Better than a Bat-key to the city of Los Angeles, the inimitable Adam West ZZZZZWAP!'d his way into a Bat-star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented West with star no. 2,468 in front of The Guinness World of Records Museum, (where he holds the record for "Most Appearances as Batman") during a morning ceremony with a special guests Seth McFarlane, Ralph Garman, and The Batmobile.
Known to some as the voice of Quahog’s Mayor on Family Guy, West began his career as a radio DJ, made his feature film debut opposite Paul Newman, and played a variety of television parts before taking on the title role of the ABC’s series, BATMAN.
- Best sound effect: OUCH-ETH!
- Best tool: Bat-tazer
- Best quote: "I think you should acquire a taste for opera, Robin, as one does for poetry and olives."
Batman isn't crazy and DC Comics commits "story genocide"
As part of WonderCon, they put on the Comics Arts Conference, which means smart people offering fancy opinions about comic books. It's kind of great. I had the chance to see a few of these sessions, including "Batman vs. Iron Man: Can Biology Best Technology?" (Answer: Probably not), "What's the Matter with Batman?" (Nothing diagnosable, apparently) and "Story Genocide, Fanboy Tears: The Moral Questions of DC Comics' 'New 52' Project" (Yup, genocide!).
To elaborate a bit more on some of this, the Batman versus Iron Man looked at what circumstances each could win a fight in, and while Iron Man generally had the edge, Batman's intelligence, planning and sheer drive left him with some hope. As for what's wrong with him, they ran down potential disorders he could have from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, and ultimately concluded that the character has experience trauma but doesn't suffer from any of these disorders. As a fan of this stuff, it's nice to see it being treated seriously (or, as seriously as it's possible to take it).
Kim Kardashian, 72 days into her marriage and less than a month after her $10 million wedding aired on cable TV, has filed for divorce from her basketball-playing New Jersey Nets husband Kris Humphries.
I'm not someone who's followed the minutiae of the Kardashian lifestyle spread out over a dozen (or at least that's what it feels like) TV series, but as a comic book fan, I did see a story this weekend that caught my eye. She dressed up as a Batman supervillain for a Halloween party!
And not even a major villain. It was B- or potentially C-list Batman villain Poison Ivy. She's been depicted in a Batman movie, yes, but it was the Joel Schumacher-directed debacle "Batman & Robin," a movie which Schumacher has even apologized for and has thankfully been largely forgotten.
For those of you who don't know Poison Ivy, she's a plant-based comic book character who, in the last couple decades, has been revised to become an ecoterrorist, putting plants above human life with dangerous results Batman (and his faithful sidekicks) are forced to deal with. She's become an antihero in recent years, sometimes fighting greater evils and being depicted as not always being the one in the wrong.
DC Comics relaunched the vast majority of their line this week with the first of 52 new number 1 issues. It was heralded with midnight release parties at comic shops around the country for the first book in the new line, Justice League #1. Here in Los Angeles, fans came out for a big party at Meltdown Comics, as well as other shops in the area.
Still, despite the fan enthusiasm for this kind of event, the numbers for the comics industry don't look pretty. Comics writer Grant Morrison (who recently appeared on KPCC's "AirTalk") did an interview with Rolling Stone that the magazine decided to headline "Grant Morrison on the Death of Comics." As Morrison said, "comics sales are so low, people are willing to try anything these days. It's just plummeting. It's really bad from month to month. May was the first time in a long time that no comic sold over 100,000 copies, so there's a decline." When asked if he thought comics were in a death spiral, Morrison gave a frank yes.
The folks behind the last Batman film, "The Dark Knight," conducted an extensive viral marketing campaign to promote the movie. They're back at it in the hype leading to the final part of the trilogy being released next year, "The Dark Knight Rises."
The latest in the puzzle could be this grainy video footage of a breakout from Gotham City's home for the criminally insane, Arkham Asylum. Rumor is that they're fan-made videos and not official, but DC Comics' official Twitter account sent out the link, helping to fuel the possibility that they're legitimate.
In the most famous DC Comics storyline involving the villain Bane, Bane broke out all of the other supervillains from Arkham Asylum to wear Batman down before breaking his back and putting him in a wheelchair. (Since it's comics, this was, of course, temporary.) Whether that remains to be how things play out in the movie is yet to be seen, but you can get a peak at a potential future in these videos.