“Are you REALLY a Legion fan? What are your favorite stories and characters? We’re just making sure that you’re joining the right group since sometimes we get requests from people who don’t even know who the LSH are! Thanks!”
— —an honest to Christ IM I got when I clicked on a link for a Legion of Superheroes discussion group on Facebook.
My response (after the cut):
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” –John Lennon
It was the worst sound I had ever heard in my life. The most horrifying, hideous noise in the universe. It was a sound I’ve literally heard in my nightmares for months since then.
And it came from my wife’s throat.
It was, weirdly enough, New Year’s Day. Day one of 2014. And we had plans.
For the record, this is meant for Websnark the same as Banter Latte.
In honor of the 450th anniversary of what we assume was Shakespeare’s birthday, I give you this to look forward to, culturally speaking.
In just 350 years or so — a drop in the bucket, temporally speaking — there will be a monumental debate among intellectuals, critics, historians, and lay people. Movies will be made on the topic. Plays will be written. Whatever new media we can’t imagine now will devote itself to what to so many will be self-evident.
After all, there’s no possible reason why anyone could believe that Aaron Sorkin actually wrote those plays, movies and television shows. I mean, look at the facts of his life. Could that man have convincingly written about working for the president? He never worked for the president! He never worked for a sports channel! He was just a failed actor — one with a B.F.A. instead of a B.A.! A B.F.A. in Musical Theater for God’s sake!
Musical theater! Open your eyes, man!
And some people will claim that clearly all those projects were really written by David Mamet, who didn’t want to look like he was slumming on television or in Rob Reiner films. And some will claim he was really the public face of Josh Molina, which is why he kept getting ‘cast’ in those projects. And others will claim he was really Dee Dee Myers, or Keith Olbermann, or Bill Clinton.
And when people will point to the mountain of evidence that clearly indicate Sorkin wrote the things with his name on him, that evidence will either be ignored or dismissed, while the most tenuous of connections will be used to validate the Sorkinite theory of the day. “Actual footage of Sorkin writing? Phaw! You’re forgetting that in 1983 Aaron Sorkin met Joyce Dewitt!”
And absolutely none of it will have any bearing on much of anything, so long as people keep staging productions of A Few Good Men. Albeit updated for modern sensibilities, which undoubtedly means Jessup will be vindicated.
One of the things I remember most clearly about the ‘webcomics community’ in the mid-2000s was how passionate everyone was, about… well, everything. Drama was a constant. There was no detail so small that it wasn’t worth an argument. There was no achievement so petty that it didn’t deserve celebration. The most precious coin of the realm was sincerity — you could be an jerk. People were fine with that. Just don’t be a milquetoast or hypocrite.
Well, Joey Manley was no hypocrite. And Joey Manley was no milquetoast. He went toe to toe on the subject of comics with anyone. And sometimes, people called him a jerk. Sometimes loudly. And generally they used language that was less ‘PG’ than ‘jerk.’
But that was okay with Joey, because comics mattered to Joey. Art mattered to Joey. And if that meant he was going to be the one man standing up in the middle of remarkable peer pressure and move in a different direction, well, that’s what it would mean.
Which is where we got Modern Tales from. And Girlamatic, Serializer, Graphic Smash and all the rest of the ‘Manley’ sites (which he always referred to as the ‘Modern Tales family.’)
But I’m getting ahead of my tale. More after the break.
Every so often, you have to dust the old blog off. In one sense, the most significant new comics-media development in years happened this past week: the launch of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.
Yeah, most significant. As in, more significant than The Avengers, Iron Man II and III, and The Dark Knight Rises (my arbitrary cutoff would be after Iron Man and The Dark Knight for these purposes, but in one sense this could compete with those luminaries as well).
Why do I say this? Because we have a weekly television series set in the Marvel (Cinematic) Universe on one of the Big Four networks, and its premiere had absolutely absurdly good numbers. Shockingly good numbers. Numbers that roughly tripled Smallville’s best viewerships and exceeded Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’s best season average. And don’t kid yourself — it was a lot easier to get sixteen million viewers in 1993 than it is today. The demographics for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were insane — skewing heavily to adults with six figure incomes and adults in the prime advertising demos. (They’re trumpeting the male viewership, because I don’t know — penises or something, but the ratio was roughly 55%-45% male/female, which is to say “don’t claim this is a guy’s show — everybody watched this.”)
This wasn’t a show about superheroes. Arguably, this wasn’t even a show about ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ since only three members of the primary cast have “Agent” in their job title. This was a show about non paranormals in the Marvel Universe, and it absolutely killed.
That’s a game changer, popular culture wise. There’s a reason the Fox network essentially announced the pre-Batman Jim Gordon Gotham series on the heels of this show. And if they sustain even decent numbers, we’re going to see a ton of superhero/superspy shows next year on the big four. The post-Heroes superhero fad will look ridiculously tame in comparison. No one in television loves anything so much as a successful show they can copy.
(What do I want to see? I want to see a show about and starring Lex Luthor. Preferably one with some Breaking Bad in its DNA. No, I don’t mean Bryan Cranston, though I wouldn’t be sad if he were in it. But I digress.)
So, let’s talk about it — after a break, so spoilers aren’t a thing — because there will be spoilers for the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe here and there, as well as the show. (And maybe a few other movies while we’re at it.) Warning done.
In today’s Interviewing Trey installment, I introduced a significant character — one who’s a straight shooter, and answers a number of Chapman’s questions without overt hostility or obvious agenda. She was, in my head and in the text, described as mature, with an eye to making her older and thereby giving her a bit of gravitas, so that her words would be received by the reader a certain way. It’s, you know, what we do when we write. We try to create something that will convey the impression we’re striving for.
It just occurred to me that if I sat down and crunched the numbers… this character would be within two or three years of my own age.
That’s a thing that makes a guy think.
Got several request to make this rebloggable - here you go.How would you feel if they made a Trinity film that focused mainly on Wonder Woman, instead of a solo Wonder Woman (in the way they called the animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse even though it was really about Supergirl, just to cater to a demographic)?
You mean adopt the "Hide the Girl" strategy?
You mean ignore that 51% of the movies goers in this country are women?
You mean ignore that 44% of the audience for Superman were women?
You mean ignore that films with female leads can do well (Hello Hunger Games!) but Hollywood continues to cater to the precious male demographic because apprently the money women spend at the box office is someone how less attractive.
Fuck that noise. Hollywood needs to stop catering to the kind of small minded wrong head bullshit that brings two movies that have the White House being invaded to the screens within months of each of other and express SHOCK when a female lead film opening the same weekend beats the pants off it.
They need to stop pouring money into pieces of shit like the Lone Ranger and after they had a bomb like John Carter but then limit the films that have female leads.
They are in self perpetuating cycle of expressing shock each and anytime their male led movies fail and a film with a women or POC succeeds.
They need stop being paralyzed about how Wonder Woman must be done right when they freely reboot Superman when he fails. Or the Hulk. Or any other male led superhero movie. I wouldn’t be a bit suprised if there’s a new GL movie before Wonder Women.
I’m pragmatic but I’m also tired and frustrated with this constant catering to the idea that male movie goers are fricking special snowflakes who will break out in a sweat or die if they see a female led movie.
Did they go see Aliens? Yeah, they did.
Did they go see Tomb Raider? Yeah they did
Did they go see Hunger Games? Yeah they did (39% of the opening was male).
Did those movies make money? Yeah, they did.
I’m sorry Hollywood is just filled with dudes who believe the world revolves around them.