Monthly Archives: July 2008

Birds of Prey Redux

Finally the DVD set for the 2002 “Birds of Prey” TV series has come out. Here are my reviews of the program reviewed as it aired back then:

Birds of Prey

It’s really not as bad as I thought back then. Perhaps it got better with age. It’s not the comic book, not by a long shot, but if you go in with an open mind and a blank slate without knowledge of the comic… it’s really not bad.

Mamma Mia!

This is a fun movie, a terrific and more than welcome step back into the age of musicals – and highly recommended. And don’t forget to stay through the credits for the cast doing a few more songs in full seventies ABBA-ish regalia.

The Annual FundsforWriters Essay Contest

The 7th Annual FundsforWriters Essay Contest, sponsored by

FundsforWriters and its annual sponsor IdeaWeaver, creator of writing and creativity software, announce the 7th Annual FundsforWriters Essay Contest.

THEME: “The Best Advice I Ever Had.”

As is the FundsforWriters trademark, applicants enter with or without an entry fee, their choice. Prize monies range from $10 to $200.

LIMIT: 750 words.

DEADLINE: October 31, 2008.

Direct any questions to Hope Clark here.

Estelle Getty Passes at 84

BET’s Black Panther

The trailer for the new “Black Panther” animated series for BET debuted at the San Diego Comic Con today. Here’s a peek.

Animated might be a strong word based on this trailer, but with recent animated projects like “Invincible” and the “Watchmen” Motion Comics on iTunes using much the same techniques, the style may have come into its own.

Stan Lee created the Black Panther back in 1966 in an issue of Fantastic Four and the character is considered one of the genre’s first African-American superheroes. In recent years, the Panther’s own title, sometimes written by screenwriter and director Reggie Hudlin, has become one of the more controversial comics on the shelves.

Launch for the animated series is set for sometime early in 2009 according to BET.

Read the Label

This one’s for The Christian Voice. You know those folks who can’t read a simple label, or do their research.

Regarding the release of the Black Canary Barbie, based on the female role model and super-heroine who has been gracing the pages of various DC Comics since 1947, this is what a spokesperson from Christian Voice had to say:

“Barbie has always been on the tarty side and this is taking it too far. A children’s doll in sexually suggestive clothing is irresponsible – it’s filth.”

One of the things that bother me most about the Great Uninformed Masses and anything to do with comic books is the perception that comics are just for kids. Nope. Wrong the first time. Current demographics put the main comics audience in their twenties, thirties and forties. That’s pretty far from kids’ ages. And even if you want to reach back in time to a more innocent age, Black Canary has always worn fishnets. Since 1947. I’m just guessing that it’s the fishnets are what CV are calling sexually suggestive. Are they against the Rockettes too?

The other thing, the most important thing perhaps, is that Mattel will be marking this product, due for release in September, for adult collectors. It is specifically part of the Black Label Collection, packaged and marketed specifically for the adult collector market. Hear that, Christian Voice? Not for kids. So why the whining?

And if Black Canary’s costume is so offensive, where have you been since 1947? Where were you when she was featured on popular TV series like “Smallville,” “Justice League Unlimited” (a cartoon! and you all know those are just for kids!) and “Birds of Prey?”

No matter, as I said, Christian Voice obviously isn’t an organization that’s big on things like reading or research. If you check their website, which I won’t advertise here, you’ll find that they really don’t have time to read and research. They’re much too busy committing verbal hate crimes against the gay community.

Remember Slade?

Slade in Flame ~ Though largely a British phenomenon, some of you may remember Slade as the band whose songs Quiet Riot frequently covered when they had their fifteen minutes of fame. Slade had a brief moment here in the States after that, but back in the 1970s, they were one of the major forces in the UK glam rock movement. Notably they inspired Kiss, Cheap Trick, the Ramones and some say This Is Spinal Tap. Whether that last one is a compliment though is hard to judge.

The movie Slade in Flame is a whole ‘nother thing of course. This fictional account of the behind the scenes antics of the glam rock band Flame, played by Slade (duh), is sometimes amusing but mostly falls flat with that odd British dry humor we Americans rarely get. On the other hand, there’s no denying the charismatic power of lead singer Noddy Holder. He has a style envied and copied for decades now, and the performances are electrifying. Fast forward to the music and forget the rest.

Breaking Into Comics

Countdown to Wednesday ~ The title of this documentary references the day that comic books are released every week, and invariably the day consumers pick them up. As with any documentary on this subject, I fear that my fellows in the field and hobby will be humiliated. It’s just like when a new Star Wars or “Star Trek” movie comes out and people get in line early to see it – the media always finds the most absurd, bizarre and obsessed fan to interview, and then we’re all embarrassed.

But it’s not that kind of documentary thankfully, it’s something else entirely. At its start it appears to be a primer for folks who want to get into the industry. Using interviews with writers and editors in the field it teaches what to do to get in, what books and resources should be utilized for writers. Heck, this is as useful for any writer as it is for an aspiring comic book writer. Excellent advice here.

Now there’re also segments about artists, self-publishing and the business of comics – and they’re good too, but it was the writing parts that really got my attention. Excellent documentary for anyone interested in the comics field and even for those new to the genre. Must have for those wanting to break in to the business. Recommended.

The Watchmen Trailer

Oh my God.

The Watchmen preview is now online at If the movie is half as good as this trailer makes it look – this is going to be better than any of us could have possibly hoped…

See it here.


Sorry, Harlan

The Oscar ~ This 1966 film was notorious in my teenage years. It was known as one of the worst movies ever made, and it was also the main reason my favorite author, Harlan Ellison, had so much contempt for Hollywood, as it was co-written by him. The really bad part was that it very rarely aired on TV. The one time it did, it was so boring I fell asleep before it had barely begun. Luckily (or maybe not) I got a chance to see it again recently, and in its entirety.

Based on the novel by Richard Sale and starring Stephen Boyd, hot off of Ben-Hur, the lovely Elke Sommer, and believe it or not, Tony Bennett in a dramatic role, the flick actually boasts quite a cast and crew of superstars and behind-the-scenes masters. At first glance, this could have been, and should have been a surefire hit. The question is – what happened?

Sorry, Harlan. Proof positive that you can have Jill St. John do a striptease, and your movie will still suck. The Oscar is so bad, it’s good, but not that good.