A brief dialog on the dynamic and changing landscape of comic books.
Here is another interesting if small documentary series on a pulp hero important in the history of comics and comic heroes. This one is on The Shadow.
Similar to the Doc Savage documentary in my last post, done by the same persons, and equally sparse, this documentary is also more akin to an extended bibliography. Nonetheless worth watching. Enjoy.
If you are interested in the history of comics you will be interested in looking into the important precursors of comics, namely certain pulp figures. Of especial interest for me is the figure of Doc Savage. His place in the evolution of comics, heroes, and general iconography is clear and vital.
Here is a decent if sparse (on information) three part mini-documentary discussing Doc Savage.
It could be better described as an extended bibliography for all things Doc Savage more than a documentary, but there are certainly worse ways to spend half an hour.
I have been watching episodes of “The Greatest American Hero“. Don’t ask why. I don’t have a good explanation.
(Well, ok. That’s not strictly true. I have been studying superheroes, I wrote my honors thesis on superheroes, and I’ll be writing a book on superheroes once I get enough research behind me. But all that aside, I have no good reason to be watching this show.)
The premise, even the very infrastructure of the show itself, is a bit of comedy. A space craft comes to Earth and delivers to an Odd Couple a suit which turns it’s steward into a superhero with the express purpose of fighting for goodness. The Odd Couple here consists of a cardboard, hard-edged FBI agent and a post-hippie, aspiring pacifist, special-ed teacher. Oh, and this is during the cold war, so most of their time they fight the good fight against the commies and promoting the American democraticapitalist ideal. Apparently no one told them that all space aliens were enlightened beings who saw past the petty conflicts underlying Earth politics.
If there is one, I’m getting closer to the point of this post so bear with me.
Tonight I watched the fifth episode titled “Saturday on Sunset Boulevard”. The opening scene of which is a fantastically over-the-top lovers’ dilema that would make a romance novelist blush. This scene is comedy enough to warrant watching the episode. But, wait; there’s more.
The episode carries one of the greatest continuity breaks I have ever seen. The mainest of the main characters (Ralph) finds himself one moment getting into the backseat of a parked car, then appears next to a man standing at the front of said car, and finally appears in the backseat again having changed his clothes (in fact, having stripped down to the super-suit).
But the icing on the cake is a one-liner uttered from one minor character to another in response to a particularly bizaar monolog: “Ain’t nothing wrong with your grammar learning English wouldn’t fix”.
Laughter may not be the best medicine, but I’m hooked. I haven’t had this much fun since Super Chicken.