Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Daniel Radcliffe is Awesome!

Let me start off by saying this post has nothing at all to do with my highly wrong crush on Daniel Radcliffe. Now that that's out of the way...

So Daniel Radcliffe is doing Equus huh? That's actually pretty exciting. I think he's pretty talented based on what I've seen him act in so far (Harry Potter and a really, really funny episode of Extras) and I'd love to see him try on more roles, especially a complex role like Alan Strang...not to mention the daring it takes to do the whole nudity thing on stage.

So good luck Daniel! Break a leg and ignore all the silly Helen Lovejoy-esque parents groups who are offended that the ACTOR who plays Harry Potter would dare to get naked on stage. He can't play Harry forever and he shouldn't have to.

For the lucky ones who live in or near London , Equus opens at the Gielgud Theatre on 27 February!

Oh and they realeased a new picture from the next Harry Potter movie. Check it out.

Wonder Woman as Illustrated by Alex Ross

Alex Ross is an American comic book painter, acclaimed for the photorealism of his work. Ross is known for his love of the vintage looks of classic characters and the more mythic elements of the superheroes.

In the past ten years, Ross has done much work for the industry’s two largest and most historically important publishing houses Marvel and DC Comics, but Ross is also the co-creator of Astro City, an original series that explores superhero mythology. Although he is a prominent figure for both DC and Marvel, he is better known as a DC artist, as much of his best work (such as Kingdom Come) were created for DC.

Wonder Woman by Alex Ross:

Wonder Woman Creator William Moulton Marston

“It's too bad for us "literary" enthusiasts, but it's the truth nevertheless -- pictures tell any story more effectively than words . . . If children will read comics . . . why isn't it advisable to give them some constructive comics to read?”~ William Moulton Marston

Born May 9, 1893 in Cliftondale, Massachusetts William Marston received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1915, his L.L.B. from Harvard in 1918, and Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard in 1921. After teaching at American University in Washington D.C. and Tufts University in Medford MA, Marston traveled to Universal Studios in California in 1929, where he spent a year as Director of Public Services.

Marston is credited as the creator of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception, which became one component of the modern polygraph. Marston's research quickly caught the eye of the federal government, including the FBI and the Department of War, which wanted to use his techniques to question prisoners during World War I. Marston was called in to consult on the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping case, but his contribution was rejected by the judge.

From this work however, Marston had been convinced that women were more honest and reliable than men, and could work faster and more accurately. During his lifetime, Marston championed the causes of women of the day.

Moulton using the polygraph

In 1928 he published Emotions of Normal People, which elaborated the DISC-Theory and IDISC assessment. Marston viewed people behaving along two axes, with their attention being either passive or active, depending on the individual's perception of his or her environment as either favourable or antagonistic. By placing the axes at right angles, four quadrants form with each describing a behavioral pattern:

-Dominance produces activity in an antagonistic environment
-Inducement produces activity in a favourable environment
-Steadiness produces passivity in a favourable environment
-Compliance produces passivity in an antagonistic environment

Marston posited that there is a male notion of freedom that is inherently anarchic and violent, and an opposing female notion based on "Love Allure" that leads to an ideal state of submission to loving authority. His critical view of certain gender stereotypes in popular culture is expressed in a 1944 article published in The American Scholar:

"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman".

Marston's sexual ethics were based on a theory of gender characteristics that classed men as aggressive and conflict-oriented, and woman as "alluring" and submissive. Marston who was also openly interested in sexual bondage also claimed that his vision of women's submissiveness was actually empowering. Although many guys who like dominating women are prone to such claims, Marston made an effort to expand and explain his vision through his literary output.

Marston's first effort was the 1932 novel Venus With Us, a sexcapade starring Julius Caesar and many, many women. Marston cranked out a few more popular books (in addition to his prodigious academic output), but nothing clicked.

Then in 1940, Marston was working as an educational consultant for Detective Comics Inc (now DC Comics). Judging that the DC line was dominated by übermensch characters such as the Green Lantern, Batman and its flagship character, Superman, Marston decided to create a superheroine to serve as a female role model of sorts. He introduced the idea to Max Gaines, cofounder (Marston's pseudonym, Charles Moulton, combined his own and Gaines' middle names) of All-American Publications. Given the go-ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman with his wife, Elizabeth (Sadie) Holloway Marston, who Marston believed to be a model of that era's unconventional, liberated woman. Marston was also inspired by a student of his Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polygamous/polyamorous relationship, basically an open menage-a-trois relationship.

Marston and his children (two from Elizabeth and two from Olive)

Marston intended his character, which he based on his wife Elizabeth as well as Olive Byrne to be called "Suprema". She would be "tender, submissive, peaceloving as good women are," combining "all the strength of a Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman." His character was a native of an all-female utopia who became a crime-fighting U.S. government agent, using her superhuman strength and agility to fight for the powers of good. Of course one could also see Marston's bondage interest shinning through in her appearance. Her basic costume is a bustier, tiny spiked heels, heavy silver bracelets that can be compared to shackles, her magic lasso used to tie up her enemy til she gets what she wants. Don't even get me started on the number of times we would see the lead character in peril and bondage.

Wonder Woman in Bondage

Editor Sheldon Mayer replaced the name "Suprema" with "Wonder Woman", and the character made her debut in All Star Comics #8 (Dec. 1941). The character next appeared in Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942), and six months later, Wonder Woman #1 debuted. The stories were initially written by Marston and illustrated by newspaper artist Harry Peter. Except for four months in 2006, Wonder Woman has remained in print.

William Moulton Marston, Harry Peter, Sheldon Mayer & M.C. Gaines

During his life Marston had written many articles and books on psychological topics, but his last six years of writing were devoted to his comics creation. William Moulton Marston died of cancer on May 2, 1947 in Rye, New York. After his death, Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together until Olive's death in the late 1980s; Elizabeth died in 1993, aged 100.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wonder Woman as Illustrated by Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano is a comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as editor of then industry-leader DC Comics. Carmine Infantino hired Giordano as an editor in 1969. While none of his titles (such as Bat Lash and Deadman) were a commercial hit, they were critical successes. By the early 1970s, Giordano had left DC to partner with artist Neal Adams on their Continuity Studios, which as of 2007 continues to produce commercial art and some comic-book work.

In the late 1970s new DC publisher Jenette Kahn brought Giordano back. Initially the editor of the Batman titles, Giordano was named the company's new managing editor in 1981. With Kahn and Paul Levitz, Giordano helped relaunches such major characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America, and the Teen Titans. By the end of the 1980s, they had also created the critically acclaimed, mature-audience Vertigo imprint, under initial editor Karen Berger, and began an influx of British talent such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. Giordano also continued to ink, such as over George Perez's pencils on the 1986 crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, and John Byrne's pencils on The Man of Steel and Action Comics.

Wonder Woman by Dick Giordano

Wonder Woman Comic Book Covers Part 1

Wonder Woman Comic Book Covers Part 1

Like all classic comic book characters Wonder Woman had some terriffic covers and as part of this week long WW spectacular I plan to post my favorites in 2 or 3 parts.

Wonder Woman #1- Just classic.

Wonder Woman #19- I love the elephant but what's with that horribly stereo-typed African warrior? A little disturbing.

Wonder Woman #20- Honestly you can't go wrong with a pirate story.

Wonder Woman #25- I love this one! It's almost as if you can hear what she's thinking: "Hmmm if I only knew where they where! Say do you ever get the feeling like your being watched?"

Wonder Woman #63- Invisible? seems like I can see the enemy just fine.

Wonder Woman #97- Like pirates you can never go wrong with a dinosaur story. Say look at that girl racing up to meet Wonder Woman...looks like someone is gonna get some.

Wonder Woman #100- I can't figure out if there are two Wonder Women or if it's a motion effect. Still I like the idea of two Wonder Women.

Wonder Woman #105- An space...?...? What does it breathe?

Wonder Woman #112- The chest of monsters? There's a boob joke to be made here.

Wonder Woman #125- Amoeba Man? Aren't Amoebas single celled organisms? Man that's one fucking huge cell.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wonder Woman as Illustrated by Ben Caldwell

Ben Caldwell is perhaps best known as one of the rising talents in the comic book industry with his quirky and innovative style of art gracing countless covers, books and comics. He began his career working as a designer for Marvel’s toy division and quickly earned a reputation for his dynamic, cartoon-inspired visuals. Since then, Ben has gone on to work with numerous comic books publishers including DC, where he has illustrated several covers for the recent Justice League Unlimited series. In addition, Ben has illustrated a recent issue of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures for Dark Horse. Ben has also gained wide-spread recognition as a published author for his best-selling books Action! Cartooning and Fantasy! Cartooning (from Sterling Publishing) both of which offer unique how-to instruction for up and coming cartoon artists. In addition, Ben provided the interior artwork for the highly popular Wonder Woman series of children’s books from HarperFestival. But Ben is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed comic book series The Dare Detectives, which he both writes and illustrates.

Wonder Woman by Ben Caldwell

Iconic Characters #2: Wonder Woman

The eldest daughter of Queen Hippolyta, the princess Diana was born to the Amazon race of warriors on the island Themyscira (an island created by the gods for the Amazons after their beautiful city of the same name was destroyed by the demi-god Heracles.) As all children of Themyscira Diana was given divine powers by the gods themselves and is the finest warrior ever born on the island. She is a master of armed and unarmed combat, proficient with nearly every weapon ever made, especially the bow and the javelin, and the exotic martial arts styles practiced by the Amazons.

In 1942 Diana met her first man Steve Trevor an intellegence officer with the US Army who had crashed his plane on Themysira also known as Paradise Island. Using a "Purple Ray," Princess Diana nursed him back to health, and there are reports the two fell in love.

This sudden exposure to the outside world caused the Goddess Aphrodite to declare it was time for an the greatest of the Amazon warriors to travel to "Man's World" and fight the evil of the Nazis. A tournament was held to pick a champion, and although forbidden to compete by her mother, Diana decided to participate in the compitition anyways, her identity hidden by a mask. It was only after winning the tournament that she revealed her true identity, Queen Hippolyta relented and allowed her daughter to go.

Before leaving Paradise Island Diana was given her signature weapons indestructible bracelets/gauntlets and the Lasso of Truth. The Gauntlets of Victory were formed from the remnants of Zeus's legendary Aegis shield, and were created for her by Hephaestus. Diana's superhuman reflexes and senses allow her to deflect projectiles and bullets, including automatic weapons fire, as well as energy blasts and lasers from beings such as Ares and Darkseid. She is fast enough to protect herself from multi-vector attacks. At close-range the indestructible gauntlets block blades, weaponry and punches. When crossed, the gauntlets generate a larger remnant of the Aegis itself, forming an impenetrable barrier which allows Diana to protect herself and those behind her from area attacks. Diana's golden tiara also doubles as a boomerang-type throwing weapon, as it is razor-edged and can cut through most substances before returning to her.

The Lasso of Truth, was forged from her aunt Antiope's Golden Girdle of Gaea, it is perhaps Diana's greatest and most versatile weapon. The divine Lasso is absolutely unbreakable and has restrained beings as powerful as Superman, Captain Marvel, and the gods Ares and Hades. The Lasso burns with a magical aura called the Fires of Hestia, forcing anyone within the Lasso's confines to speak the absolute truth. The Fires can restore lost memories, dispel illusions, renew the wielder's body, protect those encircled by it from magical attacks and even cure insanity. No one but Diana can wield the Lasso due to its divine nature.

Diana returned with Steve Trevor to the outside world, and soon adopted the identity of nurse Diana Prince by taking the place of her exact double by that name (how convenient). Diana assuming the name Wonder Woman would spend the next several years fighting the Nazis and based on her heroisms was asked to join the Justice Society of America. She accepted and became the first female superhero to join the organization that included the likes of Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and others.

The later Justice League of America

There has been lots of speculation over Diana’s sexuality over the years and on the surface it would appear as though she were devotedly in love with Steve but many of Wonder Woman’s biographers claim she preferred the company of women to that men. For instance shortly after arriving in our world she befriended a group of sorority sisters from a local college known as The Holliday Girls and was seen most often seen with the aptly named, sweets-addicted, Etta Candy. Etta stood out for several reasons: she had a distinctive figure, occupied a central role in many adventures, and had an endearing propensity for exclaiming "Woo-woo". Etta and Diana have remained nearly inseparable over the years.

Etta, Steve and Wonder Woman

After the war ended Diana decided to stay in the mortal world to learn more about American society and during this time her abilities expanded. Her earrings provided her the air she needed to breathe in outer space, and she piloted an invisible plane. Her tiara was an unbreakable boomerang, and a she had a two-way wrist radio installed in one of her bracelets, allowing her to communicate with Paradise Island.

At the end of the 1960’s the power of Paradise Island was fading and Diana’s fellow Amazons decided to travel to another dimension where they could restore their magic. Diana was faced with a choice to follow her fellow Amazons or surrender her powers to remain in man’s world. She chose to stay, retired from the JSA and opened a small boutique. It was also at this time that she acquired a Chinese mentor, I Ching. It was under I Ching’s guidance that Diana learned martial arts and got caught up in espionage adventures, one such adventure led to the death of Steve Trevor.

In 1973 on the advice of Gloria Steinem Diana sold off the boutique and attempted to re-gain admission in the Justice League of America (the successor to the Justice Society). To prove her worthiness she underwent 12 trials (analogous to the labors of Heracles), each of which was monitored in secret by a member of the JLA. Towards the end of her trials, Steve Trevor was resurrected by Aphrodite. He adopted the identity of Steve Howard, and worked alongside Diana Prince (now knowing her true identity) at the United Nations.

In the late 80’s Steve and Diana started falling apart as he joined the US Air Force and in the last twenty years Diana has become obsessed with destroying some of her greatest foes to date including; The Cheetah, Circe, The Silver Swan and Aries.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

As if you couldn't tell I'm pretty geeky.

You are 48% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

Wonder Woman as Illustrated by Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm is best known for his contributions in writing and design on the modern DC animation franchise. Timm's early career in animation was varied; he started at Filmation, working on the layout of Blackstar, Flash Gordon, He-Man & The Masters of the Universe, and The Lone Ranger (Timm also did background work on GI Joe). He also worked for numerous other employers, including Ralph Bakshi, Don Bluth Productions, and attempted to find work at Marvel Comics and DC Comics, but without luck. In 1989, Timm joined Warner Bros.

At Warner, Timm worked on Tiny Toon Adventures. However, he is best known for his subsequent work on the animated series based on various DC Comics superheroes. Along with his "Tiny Toons" partner Eric Radomski, Timm co-created and produced Batman: The Animated Series, and went on to co-create and produce Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Batman Beyond.

Here are some of his Wonder Woman illustrations: