hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
I post this every year: from the December 25, 1945 broadcast of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN radio show, here's series star Bud Collyer delivering Superman's Christmas message.

hradzka: (catwoman and holly)
I posted this last year. I think I'll make it an annual thing. From the December 25, 1945 broadcast of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN radio show, here's series star Bud Collyer delivering Superman's Christmas message.

hradzka: (jason)
I've mentioned my obsession with the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN old-time radio show before. With another road trip in the offing, I'm loading up on MP3 files, burning CDs of Bud Collyer and crew. I've decided to work my way through the show in order. It doesn't necessarily take all that long, especially on road trips; each episode was about fifteen minutes long, so you can go through several cliffhanger-filled storylines if you've got a good long drive ahead of you. Except I'd noticed that the online archives in some places were remarkably bereft. Today, I found the explanation:

****OF THE 700 EPISODES PRODUCED DURING THIS SUB-MISSIONS TIME-FRAME, ONLY 57 EPISODES ARE KNOWN TO EXIST. THESE ARE THOSE EPISODES. BEGINNING WITH EPISODE 1100, MOST OF THE EPISODES EXIST, DUE TO THE AFRS RECORDINGS FOR THE TROOPS OVER-SEAS IN WORLD WAR II.*****


This period covers the gap between December 1942 and August 1945.

I think Superman's first team-up with Batman in any medium and the first appearance of Kryptonite are among the burninated.

Excuse me; I'm going to cry now. And I thought old-school DOCTOR WHO fandom was heartbreaking.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
From Christmas Day, 1945: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN star Bud Collyer delivers Superman's Christmas message.



In a lot of ways, the speech is a time capsule. It must have seemed obvious: we'd whipped the intolerant regimes, so things had to get better. Just as before the war it was obvious that munitions magnates fomented wars for profit, rather than political reasons -- Hitler torpedoed that one, but now, of course, we'd figured it out, if only too late. And then the Soviets set up their puppet states in Eastern Europe, and blockaded Berlin, and people of goodwill the world over wondered what we did wrong. But that cheerfulness, that we-can-lick-anything optimism, says volumes about the postwar period. And it says a lot about Superman to me.
hradzka: (pointy teeth)
Aha! The video beast is slain. For the record, if you're using iMovie and your Quicktime export looks fine but the YouTube conversion screws up the video, take some time to mess around with any stills you're using. Turns out all YouTube wanted was for every single one of my stills to use the Ken Burns effect -- if you just leave it as a still for five seconds or whatever, it gets bored and confused. So Ken Burns out the wazoo, or even very minimally, and you'll come out fine. Now that that's out of the way, here's my belated Thanksgiving post.

This year, I'm thankful for a lot of things -- including, for obvious reasons, fandom -- but here's one little thing I'm thankful for: Bud Collyer. Never heard of him? Well, you might have *heard* him, anyway: he was the first actor to play Superman on a regular basis (probably the second to play him ever -- a guy named Ray Middleton dressed up in a Superman suit at the 1939 World's Fair). Collyer started playing Superman on radio in 1940 and kept it up for a decade. He played Superman in cartoons, too, by the Fleischer studios and in later TV animated series.

But it doesn't make sense for me to geek out about Bud Collyer unless you get to hear him. So here's my first-ever videoblog post. Warning: the video below the cut contains footage of a grown man geeking out over a 1940s radio show. Folks who enjoy comics, slash, and video of a guy being a complete dork may find some unexpected enjoyment here.

Video below the cut. )
hradzka: (pointy teeth)
In my last post, I mentioned that old-time radio had led me to hypothesize about the use of narration, and captions, in comic books. Briefly, there are two kinds of narration that you'll find in dramatizations: observer and participant. Observer's narration is provided by an omniscient, disembodied individual not represented in the drama, while participant's narration is provided by somebody who's actually there. Typically, the former is third-person, while the latter is first-person.

Radio shows -- dramas, in particular -- employed both of these forms. Which type you got depended on the show. THE LONE RANGER and SUPERMAN used observer narration. The observer was particularly helpful to describe things that were going on that would be difficult to convey in dialogue or with audio cues -- in Superman's first radio adventure on Earth, for example, the narrator describes Superman as hovering in the air over a city in Indiana. The show used audio cues -- "Up, up, and awaaaaaayyyyy!!!" and the sound of rushing wind -- to convey Superman's flight, but conveying Superman hovering in space when he didn't have anybody to talk to there was a little more difficult. The narrator for THE LONE RANGER might describe a horse chase, or describe what various characters were getting up to offstage. Participant narration was common in the detective shows; DRAGNET is narrated by Jack Webb's Joe Friday, and YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR is narrated by the insurance investigator himself. (I think that's why we think of the first-person voiceover as such a part of the hard-boiled genre: it has less to do with film noir than with radio.)

So, where do comic book captions come into it? )

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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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