Friday, May 13, 2005

I can only assume my sense of dread from the other day foretold the loss by Suns from last night. Otherwise, I have no idea.

DC's president and publisher, Paul Levitz, has posted an open letter to DC fans regarding the logo change at the company.

As much as something seems afoot in the actual comics DC publishes, a few rumors have popped up of a DC Comics which will be asked to play ball with the parent omnicorp of Time-Warner. Previously, DC had kept a low profile within the corporation and acted more or less independently, pointing to licensing of the big three in order to justify their existence.

It's not so much that Time-Warner appears to feel DC needs to put up or get closed down, as much as they look at Marvel setting up their own movie studio, a billion dollars in receipts for Spider-Man, and other successes Marvel has managed to leverage. In short, they're looking to further merchandise DC properties and try to manage it in house so travesties like last year's Catwoman do not reoccur.

Personally, I think properties like Green Lantern (Corps), The Flash, Green Arrow and Black Canary might all be viable commodities. Second and third tier characters from DC would be at least as viable as Marvel's. And, heck... Marvel can't seem to sell Blade comic books, but the movies make tens of millions. Could DC make a succesful Question movie? What about Enemy Ace? Or Mr. Terrific?

The concern is this: As DC angles to drop "Comics" from their name, and, instead, become just DC (as is DC toys, DC movies, DC t-shirts)... What are those in power from above Levitz going to do to the comic line? It's never been hugely profitable, and with fewer and fewer comic readers existing in the world, what will happen? Will Time-Warner use it's distribution channels to increase circulation? Will the suits step in and hack and slash titles? Force format change? And, most important... how likely is it that somebody at Time-Warner above Levitz will begin to dictate what content is appropriate for a wider audience? Especially when lunch boxes and action figures get involved in the mix?

It's a waiting game at this point. But I've got faith in DC.

BTW, I like this picture DC has on the website, with Superman and Batman sort of endorsing the logo by association. The picture looks a bit like Superman and Batman are behaving as they might normally when confronted with something new. Batman looks suspicious, ready to kick somebody in the sternum. Superman looks enthusiastic, ready to check out this new thing, confident that if he tries hard enough, it's all going to work out.

Speaking of Superman, Bryan Singer has been publishing video diaries of his work on the currently filming Superman Returns. You can check them out over at

The latest video, as of this writing, is video 11. I deeply recommend you check it out. This video shows a first glimpse of the new Daily Planet offices.

Each item which I see regarding this movie makes me believe this movie is going to be the sort of Superman film I want to see.

I've picked up a copy of Sarah Vowell's "The Partly Cloudy Patriot." It's going to be a quick read. Some highly distracted reading tonight got me through about 60 pages. Vowell's writing is conversational, quick and breezy.

It's part-memoir, part navel-gazing, part who knows? Here's what I am really enjoying: a lot of younger writers riff on the morass of pop culture in our lifestyle. Movie, TV, music references. Touchstones which are going to mean something to your Gen-X/ Gen-Y reader more than allusions to House of the Seven Gables.

While Vowell does bring these things up, she's got a lengthier worldview. For the most part, she sticks to what she knows, and this is book of history as pop culture. Where others might dwell upon reruns of Gilligan's Island, Vowell visits Gettysburg and reflects upon Abraham Lincoln's likely penchant for procrastination if he is anything like her fellow writers. But the book doesn't devolve with Vowell swimming in detail. The book uses the knowing shared nod so familiar to Gen X writing, but refers to Thomas Jefferson the way others might point to Mick Jagger.

I won't draw any conclusions yet. I'm on page 61 for God's sake. But I am enjoying the book.

Work is going to pick up drastically this coming week. You may see slightly less of The League. Maybe Mrs. League will pick up the slack?

BTW, Duncan sort of lost that game. One or two better shots earlier on, or even that last shot, and the Spurs could have locked it up. Pretty poor showing for my two remaining teams.

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