DNA Podcast 021 – Interview with Tim Eldred

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In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with comic artist and director of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble animated series Tim Eldred to discuss his career in the comic book industry and how it led him into the world of animation. Along the way, they discuss Tim’s advice for aspiring comic book artists, why getting your work done on time is crucial for a career in the comic book industry, and why the secret to successful media production is to have a really big raft! All this, and a look at Tim’s new project Pitsberg, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Marvel’s (White) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So, ABC finally made the obvious official- there is a new TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. For which you can watch the first trailer below…

Looks amazing, doesn’t it? Gonna be a heck of a show, and I’m seriously looking forward to it. But, there is something that bothered me about it, and I think I can demonstrate with the official cast picture…

marvels-agents-of-shield-cast

Look, I’m not someone who thinks every cast needs to be equally male and female, nor am I someone who believes that every cast should look like it was designed to appeal to every cultural/ethnic group. I always believe what’s more important is the characters, and they should be whatever the creators want them to be, political correctness be damned.

That said, that cast couldn’t be a bunch of whiter people if we sent them to Harvard and dipped them in yogurt! Even the token Asian chick (who is supposed to be the team’s “tough guy”, good luck with that) is one of the whitest and most caucasian looking Asians they could possibly find. (And if you’ve seen other pictures of Ming Na Wen, they’re working hard on the make-up end to made her as un-ethnic as possible.) This cast looks like it was for the SHIELD TV series of 1963, not 2013! Did the execs at ABC not get the memo? Or, did they borrow the casting director from the CW?

Also, is there a factory churning out clones of Nicolas Brendon (Xander from Buffy:TVS)? Because the lead male there could show up at his house for dinner and Brendon’s family wouldn’t even notice! (They’d probably just assume it’s his identical twin brother dropping by to say hello.)

Now, I’m not sure who’s responsible for this, whether it’s the Whedons (the show is done by Josh, his brother and his sister-in-law (who’s Asian)), or whether it’s the execs at ABC. I lean towards the execs at ABC- it is the middle-America Disney channel now, so they are targeting that demographic. But really, a whole show about white people running around and the only major black character in the pilot is a street thug with superpowers? Well, I guess that does fit in with the ABC mindset nicely.

I really would have liked to see a person of color as Coulson’s second in command (or anywhere else on the team!), especially since the Marvel movies are about a group of superpowered white people saving the world again and again. This show could really have been a chance to balance that off a little, and show that the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t just inhabited by white people saving the day.

But apparently, it is.

Rob

S.H.I.E.L.D.E.D. – Resume Video for guy who wants to work on the new SHIELD TV series.

The most awesome resume video ever! This is an actual production designer who wants to work on Joss Whedon’s new SHIELD TV series, so he put together this video with SHIELD to show why he’s the right guy for the job. Really funny and well done!

CGI Animated Marvel Superheroes video from 2008

Viva Spider-Man 1989 fan film – YouTube

While we’re on the topic, I just stumbled across this little gem. Viva Spider-Man is a loving live-action re-creation of the old 1960’s Spider-Man cartoon down to the camera angles and the way the people walk and talk. It also makes an interesting case for Spider-Man as a period piece. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the trilogy after the current one with Andrew Garfield (and there has to be one, or Sony loses the Spider-Man movie rights- they only have them as long as they keep making movies) will be set in the 1960’s like X-Men:First Class.

Spiderman: The Green Goblin’s Last Stand

For my money, probably my favorite version of Spidey put to film isn’t the recent big blockbuster films, it isn’t even an official film at all! It’s the fanfilm: The Green Goblin’s Last Stand. Which is a shot-for-shot adaption of the classic Spiderman story done by a group of amateur actors with almost no budget, yet which still manages to capture the spirit of Spiderman perfectly.

Here’s Part 1, and I believe the other parts are up as well. (For now, it keeps being taken down off Youtube for copyright violations I think.) Watch it while you can!

‘Spider-Man’ flashback: Nicholas Hammond, reeling in the years

I never got to watch the live action American Spider-Man TV series when I was a kid because I didn’t know it was on when it aired, but I did watch the “movies” (2 part episodes) that aired endlessly on Channel 43 Cleveland on Saturday afternoons during my childhood. When I was ten I used to tie a string to a pen, stick both up my sleve, and then pretend it was a web shooter by swinging my arm around and letting the pen and string fly!

WOOSH! Take that bad guys!

I always found Nicholas Hammond to be a little bland as Peter Parker, and I regretted there not being more actual Spider-Man bad guys (read: any supervillians at all!), but if I remember he did get to fight ninjas, so that almost counted. Still, this interview with Nicholas looking back on his time as TV’s Spider-Man was a fun nostalgic read, and somewhat informative. I had no idea that Spider-Man was so popular among African Americans, or that the suit actor/stuntman thought that Spidy should move like an actual spider.

To see what he’s talking about, watch the clip below. One other interesting thing I noticed is that the bad guys are using Asian-style martial arts. While this might not seem odd to people now (everyone in TV seems to know Kung Fu nowadays) this was before Hollywood as a collective decided that martial arts were cooler than street/fist fighting. It wasn’t until Buffy in the 90’s that I noticed martial arts creeping into TV fights in a big way, because before then the fights were all two-fisted boxing matches and tackles. Watch movies and TV series pre-1990 to see what I mean.

Spidey was ahead of his day in many ways!

And for those with time to kill, here’s the whole pilot movie up on Youtube:

Heroes Disassembled

How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way

Here’s a blast from the past! I’d forgotten that Marvel did a companion video to their classic How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way book. It looks like it was done sometime in the late ’80s or perhaps early ’90s. The book itself is a must-read for anyone intending to do comics, if for no other reason than it teaches many of the fundamentals of the American comics style.

Your Nice New Outfit

Artist Phil Noto has been posting some very cool images of the 1960’s/1970’s Marvel universe he’s drawn on his Tumblr blog. Just images of the characters if they were real people. Neat!

Your Nice New Outfit.