How To Fix: The X-Men

This column is intended to be the first of many “How To Fix” topics. That said, it is my solemn vow that I will only cover topics that I feel I know enough about to fully grasp (meaning it will mostly be about comics) and can make cohesive arguments on. The first topic in this series will be The X-Men. Though the X-Men are one of the top selling concepts in all of comic book fiction, they have (and have had) many flaws that hinder the concept in reaching its full potential. It is because of this that I have taken the liberty of summarizing the 5 biggest problems in X-Men lore.

5. Time Travel- While I can’t criticize the tendency of X-Men writers to experiment with stories of a mutant future, I do take issue when characters arrive from the future. The concept of a paramilitary group of political activists defending the public from terrorism is strong enough to carry any series forever. Changes of location, specific threat and political relevance are you really need to keep the plot moving. While characters like Cable and Bishop have had interesting storylines over the years (i.e. Soldier X and District X respectively), they seem to do better when pulled out of direct contact with the prime X teams. While I am rarely supportive of removing characters from the ever expanding stories of either major Comic Book universe, I think these characters should be relocated to their own little corners of the Marvel U.

4. Space- Ahhh, the Shi’Ar, never has a race of bird people from outer space tortured a group of genetic freaks more. More so, without the Shi’Ar we would have never known that Cyclops’ father was an intergalactic space pirate. That is reason enough for the Shi’Ar to never have existed. Quite frankly (Frank Quitely), Grant Morrison did the right thing in his New X-Men by taking the time to write a story in which the Shi’Ar could be removed from X-Men stories without removing them from continuity. Out there in space, the Shi’Ar could have fowled it up (get it, fowl, they’re bird people) to their heart’s content with Drax and Nova. That was until Ed Brubaker brought them back, a move I will never understand. As with the time travelers, these aliens can be interesting but ultimately serve little purpose in perfecting the X-Men concept.

3. Storm- I love comic books, and with rare exception, I believe that most characters serve a genuine philosophical role in their stories. Storm is one of those rare exceptions. If Magneto pushes the boundaries on how powerful a mutant can be, Storm smashes and pisses on them. Storm can control all weather. ALL WEATHER. I don’t care if she’s afraid of being trapped in a box, she rarely is and because of that she should be essentially unstoppable. If Storm is on the X-Men, it basically means that no one short of a celestial would ever go near Xavier’s School, eliminating the types of stories that should be found in an X book. It seems that many writers have shared this opinion and have tried to either move Storm a bit outside of the normal stories or even de-power her. I support the prior, but even that has not been too successful.

2. M-Day- The words “No More Mutants” still ring through my ears. In House of  M, Brian Bendis decided that there were too many mutants running around the Marvel U., and that removing them would make X-Men comics more interesting. He was completely wrong. The entire concept of X-Men relies on the fact that the births of mutants are on the rise throughout the world. By limiting the amount of living mutants to just under 200, you create a population that would not even be recognized in a world where radio-active spider men and super soldiers run around the streets everyday. It completely undermines all of the political aspects of the book since that few would even bother to persecute them. Even with a few thousand mutants in the world, very few humans would have direct contact with any powered being. Not only that, but some of the de-powered mutants like The Blob and Jubilee were popular and useful characters to the basic storyline. While I often disagree with other readers, I acknowledge that you are constantly playing with sacred material if you are writing a long running comic. Making such a sweeping decision can backfire easily. While the more politicized X-Men was made clear to work in New X-Men, something like this was a sweeping change that simply had no footing in the series history.

1. The X-Men are not Superheroes- Okay, some of you are pissed off now, so let me get this out of the way. The X-Men should not wear spandex or have frequent team ups. The X-Men are a politically motivated, paramilitary group who intimidate their opposition. X-Men stories should always be played off the fact that though we, the readers, know that the X-Men are good and would go to great lengths to save both mutants and humans, the public in the Marvel U. sees them as a group of radicals who have the resources to wage war on society. The fear part of “feared and hated” is justified. Let me remind you who some of the X-Men are. They are led by a psychic who has created a computer to monitor all of his race’s activity. Under him is his greatest disciple who cannot control his ability to blow holes in mountains, an immortal soldier with 12” blades that pop out of his hands, another powerful psychic who occasionally goes insane, a guy who looks like the devil and can disappear at will, a giant ex-terrorist who has metal skin and a girl who can take all of your energy. That’s just 7 of them. I admit that I did like Whedon’s take on this topic, that The X-Men fake being superheroes to gain public support, but I don’t think it’s the best way to go. I am patiently awaiting the day that I look at a cover and see the X-Men once again dressed in black leather jackets on their way to smash some terrorist plot and to never be recognized for it.



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The Icon

I have a half written piece sitting on my desktop that was supposed to be finished and published today, but yesterday something more important happened. Frank Frazetta died of a stroke at age 82; nearly a year after his wife, Ellie, died battling cancer. I mention the death of his wife for two reasons. The first is to address the reports that since the death of his wife, Frazetta had slowly been slipping away. The other, and more important, is that all of Frank Frazetta’s fans know how important Ellie was to his work. Frazetta, unlike his contemporaries, portrayed women as strong, capable beings and often attributed his admiration for them to his wife. I typically don’t like to get too philosophical on here, but that relationship strikes me as something to strive for. A passionate artist whose passion is derived from those he loves.

It is truly difficult for me to explain the importance of Frank Frazetta to all of Science Fiction/Fantasy, so I’ll keep it simple. Frank Frazetta was a story teller. Through his paintings and drawings, he conveyed more motion and emotion than most film makers or actors ever can. Frank Frazetta is one of the reasons I am writing this now. Though I now seek to write stories, I first sought to illustrate them. Long before I knew about Jack Kirby or Steranko, I knew about Frank Frazetta. It is Frank Frazetta that gave us visions of Tarzan and Conan, of John Carter and of Dracula. It is Frazetta that first brought many of our imaginations to life.

His powerful women, his enchanting heroes and his grotesque monsters. Anyone who draws (or writes for that matter) should wish to be as good as Frank Frazetta. They won’t be.



Filed under Comic Book, Film, Uncategorized

Panels and Screens

This Friday, Iron Man 2 will begin showing in thousands of movie theaters across the U.S. and will continue its run abroad. This installment may be the 2nd of this specific series, but it actually the 3rd in what will be a 6 film Marvel Universe series by 2013. These plans have existed since the early stages of Iron Man’s development and are part of Disney/Marvel’s plan to dominate the genre in film. Though it is yet unconfirmed, recent reports also indicate that the upcoming Batman, Green Lantern and Superman films (all of which to also be released by 2013) may follow suit, creating a film DC Universe as well. There are two questions that must be addressed. First, is it possible to create such a universe and have it be cohesive enough to function and second, is it a good idea to create such a universe. I admit, this won’t be based on much information, just speculation, but if there is any type of story I have a firm grasp on, it’s these. That said, LET THE SPECULATIOOOOON BEGIN!

So, in the first 2 films in the Marvel Universe series (Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk), the following seeds of this film universe were planted:

  1. Both films made heavy references to the existence of “super” tech in World War II, in the Hulk film, they even acknowledge the super-soldier program which Captain America would have come out of.
  2. Both films acknowledge the existence of S.H.I.E.L.D., who, in this universe, are seeking out super heroes for an “Avengers Initiative” which is named specifically in Iron Man.
  3. Nick Fury briefly acknowledges that there are other superheroes in the world in Iron Man.
  4. The military uses Stark technology to fight the Hulk.

Though it does not seem like much, points 1 and 2 will serve to unify both the existing and future stories, and admit to a world that is not our own. This hopefully will reach the audience as this admittance is essential to any expansion of these ideas, the expansion that will likely happen in The Avengers film scheduled for 2012.

DC is a lot rougher, the 2 Batman films which would potentially be part of this continuity were not written with other films in mind. That said, there are some thematic elements that a writer could exploit. The aforementioned super tech exists in the Batman films, and has been used by hero and villain alike. You could always say that Luthor had been competing with Wayne or that Batman got his new Bat-Wing from Ferris aircraft. It’s not much, but it is something. Additionally, the transition from traditional crime to “super crime” has already occurred, Gotham has at least 2, though some claim 3, super villains alive and active. A writer could easily make Batman the first public superhero and therefore spin the occurrences in Gotham into a global phenomenon.

While both of these universes seem feasible, there seems to be one character in each that will be a challenge. Marvel’s basic continuity at this time revolves almost exclusively around military technology. This has already worked for Iron Man and Hulk, and is tailor-made for the upcoming Captain America film. With Thor…not so much. It should be very interesting to see how they intend to present a story of hammers and sorcery, and then ask the general public to accept him fighting along side a human jet and a super soldier. DC’s problem is Batman. As acknowledged before, the first 2 films were not written with any acknowledgement of a bigger universe. More importantly, it is going to be very hard to convince the audience that Batman can exist with Superman across the country, not to mention The Green Lantern, The Flash and Ambush Bug…nobody? It might even take a direct explanation, like Batman being all angry and not wanting Superman in HIS city. Regardless of method, it has to be addressed.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten obsessed with thinking if we could, let’s slow down and think about if we should. Movies are very restrictive for comic book characters. Not only does the origin need to be told before moving on, but time restrictions have a huge impact on the stories that can be told. The best example of this is The Dark Knight. Even at a running time of just over 2 and a half hours, the film barely squeezes in what would be a standard comic book story arc. This has a lot to do with how comic book stories are structured. Instead of a standard 3 acts, comics have multiple, escalating climaxes. This forced the writers of The Dark Knight to give the film a frantic pace, one that I am sure would not work with a lesser director. Not only this, but as my friend Bob has pointed out, the story they are able to tell is pretty mundane as far as most comics are concerned. The reason I explained this structure is because when you are creating a film universe, you are implying that the types of stories executed in comics will now be executed in film. The problem I see with this is that comic books allow for the character to develop on there own over long periods of time. Rushing them into encounters with other leads may not allow for this development and ultimately leave the character in a sort of weakened state (yeah, I just called Hollywood a bunch supervillans who steal powers). Part of the reason the comic book Batman can stand next to the comic book Superman is because he is such a strong, well developed character. The powers of Superman do not detract from what that media’s audience already knows about Batman. Though there are plenty of people who do not need justification, either out of indifference or knowledge of the source material, it may not be responsible story telling to throw Captain America in with Thor the second time you see either of them.

Regardless of how this all ends up, I have faith the journey will be fun. A lot of very talented people are working on all of these films and I will certainly get to see some moments I have been imagining in my head since I was 8. Please share your thoughts on this topic. This entry was originally intended to be much shorter, but I didn’t realize how much thought I had already put into it. Oh well.

I am Iron Man,



Filed under Comic Book, Film

Return To Chaos

I’ve been exhausted. After over a year of working a job I don’t care for, but should be thankful to have, and working on sketches that have yet to be posted anywhere, I have decided to return here. I respect my co-workers, but they typically have the most boring conversations in the world and I need to vent about more interesting issues. That said, I never really left intentionally; I got caught up in other projects and my aforementioned job. Time moves too quickly these days. Though I’ll be back here on a consistent basis, Alex will be working on his blog over at Mancouch because they actually pay him. This may end up on there as well, but that’s not important at the moment.

So, it’s been a year, there is much to talk about. Let us pray.

  1. Inglorious Basterds– sucked. I have never in my entire life of watching pretentious movies seen a movie worse than this. The constant thought streaming through my mind as I watched Nazis, American GIs and French folk sit at tables speaking incessantly was that someone forgot to remind Tarantino that second drafts are not only customary, but a great way to remove unnecessary dialogue and details. I understand that quick dialogue and style over substance are Tarantino’s trademarks (I do own and enjoy the majority of his work) but this film merely impersonated style. When a movie is at least in part supposed to be about a group of Nazi murdering Jewish-American misfits, I would have liked to see them do something, instead of being told about it in passing. That and its ridiculous juxtaposition to what should have been a heart wrenching story of the Nazi occupation of France exemplify the film’s greatest failure: tone. I would have liked to have seen the rip roaring adventure portrayed in the trailers. I didn’t. I would have liked to have seen a drama about the occupation of France. I almost did, but Brad Pitt doing an irritating accent interrupted it constantly. Ultimately, what I ended up seeing was about 5 characters over what felt like 6 hours, none of whom I gave half a shit about. This was capped of by an awkward revenge fantasy where the guy who directed Cabin Fever was crying and had a punch-gun. Actually, the punch-gun was one of the few things I liked. I know at least half of the people reading this disagree with me, and were pulling hard for the Oscar, but I can’t fathom it. I try to be even-handed with things like this but holy shit, Inglorious Basterds was horrible. Seriously, this is the first time I don’t even want to hear a counter argument. I know that is bad form for a blog like this, but really, I get extremely agitated thinking about this movie. It was shit; it hurts my brain that people liked it. And you can’t be mad anyway, Kathryn Bigelow won! SUCK IT JAMES…sorry, I really liked The Hurt Locker. Speaking of James…
  2. Avatar: The Highest Grossing Film of All Time- Haha, that giant cat just threw a six foot long spear.
  3. Frank Turner- put out my favorite album of last year, Poetry of the Deed. This, and much of Turner’s other work, exposes the insecurities of those who call themselves artists and the emotions of realizing that your punk rock rebellion is not what it once was when you were 16. All this without surrendering to the ridiculous idea that it was never worth it. For those of us who begin to doubt our dreams, Turner will remind you that Punk Rock can still save your life.
  4. Lady GaGa- yes, Lady GaGa. I don’t love her records, some of them I down right despise, but she represents something good. It is nice to see a figure in pop that survives on basic, radio friendly music and makes headlines by having fun with her fame. In a media that now thinks that Green Day have had some sort of important social impact and should be hailed for their political views, I turn to Lady GaGa to save our youth. I think we would all love to be famous and stay that way by messing with people who don’t get the joke. I get the joke Stefani, please don’t stop.
  5. Wisconsin- I recently went to Wisconsin. Spring Green specifically. *SPRING GREEN IN THE HOOOOOUSE*. Sorry. So anyway, on our nearly four hour drive to Spring Green, I discovered that I really had no idea what farms looked like. I mean, there was nothing out there.  We went through Madison, the capitol, and it looked less populated than Paramus, New Jersey. And I’m not insulting Wisconsin, the people were nice and the food was good, but holy shit, I could never live there. Plus, I was kind of scared that I was going to have to fight off a family of cannibals.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I promise something more well conceived next time; I’m just getting back into rhythm.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.



Filed under Announcements, Film, Music

Coheed And Concept Albums

In Changing My Opinions Of My Changing Opinions VII: Volume I: From Preconceived Notions Came My Shoddy Judgment

I must admit, for most of my teen years I had a narrow musical mind and an intense hatred for anything that even mildly suggested ’emo’ to me. I remember so many of the band names rattled off to me on a daily basis: Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, Mae, Days Away – so on and so forth, etc, etc. They all seemed to reach for some far away meaning, some elusive happiness that every teary chord and lyric brought closer somehow. One sappy syllable after another, I cringed and wondered when and how rock had lost its backbone. My musical discussions with people always went the same way – poorly.

Step 1: Meet and greet new person.

Step 2: Exchange a list of interests.

Step 2a: Arrive at the topic of music.

Step 3: Listen to them mumble through their favorite bands (that I hated).

Step 4: Politely refer them to Ozzy (Oh how sophisticated I was).

Step 5: Pray for their lost soul as I lost interest.

(The term social pariah probably applied to me back then.)

Once in a while, though, the name Coheed and Cambria emanated from someone’s nondescript, repulsively lip-ringed mouth. Those words weren’t on the lengthy list of names that screamed hormonal misunderstanding and were riddled with Simpson’s quotes. It was new and suggested no feelings – my interest piqued. But the suggestion to try them out came from people whose taste I didn’t respect (No Ozzy, no dice).

After hearing ‘A Favor House Atlantic’ and ‘Devil In Jersey City’, I gave up. Too cutesey. Too concise, I thought. No one bothered to explain it to me. No one told me the story, the continuity behind the music. They probably didn’t know much beyond the fact that Coheed’s sound fit nicely in their chosen pop music niche. I forgot about them in seconds.

My opinions softened since then, and at the suggestion of a certain bass-slapping friend, I gave them a second chance. I’m glad I did, as this is a band whose work really can’t be taken at face value.

First – a brief lesson. Coheed and Cambria, since their second album (and to some degree the first), have composed their music around a story entitled ‘The Amory Wars’, conceptualized by lead singer Claudio Sanchez and depicted (at least partially) in a series of comics/graphic novels. Their arrangement on the albums is similar to a movie soundtrack, setting important aspects of the story to song.

The songs each tell a part of the surprisingly complex story, in comparison to most other popular music, where songs – though they deal with many different themes – do not feed into an overarching narrative. This interrelatedness and direction towards a defined end point provides each song a certain added cohesiveness, in a way that actually made me crave more of the story.

Sure, the concept album has been done many times before – Rush’s 2112 comes to mind, as do a number of Dream Theater albums – and Coheed may not be the best at what they do, but they’ve managed to bring a slice of progressive rock into the mainstream (though the prog label might be an improper fit). Prog rock isn’t always an easy sell – so it’s nice to see it, or at least something like it, getting attention.

My initial negative reaction to their music had a lot to do with the lyrics – with the high pitched singing, emotional hooks, indecipherable lines and phrases – I just couldn’t seem to follow any of it. Approaching the songs on a case by case basis was simply the wrong way to go – a heartening fact, because if their fans somehow got it, why couldn’t I?

After discovering the story and the nature of the albums, my prejudice against the lyrics evaporated.  Following a narrative was much more engaging than trying to latch on to each individual song. Though much of the inspiration for the lyrical content undoubtedly comes from the author’s personal experience (like many works of fiction), the novel approach he took to songwriting cleared up the vanity that I usually associate with pop lyrics. To wrap it all inside a work of fiction may be vain as well – but frankly, I’ll take a good story based on someone’s feelings over a true outpouring of emotions any day. Good thing I’m not a therapist.

As each song unfolds, the central hero learns, experiences and changes, adding weight to the journey with every step (It’s downright folky, if you think about it). Even if every song means something different, those meanings build the character and explore the lore instead of remaining self contained. This unique structuring created a situation, at least for me, where going back and forth through the songs uncovered little things here and there I hadn’t noticed before. Usually this is something I associate with books, movies, or serialized shows like Battlestar Galactica – not music.

A great deal of music insists on listeners to identify with the lyrical content. Think about this: how often do we see Facebook statuses and away messages that consist of meaningful song quotes? I’ve seen it a lot – and used to be guilty of it too. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with it, of course – just illustrating how often we look to music for guidance, or to say something we can’t adequately express ourselves. Most artists have a story to tell, but usually not one that spans more than a single song, much less several albums.

It’s akin to reading short stories versus reading novels. Both are valid forms of literature, but where the short story gets to the point quickly and packs every sentence full of meaning, novels are immersive, letting readers identify wherever and with whomever they wish, yet always convincing the reader to move on and finish out the journey.

I’d tell other artists to try Coheed’s model, but then I’d have to hate their imitators for the very same reason I thought I didn’t like Coheed in the beginning.

Oh, the irony.


P.S. Chaos Collage welcomes you back.


Filed under Music

Worlds That Make More Sense Than This One

Continuity; the word alone strikes terror into the hearts of editors everywhere. When you disregard it, people will want it back. Within the two most revered and long lasting comic book universes, Marvel and DC, there have been many philosophies on how this complex editorial challenge must be handled. Over the years, the problems have stayed relatively consistent.

The most obvious are direct contradictions within the universe. Over the long periods of time that these stories have been published, editors, artists and writers have often contradicted previous stories without explanation. Sometimes this has been done intentionally, in other cases it was accidental. Often, these changes are simply ignored and the better known version of the setting, character or event is left intact without much to do. However, in certain cases the change is so drastic it can not be ignored by the reader. The other major problem faced in these universes is the passing of time. Bruce Wayne has been Batman for nearly 70 years, and has been written as a contemporary character for the entire run. That poses a bit of a challenge when trying to explain how one man could have experienced so much.

Since we are dealing with inherently symbolic superheroes,it is important that in whatever changes are made, one keep the thematic and philosophical aspects intact. We wouldn’t want Captain Marvel (the Shazam! one) running around tearing terrorists in half, it doesn’t work for him. It is also as important to keep the essential details of a character intact. There have been dozens of retellings of Batman’s origin, but as long as certain points like the circumstances of his parent’s death and his reaction to it remain, these re-tellings are valid. Neither of these problems seem all that complex when looking at a single character, but the true problem lies in the universal structure. If something is an insignificant plot point for one character but it is somehow tied to another character and holds great importance, it becomes an essential for the prior as well.

The simplest “solution” is to do nothing at all. On occasion, editors have decided to forgo a solution in favor of letting the writers choose to take the characters wherever they want. If they want to acknowledge something, they may; they also may ignore it. While this seems like a liberating artistic concept, its inherent problems have made it quite the rarity in developed continuities. What is more common is a relaxed editorial stance, meaning that while the editors certainly do have directives and corrections for their writers, there is no comprehensive policy in the company. Group editors may have fairly consistent policies, but outside of those groups, relative chaos may ensue. A great example of this is Marvel’s beloved Wolverine. The character appears in numerous titles every month and it is nearly every month that one finds contradictions. These problems can often be solved by creating a time table of events, but even in the last few months there have been very direct contradictions on the character’s whereabouts and activities. What is the most disturbing in this case is that many of these contradictions have appeared in direct reaction to universe wide events, which should serve to affirm the company’s commitment to continuity.

Another quick fix is condensing the universal timeline. Since a year of issues could easily represent days, this seems like a logical move. Unfortunately, this is not the case. With multiple storylines that interact with each other at different junctures, you are essentially dealing with one massive narrative. This means, if it says that Batman was stuck in the mouth of a giant space moth for 6 months in Detective Comics, it implies that his appearance the same month in Batman must fall before or after that. Line that up with a couple of decades of progression and hundreds of other titles which are all in reality the same story, you begin to lose the integrity of characterization and even the impact of certain storylines. Marvel occasionally invokes a modified version of this technique in what I have heard referred to as “Time Loop”, this allows for all events to take place in the time period they were written, and sort of-kind of over that amount of time, but not really. And yes, that sentence was intentionally nonsense because the explanation itself makes very little sense. There were rumors that Neil Gaiman’s 1602 was intended to end with a final word on how that concept functions, but it was either changed or a fun internet rumor.

Another commonly used technique is a multiversal structure. All this really means is that contradictory events or narratives separate from the primary narrative literally take place in separate realities, but ones that are usually accessible to each other in someway. The most significant early appearance of this can be found in DC, where the early World War II associated versions of their heroes were eventually assigned to “Earth-2” where they could live out their continuity without interfering with their contemporary counterparts. This eventually led to many other earths, some literally added as characters were acquired by the company. Marvel also has a multiverse, but it is far less prominent within their stories.

More complex than this, but exponentially more useful is the so-called “re-launch”. First coming to prominence during Julius Swartz’ DC in the 60s, the re-launch essentially (or should I say hopefully) takes the important and well liked aspects of a story, and gets rid of everything else. It also typically throws out any history that it does not re-tell within its pages. This can benefit the story as many of the confusing, unnecessary or even contradictory pieces of the narrative can be removed from continuity in one fell swoop. On the other hand, re-launches require that much of the universe itself be re-launched as well. The greatest drawback to this is the potential for fan backlash. One may find the fan base clamoring for the return of certain elements sooner than later. A prime example of a universe wide re -launch can be found in DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, where DC decided that the multiverse was not only too confusing, but was keeping the writers from fully integrating the acquired characters into their primary universe. Their solution was a revolutionary idea, an in-continuity re-launch which told the story of the destruction of the multiverse and the reconstitution of reality on one, new Earth. This was not only a huge hit amongst fans, but unintentionally set the stage for arguably the most complex universal continuity ever conceived.

In recent years, through a myriad of events, DC has actually re-established the multiverse. However, this multiverse does not only feature multiple Earths with different inhabitants, but acknowledges all previous Earths acknowledged in Crisis on Infinite Earths along with many new Earths conceived in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Even though there is a prime Earth which contains what the reader can consider the “real” versions of their favorite heroes, anything they have ever read counts again. The benefits of this structure are immeasurable, it allows for everyone’s favorite stories to potentially have an impact no matter how obscure they may be. The only major drawback is potentially confusing new readers. It is for that reason that a focus on telling great, character driven stories must remain. If you hook someone on the characters, they can and will always go back to find out the whole story. No one reads comic books to torture themselves (though I have read a few issues of All Star Batman and Robin, ZING) so it’s not like you are going to lose readers by giving them what they want. Continuity is simply an acknowledgment of your own fan base, it shows respect for the integrity of the worlds they love so much.


Vinny’s Kinda Related Video Post of the Week

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Infinite, Round Table – Vol.1

Hey kids

In my continued effort to bring valuable work to this blog while juggling my other responsibilities, I failed to produce a full entry this week. I’m about half way through my first draft and it looks like it is going to work out, but due to the complexity of the topic, its going to take me a few more days to get to a draft I’m comfortable publishing. I take what I post on here very seriously and would not want to rush a piece to make a deadline that isn’t there. I can promise that this piece will be something very special and unique, and I hope the wait is worth it. That said,  I had an idea at the beginning of this that didn’t quite work because literally no one was reading it (sometimes logic escapes me), but I believe we have the readership (and the quality of readership) to start posing questions to you.

So, here’s topic #1:

When adapting an existing story, should the adaptation’s reverence to the source material have a direct relationship to the current popularity and relevance of the work?

Vinny’s Thoughts:

I believe that it is fair to modify less popular and/or relevant narratives more radically than those that have maintained their place. Many characters who previously had little importance have been saved through that method. However, those are rare cases and do not make up the majority of  adaptations. There is rarely a valid reason to adapt anything that is not relevant in the first place. Additionally, I am often disturbed by Hollywood’s penchant for praising a story, buying the rights to make a feature film of it and then telling a totally different story in the film.  Aside from the task of reinvigorating a dying property, which typically is more of a business decision anyway, the question really should be whether something is worth adapting in the first place.

Okay, your turn.


Vinny’s Unrelated Video of the week

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