Friday, November 4, 2016

Being Colorblind: Race in Comics... Again

I have written about race in comics for several of the most recent posts.  I've been wanting to write a review of the Luke Cage Netflix series and use it as an example of a trend of moving away from placating white audiences by making a white POV an entitlement.  I could easily see a time when a Luke Cage movie or TV series would essentially amount to "Luke Cage does stuff, white people think about it.".  A scenario where Luke Cage is ostensibly the main character, certainly the titular character, but his actions are filtered through some white perspective, possibly a cop, and way too much attention is paid to what white people think about what this black person is doing.  I imagine a 48 hours deal where Eddie Murphy is the star but it's all filtered through how Nick Nolte thinks about Eddie Murphy.  Granted it's been a while since I've seen 48 hours, maybe a better choice would be any Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder movie.  The movie was made to showcase the attitude of Richard Pryor but everything he says and does is commented on by Gene Wilder.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Theatrical Release

Have you learned nothing?
Plot:  Lex Luthor inexplicably plays the two smartest, most powerful people in the DC universe while simultaneously keeping everything needed to shoehorn references to DC's movie plans.

Score:  2 out 5 Batman Murders

Review:  I realize I'm incredibly late to the party but I think I can finally processes this movie enough to where I can talk about it.  When I went to go see this movie it was at theater that served booze.  I had already had a stiff drink before, having ate at the attached restaurant, and my buzz was mostly gone by the movie.  However when we took our seats someone was going around taking drink orders from people.  This was the first time I had seen the theater do this after having seen a couple of movies there, in retrospect they clearly knew something I didn't.  I turned down the drink, in retrospect I should have taken the hint.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015) Theatrical Release

Fuck the Haters
Plot:  A-hole Reed Richards irreparably deforms three of his closest friends and some vaguely foreign guy.

Score: 4 out of 5 Limbs That You Can Stretch Impossibly

Review:  I think the first thing I have to do is justify my score because I think that's what people are going to bust my balls the most about.  I liked this movie, I read a lot of hate about this movie, I read a lot of hate in the months leading up to this movie.  In many ways I think people were programmed to hate this movie which lead to a lot of stupid nit picking.  I'm not above nit picking but I typically only start nit picking when there is nothing else for my brain to hold on to.  If there is nothing of value beneath the surface than I have no choice but to focus on the surface.  So I went into this movie as open as I possibly could be, critical but open.  When so many people demand that you feel a particular way about something I think it's important to examine why.  Alright, the score.  The movie, at it's objective core, is well shot, well edited, for the most part well paced and well acted.  The scenes are composed well and I can't take anything away from the principal cast because every single one of them did the best job they could and that's obvious and any weakness in the script, I feel, is more than made up for by everything else they did well.  Just for those core competencies this movie gets a 3 out of 5.  I give it the extra point because it tried for something different.  It's success is up for debate but because it tried for something different it gets an automatic point.

Friday, July 3, 2015

If I Made It: Friday the 13th Game

Outline:  A while back I was watching the Angry Videogame Nerd review of Friday the 13th (and the following James and Mike Monday playthrough) and I believe they mentioned how hard it is to make a game out Friday the 13th.  So, I started thinking about how I would make it.  Like most interactive media it's important to encapsulate the feel of the thing you are mimicking.  Granted, the NES was a little limited in the experience it could create but with today's technology I think you could create large, open set-piece environments with AI mechanics that think and behave like characters in a horror movie.  This game would focus more on survival and AI than huge fights and throwing rocks at birds.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let's Talk About Race/Gender/Sexuality in Comics... Again...

  I would like to start this off with this thing from the Onion which, in the title alone, sums up how ridiculous I find naysayers of color blind casting:

Comic Book Fans Adamant That Human Torch be Played by Actor Whose Body Actually Engulfed in Flames

  So, would that be better?  I mean really if your going to complain about the actor who plays the character why not complain that the Human Torch isn't being played by a man on fire or that the actor playing The Thing isn't a giant craggy rock monster?

  On to what I'm really here about.  Good news everybody!  Stan Lee says to create new ethnic characters!  And if you won't do it HE will!  So don't worry roughly 100 million non-white members of the population, your ethnicity will be proudly represented by this old, rich white guy who was last culturally aware back when segregation was a thing and was a voting adult through the Civil Rights.  Clearly he's the person to rally behind.  It's not that I don't like Stan Lee but I think we might give him too much credit, somehow we've made him the King of comics and I don't know if that's entirely earned or not.  It may not be entirely unearned but I think we need to be careful about who we assign crowns to and why.

  So let's talk about race in comic books, again, sorted, in no particular order, by the dumb ass statements I see.  I primarily use the word and concept of race in the examples below but the word race could be interchanged with gender/ethnicity/religion/sexuality.  I tried to stick to one concept to make things easier.

Monday, June 1, 2015

If I Made It: Comic Reform

  I was thinking about comics this morning, as I often do, mostly about the industry of comics and how there is just so much stuff out there.  I don't really think that makes things better, I think it ends up diluting your product.  I think, from a logical standpoint, it makes more sense to have fewer things across more mediums than a lot of things in one medium.  The most important thing to remember is that comic books, and their related intellectual property, is an industry now and not a business.  A business is a mom and pop stationary store.  If stationary dries up, as long as they have the store front, they can change things up and sell something different or find another job is something retail related.

  An industry needs to self perpetuating and being that means you can't eat your customers or yourself for the sake of profit.  The idea of an industry is you take less profit initially so you make more money over time because if your industry collapses nobody has a job anymore.  If your stationary store goes under you can still find a job in the 'retail industry'.  If the retail industry goes away you can't suddenly get a job in healthcare.  So you have to ensure the security of your people and even your competitors by not salting the earth for everybody.  Since I know Marvel the best I'll be using Marvel in my examples but I'm not really criticizing Marvel or any particular brand.  This is just how I would do it if someone gave me full control over a major brand in the industry.


  In January of every year I would take two weeks and sit down with everyone to hash out a plan for the year.  The plan isn't set in stone but it would act as a guide.  This would be the time for all the departments to talk and plan.  What are our movies doing?  What should we do to support it?  How should comics, TV and movies tie-in?  How can we support that with merchandise?  What are our titles coming out this year?  Who's working on them?  What are we building to?  What are our character arcs?

Happy Birthday Lea Thompson!

Happy Birthday
  I saw this in my Facebook feed and thought I'd write a post because she has been a huge part of my own youth having grown up along side her career.  Back to the Future and Caroline in the City being two major things in her career that I enjoyed the hell out of.  But because I'm a huge Howard the Duck fan I thought I would celebrate it by posting this recent interview where she talks, briefly, about shooting Howard the Duck.  She initially describes it as 'painful' but goes on to say some nice things.  She is also a Minnesota native, like myself, so there is much love there.

  I also want to point out that the soundtrack was written by the incredible Thomas Dolby and performed by Lea Thompson as the lead singer of Cherry Bomb.  The title song, which was part of the movies finale, was the result of Dolby collaborating with George Clinton who was the head speaker of the Parliament Funkadelic and sung by Lea Thompson!  Say what you will about the movie but the soundtrack was a pretty good bit of late 80's New Wave and Lea Thompson was very competent as the lead singer of Cherry Bomb.  Lady Thompson if you ever want to give an exhaustive interview of your Howard the Duck experience I would be happy to do that.  If I could I'd interview everyone involved with that movie.  If I could get the people I would do all Howard the Duck podcast series.  Thank you for all your work Lea Thompson!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

If I Made It: Flash season finale and Season 2

Welp, the Flash finale happened.  As I tweeted it was about 40 minutes of meh, 3 minutes of Holy Shit! and 1 minute of WTF?  It was mostly underwhelming except for one great scene towards the end.  The season ended on a cliffhanger, which I didn't really appreciate, cementing this as probably the worst year for CW finales.  While the Arrow finale was way too final this one wasn't final enough.  The episode was largely relationship nonsense that included a wedding that nobody cared about and didn't leave room for a satisfying ending.  While the ending was definitely open it wasn't open in any kind of compelling way and didn't set up the next season at all.  After seeing this I was left deeply unsatisfied and critical and the step after criticism, for me anyway, is improvement.  My brain asks me "Well, if you're so smart what would YOU do better?" this is what I would do better:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon, Black Widow and Death Threats

Apparently the most offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic movie ever made by man.
As long as you don't count Birth of a Nation
  What is it about me that I like to see break downs in communication?  I like to examine them and see if I can understand them.  Sometimes they make me mad, sometimes they make me confused.  Sometimes I need to yell about it, sometimes I like to just talk about it.  Ultimately though I like talking about stuff like this because I think talking about it is key to understanding it and understanding it is very, very important.

  So let us start here:

People are Mad at Joss Whedon (Apparently)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stupid Audio Trainwreck Episode 3!

Back because nobody demanded it The Stupid Audio Trainwreck! This episode we try to get caught up on all the stuff I missed due to getting Whooping Cough! Working retail is a cesspool of germs. I talk everything I missed from 2/22-3/15 which includes blog updates and comic reviews over at Comic Bastards.

I talk about meeting creator Irwin Hasen who sadly passed away recently. Dan 'The Man' Local Legend Jurgens. And Tony S. Daniel. As well my experience getting art from two others. See how many times I mispronounce names!

Finally, I do a quick If I Made It about Gotham instead of the 40 minute monstrosity I originally made.

It's raw, it's unedited and it's entirely lacking in professionalism!

Face it Tiger - The Mary Janes (or Married With Sea Monsters)
Threshold - Sex Bob-omb
Batdance - Prince
Scott Pilgrim Anthem - Anamanaguchi