Friday, March 27, 2015

Pop culture roundup: Women and comics; Alan Lomax; Pvt. Snafu; special effects cloud magic

The Guardian has an excellent piece on the growing female readership of comics and how comics are changing as a result.
The success of Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel has little to do with identity politics and everything to do with great storytelling. When Carol Danvers had her first solo book as Ms Marvel in 1977 (“This Female Fights Back!”), she was burdened with being Marvel’s token feminist role model: a superpowered Gloria Steinem. The new Ms Marvel, however, is an ordinary adolescent wrestling with parents and school as well as the responsibility of superpowers. Fifty-three years after Stan Lee created Spider-Man, it’s hard for a straight, white man like Peter Parker to represent the gawky underdog. Like the half-black half-Latino Miles Morales, who became a second Spider-Man in 2011, Kamala Khan is a modern take on a classic archetype.

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The online archive of musicologist Alan Lomax field recordings from around the world now includes more than 17,000 items from around the world. You can listen, for free, here.
“For the first time,” Cultural Equity Executive Director Don Fleming told NPR’s Joel Rose this week, “everything that we’ve digitized of Alan’s field recording trips are online, on our Web site. It’s every take, all the way through. False takes, interviews, music.”
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Read a history of this Private Snafu World War II propaganda cartoons.
The talent roster behind the Snafu cartoons reads like a pantheon of animation icons: Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, and the “Man of a Thousand Voices” himself, Mel Blanc. Into this mix, add Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. “Dr. Seuss”), then working as a political cartoonist for the leftist New York newspaper PM, and the merry mashup is complete.

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Every wonder how pre-CGI special effects masters created those wild cloud effects in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and other films? It starts with paint, water and a fish tank.


3 comments:

  1. Ms Marvel sells about 35,000 copies a month, where are all the women readers?

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  2. The linked article from the Guardian indicates female readership is growing and attendance at comic cons is nearly 50-50 male/female.

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  3. I have no doubt con attendance is more balanced these days. Many more girls go in order to wear costumes. Readership in actual comics however has dropped to a fraction of what it was 20 years ago. The percentage of female readers has not changed much in that time. Girls in general are not interested in comic books.

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