Happy New Year, ya filthy animals! It’s been eight months since you all started reading my ridiculous moaning about feminism, comics, and video games, and I’m excited to welcome you into a new year. Here’s to all the bad decisions we made last night, and all the ones that I’m sure we’ll keep making in 2014. If you need help making a resolution, how about “popping a wheelie on the zeitgeist?” Or how about just being a little nicer to yourself this year? What? Oh. Apparently, I’m supposed to be writing a post on something here. Continue reading
You know what was great? Teen Titans. While I don’t need to make a list of reasons why Teen Titans was great, I could throw a couple at you. Starfire wasn’t a walking sex toy. A skilled writing staff managed to write jokes that made me laugh without wanting to put my head into a desk. Cyborg was clearly Black, but not an Erkel or a thug. Then there was Terra, who presented complicated notions of heroism, loyalty, and betrayal for a young audience. There was also the Puffy Am—shut up!—Puffy Amiyumi theme song. All of these things and others made for a great show. But it went the way of the dinosaur. If you ask Wil Wheaton, that was because the season 6 pitch didn’t go over favorably with the execs.
That’s the way it is with television shows. Many great shows are here today, gone tomorrow. Despite the efforts of many a Kickstarter or online petition, it takes much more than a vocal and obsessive fanbase to convince a company to reverse the decision to terminate a show. See: Firefly (which, by the way, was a decade ago, so maybe we should just let that wound heal). So many different things go into the cancellation of a show because it takes the cooperation of actors, animators if a show is animated, the owners of the creative property, production companies, etc., and I recognize that these things happen, but the cancellation of Young Justice genuinely broke my heart. There aren’t that many DC properties that I’ve ever really been into, so it was sad to see a critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning, mature, and compelling show disappear. That’s all right; I will learn to love again.
But the other day I was listening to Kevin Smith’s Fat Man on Batman podcast, which is a goldmine, and he was interviewing Paul Dini. Dini is a writer with a long career and a longer resume, and he has written for a show you like, no question. Dini gave a rather troubling answer as to why Young Justice was cancelled, along with other shows like Tower Prep. Apparently, those shows are too mature. They appeal to audiences that prefer complexity, and apparently those audiences don’t buy toys. Now, I acknowledge that televisions often live and die on advertising and merchandising. But there’s something much more disturbing in his answer. There’s a transcript here, and if you read far enough down you’ll encounter this comment about studio executives: Continue reading
When I first started getting into American comics fandom, a friend of mine took it upon himself to instruct me in the ways of learning about Batman. He lent me Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, and The Dark Knight Returns, and sent me off to learn about Bruce Wayne. To augment these, I also acquired the entirety of Batman: The Animated Series to help in my journey. And say what you want about the literary value of those three comics—I enjoyed them immensely, but I feel like I got a much better handle on the Batman mythology and rogues gallery from B:TAS than I got from the books.