Tag: Leonard Cohen

Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Ban Us Some Comic Books!

Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Ban Us Some Comic Books!

Give me back the Berlin wall. Give me Stalin and St. Paul. Give me Christ, or give me Hiroshima — “The Future” written by Leonard Cohen

Happy, happy Banned Books Week! It started this very week, and in case you haven’t been paying attention in certain rather large parts of the United States of America, areas I have taken to refer to as the Confederate States, they do not want it to last just a week. They want it to last forever. By the way, there’s more of these Confederate States today than there were in 1861, and you can recognize them by the number of torch-wielding, bible-thumping goons telling you what you and your family cannot be allowed to read.

It’s really a big deal. If these goose-steppers have their way, when it comes to comics and graphic novels all you’ll be permitted to read are Jack Chick’s stuff.

Here is a partial list — and I truly mean partial; it’s as thorough as a fart in a blizzard — of comics and graphic novels that have been removed from some of our libraries and even bookstores. Take a deep breath and hide your Bic lighters.

Anne Frank, banned in more ways than one.

Maus by Art Spiegelman, Bone by Jeff Smith, Neonomicon by Alan Moore, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, The Walking Dead (all of them) by Robert Kirkman, Blankets: An Illustrated Novel by Craig Thompson, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, The Handmaid’s Tale by by Margaret Atwood – Art & Adaptation by Renee Nault, and Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

And: A Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, Flamer by Mike Curato, New Kid and Class Act by Jerry Craft, Moonstruck by Grace Ellie, Shae Beagle and Kate Leth, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G and Jules Zuckerberg, Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green, No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed As Men for Love Freedom and Adventure by Susan Hughes and Willow Dawson, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” by Miles Hyman.

And, still more: When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson, Drawn Together by Minh Lê and Dan Santat, Identity: A Story of Transitioning by Corey Maison, Losing the Girl by MariNaomi, I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, and John Jennings, V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag, Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince, Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey, and, because we do not want to shame the American Nazis, Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by David Polonsky. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Ban Us Some Comic Books!”

Brainiac On Banjo #107: This Is It! The Knight of Knights!

Brainiac On Banjo #107: This Is It! The Knight of Knights!

“Overture, curtains, lights / This is it, the night of nights / No more rehearsing and nursing a part / We know every part by heart / Overture, curtains, lights / This is it, you’ll hit the heights / And oh what heights we’ll hit / On with the show this is it / Tonight what heights we’ll hit / On with the show this is it.” This Is It, Theme from The Bugs Bunny Show, 1960, by Jerry Livingston and Mack David

Oh, boy! Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath to see Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie can thank your lucky stars for the Covid quarantine. Otherwise, it might be difficult to find 242 consecutive minutes to watch the thing uninterrupted… although your bladder might have other ideas.

In the spirit of that observation, the question is “Is Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie worth the additional bladder control?

Snyder: No, really! Look! Up in the sky!

You might have seen this production by now. Seeing that I’m writing this yesterday and I was Covided out of any screening, I have not. I probably will – for several nonsensical reasons. First is that I like Darkseid and even the mandatory guest appearance of the Joker doesn’t countermand that. Second, someday I’ll see humans once again and I like offering an informed opinion. Third, I remind myself that even in the worst possible case I do slow down at Gaper’s Blocks to see the accident that has reduced my life to still another challenge of bladder control.

I have read several reviews from those who were so committed to their jobs they risked life and limb to see a screening. I figure that’s the least I can do. I know it’s the least I’m going to do. Many note that this movie follows nicely in Snyder’s DC chain of duels, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Well, that’s nice but in my book, it’s hardly a compliment. There are things I like about Man of Steel, but neither are good movies according to my personal taste. I came to the opinion after watching Watchmen – also directed by Zack Snyder – that superhero movies are best directed by people who seem to enjoy the superhero milieu.

This is the man who, after making Watchmen, said “if Superman really existed, he’d grab all the world leaders together in a room and say, ‘Behave or I’ll kill you.’” Yup, Zack misses the point of the whole thing.

I have read even more reviews that state, quite early on, this is a movie superior to the version that escaped to the theaters a few years ago. Again, to me, this is not praise. Offhand, I can only think of two movies I’ve seen that are worse than Justice League – The Release Cut, and those are Skidoo and Myra Breckenridge.

Please note I did not say Plan Nine From Outer Space. That was a more enjoyable experience than Justice League – The Release Cut. Not only did I want my money back, but I also wanted them to pay me for my time, my gasoline, and my popcorn. To be fair, the popcorn was far better than this insult to my DNA.

By and large, those reviewers who did not compare Snyder’s marathon to its disgusting predecessor thought the movie to be… okay. Not great, not horrible. “Okay” is a word commonly used in summing up many of the DCU films of the past decade or so.

I am concerned that Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah was deployed as a theme song within the film. Yeah, that’s gotta be the feel-good tune of the 20th century. Perhaps suicide hotlines should be alerted for a potential upsurge in business.

OK. Now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I’m ready to see Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie with a propped-open mind. If it’s at least as good as the 1997 movie, I’ll be… vaguely content. As Mel Brooks sang, “Hope for the best…”