Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett looks at a civilian account of faux weapons at a comic convention, then surveys the geek offerings on Amazon Prime.
As previously established, there are some weeks I have no idea what to write about, which is when I put "comic books" into the search engines of various news sites and check the results. This week the process gave me a story which I just couldn’t ignore, written by Glenn Gavin and appearing on the Miami Herald website titled, "Thousands of self-proclaimed comic-book nerds gather in Miami, and no one gets killed."
It's a local story about a local comic book convention and usually, that pretty much means standard boilerplate stuff. And this one starts out pretty much the way you'd expect; with a couple of paragraphs about how expensive some old comics are. But as the headline makes clear, Mr. Gavin focuses on comic con violence, in spite of the fact there were no violent incidents at this year's Paradise City Comic Con, run by the Fort Lauderdale-based company Supercon. The thing about Paradise City Comic Con that seems to have disturbed Gavin was all of the facsimile weapons that were on display; "Ominously costumed characters bearing chainsaws, scythes and machine guns paraded into the convention center all day long, though only after being checked to make sure that their weapons were made of plastic or rubber."
The faux weapon which bothered him the most, though, was the plastic version of Lucille, the barbed wire wrapped bat from The Walking Dead
television series that was on sale. He even went on to claim it was the "gorily stomach-turning" scenes involving Lucille which had caused the show's ratings to go down. The clerks selling them didn’t share Gavin’s concerns, though he did quote one as saying, "The only time I started getting worried... is when people come up to look at it and then say, ‘Why should I buy this when I can just make my own.’" I have to confess, that would kind of worry me too.
I was happy to read on the i09 website that "Tick's Going to Form a Wacky Superteam When His Show Comes Back in February
," because I had genuinely enjoyed the first six episodes that streamed on Amazon Prime last year (see "Confessions of a Comic Book -- Adapted For The Screen
"). What I neglected to mention then was there's also a lot of other content streaming on Prime that would be of interest to fans, like the high-profile prestige genre series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
and The Man in The High Castle
That's just for starters. Recently Amazon folded its pay anime platform Amazon Strike and placed all its movies and series from it on Prime.* They also have all episodes of the new Doctor Who
and Thunderbirds Are Go
, as well as over a dozen Rifftrax
versions of such cinematic classics as Hillbillys in a Haunted House
, Samurai Cop
and the martial arts musical, Miami Connection
But, for me, where Amazon Prime really shines is in the massive number of weird/old/crappy/foreign science fiction, horror, fantasy and action movies that they have. For instance, there’s Superhero Force
, better known as the infamous Turkish film 3 Dev Adam
where Captain America and Mexican wrestler Santo go to Istanbul to fight the villainous Spider-Man.
My most recent discovery, however, proved to be even stranger. The other day Bruce Lee’s The Kid
popped up on my "Watch Next" list. Amazon Prime described it as "A 10-year-old Bruce Lee stars as Kid Cheung, an orphan boy who sells comics in a little stall in the slums to survive and takes on the local gangs with his own style of street justice." At first, I didn’t believe this could be the actual Bruce Lee, but after a little research, I was surprised to discover that Bruce Lee had in fact been a child actor. I also learned Kid Cheung was a character from a Chinese comic strip and its creator, Yuan Bou-wan, also had a role in the movie. So, the next time someone disrespects you, tell them that Bruce Lee once played a kickass comic book retailer.
* Amazon also recently closed down their pay Bollywood platform, Heera, and placed its content on Amazon Prime. I know Indian cinema isn’t everybody’s cup of meat, but if you’ve never seen a Bollywood movie, and have Amazon Prime, you have the perfect opportunity to do so.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.