Friday, March 28, 2014

Nerd to the Third Power Episode 106: The Comics Conundrum!

I participated in the Nerd to the Third Power Podcast, wherein a recent speech given by the President of Image ruffled a few feathers. ‎


RedCyclone said...

Oh yeah, an Arabic Aragorn in post 9/11 America. That would have gone over well.

MasterSeijin said...

Thanks for writing a race baiting letter to the show, viewer. As if there isn't enough turmoil on this subject in the world.

Agent #1 said...

I was kind of enjoying it until I got to the stupid racist part. Then I turned it off. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

The "racist part" almost made me turn it off as well, but I listened to the whole part and the way they talked through everything was very eloquent and thoughtful.

Felix Brunschede said...

How exactly was that part racist, what?

Anyway my thought on the "race changes" always was:

There is only one question: Can the actor/actress portray the character well? Yes? Then shut up and take my money.

And as far as legacy heroes go it's pretty much the same: Can this new character follow the footsteps of the old one while bringing something unique and new to the role? Yes? Then shut up and take my goddamn money already!

On that note, everybody everywhere remotely interested in Spider-Man should read Bendis' All-New Spider-Man. One of the best written books with relateable characters... of all time. Yes, that good. Also Miles Morales aside from the new Ms Marvel is one of the most relateable characters Marvel had in the last ten years.

Now to the main meat of the podcast... Except for that really dumb part of license comics and the self-advertisement, the speech was indeed very good. And I keep having the same problem with comics, that they don't tell new stories, although I see it differently.

Humanity tells the same 4 stories from different angles and with different names and characters to begin with, so I would not be that broad, but especially Marvel and DC keep running into the problem of stagnation in creativity. Their latest efforts is basically BIG EVENT after BIG CROSSOVER EVENT after BIGGER CROSSOVER EVENT, etc. It has become even more tiresome with the DC reboot, where there were events before the status quo could even kick in.

Now, that would be fine if it was a universal ongiong story just from the perspective of different characters with occaisional crossovers, but then there is the problem that there is no main story. A story always should be structured by a plot with a goal in mind, even when it's some self-discovery kind of crap there still is a goal, not so in modern superhero stories despite the continuous "events".

The Blue Beetle run you, Linkara, advertised in your tribute to the character (who'll have his 75th anniversary in august, yay)had it down perfectly. It still told typical superhero stuff, a villain of the month kind of deal, but still had a main goal for a climactic story finale in mind. It's baffling that nobody seems to try to do that outside of C and D listers like the Demon Knights and Amethyst.

... And I promised myself to never rant about event fatique and instead just read self contained comics to "vote with my wallet". Woops.

Anonymous said...

Batman should be played by a black woman

just saying

The Id said...

I enjoyed all the discussion and the way the arguments were presented on the subject. I came here for Likara, but the more interesting part was actually the viewer letter section. (no offence to Linkara of course)

Anonymous said...

When I was in first grade I was more or less illiterate, I knew just enough words to to get by for that grade and that was it. Didn't believe I needed to know more, couldn't comprehend why I'd need to know more. My teacher and parents tried everything in their power to get me to read, pushed every book I was 'suppose' to like reading on me, tried bribing me, begged and promised, and I couldn't care less. Finally one day my mom brought home a comic from the grocery store.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #16

I spent days just staring at that book, could barely read it, but I looked at the pictures. But shockingly I started using those words I did know to start making out the words on the page, and from that I started learning the words I couldn't identify. And then the next month my mom bought me the next issue. Eventually my teacher got in contact with my mom and asked her what she had done since my reading comprehension was getting better, and she told her, but was a bit embarrassed by the truth. She told my mom to keep doing, that anything that could get me to read was a step in the right direction.

Eventually my mom got a part time job at the same school, and occasially that same teacher use to pop in to see her, telling her she had a student that didn't see a point in reading, couldn't get them to read no matter what they did. Finally she told their parents to find out what their favorite franchise was and find a comic based on it, and sure enough they started reading.

So don't tell me licensed comics aren't real. I learned to read on them, I taught a teacher to teach other kids to read on them. Licensed comics matter

heroesandrivals said...

In terms of UK distribution dates being later than US ones (which they talks about before Linkara is on) I suspect that it's a holdover from the previous model of movie distribution -- when they had to make (very expensive) film prints for each theater -- and the delay allowed for them to re-use the prints for the UK release rather than making many more prints for simultaneous worldwide release.
(Of course with digital projection this is now null, but the industry hasn't changed yet.)
Also, it makes it easier to send the stars on press junkets for the pre-launch media blitz.
NTSC/PAL might have been a factor for games back in the day, and smaller studios might find it easier to manage several small premieres from a promotional standpoint.

Of course with interwebs, UK viewers feel 'left out' by not being able to enjoy the premiere/reaction with everyone else; they are behind the curve in a way they never used to be before the internet and participatory media.

tldr; Barriers that used to be a factor in favor of staggered releases have collapsed in the face of technological releases in the last 10 years and there are new negatives to the staggered release model that have arisen at the same time.

Also there's the old model of licensing comics, merchandise, tie-ins etc separately for the US and UK. For some studios simultaneous worldwide release would make it a lot harder for them to produce their tie-in material -- a classic example being a startup like Dreamwave was that simply wasn't set up for distribution outside of North America. From their perspective buying the worldwide rights to Vytor: The Starfire Champion (or whatever) would be 'wasted' because they wouldn't be using a good chunk of those rights. They would -prefer- to only buy the US/North American rights.

The problem is that with the way media distribution is set up these days some times it means that two DIFFERENT companies have rights to the same work in different countries -- and are effectively blocking each other from distributing their work in their respective companies. At its worst if the Vytor licence was owned by Dynamite in the US and Panini in the UK whichever producer is making the superior product can end up 'cannibalizing' the other party's license via import sales or at least tearing down the perception of Panini's (Panini is always on the losing side of this) product.

Anonymous said...

I like that comic books are mixing it up with racial diversity, but I hate when they decide to mess with an established character simply to make it PC. Take Ultimate spider man for example. I never read it much, but I love what they did with Miles Morales. However, if they suddenly decided to reboot the universe, and make Peter Parker black for no particular reason other than to have him be black... ugghhhh...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with some of the people above me on the race issue, namely if they change it just to try to appeal to a certain demographic and that's it, then it's wrong, but if the actor works, it doesn't bother me.

For example, back when there was talk of a live-action Jonny Quest movie, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson was slated to play Race Bannon. That would've been awesome--the only racial (no pun intended) question I would've asked would've been "Is his daughter still a redhead?"

Anonymous said...

hey, just so you know

Jeff Lemire (the writer of Animal Man, Frankenstein, Green Arrow, and Justice League Dark among others) is supposed to write the Teen Titans Earth One graphic novel

Anonymous said...

you'r disregard for licensed comics saddens me

especially seeing how the licensed comics published by IDW and Boom!Studios are currently far superior to the stuff Marvel and even DC are putting out

Anonymous said...

A little thought on the race issue of Johnny Storm:

I would not have a problem with it except for the fact that Sue Storm is white in the movie. Sorry, but this multi-racial family changes the dynamic of their relationship (unless they make them both half-black half-white). What they should have done was make both the characters black. This would be really ground-breaking in a time when studios limit the number of black protagonists to one or two black men.

Firiel-Archer said...

OK. As a huge Tolkien fan, I'm very curious about the source material on Aragorn having possibly been meant to appear Middle Eastern. It would be cool if that was true. But from what I remember, given the genetic factors contributing to his ancestral people the Numenoreans, it seems kind of unlikely. I'd legitimately love to be proved wrong if anybody can point me to the right books! ^_^