Monday, October 2, 2017

Link runner

I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I was reminded of it again recently and I feel like complaining. As you know, I come from a comics background. Marvel and DC Comics have broken into television and film in a big way now, to the point where secondary and tertiary characters, the ones only hardcore comics fans would have known in the past, are getting their moments in the spotlight.

If you still actually read the comics themselves, I imagine it's pretty exciting, though my passion for superhero comics cooled long ago. If you're a fan of a certain age, like I am, you can remember when they were - not a secret thing, exactly, but something that required specialized knowledge to fully comprehend, and only a minority possessed it. Having that knowledge made us unique and distinctive, if not exactly popular, but that was the price we paid for knowing important things like Wonder Girl's convoluted history or the fate of Cyclops' second brother.

It's more than a little grating to me to know the walls of the fortress called Comics Fandom have been breached; that anybody with a Netflix account can get a basic education on the fringe elements of the Marvel Universe, the kinda stuff that used to be the exclusive province of the fanboy. Even ten years ago, TV shows based on characters like Luke Cage and Iron Fist and now the Inhumans would have been nothing more than fodder for a Wizard magazine "Casting Call" column. It's just a struggle to accept (though I wonder how many people who watch these shows and films read the comics on which they were based).

Speaking of TV, between DiscoveryThe Orville and Feud, I've watched way more of it this year than usual, and um, how do I say this without sounding like a prude... It's surprising what you can say and do on TV now. You're all saying "No duh," but it's one thing to write about how shows look more like movies now and another to actually see it for myself. I mean, they were bandying the word dick around pretty casually on The Orville (it's a Fox show, so I really shouldn't have been surprised).

Feud was on basic cable, but even so, I couldn't quite get used to the profanity - which is odd, because if I were watching a movie on IFC or Cinemax that had profanity, I wouldn't think twice. Maybe it's because I know it's a movie that makes the difference?

It's not just the language. The production values on Feud, as I said at the time, were outstanding: sets, wardrobe, cinematography and editing. The aliens and ships in Discovery and Orville, not to mention the visual effects, make every episode look theatrical. It's no wonder film is suffering another downturn in sales. I guess that's why some theaters are so eager to install luxury recliner seats and have a wait staff bring you your food. What's next?

In other news, my novel is close to done. When it comes time to revise it, I'll have to do things like fill in research gaps, such as for medical and legal story details; rethink certain character traits now that I know more about them; rethink certain plot details; and rewrite where necessary... and it will be necessary. In a lot of ways, it's a bigger task than writing the story. This was a good idea, right?

Two blogathon posts for you this month, and now that fall is here, the good new releases will multiply. I may even write about a few.

Your links:

Ivan checks out an early film from dance legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

Marsha explains why Marilyn Monroe made her cry.

Aurora has a terrific guest post from a woman who grew up a classic film fan in Spain.

Silver Screenings Ruth peeps behind the curtain at movie stars before they were glamorous.

Le looks at the friendship of Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow.

The reaction to Mother! is the latest example of the need for audiences to have everything explained to them. (Excellent article.)

One of my favorite childhood TV series, The Carol Burnett Show, debuted 50 years ago last month.

John Lennon once appeared in a fourth wall-breaking war comedy.

Ever wonder how theaters started selling popcorn?

Wanna buy some of Audrey Hepburn's old clothes?


  1. Thanks for all these great links, Rich. I'm spending this rainy day at home and these essays are perfect reading while sipping my latte.

    Glad to hear your novel is almost done! Keep at it – and please remember us little people when you get that big, fat publishing contract.

  2. Sure hope that fat contract is a good one too.

  3. "This was a good idea, right?" Yes.

    Hey, how did I miss some of those articles. Thanks.

  4. The irony is, I use your blog roll to find links. Ivan's, too.


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