America’s forgotten Buddhist superhero

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Mr. G
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America’s forgotten Buddhist superhero

Post by Mr. G » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:02 pm

America’s forgotten Buddhist superhero
A New York gallery pays homage to a 1940s pulp magazine hero, the Green Lama

Sunday afternoons in New York can lead to all sorts of odd discoveries. This most recent one brought me to the Rubin Museum of Art on 17th Street and into an arts mashup the likes of which I have never seen and probably would not have believed if someone were to tell me about it.

First of all, you should know that the museum (my new favorite as it turns out; just spend five minutes in the serenity of the cafeteria to understand why) has an ongoing exhibition called Hero, Villain, Yeti!: Tibet in Comics. Reason enough to explore. But Sunday’s particular multi-pronged program featured an original commission by the acclaimed visionary composer Paul Haas.

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  • How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

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Re: America’s forgotten Buddhist superhero

Post by Tewi » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:17 am

Not forgotten at all! The Green Lama is one of a number of Golden Age superheroes who are now in the public domain (i.e. neither copyrighted nor trademarked), and has been recently used by Alan Moore (I recall his Golden Age salute, "All-Hitler Comics") as well as Alex Ross (for Dynamite Comics). Other characters with a Tibet connection include Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom, Manhunter (Paul Kirk--he fought lamas who dressed like KKK members and carried pistols!), and two members of the Great Ten (a Chinese superhero team from DC), the Yeti and the Accomplished Perfect Physician. This last was a Chinese soldier who shot a civilian demonstrator in Shigatse, only to be healed by the victim's father, and given healing powers originally intended for the son. What else? Oh, I remember the dragon Fin Fang Foom complaining in a Marvel Christmas special how hard it was to find lamas in New York City. (Try the phone directory, Foom!)

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Re: America’s forgotten Buddhist superhero

Post by Distorted » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:39 am

hahah, excellent
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."

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