[VIDEO] Why does Iron Man Support Government Oversight in ‘Civil War’? 

mit-tony

Tony Stark‘s support of government oversight for the Avengers Team can be traced to the grieving mother, Miriam. After a speech at M.I.T., Stark met Miriam who lost her son in the Sokovia. Miriam puts a face to collateral damage the Avengers leave in their wake. She indicated that her son was planning to help the world but was killed in an Avengers mission gone wrong.

Miriam suggests that Stark has innocent blood on his hands. Following the encounter, Stark works with General Thaddeus Ross to develop and sign a bill, the Sokovia Accords. Read the rest of this entry »


Comics: Spider-Man by Paolo Rivera

 


Steve Ditko Page: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #29

ditko-spiderman


Robert Downey Jr. Joins ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

gettyimages-522274250-h_2016

It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red and gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.

Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.

Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Animation Convention: Characters Turn Out for Hong Kong’s Comic Fair


The city’s biggest animation convention draws thousands of comic lovers each year. Fictional characters too make an appearance. We speak to superheroes Spiderman and Captain America, and Minions. Photo/Video: Joyu Wang/The Wall Street Journal

 


How I Killed ‘National Lampoon’

pj_o_rourke_h_15

‘It was my fault,’ only half-jokes the best-selling satirist and former editor of the iconic publication. Now, on the eve of a Lampoon-less ‘Vacation’ reboot he deems unworthy (a ‘dump-fill featuring the ‘Hangover’ wimp’), he explains what went right and very wrong for the once-legendary comedy brand.

P.J. O’Rourke writes: A new Vacation movie is scheduled to be released — or allowed to escape — on July 29. To judge by the obvious, pitiful, frenetic, stupid raunchiness of its trailer, it belongs to the genre known as “post-humoristic.”

“The National Lampoon staff was busy sticking it to the man and being alienated, sarcastic, cynical and hip. I had the Squaresville job of making the magazine show a profit. To which task I guess I seemed well-suited. I owned a suit.”

The movie declares itself to be a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation, the 1983 classic of obvious, pitiful, frenetic, stupid innocence. But the words “National Lampoon” are never mentioned in the trailer. This is doubtless a relief to those two good souls in Funny Heaven: John Hughes, who wrote the script for the original, and Harold Ramis, who directed it. Yet the absence of the magazine’s name causes pangs of ancient regret to old duffers who held NatLamp dear in the 1970s and early 1980s.

O’Rourke in January.

O’Rourke in January.

We remember how the publication was a font of youthful nihilism’s dark, ironic genius (albeit with the obvious, pitiful, frenetic and stupid qualities that entails).

“National Lampoon was never a pleasant place to work. The office was rife with the clubby snits and snubs of its clubby, snitty progenitor, Harvard Lampoon, founded in 1876. Some of the snits were a century old.”

We remember how, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the magazine went to hell. National Lampoon now seems damned to the point that its name isn’t even worthy of being attached to a summer cineplex dump-fill featuring the Hangover wimp dentist as leading man and a Chevy Chase cameo.

From left: Anthony Michael Hall, Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Dana Barron, the original Griswolds from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, based on a Hughes magazine story from 1979.

From left: Anthony Michael Hall, Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Dana Barron, the original Griswolds from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, based on a Hughes magazine story from 1979.

Sick transit gloria. What a shocking fall for Lampoon’s shock humor. And it was my fault.

“Plus having a bunch of humorists in one place is like having a bunch of cats in a sack.”

I was editor-in-chief of National Lampoon from 1978 through 1980, when the magazine began sinking. It limped on as a monthly until 1985, but I was one of the last original creators still on board.

The failure was caused by success. From the inaugural issue of National Lampoon in 1970 until he left in 1974, Michael O’Donoghue was the most important influence on its style, tone and content. He went on to become the first head writer for Saturday Night Live.

_DSC6085.DNG

he new Vacation features a Chase (center) cameo.

Before becoming the first stars of SNL, John Belushi and Chase starred, alongside Christopher Guest, in the 1972 off-Broadway play National Lampoon Lemmings. Belushi recruited Bill Murray for the 1973-1974 National Lampoon Radio Hour cast, which included Richard Belzer. Murray and fellow Radio Hour performer Gilda Radner starred in the 1975 off-Broadway National Lampoon Show. Hughes started a spectacular career writing for the Lampoon. Ramis started another scripting National Lampoon’s Animal House with NatLamp co-founder Doug Kenney and Chris Miller, author of Lampoon’s popular Animal House short stories that inspired the 1978 movie.

Belushi (center) in 1978’s Animal House, scripted by Ramis, Doug Kenney and Chris Miller.

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) Directed by John Landis. Shown from left: Tom Hulce (as Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger), John Belushi (as John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky), Stephen Furst (as Kent ‘Flounder’ Dorfman)

“Even in the salad days of magazine publishing, there wasn’t a lot of lettuce on the plate. Playboy used to pay — cue Dr. Evil moment — a dollar a word.”

If you see a pattern, it’s called money. What do you think the proper comparison would be between how much Hughes was paid for writing National Lampoon’s Vacation and how much I paid him for the short story “Vacation ’58,” upon which the movie was based? If you’re thinking chalk and cheese, you like to eat chalk better than John did.

[This story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe]

The National Lampoon Show  (New York City, 1974) Shown from left: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis

The National Lampoon Show (New York City, 1974) Shown from left: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis

Even in the salad days of magazine publishing, there wasn’t a lot of lettuce on the plate. Playboy used to pay — cue Dr. Evil moment — a dollar a word.

By 1980, talented young writers with youthful nihilism’s dark, ironic genius had as many opportunities as there were Porky’s sequels.

[Read the full text here, at Hollywood Reporter]

Besides, National Lampoon was never a pleasant place to work. The office was rife with the clubby snits and snubs of its clubby, snitty progenitor, Harvard Lampoon, founded in 1876. Some of the snits were a century old. Plus having a bunch of humorists in one place is like having a bunch of cats in a sack.

The iconic Lampoon cover from 1973.

The iconic Lampoon cover from 1973.

As the boss, I had the people skills of Luca Brasi in The Godfather and the business acumen of the fellows who were managing New York’s finances in the 1970s (remember the Post‘s headline “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD“). Read the rest of this entry »


Marvel Unleashing New Wolverine, Spider-Man and ‘Controversial’ Hulk This Fall

 marvel-fall-wsj

Marvel Comics is starting with a clean slate this fall, and fans should get ready for some huge changes — and controversy.

The company said Thursday that after its Secret Wars event ends it will launch an “all new, all different” Marvel universe which, according to Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, will include no. 1 issues for about 60 titles.

[Read the full text here, at Speakeasy – WSJ]

“I think they’re going to offer diverse and exciting and, above all, accessible entry points into the Marvel universe,” Alonso told Speakeasy. “There will be a lot of flavors.”

axel-alonso-marvel-editor-in-chief

Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso

“In the fall, the Marvel universe will see the arrival of an all-new Hulk, a Hulk you’ve never seen before that’s sure to be exciting and controversial. It’s going to be water-cooler talk. There will be a new Spider-Man in town, and — spoiler alert — there will be an all-new Wolverine. So let the speculation begin.”

The editor said Marvel is moving toward a more seasonal approach to its comics, much like cable TV shows, which will make them more accessible to a wider range of readers. There will also be big changes for some of Marvel’s most iconic characters.

Axel Alonso2

“It’s important to point out that these were rooted in story. It was more that there was either a character or opportunity that came up in conversation that we examined and bore fruit.”

“In the fall, the Marvel universe will see the arrival of an all-new Hulk, a Hulk you’ve never seen before that’s sure to be exciting and controversial. It’s going to be water-cooler talk,” Alonso said.

“The world as it is now is not the world of the 1960s. It’s a world where the new Peter Parker can be a 16-year-old Pakistani girl from Jersey City, where an African American can dress in the red, white and blue and ponder what that means.”

— Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso

“There will be a new Spider-Man in town, and — spoiler alert — there will be an all-new Wolverine. So let the speculation begin.” Read the rest of this entry »


Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse Duke It Out in Ghastly Times Square Ass-Whooping

Jake Rullman ?@jakerullman  21h21 hours ago Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty got arrested in Times Square. The mascots had to pull together and have a family meeting.

The brawl occurred after cash was handed over to Hello Kitty and she was supposed to split the earnings with Minnie but didn’t, sources said.

Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse were slapped with cuffs after they toughed it out over tip money in Times Square, police sources said.

Jiovanna Melendez, 40, who was dressed as Hello Kitty, and Sandra Mocha, 34, aka Minnie Mouse, got into a brawl around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police.

Melendez, of Passaic, NJ, suffered a cut to her upper lip and Mocha, 34, of Corona, Queens, had an abrasion to the right side of her face, police sources said. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers’ Sequel Picks Up Where First Film’s Profits Left Off

marvel-theater

“I can’t tell you exactly how this one turns out, but I think it’s safe to say that people will be blown away by this movie’s spectacular 10-figure revenue.”

LOS ANGELES—Promising that the sequel would continue to follow the impressive feats of an incredible group of revenue streams, executives at Marvel Studios confirmed Friday that Avengers: Age Of Ultron picks up right where the first film’s profits left off.

 “Of course, this film is going to leave the door wide open for possible future Avengers movie profits, and we might even explore the option of earning income from each individual character.”

“The last Avengers movie triumphantly concluded with $1.5 billion at the international box office, and Age Of Ultron will jump right back in and continue earning from there,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Read the rest of this entry »


‘Bizarre Life: The Art of Elmer Batters and Eric Stanton’: Benedikt Taschen Puts Racy Artwork on Sale at New Gallery

slider_la_gallery_batters_stanton2_1503251844_id_924617

Chris Gardner writes: The new Taschen Gallery on Beverly Boulevard currently features nudity and fetishism in photos and comics from two late underground artists.CCa4wZzWMAAcV2W

“Over the years, we got requests all the time to buy their works. We wanted to do a great show first, because that’s what I owe these true artists and pioneers. Their life stories, by the way, are 100 percent Hollywood drama — a mix of Goodfellas, Boogie Nights, Ed Wood and, of course, Pulp Fiction.”

Bizarre Life: The Art of Elmer Batters and Eric Stanton,” the gallery’s second show since opening in December, is on view with more than 200 works, some for sale from the private collection of head honcho Benedikt Taschen, who tells THR that he’s parting with the racy pieces out of respect….(read more)

Hollywood Reporterpr_batters-elmer_batters

Press Release

Embrace Your Fantasies: Bizarre Life – The Art of Elmer Batters & Eric Stanton

If not for the moral chaos of World War II, Eric Stanton and Elmer Batters might have sublimated their indecent obsessions and spent lives illustrating catalogs, or photographing weddings. But after the clarifying effect of near death, each embraced his difference, and returned home to hack a heroic creative path through contemptuous and villainous publishers, multiple arrests, loss of family, and occasionally, freedom, to be who he had to be.

pr_stanton

TASCHEN Gallery announces the opening of Bizarre Life – The Art of Elmer Batters & Eric Stanton, a controversial and essential exhibit that traces the artistic struggle of these two pioneers of fetish art, from the gritty post-war streets of Times Square to their position today as cultural icons.

Eric Stanton known as The Rembrandt of Pulp Culture, was an inspiration for artists such as Richard Lindner, Allen Jones and Helmut Newton. He created thrilling panel pr_stanton_stanton_facesitting_23_1503241617_id_922446stories and colorful pulp fiction covers of voluptuous, demanding women overpowering uppity males. Today, his work is defined as female empowerment, and as caricature of female-dominance fantasy – a dichotomy that delights contemporary culture, but initially forced him into abusive underworld partnerships in a pre-feminist society averse to female strength. “A woman has to be strong. The bigger the better,” was his motto.
Elmer Batters was dubbed the Dean of Leg Art for his unique approach to photographing women’s legs and feet, but while his work brought solace to legions of foot fetishists, the courts called it dangerously perverse and hounded him his whole life. “I felt that people almost saw me as un-American for not mooning over large mammaries,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Behold: The Stan Lee Action Figure

stan_lee_action_figure

The Marvel Universe Co-Creator will be Immortalized in this Nightmare-Inducing Limited-Edition Action Figure

Graeme McMillan reports: He’s the only person to have appeared in all of the Marvel movies to date, so it was only a matter of time before Stan Lee received his own amazingly lifelike action figure. But for all the completists out there who want their own scale version of the co-creator of the Marvel Universe, be warned: There will be only 1,000 available.

The Lee figure is being advertised as the “First-Ever 1:6 Figure” of the writer and celebrity, who worked with artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko to create characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men in the early 1960s. Read the rest of this entry »


Captain America #138, June 1971: Stan Lee, Tony Mortellaro, & John Romita Sr.

tumblr_myuiprSm0y1rur0aro1_1280tumblr_myuiprSm0y1rur0aro2_1280
tumblr_myuiprSm0y1rur0aro3_1280

Captain America #138 (June 1971)

Art John Romita Sr. & John Romita Sr
Words by Stan Lee

thecomicsvault


Marvel Studios Will Produce the Next Spider Man Movie

Featured Image -- 61157


Comic Book Close-Up: ‘Black Cat’, 1979

black-cat

COMIC BOOK CLOSE UP

B L A C K  C A T
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194 (July 1979)
Art by Keith Pollard (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks) & Ben Sean (colors)

thecomicsvault

 


Jonah Goldberg on the Sony Fiasco: ‘No Superheroes in The Interview Cave-In’

cap-america-nro

The first issue of Captain America came out on December 20, 1940. It shows Cap slugging Adolph Hitler in the mouth.tyranny-cliche

[Jonah Goldberg‘s book, “The Tyranny of Cliches, is a few keystrokes away, at Amazon]

Good stuff, but note the date. America wouldn’t enter World War II for about another year. At the time, many Americans wanted to stay out of another European war. And here was an American superhero punching the leader of a sovereign nation in the kisser. Subsequent issues kept pitting Captain America against Hitler and his goons.

“A theater chain caved. The movie studio caved. As of now, The Interview will never be theatrically released. In theory, Sony could release it online, via on-demand and streaming channels.”

The angriest reaction came from the German-American Bund, Hitler’s stooges in the U.S. They harassed Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the creators of Captain America, with hate mail and telephoned death threats.

“The theme was ‘death to the Jews,’” Simon wrote in his memoir. “At first we were inclined to laugh off their threats, but whoop-assthen, people in the office reported seeing menacing-looking groups of strange men in front of the building on 42nd Street, and some of the employees were fearful of leaving the office for lunch.”

[read the full text at National Review]

Simon called the cops, and as soon as the police showed up, the phone rang. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wanted to speak to the creators of Captain America. Simon got on the line. “You boys over there are doing a good job,” the voice squeaked. “The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’”

That is how it’s supposed to work in a democracy. Read the rest of this entry »


Got Wood? Man Dressed as Character from ‘Toy Story’ Arrested in Times Square on Sex Abuse Charges

woody-toystory
‘Woody’ Joins Infamous Ranks Of ‘Elmo’, ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Cookie Monster’ & ‘Super Mario’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Another costumed character has apparently been caught misbehaving in Times Square.

Jose Vasquez, 44, was charged with multiple counts of sex abuse and forcible touching after police said they saw him groping women in Times Square while dressed as Woody from “Toy Story,” WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported Friday.

Vasquez will be back in court on Jan. 21. His bond was set at $1,500.

The Times Square Alliance is now calling for greater regulations of costumed characters.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spider-Man takes classes at the University of Tokyo

Image: Twitter (hira_KUzu)

Image: Twitter (hira_KUzu)

Michelle Lynn Dinh reports:  Spider-Man can apparently do whatever a spider can and that includes attending a class at the prestigious University of Tokyo. As he quietly sits in the front row of a regional geography lecture, we can’t help but wonder why his Spidey sense brought him to a boring lecture hall when he could have been swinging from the skyscrapers of Tokyo or turning into a dumpling.

It all started when Spider-Man showed up to class…

As the professor made his way to the podium, there was no way he couldn’t notice the unusually skinny Spider-Man sitting at attention, ready to learn about the physical features of the earth. And then Spidey made his move…

Read the rest of this entry »