Making it Up As I Go Along with Larry Hama

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A few weeks back, I had the honor to attend the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU’s presentation of Making It Up As I Go Along, a documentary about the legendary G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama. After the screening, I was also able to have a one-on-one conversation with Larry and fielded some questions from the audience in attendance.

If you were unable to be at the screening, the APA Institute has posted the whole thing online, and you can see it for yourself after the jump!

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Birdman: What We Talk About When We Talk About Superheroes

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The superhero genre — as we know it — was first birthed over seven decades ago in the pulpy pages of the 10-cent comic books that are now worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Not only are they more valuable, many of those original heroes are even more popular today than they were at their inception. Even the heroes who weren’t popular then have been resurrected to much critical acclaim today. We call this period of superhero storytelling “the Golden Age” of comics, but we are currently living in a new golden age of superhero storytelling, except the heroes have migrated from the four-color page to the fourteen-screen multiplex.

The fact that we can count on a new comic book superhero movie (or three) every year until infinity and beyond is both a blessing and a curse for the nerd contingent. For every billion-dollar grossing blockbuster that…

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NOC Recaps Arrow: The Calm Before the Storm

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We are definitely living in a golden age of superhero television. Last year, we dedicated an episode of Hard NOC Life about the topic of comic book adaptations in prime time, but this season has seen a dramatic increase as the first three days of the week are chock full of superheroes — with DC heroes dominating the landscape1. And while Gotham on Fox and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC get all the press — because they’re on major broadcast outlets — those two shows should be taking notes from The CW, the network that does superheroes better than anyone.

I’ve already sung the praises of The Flash. Not to be outdone by their newly arrived companion, the third season premiere of Arrow kicked off with one a hell of an episode! Fortunately, Rodrigo was live-tweeting along with all of the other Arrowheads. Warning: there be spoilers…

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The Flash Proves Super Heroes Can Still Be Fun

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One of the most anticipated new shows of the fall finally premiered last night, and it did not disappoint. The Flash has been on the NOC radar ever since Grant Gustin did a multi-episode arc last season on Arrow. More than that, I’ve been super psyched for this show and thought some of the initial casting choices potentially made The Flash the most diverse live action superhero adaptations in history.

Well, after having watched the pilot, I can safely say that The Flash works for all of the reasons that I think Gotham doesn’t. Namely, these writers get it. The Flash not only revels in the joy of being a superhero, it respects the source material in a way usually unseen in DC’s approach to live action.

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Who’s Gonna Stop Gotham’s Balloons?

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Last week, I got some grief for writing about why I was done with Gotham. So naturally, I not only tuned in for Episode 3, “The Balloonman,” I live-tweeted it as well. The fact that this episode had nothing to do with the B-side to Prince’s “Batdance” was already strike number one for me.

I won’t go into all of the problems I have with the show’s premise — since I already did that. A couple times. I will say that I realize that the reason I’m so bitter about this show is because I always wanted a Gotham Central series, and that Fox’s attempt is just a half-assed one. Because Gotham Central is the non-Batman police procedural series we deserve, just not the one we’re getting right now, apparently.

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Why is No One Talking about How Diverse Gotham Academy Is?

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I’ve been excited for Gotham Academy since the book was first announced back in July. While the revamped Batgirl got most of the mainstream media attention, my sights were set on what I thought was the most interesting and out-of-the-box books in all of DC Comics. Now that it’s out, I can confidently say that I am all in on Gotham Academy!

In just 22 pages, Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher have accomplished what the rest of the DC brain trust have not been able to do since the company rebooted in 2011; namely, make the DC Universe an interesting and relevant place to visit every week. It helps that Karl Kerschl’s art is gorgeous and 180 degrees from the “house style” the publisher has employed post-New 52.

The best thing about the book, though, is — interestingly — the one thing that hasn’t really been covered in all…

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