Entries Tagged 'Comics' ↓

Harvey Pekar, 1939-2010

Harvey Pekar, above, the renowned comics writer whose life’s own banalities formed his narratives, died from prostate cancer, Monday, at the age of 70.

A mainstay and elder of the underground comics movement, Pekar was an oft and early collaborator with artist Robert Crumb. Yet the Ohio native worked as a Veterans Administration hospital file clerk most, if not all, of his adult life.

It was only after retiring in 2001, that his American Splendor series—turned into a 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar—brought him mainstream fame and acclamation.

I met Pekar at our WBAI studios on Wall St. in 2006, when he was promoting his latest American Splendor book, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, right, with its namesake subject, the contrary blogger and founder of Overheard in New York.

The late Harvey Pekar, and Michael Malice, are the guests today on this rebroadcasted edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, July 16th, at 2 pm ET.

You can hear their ideas by tuning in at 2 pm ET. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

Let It Whip: Iron Man 2‘s New Trailer Threatens to Blind You with Hotness.

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Iron Man 2 debuts May 7, and if trailer No. 2, below, is any indication, prepare to defensively wet your pants.

First, the movie pits Iron Man—aka multi-billionaire weapons designer / playboy Tony Stark, above—against nemesis Whiplash, played by misshapen beast-of-a-man Mickey Rourke.

Then, the flick stuffs itself silly with cool actors in deft supporting roles: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury; Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard, as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine; Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow; and Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Virginia “Pepper” Potts.

Finally, if you’re staring at that photo and can’t figure out the look of Iron Man’s suit, watch the trailer and get your mind blown backward.

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Lyrical Literacy: Asheru’s H.E.L.P. Fuses the Power of Hip-Hop with Learning to Truly Spark Heads.

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In this recent clip, above, Gabriel “Asheru” Benn, D.C.-based educator and founder of Educational Lyrics, talks about H.E.L.P.—Hip-Hop Educational Literacy Program. H.E.L.P. uses music to teach reading to schoolchildren, utilizing hip-hop’s currency to make ideas stick.

That’s an area in which Mr. Benn has some authority, by the way, as his mind-spinning flow on the theme from The Boondocks proves with each episode, below. Study hard, kids.

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Let’s Get Ready To Rumble: Watch Iron Man 2 Turn the War Machine On.

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Need I say more about what will almost certainly be Summer 2010′s biggest hit? Don Cheadle (replacing Terrence Howard) puts on the classic steel-gray War Machine battlesuit, above, and, matched with Robert Downey Jr.’s titular character, I’m bettin’ it’s about to be ridonkulous.

[via impawards.com]

Hungry Heart.

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Astro Boy, the American CGI feature based on Japanese manga master Osamu Tezuka’s 1951 character, opens today. It features the voices of Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy, with Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Samuel L. Jackson, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, and Donald Sutherland, among others, pulling up the rear.

Cage, who plays scientist Dr. Tenma, the robot’s creator, says “the sadness of the story”—that of a machine who dreams of becoming human—drew him to the movie. For the rest of us, there’s this stunning, double-sided teaser one-sheet, above, dramatically rendering Astro in silhouette, save for his awesomely-powered heart. $25, Movieposter.com.

Super Zero.

MarvelKids.com Create Your Own Super-Hero: Soul Fashion Victim

Marvel Comics’ MarvelKids.com “Create Your Own Super Hero” site enables kids—and time-wasting adults—to both invent and name their own power-packed comic book character, virtually from scratch. Using the editor, one can select everything from noses to mouths, legs, feet, hairstyles, weapons, and more, then color those features in any range of tones. Ladies and gentlemen, meet my protector, and the girl of my dreams, above: Soul Fashion Victim. Aargh. Now, I dare you to mess with me.

Kids Are the Darnedest Things.

Dennis tells a race joke.

Classic 1970 American humor, above, from the late Hank Ketcham, creator of Dennis the Menace.

[via UndercoverBlackMan]

Man, That’s Just Wrong.

Gimme a nice big kiss!

You may or may not think U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is an attractive woman, and, politically, she’s certainly reprehensible, if not criminal.

“Murderer!”But, wow: Beyond the Punchline‘s Kevin Robertson went for both sets of jugulars in this caricature, above, of Condi’s encounter last fall with CodePink protester Desiree Farooz, right. Broo-tal, dude.

No Phone Booth Necessary.

Faster than a speeding bullet, I hope.

Feelin’ super, post- the DNC? Let this black T-shirt warm your back and strike fear in the hearts of your Republican opponents.

This is an officially licensed Alex Ross t-shirt depicting Super Obama in which these Alex Ross shirts have been screen printed with the Super Barack Obama image on front. These Barack Obama t-shirts are usually made from heavyweight preshrunk 6oz. cotton tee shirt blanks.

In sizes, small – XXXL, $18-$21, from StyleOnline.com.

Screaming Alleged Bloody Murder.

“Do I look fat from here?”

Few Americans, perhaps, understand how massive a medium comic books became after World War II. At their peak, retailers were moving $80-100 million worth of them per week. Plus, they were hugely influential: With a typical issue passed around between six to ten readers, comics were consumed by more people than the number of adults taking in movies, magazines, radio, or TV.

However, fewer of us, even more, understand how frantic the nation became when the medium went completely pulp, highlighting tales of noir crime and horror, like the infamous EC comic cover, above. With the enormous popularity of these criminal, murderous tales, comics were blamed for everything from truancy to homicide.

So argues David Hadju, in his new book, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. Hadju is my guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, August 15, 2 pm ET.

You can hear his ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, you can check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, check out our archive for up to two weeks after broadcast.