Friday, July 25, 2008

Super Barbershop!

For most of you, it might be geeky enough merely to be a comic book fan.

Not I.

I'm also a barbershopper.

Oh, yes, though it doesn't come up here often, that's my hobby and what takes up most of my leisure time. My last vacation? A week in Nashville competing at the International Convention.

Kind of makes comic books seem tame, huh?

Anyway, I don't usually don't think of barbershop and comic books at the same time, because that confluence of geekiness is almost too powerful for me.


But someone asked me, so now I have to consider:

What part does/would these heroes sing?

Superman. Ah, Superman, the voice of the superhero community. Superman is a Lead. Not only do Leads sing the melody, they are often the visual focus. They, like Superman, are the one the audience looks to. They lead the other parts not directly, but by example. They don't intentional do anything to have the other parts follow them; the other parts simply fall in line with the Lead. Kind of like how Superman is within the superhero community. Besides what with superbreath, superventroliquism, and superhearing, Superman is definitely the master of his own voice, tone, and breathing.

But Clark Kent? Clark Kent is a baritone, obviously. Focused on fitting in, being invisible (and inaudible), varying what he's done to blend into his surroundings. Definitely a baritone.

Batman. Batman is (and no real surprise here) the reverse of Superman. Batman is a baritone: elusive, highly intelligent, focused on getting the job done, and making all the pieces fit, rather than on drawing attention to himself. He's content to stay in the shadows and is the most "professional" of all singers. Bruce Wayne is a Lead. Not a loud lead, but a Lead with a clear and pretty voice, and a suspiciously strong lower range.

Green Lantern. Oh my god. Lead, lead, lead. Vain, self-centered, over-confident, not particularly bright: a Lead, no question. Pays no attention to details, his fellow singers, or the composer's intentions. The kind of Lead who indulges in loud, long hangers, fueled by willpower. Hal's a Lead.

Flash. Either Wally or Barry, it's the same: Tenor. High, clear, reedy; sticks on a note with laser-like focus and zips along melismatically, making quick minute adjustments and making it look light and easy. Like any tenor, the Flash isn't about raw power, but technique in using his one niche ability to the fullest. The Flash is a Tenor.

Green Arrow. C'mon, you know this already. Loud. Bull-headed. Fancies himself a ladies' man, even though everyone is really paying attention to the Leads. Has only a few cadences that he hits again and again, and proud of it. Not bright enough to realize that he's not the star. Green Arrow is obviously a bass.

Hawkman. Reliable. Focused. Serves as a team backbone, whether it's JLA or JSA. Hawkman's a Bass.

Aquaman. Oh, he's one of those utility singers who's not the best at any one part, but can sing them all credibly. You know; the guy who teaches other guys how to sing tags. Can sing Lead, prefers to sing Bari, but usually winds up singing Bass or Tenor because everyone he hangs out with is already a Lead or a Bari. Singers like Aquaman are never in a winning quartet, but are always singing with somebody because they get along with everybody; they're just happy to be singing something.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • I read Pistolfist. It was much better than I'd hoped; I enjoyed it very much; I recommend you read it, too.
  • "Bruce in a cave." That's just pure funny.
  • Amazo's new symbol, which is of course reminiscent of the Composite Superman.
  • Diana Price and Etta Candy, just shopping.
  • "I have a wife, three kids, and a toy poodle."
  • Sea monkey? Hilarious!
  • "Invinciboy".
  • The Kirbyesque flashback sequence for Atlas.
  • Benjamin Franklin, tripping on his own stockings.
  • "I bring him along to scoop up the leftovers."
  • Cap's Hobby Center appeared TWICE in one week....?!
  • The Two-Face origin story is actually pretty engaging, and I've never liked Harvey Bullock more.
  • "That's why I'm making a chart of when different people turned into apes." It's sentences like THAT that I read comics for, people.
  • Two former aerialists working together.
  • Stealing Zatanna's mouth.
  • So do Mark Grayson and Jaime Reyes need to go shopping together, or what?
  • Dick shows Tim how to use wealth.
  • Crispus Attuck's brother.
  • JLA was another fine Heroclix game this week, but wasn't robbing Amazo of his speed the FIRST thing Wally should have done? I still say Wally's an idiot.
  • Jim Shooter keep the plot coming fast and furious in Legion!
  • Bat-Gibbon's deductions about simian species.
  • "You did move all the way around the world, and told us in a note. It was a bit inconsiderate."
  • So, since the cougars officially call Tim "the adopted son", and do NOT call Dick that, I'm pretty much assuming that the whole "Bruce adopts adult Dick for no apparent reason" has been forgotten. Which makes me happy.
  • That Amazo uses arrows, maces, and batarangs. Just because he can.
  • "Hey, pay attention to me. I'm fascinating." I mean, is that the best encapsulation of that character ever, or what?
  • Oliver Queen, dwarfified and tortured.
  • Wow; do not florg around with Light Lass...!
  • Sam and Bobo at the cinema.
  • Okay, that was not what I expected from the Mongul situation. At all.
  • "I love the laws of pendular motion."
  • This week, in three different books, Dick Grayson was extremely cool in the ways that only he be.
  • Franklin's son; by liberty, I had almost forgotten about him... ! The perfect villain!
  • "I have a funny feeling I'm not turning into a puppet." If you're not reading SuperFriends, I call thee a humorless fool.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barry's Return

Hello, Barry! Good to reach you in the Afterlife! I hear you've been considering returning to us, is that true?

Yes; yes, it is, Barry.

I've also heard Geoff Johns called you recently to convince you to return; what did he say?

Oh, Barry; always so literal!

You know, I've been kind of annoyed that, while you've been gone, editors and writers have been lavishing undue attention on your Rogue's Gallery, whom
you made famous.

Also, some of your old pals have suffered some hard knocks or been replaced by so-called "legacies" with varying degrees of success...

In fact, your former sidekick, Wally West, has been filling in for you, and he--

I understand how you feel; no argument here!

By the way, I'm not sure how time is perceived in Bald Man's Heaven; do you realize that Wally's been trying to be the Flash for over twenty years?

Only in terms of monthly sales, Barry.

Be forewarned; DC's been altering the universe in a lot of unpleasant ways during the period you've been away. Perhaps you were right during the last twenty years to stay away, so as to--

Yeah, sometimes the current DCU seems hard for me to recognize, too, Barry.

But there's more. You do realize that Grant Morrison and Dan Didio are continuing to remake the DCUniverse, as if--

Well, whatever you think, Barry; you know best.

What do you think the reaction will be to you rejoining Green Lantern in returning from the dead?

Oh, Barry; you're so literal!

Now that you're back with us, what will become of Wally, though? Lots of people are con--

Oh, so you think Grant Morrison has a plan to get rid of Wally, and if so, how do think the fans will react to that?

Yeah, that sounds about right.