Tag: The Batman

Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?

Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?

Hope for the best, expect the worst! Some drink champagne, some die of thirst. No way of knowing which way it’s going. — Mel Brooks, Hope For The Best (Expect The Worst)

When Warner Bros Discovery revealed James Gunn and Peter Safran would be running their all-new DC Studios (as if there’s more than one), many of us lifted their faces out of our own puke in the hope it was the dawning of a new day. Well, with luck, it will be… although you can’t really blame us for taking a wait-and-see attitude.

I certainly appreciate and trust James Gunn. I love his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy and Peacemaker, and his The Suicide Squad was great fun. Better still, he treated my oldest friend and honored collaborator John Ostrander right, and that means so much to me I’d throw Gunn’s bail.

What I do not trust is, in order: 1) The “Hollywood” bureaucracy. 2) Warner-anything merging with anybody, be it Time Inc, America Online, AT&T or Discovery. Each merger made things worse for creators and end-users alike. 3) Warner Brothers Discovery in particular, and particularly how they turned the ridiculously overpriced HBOMax into a ridiculously overpriced, frustrating, mindless, and ultimately useless turd rapidly floating downstream into the sewer. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?”

With Further Ado #188: Seeing Gulacy On Screen in The Batman

With Further Ado #188: Seeing Gulacy On Screen in The Batman

As is often the case, fandom at large is hip deep in analyzing, and arguing about, The Caped Crusader’s latest cinematic outing.  I saw The Batman on opening night, and one of the best aspects was how energized the audience was.  It’s invigorating when “everyone” gets excited for a movie about a favorite character.   For me, it’s less important whether I loved it or hated it. I get happy when everyone else gets happy about it.

Another one of the most amazing things about this movie, upon reflection, was how the cinematic Catwoman seemed like a Paul Gulacy illustration come to life.

Gulacy, a brilliant, prolific comics artist – burst on the scene in the 70s in groundbreaking series like Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu and, with Don McGregor, Epic’s Sabre – one of the first/earliest graphic novels (as we define the term today).   Paul Gulacy’s slick compositions, cinematic layouts, gorgeous leading ladies, and fast paced storytelling was always a treat.

When there’s a scene with a fire in a Gulacy story, you can almost feel the heat on your face.

Gulacy was no stranger to Batman either, having illustrated many bat-stories over the years. Of note, he was always pushing himself, often developing new Batmobile designs and costume tweaks with each outing.

Gulacy also was an artist on DC’s Catwoman. He followed Darwyn Cooke’s memorable run on that series.  Cooke was a tough act to follow, but somehow Gulacy managed to do it.

Paul Gulacy’s Catwoman is sexy and sly.  She moves like a cat, even though comics art is, of course, static. She’s tough and enduring and likeable. And she looks a lot like The Batman’s Zoë Kravitz! Or maybe Zoë Kravitz looks a lot like Gulacy’s version of the Feline Felon.

Today, anyone who makes a super-hero movie has a wealth of source material to reference. I’m glad Matt Reeves and The Batman folks like Paul Gulacy art so much.

This should’ve happened last year. Marvel’ s Shang Chi movie, which seems to be referred to now as Legend of the 10 Rings, was based on a character that really hit his stride when writer Doug Moench partnered with artist Paul Gulacy to create a globetrotting spy adventure.  In the 70s and early 80s, Master of Kung Fu was one of the most epic series, with larger-than-life plots, beautiful women, incredible fight scenes and cameos by favorite movies stars (Marlon Brando, Groucho Marx, etc.) No, really.  Paul Gulacy made his mark on the series and was followed by several other brilliant artists, but it always seemed like “his” series to me.

The cinematic Shang Chi didn’t bear much resemblance to the comic version. That’s fine, I suppose, for the world at large. But it was a disappointment for some long-time readers.  I wish Gulacy’s version of the character, and the fascinating supporting cast, had made it to the screen.

So, I’m grateful to see so many of Gulacy’s brilliant concepts and illustrations on-screen in this new Darknight Detective movie.  And I hope to see more.

Oh, and I must say, the Batmobile video game was in the movie theater lobby was outrageously fantastic too.

Editor’s Notes:
If you are not familiar with Paul Gulacy or interested in seeing what he is up to, he is on Twitter at pgulacy1.

Also, this is not the first time that the world has reminded Pop Culture Squad writers about Paul Gulacy’s art.

Brainiac On Banjo #091: DC Universe … From Streaming To Sinking

Brainiac On Banjo #091: DC Universe … From Streaming To Sinking

As of this writing, which is 9 PM EDT Sunday July 12, the DC Universe streaming service is still alive. It’s home to some of the most entertaining superhero teevee programing around, in my opinion. I can’t speak for yours. But that thing coughing up blood all over your Wi-Fi is, sadly, the DC Universe streaming service. And it’s the fault of their own artistic success.

Aside from hospitals, the only place that has had a worse month than the DCU has been the White House. In fairly quick order, the service lost future first-run episodes of Stargirl to the CW, saw The Doom Patrol multicast on the pathetic HBO Max sinkhole, Harley Quinn also airing on Syfy and Canada’s Adult Swim, and is thought to be migrating to HBO Max as well. Titans remains, but might be severely undermined by DC’s new Gotham City Police show (not necessarily the final title) spinning out of The Batman movie the now filming in Europe.

Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #091: DC Universe … From Streaming To Sinking”