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Sunday, 7 July 2013
Captain's Log: Final Entry

This is my old BLOG, before I graduated to the social network. And if you got here by clicking on what I think you did, shame on you!

This is a place to check out my old BLOG Archive. Still some pretty good stuff. But its so 2012. If you want to see my more recent stuff check out the following:

Posted by frankandjane at 12:39 PM EDT
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Sunday, 24 March 2013
G.I. Joe Retaliation Review
G.I. Joe Retaliation Review  If you enjoyed the first G.I. Joe movie, then you have low standards- like me. It also means you’ll love the sequel. It’s a huge improvement from the last one. Most, but not all of the goofiness is gone. Cobra’s secret plan is right out of Dr. Evil’s play book. I suppose if you went too realistic you would lose some of the fun.  This was a crowd pleaser though. The audience   I saw it with was cheering along by the end. The Rock, I mean Roadblock was a very lovable tough guy. I think he actually carries the movie more than Bruce Willis, who does a good job as the ass kicking old guy.  (At one point they deal with heavily armed guards by simply using a car bed as a Bruce Willis delivery vehicle) He has a cute and subtle relationship with Lady Jaye. Just kidding. Nothing is subtle in this movie. We get it. He’s like the dad she never got approval from. Not sure why she needed an origin story or daddy issues.  Anyway Flint was okay.  His job was to be the normal guy. Which is too bad because he was one of my favorites as a kid. Speaking of favorites, the real star was Snake Eyes.  I hope he gets the recognition this year at the Oscars that he was denied last time. He had a great scene battling ninjas along a mountain side that I’ve never seen before in an action movie. Theres also an incredible escape from an impossible-to-escape-from prison involving bad assery from Storm Shadow Cobra Commander and Firefly. Overall, it’s worth checking out for the amazing action and the awesome trio of The Rock, Snake Eyes and John McClain. Just ignore most of the plot and you’ll be fine. On a scale of 0 to 5 stars, I give it a B+
If you enjoyed the first G.I. Joe movie, then you have low standards- like me. It also means you’ll love the sequel. It’s a huge improvement from the last one. Most, but not all of the goofiness is gone. Cobra’s secret plan is right out of Dr. Evil’s play book. I suppose if you went too realistic you would lose some of the fun. This was a crowd pleaser though. The audience I saw it with was cheering along by the end. The Rock, I mean Roadblock was a very lovable tough guy. I think he actually carries the movie more than Bruce Willis, who does a good job as the ass kicking old guy. (At one point they deal with heavily armed guards by simply using a car bed as a Bruce Willis delivery vehicle) He has a cute and subtle relationship with Lady Jaye. Just kidding. Nothing is subtle in this movie. We get it. He’s like the dad she never got approval from. Not sure why she needed an origin story or daddy issues. Anyway Flint was okay. His job was to be the normal guy. Which is too bad because he was one of my favorites as a kid. Speaking of favorites, the real star was Snake Eyes. I hope he gets the recognition this year at the Oscars that he was denied last time. He had a great scene battling ninjas along a mountain side that I’ve never seen before in an action movie. Theres also an incredible escape from an impossible-to-escape-from prison involving bad assery from Storm Shadow Cobra Commander and Firefly. Overall, it’s worth checking out for the amazing action and the awesome trio of The Rock, Snake Eyes and John McClain. Just ignore most of the plot and you’ll be fine. On a scale of 0 to 5 stars, I give it a B+


Posted by frankandjane at 7:20 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 March 2013 7:22 PM EDT
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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Behold! A robot shoves a volkswagon down a dinosaur's throat! Bwah ha ha! (from the next DRC chapter)



Posted by frankandjane at 12:50 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 March 2013 12:52 AM EST
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Friday, 15 February 2013
Batman and Robin!!!

Okay, I've done this for Power Girl and Superman. Now here's my version of Batman and Robin: (One of my first fully digital drawings done on a tablet: no pencils were used in the making of this picture)




Yep there's a new Robin in town. And, no, this isn't some thinly veiled attempt to shoehorn a cute blonde into every story I come up with. This fits. Just hear me out.

So Batman has a new Robin and no one is sure who she really is. In a previous incarnation, Batman had a blonde girl Robin named Stephanie Brown. She was short lived. Literally. And then she ceased to exist. Its a complicated comic book thing. So some readers may suspect the new Robin is Stephanie Brown. Others may think its Carrie Kelly, the girl Robin from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. Even other superheroes, including the resentful former Robin, don't know who she is.

In a perhaps related story, Batman has become even better at escaping seemingly impossible deathtraps set up by his enemies. The Penguin ties Batman and Robin to a chair and leaves them in a building full of explosives and then sets the building on fire and stations guards at every exit- and yet the dynamic duo still escape. In  the previous Superman story I posted Batman is able to defeat a Kryptonian unarmed without kryptonite in a closed room.

That encounter with the Kryptonian also lead to a falling out between Superman and Batman. It would be cool to set those two up as each other's villians. In Superman's comic, Batman is portrayed as a Lex Luthor-like bad guy that Superman has to keep track of. In Batman's comic he sees Superman as someone he has to work around to get his job done.

I also like the idea of Batman being the guy without powers whose known for going around kicking the butt of every guy with powers who shows up in Gotham. His specialty is dealing with super powered types. When you've got a superhuman problem, you call Batman. 


Eventually we learn that the identity of the new Robin is....










The ruse of having a superpowered sidekick who pretends to not have powers would be a useful deception against Batman's enemies. It would be the ultimate backup plan. Her superspeed and strength would just seem like she has really good ninja skills, but in a crunch she can save the day. I'm sure in a world of people with superpowers, Batman would want that ace up his sleeve.   

And Supergirl admires Batman. She wants to learn how to fight crime from him. And as a bonus, this is her act of defiance against her cousin who forbids her interacting with Batman.
Eventually Superman does find out and is not happy. But the more he tells her not to, the more she stays by Batman's side. Of course eventually the relationship doesn't last. She would get tired of taking orders from Batman, who would use strict discipline to keep her in line. At some point Batman threatens to use Kryptonite on Supergirl when she goes too far out of line and she bolts.

Just think of all the cool stories you could have with Batman and a superpowered Robin, before and after it is revealed who it is. Not to mention all the fun Batman/Superman as frenemies situations.



Posted by frankandjane at 10:46 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 25 February 2013 9:52 AM EST
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Monday, 28 January 2013
Reposting this for fun

Originally posted Novemebr 7 2012


Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Episode 7

Okay, I've been seriously neglecting this blog. While I have been working on the latest DRC chapter, and a secret project, and a DRC app, thats no excuse. But while discussing the nerd shattering news that Disney will be releasing Star Wars episode 7 in 2015, I was suddenly struck with an idea so awesome I had to drop everything so I could fart this out of my head and into this blog before I hurt myself.

The next set of Star Wars movies can't rehash old stories. I'm not interested in another rise of an Empire or a fall of a Republic. The entire story structure has to be different. Maybe even a smaller scale would be better.

Episode 7 should take place on a post ROJ (Return of the Jedi, c'mon keep up) galaxy where instead of there being a galaxy spanning Republic or Empire, each planet has its own government. A traveler shows up and must abide by the local rules and customs ("no droids in these here parts!").  Think of America in the old west days.

Instead of having a huge Jedi Council and only two Sith, its the opposite. There are only two Jedi and a huge gang of Sith that pillage from planet to planet like a wolf pack. Or Pirates. Think of the Reavers from Firefly/Serenity.

The two Jedi are an old Sensei like Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil could still pull this off) and his young female Padawan. The girl Padawan could be played by someone like Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men First Class/Hunger Games) I can already see a movie poster with her posing with a green lightsaber and an army with red sabers behind her. The jedi live secluded in some farming planet where the population is low and they just hang out and meditate and do other Jedi stuff.


The Sith Pack shows up to the planet and terrorizes the local farmers. Picture the girl Jedi confronting them, taking them all on with cool light saber kung fu while the wise Master Skywalker easily dispatches a few Sith on his own. These Sith are weaker. With the rule of two if one got too powerful he would take over and kill the others. Maybe there is someone behind the scenes artificially keeping the rule of two from working so that no Sith gets too powerful and he can have a biker gang of Sith that terrorize the planets. Maybe the guy behind the scenes wants to use them as an excuse for a stronger government. (At some point it turns out to be more than he can control and one one the Sith becomes too strong and kills him)

One of the up and coming Sith kill poor old master skywalker. The padawan is upset, but is soon guided by Lukes ghost (CGI could even make it a younger looking Luke). She escapes the planet with the help from a handsome starship pilot and his large droid co pilot (think robot version of Chewbacca who can get in fights, loose an arm then screw it back on). The story arc will follow the Young Jedi girl as she tried to uncover the secret behind the Sith Gang (now that they know a Jedi still exists they are hunting her down) and deal with her feelings for the Pilot Stud while guided by Ghost Luke and ultimately becoming a Jedi Master for a young Jedi kid she meets somewhere along the way.


This is so perfect it must happen. Disney Lucas are you listening? Whatever idea you have it can't be as good as this! Its not too late to use this! You're my only hope!


UPDATE: Heres the sequence and types of planets they should show in Episode 7:

Start on a farming planet: Lots of open fields of grass and wheat with the occaisional sci fi farming equipment and alien beasts of burden. This is where we establish the relationship between Luke and his Padawan. There is a primitive market place where the townfolk trade their space fruits. This is also where the Jedi are confronted by the Sith Gang. Once Luke is killed and Jedi girl is clearly outnumbered, Pilot Boy saves her by whisking her off in his speeder bike. There is a high speed chase over open fields. As they speed along, Jedi girl glances at the cave she lived in with Luke briefly then goes back to blocking attacks with her light saber as they race back to Pilot boy's ship. They jump into hyperspace and escape.

Next planet: A mining planet. Its rocky and full of craters. The architecture has an Asian/Indian influence. The miners use large dinosaur/elephant creatures to do their digging. They come here because its a hub for a lot of activity. Easy to hide here and for Pilot Boy to use his connections in the black market to get the info they need. Pilot Boy also has a passenger who is a young boy with a cyborg arm. He keeps him around because he is also good at repairing the ship. Jedi girl begins to suspect the Cyborg Boy is also strong in the force. He seems to be able to communicate with animals: he has a pug like pet that only likes him and Jedi Girl. Also there is an incident with the Dino/Elephant Beasts. Because of some mistreatment they go on a rampage through the city. Our heroes narrowly escape getting crushed as they try to outrun the destruction. Cyborg Boy is able to calm the herd down to everyone's amazement. Ultimatley, Pilot Boy obtains information there that leads then to the next planet:

An Ocean City Planet! This is like Cloud City meets Kamino and Courouscant. Large oceans with small island cities covered in complex skyscrapers. They come here only to find out (cue Admiral Ackbar) "Its a Trap!" The same source that lead the good guys here also told the bad guys. Meanwhile the bad guy pulling the strings is betrayed and killed by the new bigger threat: a Sith that has become powerful and took command of the Sith Pack. The Sith are bent on either killing or converting Jedi girl. They arrive and chase our heroes through the narrow hamster tube corridors of the city. The good guys race back to where they docked their ship and fly out thinking they are safe- only to find their ship surrounded by mini Sith fighter ships. There is a space ship dog fight over the sea, which by the way is filled with killer sea creatures who eat any ship that falls down on them. Eventually the Strong Sith leaps onto the wing of their ship and demands they give up the girl or he with use his saber to dismantle the ship sending it to the toothy depths below. Pilot Boy thinks he's bluffing but Jedi Girl is already outside the ship on the wing in a lightsaber duel over the churning sea.  She is outmatched by the Sith but through some contrived means, the Cyborg Boy is able to help her knock Strong Sith off the wing and into the sea. As the Heroes escape, we see the Sith underwater about to get eaten by a sea creature, until the Sith smiles and slices the crap out of it creating a bloody seafood stew in the bubbling water.

Cue Star Wars Theme       




Posted by frankandjane at 1:27 PM EST
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Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Supermen in Tights

Superman was a tough character for me to like growing up. First of all, he had a distinct lack of coolness. Batman and Wolverine are so much more darker, tougher and they emit an aura of bad assitude. Supes, in comparison, comes off as corny and kinda dull. How can such an outdated superhero compete in the world of the dark knight? Heres an amazing piece of art by Jim Lee depicting the new updated Superman in his new school costume:

Very space age. He's wearing some sort of Kryptonian armor. Also, the red underwear is gone. I think the guys at DC were getting embarrassed by the underwear outside of the tights look. They did the same thing to Batman. Personally, the tights without the underwear makes me more uncomfortable. (Okay, that was a poorly worded sentence. I meant the concept, not that I actually tried wearing tights) I went and saw The Nutcracker ballet over the holidays. Great show, but there were times when I wished some of the male dancers had on a pair of red Superman shorts over their tights.

What would my approach to Superman be? How would I depict the Man of Steel? I'm glad no one asked:






I would go in the complete opposite direction: Full on old school. Embrace it. What's interesting to me is not that he's an alien, but that he's an alien raised on a Smallville farm in Kansas. So he's an old fashioned guy.  He has the greasy 1950s hair style.  He's a guy in tights and a cape kinda like an old circus strong man.  This would emphasize the contrast between him and the culture of Metropolis. Or just have the stories take place in the late 50s, early 60s. That time period suits him and a lot of super heroes.  Make that the era of the next reboot.

Another issue I've always had is that Superman is too powerful. I can accept super strength, bulletproof skin, even freeze breath and X Ray vision.  But how exactly does he fly? And like Tosh.O asked, how does Superman fly faster? I would get rid of flying. Go back to the idea of leaping tall buildings in a single bound.  He jumps really far like the Hulk.  

He needs to have limits. He needs to be in real danger. So here's my idea for a great Superman story. Stay with me here. This is awesome.

Superman runs into bad guys from his home planet, Krypton. I know this has been done before but lets have fun with it.  He comes across a gang of ten Kryptonian crooks attacking a US military base.  He tries to talk them out of it. They try to convince him to join them. It doesn't go well. After a long epic battle, it's clear Supes is outmatched so he flees/flies/jumps away.  Recognizing that if they let him live, Superman may figure out how to beat them eventually, the bad guys chase him down.  When the bad guys catch up to him, they tell Superman, "we have all of your power and there's ten of us.  There's no way you can stop us." Superman smiles and says "Who ever said I was the one who was going to stop you. Do you realize where we are? You should have studied your Earth geography a little better." They look around and realize they're in Gotham.

Okay. Surprise. This is also a Batman story.

Batman then proceeds to methodically take down every Kryptonian one by one. Of course they don't take the threat of a mere human seriously.  They round up every civilian they can and threaten to start executing them out in the streets until Batman surrenders.  First a bat drone flies out and attacks their super hearing with a sonic weapon.  When the bad guys smash it, it releases a cloud of smoke.  They laugh at this since they have x ray vision. All this would do is make it harder for the humans to see.  When the first Kryptonian emerges from the smoke cloud he is immediately struck down by a kryptonite bullet from Batman's sniper rifle.  Superman knew Batman is the one man he trusted to maintain an emergency batch of kryptonite. A few more confused bad guys stumble out from the smoke and are also struck down.  The remaining Kryptonians huddle closer to the human hostages to avoid the gunfire. However, this plays right into Batmans hands.  Wayne Industries has been financing a company that instigated a new trend in jewelry made from rare emerald crystals.  This fashion trend became so ingrained into Gotham society that for any given cross section of people you happen to grab, at least a quarter of them would be wearing this jewelry that, when activated by Batmans drone gas, becomes kryptonite. As the bad guys try to take refuge among the hostages they are slowly depowering and poisoning themselves.

When the Kryptonians try their x ray vision they still can't find Batman. He figures their vision works like radar. Their eyes send out a signal then receives one back.  Batman installed a portable emitter that can absorb or redirect "x-rays" when detected. (I put "x-rays" in quotes because I'm not sure thats what Kryptonian eyes would actually use)

So now the bad guys are starting to panic. They can't see him, and he's shooting at them with krypto-bullets. Also, their fear is masking the fact they are slowly being affected by the kryptonite all around them. One is smart enough to guess at which building Batman is hiding in and manages to avoid the bullets and get inside. He kicks away Batman's rifle and pins Batman to the ground. He realizes that out in the streets he was weakening but now he is returning to full strength. He tells Batman he is nothing without his little kryptonite trick.

Meanwhile outside Superman was able to sneak far enough away from ground zero to maintain his strength. The bad guy leader mocks him for fleeing. Superman smiles and says, "I'm just playing outfield. That's another Earth subject you should have studied: sports." Supes was holding a rock and a steel beam. He hits the rock like a baseball sending it at superspeed right at the bad guy's head. Knocking him out.

Suddenly, out of the third story window of the building Batman was in, the Kryptonian comes crashing out and falls to the street broken and bloody. As he crawls along the sidewalk he manages to mumble, "The Bat Man, he is not human..." How did Batman pull that off? Thats a story for another time. Two of the three remining bad guys now see what building he was in and rush in to demolish it. At this point the exposure to kryptonite has left them too weak to actually do it. Batman offers to help them. He had the whole place rigged with explosives and brings it all down on their heads. Out of the rubble, Batman emerges unharmed (how did he do it?) dragging the bodies of kryptonians. He pulls a krypto gun from his belt. The remaining bad guy grabs a human hostage by the throat and says, "I have done my research. I know of you! While I have no problem with snapping her neck like a twig, you have vowed never to take a life!"

Batman smiles and says, "A human life? Yes. But Kryptonians? I hear you guys tend to come back from the dead anyway." Then he shoots a kryptonite bullet right into the head of the bad guy that Superman had knocked out. From afar, Superman is clearly disturbed by this. Then Bats drops the gun and says, "Go ahead. Try to snap her neck. See what happens. Better yet smash her brains right into the sidewalk. Show us how strong you are."

The bad guy throws her to the ground and she is unharmed. For a moment, the bad guy is confused by his lack of strength. "What did you do to me?" He tries to say. But before he finishes that sentence, Batman punches him right in the mouth. He falls.  Batman pulls him back up to let him try to get a few good swings in then proceeds to brutally beat the living s--t out of the Kryptonian in order to send a very clear message to the universe: Don't F--- with the Batman.

But now Superman is deeply troubled by what he saw today. Does he now have to deal with an even deadlier enemy in the form of Batman? We'll go further into their relationship and how Batman pulled off that trick in the building in my next BLOG: my take on Batman and Robin!      


Posted by frankandjane at 6:52 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2013 10:45 AM EST
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Monday, 17 December 2012
More Power Girl

Inked and colored in my Power Girl drawing. Perhaps now its time for me to move on...

Posted by frankandjane at 11:13 PM EST
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Friday, 14 December 2012
Power Girl vs The Dress Code

I've been thinking a lot about Power Girl lately. Perhaps a little bit more than I should be...

Power Girl first appeared in 1976. Coincidently, this is the same year my wife was born. (Come to think of it, I've never seen my wife and Power Girl in the same room together. Come to think of it, that would be awesome to see) She was created by, among others, the late great Wally Wood. She looked like this:

Over the years, her costume was routinely tweeked, but it would always come back to the same basic look (mostly white unitard with a red cape and a strap, and oh yeah that infamous cleavage hole)  because her image became as iconic as her fellow DC heroes such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Well at least on the same tier as Flash and Green Lantern. (Definately above the Aquaman, Hawkman tier, am I right?)

In fact in the Mark Waid/Alex Ross epic tale Kingdom Come, the future armageddon for the DC heroes, there is PeeGee among the other legends in her famous tighty whities: (BTW Alex Ross art is always so good its makes me cry on the inside. And on the outside)

In recent years, under the care of  Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Power Girl really found her voice and her place in the DC universe. Their take on Power Girl was pure comic book fun. She fought space gorillas and giant monsters. One of my favorite moments was when she helped out a comic nerd by escorting him to the comic book store to the amazement of all his friends. She had a pet cat. She would hang out and drink diet sodas. She went to the movies. She ran a business. Also, she was smoking hot. 



Amanda Conner's version became the quintessential Power Girl in looks and personality. It inspired fan films like this one: actress in that one really nails PG's feisty personality.)

I met Amanda Conner at San Diego Comic Con one year. I got her to sign my Power Girl #1 and told her how much of a bummer it was she was leaving the title.

Unfortunately, PG and her costume became a running  joke thanks to, in part, immature internet memes. As a backlash to the jokes, she also became the poster child for what was wrong with the portrayal of women in comics. Some have argued that her character was just pandering to perverted boys, ignoring the fact that Amanda Conner was the artist, and the fact that that PG had many girl fans out there (such as the writer behind this awesome "Ask Power Girl" Blog) I believe this played no small part in the new version of Power Girl that came out of DC's reboot of their entire universe last year.

In order to shake things up and keep it fresh, DC comics started from scratch with every character. In many ways, it was a success. Superman became a little cooler. Batman stayed as cool as always. But what happened to Power Girl will be remembered as the greatest mistake ever in the history of makeovers. Here she is:

In case you can't tell, she's the one thats flying. Yeah, the one with the 1970s hair and the 1980s body suit. I kept hearing the argument that at least now she will be judged by her personality and not her looks. Yeah, let's give Batman a crappy costume so we can judge him as a man instead of just some guy in a cool costume. Her costume was part of who she is. It reflected her over the top confidence in herself. Also, it was a great design that had more or less survived from the days of Wally Wood. That belt, the ropey thingy, and the cape to the side gave her a classic swashbuckling feel.

But it wasn't just her look that changed.

Her origin was changed too. Not only was Power Girl one of the last survivors of Krypton, she was also supposed to be the last survivor of the original DC universe before a previous reboot. I thought that was a cool way to maintain a sense of continuity despite constant universe upgrading. That connection went away. Now she was the Earth 2 Supergirl who had came to our world and said,"There's already a Supergirl here? Guess I'm Power Girl or something". (Not her actual words, but the point is being Power Girl wasn't her first choice) But that was small potatoes.

 At least with the chest window closed, she can maintain a shred of dignity, right? Well, the new Power Girl comes off as more immature than the old one. And somehow her costume seems to be destroyed multiple times an issue- while shes still wearing it!  Thats right, if the old costume went away in order to battle sexism, that concept was completely undermined by contrived new ways to melt her clothes off.

This I don't get. If your power is to be invulnerable to everything, why wear a uniform that instantly disintegrates upon contact with anything? Its like a fireman wearing a paper hat or something.  If the argument was that the old costume was unrealistic, how does the new one make sense? So if the feminists who DC was trying to please actually read the comic, they would be just as upset anyway. Plus, they left Starfire's costume as ridiculous as ever. PG was only picked on because she got more attention, not because her costume was the worst offender. She was a victim of her own success. I think DC has some of the greatest characters ever, but in cases like this, they completely miss the point.  

If I had creative control over Power Girl, here's what I'd do:

Step one: bring back the old costume! Cleavage hole and all.  It's a classic and I have the feeling it's only a matter of time before it does return.  Next: bring back the fun! More battles with robot dragons and alien giants! Power Girl shouldn't take herself too seriously, or insult the reader's intelligence. 

 I would have an ongoing subplot where she falls head over heels for a regular guy. At first she tries to sabotage their relationship because of her fear of committing to one guy and worried she'd have to choose between love and constantly saving the world.  But she decides to do both because she's so crazy about this ordinary guy. He doesn't know she's Power Girl. He likes her for her, not the sexy costume.  So she really has to work on the whole secret identity thing for once while also saving him occasionally from super villains. It's kinda like Lois Lane/Superman but in reverse.  Meanwhile she still has to balance her time with running her business feeding the cat and her bromance with Huntress (would that be a bramance?) The point is, she has to learn to manage all the things In her life like a non super powered woman does every day. In a sense, every woman could be Power Girl.

The obligatory costume ripping wouldn't be necessary. She's sexy already in her original costume. This would satisfy both the male and female readers. You don't have to choose. Power Girl deserves more respect than she's been getting (and so do the previous creators).  

Does this mean I'm a feminist? No, but I am a little feminine sometimes.  Common mistake. 

In closing, here's a sketch I did as a tribute to the old (and future?) Power Girl costume. I took different parts of my favorite versions and combined them.  Mostly Amanda Conner.  I think there's some Humberto Ramos influence in there too. (I'll do a blog soon on all my favorite artists) I liked how this turned out so much I think I'll ink and color this next rather than any of my other commitments.  Drawing or otherwise.  

This is perfectly healthy. Don't judge me. Stop it.






Posted by frankandjane at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2013 2:58 PM EST
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Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Comic Book Day!

You can learn a lot about a man from his weekly comic book stash. Here's mine: Atomic Robo, Conan and The Walking Dead all in the same week! Jackpot!

Okay. That picture is sideways. Darn. 

Posted by frankandjane at 11:44 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 14 December 2012 2:23 PM EST
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Friday, 7 December 2012
Into the darkness

Just saw the new Star Trek teaser trailer. It looks amazing. While many continued speculating on who exactly the villian is, I began speculating on who that blonde  babe was. I loved the last movie and this one looks just as good.  There's one problem: Like a lot of movies coming soon, it seems to be suffering from Dark Knight Syndrome.   

There is nothing Star Trekky about the trailer. No thrill of exploring the final frontier. Not a single shot of outer space- just destruction and terror with an evil british voice over. (why do bad guys always have British accents?) If I didn't know better I'd say they're trying to make it look like another movie:

Classic Hollywood logic: The Dark Knight was a movie that did well. The only way our movie can do well is if we copy it. Let's try to shoehorn the word "dark" into the title if we can too. "Into the Darkness" does not sound like the bright optimistic Star Trek future we all know and love. I'm sure the actual movie will be great, but its being promoted as if the only way we can understand it is if its in the pallatable form of another movie that we're familiar with. This seems to have infected all of next year's blockbusters: The next Thor movie is called "The Dark World". The trailer for Iron Man 3 shows the wise cracking billionaire playboy from Avengers being defeated and everything he cares about being destroyed while an evil british voice monologues. Well at least the Superman movie should be optimistic and bright. They won't make Mr Truth Justice and the American Way look dark and dreary would they? Oh wait:


Again, I'm sure this movie will be great, but you get the feeling that all they think we can accept right now is "gritty realism".

Here's an article throwing Skyfall into the mix:

Could this be more than just mimicing The Dark Knight's marketing? Maybe this is also a reflection of the mood of the country right now.  We've been through almost 5 years of a recession and we don't have the feeling good times are just around the corner. We've been told that if we survive the end of the Mayan calendar we will still face higher taxes and budget cuts next year while the national debt will still grow regardless and the economy will just lay there like a beached manatee. Meanwhile Superman will be in chains, and Iron Man, Thor and Captain Kirk will all be getting their butts kicked by guys with evil British voices. I think its interesting both the Star Trek and Iron Man 3 trailers have similar situations.  Both a starship and Tony Stark's mansion go tumbling underwater, much like the housing market.  In both cases the hero has to pick up the pieces after some calamity they were powerless to stop. Maybe that's how we see ourselves now. 

 Back in the late 70's the country was down spirited and Hollywood seemed to be cranking out dark and gritty movies with grim futures (planet of the apes) and horror movies were the rage (jaws) That is until a young filmaker, George Lucas produced a science fiction fairy tale about good vs evil and changed how we saw everything. 

Help us Star Wars episode 7, you're our only hope! (yes everything does come back to star wars)

Posted by frankandjane at 9:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2013 3:00 PM EST
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