Confessions of a Comic Book Guy — Senators Attack Netflix, New ‘Astro Boy’ and ‘Popeye’ News

Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett discussed how the Senators attacked Netflix’s Dead End: Paranormal Park, the new Astro Boy series, and Popeye news.

It’s still Pride Month and there’s still a lot to write about, like, the recent Netflix premiere Dead End: Paranormal Park, featuring Barney, the first transgender character in an animated series to be voiced by transgender actor, singer, and comedian Zach Barack. Based on Hamish Steele’s DeadEndia graphic novel series, it’s about Barney and the neurodiverse (which in his example means anxious). Norma, who answers an advertisement for a job at a haunted amusement park and is soon bound to fight against supernatural forces.

For note, Netflix Dead End: Paranormal Park, providing more than just an innovative representation of trance; it’s also a visually appealing horror/comedy that finds interesting twists on some very moldy tropes. And, for the record, he uses the word “trance” exactly once (in the second episode), and provides no further information about what the word means.

Netflix has provided Netflix Dead End: Paranormal Park TV-Y7 rating, meaning that it is suitable for ages 7 and over. And while the series is certainly suitable for younger kids, as creator Steele said in an interview, just like the source material, the animated adaptation is aimed at young adults (especially kids 12-13 years old). The Common Sense Media site seems to agree, giving the event a 13+ rating.

It hasn’t stopped four US Senators to go to war with Netflix over series. On May 4, U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, Mike Lee, Mike Braun, Steve Daines, and Kevin Cramer “directed an open letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Advisory Board demanding that it update its rating system and include a trigger alert that tells whether an event contains content related to sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Marshall’s office released four examples of the types of events they feel require these trigger alerts; Nickelodeon’s The Power of Danger and hard house, Netflix She-Ra and the Daughters of Power, and (seems invisible sight) Dead End: Paranormal Park. “Representatives did not go into details about what they considered offensive in this particular program.”

According to the story in VariationThomas Astruc, creator and director Magic – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir franchise, and Method Animation are working on a new CGI-3D version of a Astro Boy the series will consist of 52 episodes. According to the cut, the original Astro Boy the series was the first anime to air in France where it was popular and “paved the way for another Japanese animated TV series” Astruc “comparing the cultural impact of Tezuka’s work with those of Victor Hugo and Jack Kirby” and said that the series would “address the issue of current hot issues, including the impact of the Internet, social media, and the damage caused by humans to the environment.”

Hy Eisman, who has drawn Popeye Sunday for 28 years, recently retired and active June 5th we see the first strip of his successor Randy (RK) Milholland46 year old Texas cartoonist who created the webtoon Something Positive. The daily Popeye strip will continue to be a reprint of the strip drawn by Bud Sagendorf, who had worked as an assistant to Popeye’s creator, EC Fresh. A long-time fan of the strip, Milholland plans to modernize the strip (he sees Olive Oyl as a millennial and Popeye as a “tail-tip Gen-X’er”), update the humor, and diversify the cast. Most interestingly, he also “intends to reintroduce the more fantastical elements of the strip that have been missing over the years, including monsters.”

And speaking of Popeye and the monsters, on June 1st I found part online that shared concept art showing Popeye in a cave overlooking a crowd of one of the strip’s most memorable monsters, the Goons. It originally appeared in Twitter account of

Batman/Sandman artist Kelly Jones where he writes that he has “…almost done the scary Popeye comic, one of the near misses that I wanted to do. Maybe someday!” Here hope.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of

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