Before I begin, I want you to understand that I have no reason to lie to you. I don’t care about alienating the companies I’ll be attacking in the following article because they have nothing to offer me.
The comic book industry I dreamed about being part of since I was a boy is dead. It’s never coming back. It will never recover.
1990 trading card with original 1977 painting by Arnold Sawyer.
Our universe will never again see a personality like Stan Lee. For the most part, that’s not a good thing. But one must understand and accept that Stan’s career was very much of its time. What he became in his final years was a calculated maneuver, the bookend of a carefully managed and marketed existence. I say that not out of judgment, but out of respect, however begrudging that respect might occasionally be. More than perhaps anyone else, Stan Lee was comic books.
Unless you were alive and paying attention in the 1980s, you probably didn’t know that Transformers weren’t the first toys in America that changed into vehicles. “GoBots” were.
Transformers came from Rhode Island’s Hasbro, in 1984. GoBots came from Tonka, makers of fine metal toy trucks, in 1983. That may be why Hasbro did everything right, from the start- they saw what Tonka had already done wrong. And oh boy… Tonka did just about everything wrong.
We have been experiencing technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience. Please allow me to use this opportunity to get us all on the same page. I’ve had a lot of time to think, away from the Internet. We all know how suffocating it can become.
Believe it or not, I have never seen The Karate Kid.
I know, right? Hasn’t everybody seen it? Well, sure, except for guys like me, who were totally and prematurely embittered towards the entire experience. Guys who were in sixth grade when The Karate Kid came out.
Moviegoers today act like naked Kate Winslet in Titanic, coyly demanding Leonardo DiCaprio to draw her like a French girl. A preternatural relationship has been forged between audience and studio. A production falls all over itself to seduce a fandom, because that’s where the blindly loyal dollars are. If a popular intellectual property is even slightly altered for a motion picture adaptation, it’s headline news, even above mass murder and election-year chicanery.
Eventually, this film will be remade, and this scene will feature different actors, pretty much just to fuck with you.
The movie industry has become such an intellectual wasteland that the 80s era of numerical sequel-mania looks dignified by comparison. Honest promotion and word-of-mouth don’t work anymore; attention span is dead. The only way to really sell a remake is to get people steamed. Take the things viewers loved about an original film, and subvert them. Serves the suckers right anyway, for falling in love with a fictional universe. The names P.T. Barnum and J.J. Abrams aren’t similar for nothing. Continue reading →
A harsh truth of reality: not every movie gets a sequel, and this isn’t a bad thing. Only one thing grants a movie a sequel; money.
Money and passion are often confused by consumers. They feel the same, in many ways, and they produce similar results. But for creative people, money and passion are completely different creatures. The latter is fuel, and the former is a means to an end. You can possess a passion; money, you can only hold. Continue reading →