Six Things That Batman ’66 Changed For The Better

[With any long-running, oft-adapted character, there will inevitably be actors who become closely identified with them, who, in effect, ‘become’ them for a generation of fans – and out of all said characters, few have seen more of these than Batman. Just about everyone has ‘their’ Batman.

Michael Keaton is still mine. Kevin Conroy embodies him for many others. For younger generations of fans, he may be Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck.

And yesterday, a Batman died.

For those of you who haven’t heard the news, Adam West has just passed on. He died from leukemia at age 88.

I was greatly saddened to hear of this. My own history with West’s Batman is not particularly extensive – I first saw Batman: The Movie back in college, and watched the actual show only recently – but his uniquely humorous, straight-faced portrayal has still left a deep impression on me. More than that, he himself had always struck me as being a genuinely nice guy in real life, a gentle, funny man who seemed to deeply appreciate having had the chance to portray such a terrific character – he once called himself “the luckiest actor in the world”.

He lived a long life, and died as the patriarch of a large and loving family. He continued being involved in Batman-related projects up until the very end. His was a life well-spent that left a positive impact on millions of people – and though he is no longer with us, I have no doubt that his body of work will continue to affect millions more to come.

As it happened, I had already written this article, which I have been tinkering with and fine-tuning for quite a while now. This seems as appropriate as any a time to post it. I hope you will enjoy it as a tribute to the man’s work, along with that of the many other talented men and women that helped make the ’66 Batman the cultural milestone that it remains even today.

The Bright Knight is gone, but he will never truly leave. Farewell, old chum.]

Continue reading

WEGAF Reviews: Top Ten Golden Age Western Heroes

Hi, everybodee!

Well, I guess it’s been a while. No, scratch that, I know it’s been a while, and for that, my apologies.

Why so long since a post? Well, you see, there was something causing me, shall we say, a sort of… creative constipation, video-wise. A project which I thought would be short, but wound up ballooning into a monster, a giant, galumphing monster, accompanied by technical failures and creative challenges a-plenty. It was one of those situations where every time I thought I was almost done, some new, unconsidered detail reared its ugly head and sent me hurtling back to the beginning again.

It was, without doubt, the longest, most difficult video I’ve ever made – so long, in fact, that I had to split it into two parts. But I persevered, and here it is at long last! View, ladles and germs, my exhausting but, at last, rewarding behemoth of a project – the Top Ten Golden Age Western Heroes, Parts One and Two!

As I’ve already said, it’s long – very long, over an hour in total. So you may want to space it out a bit. But I hope you’ll watch it, because despite all the sweat and frustration I had to go through to get this thing done, I honestly do think I came up with something worth watching here. There are a few characters that you may have heard of (I’ve mentioned a couple of them before), several that you probably haven’t, and a number of interesting details thrown in along the way.

(Incidentally, hope you like the title cards. I’ve decided I’m going to be making them for all future videos, just to give ’em that professional look – the old ones will get them too, eventually.)

And actually, I did make a few other videos since my last post – I just haven’t posted any of them here because, well, they’re fill-in things that vary in quality. But a few of them are decent, so here’s a link (again) to my YouTube channel if you’d like to check ’em out:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeezda04oUpl1JG-4Y7LayA/videos

Right, that just about does it for now – but rest assured, I shall be posting more videos here, and soonish. I’m already hard at work on a new one, and things are going very nicely so far, so while I won’t jinx myself, stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy these two!

WEGAF Reviews: Return of The Flag

Another new video for you – and this one’s a special one. Why? Because one year ago today was the show’s first anniversary – and mathematically speaking, that means today is the show’s second anniversary! Two-year anniversary video! Wahoo!

It’s also special because it features the show’s first repeat performance, as it were. Yes, back from my very first episode two long years ago, The Flag is here once again to strut his stuff! Cue more hyper-patriotic nonsense with all the subtlety of a star-spangled brick! It’s not only what he does best, it’s the only thing he does! (So I guess it’s a good thing that it’s what he does best, ’cause, y’know, kinda sad otherwise…)

So, yeah. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me so far. There’ll be a few more videos between this and my next anniversary, I promise. And speaking of videos, because now seems like as appropriate a time as any to re-post it, here’s the link to my channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeezda04oUpl1JG-4Y7LayA/videos

Happy anniversary!

BATMAN V. SUPERMAN VLOG

Hey, ’tis me! And here are my thoughts on the notorious and much-anticipated Batman V. Superman, recorded at a most unseemly hour. What are said thoughts? Well… that’s what the video is for, right?

Stay tuned for more – I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a video, but there’s one on the way soon; it’s in the works now, and should be completed… well, I won’t say when exactly, but, yeah. Soon.

Deneb does The Batman

Hark to the tale of Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall, a married couple who did standup comedy back in the ’60’s. They’d made it big. They were about to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show, with4650871-4862954480-Cool- millions watching. It was one of those one-time, once-in-a-lifetime chances to make a big impression, and they were not planning to waste it. Yep, things were lookin’ good.

Except that the act just before theirs was the Beatles.

Nobody remembers Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall for any other reason today.

Here’s the thing, though – by all accounts, they were good. Even though their audience had just had their minds blown by the Fab Four themselves, they still managed to give a good performance and get some laughs. Had they come on at the beginning of the show, the names of Brill and McCall might really have come to mean something. It was simply a matter of bad timing.

You may have guessed by now that I’m bringing this up for a reason, and you’d be right. Batman: the Animated Series is without doubt the ‘Beatles’ of animated superhero TV. It definitely blew some minds back in the ’90’s, and continues to do so today. It is, for many, one of the best and most faithful depictions of the Dark Knight, onscreen or off. Any immediate follow-up to it was obviously going to get at least a little bit Brill/McCalled.

Enter The Batman, which promptly got savaged by the fans. They hated it. It didn’t look right, it didn’t feel right, it wasn’t what they wanted. It did ultimately stick around long enough to get a bit of a following, but it’s still mainly remembered as B:tAS’ ugly stepchild, as it were.

Yet did it deserve this treatment? Let’s take a look and find out. Continue reading

What Watchmen didn’t teach us

If you’ll indulge me for a minute, boys n’ girls – well, a bit more than a minute; let’s be honest here – I’d like to indulge in a little editorializing.SCAN0022

Recently, I reread Watchmen. I do that every once in a while. I first purchased my copy back in high school. Since then, I probably read the thing… well, about once every year to two years. Not much different from most people, I’d guess.

But this time around, it sparked some thoughts.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of you what Watchmen is – if you haven’t read it, you’ve heard of it. It was one of the game-changers, the ones that showed us what the medium is truly capable of. Of course, one could argue that such indications were always there if one cared to take a look, but Watchmen was one of the first that you could shove a copy into someone’s hands and say ‘you want to know what comics are all about? Read this, baby.’

And then there’s the spin-offs. Recently, of course, there’s been the various Before Watchmen minis (which, although certainly unnecessary, are far from the blasphemous undertakings that some fans paint them as), but I’m not talking literal spin-offs here. I’m talking about the influence of the book.

What has it influenced? What hasn’t it influenced? Rare is the wannabe writer who reads it and doesn’t, on some level, go ‘whoa – I wanna write something like that!’

And many have tried. And some have come close.

And many, many others have failed, and that’s what I’m here to talk about today. Continue reading

WEGAF Reviews: Nightmare and Sleepy

And here at last is the next episode – late again, but nowhere near as late, so that’s something, anyway.

At last, a Halloween episode – in summer! How do I get away with this? Watch and learn!

You will also learn how to properly construct a fiendish criminal plot, why avians and love should not be connected, the sheer terror of certain articles of clothing, and the precise location of… ah, but that would be telling.

Next video should be up in August – ideally August 1st, but that’s being optimistic. Still, August is the show’s one-year anniversary, so you can be sure I’ll put up SOMETHING interesting. In the meantime, expect some reviews and articles to fill in the gap.