Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Does Larry Niven Know So Much About Kryptonian Sperm?

I've been away from the blogosphere for some time (as I'll elaborate on in a future post) and, having some free time on my hands, took the opportunity to browse around and reacquaint myself with various and sundry online places and happenings. Along with hitting all the usual haunts, I took it upon myself to try out some new blogs, one of them being Steve Thompson's BookSteve's Library. Thompson is a pop culture enthusiast (as so many of us are) but he's operating on that Jedi-blogger level like Mark Evanier, so the deeper you go, the richer the rewards.

Among other things, I found the most amazing embedded videos on his blog. I'm talking about stuff that I have searched for extensively in the past but came up woefully empty-handed. Now, thanks to Steve, I'm buzzing over the fact that I found a long sought after Pogo special (one of two, I believe) that was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Kelly himself. I had long since given up on trying to find it online and then - BAM - there it was. Just sitting there and waiting to be watched.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to this evening, but I'm thinking maybe after work tomorrow.

Another video I ran across on Steve's site is this 1981 Superman documentary. It sort of covers the history of Superman through interviews with Siegel and Shuster, shows some behind-the-scenes footage over at DC Comics circa 1981, and gives some face time to Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder who gave their perspective on Superman through their involvement in the film series. They also talk to a psychiatrist, some amateur filmmakers who made a Superman spoof, and Larry Niven who, by the way, comes off as an incredibly unusual and creepy guy. His segments are some of the stranger elements of the doc, but when he starts talking about Kryptonian sperm (in Part 4 or 5, I think)...I just kind of tuned the guy out from that point on.

Anyway, Thompson claims that it's the best superhero doc ever made, but I've seen dozens that have been done better. I'm not sure what the yardstick is on this one, but just off-hand I can name Moebius Redux: A Life In Pictures, Comic Book Confidential, Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television, and In Search of Steve Ditko just off the top of my head. For the time, however, this was probably the the tippity top as far as production values, the quality of the overall presentation, and the analysis given to a comic book subject.

You can be the judge:

Up, up, and away!


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