So, I said I would post a bunch of things, yeah? Well, I am half delivering on that promise.
These are comics that I have made for an assignment for one of my summer courses I am taking. There were three different topics, all about media. The first was a culture or behaviour patterns on a certain media technology. The second was a comparison between “old” and “new media.” The last one was supposed to show an understanding of Cyber punk. Now, I think each of these suffer a little from “over ambition”/ “illusions of Grandeur” syndrome. I will explain what I mean in a second.
This is the first one. It’s supposed to be a gag strip based on the premise of what I feel defines “Netflix Culture.” Which is, to me, marathoning programs late into the night and not getting proper sleep. This is a good comparison between new media and old media too, I think? Old media being more commercial radio/network tv and new media being blogs/blogging, Netflix, and Youtube (for example).
Then there is this second one right hur.
I really don’t like this one. Like, for some obvious reasons and some less than obvious. What is the first thing you notice? Super, super tons of text. There is a reason for that, even if it isn’t the best one. And if you want to know why, buckle in for a long one. If you want to skip it, go past the picture of David Willis. You will know it when you see it.
Let me start with my original inspiration/idea with this strip. It started with a personal beef from one Franchise I always had a special affinity for, good Ol’ Spidey. Now, for those of you who do not know, Sony bought the rights to the movies and the original Spider-man movies were made by that company (and oversimplification, I know). But the important thing is that Spidey was NOT made buy the same studios as the Avenger Movies, which is Marvel Studios.
So Sony was going to make a fourth movie but the director, Sam Raimi, was not going to do it. He was already pressured to put a villain in Spider-man 3 that he didn’t care for (Venom) and that didn’t work out well for him, did it?
So Sony was trying to figure out how they were going to get another movie out there, but they were going to take some time to figure it out. And it is in the time gap between Spider-man 3 and the first “The Amazing Spider-man” movie we get the cartoon “Spectacular Spider-man.”
No, at first I didn’t like Spectacular Spider-man. The aesthetic was to different, I didn’t like the voice actor for Spidey, and the Theme song was an actual song that was kinda “alternative” to me. It wasn’t a stupidly catchy song like the Spider-man theme of Yore, nor was it the terrible techno-chants that were the Nineties Spidey or the Digimon theme (Digimon, Digital monsters! Digimon are the champions!). But then I watched the thing from beginning to end. And honestly? It was probably one of the best together cartoons I have ever seen. Now, the combat scenes were good and almost all of the characters were believable and made sense, but that isn’t the big thing.
Each villain lead to the next. Like, each action led or tied into the next thing. like, It was like each episode was a panel for a the story board of a larger Arch. Each villain needed a specific tactic to defeat, and the same trick never worked twice. Basically, you could see Spidey learn. He was thrown into complex situations and he took something away from each of them. Sure there were some problems that were reoccurring, but that was less to do with his incompetence and more to do with how complex the situations were. Either they were highly emotional charged, impairing his reason, or they were things that he just didn’t have the info to solve. Basically, I could see the Hero’s journey. I could see his progress, how he grew, and that even at the end he had a lot more to go.
So I really liked this show. Was it perfect? No. But it stuck out as being something great. For something made by a big company, it really stood at as more than just an ad for some toys. For a cartoon, it didn’t seem patronizing as some cartoons do.
So I was a little miffed when I learned it was canceled, or was only the two seasons long or whatever. But guess why it was only two seasons? Remember how I talked about Sony doing the movies, and then they did the cartoon? Well, Marvel wanted Spidey back. But Sony wasn’t going to completely give that cash-cow up. So they made Marvel a deal. We will either sell you rights to the Cartoon, OR the movies. Pick. Marvel picked the cartoon. Which was a dumb move, in my personal opinion.
Marvel still wanted Spidey to be part of the Universe they were making (the avenger movie universe), but now couldn’t just put him in the movies because of copy right infringement. This is where the “Ultimate Spider-man” Cartoon comes in. Spidey gets his own team that is run by Shield he so that he is not in the avengers, but still connected to them. This is kinda similar with what they were doing with the live action show “Agents of Shield” and is an interesting and creative way of doing things.
Now, I get this cartoon was intended for kids, and to try to attract kids to the Marvel universe. However, this pisses me off for a number of reasons. I think the biggest reason is like, does Marvel really need a boost to attract kids? I mean, the Avenger universe movies aren’t really for kids, but kids still buy up that merchandise like its sustenance. Toys, colouring books, T-shirts, Avenger shit is everywhere. Like, you don’t need an extra cartoon to get kids to buy your shit. They are doing it already.
The other big reason is, like, the “Ultimate Spider-man cartoon” is just not as good as “Spectacular Spider-man.” I mean, in Spectacular Spidey learns (it takes him longer to learn about relationships, but he still kinda does). He faces different problems. I feel like in Ultimate he kinda, doesn’t. The main problem of like over 50% of the episodes is that: “We need to work as a teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam.” You know, the team he is a part of because he is not in the avenger movies. It’s not that the characters aren’t likable, they just seem to get into the same stupid things after they supposedly learn a thing. Which didn’t happen, or at the very least, happen as often in Spectacular. The other Episodes are cameo by other Marvel characters. Again, some of them are good and funny, even cute in their own way. But it’s just not as cohesive as Spectacular was. It didn’t gel the same way. It wasn’t as layed out, and you kinda run into a lot of the same even within different scenarios.
I think the worse part of “ultimate” is when they realized something wasn’t going right with their formula. They used this cheesy sort of “Draw journal” thing for comedy effect to get kids to watch, cutesy sort of thing. I mean, it isn’t terrible and you get used to it, but it is not riveting. So now, not really being super potent as the kids show/comedy, “Ultimate” kinda sits down and gets serious about its plot. And what happens, they kinda take from “Spectacular Spider-man’s” plot. SPOILERS AHEAD: I mean, sure, I bet “Spectacular” is not the only Spider-man iteration where Osborn and Octavius are guilty for the production of like 75-90% of Spidey’s villains, but the situation between the two Cartoons situations regarding this is suspiciously similar considering how recently both were created. But it has to be different from Spectacular, right? So they do things like make Harry Osborn into the Villain “Venom’ (Don’t get me started on that) or make “Carnage” Spidey wearing the Venom symbiote (something else that kinda bugs me). I feel like it’s almost as if they are gasping for straws to find the plot and over arching stories that were in “Spectacular.” That may not be true, but that is vibe I get.
And what about Sony’s new Spider-man movies? The ones that were supposed to be the sequels Sam Raimi refused to do? I get some people like Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, but man I feel like he sooooooooo oversells it. I mean, you don’t have to pummel people with your awkwardness for us to get that you are a socially inept individual. And as far as I know, there has never been an sign that Peter was socially inept to begin with. He just got picked on because he was an intellectual, a nerd. Just because he had few friends didn’t mean that he didn’t know how to talk to people, it could have just meant that no one gave him a chance. So I don’t feel like it was necessary to make him that freakin’ awkward. He was a funny Spidey, but I dunno. Kurt Conners was not done super well in that movie to me, and they changed lines to not be “verbatim remakes” of the first three movies, but ugh. The whole “not saying “with great power comes great responsibility” thing, or the falling down and seeing the luchadore mask instead of actually fighting the wrestler? I felt like they were cop-outs. And the second movie, I felt like half the dialogue for all the characters was Peter’s awkward “uh’s” from the first movie. Electro in the second movie and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in both were kinda saving graces.
So there is my frustration. To make money, both Marvel and Sony kinda made sub par products (movies and shows) based on Economics and not, in my opinion, on what was best for the Spidey franchise. That’s why I talk up this guy:
This is David Willis. He makes web-comics. Has he made slightly lower quality stuff before? Yes. To sell out and make cash like Sony and Marvel though? Not that I know of.
The stuff he made that was lower quality was just his early stuff, which is better than anything I have ever made/posted, and as he learned and got better so did his art. When he did his reboot, he just wanted to give his older characters a new life. See if he could do them justice. Not saying that the people who worked on the various Spidey projects didn’t love the characters, but just saying that Willis’ characters are less likely to be subject to company politics, and that gives him an advantage. As an independent, there is no Executives breathing down his neck and selling rights to characters, and thus less limit to how he structures his own multi-verses.
So basically I am saying there is an advantage to new media (Web comics and blogs) versus big companies (old media, centralized and distributed by one or two big guys) because company decisions won’t undermine what you make. Profit is still important, but not so important that one makes less quality products to make more money.
That’s how I view it, anyway.
But what does that have to do with my comic? I was trying to say all that IN my comic. That’s why it is all text and no art. I drew it already, not thinking of how much exposition I had needed, to make the comic. So, I drew it, realized there was no way I was going to say I wanted to in the comic I had created, and tried to edit it so I got as much as I could in. Did it work? No.
But I want to post it as an example of what NOT to do, so if I come back to that concept I can do it right.
Then there is the Third strip, which is me just kinda parodying cyber punk.
I was going to post some other strips as well, but I don’t have a scanner. Before I can post all the ones I drew, I have to post one I have no yet scanned. So, I have all these things that were ready to post like, a whiiiiiiiiiiiile ago, and they are nowhere to be seen because of that slight error. So, Next week there maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe a lot more activity on here to make up for that. I will do my best, but I promise I will see you all next week XD