The Lawn Chair Guy

I was 23 when Lawn Chair Larry slipped the surly bonds of earth; I actually clipped out the newspaper article at the time, because I thought it was so perfect and inspiring, that ideal combination of vision, ingenuity, and the determination to do a spectacularly stupid thing and somehow pull it off. Larry’s great adventure has been the springboard for a movie, a Broadway musical, a couple of episodes of TV series, a hoax, and possibly even the movie ‘Up’. Because it’s just that inspiring.

The Tick and His Wacky Peers

The Tick, a reboot of the live-action TV series that was a reboot of the animated series that was adapted from the comic book that started out as a comic store mascot, has finally arrived on Amazon’s original programming channel, so I thought I’d take a moment to look at some of the other superhero comedy-parody-satire offerings that may have influenced, or been influenced by, what is obviously the most successful entry into the genre.

Fandom, Entitlement and the Alt-Right

As a kid, my favorite superheroes were the Flash and Green Lantern. The Flash, because his real power wasn’t super-speed; his speed was a tool he used, but his real power was that he was smart – he outsmarted his opponents. Green Lantern worked on two levels. First, he had a ring that was functionally magic; if he could think of it, the ring could do it. Second, and more importantly, the ring ran on willpower. He had to bring resolve to the fight, to dig in and hold on and never give up, because if he didn’t, the ring would fail. He kept that willpower up through something completely unique to comics: his daily oath.

Happy Star Wars Day!

I bet you thought Star Wars Day was May 4, right? That silly pun has gotten most of the attention, but given the significance of the day this year, we’re going to go ahead and celebrate the real Star Wars Day. Forty years ago today, May 25, 1977, was the world premiere of Star Wars (renamedStar Wars Episode 1: A New Hope when it was re-released in 1981), the movie that introduced the world to Jedi and Sith, droids and wookiees, Han Solo and the Force. It also sold a whole lot of theater tickets and toys.