About Mary Poppins

Image © Disney.

My first exposure to the characters and story of Mary Poppins was in the books by her creator P.L. Travers. Then came the Disney film version in 1964. I loved much of it, but at age 13 was already critical of the changes Disney made to the characters and storyline in the books. And even then I knew Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent was terrible. This past Thanksgiving weekend, Ellen and I saw a performance of the Mary Poppins musical at Centenary College in northern New Jersey, thanks to Dave and Ann Greene. I enjoyed it, but was struck by the strange mixture of elements from the books, elements from the film, and some all-new things created by adapter Julian Fellowes of “Downton Abbey” fame. It made me want to reread the books for the first time in decades, and I did that through December, specifically the four main books by P.L. Travers. Here are some thoughts on all this, with SPOILERS if you haven’t read or seen any of these things and plan to. Continue reading


Image © DC Comics.

I’m not a fan of Red Lanterns or all-fighting issues, but writer Sam Humphries won me over this time with clever, witty and insightful mental dialogue captions from the two Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. They are facing a horde of Red Lanterns as well as their master, Atrocitus, and the Hell Tower he’s constructing to bring a horrible Red Dawn to Earth. Many regular folks are already consumed with Rage, including Jessica’s sister. They can’t possibly overcome the odds against them, and Jessica’s fears are crippling her, but Simon is giving it his all, and coming up with some kind of new power in the process. Great writing, nice art by Robson Rocha, Eduardo Pansica, Jay Leisten and Julio Ferreira.