Here are 8 developments of interest to fans.
(1) William Shatner calls J. J. Abrams a “pig” for directing movies in both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. Then he asks for a job. What could be more Hollywood?
“I think of him as a buddy of mine. I’ve taken him out for sushi. I think it’s time for J.J. and I to have another sushi and let me put him straight about two of the largest franchises and not employing me in either one of them is just foolhardy,”
(2) And what could be more Florida – if your impression of Florida comes from Serge A. Storms novels – than somebody named Johnnie Blade getting busted for swinging a bat’leth around in public?
The man was “wildly swinging” the four-foot long sword and “proudly displaying” it to passing motorists.
“This sword…is known to loyal Star Trek fans as traditional Klingon ‘Bat’leth’ or ‘Sword of Honor,’ said the Broward Sheriff’s Office report on the matter.
Blade was charged with improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon, disorderly intoxication in a public place that caused a disturbance, resisting an officer without violence and drug possession.
(3) A U.S. District Court judge has ruled “it’s clear that the Batmobile is a copyrighted character”, granting Warner Brothers summary judgment in its lawsuit against Mark Towle, a California resident who operates Gotham Garage, a specialist in customizing replicas of automobiles featured in various films and TV shows. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the judge —
“Thus, the Batmobile’s usefulness is a construct…. Additionally, Defendant’s argument that Batman is merely a car wholly fails to capture the creativity and fantastical elements that stand apart from the fact that the Batmobile also happens to look like a car.”
The judge also went into the particulars of the Batmobile to single out what’s conceptually separable such as the “Batmobile’s entire frame, consisting of the rear exaggerated, sculpted bat-fin and the mandibular front,” which he says “can stand on its own without the underlying vehicle.”
(4) Fans knew from the beginning Fredric Wertham’s anti-comics views in Seduction of the Innocent (1954) were nonsense. Now Carol Tilley has shown what a cheat his scholarship really was:
Wertham’s personal archives…show that the doctor revised children’s ages, distorted their quotes, omitted other causal factors and in general “played fast and loose with the data he gathered on comics,” according to an article by Carol Tilley, published in a recent issue of Information and Culture: A Journal of History.
“Lots of people have suspected for years that Wertham fudged his so-called clinical evidence in arguing against comics, but there’s been no proof,” Tilley said. “My research is the first definitive indication that he misrepresented and altered children’s own words about comics.”
Scholars didn’t have an opportunity to study the original data until Wertham’s archives at the Library of Congress were made widely available to researchers in 2010.
(4) Ray Bradbury Square is an official Google Map site. But there seems to be a difference of opinion between the submitter and the site editor over whether Bradbury Square is of Historic Interest or just a name for an intersection. Puh-leeze!
(5) Can’t tell your Elves without a scorecard? Another graphic from the LoTR blog makes the connections between different groups of Elves in Tolkien’s works a little easier to understand.
(6) James Bacon has done a great job reporting the “Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross” exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum for Forbidden Planet. Lots of cool images posted, too.
Ross created an illustration of Norman Rockwell, a superhero of a different sort. Instead of a cape, he holds the American flag over his shoulder, otherwise looking very normal, but the viewer knows that Rockwell was indeed a hero amongst illustrators. Ross also illustrated an image of Andy Warhol flying into the sky amongst swans, again showing an artistic colleague in a different light.
The exhibition in Stockbridge, MA is open through February 24.
(7) A girl blasted her Hello Kitty doll into space for a school science project. “Now if we could just send the rest of them there,” quips James Hay.
(8) Amazon is entertaining the idea of using an Amazon currency in its store. Presently, Amazon Coins work in the Amazon app store. According to TechCrunch:
In their press release announcing Amazon Coins, the company makes it clear that they are going to give away (not sell) tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon Coins in the coming quarters. The only rational reason to give away tens of millions of dollars of virtual currency that has real-world value is to juice the market and get people who have Kindles spending more money on apps and in-app purchases. It will be great for developers who have apps live in the store and for consumers looking to get more free stuff.
TechCrunch speculates that the goal is to drive more customers to Amazon who can only use the money there. On the other hand, Amazon’s implacable foe the Canadian Booksellers Association says it may be the first sign that Amazon is becoming a full-blown nation state…
[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, James Bacon and John Mansfield.]
How long will it be before the franchises merge, and J.J. Abrams will be able to direct movies with both Captain Kirk *and* Han Solo in them? I hope to be dead before then … or least least that one of us is, preferably him.
And I’m waiting to see the Spock and Obi-Wan mind meld scene…
Thanks for sharing a little about my research on Wertham and comics with your readers!
Mike, is the article about Frederic Wertham actuallly available to read?
I just see press releases and an overview?
Shanter’s ego is getting planet sized, and expects people to orbit around him.
Amazon wouldn’t lower itself to becoming [merely] a full-blown nation state.