Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

World's Finest Nachos

Doing any entertaining this holiday season? Might I humbly suggest serving something with a distinct fanboy flavor? If you are interested, here's a simple recipe with complex ingredients:Step 1: You'll need procure a bag of Batman Tortilla Chips. Hopefully you aren't too worried about issues like freshness as the haven't been sold in about 20 years. But to make up for this little quirk they come in bat shapes. (That may be hard to see in the picture so you'll just have to take my word for it.)
Step 2: To paraphrase Captain Christopher Pike: You can settle for a less than ordinary cheese or do you feel like you were meant for something special? And what's more special than "Superman Pasteurized Process Imitation Cheese Spread?"

Even though it's from the 1960's, you might not have to worry about the freshness factor as I'm not sure if this substance could possibly go bad. "Superman Pasteurized Process Imitation Cheese Spread" is its own alpha and omega. It was here before us and will most likely be here after we're gone. Hungry yet?

Step 3: How about a little flavor? Give your finicky party guests some options when it comes to their heroic hors d'oeuvres. Because if you are okay with eating 20 year old chips and 45 year old imitation cheese then a spicy sauce made from a radioactive extraterrestrial rock shouldn't be much of a big deal to you.
At least the warnings labels on both the red and green Kryptonite Hot Sauce are clear and straightforward:
Now that you've assembled your ingredients it's time to cook. Below is an instructional video detailing the complicated steps of assembling nachos:

And now you're ready to entertain your guests with novelty food and speedy trips to the emergency room. And isn't that really what the holidays are all about?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CBL on Twitter

In accordance with state, county and international law, we are now on Twitter.Get yer fresh tweets here:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Novelty Candies Assemble!

Santa Claus brought us some new treats this year: "Marvel Heroes Taffy." As I said before, I wish the super hero food genre would branch out past the candy aisle a little more often but in an imperfect world we take what we can get.

Don't get me wrong though, I think Marvel Heroes Taffy could stuff a stocking quite nicely and would bring some much needed superhero hullabaloo to the holiday season. Although would it have killed the candy makers to add little Santa hats to all the characters? Or at least the Hulk?And now for the roll call:

Wolverine Strawberry flavor (wha?), Spider-Man Blue Raspberry (a few years ago the powers-that-be decided that all things Spider-Man should be Blue Raspberry flavor, perhaps the mysterious waves that irradiated the spider that bit young Peter Parker is the same radiation that turns raspberries blue?), Hulk Sour Apple (it was either going to be that or lime flavor) and Captain America Cherry (because you can't have "Red, White & Blue " without red...and...uh...cherries are red...).

But the real reason to make the trip to the Dollar Store is shrouded in mystery:

Mystery flavor!?! Oh Tony Stark, what have you done this time?

Yes, it's true, for some reason Iron Man was blessed (cursed?) with the Mystery Flavor. But what is it? Peach? Lemon? Egg Salad? I just can't tell. Undoubtedly more research is required to solve this mystery.

Until then you now have something new to add to your taffy pull list.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Indy Comic Book Week is Coming Soon!

Have you always wanted to support indy comic book creators but never knew how? Well, now you do:
More information can be found on their website:

And on their FaceBook thingy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Multiversity Comics Article

I was quoted in this article about comics, kids and learning on the "Multiversity Comics" blog:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ring Tones

Not for nothing, but I just wanted to say how cool I thought the recent DC Comics multi-colored power ring giveaway is. If your comic book store hasn't been giving you a different colored ring the past few weeks then you need a new comic book store.
If the promotion is successful then hopefully DC will celebrate the next big Batman storyline by giving away Batmobiles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spider-Man Returns

Your favorite part about next week won't be the turkey or the pies. It will be the triumphant return of Spider-Man to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The press release from Macy's says it's been 10 years since the Spider-Man balloon wall crawled its way through Manhattan.

Can that be right? It seems like I remember seeing Spider-Man every year in the parade for as long as I've been watching. But I tend to drink heavily during the holidays so I'm probably not the most reliable source.

If you'd like an incredibly brief preview before showtime you can (just barely) see Spidey in this video, sandwiched between the Pillsbury Doughboy and Ronald McDonald:

Ronald never looked creepier. Enjoy the turkey folks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Look! Up in the Pantry!

Many hardcore Superman fans are relatively unaware of the last son of Krypton's long, storied history with the peanut. It's high time someone cracked the shell on this historic, heroic team up.
One of the most the most highly recognized super hero food products is Superman Peanut Butter from Kane-Miller Corp. They pop up on eBay and in blogs from time to time. My jar has the year 1981 on the label but the expiration date seems to have been lost to the ages. Even though I'd love a taste, I'm going to assume that it's already passed.
"It's strength is its great taste" was the crunchy condiment's tag line and seemed to be well known to everyone except Lex Luthor. In fact, in a bizarre example of misplaced priorities, Superman seemed willing to die to protect the secret of his peanut butter's tastiness:

So successful was this super hero/legume pairing that society demanded more. And if society wants some dry roasted supers snacks then someone will surely step up.
This jar of Superman Peanuts comes to us courtesy of Old Dominion Foods and has the year 1987 on the label. Apparently this wasn't nearly as popular as the original peanut butter so it wasn't long before someone else tried to capture lightning in a bottle.
Or rather, peanut butter in a jar.

A more recent Superman peanut butter came with a new plastic recyclable jar and an expiration date of May 1993. RW Gourmet foods got the band back together for this short lived attempt.

But it's a safe bet that this won't be the last. Wherever hungry kids gather, wherever ants need to be logged, wherever jelly is can bet Superman will be there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

David Hajdu on the Colbert Report

Here is an interview from last year of David Hajdu, author of the The Ten-Cent
Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, on The
Colbert Report
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
David Hajdu

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spider-Cereal: A Retrospective

Now that the documentary is finished we can finally get to more important matters like Spider-Man Cereal.
Its hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the only way to get your Spider-Man fix was through animated means. And what goes better with cartoons than cereal?

While the Fox Kids Spider-Man cartoon from the 1990s was somewhat flawed it was often engaging, so much so that it was captured in marshmallow form for all posterity.

Various spider themed marshmallow shapes shared the bowl with Chex which I would imagine symbolize spider webs. The marshmallow shapes range from interesting (the Kingpin) to slightly less thrilling (Peter Parker's camera).

This was all fine and good and in the midst of the Clone Saga we were happy to have some classic Spider-Man as a part of our balanced breakfast but things were bound to change. We didn' know what we were missing because several years later...along came Tobey...

The first Spider-Man movie brought another cereal into our lives. This time it was a Kellogg's production that included a custom web shaped Spider-Berry flavor. I don't know what Spider-Berries taste like but judging from appearances I would imagine that they are similar to Crunch Berries.

The mystery behind the Spider-Berries can be investigated via this behind the scenes footage provided by Kellogg's:

Hopefully that peek behind the curtain will provide enough momentum to sail past the underwhelming Spider-Man 2 cereal.

It's not that there's anything wrong with Spider-Man 2 cereal, its just that it's the same cereal in a new box. I like to think they just decided not to fix something that wasn't broke. At least they made a bit of an effort by adding various puzzles to the back of the box.

Its a practice that General Mills kept when they got their shot at Spider-Man 3 Cereal.

They did away with any pretense of relevant spider shapes and went with the full on Spider-Berry/Crunch Berry motif. To my knowledge this is the final Spider-Cereal to date. I won't be surprised when the next box hits the grocery shelves.

And yet I still hold my candlelight vigil in my breakfast nook every morning waiting for my Iron Man Crunch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Masked Men

It's always nice to see some comic book representation around the holidays. Halloween in particular is an easy way to cram some superheroics into your festivities.More so, apparently, this year as I turned the corner at Wal-Mart and was accosted by a gaggle of Marvel Comics themed kid's costumes: Captain America, two different versions of the Spider-Man costume, the Hulk and Iron Man.

This might not seem like a huge discovery but it wasn't too long ago when comic book movies were few and far between and therefore so were super hero Halloween costumes. Not exactly world altering but when you haven't posted anything to the blog in a while then all of a sudden it seems very relevant.

In the interest of equal representation, there were some Batman and Superman costumes available as well but that doesn't let DC off the hook. They are woefully behind in both the movie business and the Halloween costume business. Get to work people! I want to see hordes of tiny trick-or-treating Aquamen, Booster Golds and Hawkgirls by Halloween 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Can Do

Not too long ago we counted down the top beers with a TV or Movie tie-in. Today we can be a little more inclusive for those of you that "forgot" your IDs.

We can start by heading across the Neutral Zone:

At first glance this might look like the previous real deal Romulan Ale that we've seen before. Once we disengage the cloaking device we can see that it's actually a non-alcoholic energy drink.
Nothing embiggens a perfectly cromulent novelty beverage collection like several representatives from Springfield. On the left is the Buzz Cola can from the 7-Eleven/Kwik-E-Mart conversion. In the center is a small can of what appears to be a marshmallow flavored soda from the UK. And on the right, boasting "90% Safe," is Krusty Kola which I think also originates in the UK.
No one taught us about merchandising like the 1989 Batman movie. Anything that had enough mass to hold a Bat Symbol was branded and that included this Swedish Batman Soda.
From the same makers of the Romulan Ale comes another Sci-Fi beverage. Much like hot dogs and bologna, the origins of Slurm are best forgotten for maximum enjoyment of this Futurama energy drink.
Spider-Man 3 gave us dance sequences, plot contrivances and tiny cans of soda. I'm pretty sure there was at least one more flavor in addition to Green Apple and Blue Raspberry but I can't imagine that's it's anywhere near as cool as these two.

So there you have it. Your life is now enriched with the knowledge of these novelty cans. Now I'll go back to telling myself that posting wacky blog entries is just as productive as actually finishing the editing for the movie.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comic Book Literacy Trailer

And now, without any further ado, here is the trailer for Comic Book Literacy:

If you'd like to link or embed then you can also find it on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Air Force

The superhero food scene has been a lonely one lately. This past summer I was naively hoping for some "Watchmen Waffles" but it just wasn't in the cards. I've mentioned in the past that fruit snacks typically hold the top spot when it comes the frequency of its superhero tie-ins, but coming in at a close second are Airheads.

I've never eaten Airheads and I've never watched "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," so obviously I'm the perfect person to opine on the various virtues of Batman Airheads. We'll start with the positives: Much like the format of the TV show, the candy incorporates various lesser known characters from DC Comics.

On the negative side: Like many reasonable adults who feel the need to write about superhero candy, I maintain high standards and semi-reasonable expectations when it comes to the bottom line. If they promote six different characters and sell a six pack of candy then the optimist in me hopes to get all six with the first purchase. Alas, the candy gods were not smiling that fateful day at 7-Eleven.

Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Batman and Red Tornado (with duplicates of Blue & Red), not a bad collection of characters but the absence of Aquaman and Plastic Man leaves a hole in my soul that no amount of high fructose corn syrup could ever fill.

In an attempt to make nice for my incomplete set, the Airheads website has been completely Batman-ized and I spent the better part of the day coloring pictures of Plastic Man...

...and Bizarro Plastic Man...

That calmed me down. And since you were dying to know, according to the site's superhero quiz, I'm Batman. I'm the %$!@*# Batman!

So if you've been wondering why the documentary isn't finished yet I think it is clear now that I have some serious time management issues.

You too can experience the thrill of incorrectly coloring Plastic Man:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Comic Book Literacy in Early Childhood Classrooms

A few moths ago we posted information about a presentation by CBL Producer and public school teacher Khindra Kent titled "Comic Book Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom" at the "Comics in the Classroom" panel at Wizard World University during Wizard World Texas.

Now you can see it for yourself:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dr. Sivana's Robot Duplicate

There'll be no major revelations or insights today. I simply saw a robot that reminded me of Captain Marvel's Lex Luthor-wannabe arch rival: Dr. Sivana. You be the judge:

The major difference is that our new friend here sports a monocle instead of Sivana's typical coke bottles. Other than that minor quibble I think the resemblance is dead on.

I'm having a hard time making out what he's saying although I'm sure it's marginally threatening.

So far I've got, "I [something] money [something]...and you're wasting mine. Splurge or move along."

Any help here?

UPDATE: After listening a few thousand more times I think he says, "Time is money and your wasting mine. Splurge or move along."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Edit Edit Edit

By way of an update, I am waste deep in the editing process. Here's a look at my primary view during "editing time" (a.k.a. "any free second I might have").

Editing is one of the most time consuming parts of the filmmaking process and usually leads to boring blog entries. So I'll keep this brief. This blog entry is just a quick reminder that the project is alive and well and is moving forward. In a month or so I hope to upload some promo videos.

The goal is to have a cut of the film ready for a few film festival deadlines in November.

FYI: That's Gail Simone in the center window and Joe Quesada in the right window.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Latest Shoot: Jim Salicrup!

Our recent shoot in New York was hectic but we did find some time to take in some local culture. And of course our idea of culture is usually limited to stuff we see on TV. So stumbling across the Seinfeld diner was a pleasant surprise.
After filling up on big salads and egg white omelets we headed over to Jim Hanley's Universe...a.k.a. the Comic Book Store across from the Empire State Building.
And while we were there we interviewed comics legend Jim Salicrup. He filled us in on his view of the comics industry as well as his current work as Editor-in-Chief at Papercutz which publishes titles like Tales From the Crypt, Nancy Drew and Classics Illustrated.

Special thanks to the two New York Jims for the help.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Latest Shoot: Art Spiegelman!

We took production of the Comic Book Literacy Documentary to the east coast recently and landed a couple of huge interviews. New York City is the home of Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize winning creator of the groundbreaking comic book "Maus" which chronicles his father's struggle through the Holocaust.

He and his wife Fran├žoise Mouly, art editor for The New Yorker magazine, have started a company that publishes comics geared toward getting children interested in reading. TOON Books releases titles by today's most talented writers and artist with the specific intent of developing literacy skills in readers age 4 and up. We were fortunate to be able to interview both Spiegelman and Mouly about their work.
They spoke to us about comics, reading, "Maus" and everything else under the sun. Many thanks to both of them and to everyone from the RAW offices and TOON Books. Be on the lookout for them in the Comic Book Literacy Documentary.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It Came from Metropolis

During production of the Comic Book Literacy documentary we were fortunate to shoot in a real live fictional city. The marvelous municipality of Metropolis exists both on the comic page AND in Southern Illinois.

Heading straight for downtown, the average visitor flocks right to the 15 foot tall representation of Metropolis' favorite son. I've since learned that this is the town's second Superman statue due to the uncharacteristic, non-bullet proof nature of the previous one.
If anyone was ever inclined to purchase the rights to the John Williams' Superman theme strictly for an individual blog entry, now would certainly be the time.

Since that's not going to happen, we can move on to the town's bigger attraction. Within super-spitting distance from the statue stands the Superman Museum...jam packed to the rafters with more Super-memorabilia than you could fit into the Fortress of Solitude.
The museum covers the entire Superman history in every medium imaginable. There are several standouts in the collection that no doubt garner the majority of the "oohs" and "ahhs" from roadtripping travelers stopping by to bask in the Supermania.

However, I thought it would be more fun to list some of the more unusual pieces that stood out on my visit. Now, these might not be the most exciting or relevant super collectibles to the average vacationing fanboy but they were personal favorites, each with a uniqueness worthy of immortalizing on the internet. Why? Because I can.
We begin outside the museum with an item that, I would imagine, most people walk past without a thought.
Clark Kent typically treated all of Metropolis' phone booths as his own personal changing room. When you are the city's alpha dog I suppose that's your prerogative. Sadly, as phone booths continue to disappear from the real world, this element of the Superman mythos will most likely disappear as well.

But for now a phoneless booth still stands in Metropolis as a reminder of simpler days.

Now we can finally head inside.
Arguably the worst way to disguise yourself would be to simply put on a pair of glasses. But Clark Kent made it work. And no one nailed the geeky-cool CK swagger like George Reeves. The museum has plenty of props and costumes from his "The Adventures of Superman" TV series, but for me, no item captures the horn rimmed charm of the series like these prop glasses.

Next on our list is an item, or series of items, that always gets my attention...especially on an empty stomach,
Anyone who knows me knows that I am quite the Super Hero Food enthusiast. So seeing the Superman food exhibit at the museum was a welcome sight. From this picture you can identify several versions of Superman Peanut Butter, Macaroni and Cheese and Salt & Pepper shakers. There was more on display but what kind of words could possibly do justice to this perfect storm of Super-merchandising?
It seems to me that a Superman Halloween costume is a no-brainer. But I've always wondered about the need for a mask. Sure, the spit curl gets represented but it seems like as long as you have a face you probably don't need a Superman mask.

And allow me to use this forum to once again register my disgust with Halloween costumes that have the picture of the character on the chest. Especially when that unnecessary element replaces one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.
And finally, we have the Superman Pogo Stick. It lives near the ceiling of the museum and quietly oversees the rest of the collectibles as they sit in their glass cases and wish they were as cool as he is.

If only we were all as cool as the Superman Pogo Stick,