The Big Picture: Continanity: Rebooted

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Digital download

As opposed to analogue download? It wasn't until my second viewing of this episode that I caught that silly little phrase.

Bob I would like to have sex with your accent and I am a man. Ty.

Bob has a hot accent it makes me want to find him and pretend I'm Lauren Bacall. I'd ask Bob if he knows how to whistle but I'm fine with him just talking...

I will be getting the new 52 for a few of my faves I'm kind of intrigued about it. I agree with the availability of comics why don't they sell them in supermarkets?! At least the basic ones. There are 0 comic book stores in my town. So I tend to buy them online at forbidden planet and have to pay a massive delivery charge ;_;

Sexy Bob is right they need to look at availability and advertising not accessibility within the storyline.

Bob's little "comics are weird" catch phrase has always caused me to roll my eyes, because Bob seems to believe that the only comics are superhero comics, and that those comics are only produced by DC and Marvel. This is the first time I've been truly irked by it, though, since this show probably damages the medium more than helps it by pretending that the problems DC and Marvel face are somehow an issue of the medium. It's not. It's not even a genre issue; plenty of superhero comics exist that don't have horribly inaccessible continuity issues associated with them. By pretending it is a widespread issue for the medium, you make the medium seem intimidating as opposed to just a particular section of it. In addition, there are plenty of comics that should never be anywhere near a grocery store checkout aisle (Hey, kids! Pick up your copy of "Lost Girls" at Wal-Mart today!), so that lovely little solution isn't a solution for "comics" either. That would be better resolved by going through bookstores, which comics already do, and which Bob completely forgot to mention. A lot of comics aren't backed by Disney and Warner Bros. either, so how would they afford the big media blitz?

And pretending that finding comics inaccessible is a) a fault of the consumer and b) something the consumer is responsible for rectifying is a terrible idea. If you're confused, just google it, eh? Well let's apply that advice to another medium, since Bob is so into making apples and oranges comparisons to other media to prove his point. Let's pretend you've got a video game. The game does not tell you how any of it works. This is one of your first video games. You have no idea how to proceed, you are completely lost. Oh, but I guess you could google it, huh? Just pause the game every few seconds or minutes to figure out how it works. Sure, the creators could have included a one or two-page manual. Sure, they could have skillfully incorporated the information into the game itself. But they didn't. Ultimately frustrated by the game's inaccessibility and jarred out of whatever attempt at pacing and flow the game was going for, the player decides that game is no good and will not be picking up the sequel. But apparently, according to Bob, that's the player's fault and the creators should make no attempt at fixing this issue no matter how many sales it loses them.

Oh, and here's a "reality check": all the marketing in the world won't help if your product is shitty, inaccessible, and ridiculously overpriced.

Well, I for one am really excited about the major comic companies getting behind this new technology we have available to promote them, not because I have any loyalty towards DC, but I'm excited at the possibility of publishers having their doors more open to unique, abstract ideas for comics again.

I just want to ask, do you think this new motion towards comics being formatted for iPads and computers will generate a new flood of experimental or riskier comics?

I'm truly curious about what you think this new technology will bring to the comic community in the future, as I am hopeful it will bring a flood of new, risky, innovative concepts to the table. Whether they're good ideas or not, I like the idea of new talent being allowed through the door of a big corporation like DC, when physical property like paper no longer needs to be considered.

Anyhow, I look forward to your potential reply... and even if you don't, forgetaboutit, ya know I still lovez yaz, ya big mook.

I like comic continuity and the immersion it can bring, but it is a bit silly when characters are still in their thirties when they've been fighting crime for forty years.

KirbyKrackle:
Bob's little "comics are weird" catch phrase has always caused me to roll my eyes, because Bob seems to believe that the only comics are superhero comics, and that those comics are only produced by DC and Marvel. This is the first time I've been truly irked by it, though, since this show probably damages the medium more than helps it by pretending that the problems DC and Marvel face are somehow an issue of the medium. It's not. (this post is really long, sorry to edit it down, but mine's long too, it's only a few posts above my own if you wish to read more)

Okay, I'm not the type to defend an internet celebrity, normally, but I have to point out you're a little out of line here. Of course Bob considers more then just the super hero comics, they just happen to be the most dominating element in the comic industry. If he's not reading it, he's at least aware of it, he's clearly displayed knowledge of the obscure on more then one occasion. The only reason this show centers on such issues is because they dominate the comic culture, and like it or not, they DO determine its future. I can't see how they wouldn't determine the future of comics, even the smallest web comics will be effected by how this all turns out.

Even if my Avatar has Lobo on it, don't let that mislead you, I'm not a fan of DC or Marvel, though I did really like Spider-Man as a kid, Lobo is only my Avatar because I really liked Sam Keith's version so much, and I only like him because of his work on The Maxx, which granted is a superhero comic, but barely, it's far more abstract then superhero, but that's not the point. I just don't want to give the impression I'm some misguided fanboy defending the faceless company that couldn't care less about me or my opinion.

I'm not going to nitpick you, as neither of us want to get into a mud slinging contest, but I think you're being rather rash and assuming too much. Sure, Bob could focus more on the smaller companies, lord knows I'm a much bigger fan of smaller, obscure, non-superhero comics myself, such as Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library, Al Columbia's Pim and Francie, The Bottomless Bellybutton by Dash Shaw, or The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, but let's face facts, they do not dominate the market.

The public want what the public wants, so Bob is going to focus on the broader issues, and not even just because of public demand, but because they determine the outcome of all other comic companies, no matter how small they are.

I said my peace, please don't take it as me trying to pick a fight, I only wish to exchange ideas with you, I don't think he's being a narrow minded snob at all, but that's just my impression. For all I know you could be totally right and I could be spouting nonsense, but I really don't get the impression of him singling out anyone.

I hope I said something meaningful during this long winded reply.

JayDig:
I like comic continuity and the immersion it can bring, but it is a bit silly when characters are still in their thirties when they've been fighting crime for forty years.

You know what I want to read? Chronic Backache Superman!
He can lift an entire building with his bare hands... but first, he'll need a back brace and two Advil.

Walker Wonderwoman!
She'll catch you with her Laso of Truth... so long you're within two or three feet.

Anal Leakage Aquaman!
...ew, you know what, I went to far on that one.

willgreg123:
You know what I want to read? Chronic Backache Superman!
He can lift an entire building with his bare hands... but first, he'll need a back brace and two Advil.

Walker Wonderwoman!
She'll catch you with her Laso of Truth... so long you're within two or three feet.

Anal Leakage Aquaman!
...ew, you know what, I went to far on that one.

A thousand times yes! This would be my favourite book.

willgreg123:

KirbyKrackle:
Bob's little "comics are weird" catch phrase has always caused me to roll my eyes, because Bob seems to believe that the only comics are superhero comics, and that those comics are only produced by DC and Marvel. This is the first time I've been truly irked by it, though, since this show probably damages the medium more than helps it by pretending that the problems DC and Marvel face are somehow an issue of the medium. It's not. (this post is really long, sorry to edit it down, but mine's long too, it's only a few posts above my own if you wish to read more)

Okay, I'm not the type to defend an internet celebrity, normally, but I have to point out you're a little out of line here. Of course Bob considers more then just the super hero comics, they just happen to be the most dominating element in the comic industry. If he's not reading it, he's at least aware of it, he's clearly displayed knowledge of the obscure on more then one occasion. The only reason this show centers on such issues is because they dominate the comic culture, and like it or not, they DO determine its future. I can't see how they wouldn't determine the future of comics, even the smallest web comics will be effected by how this all turns out.

Even if my Avatar has Lobo on it, don't let that mislead you, I'm not a fan of DC or Marvel, though I did really like Spider-Man as a kid, Lobo is only my Avatar because I really liked Sam Keith's version so much, and I only like him because of his work on The Maxx, which granted is a superhero comic, but barely, it's far more abstract then superhero, but that's not the point. I just don't want to give the impression I'm some misguided fanboy defending the faceless company that couldn't care less about me or my opinion.

I'm not going to nitpick you, as neither of us want to get into a mud slinging contest, but I think you're being rather rash and assuming too much. Sure, Bob could focus more on the smaller companies, lord knows I'm a much bigger fan of smaller, obscure, non-superhero comics myself, such as Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library, Al Columbia's Pim and Francie, The Bottomless Bellybutton by Dash Shaw, or The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, but let's face facts, they do not dominate the market.

The public want what the public wants, so Bob is going to focus on the broader issues, and not even just because of public demand, but because they determine the outcome of all other comic companies, no matter how small they are.

I said my peace, please don't take it as me trying to pick a fight, I only wish to exchange ideas with you, I don't think he's being a narrow minded snob at all, but that's just my impression. For all I know you could be totally right and I could be spouting nonsense, but I really don't get the impression of him singling out anyone.

I hope I said something meaningful during this long winded reply.

Hey, no worries, I thought your post was very informative! Thank you for such a thoughtful reply, especially given my own tone. I do stand by my opinion though. I totally agree that there's nothing inherently wrong with Bob's decision to appeal to broader issues that would appeal to a broader audience and I definitely agree that DC and Marvel tend to dominate the market to the tune of 2/3. However, I still believe that Bob does a disservice to the medium by pretending the domination is actually 3/3. I don't think he needs to discuss the other 1/3, but it would be nice if he were to admit that his focus really is just on DC and Marvel, especially in cases like these.

EDIT: Just read your comment on the opening of the digital door to comics--you've definitely raised some questions worth considering! I'm really wondering myself whether we're going to see some Marvel and DC comics that are formatted more like webcomics

This episode made some really great points, it's weird that publishers can't figure some of these things out.

Thanks for doing the accent, Bob. It felt like I was back in Massachusetts. For five solid minutes, my homesickness was cured.

Affordability also draws readers. Paying anywhere from $3.00 and upwards for a new issue of a comic book nowadays, will stop a lot of people dead in their tracks.

KirbyKrackle:

...

Oh, and here's a "reality check": all the marketing in the world won't help if your product is shitty, inaccessible, and ridiculously overpriced.

Well said. For people to be willing to go out of their comfort zone to follow other media it has to be worth the effort. It applies to all forms of media.

And yes, not all comics are superhero comics, but that's something that won't change until more people get the chance to pick up and read comics. How can non superhero comics gain a readership? Outside web based comics... I don't know. But it may be a start.

Hmmm, well I'll be honest in saying that the current re-boot plans comic companies in general are going through are destroying what interest I still maintain in comics. Simply put it's the huge, sprawling universes that keep me periodically coming back as I can afford to. Wiping the slate on these long running universes does nothing to paticularly interest me, and honestly when it comes to DC in paticular I'm tired of them constantly doing this every time they want a sales boost, I mean it was cute with "Crisis On Infinite Earths" and then "Infinite Crisis" and then "Final Crisis" and now we're dealing with this garbage. If anything just keeping track of those handfull of crisis events is probably responsible for 90% of the complexity they were allegedly run to deal with.

I'll also be honest in saying that I read comics to get away from reality, and truthfully a lot of the reboots nowadays seem to be directed towards making comics more "politically relevent" to a left wing demograhic, not only does this bug me to some extent as someone who is more right wing than left, but also because I read comics to get away from all of that crap. I don't read comics to see someone use them as an analogy for their political platform, this has always been around to some extent, but really I have begun to find it increasingly irksome. Especially seeing as "politically relevent" seems to go along with every hero being more or less an anti-societal, and what at one point would have been considered a dark hero. Looking at the current "reboot" of Superman for example he's no longer the unironic American cultural icon that you could point to as a counterpoint to the dark heroes. Indeed the dark heroes kind of lose a lot when they represent the majority of characters since they have nobody to really stand out in comparison to.

I doubt DC cares, but I've spent a lot of money on comics from both major companies (them and marvel) over the years, and they still get some of my money, that seems likely to stop when they stop selling the characters I want to read about.

In connection to the above paragraph, I think a part of the problem not touched on here is how comics have become too heavily connected to a collector's market. See, the thing that makes a "reboot" of this sort profitable is the promise of all those limited run #1 books. You put #1 or "limited" on any comic of note and sadly you can get a major sales boost, whether it represents a genuine industry change or not, it still represents a collectible. To be honest I'm not convinced this isn't just another stunt to boost sales and that the continuity won't be more or less restored a few months after they make these sales, in which case little is likely to change as far as my purchusing goes.

The collector's market is also part of the problem with the business, one of the reasons why comics aren't more heavily saturated and dependant on specialty stores is because limited quantities of issues is a part of the business. Mass production on the modern level is probably going to hurt the long term value of the product and drive a lot of serious comics collectors out of the hobby.

Comics going digital is interesting, and I've seen this to some extent via things like a PSP service, but one of the issues with comics is that like publishers in general they generally do not want to reduce their prices. I can understand the rising prices of comics along with the cost of materials like paper, but when it comes to digital distribution I have a bigger issue with paying the demanded prices, and I don't think I'm alone here, as the cost of digital material compared to hardcopy material has been a big deal accross a large spectrum of products. Right now the services that are selling digital comics seem to be priced the same as the hardcopy equivilent, and truthfully I don't think they are going to take off that way. If they drop the price through the floor for digital comics, and then make them omni-present through things like the Ipad, I could see them picking up volumes of business... but really I'm not sure if this is going to mean much in the final equasion. Truthfully I kind of suspect the only reason why comics companies are going digital at all is to try and counter the claim of pirates that with limited runs of comics and the collector's markets, the only way to read many comics has been to steal them. This way they can point to the digital archive and say "well you could pay us for a digital copy as opposed to downloading off of The Pirate's Bay"... I think it's intended defensively and to counter fan-to-fan arguements of the sort made about Anime (ie, it's not for sale at all) than as an attempt to create a viable business that people will actually use.... It sounds kind of ridiculous when I explain it, but it is big business, and that none the less does seem to be the attitude. I don't think the guys pimping digital comics are actually all that concerned about people buying digital comics despite all the pretensions.

Reminds me of that episode of Mighty Bee: Boston Beean.

Kekkles:
Bab Chipmin, ya gat a point theyir. I gets ya mayn.

OT: I really do like this whole reboot idea, makes reading comics less intimidating (for want of a better word). I've always liked to be able to start reading the comics but always did feel a bit held back by backstory (even if there isn't any). But at the same time they should just cut old continuity, just have two going on at once. Although that would be very confusing.

Actually if they DC did it right it would NOT be confusing. In June 1978 Action Comics #484 had the story where Superman and Lois Lane married ("Superman Takes a Wife!") but it took place on Earth-2 where the JSA then resided. Just before Crisis On Infinite Earths DC launched a book call Infinity Inc set on Earth-2 which looked at the generation AFTER Batman, Sueprman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JSA. Like Marvel does now DC had a little one page blurb only this one explained the multiple Earth concept and was actually integrated into the comic story itself.

Contrary to the claims made it wasn't "confusing" to have the two Earths around. What WAS confusing were the Earths created by editors years after the fact to explain really big continuity gaffs and served as makeshift dumping grounds (Earth-B and Earth-2A were the two big ones)

Jesus fucking christ. Do you have to put a

*booming echoey voice here* *medium you're discussing in your episode here* ... ARE... WEIRD!!!!

in every god damn episode? It's getting old. Do something original for a change.

Very good episode as always, MovieBob. Really enjoyed it.

If I may ask, I'd like to know if you could give me your opinion on some comics friends of mine have been asking me to check out for sometime now. Granted yeah, I go to the comic book store about once a week, but like many people, I can't spend a lot of cash on a lot of comics. And I don't want to waste anywhere around 2 to 3 bucks on a comic that sucked. Just want to know if any of these comics are good or at least ok from somebody who knows comics really well. If you want to give me short answers as to whether they're good or not, feel free to do so. If you don't know because you haven't read them, then you don't have to give an answer to it.

The Goon
Red Sonja
Hellblazer
Gen13
Lady Death
Archie's: Mega Man
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose
Danger Girl
WildCATS

If anyone wants to give me their opinions on these comics, be my guest.

You sound really different
what happened? Is it anger?

Agreed, I used to find comics wherever I went, now it's hard to find and easy to get lost.

I think they heard you, Bob. For the first time ever, today, I watched a commercial on Comedy Central for precisely this reboot. The TV was on mute, but from what I saw, it was a pretty well made commercial.

I love the accent...you make good points but its distracting cause of how neat it is to hear it.

sageoftruth:
As a Bostonian myself, I find it difficult to listen to Bob's lovable snobbery through the accent I usually hear from guys doing construction work or running subway stations. I hope this is a passing fling.

I have to say, I'm from the suburbs and used to listen to a lot of NPR on the weekends... so I have to admit it reminds me most of Tom and Ray from Car Talk. They had to tone it down when they went national, but it didn't get completely eliminated.

I don't mind the accent itself, but drifting in and out of it is horribly distracting.

rickynumber24:

sageoftruth:
As a Bostonian myself, I find it difficult to listen to Bob's lovable snobbery through the accent I usually hear from guys doing construction work or running subway stations. I hope this is a passing fling.

I have to say, I'm from the suburbs and used to listen to a lot of NPR on the weekends... so I have to admit it reminds me most of Tom and Ray from Car Talk. They had to tone it down when they went national, but it didn't get completely eliminated.

I don't mind the accent itself, but drifting in and out of it is horribly distracting.

Yeah. I've heard some car talk myself. Never got through it completely. I just can't stand the Boston accent. As was mentioned in the last Big Picture, when I hear it, I think of the Scout from TF2, and that does not go well with anyone who's trying to come across as intellectual on any level.

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