Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dome Through a Dome

Shot on impulse back when I was making regular use of the gym underneath the Alberta Legislature. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pipeline Pig

This was used to clean an oil pipeline. It's now on display in Delta Junction, Alaska (or was when I drove through in 2011). 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tropical Shores

I'm not sure if it really  comes through on the blog, but I'm pretty happy with the vibrancy and composition of this photo, which I shot in 2008 while Sylvia and I were flying over Hawaii in a helicopter on our honeymoon. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Poor Superman

Poor Henry Cavill, chosen to fill the role of one  of humanity's greatest pop culture icons, doomed to star as that character in only one decent but fatally flawed film, one bad film with a few good moments, and one genuinely terrible movie that should never have been made. (In order: Man of Steel, Justice League, and Batman v. Superman.) Now, he's a Superman no more,  although there seems to be a bit of back-and-forth in the news on whether or not Cavill's contract has indeed been terminated.

For what it's worth, I've been impressed by Cavill's performances as Superman and in other films; it's not his fault that he's been saddled with mediocre-to-terrible screenplays to  work with. And I would have loved to see him cameo alongside Captain Marvel (the real Captain Marvel) in Shazam!, which looks like a  lot more fun than most of the recent DC movies, but it looks like that's not in the cards.

But who knows? Superman will return, one way or another. I just hope Henry gets to play the character in at least one genuinely great movie. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I Was Blind to the Whole of the Moon


How did I miss this in all the years between 1985 and 2018? What a gorgeous song. A new favourite. I've listened to it a dozen times over the last couple of days, and it makes me feel great. A touch of melancholy, yes, but overall, inspirational  and aspirational and sublimely sensational.  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Capitol Theatre

Fort Edmonton Park's Capitol Theatre was completed in 2011, and they routinely screen a selection of classic films. And yet, despite having visited the park a couple of times since the Capitol opened, I haven't yet taken advantage. It's certainly gorgeous. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Along Came a Spider

I was retrieving a book from our library when I spotted it: a brown spider, about four inches in diameter, darting out from under the closet door. 

"YEEGH!" I cried, stiffening in revulsion. The spider froze. I threw a book at it, but the creature was too quick, dodging the impromptu projectile easily. I grabbed my scale and attempted to drop it on the spider, but I missed again. The little beast retreated behind my bookshelves. 

I shrugged; there was nothing I could do but close the library door and hope I'd trapped it there. 

A couple of hours later, I confessed to Sylvia. 

"Don't go into the library," I said. 

"Why not?" she asked. 

"You'll be happier if you don't know." 

Her voice darkened with suspicion. 

"What do you mean? What did you do?" 

"It's not so much what I did as…what's in there."

"Oh my god, what? Are you lying? Is there a bug?" 

"There's a huge spider in there," I admitted. 

"WHY DIDN'T YOU KILL IT?" 

"I tried! It was too fast. I closed the door." 

"It'll just crawl under the door! Shove some towels in the crack!" 

I obeyed. And for a few days, I forgot about the spider. 

Until yesterday. 

Sylvia came down to the theatre room to work out. She won't tolerate what she calls "old people movies," so my plans to screen Wilson (Henry King, 1944), a Best Picture nominee about the life of Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, had to be altered; I decided to watch it in my office while Sylvia rode the exercise bike. Just at the point in the film where Wilson was deciding whether or not to allow himself to be drafted to run for Governor of New Jersey, I heard a plaintive wail from the theatre room: 

"EARL COME QUICK I NEED HELP EEAAAHHHHHHH!" 

I charged into the theatre room, imagining the worst, thinking that she must have caught a finger in the gears of the bike or perhaps was suffering a heart attack. 

But she was pointing at the floor. 

"LOOK THERE IT IS KILL IT AIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!" she said. 

For a moment I was confused, having completely forgotten about the spider. But then I spotted the eight-legged fiend and gagged in revulsion: "URGH!" It really was an enormous beast, and my skin crawled at the sight of it. 

Sylvia couldn't stop shrieking. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? KILL IT!" 

I flailed about for some kind of weapon, unwilling to stomp on it in my sock feet. I wound up grabbing the cardboard box I used to prime board game miniatures. Holding the box in two hands, I slammed it down atop the spider, squashing it into the carpet. 

"Whew," I said, looking down at the beast, its legs now all curled into itself. Sylvia started to calm down, but she was still hyperventilating, her eyes wild, and she was starting to cry. 

"I can't live like this," she said hyperbolically, referring to a world that included any insects at all. 

"It's all right, I got it," I said. Then I glanced down into the box I'd used to squash the spider. To my dismay, two of the resin models inside had been damaged by the impact: both nacelles had been sheared off my 1/3125 scale Ptolemy-class tug, and my Federation-class dreadnought (cast at the same scale) lost its ventral nacelle. I grumbled silently to myself—repairing the models would be a painstaking task involving tweezers, a magnifying class, clamps, contact cement and no little amount of patience—but then Sylvia's voice penetrated my geeky reverie: 

"Please take that thing away, throw it down the toilet," she was saying. 

"Oh yes," I replied, snapping back to ugly reality. I grabbed a Subway napkin—we have paper napkins in abundance, thanks to our Skip the Dishes addiction—and leaned down to grab the remains. 

The spider's legs snapped open and it jumped a foot across the carpet. 

"AUUUGGHH!" I screamed. 

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Sylvia wailed. She was both laughing and crying, her eyes rolling around in their sockets. 

Dropping to my hands and knees, I chased the loathsome little monster across the theatre room. Another moment and it would scuttle under the fireplace! With Sylvia's hysterical sobbing echoing in my rattled ears, I desperately tossed the napkin over the creature like a blanket. With all my might, I brought my fist down twice: WHAM! WHAM! A bloodstain slowly spread across the napkin's surface, and I leaned back, shaky and sweating. It was over. 

Sylvia was laughing and crying like a maniac, coming close to losing her grip on sanity. Her manic relief shook the condo's foundations.

"Whew, I got it," I said, putting the corpse down on the display stand next to the exercise bike. Sylvia screeched again, her eyes bulging, speaking in tongues by this point, but I got her meaning; she wanted me to get rid of the remains, clearly not convinced the spider was dead. I dutifully retreated, and flushed our arachnid foe down the toilet. 

Sylvia calmed down a few minutes later, and by the early evening we were laughing about our experience. I can't wait until she spots her first rat or cockroach in New York. 


Friday, August 31, 2018

2 Questions

When 15 members of the University of Alberta Star Trek Club and the University of Alberta Scuba Club crammed ourselves into a 15-person van for a road trip from Edmonton to Los Angeles, we had to find ways to amuse ourselves during the 27-hour drive. Some suggested 20 Questions, and when my turn came to ask the questions, sometime during deepest midnight, I started with the obvious:

"Is it bigger than a breadbox?" I asked Allan, who harboured the answer in his mind.

"Yes," he said.

A sudden flash of intuition hit me.

"Is if the pyramids?"

Allan's eyes bulged in shock, and he reared back in his seat.

"WHAT..how...but...yes. It's the pyramids."

Of course I'm not suggesting a paranormal explanation; it was just a moment of whimsy on my part that, against all odds, happened to be correct. But the look on Allan's face was spectacular. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Misbehaving

To the best of my recollection, I was a reasonably well-behaved child. But three incidents still linger in my memory: 
  • One day, I stabbed a leather ottoman over and over with a nail file, ruining it. When asked why I would do such a thing, I had no answer. I certainly felt no malice or rage during my vandalism spree; it just seemed like an interesting thing to do. 
  • A few months (years?) later, I used a vise to crush several of the little green plastic houses from the family Monopoly set. Again, I had no good reason for my actions. 
  • Around the same time, I threw a tantrum while on a family shopping trip in Thompson (or perhaps even Winnipeg. I spotted this toy in the aisle, and had an absolute fit. Mom gave in and bought it for me, clearly extremely frustrated, and I immediately felt bad. 
What drove me to such lengths? I have no defence. Shamefully, I enjoyed the toy for many years after...but I eventually learned to miss the Monopoly houses. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Colourful Costa Rican Crab

Back in 2015, Sylvia and I visited Costa Rica. While relaxing on the beach at Playa Avellanas, this handsome fellow scuttled up to our loungers.

"WHAT IS THAT THING!?" Sylvia shrieked. "GET IT AWAY, AAHHHHH!"

I felt bad laughing, but really, even Sylvia admitted in the moment that this was a very lovely creature. She just doesn't like things that jump, creep, and sneak. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Depressing, Scary Read of the Day

Lynn Parramore of the Institute for New Economic Thinking delves into the shadowy work of James Buchanan, who she identifies as one of the primary driving forces behind America's steady lurch toward oligarchy. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

ANDREA AND GREG!!!

It was great to see my old U of A friend Andrea and her fantastic husband Greg again last night; they've been living in the UK for some time and made it out to Alberta to visit relatives and friends. Always a great pleasure! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

That Sinking Feeling

While sailing off the coast of Costa Rica in 2015, Sylvia and I spotted this ill-fated yacht. If you must sink, doing so in water this shallow is probably the best way to do it. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lenticular Crackerjack Elephant Time

While cleaning out my office, I found this, an old Crackerjack prize. It's a lenticular photo of an elephant; move the picture back and forth, and the elephant's trunk will go up and down as if the beast is lifting food into its mouth. Pretty wondrous stuff for a 70s kid. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Roadside Attraction

Once again, I endeavoured to create something reasonably sensible given a random assortment of Lego parts. I came up with this Yellow Submarine-like open air market.
Here we have the flammerjammer station.
And the duplibay.
Here's Asiagy at the refreshment kiosk. Note the fresh cup of carrot coffee.
Here's the dangerous automated Flam-bo-mat.
And here's Zombo in her Zipstooge flyer.

All told, I don't think this build was quite as successful as my roadside raider hideout. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Salt Lake Sunset

On August 11, Mom and Dad journeyed to Salt Lake (near Virden) for a community gathering and captured this sunset. It was 39 degrees C - a great day for a swim, and many locals took advantage.
 Here are Mom and Dad with my cousin David on the day. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I Answered the Door

I answered the door.

"You're right; it's pretty smoky outside."

The door stood silent for a moment.

"I'll just stay closed, then."

I nodded and walked away. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Stuff I Wish David Lynch Would Direct

Whatever the heck he wants to. And if I were a billionaire, I'd fund it.

I wouldn't be able to resist asking him to look at the screenplay for Toilet Chase, though...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Red Wall in Space

Well, maybe if you squint. I still need to paint this thing. It's a miniature Deep Space Station from Star Trek

Friday, August 10, 2018

Golden Boughs

The tree outside our bedroom window was cast in golden light a couple of nights ago. The wildfires are no fun, but they certainly create some spectacular sunsets. 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

The Surreal Worlds of Maya Deren


Up until a few days ago, I had no idea Maya Deren existed; today, I'm a huge fan. Deren was an experimental creator of short films, primarily active during the 1940s and 50s. I've now seen all 10 of her films, most about 15 minutes in length, her earlier work perhaps more gripping (to my tastes) than her later work. "Meshes of the Afternoon," above, feels like it was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s, not the mid-1940s; that's how far ahead of her time Deren was with regard to cinematography and editing and directorial techniques.

"At Land" is even cooler. Deren, as well as directing, plays the lost central figure.

Deren returns again in "Ritual in Transfigured Time." If you're of a mind to, you could consider these three shorts as a connected trilogy following the strange adventures of Deren's character.

All three films are well worth the time invested in screening them, particularly anyone who loves horror, surrealism, and film noir, or anyone interested in the impact of women filmmakers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Ramshackle Shack

I've been rediscovering my love of Lego for a few years now, but only this weekend did I finally break free of instructions to try my hand at building something uniquely my own - at least, for the first time as an adult. I deliberately limited myself to working with two bags of parts, one composed mostly of red and tan bricks, the other mostly of grey and white. I also pledged that I would use each and every piece.

I call it a Ramshackle Shack. Sometime before the fall of civilization, the little building at left was a workshop or perhaps a store for automotive parts. At right, the remains of a playground. Once upon a time, it was a nice neighbourhood, until the bombs came. Note the old engine block left to rust next to the barred and alarmed door.
The main edifice at left has been fortified and boarded up, though the wastrels who have made it their redoubt haven't fixed up everything yet; witness the collapsed roof.
They installed a fence, both decorative and defensive.
The rear gate opens and closes. Note the bin full of junk near the centre of the image; a bit of a cheat, as I used it to store the pieces I couldn't use anywhere else. Now it represents the various odds and ends you might find at a junkyard.
Only the merry-go-round remains of the playground.
A look at the building's west side. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Riverside Starship

"I'm from Iowa, I only work in outer space." - James T. Kirk, circa 1986. 

Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Return of Jean-Luc Picard

For the first time since the framing sequence of Star Trek (2009), we get to see the future of the future as Jean-Luc Picard returns to the small screen. Patrick Stewart broke the news today, giving few details other than he's returning to the Picard role and that Picard may be a very different man, 20 years after we last saw him in Star Trek: Nemesis. I can't imagine that Picard will still be captain of the Enterprise, and given the character's history it's tough to see him accepting a promotion to Admiral. Maybe he'll tool around the galaxy, indulging his passion for archeology? 

Friday, August 03, 2018

On the Cruise Ship

The skipper flung his cap on the deck and shouted, "I won't have this warbling gargler barking on this barge of a barque during the BBQ! Park him in the brig!" 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

At the Furniture Store

Victor  the sales associate shook his fist and growled, "I will not countenance these contretemps on my countertops!" 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Lost Lucky Starr Novels

In the 1950s, Isaac Asimov wrote six novels about space adventurer Lucky Starr:

1. David Starr, Space Ranger
2. Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids
3. Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus
4. Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury
5. Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter
6. Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn

Each of the novels features Starr having an adventure on one of the planets of the solar system (and the asteroid belt). Asimov, of course, covered only six of nine in this series (Pluto still counts! And Mars is covered in the first book).

I propose the following novels to wrap up the series:

7. Lucky Starr and the People of Earth
8. Lucky Starr and the Renegades of Neptune
9. Lucky Starr and the Icefields of Pluto
10. Lucky Starr and the Gases of Uranus

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slow River, Quick Ending

Slow River, Nicola Griffith's Nebula-winning second novel, is about a young woman of privilege who's held for ransom but abandoned by her wealthy family. Left to her own devices, she mounts her own escape, enters a relationship with another young woman of agency, and winds up working in waste treatment. I enjoyed this novel - Lore, the protagonist, is sympathetic and likeable, even admirable, and Griffith's prose is clean, efficient, and engaging. But I felt a little abandoned by the novel's abrupt ending; it feels like there's still a lot of story left to tell, and some plot threads are left dangling.

Maybe the unresolved nature of the novel stems from Griffith's own life path; she discovered as a teen that she was gay, and seems to have spent some time searching for her place in the world. Maybe leaving Lore in a similarly untethered position was meant to mirror the author's own experience. But that's just speculation; I could have missed the point entirely.

Slow River is still well worth reading, and I'm glad I spent the time in Lore's world. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Pores

Wouldn't it be cool if we evolved the ability to open our pores wide enough to release our hair? Shaving would be obsolete. Just flex and your beard falls out.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sign Me Up for Short Treks

Now this is a cool idea: sometime later this year, CBS will release four "Short Treks," 10-15 minute episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, each focusing on a single character. For example, Rainn Wilson will direct and star as Harry Mudd in a Mudd-centric short, and Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Chabon has written a Short Trek about a new character who finds himself alone on a deserted spaceship. The two other episodes will centre on Saru and Tilly, who happen to be two of my favourite characters on the show.

I love Chabon's work, and I'm thrilled that a writer of his clout is adding his distinctive voice to Star Trek. I'm also really looking forward to seeing Rainn Wilson's interpretation of Harry Mudd again. More importantly, it's important to refresh the format of a long-running series from time to time; kudos to the showrunners for taking some chances. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Poor Red

I'm working my way through the four novels that comprise James Blish's Cities in Flight cycle. I'm reading them in order of internal chronology, which doesn't match the original publishing order, which is perhaps why a minor plot point in the third book really throws the second book into a new and puzzling light.

The second book, A Life for the Stars, is the story of a young man, Chris deFord, who winds up getting press-ganged into joining the crew of the spacebound city of Scranton. It's a bildungsroman, revolving entirely around Chris' journey to adulthood. While disadvantaged in the beginning, Chris proves himself resourceful and valuable, and eventually winds up becoming city manager of New York, the most storied of the spacefaring cities.

But in the third book, Earthman, Come Home, we learn in one throwaway line that Chris wound up being executed by the city fathers for some kind of scandal. This seems completely out of character for the character we know from A Life for the Stars, but on the other hand, Chris, like many others on New York, is immortal, and this story is set hundreds of years later; so perhaps he simply changed.

It's important to note that A Life for the Stars was published several years after Earthman, Come Home, so it's possible (barring rewrites; there are differences between editions of these novels), that Chris first appearance is actually the offhand mention in the third book, and Blish then, for whatever reason, wrote a backstory for Chris.

Either way, it's a bit jarring to have the character killed off so casually. The books are still fun, but I find it an odd choice for Blish. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Poem for Half an Empire

The Byzantines were Romans, too
Roman Legions, tried and true
They didn't ask what happened to
Them when they met their Waterloo
The Rubicon they crossed through time
Was not their folly or their crime
When their Empire broke in twain
There were no songs of sad refrain;
Except perhaps they were frustrated
To be confused with "complicated."

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sylvia's Made-to-Order Camping

Tonight Sylvia described a pretty brilliant idea: made-to-order camping for people like us who love the idea of camping, but hate the work that's associated with the activity.

Sylvia describes a system something like AirBnB, but for campgrounds. You'd sort through a list of campgrounds, choose where you want to go, then find your ideal, ready-made campsite. You could choose from a variety of trailers or tents, which would all be stocked with meals, bedding, equipment to start fires in the already-filled-with-chopped-wood fire pits, binoculars, fishing gear, everything you need for marshmallow and weiner roasts, etc. At the end of your stay, you just leave; the proprietors pack up your mess.

"Some people might argue that setting up and taking down the tent, washing the dishes, rolling up the sleeping bags and all that other stuff is part of the fun," I said.

"That is not the fun part!" she replied.

I can't argue. I always thought the best part of camping was looking up at the unspoiled stars and enjoying the crackle of the campfire. I can do without all the setup and takedown.

On the other hand, I feel a bit guilty even sharing Sylvia's brilliant idea--if implemented, it would surely leave swaths of people even less self-reliant than we should be. On the gripping hand, there are certainly some people--again, myself included--who probably aren't observant or diligent enough to camp safely. So this might very well be a boon to folks who should get outdoors more, but lack the confidence or skills to do so! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Something I'll Say to Sylvia Tomorrow

"Is that...purple on your cheeks?"

" Oh no, I put too much on. It's to define my face." 

"I've already defined your face...as gorgeous."

Smooth. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Lilies of the Field

Last night I screened Lilies of the Field, a 1963 Best Picture nominee, featuring the performance that earned Sidney Poitier the Best Actor Oscar for that year. While I enjoyed Poitier's performance, Jerry Goldsmith's music, the lean direction, handsome black and white cinematography, and the simple but affecting story, the film nonetheless left me unsettled and questioning.

In the film, Homer Smith (Poitier), stops at a ramshackle nunnery to borrow some water for his car. Mother Maria (Lilia Sakala, nominated for Best Supporting Actress) believes God has sent Homer to help the sisters build a chapel. Homer demurs, as he's happier to live as a man of the road, taking odd handyman jobs to support his easygoing, itinerant lifestyle. But the nun's ineptitude compels Homer to stay and help, and over the course of the film he reveals himself as not only an able handyman, but a leader, marshalling the volunteers who show up to help into a formidable workforce.

The chief source of drama in the film is Homer's easygoing attitude and desire to leave set against Mother Maria's devotion to a relatively ascetic lifestyle and her unspoken fondness for Homer. She even comes up with a number of excuses and odd jobs in an attempt to extend Homer's stay, but in the end, his task complete, Homer leaves the chapel and the nuns behind, proud of a job well done but true to his own needs.

Lilies of the Field is a simple film, but it's funny and warm and important because it features a well-rounded black character in a time when such characters were even rarer in mainstream film than they are today.

What hit me hardest, however, was the way that Poitier's performance clearly showed the deep but understated pride Smith takes in his work and his finished creation. And a fine chapel it is, once the work is complete. While I recognize that screening films always leaves the viewer vulnerable to emotional manipulation, I couldn't help but question the value of my own work when presented with a vision of something concrete (almost literally) and lasting. The fruits of Homer's labour are obvious and long-lasting. Even though I personally am not religious, I can see the value in a place of meditation and meeting for the community, and I envy Smith and others like him who build things that exist in the real world, with tangible benefits.

My labour, on the other hand, hasn't been physical since my early 20s. Of course I agree that communicating is important, and that the right message can have wide-ranging benefits, but I'm still not sure that anything I've written has had anything more than a brief, infinitesimal impact on the wider world. Aside from a few ghostwritten gardening books, I don't have anything I can hold up and say, "This is what I contributed to the world."

Again, I don't wish to downplay my own contributions to the world, most of which, I hope, are unrelated to whatever jobs I've held over the years. But sometimes I feel like I've missed something important by choosing the career I have. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Suffering of SimEarl

A few days ago, I pointed readers to a story on Jeff Shyluk's Visual Blog that showed how Jeff had made custom skins for The Sims back in the early 2000s. And now, thanks to Allan Sampson, I'm sharing a glimpse of how Jeff's very abstract-looking art looked when overlaid onto the Sims in-game models. Allan shared four screenshots of SimEarl in various stages of content (reading a newspaper, upper left) or distress (lacking nice furniture, playing chess in lonely solitude, and passing out in the street). I'm very grateful to Jeff for creating the Sims skins in the first place, and to Allan for capturing these screenshots. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Segregation on Krypton

A few days ago, Jeff Shyluk and I were poring over maps of Krypton as part of a project we've been discussing. I came across this old map of Krypton, and we exchanged some wry, sad commentary about "Vathlo Island--Home of Highly Developed Black Race."

I believe the creators of this map were trying to be inclusive, but instead the text comes off as both condescending and segregationist. But more importantly, the map caused me to look back at my own reading of the various Superman comics over the last five decades. Here's what I wrote to Jeff, in part:

"It makes you wonder what happened to the Kryptonian East Asians, Indigenous peoples, South Asians, etc. You know, over the years I have read nearly every issue of Superman, Action Comics, Justice League of America, World's Finest, Superman Family, Supergirl, Super-Team Family, DC Comics Presents, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Adventure Comics, Super-Sons, Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Superwoman, Superman Confidential, and the various one-shots, miniseries, and novels that make up the Superman canon. And in all those hundreds of comics and stories, I can think of only one non-white Kryptonian, Val-Zod, and he didn't show up until 2011, plus he's from a parallel Krypton, no less (from the universe of Earth-2, which I guess means he's from Krypton-2, though not the same Krypton-2 that birthed the original Golden Age Superman...never mind, comic book continuity is utterly ridiculous).

It's possible that there may have been non-white Kryptonians depicted in background scenes during flashbacks to Krypton pre-cataclysm, or maybe we might have seen a black or Asian Kryptonian in the bottle city of Kandor. But wow, until this email I had honestly never even considered the crazy fact that Krypton, aside from that one map reference and the very recent Val-Zod introduction, has been portrayed as an entirely white culture. WOW. That is bananas."

Naturally I don't remember every single panel of the literally thousands of comic books I've read that feature Superman; it's quite possible that some stories do indeed feature non-white Kryptonians. But aside from the above map reference and latecomer Val-Zod, I can't think of any Kryptonians of colour other than white. I'd love for other Superman and comic art fans to tell me differently...

Edited to add: Thanks to Mike Totman for digging up this 2009 story that reveals there have indeed been some non-white Kryptonians featured in the recent past.