Tag Archives: red

Culture War Correspondence: Getting Into Reading Comics

EVAN: I wanted to start this off by referring to you readers as “initiated and uninitiated”, but decided that that would be too creepy. The thing is, those words aren’t too far off the mark when it comes to those who are and aren’t in the know when it comes to one of my all-time favourite mediums.

This week Kat [a person who does not regularly read comics] and I [a person who does] will be discussing how to go about doing so, and why a lot of people don’t.

KAT: Oh, I’m glad you added in that last part, because I was just thinking about why I don’t read more comics. Continue reading

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Fame Day: New Belgium Brewing Co.

asdfasdfaThere’s a common misconception that Communism is about an all-powerful government controlling the economy. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite our railing against Ayn Rand and laissez-faire economics, the end-boss that Marx actually described was the inevitable merger of big business and big government into one inbred monster. The whole point of the glorious people’s revolution was to get rid of both the plutocrat and the politician, though obviously between Stalin, Pol Pot, and Joe McCarthy, things all went terribly wrong. “Marxism” became a buzz-word for the very things it was opposed to, and the whole movement got set back a century. It’s not easy being red.

Even so, every once in a while, we manage to chalk up a point for the good guys.

This particular victory comes to us from Fort Collins, Colorado, where it was announced yesterday that the New Belgium Brewing Company has become 100% worker owned!

ARISE YE WORKERS FROM YOUR SLUMBER! ARISE YE PRISONERS OF WANT!

That’s right- owned and democratically run by the people who actually do the work. Behold the nefarious Communist agenda for America!

Now in case you’re wondering exactly who these guys are, there’s a chance you might be more familiar with some of their products- such as Blue Paddle, Snow Day (seasonal), and their most famous, Fat Tire.

This is a really, really good beer…

 

Now in addition to being a much needed triumph for the proletariat, New Belgium has plenty more commendable points worth mentioning.
For example:

  • These guys are as green as they are red, using a combination wind-power, methane, and ingenious energy-efficiency techniques to reduce power consumption.
  • All workers receive a free bike after one year of service.
  • Workers get 10 paid holidays (the average American worker gets about 8; if you don’t appreciate the difference, then you’re not working)
  • Workers enjoy sporting events, art shows, and freaking beer parties.

All of which I imagine go just like this…

We live in a world full of vile contemptible companies who do vile contemptible things and never get the derision and disgust that they so richly deserve (cough, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Nike, Caterpillar, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, cough). If those evil dirtbags can’t be publicly condemned, then perhaps we can at least swing to the other side, and offer some well-earned praise to people doing it right.

New Belgium Brewing Co., here’s to you, comrades!

Why Superman’s Briefs Matter

The Hobbit is due to touch down in theatres next month [yes, I watched the Grey Cup last night], and with it will come a new, full trailer for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel With all of that happening, I’m going to touch on . . . hm, maybe not the best choice of words. . . I’m going to write a little about the new suit we’ll be seeing in the 2013 summer flick.

On the right is what Henry Cavill is expected to look like as the Last Son of Krypton. Many fans have [as usual] expressed great displeasure in the loss of Supes’ signature undies, as can be read in the aptly titled “‘Man of Steel’: Is Superman’s new suit made of fanboy Kryptonite?

What’s probably unknown to most of them, however, is that director Zack Snyder fought to keep the supehero’s look traditional. In an interview with the New York Post he said:

“The costume was a big deal for me, and we played around for a long time. I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said, ‘You can’t have the briefs on him.’ I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.”

Ultimately the studio [as usual] had their way, and the iconic red briefs were done away with. There are a few reasons why I think they should’ve stayed, though, and they have nothing to do with the iconic depictions of the character.

The first reason, if you look up, is staring you right in the face. It’s- well, it’s distracting to say the least, and was actually a problem when suiting up Brandon Routh for the 2006 Superman Returns. From what I can tell, costume designer Louise Mingenbach had her hands fu- sorry . . . had a lot to deal with when it came to the suit. The film’s IMDB page tells us:

According to an article in the 12 September 2005 issue of Newsweek, the biggest question concerning Superman’s costume involved the size and shape of the bulge in the front of his tights. Costume designer Louise Mingenbach finally decided on a bulge that wasn’t too big. “Ten-year-olds will be seeing this movie,” she explained.

A less reputable source [The Sun], told second-hand via KillerMovies reports that a source had this to say about the film:

“It’s a major issue for the studio. Brandon is extremely well endowed and they don’t want it up on the big screen. We may be forced to erase his package with digital effects.”

The current costume design is definitely not doing them any favours in that department, and if anything calls even more attention to Superman’s unmentionables.

My second point has to do directly with design. As archaic and old-fashioned as the red shorts over tights are, they were great in breaking up the blue of the rest of the costume. Although the golden belt buckle attempts to do that in Cavill’s costume, it ultimately fails, and in fact draws added attention to my first point.

To bring up something I mentioned in passing in my post about the immensely talented Kris Anka, there are ways of omitting the briefs while still maintaining a good balance:


In the above design Superman’s midsection is broken up by  the two red lines and the golden buckle, which form an incomplete belt. This, along with the darker blue of the costume’s sides does wonders in not making it feel like the character is simply wearing a full set of blue tights and a cape.

I suppose we’ll have to wait until next summer to really determine whether or not the new suit works. Until then, these are my thoughts

If you want to keep reading about this particular topic, io9 wrote a great article called “The War on Superman’s Underpants.”