Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sackboy to Nikko - FUCK YO COUCH

Little Big Planet - Game of the Year.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Respect Your Audience

I saw a comedian earlier tonight. 

He was okay, some good ideas, but his big problem was one I see a lot in pop-culture (TV, comics, movies); an assumption that your audience needs everything explained to them.

While this was a recurring thread throughout his set, there was one bit in particular that really highlighted this problem and frustrated me. Here is the start of the bit, to the best of my recollection:

"I do have a little bit of a drinking problem, but I try to strike a balance, so I exercise. I try to run a mile for every beer I drink. This only ever becomes a problem when I start dating a girl who's really into exercise, and she wants to know what I do to keep in shape... and I eventually tell her that I run five or six miles a day."

At this point in the bit several people in the audience, including me, laughed. We had all already made the jump from "run a mile for every beer I drink" to "run five or six miles a day." This was a pretty good joke.

The comedian, however, looked surprised, stopped his bit for the breifest of moments and actually said to the audience, "Huh, okay, well, that's not the funny part..." and then continued the bit. He continued this story for two or three more minutes, eventually getting to the punchline of  explaining to the audience again that those miles were based on the number of beers he drinks. 

Now, it's important to note that some people did laugh. It was a fairly small crowd of people (maybe 30), and some of them only laughed once the comic got to the end of the long-winded version. But for me at least, by making me wait for a few minutes, he lost me completely. By adding this hand-holding two minutes to the end, the bit became inelegant, his tone seemed to change to condescending, and I became bored with it.

This sort of thinking, that people are too dumb to keep up, has permeated pop-culture, and serves as a reminder that reaching the "lowest common denominator" is something that can come from form as well as content. 

When creators dodge this, when they trust people are capable of understanding their work, then audiences more often feel engaged rather than confused, and focus harder to have a real dialog with that work. And when that connection is made, it's usually far stronger than had everything been spelled out for them.
If this comic trusted his audience more to be able to keep up with him, he might have gotten one big laugh instead of splitting it and losing half the audience, gotten an additional two minutes to squeeze a new bit into, and maybe gotten a new fan. Instead he just got a few small chuckles, an extra two minutes of no punch lines, and me blogging about how crappy his routine was.

Respect your audience and we'll respect you back.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Let's Play The X-Men Guessing Game

Hey kids! 

Like I said in title, let's play the X-Men Guessing Game!

Q: Based on this panel from Uncanny X-Men #502... Dazzler - 

A: Dizzy from holding her breath, and leaning against the door for support?
B: Posing like that to distract from what is a really bad X-Men costume*?
C: Traced from porn?

To get the answer, just drop a line to Marvel Comics at
this link, and I'm sure they'll let you know!


*And that's saying something.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Missing the Point - Marvel Noir Part 2

Hey kids! Remember this post?

Well, our old pals at Marvel have put out the December solicitation for the first issue! Let's take a look...

"X MEN NOIR #1 (of 4)
Pencils & Cover by DENNIS CALERO
Variant Cover by DENNIS CALERO

"The coroner's men flipped the redheaded corpse over so Dukes and Magnus from Homicide could get a better look at her. 'Better' being a relative term in this case, with the claw marks that slashed her face into a featureless, bloody mask and turned her guts into a butcher shop explosion.
"But the tattoo -- the simple, encircled 'X' above the left shoulder blade -- remained intact, and Dukes pointed it out with the toe of his wingtip once Peter the rookie was done heaving up lunch.
"'See this ink?' he said. 'Means she did time at this reform school upstate, run by this shrink, Xavier...'"
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99"

I think the writing here can be summed up by the following phrase: 

Butcher shop explosion. 
Butcher shop explosion. 

Or, to demonstrate visually - 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh god, oh god no...

I had a sudden horrifying realization.

Batman is a furry. 


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Missing the Point - Marvel Noir

For the past few months, Marvel slowly leaked the above teaser images to the comics press, until today they announced a new imprint - Marvel Noir.

Newsarama has the full story [here].

This imprint houses several upcoming mini-series, which will feature familiar Marvel characters in a 1930's crime setting, independent of any continuity, without any of their familiar powers or trappings of the super-hero genre.

Speaking of classic Marvel characters like the X-Men, artist Dennis Calero said of the premise, "What if they were conceived as pulp action characters rather than superheroes?"

My question is this: When you've decided to strip these characters of their powers which define them, of the genre conventions from which they were conceived, and the continuity that binds them to a largely unchanging existence, why are we even using these characters at all?

Is there any literary or entertainment value in simply putting the Gambit/Rogue love story in a different setting? At what point will Marvel stop pretending to do something new, and instead actually do something new?

Or will we forever see Marvel cycle through the same stable of 20 odd characters, never conceiving any new characters as pulp action, superheroes, or any other variety?

And not to beat that dead horse but are we to blame for buying these?

Show me something new, Marvel, and I will give you my $2.99.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

One sentence about Peanuts (part 2)

Snoopy is a spy for the Russians.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Today on MySpace

Presented on the new MySpace homepage:
New Metallica
Old Cheech and Chong
Chris Kattan in a NON-IRONIC FASHION
And finally... SADNESS

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'd love to take off into these woods and get good and lost for a while...

Hey guys,

Real updates are going back to sporadic for the next week, since I just moved to a new apartment that's without internet.

However there is some concern that, without the constant typing and clicking that they've become adjusted to, my hands will shrivel up and fall off.

To combat that, I'll try to do little mini-posts at the end of my work day, thus keeping the semi-daily updates more daily than semi-.

Real post tomorrow, for now here are two songs to give you an idea of my mood;