RARA-AVIS: Detective Comics. Was: Super Heroes, Comics, and Noir

From: Eric Chambers (nqexile@yahoo.com.au)
Date: 27 Jul 2008

  • Next message: caroli1975: "RARA-AVIS: Noir comics (was: The Dark Knight, etc)"


    1/ When asked by a socialite, " What  is  Jazz? " Ellington's Reply was,in fact, "Lady, if you have to ask, don't mess with it." The Duke was an extremely intelligent and witty man who didn't suffer fools lightly.

    2/ Batman debuted (in 1938?) in a comic book called Detective Comics. The book was just that, an anthology of pulpish stories featuring detectives.Should more realistically  been called; Vigilante Stories.      The author clearly saw him as a character in the Pulp tradition like the Shadow or the Spider. The character is a property which has been portrayed in many different ways, depending on the creative vibe at the time and the wishes of the publisher. Batman has been everything from hardboiled to high camp. The only effective way to talk about Batman is in terms of the intentions of specific creative teams. It can't be true noir because Batman always ends up  back at square one and goes through the grief all over again. Its a tragedy, in the grand sense. Someone one day will get the point and turn it into an opera.   

    What I would like to hear would be some debate on why  the current Batman film has become a box
     office record holder. Was it Heath Ledger or does it have something significant to say to us? Or was there just nothing better to see at the movies?  The very fact that the subject  has clearly been of passionate interest to so many Rara-Avians is, to my mind,  indicative of its universal resonance. 

    3 If you are familiar with comics you will know that many of the comic book movies have elements 'sourced' from well known story arcs by various creators. 1989's Batman used ideas from Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers, Batman Begins had elements created by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams.There are a million creator's horror stories out there. And none of them are pretty. 

    4/ 'Holy Debate Batman!' In all the interest in the Caped Crusader's latest doings, I've seen no comment on the news that Darwyn Cook is to give us some Parker graphic novels. I for one am looking forward to this, Cooke has a style that will suit these works well and is a creator who will respect the source material. The illustrations he has posted are excellent. He has worked on the current version of the Spirit and did a good job of that. Frank Miller's Spirit movie I am not looking forward to.


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