It’s Tuesday and you’re reading the latest editon of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from across the fanboy universe.
FUNNIES AND FINE ART: What a year for fanboy pursuits earning lofty artistic accolades. Heath Ledger may win an Oscar for playing the Joker and Neil Gaiman just picked up the Newbery Medal. And now the Louvre in Paris is hanging cartoons on its walls. Here’s the story by Frank Browning: "The show was put together by Fabrice Douar, the director of the Louvre’s publishing division, who commissioned three comic book artists to create wall-length strips set in the museum itself. Douar says he wanted to bring the museum into the 21st century and restore its role as a central part of the contemporary city — in short, to put a little bounce into the museum’s sometimes intimidating marble atmosphere. Plus, Douar admits, the new exhibit fits well with his lifelong addiction to comic books, known as bandes dessinees in French. ‘I’ve got this subversive love … for bandes dessinees for a long time,’ says Douar. ‘I’ve got four brothers. … All my brothers read bandes dessinees, and so I was born with bandes dessinees.’ One day in 2002, Douar put his obsession together with his job as chief editor of Louvre books and — voila! — the idea for the exhibition was born. The three strips currently on display are in fact drawings from the first three comic books ever published by the Louvre. One, by artist Nicolas de Crecy, is set thousands of years in the future and features a museum guide who is a cross between a pig and a dog. De Crecy’s pig-dog can speak intelligently about all of the museum’s art objects — from the naked pre-Hellenic statuary to the Mona Lisa. In the strip, he’s charged with leading a group of archaeologists through the museum. But the archaeologists, who believe they have discovered a lost city preserved beneath a glacier, get almost everything wrong when they look at the art." [National Public Radio]
GET YOUR SPOCK ON: Want to attend the Hollywood premiere of "Star Trek," the J.J. Abrams cinema revival of the most famous sci-fi television show ever? Well, all you have to do is make a video that displays your, um, informed passion for the Starfleet universe. Between now and March 5, just upload a video (between 30-60 seconds long) in the Esurance Biggest Trekkie contest where you can vote on other people’s entries and also compete yourself with Trek-lovers such as the frothy Nadina H. ("I think Scotty is sexy!") and the confessional Christopher S. ("I was once an overweight arrogant child…") as well as diminutive actor Michael J. Anderson, whom you may remember from "Twin Peaks," who has entered his Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock impression under a video with the delicate title of "Dwarf Trek." Set phasers on stunning! [Esurance]
CAPTAIN AMERICA, DISGRACED: It was big news last March when Ed Brubaker and Marvel Comics killed off Steve Rogers, the man who so valiantly carried the shield of Captain America beginning in the 1940s. The news that he had been assassinated on the page must have hit Cap pretty hard because a few weeks later, it turns out, the old warhorse was arrested down in Melbourne, Fla., after some alleged pervy behavior (groping women in a bar) and also for pot possession. Oh my stars, what would Bucky think? Oh, wait, it wasn’t the real hero it was just a guy in a Captain America costume. Well, the jailhouse video is still oddly hysterical to watch as the suspect (a beefy 54-year-old guy named Raymond Adamcik) is marched into the station house wearing cuffs and his mask. My favorite line from the police report: "Because there were so many cartoon characters in the bar at this time, all Captain Americas were asked to go outside for a possible identification." [The Smoking Gun]
BRETT RATNER … AGAIN: Wow, director Brett Ratner sure flirts with a lot of different projects. The "X-Men: The Last Stand" director is supposed to be making a Hugh Hefner movie, a feature on Frank Sinatra’s longtime valet, a "Beverly Hills Cop" sequel and maybe-possibly a Conan movie. Now comes a story in the trades that adds another one to the list, a film adaptation of "Youngblood" for Reliance Big Entertainment: "The Indian media conglom has acquired Rob Liefeld’s iconic graphic novel “Youngblood” for Brett Ratner to direct. Reliance inked a development deal with Ratner’s shingle Rat Entertainment, as well as Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films, during the Berlin film fest. The company paid mid six figures for the rights to ‘Youngblood,’ about a superhero team sanctioned and overseen by the U.S. government. Project is the first to emanate from the Indian media conglom’s nine development pacts with Hollywood talent. ‘Most of the great graphic novels are gone, and ‘Youngblood’ is one of the few comic books left with tentpole potential,’ Ratner told Daily Variety. ‘It was a real personal passion project for me, and a lot of people wanted (‘Youngblood’), but the amazing thing about the guys at Reliance is the speed with which they’re able to move.’ Reliance has also acquired the rights to French graphic novel ‘Fly Wires’ for Ratner’s shingle. Project, which will be renamed ‘Infinity,’ will be produced by Ratner, who has already tapped Sylvain White (‘Stomp the Yard’) to direct and John Collee (‘Master and Commander’) to pen the script." [Daily Variety] (P.S.: Am I only the only one who laughed out loud when this Variety story referred to "Youngblood" as "iconic"?)
THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE: Plenty of you know Charles Ross and his one-man shows intepreting the "Star Wars" films (he did some fun commercials for Cinemax a while back, you can watch one of them below). Kathy Ceceri wrote about Ross and his stage show recently and it sounds better than ever: "Charles Ross makes a living doing something other people do on YouTube for free: he reenacts the entire original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. No props, no costumes, and the only effects are done with lighting. Ross is from Canada, and has said he got the idea playing a kind of ”Star Wars’ Frisbee,’ where each player had to quote a line with each catch. He’s been doing One-Man Star Wars since 2002, and has performed live on stages around the world, including Star Wars Celebration III and IV. We saw him last week at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, N.Y., and really enjoyed it. (Adding to the party atmosphere were members of the 501st Legion Garrison, who let folks pose for pictures with Darth Vader, Princess Leia or R2-D2 to raise money for charity. ) Anyone who knows the stories by heart (and I assume that includes everyone reading this) should be able to pick up all the characters and in-jokes Ross throws out. But he does skip some parts and rushes through others, so a non-geek might have trouble following the plots. Ross does a spot-on impressions of Obi-Wan, R2 and Chewbacca. His Luke was even whinier than in the films. He didn’t really try to imitate James Earl Jones’ deep baritone, but his Jabba the Hutt — done with flapping arm motions — was priceless. And through it all he tossed in his own fanboy observations about the series, including banter with the kids in the audience about the merits of Jar Jar Binks." [Wired]