Posted by Beth Andrews Jul 20 2011, 8:44 am in Beth Andrews, super-heroes
With Ryan Reynolds starring in The Green Lantern and the upcoming release of Captain America starring Chris Evans I have Superheroes on my mind *g* Summer is a great time for a good Superhero movie complete with over-the-top special effects and tons of action to go with all those super powers!
Another thing to love about superhero movies? The super hot actors who don those (super snug) superhero costumes
Here are a few of my faves:
1. Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man. I’ve been a RDJ fan since his days as a member of the Brat Pack so it was great to see him make such a huge comeback with this film!
2. Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk. I haven’t seen The Hulk (with Eric Bana) and I’m not saying this is the best superhero movie ever (is The Hulk even a superhero? Hmm…something up for debate *g*) but I do love Edward Norton in this movie and how he played Bruce as only wanting to give up his power and return to his normal life.
3. Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Oh, how I loved Michael Keaton as Batman! What a wonderful surprise to see the man who’d played Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice go all dark as the world’s most angst filled superhero
4. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. As you can see, Michael Keaton was my favorite actor to play Batman until I saw Batman Begins. Even darker and edgier than the earlier versions and oh so perfect *g*
5. Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman. I fell head-over-heels for Christopher’s Superman the first time I saw this movie at the tender age of seven. Those shoulders! Those amazing blue eyes! *sigh* I adored him both as Clark and as Superman and always thought (and still do *g*) that Lois Lane wasn’t nearly good enough for him.
Do you like Superhero movies/movies based on comic books? Which ones are your favorites? Who are your favorite superhero characters?
Posted by Nancy Northcott Mar 26 2010, 6:30 am in hobbies, King Arthur, obsessions, Richard III, super-heroes
Obsession is not just a perfume to me. It’s more like a hobby. A lifelong hobby, in fact, though I haven’t been actively obsessed by any one thing all this time. I’ve engaged more in something like serial obsessions. The dh noticed this not long after we were married and commented, “When you get into something, you really get into it, don’t you?”
He said this with remarkable good humor, considering that the obsession of the time was Richard III and that it caused him to visit way more battlefields and castles than he cared anything about (which would be next nothing, the level of his caring about such things, especially battlefields). But he bore it with the best of good will, just as he carted home from London the many books I’d purchased as fuel. Pictured at left is the statue of Richard III in Castle Gardens, Leicester. Just finding it was a bit of an adventure, but that’s a blog for another day.
Eventually, however, I’d read everything I could find that seemed to add anything new and not support the traditional wicked uncle image. The Richard III Society offered a number of primary source documents for sale, some of which would’ve been useful for general medieval research though many were outside my price range. I particularly liked Bertram Fields’ Royal Blood, which lays out a compelling case for the king’s good reputation–as well it should, considering that Fields is a prominent attorney. At that point, the Richard III obsession dropped back to the more normal level of an ongoing interest. However, I do still keep an eye out for any novels not espousing the traditional view. I have a small collection of them.
I also have a collection of Arthuriana, having gone through a similar period of fanaticism about the Arthurian legends. The movie Camelot came out as I hit an idealistic phase. I loved it–the costumes, the ideas like might for right and the highly unrealistic but still inspiring view of chivalry and knightly honor. Regardless of its level of accuracy or lack thereof, it ignited my imagination. I visited Tintagel as a college student and was disappointed, though not entirely surprised, to find that there was no evidence of its having been any sort of warlord’s stronghold. When the dh and I went back with the boy (himself in the midst of an Arthurian binge) some years later, though, we learned lightning had caused a big peat fire on the promontory, burning away several layers of soil and exposing–oh, yes!–ruins consistent with a warlord’s stronghold of the Arthurian age.
Just as an aside, I think most of us here would agree that Clive Owen made a pretty rockin’ King Arthur. Richard Harris, in his day, was a pretty decent one, too. So was Nigel Terry in John Boorman’s lavish Excalibur.
The first of these serial obsessions hit when I was in second grade, though I didn’t realize what was happening at the time. When I was seven, I discovered Superman and his astounding universe, including the Legion of Super-Heroes. The four-color world totally captivated me and ignited my imagination. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I’m convinced my engagement with comic books fed directly into my love of science fiction and fantasy. I was active in fandom for almost 20 years and did write a fair bit of fan fiction, some of which the dh claims would be book-length if it were in real manuscript format.
One of the earliest stories I remember was one in which Saturn Girl, the telepath, discovered that one Legionnaire was fated to die protecting Earth from invasion, so she stole the election for Leader, kicked out everyone else, and went out to meet the foe alone. However, Lightning Lad (whose power is what you might think from the name) disobeyed orders, went after her, and died protecting her. The Legion vowed to revive him, eventually succeeding, and Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad became the great love affair of the Silver Age Legion of Super-Heroes.
At one time, I could list the code names, real names, planets of origin, powers, and weaknesses of all the Legionnaires AND all their enemies. Really. I happened to think of this when the boy went through his Pokemon phase and could name all the stages of the various dozens of pokemon, the means by which they evolved, their powers at each stage, and which pokemon could effectively battle which others. I know nothing about pokemon, but I could probably still make a fair stab at the trivia for the Legion I loved.
I got older, which I refuse to call growing up, and my interests broadened, but I still love those heroes of my childhood and the ideals they inspired. The comic books have changed, re-doing the characters from Superman on down, including my beloved Legion, and the new versions don’t grab me the way the old ones did–maybe because I’m no longer seven years old? I don’t totally love the Legion’s incarnation on Smallville, but I’m now totally hooked on Smallville itself, as some of you may remember from last summer.
The current obsession, even now winding down to a mild level of interest, is a movie I happened to see on HBO. I’m not going to say which movie it is because, much as I enjoy some parts of it and much as they intrigue me, I think it has serious problems with story and I don’t want to diss it. It fits my pattern, though–intense interest that eventually settles into something more casual. I did like this movie enough to buy it.
So what about you? Do you have obsessions with particular subjects–time periods, musicians, books, movies? Do you have longstanding obsessions or are you, too, given to serial obsession? Or do you content yourself with more normal levels of interest?
Posted by Nancy Northcott May 19 2008, 4:20 am in Eilis Flynn, Japanese fairy tales, super-heroes
posted by Nancy
Eilis Flynn joins us in the lair today. A Cerridwen Press author and investment publication editor, Eilis brings some unusual personal slants, which we’ll discuss today, to her work. Before Eilis joins us, we’ll chat briefly with the hero and heroine of her newest release, Introducing Sonika.
Sonika–or would you rather be called Sonya?
This isn’t going into The Morrissey Herald, right? I’d prefer my secret identity not be blown this early in my career! Call me … uh … oh heck, call me anything you like. Sorry, I’m still new at this, even though I trained for it when I was a kid.
Yours is an unusual family business. Would you like to tell our readers a little about it and about your history with it?
Sure. Mom and Dad were super-heroes, local protectors of Morrissey and Hamilton, twin cities, basically. I was just a little kid when they figured out I couldn’t get away from the family business, when my ability to temporarily solidify sound manifested itself. My powers are clearly from both of them, but an amalgam. Like Mom, I can move at speeds too fast to be seen by the naked eye, but in my case, only for a few seconds at a time. Like Dad, I can manipulate sound, but unlike him, I can shape it. And from then on, I trained to fight crime alongside them. But then they died, and … I gave it up. Until I met John.
What drew you to John, and how did that attraction become something more profound?
He was determined to do what he had sworn to do, even though he wasn’t physically capable. He couldn’t even walk without crutches, but he was going to avenge his father’s murder. I was impressed by that. I mean, I trained to do that, so for me that wasn’t a big deal. He hadn’t, but that wasn’t going to stop him. And he was really cute in a geeky way.
Oh, and here’s John. What did you think when this woman broke into your home?
Well, the first thing I thought was I was going to fire that security firm, since they were clearly not doing the job. The cameras were always broken, and something else was always going on but I couldn’t prove it and the security firm just figured it was my imagination. And then she said she was the physical therapist I was trying to avoid, and she wouldn’t let me avoid her the way I avoided her predecessor. She was just as set as I was to avoid her, not to let me. And the second thing I thought was, you and who else?
What attracted you to her?
She was a knockout. And I also could tell she could knock me out if I crossed her.
What did you think the first time you saw her powers manifest?
From what I understand, I first saw her powers manifest in front of me and I didn’t know it, when she got me out of the way of a speeding car trying to hit me. But the first time I actually saw it and remembered it … it was like something from Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects movie people. How could this petite woman be doing this? I thought I was hallucinating. But then I realized I was not.
Sonika (or Sonya) and John just received an emergency alert, so they have to leave now. Eilis is here, though.
Welcome, Eilis! What inspired you to write a super-hero romance?
I come from a comic book background! I read ‘em, wrote numerous letters to the editor critiquing the stories (32 letters published), then wrote stories for DC Comics when I was in college, married a comic book fan (whom I met when I tried to join his Legion of Super-Heroes Fan Club), and then worked at DC for a short stint. When I was younger, I wondered why there were so few super-heroines and when there were some, so many were lame. I wrote Introducing Sonika for those girls.
You have another book, Festival of Stars, that also has a very personal connection. Could you tell us a little about that book and what inspired it?
My mother was Japanese, and if there’s one thing that the Japanese love, it’s their legends and stories. There’s one story in particular about two stars up in the sky, a pair of lovers, who are only allowed to meet once a year. But that’s only if the weather is clear. Otherwise, the torrential rains you get in the summer are their tears when they lose their chance for the year. There’s an entire festival based on this story, called — yes! the festival of stars. The story can also be found in China, where I think it’s called the festival of the weaving maiden, or the weaving princess (in that version of the story, it’s the princess and the cowherder). I always loved that story, and since the Japanese are also known for their relatively depressing endings to their faery tales, I wanted to give the star lovers a shot a happiness. But in my case, I set the story in the modern-day US.
Your first book, which I understand is still very popular, was The Sleeper Awakes. What’s that about?
Sleeper is a good example of how boredom can work for you. I started to write it when I was taking a Series 7 course for a brokerage firm I worked at. It was ordinarily a boring class, but one night the instructor was really late. I’d had a dream about torii, the vermilion-colored Japanese gate you see at the entrance to shrines, the night before. Except there was more than one in my dream — there were seven. Now, at the shrines that’s not unusual. In fact, there’s a shrine near where my grandmother lived that has a dozen.
In my dream, I realized that going through each of the torii signified something, and doing so would give the answer to something. When I woke up, I knew I had to use that somehow, and the instructor being late to class was just the opening I was waiting for.
Did you finish the class?
Sure, but it was never the same. I knew I had to write the story behind those gates!
In The Sleeper Awakes, my heroine, terminally ill, finds herself in a land not her own. The gates she finds there are somehow key to controlling a naturally occurring devastating weather phenomenon called waterfire, and she is told she has a role in doing so as well. What is it? She doesn’t know … and knows that her days are numbered, whether she fulfills her role or not. But to make sure her life, cut short, means something, she starts out on a journey to find out, accompanied by someone who looks just like her manipulative, scheming boyfriend at home, but who is definitely not.
What do you see as the upsides and downsides of small press or e-press publishing versus the larger print houses?
Lack of distribution. Lack of marketing. The lack of marketing is both an upside and a downside, though, because you really learn to be a media hound. It’s good to know these things, but it cuts into my writing time.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up my book in a sci-fi continuity series that I started with a few other Cerridwen authors, and writing sequels to Sleeper and Sonika. I was just at a comic convention a few days ago, and someone who had read about Sonika and bought it (bless his heart!) asked when I was writing the sequel. Geez, you can’t get more direct encouragement than that!
Eilis is giving away a choice of one of her books, The Sleeper Awakes, Festival of Stars, or Introducing Sonika, to one commenter chosen at random today. Thanks for stopping by, Eilis!
To learn more about Eilis and her work, visit the website she and fellow Cerridwen Press author Heather Hiestand share: http://www.coffeeonsundays.info/. You can also reach it at http://www.eilisflynn.com/.
How far beyond the bounds of reality do you like your books to go? Did you ever have a favorite super-hero? Is there something in your background you draw on for your work?
If you didn’t already check for yesterday’s anniversary prize winners, you might want to scroll down a couple of clicks and do that, but be sure to come back and comment to be entered for this week’s drawing!