Interview: SuperMansion Composer Kurt Oldman

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Kurt_OldmanKurt Oldman, the talented composer of  Sony Crackle’s stop motion animated series SuperMansion sat down to answer some questions about his fandom with the GWW. The newest installment of the series, SuperMansion Summer Vacation Special is available to stream for free on August 16th.

SuperMansion is based on Superheroes. Are you a comic book fan? If so what characters?

When I was about six my neighbor dropped off a large stack of comic books. I remember there were a lot of  X-Men and Fantastic Four amongst them, along with some more obscure ones like Animal Man, Flaming Carrot and a lot of weird European one-offs. My favorites where the X-Men books until I fell into Hellblazer in the late 80s which remains my favorite to this day. The supernatural aspects and mythology of these books probably explain why I became a horror super freak. I also loved the rather complex antihero nature of Constantine, anything but straight forward.

Given the chance, what super power would you like to have? Would you be a hero or a villain?

If I had a superpower it would be to suspend gravity every so often. I drop so much stuff during the day, from scores to guitar picks. It really gets to me sometimes. I would be a villain for sure, just so much more interesting to me.

It’s been noted the score from E.T. influenced you as a child. What moves the nostalgia meter for you? Do you collect anything as a result?

My nostalgia meter was way up when Stranger Things Season One came to Netflix. It really incorporated all the themes of films I grew up with in a wonderful way. Not a single song that doesn’t bring back some distant, long forgotten memory. And of course it brought back some of the magic we felt when we were sitting in a darkened movie theater as kids. I hadn’t felt that for a long time.
I’m making a concerted effort not to collect too many things these days. I try to keep my life and workspace as uncluttered as possible. Having said that, I keep buying back a lot of my old vinyl. Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Genesis all the stuff that influenced me growing up. I just spent way too much on a Russian pressing of The Wall.

Let’s think of a world where Kurt Oldman didn’t end up working in music. Could you imagine doing something else? Any other interests?

I studied Photography in College and had some of my pictures published in a German magazine but I always loved film and film making. I made a couple student films throughout High School and College. I think if anything, I may have continued on the directing side of film making. At this moment in my life though I’m not able to imagine myself doing anything else. I think I would spontaneously combust if I wasn’t able to translate emotions into music.

Normally people ask for advice on how to break in to the medium but is there a moment from the beginning of your career you’d be willing to go back in time and smack yourself over?

Oh absolutely, to be honest I would be so busy going back in time to smack myself, I’d need my own DeLorean. When I first started out I used to focus way too much on individual moments instead of the bigger overarching architecture of the film score. These days I like to say, “You score a film – not a scene”. That may sound a bit nebulous, but think about it. More than anything else I would love to tell my past self to just be fearless.

The heavens open up and you can pick your dream project. What would it be?

I’m interested in good storytelling and great characters no matter what the genre is. When you get both of those together it really becomes a dream project where you can do some of your best work as a composer. Working with the right team who is conscious enough of what you bring to the table is equally as important.

What do you like to listen to during your downtime. Who are your favorite artists?

During my downtime, I always seem to listen to what is the furthest thing removed from what I’m working on right now. My current playlist contains the Blood album from In This Moment, the bands Hollywood Undead, The Pretty Reckless and a song called Number One by Chaz Jankel from the film Real Genius – Nostalgia meter way up on that last one…
Thanks to the Shazam app on my phone, I’m discovering a lot of great artists all the time now. Even so, I keep going back to what influenced me the most growing up: Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel. I also started listening to a lot of  Mahler Symphonies again the last couple months.

Kurt, thank you so much for taking the time and answering my questions.

You’re most welcome.

You can learn more about Kurt Oldman and hear his music by visiting kurtoldman.com

SuperMansion Summer Vacation Special is available for free on Sony/Crackle August 16th 2018 starring Bryan Cranston, Keegan-Michael Key, Heidi Gardner, Jillian Bell, Chris Pine, and Jay Pharaoh.

 

 

This interview was also made available via: https://thegww.com/interview-supermansion-composer-kurt-oldman/

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Superman #349

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Superman, the world’s greatest superhero. Without Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s creation all of us may have lived crummy lives. Other powered beings have appeared in literature throughout the ages but Superman was a fucking rock star. Creating the model which all our costumed heroes we love were formed, I will always tip my hat to the Man of Steel.

Even with the respect I have for the inspiration he’s provided, my last crack at a Supes review was less than kind. But hey, in my humble opinion he wasn’t portrayed in the best light. If you’ve read any of my previous work, you would know I’m a sucker for EVERY back issue I can get my grubby fingers on, so the Last Son of Krypton and I were bound to cross paths again here in Two Staple Gold.

This issue caught my eye for more than just the fact some guy dressed up like Wonder Woman looks to be giving Supes a terrible case of constipation. I also have a lot of admiration for the writer Marty Pasko and renowned artist Curt Swan. Apologies to both creators as I poke a little fun at Superman #349 “The Turnabout Trap” cover dated July, 1980 published by DC Comics.

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Returning from an interstellar adventure that “took longer than expected” our hero is bent out of shape for potentially being late for work. No time for a shower or morning coffee when you fear Perry White will tear you a new one. After swooping through an open window at the Daily Planet and changing into his alter ego Clark Kent he prepares to face his angry boss. Instead of finding a perturbed Perry he discovers they decided to change the plumbing while he was away.

supes3493.1“We replaced Clark’s regular Folgers Crystals with Peyote, let’s see if he notices…”

Everyone’s genders have been switched. On the plus side, Jimmy Olsen…err…I mean Jenny Olsen sure can rock a neckerchief like nobody’s business. Utterly stunned, Clark needs some fresh air. On his way out of the building various theories enter his mind. A practical joke perhaps or maybe Red Kryptonite is to blame for what he’s witnessing. As he exits, a window washer falls from her perch and is saved by…Superwoman?! Clark has a hunch and uses his super vision to look towards the Justice League Satellite. There his suspicions are confirmed, all of his friends have been affected by gender swapping.

supes3494.1“Black Condor? Nice try but on this world he goes by Captain Nair.”

Now believing he is trapped in an alternate dimension, Superman attempts to fly into space and search for a gateway. Instead he’s met by an impenetrable dome surrounding the Earth. He takes a crack at it to no avail and as history has proven, If Supes can’t punch his way out of a problem, magic must be involved. With his smash tactics foiled he chooses to return to the bizarre world he’s trapped in and investigate his doppelganger “Clara Kent” who must also be Superwoman.

supes3496.1“You better believe Human Resources is gonna hear about this one!”

But wait! Back at the Daily Planet, while stalking Clara from a windowsill, Superwoman flies by him. How can this be? He remarks how odd all of this is but what I find more disturbing are his Peeping Tom tactics. Whotta creep. Done with all this pondering rubbish, Supes wants the straight dope directly from the horse’s mouth. Bad call Big Blue. Fearing he’s a villain, Superwoman and Superboy ring his bell. Slapping a helmet filled with Kryptonite gas over his head, he’s now their prisoner. Super sucky.

supes3498.1“Groovy! We finally found a use for our spare SUPER Bong!”

Fearing Superman would gain access to their secrets if kept in the Watchtower, The Turnabout Justice League stake him to the ground in the Mojave Desert. He is left under the watchful eye of Wonder Warrior. This leads to my favorite part of the book by far. In all of Supes old adventures, a myriad of  powers would emerge relevant to any predicament he found himself in. This is no exception but easily one I didn’t expect. When talking about odd abilities of comic heroes with your friends, feel free to pull this one out of the arsenal…the dude can A Capella Lullaby your ass to sleep!

supes34910.1“I betcha Wonder Warrior regrets smashing his Keurig right about now.”

Superman lures buzzards over and they break his helmet with their beaks. Now free, he has a quick scuffle with Wonder Warrior, pummels him and steals his Lasso of Truth. That time on the hot sand provided him just the clarity he needed. Certain of who has been the mastermind behind his misery but alas, the culprit isn’t easily found. How to get the mystery miscreant’s attention? Scrawl on a billboard with a giant crayon. Damn, and they say you learn nothing in Kindergarten.

supes34913.1“Ok, That’s officially SUPER STUPID and I’m not entirely sure it’s a crayon.”

There’s only one Imp in the DCU capable of creating that kind of itch in Superman’s britches, Mr.Mxyzptlk! How did Supes put it all together? Super Intuition? Nah, Mr.Mxyzptlk doesn’t know about his secret identity. With every other human experiencing the gender bending, Clara Kent and Superwoman were two different people. Fine deduction skills there Clarky boy. Those who consider Batman “The World’s Greatest Detective” can bite my bippy. Only one question remains. Why is Mxyz out to crap on the Man of Steel’s Wheaties?

supes34915“I’m pleased to realize the act of Catfishing didn’t originate on our planet.”

A year prior in Superman #335, Mxyz was exiled from his dimension and Supes helped him return in time to marry his fiancee Miss Bgbznz. But you see, Mr.Mxyzptlk is one shallow little hombre. When it’s revealed his sweet gal is actually a gaaah, he takes it out on the Blue Boy Scout. Before he can make a mad dash with his crooked derby hat, Superman snares him with the Lasso of Truth he scooped up earlier. Forced to obey, Mr.Mxyzptlk says his name backwards and is returned to ZRFFF. Everything returns to normal…or does it?

supes34917.1“Silly Lois, Clark’s only worried he was going to have to feign interest in Theatre.”

The Verdict:

Silly, fun and whimsical. All these words can be used to describe what I’ve just read and quite frankly, I love that. It it the most memorable tale ever told? Hell no, but unlike my review it’s  classic kid friendly entertainment.

Dark and gritty comics are cool. I enjoy them as much as the next fan but every once in a while a jovial romp is just what the Doctor ordered. Provides some chuckles and the nostalgia tank gets refilled. Punch your ticket to Happy Town and rescue a copy of Superman #349 from the bins. It’s Two Staple Gold.

No molds broken nor minds blown, this is clean entertainment and deserves to be owned. That’ll be $2 for the parting rhyme. I accept cash, credit or a pair of Black Condors shorts. Tell ya what, bring the skivvies and I’ll throw in a Turnabout League fan casting for free.

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David Schultz is the Creator/Co-Host of the Parlipod Podcast. Give it a listen on Soundcloud or via the GWW Radio Network. If you have a comic you would like to see reviewed on Two Staple Gold or just want to harass Dave, follow @lavahog on Twitter.

 

 

 

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