Monday, May 29, 2006

Alex Toth R.I.P.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of veteran comic artist Alex Toth the other day. Toth was one of the most innovative artists to come through the comic field. I wasn't all that impressed with his work growing up but as I got older I started to see the genius of his work. His style was so simplistic yet dynamic at the same time. His war stories were especially impressive. I also enjoyed the few Black Canary stories he drew for DC in the early 70's. Of course as a cartoon lover, I was in awe of his character designs for shows such as Superfriends, Space Ghost, and Thundarr The Barbarian. He was also an avid follower of comic book history. I enjoyed his editorials in magazines like Comic Book Artist and Alter Ego. He was a true giant of the industry and will be greatly missed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Favorite Comic Book Movies

With the upcoming release of X3, I've recently been thinking about my all time favorite comic book movies. Here they are with some comments.

1.) Superman The Movie: When I first saw this when I was eight years old, I was disappointed because it wasn't 100% faithful to the comics. Krypton didn't look right. Lois smoked. Luther had hair. The silly time travel ending. As I grew older though, I liked it more and more. It captures the magic of the character perfectly. The scenes in Smallville were incredible. Christopher Reeve was perfect as both Superman and Clark. John Williams' score is without equal. The beginning of the film gives me goose bumps to this day. If the new Superman movie is only half as good as this, I'll be very happy.

2.) The Rocketeer: It was a disappointment at the box office, but a comic book movie has never been as faithful to the source material as this one. Director Joe Johnston did a fantastic job capturing 1930's Hollywood. The special effects were great and the acting was superb. A great film.

3.) Spider-Man: Another movie that captures the comic almost perfectly. The filmmakers captured everything that was good about Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's creation. Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker. The only problem I had with it was the Green Goblin's costume. The sequel was very good also.

4.) X-Men: Like Spider-Man, X-Men did a very good job capturing the feel of the comics. The sequel was equally as impressive. I'm really looking forward to X3.

5.) Spy Smasher: This movie serial from the early 1940's is the quintessential serial. It has non-stop action, the costume is great, the plot moves along at a quick pace, and it's patriotic to boot. A really fun 12 chapters.

There are many more I like but these five top the list. Some others I've really liked are Batman (1966), Batman Begins, The Adventures Of Captain Marvel (Serial), Fantastic Four, and The Phantom.

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