Marvel Comics is reaching out to an unusual demographic for a visual medium: The blind.
They're using the world's most famous blind superhero to do it, Daredevil. Marvel's released an audio edition of Daredevil #1 for free on their website.
The audio edition features writer Mark Waid reading his script, including full comic panel descriptions. Marvel editors play the various characters. It's a great place to start, given the blind character; it's also a comic that's received high marks from both critics and fans. (I'll add my personal endorsement; as a comic book fan, it's one of my favorite comics of the year.)
According to Marvel.com, Senior Editor Steve Wacker came up with the idea. It also plays even for those with sight, providing an audio play version of the new comic.
It's being termed an experiment, but it'll be interesting to see if more major comic books get the audio treatment in the future, both as a service to the blind and another medium to present their superheroes in. It's also an interesting insight into Waid's writing, as you get a chance to hear what he includes in the scripts he provides to artists to finish creating comics he works on.
Alf LaMont, director of marketing and development at Los Angeles comedy club the Comedy Store, wrote an editorial that ran this morning on comedy site Laughspin looking at how the influence of L.A. comedy clubs has changed. He charts their rise thanks to Johnny Carson and "The Tonight Show" to the decline in an era of Internet democratization.
When was the last time you went to a traditional comedy club? From anecdotal evidence, they seem to not have the same influence they once did. Rather than the Comedy Store being the place everyone talks about, it's more likely to be somewhere like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater or other smaller venues. As LaMont puts it, "To the casual observer, the difference between the clubs is minimal, while the stellar casts of shows produced at Largo and UCB are cutting-edge and thrilling."
Recent trend in comics: Biographical comic books. That (not-so) grand tradition continues with the Decision 2012 line from L.A.'s Boom Studios, featuring Republican presidential contenders and President Barack Obama.
Boom issued a press release positioning the comics as "comic book's first straw poll." Readers can pre-order their favorite candidate's comic by Sept. 29, and the total print runs will be announced when the comics ship in November.
The Republican contenders you can choose: Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and... Sarah Palin? Apparently Boom is pretty confident that Palin will enter the race - or at least that she has enough fans that they'll buy a comic about her whether she runs or not.
Boom adds one caveat: Any comic without 1,500 pre-orders won't be printed. Looking at the polls, I'm betting we won't be getting any Rick Santorum comics, but who knows? Those comics will also include limited edition "Superhero variant" covers. (I'm excited to see what the candidates will look like with capes.)
In a tradition that probably hit its pop culture pinnacle thanks to Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze surf heist film "Point Break" and it's ex-presidents, there's another use of cartoon masks in the news.
This time, it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael. Wisconsin police are looking for someone who wore this type of mask last week to rob a Wendy's.
The person in the Raphael mask was accompanied by another masked robber wearing... a black ski mask. Did one of them have more of a desire to show some flair?
One had a gun and the two subdued the Wendy's employees with duct tape before leaving with their ill-gotten gains. (No word on if they'd been watching "The Town.")
(via Robot 6)
At Katy Perry's Friday night L.A. concert, she welcomed very special surprise guest Rebecca Black to do a duet of Black's song "Friday." Perry introduced her as "the infamous Rebecca Black," which sounds about right.
Black also appeared in the music video for Perry's recent single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." They slowed "Friday" down for a brief pairing and shared about a minute-and-a-half of stage time. (I mean, come on, she's still Rebecca Black.) Perry closed the segment by yelling "I love the Internet!"
Watch Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)":