Thank you kindly for the nomination, Ernesto Verdejo. I do hope that I could live up to this solemn challenge and I am very flattered.
Returning once again to revamp the Batman trademark, Grant Morrison, unsurprisingly, manages to infuse his new take on the subject with his signature surreal counterculture concerns, in Batman, Inc. From Wired:
“Batman, Inc. is the idea that we can all be Batman, if we want to,” the acclaimed Scotland-born comics writer told Wired.com by phone. “Batman travels the world recruiting new Bat-men and stamping them with his seal of approval.”
Given the superhero’s straight-edge persona, indefatigable work ethic and bottomless billions, his new Bat-capitalists should be light-years away from the corporate egotists heavily stroked in films like Iron Man 2, whose Tony Stark is a self-obsessed screw-up compared to Bruce Wayne’s solemn justice-seeker.
But you get what you pay for, said Morrison, whose Batman, Inc. debuts Nov. 17. “It’s a natural development, and just shows what we’re into nowadays,” he said. “Playboys who can do anything they want.”
Morrison’s storied run on comics’ timeless human superhero has dragged Batman through the apocalyptic depths of space and time. He killed and rebooted him in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis. In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, he tasked the Dark Knight with Herculean challenges usually reserved for immortals like Superman.
Patrick Meany’s documentary about the writer, Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods (which I am in), is out now on DVD.
Read more: Grant Morrison’s Batman, Inc. Births Comics’ First Zen Billionaire (Wired)
At one point, frankly, to actually own a replica of the Batmobile would have been my #1 goal in my life. Of course I was 9-years-old then, but knowing that this is out there, gives me a reason to keep living.
• Rocket exhaust flamethrower works (YES!)
• Show-car quality paint job.
• Car sports Radir wheels with accurately shaped bat spinners.
• Brand new GM 350 crate engine and brand new transmission.
• Center console aluminum trim
• Five light flasher, steering bezel, door sill chevron plates, “chrome-painted seat buckets, and even the very knobs, buttons and T handles are molded from vintage equipment.”
• Five highly-polished aluminum roll top dashboard doors that glide open.
• Red beacon light.
• Batbeam antenna grid raises between the front windshields.
• Detect-a-scope radar screen glows green.
• DVD player that plays on the LCD screen in the dash.
• Hood and trunk raise and lower with actuator switches.
• High-end stereo to play back the original Batman theme or the Prince one.
I’m sure $150,000 is a bargain when it comes to a loaded bespoke superhero car, but you would have to be Bruce Wayne to afford this sucker. Oh well, I can dream.
(On another note, this hopped-up hotrod isn’t exactly a “babe magnet”, now, is it?!?!)
This song, believe it or not, is actually a collaboration between Burt Ward, better known as “Robin” on the 60s Batman TV series, and Frank Zappa. Long circulated on variously titled bootlegs, “The Boy Wonder Sessions” were recorded in 1966 with Mothers of Invention (and Velvet Underground) producer Tom Wilson at the mixing desk. Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Elliot Ingber and Roy Estrada are present, however Zappa doesn’t actually play on these sessions, although he arranged and wrote most of the material recorded. Note the bit that sounds like Zappa’s later “Duke of Prunes” composition near the end.
From Burt Ward’s autobiography, Boy Wonder, My Life In Tights:
I should have had the wisdom I now have when I signed a recording contract with MGM Records- I wouldn’t have signed it. MGM staffer Tom Scott [I think he means WIlson] was assigned as my producer. He brought in one of the visually wildest groups imaginable as my backup band, the Mothers of Invention. What a sight! Neanderthal. They had incredibly long, scraggly hair, and clothes that appeared not to have been washed in this century if ever. These were musicians who became famous for tearing up furniture, their speakers, their microphones and even their expensive guitars onstage. They were maniacs!
Of all the people in the world to team with this wild and crazy bunch, I can’t believe I was the one. The image of the Boy Wonder is all American and apple pie, while the image of the Mothers of Invention was so revolutionary that they made the Hell’s Angels look like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Even I had to laugh seeing a photo of myself with those animals.
Their fearless leader and king of grubbiness was the late Frank Zappa. (The full name of the band was Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.) After recording with me, Frank became an internationally recognized cult superstar, which was understandable; after working with me, the only place Frank could go was up.
Although he looked like the others, Frank had an intelligence and education that elevated him beyond brilliance to sheer genius. I spent a considerable amount of time talking with him, and his rough, abrupt exterior concealed an intellectual, creative and sensitive interior.
For my records, the plan was to record four sides and then release two singles prior to producing an album. After listening to me sing, Frank got a wild idea to make use of my hideous voice to do a hilarious recording with a song that had some of the Batman feel to it. He picked “Orange Colored Sky.”
I can’t bear to think of this song. The memories are too embarrassing. Though the intent was to create comedy by putting my lousy singing to good use, the actual result was so disastrous that the studio thought the tape had been left out in the sun and warped. They insisted on re-recording.
But first, MGM took a radical step as an insurance policy that my next session would sound better. They sent me to an expensive vocal coach—and no doubt hoped for divine intervention. Back in 1966 they were shelling out about $1,000 a week for those lessons. That was a lot of money, more than three times what I was bringing home after working twelve hours per day in my monkey suit for an entire week. With the coach raking in that much, even I am surprised that after two weeks of training, the lady politely asked me not to come back. I’m not sure if she felt that having me as a student was damaging to her career or if listening to me sing was destroying her eardrums, or both.
In an attempt at self-preservation, the record company had me just talk on the second two sides I recorded. That I could do very well! The material for the song was a group of fan letters that had been sent to me. Frank and I edited them together to make one letter, which became the lyrics for the recording. Frank wrote a melody and an arrangement, and we titled the song, “Boy Wonder, I Love You!”
Among the lyrics was an invitation for me to come and visit an adoring pubescent fan and stay with her for the entire summer. She wrote, “I will even fix you breakfast in bed. I love you so much that I want you to stay the whole summer with me!” The lyrics ended with “I hope you know that this is a girl writing.”
Lots more information can be found here.
Based on the cover of “Batman and the Outsiders” #1
Whether or not we all dissolve into rainbow-shooting dolphins and unicorns of the 27th dimension in 2012, AT LEAST WE KNOW FOR SURE THAT THERE WILL BE A NEW BATMAN MOVIE. OH GOD YES.
The release date for the new film, presumably directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, and completing a trilogy of the most UTTERLY SWEET FILMS IN ALL TIMES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, is set at July 20, 2012.
(Note: Above poster, with David Tennant as the Riddler, is not real, just in case it had to be said.)
In one of the most anticipated announcements in recent memory, Warner Bros. officially set a date this morning for the follow-up to The Dark Knight. Tentatively known as Batman 3, the movie will debut July 20, 2012 in conventional and IMAX theaters, almost exactly four years after The Dark Knight opened to record-breaking numbers.
At this time, there are no details available regarding the plot or the cast, though it is assumed that Christian Bale at least will be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Warner Bros. was also unable to confirm whether or not Batman Begins and Dark Knight writer-director Christopher Nolan would be taking on those responsibilities again for part three.
I WANT YOUR STORY
Who was your first turn on?
How old were you two, four, six?
What did he look like?
What was she doing exactly that stopped you dead in your tracks?
That secretly affirmed your romantic future, your love life, the person you married?
Sit down, write one page, re-inspire yourself.
Be part of an exciting book series I’m putting together.
Get to the keyboard and email: Julie Newmar
myself readers of Dangerous Minds: while Julie Newmar is OK with using Catwoman as “your object of desire,” she’d prefer your fantasy involve something more than claws, whips and leather.) Ms. Newmar’s very first appearance in the role that came to define her follows below:
(via Julie Newmar)
Hundreds of thousands have thrilled to the Indian Superman, but fewer have seen the Filipino Batman…
Batman en Robin is a Bat-spoof made in the Philippines in 1993. It stars comedian Joey de Leon and his son Keempee de Leon. The Penguin-character is called Chu-p-a-enguin, which literally means “Blowjob-guin” in Spanglish. There are musical numbers—why not?—and Wonder Woman makes an appearance. A midget Spiderman, too. And check out the Joker!
In the final scene, the cast does a nutty cover version of At The Hop with lyrics like “Let’s be good of blood, Let’s be good of heart, Let’s be afraid of God, Let’s believe in LOVE!”