The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 24, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Why Star Wars?

In the most recent installment of the Laser Age, the Dissolve’s fascinating history of science fiction films from the 1960s to the 1980s, Keith Phipps turns his attention to Superman, Star Trek, and Flash Gordon — three movies released in the immediate wake of Star Wars. It’s a great read if you are … Continue reading

April 14, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Batman: Strange Days

For me, and I suspect plenty of other people of a certain age, the noir-inspired Batman: The Animated Series, is still the most satisfying version of the character to come to screen. The series has long since ended but happily, … Continue reading

October 17, 2013
by Dan
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Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short

Superman through the years in two minutes: There’s a list of annotations on the DC Comics blog.

June 20, 2013
by Dan
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The Daily Planet and The Architecture of Superman

At the Smithsonian Design Decoded blog, Jimmy Stamp provides a brief history of The Daily Planet building in Superman comics: Whenever disaster strikes Superman’s Metropolis, it seems that the first building damaged in the comic book city is the Daily Planet – home … Continue reading

August 10, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

No Idea What I’m Doing — Keith Ridgway, author most recently of Hawthorn & Child, on writing fiction: I have no idea what I’m doing. All the decisions I appear to have made—about plots and characters and where to start and … Continue reading

July 11, 2012
by Dan
2 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Literary prints by Evan Robertson, AKA Obvious State. Chairman of the Bored — Bruce Handy on collecting boring books: My hobby has two rules: I buy books only on the street. (Uniquely boring books must present themselves willingly; you can’t … Continue reading

August 15, 2011
by Dan
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Grant Morrison | All Things Considered

Author and comics writer Grant Morrison talks about superheroes and his new book Supergods with NPR’s All Things Considered: NPR ALL THINGS CONSIDERED: Grant Morrison Supergods

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