Thursday, October 11, 2007

Early or late?

Thursday may seen like an early next-weekend entry, but really it's a late last-weekend entry. Social life and work life have combined to keep me pretty well occupied since last time I was here, but I'm not dead.

I finally got a copy of Architecture and Mortality and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. Cliff Chiang's artwork was nothing short of wonderful - he has a dynamism that borders on the cartoony (for want of a better word) yet can handle nuance of expression and dramatic composition as well (and the beautiful people - like Traci 13 and Captain Fear - looked beautiful).

Brain Azzarello's story used cleverness and brio to overcome the tendency of meta-narrative toward turgidity - in other words, it was fun! I loved seeing all these obscure characters - some quite dear to my heart - running through their paces, I got most of the in-jokes (I think), and I enjoyed the slapstick (I almost felt sorry for Dr. 13, but then I remembered that he really was a prick a lot of the time).

A pal suggested that the story might have worked better as initially presented: short back-up features, where the bits of humor could be discovered like jewels, each one a surprise. At first, I agreed with him, but on second and third readings, I felt that with a few small flaws, A&M works very well as unified piece. Of course, the sheer amount of intertextuality in the piece and the immense background knowledge of conventions, tropes, and facts necessary to understand it render all but inaccessible to anyone who isn't a long time comics reader, sort of like some of the short fiction the Baker Street Irregulars put out from time to time or a collection of Dickensian puns.

Anyway, I liked it, and of course I would get the next Team 13 book, if ever there is one.

The same aforementioned pal has lent me his DVD collection of the George Reeves Superman television series, and my Delightful Companion has been encountering them for the first time (as opposed to my nostalgia-wallow every time she puts one on). She really digs them for their period charm, corniness, and comforting predictability. Upon rediscovering them, I realized two things:

George Reeves was a heck of an actor and did a great job in this series. His death was tragic in many ways, and if there is any justice in the multiverse, the Earth-2 George had a long and productive career.


Phyllis Coates was hot! Tough and no-nonsense, she would have made a great Hildy Johnson or Sarah Connor.

As hokey as these episodes can be, catch them if you get a chance; they are worth another look. Get a pal to lend them to you.

1 comment:

The Fortress Keeper said...

Phyllis Coates is my favorite Lois Lane!

I used to love those early Superman re-runs as a kid, because they seemed a bit "tougher" than the color episodes that followed.

We recently picked up the DVD of the season ourselves, and my family has enjoyed a some entertaining evenings watching that show (and the original b&w Astro Boy!)