Posts Tagged ‘geoff johns’


The Dark Knight Rises meets Flashpoint

May 21, 2011

(aka The Week Outside of Cat-Tales)

Two big events in Comics Goodness this week*: The Dark Knight Rises started filming in London  and DC Comics launched their latest Crisis/Mega Event Flashpoint.

Now, one of my favorite running gags in the Robert Altman’s movie about movie-making The Player:  Every time we hear a screenwriter pitch a script, they fall back on “It’s X meets Y”  “It’s Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman”

To celebrate The Dark Knight Rises and DC Comics milestones, I submit to you a little something JLAin’t author MyklarCure whipped up at the fantastic Florida F/X school: Dave School.  I like to call it: The Dark Knight meets Flashpoint:

Best. Project. Ever. LOL – We were given a 20 second audio clip to animate. The clip: Christian Bale’s infamous rant on the set of Terminator: Salvation. LANGUAGE WARNING! (Duh).
The instructor said he couldn’t give mine a review during class because he was laughing so hard that he couldn’t concentrate on it. 😉

*3 if you count #thefirerises viral launching

Chris Dee

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.


Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing

May 18, 2011

Comic books and fairy tales.  Stories we revere from childhood that fired our imaginations and at the same time slipped in some principles on how to live our lives, what we can become, what we can achieve.  Some of our parents thought we had to put that aside when we grew up, but since the Baby Boomers came of age, we’ve embraced the idea that this doesn’t have to be kid’s stuff.  From Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings to Nolan’s The Dark Knight, we’ve seen that fantasy, science fiction, and comic book stories can be told for adults.  Of course, every good story is grounded in a battle between Good and Evil.  There’s a reason for that.  We tell these stories to prepare us for life, and in real life, that battle between Light and Darkness rages.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time has the potential to bring that battle elegantly and beautifully into the mainstream.  From the writers of Lost, the world begins as we might expect: with a tantalizing mystery.  28-year old Emma Swan finds herself in Storybrook, a mysterious place where some strange rules seem to apply – rules that don’t quite seem to jibe with the laws of nature. In the First Look video…

Okay, a young boy tells Emma it’s all the work of a wicked queen, “She sent everyone from the Enchanted Forest here” and they don’t know that they’re characters from fairy tales.  Sounds kinda cool, I liked The Sixth Sense and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.  But none of that is what made me sit up and take notice.  What did it was that moment after the screen went black  and those 4 gleaming words appeared:


And so there are in every genre that touches on those cherished childhood memories.  From comic books to movies, there are those who claim writing for an adult audience means a nihilist and cynical world in which there are no real heroes and no real hope.  Those who cannot dream will always try to destroy yours.  They have been trying to poison our childhood memories and destroy our heroes for years.  Until Geoff Johns’s Infinite Crisis and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, that divide in the comics world was confined to the non-fictional arenas.  Nolan’s Dark Knight fictionalized it in a battle for Gotham’s soul.  Joker’s view being the cynic’s “When the chips are down, all these civilized people will eat each other”  and Batman believing in the people of Gotham City.  When his faith is proven right, when the people of Gotham decine to “eat each other” as Joker predicted, he asks pointedly “What was your point, that everyone is as ugly as you?”

Will Once Upon a Time take that battle to the next level?  Is this a tale of Darkness and Cynicism versus Light and Hope?

I give you two moments from that FIRST LOOK: 

Trollish man in a cage:
Everything we love will be ripped from
us while we suffer for all eternity.


Believing in even the possibility of a
happy ending is a very powerful thing


Once upon a time Hope fought Despair.  Once upon a time Light fought Darkness.  Once upon a time Good fought Evil.

Once upon a time…  Damn, I’m there.

Chris Dee


A New Golden Age of DC Comics: Begin with an apology

February 19, 2010
You do indeed get credit for the find.  Your post was the first I had heard of any of this.  As you know, I have been out of that world for many years, but Geoff Johns is certainly one of the names I remember, and as one of the good guys.  Indeed, THE good guy.  I seem to recall he was affectionately known as “Other Geoff” in my old comic shop, to distinguish phonetically from Uncle Jeph (said with equal affection).  And “Jim” is Jim Lee?  Can’t say I have any opinion there, other than he is a spectacularly talented artist.  I don’t know any of his views in terms of creative philosophy, Cat or otherwise.
Anyway, you asked for my thoughts, such as they are.
Snark first, then we’ll get serious:
The only triumvirates I’ve ever heard of ended with the rich guy under house arrest while the other two fought a civil war until the one not named Caesar is driven into Egypt, where he died by his own hand or someone else’s.  If it were me, and I wasn’t named Caesar, I wouldn’t be keen on trying it again.
Serious answer?  Well…
I think a new Golden Age of DC Comics is achievable in our lifetime.  Honestly.  We had a collective epiphany in the late ‘80s that this isn’t kid’s stuff.  That there is not just a market but a hunger for complex, realistic and adult stories about these characters we collectively love.  We immediately took a wrong term in defining what “complex, realistic and adult” mean.  We took a 25 year detour, but that potential still exists.  Look at all the readers who might have given up on the comics but never gave up the characters or what they should be.  Look at TDK, that’s what happens when you understand, respect and keep the essence of what the characters are and use them in truly sophisticated, mature and complex storytelling.  It takes 3 years and a hundred million dollars to do on that level.  Comics have the ability to produce far more – not as much as they think, perhaps.  There is only so much you can turn out and still keep it good.  But through that medium, we can get more than one wholly satisfying Batman outing in 3 years.
So yes, in my opinion, an actual honest-to-god Renaissance is possible.  But it can only begin with an apology.  I question whether Geoff, Jim, and those who appointed them are aware of just how much bad will has been created over the last 10+ years.  More is needed than another retcon, reboot or “new direction”.  I don’t know what is needed.  I don’t pretend to know.  I do know this:  You cannot set out to deliberately anger, disappoint and offend people, take away something they enjoyed and laugh at their cries of outrage, and then offer a half-assed reboot like a dozen others.
Someone I absolutely adore once said to me “You may forget the exact words, but you never forget how people made you feel.”
I expand it to:  You may not be able to articulate it, but you never forget how people made you feel.
I have gotten a lot of email over the years from people who are angry, betrayed, bitter, belittled, heartbroken, deceived, paranoid, beaten, broken, despairing, exasperated and exhausted.  Few had the self-knowledge, vocabulary and energy to express it coherently, but all have been kicked in the stomach.  Unlike me, they didn’t note names.  They can’t say J’accuse Ed Brubaker. They do know the name of the company: DC Comics.
How do you fix that?  I have no fucking idea.  I wish them all the luck in the world, but I have no earthly idea how you FIX this.
That’s my reaction, Chips.  I wish it was more… something.
Chris Dee
Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.
P.S. My inner Joker is furious I did not use that last sentence to plug More Cowbell.
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