Ever the guardian of American values, Stephen Colbert has cast his scornful gaze on the latest threats to everything wholesome: Man of Steel and Iron Man 3.
On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, the talk-show host took on the Warner Bros. franchise reboot first for casting English actor Henry Cavill as the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, and then for its liberal agenda. Showing a clip in which Superman explains to Lois (Amy Adams) that on his world, his “S” symbol means “hope,” Colbert rages, “They’re saying Superman is Obama! Think about it: They both rise from Midwestern obscurity, become the most powerful man in the world, and, if I’m not mistaken, Krypton is the capital of Kenya!”
His “big problem” with Iron Man 3 is that Marvel turned to China for financing, resulting in a special cut of the film, featuring scenes with Chinese actors, product placement and an alteration of the villain’s name from the Mandarin to “Man Daren.”
“Why is Iron Man fighting the husband from Bewitched?” Colbert asks.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz, an MIT professor who serves on the advisory board of Freedom University, a Georgia organization that provides college-level instructions to all qualified students, regardless of their immigration status, appeared last night on The Colbert Report to discuss immigration reform. As Diaz and host Stephen Colbert “debated” a pathway to citizenship and a guest worker program, the conversation soon turned to … the Superman Question.
“Every generation of Americans has to answer what we call ‘the Superman Question,’” Diaz said. “Superman comes, lands in America, he’s illegal, he’s one of these kids, wrapped up in a red bullfighter’s cape. You’ve got to decide what we’re going to do with Superman. Are we going to give him the boot and say, ‘You know what, you’re an illegal, you’re not an American,’ or are we going to have compassion and say, Listen, this kid was brought here before he knew, this could was brought here and he didn’t have a say in whether he was going to come, but he’s living in this country and –”
Aquaman has been the
caudal fin butt of jokes since at least the 1970s, when the mighty King of the Seven Seas was depicted as the weak link of the animated Super Friends, relying on his teammates for a ride to the nearest body of water. Since then he’s been mocked by everyone from Craig Ferguson and Jeff Dunham to the writers of The Big Bang Theory and Robot Chicken.
And now the Aquatic Ace has been drawn into the 2012 presidential campaign — oh, the humanity! — by none other than Stephen Colbert. On last night’s Colbert Report, the
conservative pundit political humorist took a look at Fox News’ efforts to downplay the meaning of Mitt Romney’s foundering battleground-state poll numbers, saying, “The Romney campaign is only on their third reboot since the convention. We’ve had Businessman Romney, Foreign Policy Romney, Latino Romney. But we still haven’t seen Aqua-Romney. … He uses his mental powers to tell fish that 47 percent of them are just lampreys.”
Longtime Legion Academy student Lamprey could not be reached for comment. Watch the full segment below.
Back in July when Mark Waid announced that Thrillbent — his digital comics portal — would be ramping up to phase two (as detailed in CBR News Editor Kiel Phegley’s recent Waid interview), I hoped writer Tom Peyer would be part of the mix. Soon enough, I discovered that indeed Peyer was writing Clown Tales, a horror story set to launch this fall. The story should be interesting on many levels, given that this marks Peyer’s first foray into writing horror — and that clowns bored him as a child (as I learned in this interview). While I had Peyer’s attention I also asked him about getting to recently write for TV (on DC Nation/Cartoon Network’s Doom Patrol interstitials) and working for Stephen Colbert back in 2007. Added bonus, at one point Peyer taunts clowns in our discussion.
Tim O’Shea: Was Clown Tales already in the work before you signed onto Thrillbent, or was it developed just for the site?
Tom Peyer: A few years ago I wrote some short horror stories, mainly to see if I would enjoy it. A publisher was planning a clown horror anthology that didn’t end up happening, but I put clowns in some of them just in case. I’d written humor and superheroes, but I’d never gone near horror before. I had a great time and I liked how they came out. It felt like taking a new route to the humor and pathos I always try to write toward anyway. But it felt more direct, maybe because I hadn’t taken that route before.
I was immensely impressed in early December, when Stephen Colbert recommended Glenn Eichler & Joe Infurnari‘s new First Second book, Mush!: Sled Dogs with Issues, to The Colbert Report viewers. Admittedly, Colbert is slightly biased, given that Eichler (the author of the frozen tundra/talking sled dogs/quirky humans comedy-drama) writes for the Comedy Central show. However, while many of the show’s writers have projects they’d love to have promoted by their boss, it’s relatively rare when Colbert uses the show’s forum to promote his staff’s projects. As a result, once I saw the endorsement, I made a mental note to track down the creators after the holidays for a potential interview. By some stroke of luck, the book’s artist, Infurnari, instead contacted me in mid-December to see if I was interested in covering his latest project (you bet I agreed to email interview with him and Eichler). I appreciate the collaborators’ willingness to discuss the project, particularly when Eichler shared the origin of his honed sense of comedic timing (having worked in an “editing room for a lot of animated half-hours for TV” [he was a story editor for MTV's Beavis & Butthead in the mid-1990s, as well as creating and producing the television show, Daria]). Once you’ve read the interview, be sure to enjoy First Second’s preview of the book.
Tim O’Shea: Joe, I love the way you convey the intensity and energy of the dogs when they are working, how did you arrive upon conveying that particular style of kineticism?
Joe Infurnari: The story hinges on the idea that not doing what you love leads to discontentment and unrest. For the team of sled dogs featured in this book, running is their bliss and the time they spend not running breeds trouble. So it was important to make the times the dogs were running as full of energy and joy as possible.
Quick slashing lines, splashes of ink, dramatic foreshortening and powerful diagonals are some of the ways I tried to bring to life the rush of running through the trails. I also knew that if it looked quickly drawn, then that energy would come through in the movement of the characters. When it came to the final inks, I was very comfortable drawing the book and I think the art reflects that. The inks are decisive, gestural and full of energy.
The final piece to the puzzle was the use of sound effects to add a visual punch to the high action running sequences.
Digital | Retailer Brian Hibbs responds to recent comments around the price of digital comics, commenting on how “channel migration” could effect comic retailers: “The concern of the comics retailer isn’t that there IS digital — fuck, I’m totally all for a mechanism to drive a potentially wide segment of customers to the medium of comics itself. How can that NOT help me? But, rather, that enough customers will ‘change channels’ (of purchase), so as to make segments of work unprofitible to carry. I’ve been pretty straight with you — most periodicals are but marginally profitible; most books are largely unprofitible. That we have stellar, break out, oh-my-god-it’s-like-printing-money successes like WALKING DEAD or BONE or SANDMAN doesn’t mean that this is the way all books can follow. Quite the opposite in fact! So what this means is that even losing a TINY portion of the readership through Channel Migration could potentially have dire effects. Seriously, if I lost just 10% of my customers, I’m done. And what we also know is that when physical stores close, most of that readership for comics UTTERLY VANISHES. The gist of this is that losing 10% of sales to migration could mean that the other 80% of that stores’ sales are COMPLETELY LOST.” [The Savage Critics]
On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert spied a spider crawling on the face of Pope Benedict XVI and posed a hypothetical scenario that would make Stan Lee proud: “… Given all the toxic waste and loose nuclear radiation all over Eastern Europe, if that spider bit the pope we might soon have … Spider-Pope!”
“He could shoot holy water from his wrists,” Colbert continued. “Trap atheists in his web, and every time someone used birth control his popey-sense would tingle!”
On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert devoted a six-minute installment of “The Word” to Archie’s proposal to Veronica, “the biggest news from the comics world since Dilbert lost his favorite mug and gunned down everyone in human resources.”
Of course, it should come as little surprise that Colbert opposes the storyline.
“I can understand Archie wanting to have a wedding night after nearly seven decades of cold, poorly drawn showers,” Colbert said, “but this is changing everything we hold dear in Riverdale, the town where nothing changes. For Christ’s sake, Riverdale still has a travel agency!
As JK noted yesterday, Neil Gaiman appeared on The Colbert Report last night to answer Stephen Colbert’s charges about Gaiman’s children’s book The Graveyard Book.
“Isn’t there a danger here that our children will stop being frightened of graveyards?” Colbert asked in the interview. “Because without that how are we supposed to get them to eat their vegetables?”
You can watch the full episode at the Colbert Nation website.
As you can see in the video below, the popular conservative talk show host called Gaiman out on his latest book, where a young orphan escapes his family’s killer by wandering into a graveyard:
The program starts at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Comedy Central.