Friday, September 11, 2009


We'd previously talked about Cafe Tacvba here, but on this most somber of mornings, a bit of whimsy couldn't hurt. Enjoy a special 5-song set.

Friday, September 4, 2009


What with Mexican Independence Day approaching, I figured the most enjoyable way to get into the spirit of things this month would be to share some rock from the Motherland. Kicking things off is a set from the mighty Maldita Vecindad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is May Parker the next Hannah Montana?

From Disney's perspective, the storylines that set so many fanboy hearts and message boards aflutter don't particularly matter. It's the properties (read: characters) they contain, and what Disney can do with those properties, that count.

Because Disney's real business is the business of Doing Things With Properties. This deal is about what will get made from the raw material those characters represent, through licensing: toys, TV, movies, games, sleepwear and thrill rides.
- Glen Weldon, NPR

Even if the coverage of the Marvel/Disney deal focuses on how Marvel can help Disney market itself better to young men - and, man, is it creepy to read professionals talk about Disney's "Boy Problem" - I can't help but think of that as too narrow a strategy. Because Marvel has too many characters who could also hook Disney's existing female viewership.

Let's not forget, the Distinguished Competition has dominated the TV/DVD animated boys' market for years, arguably from the moment any of us watched the opening of Batman: The Animated Series. From there we got the Justice League series, more straight-to-video Bat-flicks, and recent stories featuring Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, and the adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier. That's a sizable head start, even if Marvel's recent animated fare hasn't been bad.

But, should Marvel and Disney decide to give girls a wider range of heroine than usual, that could shift the balance of power on the DVD racks. Consider Spider-Girl up there: a character with an existing fanbase - one that had saved her book from cancellation several times, and perhaps best of all, a character with a more malleable continuity to work with, since she's an "alternate-future" character. One good animated film or TV series and voila! Mayday backpacks fit in perfectly alongside their plain ol' "Princesses."

As if by coincidence - or was it? OMG CONSPIRACY! - Marvel offered up another prime candidate for multimedia exposure in the X-Men's Pixie, who's slated to get her own mini-series later this year. The X-Franchise, in fact, could yield a treasure-trove of "new" stars: Kitty Pryde, Storm, Illyana Rasputin, and even Wolfsbane come to mind right off the bat. Outside of Xavier's School, you've got Araña; Ms. Marvel, the Runaways and She-Hulk potentially waiting in the wings.

So while we've been assured that "sparks will fly" after the initial meetings between Marvel and Pixar, as a fan, I'm hoping we get more than the umpteenth animated Wolverine or Iron Man - hell, Logan and Tony are already going to be in anime, so we're good. As a fan, and a consumer, I want to see innovation, I want to see diversity, I want to see Pixar finally listen to Linda Holmes. I want this deal to result in more work for male and female voice-actors and animators. I want this deal to kick DC in the ass enough to give me a Blue Beetle animated film. I want this to really, truly change the game beyond the boardroom. And, hell, even if I'm an old fanboy, I want my friends who have daughters and sons to see that the little girls don't have to look up only to the girl with the glass shoe, or the blonde wig - the one with the web-shooters can make just as good of a heroine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thoughts on Disney/Marvel Part I

If nothing else, I'm happy Disney bought Marvel yesterday because it's already yielded enough LULz for the rest of the year, what with people calling out for stuff like WALL-E: Herald Of Galactus, Mulan, Agent of SHIELD, Ducktales Noir and the like.

Like a lot of folks, though, I was initially skeptical of the theory that the merger won't affect Marvel's content - after all, that theory was seemingly based on the Everything Is Always Fine In Comics school of thought.

After reading reactions and updates throughout the day, though, I do agree that there's reason to believe the Mouse House will play nice with the House Of Ideas - and not just because of the Disney/Miramax connection. One clue might in fact come from the Distinguished Competition.

After all, DC's long been a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, and that hasn't appeared to slow down Vertigo or WildStorm. And DC's main imprint has, in recent years, been centered on events like Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis and now Blackest Night, which all drew criticism for their subject matter and violent imagery. And titles like Judd Winick's run on Outsiders and Secret Six are closer to, say, a series on FX than something on Kids' WB. And, hey, the quality control can't be that strict if we're still getting Cry For Justice. (rimshot)

So no, I don't think we're going to see Deadpool forced to shoot only for the kneecap, or The Punisher work for angels again (though even that can't be as bad as the previews I've seen for FrankenCastle.) At least, I don't think so. If X-Force or Deadpool seem to quietly slip away, or if Shatterstar seems to suddenly ditch Rictor for a girl, the questions will come back again.

Top image courtesy of Bleeding Cool

HOUR 42: Two Days Of Richard Hatch!

So, yeah, lots going on. I've got more thoughts on that later. But things have been exciting around the HOUR 42 camp, too, as we did two back-to-back shows Sunday and Monday as @ThePeterPixie and I set out to answer the question: Who the Frak is Richard Hatch?

Last night, we aired our nearly hour-long chat with RH in its' entirety - covering not just his TV career, but his thoughts on a new BSG movie, and his work as a motivational speaker. That's the first thing you can listen to on the player below.

Just behind that is our regular Sunday show, where we played excerpts from the interview, and also discussed:

* The Megan Fox-as-Catwoman rumor, and the Chick we endorsed for the role
* The latest discussion over what constitutes comic-book "gossip"
* It's Nerds v. Jocks - at Marvel!
* My newest dating adventure at SoulGeek

Thanks to everybody who's been listening so far. Enjoy these two shows, and as ever, we've got more in store for you ... as soon as this bloody heat stops.