Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

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Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:11 am

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/27/bryan-hitch-on-superman-the-movie-the-film-that-introduced-h/

Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

If you didn't happen to be at the Glasgow Film Festival in Scotland last week, you missed a screening of the Richard Donner's 1978 Superman: The Movie. You also missed an introduction to the film by comics artist Bryan Hitch, who said the film inspired him to become a comic book artist.


Hitch shared his own initial reaction to the film as an eight-year-old boy, a rather common one among kids who saw the movie upon original release: he borrowed his sister's red nightie and knickers to play Superman, believing that a man (and/or a little boy dressed appropriately) could fly.

Said Hitch, via a transcript at Comic Book Resources:

Richard Donner is to blame because he made me believe. I had watched a familiar story unfold, as Jor-El sent his only son to Earth to be a force for good, to show us 'the way.' I'd been brought up a strict Catholic, an altar boy, a future priest and the Messianic elements were clear and recognizable. If there was to be a modern Jesus, my eight-year-old self reasoned, he was surely to be dressed in red and blue, always tell the truth, fight for truth, justice and the American Way and have a thing for Lois Lane's pink panties.

Hitch discussed the long and often troubled development of the film, mentioning the many actors briefly considered before Christopher Reeve, including Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, Muhammad Ali, Nick Nolte, Neal Adams (!) and Christopher Walken (I would love to see some of those movies, which no doubt exist on parallel earths or Elseworlds or The Sandman's DVD collection) and other directors considered, like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and William Friedkin.

Hitch also emphasized that this was the film that not only instilled his love of superheroes and the medium they originated in, but also informed his choice to make a career out of drawing them, and the way he went about drawing them:

Comics were my underage drug of choice, my habit and right next door to the cinema was a newsagent that sold them. I could roll out of Superman and grab a handful of comics on the way home if I'd moaned at my mum long enough for an extra thirty-six pee. But as taht love of Superheroes was taking hold, Superman the movie came and made them real. I've been drawing comics for a quarter of a centruy and this movie is the DNA of that career. Not just as a choice but in how I approach it. I've had labels such as "cinematic" or "wiedescreen" given to my work in past years and if such labels fit it's because I learned them here first.


Hitch earned those labels on the works he's now best-known for, a 12-issue run on The Authority with writer Warren Ellis and two volumes of The Ultimates with Mark Millar for Marvel Comics, the latter of which, interestingly enough, seems to be heavily informing one of the biggest and most heavily-anticipated superhero movies this year, The Avengers.

Despite his love for the character, Hitch has had relatively few chances to draw the adventures of the Man of Steel. He illustrated an Adventures of Superman annual in 1991, collaborated with Mark Waid on the 2000 original graphic novel JLA: Heaven's Ladder, which prominently featured Superman, and he had a short and troubled run as the artist on Waid's 2000-2001 JLA run, handling the covers and interior art for parts of several story arcs.

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BJ Routh and Bryan Singer WERE the worst thing to happen to Superman since Bepo the Super Monkey.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  thecolorsblend on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:48 am

I'd forgotten about that Adventures of Superman annual Hitch drew but damned if he didn't do it. Not a bad job either. He's a good artist in general though so there it is. No surprise he's into STM. That AOS annual is the only Superman stuff of his I've ever seen but it's clear that his sensibilities about the character (the power and majesty) was deeply influenced by the traditional, heroic interpretation of STM.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  non_amos on Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:33 am

There's only one reply so far at that link but man, is it a doozy! Check it out:

MattComix

I can relate to this. Superman and Star Wars were two of the earliest movies I ever saw and for that I am grateful because between those films and getting my first comicbooks it sparked my imagination in a way I doubt anything else could have.

I love that the movie didn't feel the need to apologize for the costume or for the characters nobility. Instead they embraced those things and made them work. Between what Chris brought to the part, how they executed the design of the costume he damn near looked like a Garcia-Lopez drawing walked off the page and into the third dimension. No hyper-texturing or molded body armor required. It was less about some pretentious notion of "realism" and more about bringing the character to life.

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/27/bryan-hitch-on-superman-the-movie-the-film-that-introduced-h/#ixzz1nehP2uPA

Man! If only duh Nolan could read comments like this! Please note how I put them in bold for just that emphasis. Not about armor. Not about realism. Simply about making the character work! I think today's directors should probably take this advice.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  webhead2006 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:19 am

That was a nice read on what brought hitch into comics.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:32 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:I'd forgotten about that Adventures of Superman annual Hitch drew but damned if he didn't do it. Not a bad job either. He's a good artist in general though so there it is. No surprise he's into STM. That AOS annual is the only Superman stuff of his I've ever seen but it's clear that his sensibilities about the character (the power and majesty) was deeply influenced by the traditional, heroic interpretation of STM.

Fortunately, he didn't end up as anal about the movie as Gary "I can't draw Superman unless he looks like Chris Reeve" Frank.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

Post  thecolorsblend on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:28 am

Apologist Puncher wrote:
thecolorsblend wrote:I'd forgotten about that Adventures of Superman annual Hitch drew but damned if he didn't do it. Not a bad job either. He's a good artist in general though so there it is. No surprise he's into STM. That AOS annual is the only Superman stuff of his I've ever seen but it's clear that his sensibilities about the character (the power and majesty) was deeply influenced by the traditional, heroic interpretation of STM.

Fortunately, he didn't end up as anal about the movie as Gary "I can't draw Superman unless he looks like Chris Reeve" Frank.
I think the Reeve worship is a fairly recent thing. Back in those days, I think the trend was more to somewhat give a nod to Curt Swan's Superman and maybe throw in the occasional similarity to George Reeves or Chris Reeve. Not as a full time thing, just here and there. Reeve was always respected and admired but I don't remember the fans ever being completely unwilling to get off his nuts until about 2001, just about when the Superman DVD's finally came out.

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Re: Bryan Hitch on 'Superman: The Movie', the Film That Introduced Him to Superheroes

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