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.
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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 Françoise 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,