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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 33
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 33

The Tennesseani
Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:

Female Comic Superheroes: Dazzler Coming On Strong 4 JENNIFER WALTERS was as normal as everybody else until that fateful day her cousin, David Banner, came to Los Angeles to tell her he was the Incredible Hulk. About half an hour later, Jennifer was shot by a hoodlum, needed an immediately blood transfusion and was given one by her cousin, who forgot momentarily that his blood was tainted by deadly gamma rays. Voilal The Savage She-Hulk was born the first new comic created by Lee in the last seven years. (He has spent much of his time recently in Los Angeles, trying to make movie and television deals involving Marvel comic characters.) Why did he make Jennifer Walters a lawyer? "I'm a great believer in equality," he said, "and I thought, 'Why does the woman always have to be a nurse or a secretary or a frivolous It occurred to me, 'Why not make her a bright and intelligent practicing She-Hulk. By JUDY KLEMESRUD Tte New Twk Ttset New Service NEW YORK-POW! KRAK! A BOOM There is a new comic book hero on the scene, a monster-like person who is seven feet tall, strong as iron and green as spinach. No, it is not the Incredible Hulk. It is his cousin, the Savage She-Hulk. The comic, introduced last month by the Marvel Comics The Dazzler Meets people's emotions Group, sold "magnificently" (about 250,000 copies), its creator and Marvel's publisher, Stan Lee, said, thereby assuring it a regular spot in the Marvel stable as well as a possible Saturday morning network television cartoon spinoff. And what's more, Lee added, Marvel plans in March to introduce yet another new female superhero: the Dazzler. The Dazzler is Alison Blaire, a dazzling blond PA rock and disco singer who was born a mutant and has the power to affect people's emotions by turning sound into light waves. "BO DEREK is interested in playing the Dazzler in a movie," Lee said proudly, referring to the actress who played the title role in the "If she does, the Dazzler comic book will probably be around for a long, long time." The Dazzler will join the Savage She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, and Wonder Woman as the only female superheroes currently with their own comic books. (Other women who appear off and on in their own comics include Ms. Marvel, Red Sonja, and Tigra, the werewo-man.) The oldest female superhero. Wonder Woman, has been around snce 1941, and still sells more than one million copies a year, a spokesman for DC Comics said. He added that the Wonder Woman comic book had become much more popular since a television series based on the character began in 1975. SINCE MARVEL publishes all of the comics starring female superheroes except Wonder Woman, does that mean somebody there has been affected by the women's movement? "We've ALWAYS wanted to do books about females," the 57-year-old Lee said in his office, decorated with comics starring the characters he has created, including Spider Man, Captain America ana The Incredible Hulk. "We're probably the least chauvinistic outfit in the world. You ought to see all the female artists we employ and the women executives we nave in high-level positions." "But for years, we were never able to make any of our female characters sell well," he said. "In the 1940s we had Miss Fury and Miss America and Venus, and later we had Millie the Model and Shanna the She Devel and the Cat, Mtm Yotfc TbiMt picture WHEN ASKED why Miss Walters wore pants in the first two issues of the comic, Lee smiled and said: "Because pants tear best into the kind of skimpy costume Jennifer wears when she turns into the She-Hulk." Lee said that although he regarded the Savage She-Hulk as a monster, he likedto think of her as an "attractive monster." "I think the way she looks is Very aDOealing tn nennlp ho said. I MMK it's 's the green skin." Indeed, some readers have said they thought the Savage She-Hulk, with her long mane of unruly hair, her almond-shaped eyes, her flaring nostrils, her straining cleavage and her well-shaped thighs reminded them of the actress Ra-quel Welch. The Savage Alias attorney WAS MISS WELCH the inspiration? Lee smiled enigmatically, but said not a word. He DID say, however, that the Savage She-Hulk, like most of the other Marvel superheroes, would have her share of tics and foibles and human doubts. "She'd better, because that's a Tennessean i I 'I Stan Lee Marvel Comics publisher i and they never sold. The main reason is that historically, more boys than girls have read adventure comics, and boys think it is sissyish for them to read a comic slanted to girls." BUT THESE days, he said with a smile, three times as many girls are reading comics as did 10 years ago. In fact, a recent survey for Marvel by the Target Group Index -showed that 46 of Marvel's comic book audience was composed of girls. "It's probably tied in with the women's movement," Lee said, "and with the idea that girls can do a lot more these days than just play with dolls while the boys are out woodworking." At any rate, the Savage She-Hulk, when she isn't green and mean, is very definitely a feminist. In her natural state she is smart and bosomy Jennifer Walters, a Los Angeles criminal lawyer who always wears pants, and whose friends tell her they think she will become the first female chief justice of the United States. Living. si Vanderbilt China Tour Offers Unique Travel Opportunities I illinium i iiiiiiiiiiiini nun milium iiiiiiiiiiimimiiiit imnife I-4 i I'' "T'V I I' VA i J') i- 4' Hot Tubs: Nobody Wonts To Leove First By ERMA BOMBECK HAVE ALWAYS believed that the most exciting three words in the English language are, "Just add water." This is obviously true of hot tubs and saunas. I don't own a home spa, but I know of a lot of people who think they're the 5 greatest things since black towels. 5 In every ad you see for them, the people are laid back with their arms outstretched while their faces reflect an ecstasy reserved only for a loan approval. I never know 'whattodoina'whirlpool. After 1 guide my body She-Hulk Jennifer Walters Marvel trademark," he said. "It so much a part of the Marvel formula, style and shtick that there have to be personal problems. We want our characters to worry about things like acne, dandruff and getting a date. That makes them realistic, because EVERYBODY has problems." Wednesday, January 16, 1980 33 I7Q 3 long and slim. 1 By DIANE BARTLEY fl)DAY you can make a quick phone call, flash a credit card and be jetting off to just about any place on earth in a matter of hours. Just about any place but China. Travel within China is becoming increasingly easy, with 26 cities now open to foreign visitors a substantial increase from the original six offered to tourists in 1976, when China and the U.S. first began "normalizing" tourist relations. But some of these cities are open only on a very limited basis, and travelers' itineraries are strictly monitored by the official China International Travel Service. THROUGH "A miracle," according to tour director John Caldwell, Vanderbilt's "Alumni College in China" June 5-25 has managed to secure an itinerary including the historic town of Urumqi, now open to foreigners for the first time in over 30 years. On the Old Silk Road which stretched across inner Asia and Persia to Peking, Urumqi lies in the foothills ofthe "Heavenly 'Spacious7 A' t'JVs StoH pkotM by Robert Jokiioa John Caldwell and Derek Waller Leaders of Vanderbilt trip to China Mountains," almost 2000 miles qi offers visitors a unique view of west of Peking. Home of the Mon- China's ethnic minorities, gols, Kazakhs and Uygurs, Urum- "Urumqi was only opened to tourists this year," explained tour leader Derek Waller, associate professor of political science at Vanderbilt and director of the University's East Asian Studies program. "And even now only 10 groups are being granted permission to see it. be among the first dozen or so people to go there." URUMQI IS not the only unique feature of Vanderbilt's "Alumni College" program, open to both University alumni and the public. Waller and Caldwell, co-leaders of the group, are experts in Chinese culture and politics and will offer tourgoers more than the usual "guidebook" information. Caldwell, a travel agent for The Travel Agency, grew up in Shanghai, China. The son of missionary parents, he finished his high school education in China before attending Vanderbilt. His most recent trip to China this past fall gave him a fresh look at the country he hadn't seen in 32 years. Caldwell was impressed by what he saw. "I suppose the thing that first impresses you is the enormous crowds," he said. "There were more people than I ever remembered. Of course the population of Shanghai was 4 million when I was there today it's 12 million. THE CHINESE people also impressed Caldwell with their friendliness and hospitality. "Despite almost 35 years of education against Americans, we are extremely popular," he said. "And, unlike Russia, you can take pictures of almost everything and even go off on your own. In fact, many evenings a small group of us would just go off and take a walk around the city." While Caldwell has first-hand information on Chinese customs and culture, Waller has an impressive background in the country's politics and economics.) As an undergraduate at the University of London's School of Economics in the early '60s, Waller studied Soviet politics. After coming to the U.S. and Indiana University in 1962, his interests switched to Chinese politics, at the time a relatively new and unexplored discipline. Studies at the Stanford's Koover and Indon's School of Oriental and African Studies followed, culxinaiing in a year in Herr Ken before joining the faculty in 1 1, (Turn to ZZ) carefully through a maze of water currents and find a seat, I just sit there and watch my fingers shrivel. We were traveling with another couple through California recently when the sign on the motel advertised, "Hot Tubs." Since it was cold and raining and we were all suffering from passenger fatigue, the sign lured us in. Within minutes after we checked in, the other female companion and I were standing at the edge of this outdoor, boiling caldron in our underwear. I put my foot in the tub. (My tea should be served this hot.) Pacing myself, I allowed an inch of my body to enter the tub every eight minutes. Later, I thought what a sight we must have been. of us sitting there cooking in a tub with only our plastic rain scarves showing above the water. No one said anything for a few minutes. Then I said, "I was just thinking. Do you ever use your crock pot?" "Not a lot," she said. "I never think about it until it's too late." We sat in silence another 15 minutes. Then she said, "The Wehrles had one of these tubs put in their new home in the backyard." "Does she like it?" I asked. "She said it was just another way of getting the phone to ring." Another woman.entered the tub. She had on a bikini and her Apartment vAUd In decorating, We now have what This means simply old, but rather combines the comfort today. The old style, Hotels and among the choice old prices. So remodeled in the finding highly of the Art Deco favor. In a period when with a crowd and surroundings have of us can afford the for the next eating apartment architecture, was the area is really a state about anywhere. The kitchen r.o fpnraHy female, With cooking the has spilled out into ihe kitchen has By BETTY YARMON NEW YORK (WNS) Since we seem to be shifting from a nation of home-owners to a nation of apartment-dwellers, it is inevitable that apartment living would become a ready subject for the budge-teers. It is no surprise, then, that what is probably the first book on the subject, aptly titled The Apartment Book, has hit the stands. It was prepared by the editors of Apartment Life magazine and is published by Harmony Books. The key to successful apartment-living, the authors say, is to realize that it has come to mean "small-space living," and the trick then is to make the absolute most out of what you have. Here are some of their suggestions, using photos and sketches to amplify what they call "space 0 Basic is the notion that ordinary space can be used in unusual wpys, with bedrooms doubling as offices, dining places, gyms, or second living rooms. furnishings ere expected to hard: A table must fold awav when it is not needed, a desk anything goes as long as you like it. we call the New Traditional style. that we are not throwing out the readmitting it, in a way of living that of old with the trendiness of in a word, does not have to mean -old-fashioned. theaters about to be demolished are places to pick up old furnishings at many public places were built or 1930s and they are rich sources for decorative furnishings and accessories period, which today is in such we snack and eat on the run, cook taste-test as we go, our eating changed dramatically. Very few space for a room that waits around occasion. With space a premium in the dining room understandably first to go, and today the eating of mind that can be located just longer is a place where one person, prepared food behind closed doors. new participatory sport, the kitchen the dining area; at the same time, become an adjunct living room, a place to ga-lher, share secrets, to play in. to stomach was flat and her legs 1 looked at my friend. We both made the decision at the same time. We stretched our arms out. laid back and smiled like we had just heard voices. Now I knew why people looked like that must alsos-erve as a dining table. Where a sofa-sleep in the spa ads ho cr.2 ntci to leave first. er once was wrier) tne rurt room ua ccv for It

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