Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
One of showbiz’s greatest and oddest current traditions is that whenever Paul Rudd appears on a Conan O’Brien-hosted talk show — dating back to the “Late Night” days on NBC — when throwing to a clip of whatever movie he’s ostensibly there to promote, he actually plays a scene (the same scene, every time) from 1988’s “Mac and Me,” an otherwise forgotten “E.T.” ripoff that featured heavy McDonald’s product placement.
But surely that streak would have to end with Rudd promoting “Ant-Man,” a big-budget superhero film that’s part of Disney’s massive Marvel Studios franchise, on last night’s “Conan,” right? Well, yes. And no. As seen in the clip, Rudd was able to keep tradition alive while also (kind of) giving “Ant-Man” its proper exposure.
The Conan O’Brien show has gone all-in for this year’s Comic-Con International, plastering the San Diego airport with advertisements for the Conan-themed line of Funko Pop! vinyl figures, running commercials hyping his attendance and rolling into town Mad Max-style.
Now, he’s celebrating the week with the early, “illegal” debut of the new trailer for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Well, not really.
More than a year after the initial announcement, Conan O’Brien has provided a few more details about bringing his late-night show to Comic-Con International.
Although Conan typically airs Monday through Thursday on TBS, on last night’s episode he revealed that for the July 8-12 convention, it will be broadcast Wednesday through Saturday. “We’ve never done anything like that before,” O’Brien said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Recalling reading his sister’s Archie comics as a child, an “upset” David Letterman last night delivered the news of Archie Andrews’ death to his Late Show audience.
“Archie is going to be shot dead,” Letterman said. “I don’t know what to say — the Archie people have grown up now, and as I understand it Archie, defending a friend of his who is gay, takes a bullet for his gay friend and is shot dead. He dies a hero, but he’s dead. […] What do we do? What’s next, Dagwood Bumstead chokes to death on one of those sandwiches?”
While everyone else is trying to get a hotel room for this year’s Comic-Con International, Conan O’Brien is already planning for 2015.
TBS has announced he’ll head to San Diego July 2-8, 2015 for a week of shows, marking the first time a late-night talk show has broadcast from the annual event. Conan will set up at the historic Spreckels Theatre, just minutes away from the San Diego Convention Center.
If you don’t hear about the super-secret screening at Comic-Con International of a clip from director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you’re certainly not the only one. Fear not, though, as talk-show host Conan O’Brien has you covered.
“They showed it, and it was very private, very secret, and they showed it — fans lost their minds,” he said on last night’s episode of Conan. “They’re not going to show it again. We actually get a hold of the clip. Yes, you’re welcome! […] We got a hold of it, and we’re risking a lot of legal trouble here, but we’re just gonna go for it.”
Conan O’Brien’s weeklong visit to Atlanta wouldn’t be complete without a crossover with AMC’s hit adaptation of The Walking Dead, which calls the city home.
The opening monologue of last night’s Conan was interrupted by a frantic Merle Dixon and Carol Peletier (played by Michael Rooker and Melissa McBride), seeking protection from the herd of walkers outside (not zombies, as Merle noted to the talk-show host).
“Please, please, we’re good people,” Carol pleads, clearly not speaking for the elder Dixon brother. Soon, however, they discover what’s inside Atlanta’s Tabernacle may be worse than what lurks outside.
Robert Kirkman appeared last night on TBS’s Conan to discuss all things Walking Dead, from his wife’s distaste for his zombie franchise to rejected merchandising opportunities — perfume! energy drinks! — to host Conan O’Brien’s nitpicks, including why there are no undead animals.
“The honest answer to that is, The Walking Dead is based on a comic book,” Kirkman replied, “the artist that draws the comic book, Charlie Adlard, loves drawing people, loves drawing zombies, does not enjoy drawing animals so much.”
Watch the clips below.
Creators | While acknowledging the agreement that names Bob Kane as the sole creator of Batman, The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna and Bill: The Boy Wonder author Marc Tyler Nobleman make the case for giving writer Bill Finger a screen credit on The Dark Knight Rises. [Comic Riffs]
Conventions | Although Comic-Con International is usually thought of as a stage for movie studios, major comics publishers and video-game developers, Mark Eades looks at the event as a showcase for small businesses, from artists to toymakers. [The Orange County Register]
Conventions | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson reports on the kids’ comics scene at Comic-Con International, including news that Papercutz will produce a comic based on the viral web phenomenon “Annoying Orange.” [Publishers Weekly]
Despite all of the fallout, and guffaws, from the Great Left-Wing Bane Conspiracy, Conan O’Brien suggests we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the theory. “Now before you judge Rush Limbaugh, I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises,” he teased on last night’s Conan. “I think Rush might have a point.”
To back up his assertion, O’Brien rolled out a trailer for the Christopher Nolan film that features Tom Hardy’s Bane growling never-before-heard dialogue like, “I’m going to torture you like a dog tied to the top of my car” and “The streets will run red with blood before I release my tax returns.”
The Dark Knight Rises, with real dialogue from
Bain Bane, arrives in theaters at midnight.
Humorist Michael Kupperman is the kind of storyteller that prompts a (long thought dead) legendary writer to reveal he’s undead. Such is the offered backstory on Kupperman’s new book, Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010, described by Fantagraphics as follows: “From WWI to the Great Depression, WWII to Woodstock, and through the present, Twain details his careers as an ad man, astronaut, hypnotist, Yeti hunter, porn star, drifter, grifter and more, rubbing shoulders and having never-before-told adventures with many major figures of the 20th Century.” After covering his new collection of writing and illustrations, Kupperman discusses the upcoming series of live performances (set to start tomorrow with his solo appearance, but future installments will often be in conjunction with Kate Beaton)—and how performing his work helps him gain a sense of his material. Once you’ve read the interview, be sure to peruse the publisher’s 32-page book preview and Kupperman’s reading of the Ant I Am Telling You portion of the 160-page book.
Tim O’Shea: Have you heard what Mark Twain thinks of what you did with the manuscript he gave you, or do you expect never to hear from him again?
Michael Kupperman: Actually I’ve been hearing from him a lot. I thought that one meeting would be it, but since then he keeps reappearing, asking for help dealing with today’s publishing industry. He’s written a new novel called Prairie Rumpus, which I feel is dated in its use of slang and locale. Meanwhile I’ve got a lot of interest in my novel The Fart Vampires, a lotta heat building up.
Friday was a busy day in San Diego, with a full slate of announcements capped by the Eisner Awards in the evening.
• Image Comics will resurrect the classic television show MacGyver as a five-issue miniseries written by MacGyver creator Lee David Zlotoff and Doctor Who writer Tony Lee, and illustrated by Becky Cloonan.
• Brian Wood’s newest project was announced — The Massive, about environmentalists who survive the last environmental collapse. The comic will start its run in Dark Horse Presents #8 in January.
• Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger confirmed that Scalped will end with issue #60.
• Marvel teased the return of the Scarlet Spider.
• DC Comics released more interior art for several of their “New 52″ titles, including Aquaman, Mister Terrific and more.
Theater critics and even Sesame Street have had their say on the long-troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which finally — finally! — opened on Tuesday. And then Conan O’Brien took his turn, examining the assessment by Ben Brantley of The New York Times that the revamped $70-million production is suitable only for “a less-than-precocious child of 10 or so.”
O’Brien reimagines a scene from the show an elementary-school nutrition play that takes a disturbing turn about the time a G-string clad Green Goblin makes an appearance waving around an enormous banana and carrot. And then things get worse …
Jess Smart Smiley’s all-ages graphic novel Upside Down: A Vampire Tale comes out in October from Top Shelf, and he’s hoping to promote it by making an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show. So he’s drawing pictures of O’Brien and posting them on Facebook to try and get O’Brien’s attention.
“My goal is to be invited as a guest on the Conan O’Brien show and talk about the book in October, when it comes out. We can talk about other things, too,” he says on the Facebook group, “Will Draw for Coco.” “I’m drawing pictures of Conan from every episode from now (May) until October, when the book comes out. Please help spread the word about the awesome drawings and even cooler graphic novel.”
As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to join Team Coco: Peggy Burns at Drawn & Quarterly draws our attention to a very cool pre-commercial bumper that the soon-to-be late and lamented Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien used the other night, featuring art that looks a whole heckuva lot like the sticks ‘n’ circles style of ACME Novelty Library genius Chris Ware. Peggy snagged the screenshot from Adam Kempa, who reproduces an earlier Ware Easter egg from the show as well. Unfortunately, with the final episode airing tonight, I guess we won’t be seeing any more … for now, at least.
I sat around trying to fill in the blank for “Heh, Jay Leno probably reads _____ instead,” but I couldn’t think of a comic so self-evidently lame that it wouldn’t fill the comment thread with pissed-off fans anyway.