April 27, 2011
HiLobrow.com has curated a collection of our favorite recent blog posts by comic-book scriptwriter and translator Adam McGovern. This is the eighth in a series of ten installments.
Like all open-minded fanboys, I’m ready to line up for the Green Hornet movie to decide how bad it sucks, and the enterprise was helped along by a recent marathon of the 1960s TV version on SyFy. I had very faint memories of the original run, but was mesmerized when I came across it the other day — played straight but with the same production-values as the Batman show (at the same time by the same people), it has a strange kind of serious camp; ultra-artificial but much more vivid than real. Made when all the Mad Men-era amoeba-furniture, parallelogram-cars, sculpted hair and fashion-ad outfits were actually in existence but with not one second filmed outside a soundstage, the show gives the weird feel of a present-day period piece, a diorama to give future generations or post-apocalyptic aliens the idea. Pretty much the only thing I’d remembered was the pre-kung-fu-craze Bruce Lee as Kato (among a number of Asian characters less stereotypical than during the superficially empowered kung-fu craze, not quite three-dimensional but remarkably less jive than anything else being done at the time — maybe ’cuz Lee wasn’t just acting). I didn’t remember Van Williams in the title role, square-jawed and skulled but still ridiculously beautiful like a prototypical Mike Allred male; Batman may have been the show that helped give Mike his lifetime pop muse, but Green Hornet is the show his characters live in. In the same way, the multi-season Batman may have made pop safe for ironic hipsters to say they liked, but the short-lived Hornet, perhaps TV’s closest success at a real-life cartoon but dead serious about itself, saw our media-saturated future even if it wasn’t then the one to watch.
This post originally appeared at ComicCritique.BLOG, on January 12, 2011.
CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators