Offensive, harrassing or baiting comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted at my discretion.
Comment spam will be deleted.
Please leave a name and either a valid web-site or e-mail address with comments. Comments left without either a valid web-site or e-mail address may be deleted. Atom Feed LiveJournal SyndicationLOLcats feed
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
And Now, a Word from Star Trek Fans
So, let's get this out of the way first: I'm not a Star Trek fan. In fact, I dislike Star Trek more than I dislike Star Wars. To further put that into perspective, I'm a Doctor Who fan who will hash out seeming continuity errors with friends for fun, and I still think that people who like Star Trek have an unhealthy attachment to the show.
Recently, some footage from the upcoming reboot of the franchise, directed by J.J. Abrams, was shown in London, and Empire had a spoiler-heavy post about it up.
But, let's look to see how the Trek fans responded:
References are no good if they're misplaced and misused. Kirk entering the Academy AFTER Uhura? Chekov serving with Pike? I've seen better fanfic stories with better consistency, AND THEY'RE SPENDING OVER A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS ON THIS IDIOCY!?! It's not honoring canon, it's meaningless pandering by hacks who haven't got a clue what they're doing.
"I agree with Capt April that they're not following canon but then that would be extremely limiting in what the filmmakers do..."
Shouldn't that be one of the reasons these jokers get paid more than the average 7/11 slurpee monkey, who could come up with a story just as good as this?
Yes, it's limiting. The skill and talent to work WITHIN those limits are the mark of creative professionals.
Interestingly, the only other place I've seen this particular point articulated in this fashion is in defense of super-hero fan-fiction...
But maybe I'm not being fair to the Trek fans...let's take a look at what those masters of reasoned and rational debate at Ain't It Cool News have to say:
Who the hell is he making this movie for? It can't be the old school Trekkies who've kept the franchise going for 40 years with their support and money. Call me a basement dwelling contnuity nerd all you want, but the Enterprise built in Iowa on Earth? Chekov on Pikes Enterprise as a member of the bridge crew? Kirk as a malcontent badboy? This isn't a just a re-imagining, it's a big FU to anyone over 30 who's followed Trek at all over the years. It's teen angst Trek aimed at grabbing a different demographic than the increasingly older audience that has made Paramount over a billion dollars. If you're new to Trek you may love it, but it sure won't be my Star Trek.
I fail to see how any of that is a bad thing. I can't imagine this mindset. I can't imagine loving something so much that you want to see it die from lack of interest. Again, I'm a Who fan, and I'm ecstatic that the show is successful and popular again, and if the price I have to pay for that are Rose/Ten 'ship sites and no resolution over Ace's fate, that's a price I'm willing to pay.
So, I go into the comic shop over the weekend, and I see this:
I'd heard of this a few months back and was intrigued enough at the notion of Euro-comics takes on super-heroes to want to check the book out when it came out. I flipped through it...and it looked okay. Not as porny as most Euro-comics, understandably, but still recognizably not an American production. And certainly the sort of thing that I'm curious enough about to give a shot.
And then I take a closer look at the cover, and realize that isn't a retro-ironic corner box picture of a character from the comic:
No, it's a fucking ad for Secret Invasion. An ad for a cross-over I have no interest in because of it's uninspired execution and eye-straining art. A cross-over that, two years from now, will be largely forgotten, a post-script to whatever mega-cross-over event Marvel will be in the middle of. An ad they stuck, glaringly, in a stupid position on the cover of a comic that stands a strong chance of appealing to people who might not otherwise be interested in reading a Wolverine comic.
Marvel talked me into saving my money by shoving a reminder of a comic I don't like on a comic I might have liked.
Apparently The Dark Knight was a cleverly disguised pro-Bush polemic: There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.
I can see what he's getting at. I mean, just like Bush's policies are creating more terrorists, Batman is creating more criminals. And just like Bush's violations of civil rights, Batman's are viewed with repugnance by moral observers. Or were we not supposed to extend the metaphor that far?
I was really looking forward to this new Booster Gold comic that DC is putting out, "Showcase Presents Booster Gold" because I thought, finally DC had seen the error of their ways and given us a new Booster Gold comic instead of the horrible character assasination Geoff Johns is putting out.
And it's not DC, under that ragime of Didiot, has once again spit on the face of one of the most imporant and vital characters in comic book history. In this new comic, which is stupidly thick, it's more like some sort of weird manga type book instead of a real comic, Booster is once again portrayed as a selfish, vain, egotistical man instead of the selfless and noble hero that all true Booster fans know him to be.
I've selected a few choice and particularly egregiious panels to show you what I mean, since I CANNOT in good conscience suggest to any of the Booster fans that they waste their hard earned money on this trash!
Booster would never place ahigher priorty on the value of property than on a human life. HIS SISTER DIED! Do you really think he'd be so callous?
Booster would never be so sexist as to demean women by making Black Canary lingerie. I don't even know what that is, and I don't want to know, probably another sick fetish of Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison that they forced the other DC writers to include in this book.
I agree with what Booster is saying her, because Superman is a moral failure as a character for failing to take the VERY REAL threat of terrorism seriously and deal with it, but the problem I have here is that Booster would never be so ungracious to another hero as to criticise them in public.
BOOSTER IS A FRIEND TO THE LITTLE GUY! He is a supporter of working Americans and would not do anything that would stop them from having the American dream and that includes owning an AMERICAN_MADE car.
Booster would never have anything to do with the corrupt American film industry an dtheir unpatriotic ways. he's not some wrong coast Hollyweird elitist scumbag who hates average working Americans. He was a football player, for gosh sake.
I have saved the worst for last
This is just sick. This is some kind of sick caricature of G. Gordon Liddy, another true American hero, and here he is being made to say these awful, not true things about Booster. It's vile and sick and everyone associated with this book should be arrested if there was any justice in this country.
Something has really gone wrong at DC. This is really just a symptom of a larger problem. What DC needs to do is take the advice of people like my friend who used to work as the assistant to the mail room manager at DC before they fired him because it's people like him who really know what the problem is which is the free reign given to character disrespecting writers like Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison and it's all the fault of the incompetent clods in upper management like Levitz and Didio.
This book is just one more disgrace. I have no idea who this Dan Jurgens is who wrote and drew this book, but he owes the creator of Booster Gold an apology!!!
I only occasionally bother to do a full score look at Previews. Frankly, there's too many otherpeople out there doing it. So I really have to hold off on it unless there is sufficient material I find appalling enough to merit taking the time to do one. And by "appalling enough" what I mean is: I feel the need to go wash a couple layers of skin off with a pumice stone when I contemplate being in the same building as people who want to own these things.
Yeah, this was one of those months...
Liberty Meadows Keychain Trading Figures—Page 63 How to get me to buy Frank Cho merchandise:
Make me a little duckling riding a dachsund. (There's going to be a huge-breasted woman on the package, isn't there?)
Cybercontroller Statue—Page 64 I'm a fairly shameless Doctor Who fan, and the success of the new series has meant that, finally, I can get my hands on decent merchandise. And still…
A $300 "Weta Collectibles" Cyberman statue? No. (We will not mention the $330 Dalek statue…)
Spawn: Age of Pharohs—Jackal King—Page 177 Okay, the picture isn't that great, but:
It's nice to see McFarlane toys finally putting out a toy with a noticeable package in addition to the obligatory female figure with big…assets.
Secret Invasion—Marvel Previews Page 41 Only two cross-over titles…that's positively restrained. 'Couse, I'm not the slightest bit interested. Largely this is due to the series getting sadled with an artist not even remotely the slightest bit to my taste. But also because I already sat through this storyline with the Dire Wraiths. And the Manhunters. (It wasn't very good those last two times, either.)
Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle—Page 266 No joke, I just wanted to be sure Pete saw that a Harry Dresden comic was coming out.
The Nye Incidents—Page 274 A new graphic novel from Devil's Due. This is the first line of the ad:
Okay, so we're looking at some sort of non-fiction comic, like Palestine or something by Harvey Pekar, right?
Ah, so "True Events" is evidently a typo for "Unadulterated Bullshit." Devil's Due really should hire a better proof-reader.
Thirsty For Love—Page 290 This is the description for this yaoi title from Digital Manga Publishing's June' imprint: Orie Nakano’s girlfriend is cheating on him with two other men! One is the mysteriously untouchable Tatsumi, and the other is the basketball-playing upperclassman that Orie idolizes. But things are far from being as simple as they seem, and now the three men are inevitably pulled towards each other and bond together by their love for Yuka, which extends much farther than just the girl herself. Love, admiration and lust intermingle around them in an inescapable spiral in this coming of age sexy romance. Teenage boys sleeping with the same girl leads, somehow, to gay sex…Yeah…You know, some gay men really don't like the way yaoi depicts gay men. Plots like this sort of drive home why.
Mack Bolan, The Executioner: The Devil's Tools—Page 306 Given how many comic-book characters are thinly disguised riffs on Mack Bolan, it's nicely full circle that a new comic featuring the character is coming out. Man, The Executioner. I can remember a time when there were two or three bays full of "men's adventure" novels in every bookstore I ever went to. I can't even remember the last time I saw even a single copy of something in the genre in a bookstore. Low sales killed off the genre, I guess. Well, to be more specific, the self-fulfilling prophecy of "men don't read/let's not put out light reading for men" killed the genre. Now I can find seven or eight bays worth of books about plucky young women going to the big city and getting their dream job and a guy who will put them in their place (but for the love of all that's holy, don't call the book a "romance"). I don't even like men's adventure novels (well, the cover art is usually a hoot) and I feel put out that the genre's gone…
Captain Action #0—Page 319 Really Moonstone? That's the license you went after?
Okay, I'm scanning the next two, because if I don't someone's going to call me a liar:
Okay, I'm going to save all of you lovely people $220. The comics industry started when a bunch of gangsters looking to launder their money found a way to cheat a bunch of teenagers and people who couldn't break into real illustration jobs out of their intellectual property. They made a lot of money doing so and have done their level best to whittle away their audience ever since. Now we are left with an industry where Marvel and DC screw Diamond, Diamond screws every other publisher, everybody screws retailers and fans complain that they're not being sufficiently coddled to. Honestly, what's the market for these books? I'm picturing them appealing to the same sort of people who sign up for a $2000 course in "How to Save Money."
A Whole Shitload of Indiana Jones Novels—Page 408 If I'm not mistaken, all these books are reprints of the novels that came out after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when Lucasfilm tried to create an "Expanded Universe" for the Indiana Jones films, given that it didn't seem likely that a fourth film would be made and they had to get more income off the property somehow. I made the mistake of reading one of them once. I'd advise against them.
Family Guy Presents Episode IV: A New Hope Premium Trading Cards--420 Trading cards based on the Star Wars parody episode of the worst animated series since Capitol Critters. I'm not going to make fun of anyone who buys these. How could I possibly add to your shame?
American Flagg! Ltd Edition Hardcover Book Set—Page 427 This is not the long-awaited new collection of this series. No, this is a set of old hard-covers that were, presumably, sitting around in some warehouse somewhere. I can't help but feel that the presence of this listing in the catalog should be taken as a sign that the new collection still won't be coming out anytime soon. I expect we'll see the next issue of Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine before we see that collection.
The Golden Compass Basic Action Figures—Page 446 In case you somehow missed picking these up when every toy store in the country had shelf after shelf of pegwarmers going unwanted before Christmas…
The Princess Bride: Talking Dread Pirate Roberts Plush—Page 450
Oh, I hope it's in scale with the Another Country plush dolls!
Randy Bowen's Gargoyle Statue—Page 466 Get it now, before Disney's lawyers get wind of it:
I'm just sayin'…
Medieval Wooden Sword—Page 518
I love this little reminders of the fact that Diamond still considers head shops and Ren Faires to be an important part of their business model.
Labyrinth Door Knocker—Page 519
I just want to draw your attention to one line here: "…One can hardly speak and the other can hardly hear, making them a form of living irony." i-ro-ny, noun, "the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning." A door knocker that cannot speak or hear because of where the ring is placed really doesn't fit that definition. At all. (This observation submitted by Little Mikey Sterling, Aged 52, of Greater San Buenaventura, California)
Sweeney Todd Razor Prop Replica—Page 521
This has been your "oh dear God, these fucking prop replicas need to fucking stop already" entry for the month.
Doctor Who Micro Universe Game—Page 535
Doctor Who clicky-style collectable miniature game? Oh, my yes.Yes yes yes.
Eleven Men Out DVD—Page 548 I nearly dropped my copy of Previews when I came across this. In the midst of all the anime, bargain-basement horror films, nerd-core television shows and soft-core porn, Diamond is soliciting a European film about a gay soccer team. It's unprecedented! I wonder what they thought they were soliciting…
INCREDIBLE XXXX #113 (Note: Not Actual Title) Written by Greg Pak & FRED VAN LENTE Penciled by Khoi Pham Cover by Art Adams CLASSIFIED 32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99 Order Using This Code: OCT072102 FOC – 12/27/2007, On-Sale – 1/16/2008
So, they expect retailers to place orders without knowing the contents or the actual title. All to keep "spoilers" from being leaked onto the internet. Not working in comics retail anymore, I really wish this sort of nonsense wouldn't annoy me anymore, and yet it does.
Also, what's the best way for a comic publisher to make me go from "somewhat interested" to "not at all interested" in an upcoming title? Replace decent writer Tony Bedard with hack typist Chuck Dixon. That Dixon is a right-wing crank and homophobe is just icing on the cake, really. So, bets on Grace and Thunder? I've got "quietly written out of the book" at 5/2 against "suddenly hetero."
If you know me, you know I have difficulty taking nerd outrage seriously. Partly, I think, it comes from having a low tolerance level for bullshit and insanity. But it also comes from working so long in comics retail, where week-in and week-out I'd see someone rant about how "Grant Morrison ruined the X-Men" and "I'm never buying another Marvel title until they fire Joe Quesada"...and then next week or the week after, there that person is, once again buying whatever it was they swore off of.
And so the latest comic target of fan anger that has me rolling my eyes is Amazons Attack. I'm not interested in defending the book; it is what it is, and I don't have the patience anymore to argue that point with people (i.e. what kind of quality did you expect for a mini tying into an upcoming event with some continuity patches thrown in?). But the complaints...man...look here, here and here.
This situation reminds me of what I've referred to as the "Booster Gold Situation" and the "Blue Beetle Situation." That is: If you really think Booster Gold is dead/Wonder Woman is ruined, well clearly you've never read a super-hero comic before. This is all set-up, and it's explicitly presented as set-up. Just as there was no way in hell DC was going to promote the heck out of Booster Gold in 52 and then kill him off before the series reached the half-way mark, there's no way in heck DC is going to make this "new status quo" for Wonder Woman, the Greek gods and the Amazons permanent. Likewise, if all the people now lamenting the death of Blue Beetle/ruining of Wonder Woman had, you know, actually been reading comics with Blue Beetle or Wonder Woman before now, instead of reading about them on message boards and copyright infringing LiveJournal groups, they'd have had the best-selling books on the market. So pardon me if I view your insistence that no, really, you're a big Blue Beetle/Wonder Woman fan with a bit of skepticism.
But, you know, there I go again, expecting rational or logical behavior from super-hero fans. More fool me, I guess. So, in any case, lay off Will Pfeifer. His other work is good enough we can forgive him the odd, editorially mandated clunker.
Getting linked to by BoingBoing gets you hate mail from conservatives. I mean, honestly, this was the saddest attempt to put me in my place I've ever seen. It was so inept I can't even work myself into a state of mild annoyance. Finding the attempt utterly fucking hilarious, though? Yeah, that's easy.
"Hey, guys, I've got a brilliant idea! How about we release a trailer for our new movie, that features a bunch of pretentious hipster white people filming a party with a camcorder!" "And?" "Something happens!" "What happens?" "Something! There's noises and explosions in the distance!" "Signifying?" "Something really cool and interesting happening a long way away that the characters can't see!" "Okay...what's this movie called again?" "That's the brilliant bit! After all this, we don't tell the audience the name of the movie!" "Won't that just confuse and alienate the audience?" "No, of course not! Trust me, I pull this shit on Lost all the time and the stupid fucking rubes eat it up!"