Archive for the ‘Investigating Lois Lane’ Category

Investigating Lois Lane is a $2 Kindle Monthly Deal for September!

September 5, 2017

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Everybody loves a deal, and for the entire month of September, wow do I have a deal for you. My second book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter, is a Kindle Monthly Deal right now and you can get the ebook for a fraction of the usual cost. The book came out a year and a half ago, but if you missed it then, here’s your chance to check it out with some great savings:

The deal doesn’t appear to be global, but if you’re American or Canadian, you’re all set.

Investigating Lois Lane is an in depth look at the history of the character, and covers everything from her first appearance in 1938 to the present day. It also goes beyond comics to explore different incarnations of Lois in television, films, cartoons, and novels. The book is thorough but accessible, and offers a unique perspective on the world of superheroes. Lois has been a constant in the genre since it’s very inception, in all of its many forms, and tracing her history gives us a compelling vantage point to see the evolution of female characters in superhero stories over the past eight decades.

Lois is a fantastic heroine, and each era of the character is a blast in her own way. From her tenacious bravery in the 1940s to her feminist revolution in the 1970s to her status as the DC universe’s greatest journalist today, Lois is an icon of the comic book world. Outside of comics, Noel Neill, Phyllis Coates, Margot Kidder, Teri Hatcher, Dana Delany, Erica Durance, Kate Bosworth, and Amy Adams have all portrayed the character, and each brought something new and interesting to her. There’s so much to explore with Lois, and the book covers it all.

Needless to say, I had a wonderful time writing this book and while I’ve always loved Lois, digging into her past left me with an even greater appreciation for the character. I hope that you’ll check it out if you haven’t yet! For less than two bucks, you really can’t go wrong. And if you’d like a glimpse inside the book before you take the plunge, here’s an excerpt of one of my favourite chapters courtesy of The Atlantic. Get into all of the Lois Lane fun before the month is out to land this amazing deal!

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You Can Buy A Page From The Comic In Which Lois Lane Fell In Love With Comet The Super-Horse!

August 30, 2016

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I don’t mean to tell you what to do with your money, gang, but here are some very important facts concerning an excellent investment opportunity:

1) In Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #92, Lois fell in love with Comet the Super-Horse.

2) You can buy a page from that comic book RIGHT NOW at Heritage Auctions.

Lois falling in love with a horse needs some explanation; in particular, it should be pointed out that Lois was a horse at the time as well. Or rather, they were both human, then both horses, and their love grew over the course of their encounters in both forms.

The full story is this: It turns out that Comet the Super-Horse, the caped flying horse who was a pal of Supergirl throughout the Silver Age, was also a human named Bill Biron. Now, back in the days of ancient Greece, Biron was a centaur who fell in love with the sorceress Circe and won her affection by saving her from the evil Maldor, a rival wizard.  Circe gave him a potion to turn him into a man, but she accidentally gave him the wrong potion and turned him into a full horse. She then gave him another potion that gave him the powers of the Olympian gods and immortality. Centuries later, he met Supergirl and became Comet the Super-Horse

You with me so far? Now, for some reason, whenever a comet passes by Earth, Comet the Super-Horse, a.k.a. Biron the former centaur, turns into a powerless human man. And when he does, he performs as the magician Bill Biron to make a few bucks. While he was in this form, he met Lois Lane and, much like with Circe, he won her affection by saving her from an assassination plot. He told her that he was really Comet, but she fell for him anyway and they ended up kissing. As Lois explained, “This is wild! Maybe he’s superhorse, but this handsome, human identity of his really turns me on.”

Lois falling in love with random dudes was pretty common in the Silver Age. She wanted Superman above all else, but he was never into settling down. So when handsome guys came along, Lois was often ready to ditch Superman to marry them. This got her into a lot of tricky situations. She almost married a weird looking alien in one issue, and nearly ended up wed to Satan himself in another. So as far as her romances went, a guy who’s also a horse wasn’t too bad.

Trouble did follow, though, as it always did with these romances. The evil wizard Maldor was still after Biron/Comet, and he ended up turning Lois into a horse! Luckily, the comet flew off into space around the same time and Comet returned to his horse form. The duo evaded horse hunters, then frolicked  together through snow and waterfalls in a romantic horse date.

In the mean time, Circe reached out to Superman through the “stream of time” to tell him that Lois was a horse, and that he could turn her back into a human by exposing her to the radiance of a rainbow. He did so, but part of the spell meant that she forgot her time as a horse, and remembered Biron only as a fun one-night date; she assumed he’d turned back into Comet the Super-horse and just moved on.

Obviously, this is a fantastic issue of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane. And now, you can own a piece of this story! Heritage Auctions has a listing for a page from the issue, pencilled by the legendary Curt Swan with inks by Mike Esposito:

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The page is from the horse hunters sequence, when Lois and Comet fight to escape them. Lois is on the page, but in horse form. And right now, it’s only $12! The price will go up as the auction goes on, and by the time it closes in five days it should be a lot higher, but you never know how these things will go. So get on it, fellow Lois Lane fans! Think of what a conversation piece this page will be when it’s framed and hung prominently in your home. You’d be a fool not to look into it. I’m certainly going to watch the auction through to the end.

 

Pennsylvania Pals, Come See Me At BookFestPA on Saturday, July 16!

July 6, 2016

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America, I’m coming back to visit you soon! I’ve been invited to BookFestPA, which is part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College and Penn State, and I’ll be there for the full day of BookFestPA on Saturday, July 16. The theme for this year’s BookFestPA is comic books, and I’ll be there to chat about the history of superheroes. I’m really looking forward to the trip; it sounds like a great festival, and everyone involved has been wonderful to work with. I think it’s going to be a blast.

I’ll be there in the main tent, with copies of Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine and Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter for sale. I’ll also have lots of free things to give away, including bookmarks and fun Investigating Lois Lane notebooks. There will be lots of other great people in the tent, too, including comic book creators like Alitha Martinez (Batgirl) and Robert Hack (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).

I’ll also be giving a talk in the Downsbrough Community Room at the Schlow Centre Region Library at 11am on Saturday; it’s right next to BookFestPA’s main tent. My talk is on “The History of Women in Comics,” and I’ll chat about Wonder Woman and Lois Lane, of course, as well as several other great female superheroes as I discuss the evolution of women in superhero comics over the best eight decades. The presentation is going to be jam packed with all of your favourite heroines and villainesses. I’m putting the PowerPoint together now, and it’s absolutely loaded with so many fantastic female characters. Catwoman? For sure. Supergirl? Of course. Black Widow? Yep. Ms. Marvel? We’ve got both of them. Batgirl? ALL OF THEM. Gwen Stacy? Like ten different versions. Patsy Walker? I’m going to have to force myself to stay on track so I can get to everyone else because I could talk about Patsy Walker ALL DAY. It’s going to be so much fun!

So if you’re in the ballpark of central Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 16, come say hi! You can hear me chat about awesome comic book ladies, check out books from a variety of awesome folks, and I’ll even give you free stuff. Plus there’s going to be a costume contest! You can dress up! It’s going to be a great day, and I think a good time will be had by all. Check out the BookFestPA page for more information, and I hope to see you there!

Remembering Noel Neill, The First Live Action Lois Lane

July 5, 2016

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Noel Neill passed away last Sunday at the age of 95, having lived a long and fascinating life. She wore a number of hats during her time in show business; she was a model, a singer, and an actress in both film and television, but she was best known as Lois Lane. Neill was the first live action Lois, playing the character alongside Kirk Alyn’s Man of Steel in the 1948 serial film Superman and reprising the role in its 1950 sequel, Atom Man vs. Superman. After Phyllis Coates left the Adventures of Superman television series after one season in 1952, the producers immediately reached out to the original Lois, and Neill played Lois next to George Reeves’ Superman for the next five seasons of the program until it ended in 1958.

Neill was Lois Lane during the bulk of the run of the Adventures of Superman, making her the person that an entire generation of fans associated with the character. The show was a hit in its initial run, and remained popular in syndication for a long time as well. Until Margot Kidder took over the role in Superman: The Movie in 1978, Noel Neill WAS Lois Lane.

Neill’s Lois was pleasant and kind-hearted, a stark contrast to the no nonsense brashness that Coates and later Kidder imbued in the character. Neill brought a warmth and friendliness to the role, which fit the part; the program was aimed primarily at children from its second season on, and Neill’s Lois was a good match for its fun, sometimes silly tone. She often found herself in goofy adventures alongside Jimmy Olsen, caught up in a zany plan that required Superman to come save them.

But Neill’s Lois wasn’t all damsel in distress hijinks; in one notable episode, she wrote an editorial that encouraged women to come out and vote in order to get rid of a corrupt politician, leveraging her position at the Daily Planet to try to make a difference. Moreover, she was a constant presence at the newspaper, always chasing down leads and trying to land front page scoops. She was a respected career woman at a time when most of the women on television were homemakers, serving as a role model for young girls in the 1950s and offering them an alternative future to aspire to.

After the Adventures of Superman ended, Neill remained closely associated with Lois Lane and the Superman franchise. She cameoed as Lois’ mother in an early scene in Superman: The Movie, appeared in the Superboy TV show in 1991, and had a small role in Superman Returns in 2006. Neill was also a regular presence at comic book conventions over the decades, representing the show alongside Jack Larson long after most of the original cast had passed. By all accounts, she was delightful, kind, and encouraging to everyone she encountered at conventions, and was a wonderful ambassador for Lois Lane.

I was so sad to hear about her passing yesterday, but wow, what a life. She got to be Lois Lane, TWICE, and seemed to love every minute of it. As a young girl growing up in Minnesota, her father ran a newspaper and she dreamed of being a reporter; she even wrote some articles for Women’s Wear Daily before turning to show business. Then as Lois, she got to live her dream on the big screen and the small screen, and wholeheartedly embraced her association with the character from then on. She will be remembered and missed by legions of fans, young and old.

Finally, here’s a bio of Noel Neill that first appeared in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #7 in February 1959. When Lois’ new series began, many of the letters from young fans asked about Neill and wanted to know more about her, so DC put together this piece for them. Fans continued to ask about her even after the article ran, so DC reprinted it a few more times throughout the 1960s:

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My Adventures in Chicago: The Lois Lane Panel at Women & Children First and C2E2

March 22, 2016

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Now that I am returned to my home and native land, I’ve got some time to look back at my Chicago trip and share some of the highlights. It was a fun, busy, Lois Lane-centric few days that started with the “Legacy of Lois Lane” panel Wednesday night at Women & Children First. Well, technically it started with me taking a bus from Kingston to Chicago, but that was less eventful; I listened to Hamilton and then slept a bunch. But then, awake and alert after all of that bus sleeping, I arrived in Chicago to panel it up!

The panel was a blast. Everyone at Women & Children First was fantastic and into the panel, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Also, I lucked out and put together a ridiculously awesome group of panelists: Anne Elizabeth Moore moderated the panel and was spectacularly good at it, while Lauren Burke, Caitlin Rosberg, and Katie Schenkel were all smart and funny and made so many great points (in the photo above, from left to right it goes Anne, Katie, me, Lauren, Caitlin; also, we’re all wearing Daily Planet press badges). Plus Lauren brought some old issues of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane, which was rad!

It’s hard to determine the success of a panel when you’re on it, but it felt like it went really well. We hit on most of the major topics we wanted to get into, and everyone got to be involved. They also had to bring in some more chairs and there were still people standing in the back, which was pretty great. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and I know I had a lot of fun; you can’t really have a bad time when you’re talking about Lois Lane.  Plus I got to talk about some of my favourite Lois stories ever, chatted about Phyllis Coates for a bit, and we all worked in mentions of other great comics that are worth checking out. I love that everyone who attended the panel left with a list of a variety of killer comics to go find and read.

The panel was recorded, and I’ll post it once it goes online so everyone can see it!

After the panel came C2E2, which was also great! And enormous. Wow, I’ve never been to a show that big before. It was insane, in the best way.  It was hard not to buy everything; I had to talk myself out of purchasing the Batman v Superman Wonder Woman Barbie (it was AWESOME, but it was $60, which seemed a bit much). I did well with what I did purchase, though, including a great Sho Murase Catwoman print and a lucky pick on a Batman v Superman mini-Funko blind box that landed me a Wonder Woman! Plus I also got to see/meet a bunch of rad people including Marguerite Bennett (I can’t wait for her Lois in DC Comics Bombshells), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Tommy Lee Edwards, and so many more!

But I wasn’t just there to take in the sights, even though I could have spent all weekend doing that and still not have seen everything! I was signing books at the Independent Publisher’s Group booth, and that was also a lot of fun. All of the IPG folks were great, and it was fun to see so many people come by! There were a few people I knew through the internet, but also folks who had seen the AV Club review or The Atlantic piece, so that was neat. I’m so glad that the press for Investigating Lois Lane seems to be reaching folks. So yeah, I got to sign a bunch of books and meet a bunch of people and I was surprised and pleased with the number of folks I saw this weekend given that I was only signing for two and a half hours.

In between all of the books events, I got to meet all of the people I’ve been working with in real life for the first time. My publisher is based in Chicago and my agent came over from Minnesota, so I got to hang out in person with all of the people I’ve been talking to through the internet for years and years. And they’re all wonderful! It was lovely to meet everyone for real and find out that they’re all as awesome as I thought they’d be. Everyone was so great and nice, plus they’re all very excited about Investigating Lois Lane and what might be coming next, so that was encouraging and fun. I’m really glad to be working with such good, smart people, and I’m very fortunate to be a part of such an amazing team. Also, extra huge thanks to my pal at Chicago Review Press, Mary Kravenas, for getting me through the busyness of everything!

So yeah, that was Chicago! It was a good trip all around. And I got to eat deep dish pizza, which was impressively tasty. I don’t know what they do to the cheese to make it chewy like bubblegum, but it is super weird and also super delicious. Huge thanks to everyone who came by the panel and the convention! It was great to see you all!

Read an Excerpt From Investigating Lois Lane at The Atlantic!

March 14, 2016

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In what is one of the very coolest and sort of unbelievable moments of my career thus far, The Atlantic has run an excerpt of Investigating Lois Lane.  I’m honoured to be on the site, and I’m so glad that everyone can get a nice peek inside the book and see what it’s like.  I mean, you can’t beat a free sample!

They picked one of my favourite parts of the book, the section that focuses on Lois Lane’s brief feminist revolution in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane in the early 1970s under editor Dorothy Woolfolk.  I won’t spoil it for you because you can go ahead and read it, but Lois gets into women’s lib and makes some big life changes that, while short lived, were huge and fascinating.

It’s a great era for Lois, and was also a fun opportunity for me to write about one of my favourite people in the history of comics, Dorothy Woolfolk.  As Dorothy Roubicek, before she was married, she was an assistant editor on Wonder Woman in the 1940s, and then returned to DC a few decades later to revolutionize their romance line with pro-women’s lib themes before taking on Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane.  Woolfolk is a fantastic and criminally underappreciated part of comic book history, and I’m always glad to shine a spotlight on her any time I can.

The excerpt is from Chapter 5 of the book, which in its full form also includes a look at Lois’ earlier, super problematic attempts to become more relevant and engage in issues surrounding race.  The portion that’s excerpted at The Atlantic is also a bit longer in the book; they trimmed it slightly for length, so there are some more cool little bits in Investigating Lois Lane.

Anyway, huge thanks to The Atlantic for running the excerpt!  You can go check it out now, and then pick up the book if you like what you see.

Come See Me in Chicago for Lois Lane Fun, March 16 at Women & Children First and March 18-20 at C2E2

March 4, 2016

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America! I am leaving my igloo and my maple syrup farm behind to come south and visit your nation. More specifically, Chicago! For a series of very fun events surrounding my newly released book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Chicago before, but everyone says it’s a great city and I’m excited to explore it when I’m not chatting about Lois.

My first event is at the bookstore Women & Children First, on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30pm. It’s a panel discussion called “The Legacy of Lois Lane”, and I’ll be talking about the history of Lois as well as several other female comic book characters along with my super fantastic fellow panelists. They include: Anne Elizabeth Moore from the Ladydrawers and the upcoming Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking (it’s really good, by the way), Lauren Burke from the Ladies Night Anthology series, Caitling Rosberg from The A.V. Club, and Katie Schenkel from Panels, Comics Alliance, The Mary Sue, and more! It’s a killer line up and I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on Lois Lane and the history of female characters in comics. It’s going to be a lot of fun. For more information, check out the panel’s Women & Children First event listing and/or the Facebook event page.

After that, I’ve got Thursday all to myself for the most part. If there are any Chicago locals or Chicago enthusiasts reading this, hit the comments tell me what awesome things I should do with my day!

Then it’s C2E2, which should be awesome. Comic conventions are always a good time. My publisher’s distributor, Independent Publishers Group, has a booth at the show, #640, and my official signing times there are:

  • Friday, March 18, 3:00-4:00pm
  • Saturday, March 19, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Sunday, March 20, 11:30am-12:30pm

We’re going to have books for sale and fun stuff to give away, so if you’re going to be at C2E2 you should definitely stop by. I’ve got bookplates for both Wonder Woman Unbound and Investigating Lois Lane, so your books will look extra snazzy. And if you don’t want to buy anything or get things signed, you can just come over and we can talk about Lois for a while; I’m always game for some Lois chatting.

So yeah, it’s going to be a very fun trip. I’m excited to find out if Chicago is my kind of razzmatazz. Though I’m also preparing myself not to be disappointed when all of my favourite fictional Chicago things prove to be not real; I’ll be sad if I don’t spy any Winslows, ER doctors, or the Steak Me Home Tonight food truck, but I’ll get over it. Hope to see you all soon, Chicago people!


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