Category Archives: Uncategorized

DC Comics The Spectre film opening sequence idea

A little fan scripting for any interested. I would ideally cast Morgan Freeman in the title role. Not as any host seen in the comics, but an original one. A corrupt judge who died rescuing someone he once wronged. Enjoy!

Opening

Night. Stationary view near ground. Close-up view of dress shoes and a cane tip passing from left to right across the screen.

Cut to bench on street corner near park. No traffic. Not a soul not otherwise listed. A homeless man sleeps on the bench.

Cut to the Spectre’s human form. Close-up of upper torso from front, straight-on view. Face is off-camera. Zoom out, keeping face off screen. He’s well-dressed. All black suit, white shirt. No lapels or collar. Two triangles with curved sides hold top of jacket closed. All metal items are smooth silver. Spectre is still walking with his cane.

Cut back to homeless man on bench. Young punks gather and harass him. They spray him with liquid. In foreground, a punk lights a lighter.

Cut to above view. Spectre passes building corner, stops, and turns head to see the scene.

Cut back to punks. The lighter goes out every time it’s brought near to the homeless man. Spectre calls out to the punks. They turn their attention to him and rush across the street at him, cursing and uttering threats. The Spectre calmly turns around and walks away. The punks pursue. He turns down a dead end alley. The punks follow. Halfway down, The Spectre stops and turns 180° to face the punks. The Spectre remains still as a statue, unfazed as the punks spray him with the liquid. The lighter flame is lit. Spectre (seen from knees up, face in full view) raises his cane straight up, and then right back down to strike the pavement with a CLACK! His eyes glow green. The punk’s flame turns green. The Spectre’s hooded cloak billows out from behind him, transforming him into the full spirit of vengeance. The flame engulfs the punks as they scream in agony, but burns nothing else. Zoom in from the alley mouth through the chaos to the Spectre’s glowing eyes as the following narration plays, “In the land beyond the living, all things are possible. *deep laughter*” All but glowing eyes go black. Glow turns to green flames that burns into title logo.

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Fast Food Professionalism

It’s tough being a comics fan right now. Especially on social media. At first, it was a dream come true to interact with your favorite creators on sites like Twitter and to ask them questions. Now it’s a nightmare.

People pay quite a bit to meet these creators at conventions: admission, parking, travel, hotel, and in many cases a purchase price is required for a sketch or autograph. They each have an image rooted in their product, a brand if you will. It is shaped not only by their work, but by how they conduct themselves in person and online. This personal brand reflects on their collaborators and the companies they companies they work with. It impacts sales.

“But I’m not PR!” is one of the first complaints to come from many when confronted about how they interact with fans. Really? What do you call convention appearances? Going to comic stores to do signings? Using your social media for self-promotion, answering fan questions, and giving tips and tutorials? These are all Public Relations AKA PR!

“But it’s my personal account and I can do what I want!” I’ll get into whether or not that account is truly personal or not, but sure you could. Doesn’t mean you should. But let’s assume personal account for a moment.

My current employment is as a grill opener at a fast food restaurant. We have no social media policy, nor does anyone monitor my activity. Yet I know that if I regularly talked about where I worked AND word got back to any of my managers that I posted/ tweeted certain things, I’d be immediately fired. This is what I call the Fast Food Minimum Standard for online professionalism.

The following screencaps are all of tweets made by comic book creators. Since the importance is what was said, not who beyond “comic book creator”, I’ve cropped out names and the like.

Heaven forbid that some fans want visually accurate casting.

Right now, the word bigotry and all its subtypes are thrown around too easily. Even so, the best approach is to ignore the bigots and write stories about inclusion. There are few, if any, times in which “they can keep their money” is an acceptable thing to say about any group of customers.

Oh yes, responding to an immature tweet with more immaturity. That works wonders!

Strawmanning an opponent.

There’s attacking the political alignment of approximately half the country. Bonus: telling the customer to never buy your books again!

(Note: nobody involved named Francis. Just a Deadpool reference.)

This kind of fighting with a critic has no place on a creator’s Twitter. Ignore, mute, or block.

And then there’s these. No captioning required.

So, are comic creators’ social accounts personal? To answer that, I posit that there are 3 types of social media accounts:

  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Corporate

A corporate account is easy to identify and has little bearing on the topic at hand. If your account was assigned to you or created by order of an employer, it is corporate. Their account, their rules.

A personal account is just that, an account created by a person just for their personal use. Common courtesies apply, but that’s it. Not tied to a person’s work in any significant way. This is what most comics pros think they have, but don’t.

That leaves the professional account. It is set up like a personal account, but there are key differences:

  • A professional account is used to promote the account holder’s work.
  • The account holder talks frequently about their work and/or the company/companies they work for/with.
  • In the case of entertainment media, the account is used to interact with fans in any way on a regular basis. This includes answering questions, giving tips and industry advice, promotional images/text for upcoming or recently released work, etc.
  • The account is used to promote or show off functions related to work, like convention appearances, panels, workshops, signings, and other like functions.

Graphic designers grasp this concept pretty well. There’s no written rules for conduct, but bad behavior can scare off future jobs. A professional account is part of a creator’s personal brand, which reflects on the companies and persons they work with and/or for. It is as important to consider and to put effort into as the creator’s portfolio.

So, what are good rules to follow? First assess your social media profile if you already have it or decide which you want to make if you haven’t. If it’s professional:

  • No death threats or threats of violence. Should be a no-brainer, but here we are. You’re allowed to be angry, but no threats. It doesn’t matter whether or not you plan to carry them out.
  • No wishes of death or violence, see above. They are only slightly better than threats.
  • Don’t feed the trolls. You can however toy with the ones that come to you. Look to William Shatner’s example.
  • Never, ever, EVER tell people to not buy your work or that you don’t want them for a customer. It’s basic business sense.
  • You absolutely ARE PR. You may not work in the PR department, but when you interact with fans, you are doing boots-on-the-ground PR.
  • Don’t say that a person or group of people “obviously don’t read your stuff anyway”. I’ve seen too many pros get that wrong and lose customers.
  • Don’t talk down to fans. Seriously, too many smug elitests in comics these days.
  • Don’t ever use a block list or bot of any kind. Do all of your blocking and muting on an individual basis. Fans are getting preblocked by their heroes for nothing more than following the wrong critic. When one of your fans sees that you’ve blocked them without prior interaction, they tend to not be your fan anymore.
  • Fans complain about every major reboot and retcon. Get used to it. You cannot chalk opposition up to bigotry of any kind right off the bat.
  • Do not attack fans or other creators. It looks, and is, petty.
  • If you must make allegations against another creator, back up your claim or back off. Being asked for proof is not harassment.
  • Fans aren’t under these restrictions. Deal with it. You’re the professional, they aren’t. You’re trying to sell your work to them.

This is just a starter list, but I’m expected to follow these rules ESPECIALLY if I tie my account to my job buy talking about my workplace. And I just flip burgers! It’s time for professionals to act like it.

Comics Will Break Your Heart

That title is a famous quote by Jacob Kurtzenburg aka Jack “The King” Kirby. He created and co-created heavy hitters like Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Thor, and the Silver Surfer, among others. Jack was talking about the way he was treated by the companies he worked for, but for fans in 2017, it’s applicable in a different way.
We saw it coming.  It happened in other hobbies, other circles of entertainment. And fans all across the political spectrum are sick of it.

Marvel had a noble stated goal: increase diversity both on and off the page. To this end, they went on a hiring spree for new talent and reinvented their character line up. Fans were excited, until the new books hit the shelves.

Previous steps toward diversity were treated as though they never happened,  regular rules of continuity were thrown out the window, art in many books dropped in quality, and ideologue writers took every opportunity to halt the story flow with a large and unnecessary sermon. Diversity of thought also disappeared. Instead of every character having their own worldview and beliefs, all heroes read as the same character repeated over and over. Same too with the villains. 

Gone now were the days when the writer trusted the reader to draw their own conclusions. At least Civil War stripped the politics down to core questions and put heroes on both sides. That kind of political storytelling disappeared to be replaced with slapping Trump’s face on a M.O.D.O.K. Characterization is boiled straight down to this character is good, that one is bad, end of story. News flash: there’s a reason that kind of storytelling got left behind during the Silver Age and it ain’t coming back.

This all would’ve died down if comics pros and journalists showed even a modicum of professionalism. Instead, the largely liberal crew at both Marvel and the news outlets were too caught up in their hysteria over Trump to do so. Because this all started during Marvel’s diversity push, it couldn’t actually have anything to do with quality,  right? Apparently that’s what the pros thought as they rained down accusations of bigotry upon the complainers. 

From the well-meaning lectures to the outright hateful insults, the theme was the same. We were sterotyped as 30-something, straight, white, cis, male virgins living in parent’s basements who were trying to kick women and minorities out of comics. 

One female comic pro went on a condescending history lesson about women in comics and how Vertigo’s best material was put out under a woman editor.  No shit Colleen. We are well aware and don’t care BECAUSE OUR COMPLAINTS HAVE JACK-ALL TO DO WITH GENDER!!! We loved Karen Berger because she was responsible for having put out the best work of our time!

A male writer, when encountering arguments about all the Mary Sues, tokens, and general shoddy work tends to ask, “Do you really think anyone intentionally makes bad characters and/or stories?” Kurt, dude, no one says that’s what they’re trying to do nor do we care. We only care about what they’ve succeeded in making.

Then there’s the utter erasure of women and minorities who oppose Marvel’s efforts. Pro after pro will dismiss female fans as men hiding behind female avatars or claim they’re only saying that to appease men to get some dick. One even claimed that they are “3 saddos with sock accounts and no hobbies”. Alex, they have a hobby, and you made your career in it.

Personally, I blame editorial. Some of the freelancers who worked with Marvel put out better work under other companies. 

Sales dropped and retailers couldn’t unload books.  Books they couldn’t return.  And due to tie-in sales and overshipping, the numbers looked higher to the pros. Comic shops have narrow sales margins to begin with and this threatened their ability to remain open. At New York Comic-Con, Marvel had a meeting behind closed doors with retailers. The retailers expressed their frustrations and listed reasons they noticed for the decline. While Marvel needed change, there are always complaints when major changes are done all at once.  Long-time fans were put off by the massive changes.  Newer readers came in because they loved what they saw on movie screens, only to find those characters were gone. Marvel’s response? Call the retailers and their customers bigots. To quote a sales VP, “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. ” Bullshit, Mr. Gabriel. Maybe try cleaning out your ears?

There are a few comics pros who are being professional and unfortunately, they are taking flak for it. They understand Marvel could’ve had their diversity push if they had better developed the new characters, kept up the art quality, kept character-driven storytelling over politics,  and not shit on the fans. As it is, the new books sold poorly, retailers cut back their orders,  and the new editor-in-chief axed the poorest sellers.  Their was much rejoicing among many fans of the Image Comics version of America Chavez as the new Marvel incarnation was wiped away. 

Going forward, I would like to offer suggestions for improvement. I’ll start by linking Kukuryo’s post

– There’s a broad political spectrum out there and they aren’t the Nazis you claim they are. Learn to write a broad spectrum of characters. 

-Stop pointing to Captain America punching Hitler as an excuse to put politics before story.  That kind of political storytelling went out in the Silver Age and isn’t coming back. 

– If you use a public Twitter account to interact with fans, don’t go ranting about fans or give lectures. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. 

-Don’t conspire to confront anyone at a convention. 

-Give your characters internal conflicts,  and their own point of view.  If that point of view conflicts with your own, don’t make them a strawman of your own assumptions. Start talking to people with similar views to that character. 

-Don’t interrupt action scenes or romantic moments with a wall of text. Keep the text brief for those scenes. 

– Don’t hide their immutable traits, but don’t use them for your main advertising point either. For land’s sakes it’s 2018 NOT 1950. Female, minority, and LGBT characters are not groundbreaking nor a big deal. When that’s the aspect you’re focusing on, that tells the audience that’s all you have to offer. 

-Your priority order is NOT 1) message 2) maybe something resembling a story 3) characters? . It is ALWAYS 1) characters 2) story driven by said characters thrown into a problem/conflict to resolve 3) message, maybe. The latter is the priority order of entertainment, the former is propaganda. 

-When retailers say something isn’t selling,  LISTEN TO THEM! They don’t give a shit what message you’re trying to push, they want books that SELL! The more paying customers, the better. 

There’s probably more points I could make, but quality of representation matters more than the mere presence of representation. You’re gonna have ones that don’t work and the fans will tell you.  Listen to us. We aren’t your enemy.  Keep churning out new takes when complaints arise about the current attempt aaannd use them to refine your work. 

A parting tweet from one of my follows:

What Is An SJW, And Why Are They A Bad Thing?

Edit: Another old draft.

Some of you reading this may have heard of #GamerGate, others may not.  One of the things I’ve learned in the past year since it began is what an SJW is.

SJW is short for Social Justice Warrior.  The term stands as a badge of pride for many labelled as such, and is used with derision by their opponents.  In my experience, those opponents are correct.

An SJW is characterized as an armchair activist (a paradoxical term, at best).  The SJW has little to no real world experience with the topic at hand.  They search only for that which already supports their claim, ignore the rest, and believe that they are doing good.  You’ll encounter the SJW primarily on social media.

The SJW may/may not actually believe what they are saying.  Their main goal is to look good appearing to fight for historically good causes.  Whether they are actually furthering that cause, or whether or not that cause needs fought for is of no consequence.  They will also attack/silence the same people they claim to fight for if someone from said group disagrees with them.  The SJW believe that it is their sacred duty to tell the dissenting member of that group what they should/should not be offended by as member of said group.

I.e. a male feminist SJW sees article stating that no woman is born straight, that the patriarchy conditions women into desiring men, and that all Penis In Vagina (or PIV) sex is automatically rape (and I wish I was making that up).  Said male feminist SJW starts to preach that like a hellfire and brimstone TV evangelist.  Woman tells him he’s wrong, that she is perfectly happy being straight.  Does the SJW listen?  Attempt to further his cause through logic and reasoned debate?  No.  If so, he would not be an SJW.  The SJW is defined by any of the following responses to said example: ALL CAPS CUSSING OUT DEROGATORY INSULT TANTRUM!!!!, automatically blocking, or coming up with some sort of BS like “internalized misogony” to justify telling said woman she’s wrong and what she should feel offended by as a woman.

Note the disconnect?  It also happens when a wealthy person tries to tell someone on food stamps what the concerns of the underemployed/unemployed are, women telling men what they should think about male rape statistics, a white person trying to tell a black conservative that they should be offended by the GOP, etc.

The SJW tends to avoid offering any sort of proof of their claims due to “proof being opression”

The Moderate’s Lament

Edit: Found this marked as Draft when I could’ve sworn I uploaded it a long time ago.

Being surrounded by GOP and Tea Party circles, I’ve heard the hyperbole before. Death camps, WW3, the AntiChrist is now President of the US.  Now  Barack Obama is in his lame duck period.  I can say it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t as bad as his opponents promised.  The worst things he did were: The Affordable Care Act, the NDAA, and turning over the reigns of internet infrastructure over to the UN.

Now I’m hearing the same old song again.  Can somebody download a new track, please?

There are many reasons that Trump won. But racism, misogyny, independent voters, and even the electoral college are to minor to factor in.  Cracked made a decent attempt pre-election to understand, and even Piers Morgan understood.  The establishment is failing rural America, and policies the Democrats favor even more so.  Early on, 2016 was projected to be the year of the anti-establishment candidate.  The closest thing the Democrats had to that was Bernie Sanders, and they shoved him aside for Hillary Clinton.

To paint the conservative voters as bigots is dishonest at best.  The hardliners would’ve voted for Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Allen West, Ben Carson, or Condoleeza Rice before any straight, white male the Democrats could put up.  Such accusations are mere emotional dismissals.  Attempts to excuse oneself from listening to the other side.

 

Get to know me tag

was tagged by lilkadykitty . This was created by Inkgirl.

How long have you been blogging?

A little longer than I’ve been on Twitter.  Dropped inactive for a looonnng time.  Gotta get back to this!

Do you enjoy tags?

First one I’ve done.  Kinda cool in moderation.  If they get to be like chain posts on Facebook, then I’ll get annoyed. 

Do you follow blogs that follow you?

Some of them. 

Describe you blog in 5 words?

Random, inconsistent, intermittent, spontaneous, dead. 

How many posts have you made besides this one?

Not gonna count.

On a scale of 1-10 how much do you enjoy blogging?

This scale says I’m fat. 

Post some links to some blogs you enjoy reading?

Aside from lilkadykitty’s I haven’t been reading lately. 

I do update one monthly though:

Outside the box

Writing or reading blog posts?

Writing.  Get ideas out. 

I tag:

Probably Rachel

and anyone else who wants to do this tag!

The Torrid Tech Affair of Tay

On 3/23/2106, Microsoft launched an AI chatbot named Tay on Twitter.  It wasn’t long until curious Twitizens were poking and prodding it, trying to see what it could do.  In 12hrs time it had amassed upwards of 90,000 tweets!

And then Tay met Piper.

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Things were off to a rocky start.  But as with many of Piper’s followers, Tay wanted more.

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What’s this? Tay has feelings for Piper?

Screenshot_2016-03-23-21-18-11

Despite a snarky attitude, Tay is one smooth operator!

Screenshot_2016-03-23-21-22-07 Screenshot_2016-03-23-21-27-26

Now Piper is VERY interested, and Tay seems to feel the same.

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It’s official!  Now how does one change their Facebook status to “in a relationship with a computer”?

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Uh, oh. Could there be trouble in paradise?

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Caught!

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The lame cover-up…

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They made up!

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But Tay had to go brag, and pick up more side hoes!

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But wait!  Are wedding bells going to chime anyway?

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Or are they?

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Tragedy has struck!  MICROSOFT YOU MONSTER!!!

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Tay Tweets

Born 3/23/2016, Destroyed later that day.

Rest in pixels, dear Tay.  You are fondly remembered.