One thing I’ve come to appreciate about Jason T. Miles’ comics and ‘zines over the years — and which undoubtedly holds true for his latest self-published effort, What Its Like — is that he simply doesn’t have time to fuck around. Take, for instance, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it misspelling in the title here : I assume it to be intentional, but I could be entirely wrong about that, and the beauty of the whole things is that it really doesn’t matter much either way. There’s a ferocity to this story, these drawings, the entire project that speaks of someone sitting down at the drawing board and getting it all down on paper before it goes away. And now that it’s out in the world in print, it ain’t going anywhere.
Everything here is abstract, it’s true, but also recognizable to one degree or another — not as a hard-and-fast “thought” or…
“Why, sir —” long-suffering butler Alfred inquires of Bruce Wayne in Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns, “—whatever happened to your moustache?”
Providence’s Ryan Alves is out to do a lot more than flip that query on its head with his recent AWE Comics newspaper broadsheet Moustache, though — and while it may not always be clear what his ambitions and aims are, his atmospheric blend of rich black inks, cinematic panel compositions, well-placed washes (or a digital approximation thereof, at any rate?), intricate linework, and good old-fashioned improvisational drawing at the very least marks this as the best-looking “Bat book” to come down the pike in ages, certainly better than anything DC seems even capable of producing with the “real” thing. Which brings us to the big question, namely —
So what is this early-days story featuring the most thinly-veiled analogue for the Caped Crusader ever…
This music video is from 1953, back before anyone had even heard the term “music video.” It originally aired on local Chicago television and it was produced by the animators at Centaur Productions. It’s said that, for two minutes, there was no mafia activity in Chicago as everyone watched Suzy Snowflake. That’s the power of the holidays!
I’m not sure if this was the first time this song was ever sung but Suzy Snowflake was subsequently covered by several artists and, in previous years, it was one of those songs that was in the regular holiday music rotation for most stores. Maybe it still is. I’m doing almost all of my Christmas shopping from home this year so I’m not really sure what they’re playing out there. Yesterday, I did my nightly Christmas shopping while listening to Britney Spears. Tonight, I’m going to listen to The Chemical Brothers and tomorrow, it’ll be time for Saint Motel. I don’t know if people are going to like their presents but I’m enjoying the soundtrack.
But anyway, back to Suzy Snowflake!
I have to admit that I really hate this song. I mean, seriously …. Suzy Snowflake just feels like she’s taunting those of us who live in the southwest. We don’t ever get any snow! Or at least, we haven’t gotten any recently. A few years ago, it actually did snow on Christmas in Dallas and I ran outside and jumped up and down and then I ended up having to say in bed for a few days because I had a pretty cold. But anyway, Suzy Snowflake plays favorites. Poor Frosty melted and Suzy apparently can’t travel any further south than Indiana. You’re a snob and an elitist, Suzy.
That said, this video is cute. The song may make me grind my teeth but I probably would have loved the video if I had been alive in 1953. And it’s a piece of history! It’s from the early days of television! You couldn’t do something like this one the radio, could you!? Go to hell, Little Orphan Annie! Drink your Ovaltine, indeed. Oddly, the video actually aired on December 28th, three days after Christmas! What’s up with that, Suzy? YOU THINK YOU’RE TOO GOOD FOR CHRISTMAS!?