Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween!

I love Halloween. I really love it. And not just because my wife pulls out the Wonder Woman costume that she usually just saves for my birthday. (I know...you just can’t help wondering if that’s a real joke or not.) But beyond the magic lasso, I love the memories of dressing as Batman for that one night...and then wearing the cape for the rest of the year(s). See below photo.





So a treat for you: this list of the best and worst candy.


It’s true. Don’t argue. But do add additional items if you please.


Also, would love to hear what you’re going as. Cori and I got invited to an actual superhero party. Oh the irony. I so wanted to pull out all the stops, and try for an amazing Power Girl or Hawkgirl and Red Arrow. Or even get back into our Wondertwin costumes we made years ago. (It take a real man to wear that much purple.) But instead, we’re doing Supergirl and Lex Luthor. Yep. Shaving the head totally.


Safe tricks and treats for all.


Love each other. And vote.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Michael Turner

In our community, when someone does a tribute book, it’s usually because the tributee needs help, money, or other vital things like that. For the Michael Turner tribute book, all the money goes to Mike’s favorite charities. And that also should tell you the type of heroes he and Vince and Frank and the Aspen guys are. So when you’re thinking about a good holiday gift this year, think of this one.



Michael Turner Tribute Book Celebrates a Lasting Legacy (Newsarama)



And thanks to Frank and Vince for putting it together.



(Joe Quesada contribution to the Michael Turner Tribute Book)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grant Morrison And All Star Superman

This is why All Star Superman was the best superhero book of the past few years. And why Grant Morrison is as relevant as ever.


From today at Newsarama



Grant Morrison:


A key text in all of this is Pico’s ‘Oration On The Dignity of Man’ (15c), generally regarded as the ‘manifesto’ of Renaissance thought, in which Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola laid out the fundamentals of what we tend to refer to as ’Humanist’ thinking.


(The ‘Oratorio’ also turns up in my British superhero series Zenith from 1987, which may indicate how long I’ve been working towards a Pico/Superman team-up!)


At its most basic, the ‘Oratorio’ is telling us that human beings have the unique ability, even the responsibility, to live up to their ‘ideals’. It would be unusual for a dog to aspire to be a horse, a bird to bark like a dog, or a horse to want to wear a diving suit and explore the Barrier Reef, but people have a particular gift for and inclination towards imitation, mimicry and self-transformation. We fly by watching birds and then making metal carriers that can outdo birds, we travel underwater by imitating fish, we constantly look to role models and behavioral templates for guidance, even when those role models are fictional TV or, comic, novel or movie heroes, just like the soft, quick, shapeshifty little things we are. We can alter the clothes we wear, the temperature around us, and change even our own bodies, in order to colonize or occupy previously hostile environments. We are, in short, a distinctively malleable and adaptable bunch.


So, Pico is saying, if we live by imitation, does it not make sense that we might choose to imitate the angels, the gods, the very highest form of being that we can imagine ? Instead of indulging the most brutish, vicious, greedy and ignorant aspects of the human experience, we can, with a little applied effort, elevate the better part of our natures and work to express those elements through our behavior. To do so would probably make us all feel a whole lot better too. Doing good deeds and making other people happy makes you feel totally brilliant, let’s face it.


So we can choose to the astronaut or the gangster. The superhero or the super villain. The angel or the devil. It’s entirely up to us, particularly in the privileged West, how we choose to imagine ourselves and conduct our lives.


We live in the stories we tell ourselves. It’s really simple. We can continue to tell ourselves and our children that the species we belong to is a crawling, diseased, viral cancer smear, only fit for extinction, and let’s see where that leads us.


We can continue to project our self-loathing and narcissistic terror of personal mortality onto our culture, our civilization, our planet, until we wreck the promise of the world for future generations in a fit of sheer self-induced panic...


...or we can own up to the scientific fact that we are all physically connected as parts of a single giant organism, imagine better ways to live and grow...and then put them into practice. We can stop pissing about, start building starships, and get on with the business of being adults.


The ’Oratorio’ is nothing less than the Shazam!, the Kimota! for Western Culture and we would do well to remember it in our currently trying times.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Gaiman, Meltzer, Lincoln

Finally uploaded the photo from the White House. Sad part? I’m more excited to hear about Neil’s new Batman story than to pay attention to stealing napkins at the White House.



Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Back On Topps

Okay, here’s the fun stuff. I’ve plugged my pals Randy and Jason Sklar on here before (and not just because they wrote the first bit I ever did on stage. Sock puppets. For Real!). But here’s their new series, all on the web, all free, all goodness.


If you don’t laugh at the photographer in the 2nd episode, you have no heart. Or smile.


Please do check it out here, new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday and culminating in a big end at the end of October:


www.backontopps.com

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jack & Bobby

It's back, buttercup -- 22 episodes of pre-political goodness, finally available on the web (through legal means). Jack & Bobby lives.


So if you weren't one of the seventeen people who watched us on the air, set some time aside and enjoy.


Consider it perfect timing for the election...


Jack & Bobby Online

Monday, October 06, 2008

City Year Miami Lives!

From yesterday's Miami Herald:



Role models help young students


We grew up in Miami, so we know about the beauty of this city. But while the community can boast of gorgeous beaches and neon on Ocean Drive, we can get caught up in the superficial.


Recently, we saw the real beauty of Miami, where dozens of residents and local organizations used their passion and resources to bring City Year, America's premier service organization, to town. What's more beautiful than that?


With the launch of City Year Miami, 80 uniformed young adults have committed to serve our city, working full-time in Miami-Dade County public elementary schools, tutoring and mentoring children and giving much-needed help to overworked after-school programs, vacation camps and other aspects of overextended schools. They'll even be trained as emergency volunteers to assist when the next hurricane strikes. Think of it as a Peace Corps for the United States. The young adults' diversity and age -- 17 to 24 -- give them a unique ability to connect with the children they mentor and give these kids someone to look up to.


Is it any surprise that both Barack Obama and John McCain are supporters?


City Year corps members come from all walks of life. Irene, an 18-year-old from Boston, was admitted to Stanford. But she deferred her dream so that she could help children in Miami pursue theirs.


There's also Lucien, a 24-year-old from Little Haiti. He is returning to his old Miami neighborhood to serve. When he tells children not to make the mistakes he has made, they know where he comes from. And when he shows them the path he took to graduate high school and pursue a career, they know it's more than simple talk. Young people like Irene and Lucien inspired us to bring City Year to Miami. A few months ago, a national study ranked the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area dead last in the percentage of adults that dedicate time to volunteering. City Year Miami will help change that by giving young people the opportunity to serve -- and turning them into involved, engaged community participants for life.


City Year corps members -- in their bright red jackets -- also will act as reminders to the rest of us: If they can give a whole year, maybe we can give an hour, a day, maybe more. City Year isn't just for the kids -- it's for our entire city.


In our efforts to bring City Year to Miami, dozens of people told us it couldn't be done -- that the city couldn't support yet another public interest organization; that there wasn't enough funding to go around. But our schools are in a crisis, and our children and community suffer because of it. Miami-Dade County Public Schools' high-school graduation rate hovers at around 50 percent. And the school system has one of the highest drop-out rates in the state. In the face of these sad realities, how could we not act?


We are uniting as a community -- The Knight Foundation, The Children's Trust, Volunteer Florida, Bayview Financial, Comcast, CSX, Royal Caribbean, T-Mobile, and our own charitable foundation -- ready to work alongside City Year Miami corps members for a stronger community.


Everyone loves a hero, and in Miami, heroes aren't hard to find. Irene, Lucien and many others are dedicating a year to our city. They are building, for all of us, a stronger community. They are changing this world -- and changing Miami. That's what we call beautiful.




BRAD and CORI FLAM MELTZER, Miami


Friday, October 03, 2008

Thank You

After twenty-two cities, a full month of touring, a silly amount of plane flights, and even a hurricane (yep, right at the heart of our Houston signing), I’m finally home, and just wanted to say thank you for what you unleashed. First, of course, I appreciate what you did with The Book of Lies, talking it up to whoever would listen and pushing copies on unsuspecting family and friends. It was one of the most outrageous launches we’ve ever had and I know -- as I’ve always known -- that it only happens because of your neverending help.


But most important, thank you for what you also did to save the house where Superman was created. As you know, the goal was to raise $50,000 just to work on the outside of the house. Instead, we raised $101,000. 101. Thousand. Which now means we’ll be working on the inside of the house as well.


So let me be clear: whatever we accomplished with this book and with the house, you did this. When I was worried about getting the word out there, you stepped forward without hesitation. You are a clear troublemaker and I love you for it. Make no mistake: what you did -- from passing the videos along, to facebooking, to myspacing, to all the rest -- made a huge difference. So thanks for the trust and the faith and of course for putting the word out there from day one.


After seven books now, I have to say, there’s only one thing that’s clear to me: and that is how many people are pulling for us from all sides, from so many different places. Family, friends, readers, booksellers, all the people who you say “You gotta read my friend’s book” to -- it’s the only reason this happens. And maybe it’s because of what we went through this year, maybe it’s because I’m getting mushy these days, but it matters. When you help someone -- it always matters.


I’m signing off and taking a break. But I’m sending so much love and thanks your way.


Butterfly kisses from Florida,


Brad