April 20th, 2007

Spidey Swings to Broadway!

Hollywood, schmollywood. Been there, done that!

Now Broadway beckons Peter Parker, the wall-crawling wonder!

Yes, plans are afoot for a Spiderman musical on the Great White Way, to be directed by Julie Taymor, she of Lion King fame, with music by . . . wait for it . . . U2.

Will the music include a version of the original cartoon theme song, one of the best such songs ever composed? That song has been covered by many artists: from the atrocious (Flavio), to the egregious (Aerosmith), to the most perfect match of medias imaginable, courtesy of the Ramones.

I always wanted to see Sinatra cover the song. But wait -- he did! Oh -- wait again -- that's Hank, not Frank!

Anyway, Peter's got his work cut out for him. The gatekeepers of Broadway do not let just anyone pass!

Check out this kick-ass version by Michael Buble, which is probably as close as we'll ever come, bar cloning, to hearing how Ol' Blue Eyes woulda sung it . . .
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"Doing the boing-boing thing"

In a blog named after comic-book heroes, readers are bound to find lots of comic-book references. Witness Mr. Witcover's amazing Spidey news posted earlier.

(And just be thankful we didn't call ourselves "The Legion of Substitute Heroes."


I'm not sure Ms. Hand would have enjoyed being known as "Infectious Lass.")

But it's a rare instance when comics mention blogs. With the exception of a few comics writers, such as Warren Ellis, who's constructing a wiki to accompany his newest, DOKTOR SLEEPLESS,


most comics writers just don't seem on the tip yet, regarding blogs.

Which is why we have to bring you the exceptional panel below, from the first issue of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31ST CENTURY, the all-ages comics that accompanies the WB cartoon of the same name.

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Message from Michael Bishop on Jamie

Mike Bishop writes to his friend Jack Slay:

Dear Jack,

Please let everyone know that we suffered an Internet outage here and that I'm replying
from the house of a friend of Steffi's, after Steffi, her mother from Germany, our
Stephanie, our son-in-law Bridger, Jeri, and I spent about three hours at McCoy's Funeral
Home taking turns being with the returned body of our husband, son-in-law, brother,
brother-in-law, and son, Jamie, whom the employees of McCoy, without using any extreme
measures (for we had forbidden them to), had cleaned up, dressed in clothes of Jamie's
own, and laid out on a gurney in a quiet parlor. These individual and group viewings were
tremendously cathartic, and I was grateful that the gunshot wound that killed Jamie,
apparently almost immediately, was one to his chest.

Had he been facially mutilated, I could not have brought myself to behold that wound, and
seeing him looking so much himself, awaiting somebody's encouragement to awake and go out
with us all, comforted me and most of the others a great deal. Steffi, his wife, spent
the most time with him, as she should have done, of course, but all six of us, along with
three close friends, took real solace from these several emotional visits. It was hard to
leave him there, for now his hair will be shaved to make wigs for young cancer patients
and his body -- upon which we all laid hands, massaged, or kissed, or all of these things
-- will be cremated according to his wish. Steffi will receive his ashes and commit them
to an urn.

I can't write much more. Stephanie needs the computer, but you are welcome to share this
message with the community. The scene I've just described marks the climax of a difficult
week (as everyone already knows, by a compassionate intuition from which we have benefited
even here in Blacksburg), and because of it, we are almost ready to come home and to
resume our lives, uplifted by our memories of Jamie and by the extraordinary support of
friends and loved ones from all over. Jack, thanks for your prayers, your tears, and your
heartbreaking empathy, and I say these same words to everyone who has written, e-mailed,
or called, even as I beg everyone to excuse me for limiting my individual responses over
the next two days. There is still work to do. And more tears to shed. And more stories
to share.