Friday, January 15, 2010

Party Planning Tips!

Party supply site offers several suggestions for planning a Superman-themed party for your kids. You know, Superman?

The Man of Steel,
the purveyor of good deeds
the destoryer of bad deeds

Yeah, him. Don't knock yourself out preparing a fancy spread for your birthday tyke, not when ...

Not many people know this, but Superman secretly craved hamburgers and hot dogs and while we do not know for sure, this menu makes for easy outdoor cooking with no mess in the kitchen. Add chips, cut-up vegetables, condiments, popcorn and beverages.

Looking for fun activities? Why not sing this specially crafted Superman birthday song!
Happy Birthday Song

Add a word to the standard song that is sung before the candles are blown out and the cake is served.





And now the part that would have made my head explode when I was six:

Birthday Cake
Decorate the cake with a Superman cake topper or emblem or create your own. Add red, white and blue frosting and decorations that carries the Superman color scheme perfectly.

AAAgh my six-year old brain ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Excerpts: How much worse could Superman IV have truly been?

The incidental music alone is a more serious villain than Nuclear Man...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dial Ф for Fakeski!

Here's an amusing, really nicely designed, and completely ersatz version of Leon Trotsky as Tintin.

The dead giveaway is the date 1922 - Tintin was first published in 1929, which is easy to remember, since everyone knows Hergé's's boy reporter is responsible for causing the Black Tuesday stock market crash. If memory serves (I don't have my own Tintin books at hand) this isn't a version of any particular Tintin book, but rather of a logo that appears on the title pages of most editions.

There's a selection of several more equally fake and attractive covers at English Russia

It's not clear to me exactly what might be the point of all this, especially since I neither speak nor read Russian. Still, I could hardly post that without also posting this.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is one of the few of the series I still haven't read. When I was a real obsessive about these things, back in the last 70s, I don't think an English translation was even available. Certainly the earliest Tintin books are pretty problematic with the advantage of renewable energy powered 21st century hindsight, what with the racism and drinking and smoking and adorable terriers with the power of speech (hey, so THAT'S what's missing from Mad Men!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow That Almost Was

Superman is about as iconic as you can get. He transcends the super hero medium of comics and offers a reflection of a nostalgic mid century America that never really existed. To many people he embodies the very values and presence of an America that we wished was real.

Which is all the more impressive when you consider that depite his outward resemblance to us, he is not human. Tossing about city buses and swimming in lava aside, it's sometimes easy to forget that Kal-El was born on Krypton and launched from that dying world to our own in a suped up* space crib. I think the residents of Smallville and Metropolis both can thank their lucky stars that the instinctual behavior of Kryptonian infants didn't include punching and staring intently at the ceiling until it catches on fire.

How much would it blow your mind though, if I told you that Superman was originally conceived of as a HUMAN?! Is your mind blown? Is it laying about the floor like the contents of a can of beans left unopened on a burner for too long?**

The totally awesome website has featured, and translated, a letter that Jerry Siegel wrote to Russel Keaton in 1934. Siegel was looking for an artist for Superman and pitched the idea to the Buck Rogers artist with a brief script detailing a significantly different origin story for Clark Kent.

Notable differences include Kent being human, instead of alien, thrust back in time from a dying earth by the last man alive. Thankfully the last man alive was not a telephone repair man, and he had the capacity and resources to construct a time machines. Additionally, this Clark Kent was raised in an orphanage, and delighted in public displays of his strength.

Keaton turned down the offer, and it was another four years before Superman finally ended up with Joe Shuster and National Allied Publications.

* See what I did there? I'm very clever.
** My father actually did this. Big mess. Beans everywhere. Beans!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow []