings better. I'm guessing Marvel will begin to differentiate every phase this way.

      --David

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  3. JM, thanks for this birthday reminder. When I was a young teenager in the late 1960s, I considered Sinatra to be hopelessly unhip & square as square as can be -- in other words, I was painfully callow. Now? No offense to many other fine & wonderful singers, but I think Sinatra may well be THE interpretive voice of the great American songbook. Certainly the voice most evocative of loss & yearning for what can never be regained, having lost it due to one's own foolish mistakes that were recognized too late.

    As for Dr. Strange, it sounds as if the film offers the real character, as opposed to the comics these days. How I wish you were writing his adventures again!

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    1. I'd write Doc Strange again in a heartbeat, Tim. I love the character and the universe he inhabits.

      As for Mr. S: Let me highly recommend James Kaplan's two volume bio of Frank, SINATRA: THE VOICE and SINATRA: THE CHAIRMAN. An honest, but not sensationalistic, look at a man who -- much like John Lennon -- wrestled with demons and somehow turned that wrestling into art.

      And, yeah, "loss and yearning." That's Sinatra. But joy, too. One of my favorite Sinatra tracks is a recording of "The Best Is Yet To Come" where you can actually hear the man's smile as he sings.

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    2. I love that song! I tend to associate Sinatra with the excitement of New York City nightlife, but of a kind that carries over, in a symbolic sense, to life as a whole.

      --David

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    3. Very true. But that's just one phase of Sinatra's career. I'm also very fond of his early years, when he was a young crooner with the Tommy Dorsey Band, driving teenage girls wild. Very different music, but really excellent. In fact, each phase of Sinatra's career has amazing music. His best work may run from the 50's through early/mid-60's, but there are gems everywhere.

      You can tell I'm a hard-core Sinatraphile, right? : )

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    4. Its hard to think of anyone better at expressing "loss and yearning for what will never be" better than Woody Guthrie.

      Oddly, Guthrie despite being less popular, seems to have been more of an inspiration to future generations. Kooky.

      Anyway, put me on the list for people who want you writing Doc Strange, but I'm not sure you would mesh with Marvel's current view of just who Dr. Strange is.

      I'm all for Doc no longer being a quip spouting womanizer, who thinks of Clea as little else than another mystical object (by the way that is the only way to access magic anymore)and passes his pain onto a sentient being in his basement... also apparently can't eat normal food anymore... but Marvel seems to disagree.

      I guess all we can hope is that the power of the dollar changes that.


      Jack

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    5. Not having read the actual stories, I can't pass judgement, but that's certainly a different interpretation.

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    6. If I had to guess, somewhere along the lines a certain trenchcoated mystic con-man got imputed into the concept.

      I hear the movie is closer to the original concept. Can't confirm either way. If that is the case, I wonder what the future holds for Doc, given that his sales keep slipping. Cancel or try the original.

      By the way, I saw the team-up books between DC character's and the new hanna-barbara line. Yet the most obvious one, Scoobs Apocs and the JLI, was absent. I can't say that I am surprised, or mad, or even disappointing, but rather full blown furious. Dematteis-Giffen alliance or DC Comics, who does my righteous anger seek our!?

      Also, if you still plan on that Silver Surfer 50th anniversary appreciation, there is only about and a half left.

      Jack

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    7. I love the idea of a Scooby/JLI team-up! Truth is, I didn't know they were doing these crossovers till I saw the solicits the other day.

      Don't know if I'll make the Silver Surfer deadline: the combo of a pre-Christmas cold and the upcoming holidays may prevent it. We'll see.

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    8. Alright, alright. you say you didn't know I'll believe you. That having been said, the cornucopia of jokes about how much how much Shaggy looks like Oliver Queen would be worth the price of admission... especially if Bats and Black Canary were on the team.

      Well, feel better from that cold... or else.


      Jack

      PS to try and get in some kind of holiday spirit I have been buying and soon reading comics with that theme. One is by you. Bonus points if you can guess which one.

      Jack

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    9. Thanks, Jack. I'm doing my best to feel better.

      Holiday comics. Hmmm. Was it the Watcher story in MARVEL TEAM-UP?

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    10. It is that issue. If it makes you feel any better, I also have the Silver Surfer story that was in the holiday special, but I've had that for years.

      How did you guess?

      Also, word around the comic shop is that that JLI/Scoobs Apocs would have sold very well. I know it makes no difference since it won't exist (at least in the foreseeable future), just saying, there is an appreciation for both.

      Also, they say that a new Ben Reilly book (maybe teh death of him by some accounts) will be written by Peter David. I beliee I suggested a new Ben Reilly book quite sometime ago. Clearly, I know what teh comi readership wants.

      Oh well, at least they got a talented writer with a big name, like Conway on Renew Your Vows. I think that is more important for smaller books these days. The Kaine Scarlet Spider book was good, and I didn't know anyone who bought it and didn't like it, I just think it had trouble grabbing attention.

      Now for the chosen people:

      https://www.anthonynotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/marvel_holiday_special_2011_hanukkah.jpg

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/9d/a5/ec/9da5ec5132678137c199847560b60469.jpg


      and for everyone:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTrmgLtCS8A

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkCOeNT1oeg

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75IweJVB68g

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F8AvjBpv18

      Hopefully at least one will give you a holiday thrill. Though none are particularly holiday inspired.

      Jack

      PS I'd start working on teh pitch for next year's "Greenberg the Vampire's Hanukah Spectacular: from latkes to AB Negaative" right now."

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    11. If Marvel would let me, I'd write the GREENBERG HANUKKAH SPECIAL in a heartbeat! What a fantastic idea!

      I'll try to check out those links over the holidays.

      The Watcher story is a favorite of mine from those early days at Marvel, so it was the first that popped into my head.

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    12. I read that MTU last night.

      and I think you mean "Greenberg the Vampire's Hanukah Spectacular: from Latkes to AB Negative"

      Hope you enjoy the links when you get a chance, and the first two are just images.



      Jack

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    13. Yes, that's exactly what I meant!

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    14. As much as I love the idea (of course I do, I came up with it and I keep predicting hits) but I'm sure the man will keep it from coming true.

      That being said, I do fully encourage the attempt. And I surely encourage me reading when it is out.

      In case you want a review of your MTU story...

      I thought it was good. I don't usually go for the whole "spirit of the holidays" type thing, but this one was good. I think it would be possible for someone to complain about Chekhov's having been just as much a criminal, I however viewed it as the breaking off that cycle. Don't know if that was the intent, and it doesn't matter. I do think that adds more weight though. More of a long lasting thing.

      My one complaint, I really wish you would have actually written out Chekhov's poem.

      I know this was written decades ago, and you may not remember any of what I'm talking about, but hey. There are my two cents.

      Let me know what you thought of the 4 songs and 2 images when you get around to it.


      Take care, and ditch that cold,
      Jack

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    15. Ditching in progress, Jack. Thanks. And, yeah, I just remember that story in a general way (the mood and vibe and message). And of course the wonderful artwork.

      I could always do a creator-owned Hanukkah project starring Horowitz the Werewolf.

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    16. I don't like that idea... largely because my subtitle, "Latkes to AB negative," no longer makes any sense.

      If you must do a creator owned story, I suggest tapping into your hippie need for inclusion. How about a Jehovah's Witness werewolf, who tries to explain and justifies not celebrating the holiday. That is a whole untapped market.

      If you really have a desire to read that MTU, I say just walk into a comic shop, pull out a back issue and walk out the door.

      They won't call the cops over a $2.00 back issue, and they will have a story to tell that is worth WAAAAAAAY more than that.

      Just make sure you say, "your welcome" as you walk out the door. The comic obviously visible.

      Jack

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    17. I'm sue we can find a suitable subtitle for HOROWITZ THE WEREWOLF.

      I have a copy of that old MTU tucked away in my office, so I don't have to steal it.

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    18. I don't like the threat of legal action here. If anything, I should be the one who is... oh it was a typo. That make much more since.

      I didn't know every monster was Jewish. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

      Then you can at least go read your copy (unless your filed away is as messed up as mine) and just rob someone of the chance to have that story.

      Jack

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    19. I've actually got copies of (just about) everything I've ever had published tucked away in pretty good condition. Those folks will have to find their comic book robbery stories elsewhere.

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  4. by the way, I saw your tweet about the Cuban Missile Crisis in the corner of this sute. If it makes you feel any better, we were actually much closer to nuclear war in 1983. The Russians were actually given the command to fire.

    It is actually a fascinating series of events over the course of a year.

    Seriously, in hindsight it is just amazing.

    Jack

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    1. That whole era was amazing...in a truly horrifying way. I guess the difference between the CMC and 1983 is that we all KNEW we were a breath away from destruction. I suspect there were a number of times we came close and the general populace had no clue.

      (I just read a story the other day about a Russian nuclear sub that came very, very close to firing missiles during the crisis.)

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    2. Well, I don't know how familiar with the story you are, but the build up was both very public and very private. The end result was the most amazing of all.

      I apologize if you know all this. I assume you will remember some of it.

      It started with Reagan calling the Soviet's an evil empire. This was interpreted as a sign of aggression.

      Then came the accidental shooting down of the Korean plane. This pushed both sides even further.

      And of course Afghanistan.

      Then fall came around about six months later.

      NATO was conducting war games about what to do in case of nuclear holocaust. Now, this was started in the late 70s and was publicly known, but the Russians figured that if ever there was to be an attack it would be around this time. Good camouflage.

      It was also close to a Soviet holiday...which was also assumed to be a time ripe for attack. Despite that being against US policy

      Now here is the weirdest part of all. There was an irregular weather pattern. And it was detected as by instruments. Soviet instruments. 80s Soviet instruments from a dying empire. They saw them as misses.

      Protocol was to launch immediately. However, one man stopped and waited for a moment. Against orders... IN the Soviet Union. He could have gotten shot. No joke.

      However, that moment of trepidation in a time of high emotions lead to the Russians not launching their nukes.

      Biggest problem of all, Reagan was in Japan with the nuclear football.

      Irt actually completely changed how the two countries worked together. It scared the Hell out of both governments, and neither one told their people about it until over a decade later.

      The two began working closer to find solutions. Reagan even took back his evil empire statement saying he was wrong on Soviet television. No one ever remembers those parts.

      That near fire though helped end the Cold War peacefully.

      Nuclear politics is fascinating, and incredibly complex. On one hand they are a huge part of why there was no WWIII... of course the smaller puppet wars of Vietnam, Korea, and the Soviet-Afgahn War took there place. There is also the problem of Soviet nukes in post-soviet land, unstable dictators, and the them being the best way to hold off any type of invasion in a civilized country.

      There are no easy answers on the subject.

      This Soviet US cinflict doesn't even go into the Soviet Space Sies, which were real and sound cool, but were actually a product of Soviet tech lagging behind ours.

      And of course Watchmen's talk of Nuclear War came out two years after it was a real possibility.

      Most disturbingly, that happened in the 80s, a decade I was alive in, and it is considered history.

      Jack

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    3. An incredible story.

      I get what you're saying about history. The Cuban Missile Crisis isn't history to me, it's a memory from my life. However young I was, I totally got what was going on—and the scars from that event remain, all these years later.

      May we never go down that path again.

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