The Daily Planet

Superman Joins Spidey
in the Unemployment Row

The biggest villain any superhero worth his or her cape has to contend with is boredom. So writers who maintain their alt-world keep topping themselves with ways to sustain their relevance in such unfazed times. Often, their realm comes close to bursting into our sad sack of reality.
What just happened to Clark Kent is typical. With the doom and gloom surrounding the print industry’s outlook, even the most unflappable reporter has to adapt. So he’s quitting his newspaper job and becoming, of all things, a blogger. Like we need any more competition.
He probably has a better shot at succeed than poor Peter Parker, who lost his own job at the Daily Bugle two years ago and recently got evicted from his landmark address in Queens and moved to Brooklyn. Yeah, right. Have you seen how much rents cost in Williamsburg lately?
Right there, it’s a sign we’re talking about fiction: in our unglamorous but inescapable day to day life, chances are, the next stop after Queens would be Newark, or Hackensack, New Jersey. But at least in Brooklyn, Spider-Man will be closer to the Superhero Supply Shop, the newest depot for all things hero in the city.
For the record, the two legends share an elaborated costume, a will to do good, and not much else. Superman was born in the throes of WWII and the A-bomb, a break-neck solution for the terrifying prospects of that time. Spidey, on the other hand, is the offspring of the more cynical and self-deprecating 1960s.
Clark Kent’s alter ego has been nothing but an intoxicating but soothing mix of naivete and power, always at the ready to help the little guy. Apparently, after a stint as a patriot and champion of the ‘American Way,’ he’s now back at being just your regular, faster-than-a-bullet, Continue reading

Gone With Goya

* On the passing of art critic Robert Hughes, we raided Colltales archives to republish a small post we wrote a year ago this week. It’s a humble recollection of a casual meeting in New York, when we had a chance to go a few rounds with the man without being knocked out.
Hughes, a Type A personality with a talent for conveying visceral narratives of art and history, and an equal flair for the grand gesture, will surely dominate obituary pages in today’s newspapers of both sides of the Atlantic and in his native Australia, we’re sure.
We’ll certainly miss his great mind too, and the kind of art critic that he represented, which seems to be on its way out these days: the relevant contributor, not just the rubber-stamping reviewer.
Robert Hughes was 74. R.I.P.

An Exchange With Robert
Hughes He Doesn’t Recall

‘A note about Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky threw me for a spin today.
The note, on DangerousMinds.com, was about “The Steamroller and the Violin,” first feature of the man Ingmar Bergman credited for having “invented a new language, true to the nature of film,” as the blogger Paul Gallagher writes.
In a second, I went back in time, to a brief encounter on a street of SoHo, New York, with the Australian art critic Robert Hughes. Having as a rule never to approach someone famous, I confess, I did make an exception at the time.
Hughes had just published a highly praised biography of Francisco de Goya and I wanted to ask whether he knew the Continue reading