INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Falcon. Darren Wallace is an Australian special effects artist who gets his kicks mashing up disparate films into uncanny parody trailers. His latest such clip may be his greatest masterwork yet.
When you think about it, Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is really just the Tin Man from “Wizard of Oz,” except without a moral compass. He’s a heartless mechanical creation who joins up with other unfortunate downtrodden souls to reach his own end. Okay, so that’s stretching the Tin Man’s motives some, but stick with it for a minute and you’ll enjoy the heck out of Wallace’s “Avengers of Oz: Age of Tin Man” trailer.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
Mash-up parody movie trailer may be one of my biggest guilty pleasures. Back in the day when it was novel, I loved watching videos of Mary Poppins as a horror movie or the 1966 Batman movie as a modern day action extravanganza. I learned to appreciate parody trailers thanks to Jim Emerson, a blogger at RogerEbert.com, who once cited the “Shining” parody trailer (which turned the psychological horror film into a sappy family movie) as an example of the fine art of film editing. The whole movie parody trailer craze may have fallen in and out of favor with the fickle whims of the internet audience, but I personally have never stopped loving them.
Inspired by the Ernest Thayer poem, “Casey at the Bat,” Jesse Young wrote a version in which the DC and Marvel universes face off in an epic baseball battle. Ha Huy Hoang put pictures to it, Thomas Mauer lettered it, and now we have a perfectly wonderful comic to enjoy with League Championships.
SPOILER ALERT: This Hulk-themed parody of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan by the merry miscreants of Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?! contains no scenes of hot Hulk-on-Hulk action, and Bruce Banner does not attempt to activate his potential inner Red Hulk by feverishly masturbating without realizing that the Maestro is asleep in the corner of the room. That said, it’s a pretty damn funny video anyway, with the Hulk in the Natalie Portman role and the Red Hulk as her doppelganger and/or Mila Kunis. (Man, now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.) I just keep mentally circling back to the Leader, who is somehow even sleazier than Vincent Cassell’s French-stereotype choreographer, telling the Hulk that the Red Hulk’s smashing is superior because “He’s not faking it!”, and cracking up all over again.
Click here to see the full version of the video, which also features a parody of 127 Hours with Deadpool as James Franco (I’m sure viewers of last night’s Oscar broadcast can only ruefully wish the Merc with a Mouth had replaced Franco there, too) and a True Grit riff starring M.O.D.O.K. as Jeff Bridges and Gremlin as Hailee Steinfeld. (Sometimes I love this job.)
I can think of few better ways to start off the morning than with this beautifully filmed and delightfully over-the-top parody fan trailer for Riverdale, a “gritty” remake of the ageless Archie Comics franchise.
Directed by Andrew de Villiers and written by Michael Cope and Rhys Finnick, the trailer was created with the help of about 100 Craigslist volunteers from the Vancouver film industry: “We produced this and the 10 other comedic videos on a budget of $3, 500 over a weekend. The Craigslist inspired and random nature of this production brought the director and his girlfriend together. It also united the executive producer’s wife with her long lost friend/boyfriend when she recognized him playing the character of Moose.”
It’s a terrific parody that heaps on amounts of melodrama usually reserved for a Lifetime Original Movie (alas, Nancy McKeon is nowhere to be seen). Watch Riverdale after the break.
Or does he? According to cartoonist Jeffrey Brown’s interview with CBR’s Alex Dueben, the upcoming sequel to his hit transforming-robot action-parody Incredible Change-Bots owes a bit less to the robots in disguise and more to his desire just to play around some more with the characters he concocted for Volume One — and to spoof the Superman mythos, of all things…
There are a lot of superhero parodies, but not a lot of transforming fighting robot parodies. Does it help, knowing you’re treading on ground no one’s covering?
[Laughs] It’s hard to say how much that helped. I think especially with the second book, it became less a parody of Transformers and more just being interested in these characters…who just happen to have the same functions as Transformers. It becomes more of its own thing. I think it’s one reason why I’ve enjoyed the Change-Bots stuff more than I enjoyed doing [the superhero parody] “Bighead.” It doesn’t feel as much like it’s something that’s been done to death already.
In a curious but somewhat-amusing turn, The Boston Globe had cartoonist Ward Sutton create a parody of what the comics section might look like if it were taken over by the Tea Party. What he comes up with are strips like B.P. (rather than B.C.), Dennis the IRS Menace, Nancy (Pelosi), Calvinist and Hobbes, and so on — 18 in all.
There’s just one more day to enjoy These Are Their Stories, an exhibit of art based on the TV show Law & Order, at Gallery Meltdown (inside Meltdown Comics) in Los Angeles, but hopefully the art will continue to live on on the internet. The contributing artists, including Kate Beaton, Box Brown, David Malki, and Chip Zdarsky, each drew a work of art based on a capsule description of a Law & Order episode. Some of the pieces, such as Nate Carle’s Ring Identifies Attacker, are whimsical, while others, like Michael Kupperman’s A Young Woman Escapes a Polygamist Cult, draw more directly on the show and its familiar characters. The exhibit is the work of Brandon Bird, who has a strange fascination with America’s favorite cop/court show; he has a whole gallery of Law & Order-inspired work online, including a Law & Order coloring book and SVU valentines.
That’s right, they are putting pants on a cat:
Scratch’s new costume is very versatile. He can open the jacket up for hijinks, or close it up to pass unnoticed as a cat in woman’s clothing. The look incorporates the classic design — he’s still completely nude underneath – while adding a tough, elegant, street-fighter look.
“Nothing says street-fighter to me more than a cat wearing a tiara,” exclaimed Kruse.
A naked bid for publicity? You bet! But why not? Scratch9 debuts next month, and the press release, a deadpan parody of solemn comics writing, is a good preview of the sort of goofy humor you can expect from Worley and Kruse. Scratch9 is the story of a runaway cat named Scratch whose earlier nine lives take on material form after an encounter with a mad scientist, Dr. Schrodinger. While it’s a good kids’ comic, in a Saturday morning cartoon kind of way, I found the first issue to be entertaining on a grownup level as well.
(Oh, and I’m pretty sure they’re not really going to dress him up in leggings and a bodice. Cats don’t take kindly to that sort of thing, as you can see after the jump …)
Cartoonist Ward Sutton’s heavily linked-to comic strip for the Village Voice parodies the Batman XXX: A Porn Parody that hit finer adult entertainment venues last month. The comic strip features appearances by Batmen of all shapes and sizes, as well as guest appearances by the Ambiguously Gay Duo and the ghost of Fredric Wertham. What could be better than that?
Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll find it on a Target end cap, Vivid’s Batman XXX: A Porn Parody, hits stores today. The pornographic film stars Dale DaBone and James Deen as Batman and Robin in a takeoff on the 1960s Batman TV show.
“The amount of interest that this movie has been getting is absolutely amazing, and actually quite humbling,” said director Axel Braun in a press release. “I was very lucky. I had an amazing cast of incredibly talented people who shared my passion for this project, a crew that pulled all the stops to help me realize my vision, and the support of the best Adult company in the world.”
The release also denotes that Braun is working on his next superhero film, Superman XXX: A Porn Parody, to be released under the Vivid-Superhero imprint. He told CBR’s Kiel Phegley earlier this month that the Superman film will parody the Christopher Reeve Superman movies — and also explained how he’s not worried about being sued by Warner Bros.
Is the superhero genre a cinematic dead-end? Since Salon’s Matt Zoller Seitz made the case last week, the topic has been much on the minds of the comics commentariat. Recently, Tom Spurgeon, Tim O’Neil, Charles Hatfield and yours truly have all weighed in on the matter, focusing on aspects like the power of individual moments or performances vs. that of the story as a whole, the storytelling techniques mandated by Hollywood’s need to get a return on the massive investments required for the genre, the question of why fans get so worked up for the movies when they have any number of (usually superior) comics about the same characters to read, and personal film-by-film rundowns of the genre’s high and low points.
Of course, this was all before I saw Black20’s magnificent made-up mash-up trailer for Iron Man IV. Now, it’s possible that this is a parody of super-sequels’ tendency to over-stuff themselves with new characters, extra villains and half a dozen subplots. On the other hand, when you’re presented with an Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey Jr., Fred Gwynne, Jim Carrey, James Brown, Vanilla Ice, Carl Weathers, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barack Obama, M. Bison, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, David Arquette, Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Johnny 5, who’s gonna complain? If you can make it through the 2:19 mark without laughing out loud, maybe you’re a superhero.
(Via Topless Robot)
Remember that video we posted last month of a Spanish Alan Moore impersonator talking about Watchmen and fandom, and eating a page of From Hell? Of course you do. Well, it turns out there’s a rather surreal — okay, more surreal — sequel featuring an ode to Unbreakable, a cartoon snake … and Jumble, the idea elf who lives in Moore’s beard. Bless you, Neil Gaiman.
I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve watched this video this morning. It’s a Spanish-speaking Alan Moore impersonator, holding court on Watchmen, From Hell, fans — “You all have the head full of stupidities” — his first marriage, traveling to Andorra to buy a radio cassette player, and rolling a joint with a Green Arrow comic. It’s … mesmerizing (and subtitled, fear not).
(via Neil Gaiman)