A Dr. Sketchy's class may consist of a burlesque dancer (such as Veronica Varlow) or some type of performer (drag queens, trapeze artists, or roller derby girls) as the featured model, with drawing contests during breaks. Sketchers are known as "art monkeys", a term borrowed from the Madagascar Institute. Dr. Sketchy's features heavy drinking games, comedic skits and onstage go-go dancing.What makes the Sandman tribute so amazing is a combination of costuming, casting, and performer characterization.
We tend to pass on geeky burlesque here because we don't want to be the site that does a full post whenever a star of the Justice League Porn Parody sneezes. But Dr. Sketchy's recent tribute to Neil Gaiman's Sandman blew us away. Dr. Sketchy's isn't exactly pure burlesque. Referring to itself as an Anti-Art School, it's an international franchise that mixes burlesque with life-drawing. From Wikipedia:
We love Better Book Titles because it helps us feel like good little anti-literary-establishment rebels by thinking "Hah, yeah, there really wasn't much else to that classic work of art, was there?" when we actually like nothing better than the pretentious joy of having slogged through a classic book that no one actually reads anymore. In case you are confused, Better Book Titles is a blog that condenses the content of famous books into the few words that should have been on the title, to save us all a bunch of time. This week they did graphic novels and it is awesome.
Fan sites are trumpeting the news today that Stephen King's Dark Tower has been greenlit for a film adaptation. But for television, or movies, you ask? Both. The idea is to have a trilogy of movies that aren't completely consecutive, narrative-wise. The story in between each movie will be done as a television show that will run in between the theatrical releases. We've never read the Dark Tower series, but we find ourselves really intrigued by this proposed method of adaptation. It is an extremely elegant solution to adapting a serial story that nevertheless really needs a big screen and big budget to do it justice, without the necessary serialization that occurs in miniseries. And we've seen it before, in an incredibly successful way. Remember Clone Wars? We'd like to see this approach put towards other works as well, even though, as some have rightfully pointed out, it is unorthodox, logistically tricky, and incredibly expensive. A few examples:
First: Sit down. Next: According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision, Neil Gaiman's Sandman is once again being considered for television adaptation, this time by Warner Bros. TV. The show's development into a TV series is still in its "early stages"; the biggest impediment right now is that Warner is still "in the midst of acquiring television rights" for the show from DC Entertainment -- a process which may be made easier considering that DC Entertainment is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment -- and Warner is "in talks with several writer-producers about adapting the 1990s comic."
It's not everyday you see the Associated Press link to Neil Gaiman's blog. So what's all the fuss about? Yesterday, a federal court judge ruled that Spawn creator Todd McFarlane owed royalties to the Sandman writer, over three derivative characters—Dark Ages Spawn and shapely warrior angels Domina and Tiffany—based on Gaiman's own "Medieval Spawn" characters, created when he guest wrote issue #9 in 1993. We recount the case's history, which stretches back over seven years, after the break.
I've never bought an issue of Action Comics before, but that's all set to change. October's issue is going to have a very special guest star: Death herself. And yes, according to The Source, Neil Gaiman approves. Death is the second oldest of the Endless, and a major character in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, which, though neither Vertigo or DC mention it very often, is a part of the DC Universe. Apparently, she has a date with Lex Luthor.
At the beginning of this week we were saddened by the news that Guillermo del Toro will no longer be working on The Hobbit movie. Among other things, we were really looking forward to seeing his Mirkwood, and to watching Weta Workshop's triumphant return to Middle Earth. But we are comforting ourselves by imagining all the other projects he is now free to pursue. Below, we outline four of our Guillermo del Toro dream projects, and a few bonus projects that, you know, might actually happen.
Leave it to MTV to forcibly reference Metallica's "Enter Sandman" while spreading juicy gossip about a potential adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Turns out Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is very, very interested.
During an interview back in January with Comic Book Resources, Vaughn, who previously adapted Gaiman's Stardust, announced that the world needs more Neil:
I think Neil deserves to have more stuff made. I think it's weird that hardly any Neil Gaiman stuff has been made. The idea that no one has made "Sandman" yet is weird.
It is weird, isn't it?
But seriously, any director willing to take on the Herculean task of adapting The Sandman for film risks red-shirting their career:
Nostalgia warning: Darkwing Duck is back this June. BOOM! Studios, who already publish numerous Disney character comics through their BOOM Kids! imprint, are bringing the terror that flaps in the night back in a four-issue miniseries beginning in June. The announcement was made yesterday at the Emerald City Comic Con.
Ian Brill, writer on the miniseries, promises lots of villains:
"Darkwing has such a great rogue's gallery, I couldn’t pick just one. By the time you get to the end of the first issue you'll see four, and then there are only going to be more as the series progresses. All the villains’ lives have been changed, too. There have been big changes in St. Canard and everyone’s dealing with them in their own way. This series has the familiar characters you want but given new situations that we hope gives a sense of vitality to the stories.”
When was the last time you heard someone say, perhaps while in line at the comic store counter, "I don't normally read this title but I had to pick it up this week. ______ ______ is my favorite letterer?"
Not recently, huh? Todd Klein's series of alphabet prints have made me wish that it would happen more often. Klein was responsible for the lettering on Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Swamp Thing, Fables, Top 10, and a good deal of the comics that made me like comics, including Batman: Year One, and Sandman. For Sandman, specifically, Klein created seven distinct styles of lettering for the voices of each of the Endless, from Destiny's hard italics to Delirium's candy colored balloons.
Klein is currently doing a series of alphabetically themed prints showcasing his talent and the talents of some of the biggest names in comics; letters A through E have been completed.