I was deeply saddened to hear this morning of the passing of comics writer Gary Friedrich. I met him only once, briefly, a long time ago. When I was a young lad, sometime in the mid-1960s, I visited New York City for the first time on vacation with my parents. What did I most want … Continue reading Gary Friedrich: A Small Remembrance
Category: Popular Culture
In a scene near the beginning of Barry Levinson's Paterno, which debuted on HBO this past Saturday, reporters from Harrisburg Pennsylvania's Patriot-News huddle around a computer monitor to read the criminal charges filed against retired football coach Jerry Sandusky. As the camera shows the team glued to the screen, the back of the computer display … Continue reading Will E Corp Become the KLondike-5 of Corporate Branding?
In 2004, students at Swarthmore College launched FreeCulture.org (later named the Free Culture Foundation) to fight "coercive copyright practices and other threats to the free flow of information." The movement was an extension of the work of academics such as Lawrence Lessig and was largely a response to the dissonance between the fluid movement of … Continue reading Pete Seeger: Free Culture Pioneer
"Best wishes to Ken -- Stan Lee, Jack Kirby" The website for the Jack Kirby Museum, which honors the legendary comic book artist, somehow came across a scan I made of a page with two autographs. It's a sheet of mid-1960s Marvel Comics stationary that says, "Best wishes to Ken" followed by the signatures of … Continue reading Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and the Mythical Marvel Bullpen
To no one's surprise, the highest-grossing movie this weekend was Marvel Studios' The Avengers, which brought in over $200 million in the U.S. While nothing is ever certain in Hollywood -- even a big-budget, effects-laden production can underperform (as Marvel parent Disney found out with John Carter) -- The Avengers seemed destined to generate a box … Continue reading Media Marketing and the Evolution of Narrative Structure
Before Captain America was the star of last summer's blockbuster movie, he was a comic book superhero. The man who co-created the character over 70 years ago, comic book writer and artist Joe Simon, passed away this past Wednesday in New York. Two months earlier, Simon spoke at New York Comic Con, a convention for … Continue reading Joe Simon and the Great American Hero
Batman is now big business. The character starred in motion pictures that generated the highest domestic box office grosses in two separate years: 1989 (Batman) and 2008 (The Dark Knight). Batman has been reinterpreted over the decades -- from Adam West's campy portrayal in the 1960s television series to the dark and gritty interpretations of … Continue reading The Legacy of Jerry Robinson