Tag: Frank Miller

Brainiac On Banjo: All-In The Sand Traps of Continuity

Brainiac On Banjo: All-In The Sand Traps of Continuity


“The simple things you see are all complicated. I look pretty young, but I’m just backdated.” From Substitute, written by Pete Townshend.

Do you remember F-keys? They’ve still got ‘em on most computer keyboards. I initially encountered them in the early days at First Comics when I could program my Olympia electric typewriter to bonk out phrases like “Jon Sable, Freelance” with one stroke.

Evidently, DC Comics still gives their F-keys quite a workout. I have no doubt the phrase “will change the DC universe forever!” became one of their first such shortcuts. “DC Comics! The Line of the Super-Stars! Where Everything You Knew is Wrong! AGAIN!”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Marvel Comics launched its Ultimate Comics line back in 2000. It lasted about 16 years until it got crushed under the weight of too many titles and way too many mini-series. It also had lost its soothsayers, Bill Jemas and Brian Bendis, the gifted Johnny Appleseed of revisionist superheroedom. They brought it back last year in a terrific relaunch that, on the face of it, has nothing to do with the original doppelgängers, at least not yet. This relaunch has spread like Topsy as well, and before long they’ll have to hire unemployed Elvis impersonators to staff it. Mainstream comic book publishing always dance to the tune of “monkey see, monkey do,” and long ago they managed to put the lie to the phrase “everything is better with a monkey.”

So after an infinite number of Crises On Infinite Sales Charts, DC finally has managed to figure out a way to have their stale cake and eat it too. They copied Marvel’s Ultimate Universe and — this is the most creative part — they named it after a popular brand of vodka. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: All-In The Sand Traps of Continuity”

With Further Ado #092: Down These Mean Streets with MAX ALLAN COLLINS (part 2)

With Further Ado #092: Down These Mean Streets with MAX ALLAN COLLINS (part 2)

Let’s start with a beer. Shall we?

In the old days, Miller Lite TV Commercials presented the world as one big party for adult men. The long-running, phenomenally successful marketing campaign featured retired sports stars laughing, drinking and teasing one another. It was kind of a secret fraternity that wasn’t so secret. Anyone could join, and all you needed was Lite beer. It was fun, playful and good natured.

Among all the sports stars, two decidedly non-sports celebrities stood out – comedian Rodney Dangerfield, enjoying a bombastic second act to his career, and mystery writer Mickey Spillane.

Mystery writer Mickey Spillane? Really? We think of celebrity fiction writers, and it’s hard to conjure up their image.  F. Scott Fitzgerald? James Patterson? What do they look like? I guess most of us know what Stephen King or J.K. Rowling look like. Maybe we all would recognize Hemingway or Truman Capote.  But America was drinking beer and kidding around with one particular writer. Mickey Spillane was in our living rooms –  during every commercial break – when we were watching sitcoms and ball games, for years and years. Continue reading “With Further Ado #092: Down These Mean Streets with MAX ALLAN COLLINS (part 2)”