Thursday, July 15, 2010

T-Minus One Week.

Let's week from right now, as I'm typing, I'll probably be at;

1:00-2:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #3: New Fun About Siegel and Shuster— Gerard Jones (Networked: Carabella on the Run) leads Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown (grand-daughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson), Brad Ricca (Last Son), and copyright expert Lauren Agostino in a discussion about the creative influences and legal issues surrounding Siegel and Shuster's early characters. Mel Gordon (California State University East Bay) shares insights about Jewish superheroes from his forthcoming book Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, co-authored by Thomas Andrae. Room 26AB

Or, on the main floor, because I'm sitting here reading that panel description, and thinking, "I thought it would be about the Superman copyright thing." Oh, well.

I've pretty much cemented my thought process of avoiding Hall H, and all the major movie panels. It's just too hard to give up all that time to see 4 minutes of footage. I mean, the mainstream press is already getting stuff in anticipation of Comic-Con week. For example:

Yep, that's "Van Wilder" in his all-CGI Green Lantern suit. I can't say I'm jumping up and down and screaming "COOL!" about it, but I'm also not condemning the film to failure. First publicity photos always look a I always reserve judgment until I can see some actual footage, be it a trailer, or whatever. Long story short, not a disaster.

In a way, knowing this will be on the cover of my Entertainment Weekly on Saturday re-affirms my thought process. Why spend 2 hours in line to see Ryan Reynolds be charming (I really do want to hate him, but I just can't), and have to listen to a Harry Potter presentation, too (sorry, I think the films are poor), when I can see:

Saturday 11:30-12:30 Shazam! The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal— Author/designer Chip Kidd (Mythology, Bat-Manga, Rough Justice), author/producer Michael Uslan (Archie Marries...), and Charles Kochman (executive editor, Abrams ComicArts) celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Big Red Cheese in this panel and slideshow discussion celebrating Kidd's upcoming fall release from Abrams ComicArts, Shazam! The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal. Room 9

I dunno. I mean, look at the SDCC coverage listed on that cover. It's basically all the major film/TV panels. That stuff will get out, and that information will be available. But nobody's gonna write an article about:

Saturday 4:00-5:00 Taking Back the Knight: Batman in the 1970s and Beyond— The 1960s Batman TV show -- fun as it was -- left the public thinking the Caped Crusader was more of a clown than a crimefighter. In the 1970s, editor Julius Schwartz, along with writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams (mostly in collaboration with inker Dick Giordano), decided to take back the Knight to his darker origins. The resulting character became the template for the next three decades, a time span marked by Batman's huge success in films and other media. Moderator Mark Evanier talks with Comic-Con special guests Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams about their rebirth of the Bat and with Paul Levitz on how that re-creation took Batman to even greater heights. Room 8

Even though it is Comic-Con, right?

Saw The Swell Season at Ravinia Park last night. Nice enough show, but the show at The Vic a couple of years ago was miles better. That show will be the one I remember.

There's a number of factors for that, I think. Ravinia, now that I've actually seen a show there, is, frankly, not a venue I'd ever choose to see a pop/rock show at again. Yeah, it's pretty, and the pavilion is nice, but that whole environment is designed for a more...staid form of entertainment. No seating during songs, no food, no drinks but water, it's designed for a symphony crowd. I never felt overly comfortable.

Glen Hansard actually requested that people from the lawn seats be allowed down front by the stage. I understand the impulse, and the show certainly picked up, energy-wise, when the crowd streamed in. However, you just KNEW how it was going to end up. Fire Marshals, a demand for everyone to return to their section before the encore, the whole bit. It was a mess, and all I could think was how bad I felt for the ushers (who looked all of about 14 years old), being put under the pressure of having the guy on stage tell them to do what they're expressly not supposed to do.

that's all outside the performance, of course. I like Hansard, quite a bit. I like his voice, and his songwriting is fairly dynamic, if predictable. I mean, you know, every song, in the third verse (or the equivalent) he's gonna go from his "quiet and intense" singing to the "super intense" Hansard wail. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome, and effective, but it gets predictable.

The other trouble I had was with how Marketa Irglova, who is the other half of the duo, was presented during the evening. For all intents and purposes, we might as well have been watching The Frames, which is Hansard's primary group, and function as the backing band for The Swell Season.

I really felt like Irglova was just sidelined during the entire show. She had a few nice numbers, a solo piano piece, and then kinda functioned as a backup singer for Hansard. She has a lovely voice, and writes interesting songs, I would like to see her function as an equal.

I get the impression she's a shy person, but for an artist who's supposed to be half of the group, her work seems awful subservient to Hansard's. At times, I even got the feeling she wasn't overjoyed to be on the stage. Who knows? It could be the factor that they were romantically linked, and now apparently are, most certainly, not. That's supposition, but I really didn't feel like things were 100% comfortable, or equal, on that stage. That's a shame when it's supposed to be a duo.

I really do love Hansard and Irglova together, and that show at The Vic was revelatory, just beautiful. However, last night never even came close to those heights.

1 comment:

  1. I also love Hansard...I think it is just that his personality is just so big and hers isn't...Ya know??? Even in iterviews he seems to outshine her in ways...I would love to see her do something outside the Swell Season...I am going tomorrow!