Thursday, July 23, 2009

Swipe File: Mann vs. Superman!

Best Mann For The Job #22: This week's one-panel emergency-worker drama is *almost* a swipe of Action Comics #1 -- because when I wrote the script, I got out my battered old hardcover copy of Superman: From the 30's to the 70's (Bonanza Books)*, pointed to page 16 and told my wife, "Try to make it look like this."

Alas, Erica held to such higher standards as "integrity" and "good storytelling" and "I don't want to get sued." So while the result alludes to the aforementioned comics cover, it is actually more original than I'd hoped.

For those of you who wonder what I'm talking about: Action Comics #1 is the 1938 comic book that introduced the world's first superhero -- Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. (According to Wikipedia, the cover to Action Comics #1 remains one of the most homaged covers of all time.) Superman, of course, spent the following 70-plus years making billions of dollars for his corporate owner. And, all these years later, the original series is still being published -- and is just months away from its milestone 900th issue.
Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. This serial drama aspires to the style of the classic comic strips, with the crime-bustin' chops of a rural Dick Tracy, the small-town charm of Gasoline Alley, and the emotional touches of The Heart of Juliet Jones. (Or if you prefer, think of it as a cross between T.J. Hooker and Northern Exposure.)

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Related links:
Best Mann: "The tank's cracking!"
Best Mann: Honoring the father of manga

*(Note to professional writers and editors: Yes, the title of the book is grammatically incorrect. It should have been Superman: From the '30s to the '70s. But it wasn't. So shut up.)

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