The Fourth Grows Weak


excerpt of Quadrilogies charts showing decline in box-office gross and IMDB user ratings for first through fourth films in 'Jaws' and 'Superman' franchises

Kate Willaert, who shares a bunch of cool stuff over at her Uncool Artblog no matter what the name says, has designed an infographic charting IMDB user ratings and domestic box-office gross (adjusted for inflation) across movie quadrilogies — film series that have produced at least four installments. The diminishing returns come as no surprise, although there are exceptions to that general rule. Film series sampled aren't nearly as numerous as those used in the sequel map that I wrote about a few years ago, but of course even in our current cinematic climate there are plenty more franchises with just one or two follow-ups than three or more.

Kindred Posts: The A TeamIdentity CrisisAfter-Math

Jedi Laugh Track


Nothing against Heath Ledger or Cesar Romero, each of whom took an indelibly unique turn as Batman's nemesis, but for me Mark Hammill speaking Paul Dini's dialogue is the definite screen Joker. In a clip from a one-on-one interview during a recent Star Wars Weekend at Walt Disney World, Hammill gives Dini some mad love after treating the audience to an improvised dialogue between Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime and Luke Skywalker.

Hammill gesticulating as The Joker at 2014 'Star Wars' Weekend

Kindred Posts: Dinner on MEIf You Meta the Batman, Kill the Batman

This One Goes to Eleven


Mike Schmidt congratulating Jimmy Rollins with a soul handshake
Photo: Chris Szagola / AP © 2014.

Literally. Jimmy Rollins, Number 11, became the Phillies' all-time hits leader with his 2,235th — a single against the Cubs — last Saturday. Number 20, Mike Schmidt, the previous record-holder (and still arguably the franchise’s most-beloved shortstop, if not its most-beloved player, given what certainly feels like an aging fan base) is a class act who couldn't be happier.

Kindred Posts: Numbers GameHello, GoodbyeReady Player Four

O Tannin Bomb, O Tannin Bomb


From the Grapes of Wrath department…

Start of a news report from 6ABC on June 17th, 2014, reading 'Harrisburg (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is warning consumers about exploding bottles of wine. In an alert issued Monday, the PLCB said there have been several reports of bottles spontaneously exploding in state liquor stores.'
Screengrab © 2014 ABC Inc. / WPVI-TV Philadelphia

Long Day's Journey into Mystery


Watching the Tony Awards telecast last Sunday, I found myself coming up with
comics-related twists on the titles of various plays and musicals. The game continued for several days until my list grew long enough to split into two — one for Marvel, one for DC (last post) — while still paring each down to about half the rough draft. Some entries are more accessible to non-comics-reading folks than others; the only rule was passing over titles that wouldn't need to be changed at all, such as The Iceman Cometh or Beauty and The Beast.

Now take your seats for my...

Top Twenty Marvel Comics Broadway Mashups

20. You're a Mole Man, Charlie Brown

19. Dirty Rotten Fandral

18. Jess Is the Spider-Woman

17. Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Hulk

16. Thoroughly Modeled Millie

15. Lady Sif at Emerson's Bar & Grill

14. Mandarin of La Mancha

13. Twelve Angry X-Men

12. A Slim Summers Night's Dream

11. Who's Afraid of Virginia, Wolverine?

A Swamp Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


Watching the Tony Awards telecast last Sunday, I found myself coming up with
comics-related twists on the titles of various plays and musicals. The game continued for several days until my list grew long enough to split into two — one for DC, one for Marvel (next post) — while still paring each down to about half the rough draft. Some entries are more accessible to non-comics-reading folks than others; the only rule was passing over titles that wouldn't need to be changed at all, such as Man and Superman.

Now take your seats for my...

Top Twenty DC Comics Broadway Mashups

20. Riddler on the Roof

19. My Fair Lady Blackhawk

18. Ain't Mister Mxyzptlk

17. Captain Carrot and His Amazing Technicolor Zoo Crew

16. The Justice League of American Buffalos

15. Koriand'rolanus

14. Same Time, One Year Later

13. Glengarry Pete Ross

12. Bizarro #1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next

11. Oedipus Rex Mason

10. Joker's Shop of Horrors

News of Future Posts


So. You might've noticed that content around here has been sparse to nonexistent lately.

The reasons for this are, unfortunately, manifold. I spent much of last year setting up Adventures in Comicology, a website meant to archive my past writing on comics and steadily stream new material to boot. Posting here on Blam's Blog in 2013 fell to well under one whole freaking half the volume of previous annual totals — just a third of 2012's high-water mark — and even though I'm working to resume the flow this week I'll barely have reached a meager dozen entries for 2014 to date by July. I'd honestly be fine with that if technical problems, along with the inability to properly deal with those problems due to other life stuff, hadn't ground progress on Comicology and related projects to a halt. While it's bad enough simply not being able to put in as much time and effort as I'd like, it's far more frustrating to put in considerable time and effort yet have so little to show.

More pressing matters will continue to demand my attention in the short term, but hopefully by summer's end you'll see things pick up here a bit. Another, more detailed status update on all things me will be along when that happens. Stay cool.