'Eye of the Beholder' from Batman Annual #14 is probably the most important modern Two-Face story ever written. This was the issue that fleshed out Harvey Dent's origins and redefined his characterization as someone who was already struggling with his psyche before the acid hit. A lot of the material here was later used in 'The Long Halloween', the animated series as well as The Dark Knight.
Unfortunately this has yet to be reprinted by DC, either in trade or in digital format. I imagine the latter will happen sooner or later (Comixology is constantly adding old comics to the archive) but DC's treatment of this has always puzzled me.
( Scans under the cut... )
'One of the complaints the Byrne Bashers like to dust off from time to time is that I have a "fetish" about young girls crushing on older men. In a forty five year career, this is something I have done a grand total of four times with Mac and Heather Hudson, Lana and Superman in GENERATIONS, Rita Farr and Cliff Steele, and Reed and Sue Richards. And that last one was set in place by Stan and Jack. As fetishes go, not much to write home about.' - John Byrne
( Read more... )
The novel is at its sharpest and funniest when Amal is reporting his Pakistani parents' reactions to his horrible in-laws:
‘What she means is, we wish you all the luck in the world, Amal, but you must watch your back. Her people look like a bunch of backstabbers. Never trust them for an instant.’
There are also some moving passages where Amal imagines what he and Claud would be like as parents:
Theirs would not be paraded about like Sussex show ponies. There were plenty of cool, funky children they could take as their template.
or what their lives would be like child-free:
They could buy a holiday home abroad. Two. One on each hemisphere if that is what would make her happy. He racks his mind to think of the childless couples they know – not the kids from the office; guys their age and older – but cannot dredge any up. In their immediate circle, there are no trailblazers, only conformists. No matter. They are taste makers, she and him. They can set the precedent.
As with McEwan, though, I found these characters difficult to warm to. Amal and Claud both struck me as joyless corporate drones, preoccupied with status, their world devoid of beauty and pleasure. A technically adroit book, but not for me.
In a classic Tom Haverford move, rather than just write the obligatory you-have-succeeded-as-a-comedian-on-TV book (Bossypants, Girl Walks Into a Bar, I'm Just a Person, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Self-Inflicted Wounds, The Bedwetter, Yes Please... yeah, it's a genre), Ansari teamed up with Stanford sociologist Eric Klinenberg to figure out both why technologically-mediated dating is such an unrelieved horror show and, reading between the lines, why Ansari was finding it difficult to meet a nice woman.
The resulting book reminded me a bit of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything in that it's as curious and interesting as it is funny. Ansari's quizzical sweetness shines especially in his reporting on the specific dating scenes in Buenos Aires, Doha, Paris and Tokyo.
In Japan, posting any pictures of yourself, especially selfie-style photos, comes off as really douchey. Kana, an attractive, single twenty-nine-year-old, remarked: “All the foreign people who use selfies on their profile pic? The Japanese feel like that’s so narcissistic.” In her experience, pictures on dating sites would generally include more than two people. Sometimes the person wouldn’t be in the photo at all. I asked what they would post instead.
“A lot of Japanese use their cats,” she said.
“They’re not in the photo with the cat?” I asked.
“Nope. Just the cat. Or their rice cooker.”
“I once saw a guy posted a funny street sign,” volunteered Rinko, thirty-three. “I felt like I could tell a lot about the guy from looking at it.”
This kind of made sense to me. If you post a photo of something interesting, maybe it gives some sense of your personality? I showed a photo of a bowl of ramen I had taken earlier in the day and asked what she thought of that as a profile picture. She just shook her head. OH, I GUESS I CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO THAT STREET SIGN DUDE, HUH?
For me, the most engaging part of the book was seeing insights that later ended up as jokes in Master of None. I endorse and seek to emulate this kind of creative reuse! As for meeting a nice woman, the gossip rags tell me that Ansari was in a relationship with pastrychef Courtney McBloom for a while, but they parted amicably last year. So it goes.
THE CHILDHOOD MEME
Childhood. That magical time between infancy and adulthood where you feel invincible. Where you haven't a care or responsibility in the world. It's a time where imagination runs wild and every day is a new adventure waiting to be had.
While there's plenty of fun out there in the world of adults, there's nothing that quite compares to the innocence of those early years. So, grab your juice box, your favorite toy and remember to be back before the streetlights come on.
HOW TO PLAY:
○ This meme is targeted toward the younger end of the age spectrum (15 and under), but that doesn't mean older characters aren't welcome. Does your character have a soft spot for children? Are they typically the type to be the babysitter? Or maybe they're the older sibling being dragged along to keep an eye on the younger one? Aging down is also an acceptable option, haven't we all wondered what our characters would have been like as kids?
○ Comment with your character, canon, preferences, and any other info you'd like to include.
○ Reply to others.
○ Thread and have fun!
( PROMPTS UNDER THE CUT )
DESERT HEAT WAVE MEME
It’s hot out. Really hot. Why? You’re in the desert. Why are you in the desert? We don’t know, that’s your problem. Maybe it’s on purpose, maybe an accident, maybe the gods themselves dropped you there. Hell if we know. Is it a desert on Earth? Some other planet? An entire desert planet? It’s time to cope. Finish your job, get home, escape the sandstorm, travel the length of it on the magic rug with the citizens of Oz, whatever. Just remember: keep hydrated out there and don’t get stung by a scorpion or anything.