Fanboy and Harry #3

Fanboy practices his conversational skills for the ladies.

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Sketch of scene from Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa

Emotional Structures in Kurosawa’s Ikiru

One of my favorite scenes from this film occurs nearly halfway through and just before the protagonist dies. Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and given roughly six months to live. Initially, after hearing the news, he attempts to kill himself through expensive indulgences with women, drinking, and gambling. He is unsuccessful in ending his life and continues on living and sulking in his misery and sorrow wondering what it all means now that he’s about to die.

The Silver Surfer AKA Christ on a Surfboard

The Silver Surfer: Hope on a Surfboard

As I’ve always said, “Good artists borrow; great artists steal,” and Marvel’s been doing this for years—sometimes not even bothering to change the name—yes Thor, I’m looking at you. But sometimes they’re creations end up resembling mythologies, religious symbols, or old campfire stories by happenstance simply because that’s where the story needs to go. It needed to be a story about hope.

Sisyphus and The Prisoner

Sisyphus and The Prisoner

When it’s times are tough, it can seem like our lives are not much different than Sisyphus’s infinite task. Daily, we find ourselves pushing our own boulders up a hill with the hope that someday we might roll it over the other side. Unlike Sisyphus though, sometimes the temptation to give up on achieving our goals is so strong that we wonder, ‘Why do I even try? It’s never going to happen for me.’

Marvel Comics Irish Superhero Shamrock Redesign

Marvel’s Unluckiest Irish Superhero Needs A Fresh Start

In the summer of 1982, Marvel released a three-issue limited event series called “The Contest of Champions.” Universe-spanning Marvel Comics events are pretty common these days, but this event was the one that started it all.

One of the new characters that came from the series was female Irish superhero Shamrock. These days, she’s found on various “Where Are They Now?” lists, with pretty unfavorable criticisms of her character. And when I dug into the source material to find out what happened with this character, I found a much stronger and conflicted hero than I thought I would find.

With Marvel launching it’s Fresh Start this year and revamping its classic heroes. I’d like to throw Shamrock’s name in the ring for a new beginning.