Pop Culture

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friedman's Shoes featured in ESPN's '30 for 30'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 1:15 PM

The latest installment of ESPN’s “30 for 30” includes a series of five documentary shorts. The first one focuses on Atlanta retail store Friedman’s Shoes. Started as a family business in 1929, the store has been located in South Downtown for 87 years. It became famous for catering to athletes with large feet and outsize celebrity through the ’80s and ’90s.

In the short film, Shaq admits to buying 20 pairs of shoes every time he came to Atlanta, while athletes including Charles Barkley, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jordan are name checked as past customers. As time has progressed, things have changed and Friedman’s now struggles to survive. "It's tough in retail today,” Freidman Shoes President Brett Teilhaber tells Creative Loafing, “but we are not going out of business tomorrow.”

CL had a brief email exchange with Danny Lee who directed the short, which airs tonight on ESPN during the 6 p.m. hour of SportsCenter.

What makes this story significant enough to fit into the "30 for 30" series?

Danny Lee: "30 for 30" has always been about micro stories, where layers outside of traditional sports intersect. Friedman’s Shoes was an obsession for all of the big athletes of the ’80s and ’90s. It’s where fashion and sports intersected in one place. Fashion for athletes is a relatively new concept. Now pre-game, you see stars dressed to the nines. One can argue fashion sometimes trumps their focus on the game at times. However you cut it, there’s no denying how much fashion and lifestyle are as much of a part of the sports universe, than the game itself.

What attracted you to the story?

The opportunity to tell such a rich story, about the rise and fall of this family run business, set against the backdrop of the excesses of the '80s and '90s, and the dramatic disruption of the internet age. The story is layered, which attracted me as a filmmaker.

How is this a story about America?

America is the hub of capitalism, and this store is a microcosm of that ideology, but with the ideals of the American family baked into it.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Waka Flocka Flame for President(ial Kush!!!!!)

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 3:01 PM


That's right, snitches. Waka Flocka Flame has thrown his hat into the race for President of the United States. He announced via Rolling Stone on 4/20 Day while smoking some presidential kush. Of course. His platform may surprise you. He's not the most PC candidate. But trust, we could do worse.

"First thing I would fuckin' stop as president is dogs coming into restaurants," he says. "I don't wanna see no fuckin' animal in the restaurant — ever again."

Other campaign imperatives: legalizing weed across the land, raising the minimum wage to $15, and granting equal rights to women. Scratch that, granting equal respect to women. No doubt, Deb Antney aka Momma Flocka taught him well.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Super Visions: Spies I espouse

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 1:30 PM

SNOW JOB: Daniel Craig brings a superb mix of damage and danger to his portrayal of 007.
  • Courtesy MGM
  • SNOW JOB: Daniel Craig brings a superb mix of damage and danger to his portrayal of 007.

I’m into Bondage.

That’s big-B Bondage, by the way, fandom that has James Bond and friends (and enemies) as its fetishes. Much in the way that I grew up reading comics, I also grew up watching James Bond movies and later read a bunch of the Ian Fleming novels that inspired the films.

A huge part of my Bondage profile has musical roots, thanks to composer John Barry. I imagine I’ve spent at least as much time listening to his film scores for Thunderball (we wore the grooves off that record; I’m hearing “Death of Fiona” as I tap the keys), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (mainly its chase theme, which I never tire of), and Diamonds Are Forever (for which even the music was cheesy) as I have watching Bond movies. There’d have to be an underlier for my fetish to endure as strongly as it has because, bluntly put, the early Bond films are, by and large, awful. Unwatchably so. You Only Live Twice easily makes my list of the worst films I’ve ever sat through entirely. I can liken it only to a Toho Godzilla movie minus the polished special effects and plus sides of ham-fisted “intrigue” and hammier acting. Yes, From Russia With Love is a fine thriller, and Goldfinger has its moments, but overall? Junk.

But I’m not here hammer old James Bond. Much. Instead, I’m staggering under the weight of cinematic espionage tonnage. Know how there’s nothing coming from Hollywood anymore but superheroes? Well, bullshit: Clearly, half of what’s coming from Hollyweird is super spies. In theaters now: Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic The Secret Service. In the trailer park: director Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Of this incoming stealth barrage I’m most excited by the prospect of Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo in U.N.C.L.E., given how much I enjoyed him as Clark Kent in Man of Steel. Plus: Guy Ritchie! Mr. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels himself! Yeah, I know, too frenetic for some folks. And just my speed.

But let’s get back to Commander Bond for a moment. As I’ve already written in this blog, I’m ever so pleased to see Ernst Stavro Blofeld back in the hands of the Bond franchise after years of legal entanglements, and doubly pleased that Christoph Waltz might be playing him in SPECTRE. One reason I’m so harsh in my estimation of the pre-Daniel Craig Bonds is my conviction that they finally perfected the character onscreen once they adapted Casino Royale for the third time. Craig communicates an ideal mix of damage and danger that puts him in a league of extraordinary gentlemen agents all his own. And the tough-minded realpolitik of the most recent Bonds rinses the preposterous lows of the Roger Moore years right out of my head.

As for why we might be getting this surfeit of secret operatives, coincidence is the likely culprit … but conspiracy theories and spies go together like hand and fingerprint-concealing glove. Know how some people point to electronic war games as an especially insidious form of recruitment? Well, consider that Hollywould usually needs the cooperation of the government to portray our military convincingly. Consider further that our of-late embattled friends at No Such Agency have a black budget, one whose dollar amounts themselves are secret.

I always took the sinister covert organization in Brian DePalma’s The Fury to be a cartoon version of the Fort George Meade gang — one of whose operatives flashes his credentials in that film, gets a that-does-not-compute response, and says*, “We don’t spend a dime on public relations.” But what if the real No Such Agency spends many dimes on normalizing the covert aspects of our government? What if part of that black budget goes toward Hollywood productions that cement our notions of the rectitude of spies?

Stranger things have proved to be true.

*More or less, anyway.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Super Visions: Brain food and other delectables

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 10:03 AM

PLAYING DEAD: Rose McIver (from left) and Rahuli Kohli show good chemistry as fellow medical examiners in iZombie.
  • PLAYING DEAD: Rose McIver (from left) and Rahuli Kohli show good chemistry as fellow medical examiners in "iZombie."

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

When someone asks the main character that question bare minutes into a new show, amid a flashback literally subtitled “LIFE BEFORE DEATH,” you can expect some dire shit to follow the inevitable smash cut. And the CW’s “iZombie” does not disappoint. This Rose McIver-starring comedic procedural follows that line with mayhem, flames, and a wee outbreak of undead cerebellum-gobbling.

Thereafter we get a credit sequence incorporating illustrations by Michael Allred, who alongside Chris Roberson co-created the like-named Vertigo comic that inspired the show. I’ve been meaning to read the comic for years but still haven’t, so I can’t outline the differences (which I understand are significant) for you. But I can tell you that the series’ pilot made for diverting viewing.

Olivia “Liv” Moore comes through that aforementioned mayhem pasty, unsleeping, and hungry for — you guessed it. Where do you go to satisfy a craving for human brains when you have a past as an emergency room worker? In Liv’s case, she takes a job at the morgue, which brings her the gray matter she needs and the friendship of medical examiner Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahuli Kohli) and Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin).

The set-up is clever enough, especially the wrinkle that brain ingestion gives Liv both memories and behaviors of the deceased people whose organs she eats. The trio of actors has admirable chemistry, with Goodwin being something of a revelation for his vocal gifts and blithe presence. Kohli has enviable comedic timing. My favorite bit of McIver’s comes early in the ep as she gives a nervous cashier that spooky restless-eye stare characteristic of some cats. She’s likable enough, though, so I’m happy to give her time to grow on me.

For folks who have read the comic and seen the pilot, which version did you prefer?

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Super Visions: Now is the spring of my discontent

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM

STREAM OF BATS PISS: Jessica Walters voice portrayal of Malory Archer (right) is caustic gold, even as all else on the tube right now is benighted.
  • STREAM OF BAT'S PISS: Jessica Walter's voice portrayal of Malory Archer (right) is caustic gold, even as all else on the tube right now is benighted.

Jadedness may be setting in for me, I fear.

Shows that have been relative or steady sources of pleasure now annoy me. “Agents of SHIELD,” even as it upends the predictable amid yet another escape during prisoner transport, also catches a dose of the Creeping Secrecies, a terminal inflammation that has long afflicted “Arrow.” Its symptoms: Characters conceal the essential from one another for no reason better than to fuel melodrama.

Yes, granted, spies populate “AoS,” as the title tells us, so perhaps they’re likelier vectors for the malady than … whatever the hell Oliver Queen and company are these days. And yes, if the dread CS were the sole impairment for “Arrow,” how improved that show would be! Instead, it’s backtracking into the indifferent staging and shoddy stunt work that marked this season’s early eps, clinging to the absurd reversals that have remained the series’ stale bread and questionable butter (I’m looking at you, Malcolm Merlyn), and wallowing in pout-fests of forgettable misbehavior. Yet despite its manifold deficiencies, its makers managed to leave Oliver in a relatively interesting place, one the characters of “Angel” came to face in their final season: sticking around long enough to, perhaps, become the villain. “Angel” executed that particular entrechat superbly, however, so “Arrow” has set itself a real challenge.

The truest measure that the spring of my discontent has sprung, though? The general grumpiness I feel during my belated viewing of the most recent “Archer” season to reach Netflix. “Archer Vice,” which forcibly dragged the animated spies of ISIS away from that now politically tainted name for cocaine-powered hijinks, has led me to some serious laughter and beyond. Jessica Walter’s delivery of the line “Baffling” provided a deliciously subtle acid, for example.

For a season that was supposed to be transformative, to remake the show and rescue creator Adam Reed from a sense of creative boredom, however, much here feels dreadfully familiar. What used to be smilthy now seems merely filthy (Pam mistaking thermometer graphs for cocks? Low-hanging orchids, gang.), and the characters’ tensile strength has grown disturbingly variable, even for a comedy. Most annoying of all, though, is the show’s ongoing devotion to Burt Reynolds' cinematic Smokey-ness. I get that it stems from nostalgia, I sense that it recognizes the cheesiness of the love object (personally, I prefer the far less cheesy “Sharky’s Machine”), and I enjoy the season 3 ep with Burt Reynolds as a character. But to end not one but two “Archer” eps with "comedic" freeze-frame chases in the offing? Pure Limburger.

Maybe the full onset of spring will put me in a better mood. Here’s hoping.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Super Visions: Observations and exercises

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM

PROMISING BRAININESS: The March 17 premiere of CW's
  • PROMISING BRAININESS: The March 17 premiere of CW's "iZombie" seems likely to be both smart and gross.

What’s making my week is a vid I stumbled upon via Twitter: The Uncanny X-Men, a short by Patrick Willems that imagines those merry mutants as directed by auteur Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox). From the moment the Sentinel appears onward, it’s pretty much comedic bliss.

What’s making my month is the tough-minded eps of “Gotham” we’ve gotten lately. Before the show aired rumors circulated that we’d see someone each episode who might later be the Joker. The series took it’s time getting there, but the delivery was worth the wait. We saw one contender in the ep with the Flying Graysons and another, of course, in the Red Hood ep. Also, while it may be true that “everyone has a Cobblepot,” no other Batman series I’ve seen or read has a more jovially terrifying Penguin than the one played by Robin Lord Taylor.

What’s shoring up my faith in my own eye for comics is the presence of my 2014 ghift guide selection Second Avenue Caper among the finalists for this year’s Lambda Literary Awards.

What’s stirring my memory and making me think about the line between self-indulgence and public service in journalism is “Men in Black: The Series.” Somehow, I forgot this flat-out brilliant TV spin-off of the Barry Sonnenfeld films. Would it be wrong of me to encourage everyone who reads this entry to demand that the show be made available, whether via streaming or some other means? Maybe so, but that’s what I ask. You’ll thank me once you’ve seen it (if we get to …). I’m calling this action a case of benighted self-interest.

What’s got me rubbing my hands together in anticipation? More than ever, it’s the previews for “iZombie,” shambling toward us for a St. Patrick’s Day premiere/massacre of broadcast standards and practices. I was already psyched for this adaptation of the Vertigo comic when the CW unveiled a new tag line for the show: “Kicking ass and taking brains.” Okay, folks: You’ve got hold of my gray matter. Can you maintain your grip?

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Friday, February 27, 2015

ATLwood: CL's Short Cuts Film Contest screening returns to Plaza Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 11:52 AM

For the fifth straight year Creative Loafing and the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) have partnered up for the Short Cuts Film Contest. Local filmmakers from different genres and skill sets submit their visual treatment of five minutes or less centered on a specific theme. For the 2015 contest, we went with "ATL Imagined," encouraging folks to capture what they felt was the spirit of the city in their own, unique way. After sifting through all of the submissions, our panel of judges came up with our Top 16 flicks, which will all be screened this Mon., March 2, at 7:30 p.m., in the lovely confines of the Plaza Theatre. From music videos and animation to titles such as "Murder Kroger" and "The Real Lesbians of Atlanta (TRLOA)," there was no shortage on the diversity of content.

In all, $750 goes to the Critics Pick, which will be announced after the screening. Another $500 goes to the Audience Pick, which will be determined during the event. Both winners will have their film screened at the ATLFF, as well recieve an all-access pass. For all of the details (and deals) about the Short Cuts screening, click here. Check out last year's winner, "It's All Over Now," by Tim Redman, below. 

Filming Updates
 CW's "The Originals" has been filming in Conyers all week because Ole Town is a perfect substitute for New Orleans

>> There's at least nine different reality television shows in production around the state. So what's up with all of the "Virgin" titles?

 Funnyman Tom Green is in town for two shows at the Improv. You might be able to catch him testing our local breweries if you're lucky

>> Anakin Hayden Christensen was spotted in Marietta filming for his new flick, 90 Minutes to Heaven, in which he plays a car crash survivor. 

 Former Fox 5 weatherman and local TV legend Ken Cook was spotted doing his best "Better Call Saul" impersonation. Rodney Ho got some proof

Deals and Payoffs
Remember Ron Howard's The Good Lie, about the Sudanese refugees making the journey to Atlanta? Well, turns out the 54 refugees who shared those experiences, which ultimately inspired the stories told on film, weren't properly compensated.

>> Got $395K laying around? Well then, you can buy Frank Ski's house

 The Ring 3 aka Rings is looking for everything from ballet dancers to "Man With Dog," and others for some upcoming shoots

>> You have less than four hours to bid for a chance to kick it with Ben Affleck, Anna  Kendrick, and recent Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, on the set of The Accountant

>> Here's what Bobbi Kristina's estranged boyfriend (ex?) thinks about the former's father, Bobby Brown: "Dude is a joke played out." End quote.

>> Going to see Maps to the Stars this weekend? Here's a review from CL film guru, Curt Holman. 

Have any tips? Sightings? Encounters? Pictures? Filming news? We need 'em! Drop me a line: gavin.godfrey@creativeloafing.com; or send me a tweet at @WriteGavinWrite. Don't forget to use the hashtag #ATLwood.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Super Visions: Hey! Kids’ comics! (Part II)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 2:20 PM

  • Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

My intentions were good, I swear. I was opening Netflix the other night to watch an ep or two of the animated series “Adventure Time” as part of my current examination of kids’ comics and their occasional intersection with animation. And there was a promo for an animated movie from last year that I’d wanted to see at the cinema, but, well, that’s always a tricky undertaking.

So I thought, why not? Reviews had been mixed to good, and I always prefer to make my own assessments. Quickly enough I was enchanted, then laughing, and not long after that I was flabbergasted. How many truly smart films for kids have poop and asshole jokes, in addition to puckishness toward world history, a clever Philip Glass allusion, and voice work from Dennis Haysbert, Stephen Colbert, and Mel Brooks (who has demonstrated his own puckishness toward world history)?

Probably just this one. And what’s it called, you ask?

Yes, it’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, 2014’s feature-length revival of a segment from the ’60s-era “Bullwinkle Show.” For readers unfamiliar with either, Bullwinkle J. Moose was the televised counterpart to Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Newman: the familiar, somewhat hapless fool (or was he …) who gave a face to a collection of largely disconnected and somewhat vaudevillian silliness. Just as Mad warned its readers not to trust mass media (including their publication), “The Bullwinkle Show” never let its viewers forget that it was a television series with paying sponsors whose products might be dubious and whose methods of selling were assuredly suspect. Among the show’s recurring characters were the ingenious and bespectacled talking dog, Mr. Peabody, and his adopted boy, Sherman.

The film details Sherman’s upbringing by this canine Nobel laureate, Harvard alumnus, and (secret) inventor of a time-travel device called the WABAC Machine. The waggish and endlessly accomplished Peabody could easily rule the world with his miraculous technology, but instead he uses it to educate his child. Of course, nobody likes a (Mr.) know-it-all — especially, in this case, not a classmate of Sherman’s named Penny. After Sherman contradicts Penny’s rote delivery of platitudes about George Washington (whom the boy had met, after all), she bullies him with unfortunate results that propel the plot.

I was already in love with this movie when it did something I really did not see coming, despite knowing that animators love “Jonny Questas much as I do: One of Sherman and Peabody’s antic escapes quotes that (personal favorite) show’s closing credit sequence. Thereafter, all I could do was bask in the wonderfulness. The radiantly gorgeous computer animation. The sly-dog metaphor for adoptive same-sex parenting. The Danny Elfman score. The puns (some of which I had to hear twice to get). The Bill Clinton bit. The other great visual quote, one from Abel Gance’s Napoleon. You should bask, too. Kids’ stuff does not come more sophisticated or more delicious than Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

'The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl' gets personal

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Issa Rae named her debut book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, after her YouTube workplace comedy, where she also waxes wry about interracial dating and not being able to dance. The show was proof that Rae could do TV her way, after Hollywood rejected scripts about awkward black people in the past. (Just ask Pharrell, who tried to pitch such a show before he hosted "ABG"'s second season on his YouTube channel, i am OTHER.)
DEAR DIARY: Issa Rae says her book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, reads like a "series of journal entries." - KAT CONTRERAS
  • Kat Contreras
  • DEAR DIARY: Issa Rae says her book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, reads like a "series of journal entries."
Don't mistake Rae's book, though, for a sequel of sorts. Here, she confesses to assuming false identities in AOL chat rooms, cheating on men she used to date, and hating her father because of his own infidelity. She shows how she became the awkward black girl that inspired her series. Of course all of this comes on the heels of HBO green-lighting a pilot for "Insecure," a show she co-wrote with "The Nightly Show"'s Larry Wilmore.

Before Rae stops by Atlanta for her ABG tour, she talked to CL about how her new book gets personal.

You read Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) before you wrote your book. What did you like most about Mindy's?
I just loved its honesty. While I didn't go through what she went through specifically, I could still relate and that element really inspired me, because she's so good at that. I just loved that relatability factor, and that she had so much fun with it.

Before you landed your book deal, had you tried writing about your life before? Did you keep diaries?
I still am writing in a journal all the time, but of course it's not for anyone. This book felt like a giant series of journal entries – I mean, other than the fact that people were going to read it. When I saw the manuscript, I was like, “Oh my god, this is real.” I've never tried to write about my life for the public before, no.

Why name this book after your YouTube series?
One, the familiarity of it. Two, because I'm still the awkward black girl. Even though I'm not J specifically, J is an extension of me. I felt like this was an opportunity to tell more about myself and what makes me awkward. That title just felt the most appropriate.

The first chapter, “A/S/L,” is about how you tried out AOL chat rooms. Why write about it?
It was the genesis of my Internet creation, in that I was creating characters, I was exploring the communities of the web and I grew up online in a way that a lot of other kids didn't at the time. So much of that shaped my childhood and informed my identity in the future.

Did you have to dig deep to, say, remember the screen names of dudes you IM'd?
I definitely made up the dude's screen names – I cannot remember those for the life of me – but those first conversations were pretty easy to remember. I just remember cringing. Every single time someone brings up “A/S/L?” I just get rapid flashbacks to that time. I can't believe I did that. I can't believe I got away with that. I could have been the victim of a child predator; my mom was always in fear of that. I'm not sure if she's reading it now or if she's finished reading it, but she hasn't mentioned that chapter, so I guess she's like, “I'm just glad you're alive.”

Which was more awkward to write about, yourself or your family?
For sure, my family. They didn't ask to be in the book. Actually, writing about them wasn't awkward – it was bringing it to my dad. He was like, “Whoa. Is this going to be out there for people to read?” but it really forced us to talk about it. It turned an awkward situation into something that was fruitful for our relationship.

Which did you need to get off your chest more: “Connecting with Other Blacks” or “When Coworkers Attack”?
I feel so bad about “When Coworkers Attack” because I single out a coworker. She was talking shit, and that was why I even wrote that chapter: “Really, bitch? You want to talk shit?” Now I'm dreading the fact that she may read it. “Connecting with Other Blacks,” I felt, was necessary to get out there, just to show the types of blacks I love and the types of blacks I try to avoid as an awkward black person.

It was nice to see those types laid out, showing that there's more than one type of “black.”
Exactly. That was my whole hope – to show that we're not all the same.

Issa Rae reads from and discusses The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Free with RSVP at ASPIREscreening@aspire.tv. Mon., Feb. 23, Woodruff Arts Center — Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Super Visions - Hey! Kids’ comics! (Part I)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM

In the aftermath of last week’s blog I still have animation on the brain. The form is one I’ve adored for my entire life, and among my earliest memories (or perhaps most vivid dreams) is watching something relating to “Jonny Quest” (probably only through nearness in time) on a makeshift screen in my parents’ dining room. As there were no video projectors in those days, and movie projectors worked only in darkness or near-darkness, I suspect some merging of separate memories here. “JQ” did air in the evenings when it premiered in 1964, though, so its broadcast followed by whatever 16mm movie screening that might’ve occurred in the Hall home some Friday ages ago strikes me as a winning theory.

Next time I’ll discuss a comic spun off of an animated series, both putatively for children but easily enjoyable by adults: “Adventure Time.”

Right now I’m pondering the divide between entertainments for adults versus ones for children.

The dismay I expressed last time over “The Super Friends” and what I perceived, even when that show first aired, as its almost purposeful cloddishness makes a lot more sense to me in light of this viewing history, which I had almost forgotten. Keep in mind that “JQ” was sort of an expensive flop in some ways, one that had a single, pricey season before it migrated to nigh-endless reruns on Saturday mornings and thus became the high point of my week throughout childhood.

Despite having two children among its main characters, “JQ” never felt childish to me. Its animations, based on the drawings and designs of Doug Wildey, are almost anti-cartoonish, at times even lush. Attempts to reboot the show failed aesthetically because the detail lavished on the original series was part of what made it so costly. Its vocal performances, prefiguring Andrea Romano’s triumphal work on the DC Aniverse, sounded like people talking rather than like ham actors trying to counterfeit characters they had no business portraying in the first place. And the show’s scores by the great Hoyt Curtin, abominably undercredited by its producers as mere “musical direction,” constitute one of television’s compositional monuments.

To understate the case severely, “JQ” was a damn hard act to follow. What surprises me, in retrospect, is that its manifold qualities did nothing to diminish my taste for silliness or the cartoony in animation. They did make me something of an animation snob, however, one impatient with material that was dumbed down for youngsters. “The Stupor Friends” never stood a chance with me.

All of this history is preamble to the tale of grumbling I heard relayed by my cashier* at the comics shop. Others, I was told, were unhappy that Marvel, publisher of Serious Superhero Sagas, had deigned to publish (wait for it ...) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1. Yes, Squirrel Girl has her own comic. And I couldn't be much happier over the results.

Ignore any haters who tell grown-up you that this comic is for kids. And please take down the names of any knuckleheads who tell you this comic is "just for girls" and email then to me. As if either state of being is some kind of sin for the form. Or art. Or anything.

For you folks unfamiliar with the charming SG, you can see her "more serious" interactions with the Marvel universe in issues of The New Avengers, where she got the job of babysitter for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' offspring. Nothing wrong with those stories, either.

Here, in drawings far more antic (and, I daresay, livelier) than anything in The New Avengers, SG heads off to college, gets a new roommate, and strives without much success to conceal her "secret identity." She uses "Deadpool's Guide to Super Villains" to work her way out of the fix she finds herself in (and to generate great hilarity, ultimately). Perhaps most importantly, she uses skills that are infrequently deployed in superhero comics to achieve her ends. I refer to empathy and emotional intelligence. And if you think those two qualities are "just for girls," kindly take down your own name and email it to me.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: a kids' comic that's not just for kids.

*Or possibly one of my fellow shoppers; as we've already established, the trouble with my memory is that it's not as I recall it once having been.

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