Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

In a waiting room today…

May 7, 2014

… I swear I heard a smooth jazz instrumental version of the “Wonder Woman” theme song.

Comics go to the movies – TV specials

January 11, 2012

The AV Club has a nice write-up on comic strips that were turned into obscure TV specials.

Certainly the most interesting, yet not very succesful, is the pilot for a Wizard of Id series done not in animation, not with human actors, but with Muppets. I got to see this over a decade ago at a Johnny Hart exhibit in Binghamton NY. Johnny himself was our guide and said the coming of Sesame Street stopped the process from going further.

The one that you’d think would be the hardest to adapt – The Far Side – because of its lack of characters and plot, is the best of the ones I’ve seen. Surreally fun. (I still have it on ye ol’ video tape from when it first appeared on TV.)

They don’t give  much love to the Cathy special. But take a look at the clip there. I happen to think it’s well written and acted. Take that, h8trs.

I wouldn’t normally suggest that anyone read the comments on the AV Club – they often have little to do with the subject and are just people wanting to hear themselves talk (or, type). This time there are some interesting tidbits in the discussions as well as links to other clips. I think one of them was a Slovenia-produced Hagar the Horrible.

Comics go to the movies – Bordello of Blood

October 31, 2011

For Halloween, how about a horror movie based on a comic? OK, so it’s not actually based on one of the actual stories from the comic. It’s based on the TV show that was actually based on the actual stories from the comic.

Perhaps this will be a little less confusing. First there was the infamous EC horror comics of the 1950s (published by MAD’s William Gaines) of which Tales from the Crypt was one of the titles. Then there was the HBO series of the same name that ran from 1989 to 1996. (Each episode was based on one of the original stories.) Then there were a few movie spin-offs that were not based on any of the original stories. Bordello of Blood was the second.

So let me say this – I do recommend this movie, but it is a really bad movie. And not in the “it’s so bad it’s good” way, it’s just bad. But the saving grace in this excuse to add boobs to the franchise is Dennis Miller.

I’ve always loved (the non-political) Dennis Miller. And it appears that he rewrote his lines for this movie. So what you have is snappy comebacks in a sea of bad dialog. It’s unintentionally meta. It’s as if Dennis Miller was dropped into the alternate reality that is this movie and is riffing on it.

I saw Dennis Miller at the Disney MGM Studios theme park in 2000. The appearance was to promote him starting as a commentator on Monday Night Football. He put his hand prints in cement in from of the pseudo Mann’s Chinese Theater and then, of his own accord, happily signed autographs for the on-lookers. It really looked like he was going to do so for the whole crowd – and I was just a few people away from him – when the handlers intercepted. Dang. Then there was a Q&A in the Beauty and the Beast theater (I think). I wanted to ask about Bordello of Blood but I didn’t think the Disney people would appreciate me saying the word “bordello” into the PA system.

Comics go to the movies (not really) – Monty Python

February 25, 2011

Yep, it’s not comics. but Python changed my world when I found them on PBS in the early 70s. This is a 6-part doc – in other words, it’s 6 hours long. And, for me, it could’ve been twice as long. Watching it streaming on Netflix was a great way to wallow in this obsession.

Graphic Novel to Film presentations

April 6, 2010

 Well, it’s that time of year again. The students in my Graphic Novel to Film class have pick the subjects for their final presentations. It can be any comics to film adaptation that we hadn’t covered in class. Here’s the rundown:




This student is also looking at the earlier B&W, non-musical film.



This student is also looking at the the TV Hulk movie where they tried to introduce Rex Smith as Daredevil


Seriously, I haven’t the slightest idea what this is.


This student is also looking at the Thomas Jane and the Dolph Lundgren versions.




What I’m reading – The Middleman

March 19, 2010

Written first as a script that didn’t get produced, then turned into a comic, then turned into a TV show. I saw the show first and the comic read just like it, verbatim, and it works much better on TV.

Pre-enjoyed shopping – Part 2

September 7, 2009

Well, we’re back to doing the Netflix, but thank heavens for Blockbuster. If it wasn’t for them where else would I get used DVDs for a fraction of the cost of new?

On a recent trip to see my folks I bought, for $20 total, Punisher: War Zone, the first season of The Boondocks and The Spirit.

My wife asked, “Why did you buy a movie you didn’t like?”

I answered, “Because I’m an idiot.”

Actually I collect films that originated as comics. I even teach a college course on it. And I really love the behind-the-scenes stuff, especially commentaries. And now that I teach this course I do feel I need to keep up on this stuff.

(Sorry that it took me so long to get to Part 2. If you care about Part 1, here it is.

“Graphic Novel to Film” class update

April 1, 2009

I posted here about the “Graphic Novel to Film” class I’m teaching at Gettysburg College and what we’d be covering. Well, the students have picked their subjects for their final presentations (the selection field was broadened to include all comics). Here they are in no particular order:

Tank Girl

From Hell


X-men: X2

The Tick (both animated and live-action TV shows)

Men In Black (film, perhaps animated TV show)

Devil’s Backbone/ Paracuellos

Captain America (awful 90s movie, awful 70’s TV show, maybe old serials)


Lone Wolf and Cub

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The Mask (film, perhaps animated TV show)


Daredevil (film, perhaps guest starring role in Hulk TV movie)

My new class – “Graphic Novel to Film”

January 19, 2009

My new class at Gettysburg College started on Friday. I mentioned this class when I posted about why I was not going to review Frank Miller’s film version of The Spirit. Here’s a list of what we’re going to be looking at:

(Even though “graphic novel” has become it’s own genre in the public’s mind, I’m expanding the definition for the class to be “work done under one creator”. Let’s face it, a graphic novel is just a long comic.)

The Spirit (2008 flop and 1987 TV movie)
Sin City
American Splendor
Ghost World
The Rockteer
V for Vendetta
(live action film “Asterix and Obelix vs Caesar” and animated feature)
(by Osamu Tezuka)
Road to Perdition
History of Violence

And for the mid-term paper:
Tales from the Crypt
(the HBO TV series)

Comics go to the movies – The Spirit VS my new class

January 7, 2009

And the winner is…my new class.

Let me explain.

I went to see cartoonist-turned-director Frank Miller’s film version of Will Eisner‘s classic 40’s character “The Spirit” on the day it opened – December 25th. And I could tell you what I thought…but I’m not going to. See, I’m teaching a new class next semester called “Graphic Novel to Film” and we’ll be studying The Spirit. And it doesn’t seem right for me to be tossing around my opinion if, by some slim chance, one of my future students should read this.

It’s a pretty interesting combination though: one cartoonist interpreting another cartoonist’s creation and able to do it in his own visual style because of the advances of digital film making.

First, the original:

Then Miller’s drawn interpretation:

(Here’s an interesting piece about the poster campaign that came after the one above. It’s an audio “slideshow” with the art director.)

…then Miller’s version translated to a real live human:

BONUS: Did you know there was a 1987 Spirit TV movie? It starred Sam Jones, who was also Flash Gordon in the cheesy 1980 film version. (Wow. That’s one very blue suit.)