Friday, April 1, 2005

Looking To The Stars: Get Over Yourselves!

As I’m sure you all know, Looking To The Stars usually runs on Mondays. But there’s a bit of news that demands to be addressed immediately and I couldn’t wait until the weekend was over to get this said.

Perhaps there are some of you who haven’t read DC Countdown To Infinite Crisis yet. If so, skip past the next bar, as this first set of comments is aimed squarely at some of the people I have heard complaining on the message boards and in my comic shop.

Really, people! You think the world is coming to an end because they’re trying to do a dark, mature story in the DC Universe? That the death of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold turning serious are the signs that the party is over and that silly, fun stories are the thing of the past? Well, I’ve got news for you; you’re right! And I for one couldn’t be happier.

I’ll tell you something right now. The genre has progressed past the point where we can do stories about superheroes buying an island casino or corrupt millionaires running a superhero team in any way other than as total despots. We’re more mature than that now and we don’t need a bunch of slapstick humor and cheap gags making us look any more foolish to the Hollywood professionals that are now looking to turn our hobby into fine quality entertainment for the masses.

Lose the comedy, publishers! We don’t need it. And I’ll go on record as saying that the best thing DC has done in recent memory is kicking those moldy old fossils that used to write Justice League to the curb. Good luck writing your funny books for the independent set, you has-beens! You won’t be missed.

Finally, I’d like to address this idea that we should have the people who make the comics actually have a hand in making the film adaptations of those same comics.

On what planet do you mouth-breathing fan-boys come from that you think this is honestly a good idea? Good lord! The people in the movie business are professionals who work in a media that is more concerned with high-quality stories than the comic book industry, which is almost completely dominated by flashy images and cheap gimmicks, all for the sake of the Almighty Dollar. Movies are far too important to be made exclusively by writers. It takes hundreds of professionals to bring a film to the screen and slavish devotion to the ideals of one artistic vision go against the very grain of everything that films are supposed to be.

Of course I may be alone in this. Lord knows most of the fandom community seems to be eagerly anticipating this new Sin City movie because Frank Miller had a hand in the directing and the script. Am I the only one nervous about this precedent? What if some other DGA (Director’s Guild of America) drop-out decides that he can’t make a film version of “Watchmen” without Alan Moore’s help? Can you imagine what kind of farce that will be?!?!

Looking at the footage released so far, it is obvious that Miller has set about turning what might be a brilliant piece of work into an eye-candy extravaganza with very little substance. Typical of an artist turned writer, or indeed all comic book writers. After all, if they were any good they’d be writing movies instead of working in comics. Not that I have any less love for my comic-writing brethren in the writing community. But come on- if you were able to get screenplays published, you’d be out in Hollywood faster than you can scarf down a meatball sub after an hour without a snack.

Sin City opens today. I’ll have a review ready for you next time. We can only hope that Frank Miller didn’t screw things up too badly.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.

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