Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So Out of Touch: Origins Awards, DC Comics and Movie Flops

ICV2 is a great place to catch up on how out of touch I am with the reality of geekdom. Although its old news now, I just got a look at the Origins Award winners. Dresden Files is a FATE-based RPG, and while I understand it is a very nice looking game, I'm still out in the cold on understanding or appreciating the FATE mechanics. Castle Ravenloft is something I actually have on my shelf, but I doubt I'll play it anytime soon; maybe in a few years when my kid has A. been born, B. old enough to read, and C. old enough to appreciate the subtleties of game mechanics maybe 5-7 years from now? Of course, by that time I'll likely want to be able to hand him a copy of Labyrinth Lord or something suitably age-appropriate that provides a real framework for creative role playing, but a big box set full of parts is always a good start; the classic Dungeon is what got my sister and me started, after all!

Then there's DC Comics. What the heck? Read the news summary. Basically, DC is rebooting its universe; I've already come to terms with that; I made efforts to get back into DC last year, and gave up this year with that news, as all it did is remind me once again that DC Comics likes to take everything I've just read and caught up on and make it once more irrelevant. Comics are one area where I really do pine for the nostalgic good old days, when I actually knew what the story arcs were about, could identify the characters and could follow what was going on. The nice thing about comics is that thanks to trade paperback collections most all of the "good old days" are out there, waiting for rediscovery, and since my time these days is precious I find I can get more enjoyment out of the old stuff now than I did even back then. Reading Morrison's Doom Patrol when it was new was a it now is a veritable revelation at just how innovative and evolved his story telling was. So I guess I'll resume not following DC and stick with my oldies (and all the awesome Dark Horse collections of Conan) for now.

Ah, but anyway, DC apparently feels that restricting its story arcs to 6 and 12 issue runs for ease of TPB packaging later on was part of their problem. They also feel comics were getting too wordy. Say wha....? I just can't relate. Try reading comics from the 70's and early 80's especially, compare the level of description and word count to today's comics. The problem (as I see it) is that today's writers and artists manage to make an entire issue focus on about 10 minutes of actual story. Hell, some comic writers out there (Liefield cough cough) are famous for making sixteen or twenty page battle scenes filled with splash pages. The problem with today's comics is not enough story, not enough exposition...not what DC is contending, that they have "too much." Too much filler, I'll buy that....too much exposition? Naw. I might be biased because I'm reading so much of the old Savage Sword of Conan these days, but damned if those old writers didn't know how to pack in a decent tale.

Finally, spotted this article on the top flops of the year so far in theaters. I can only say its sad to see Priest and Sucker Punch on there; those two movies were much better than credit is given for. Priest was a fairly standard action film, but it managed to really capture my interest after the first 10 akward minutes (and my wife loved it). Sucker Punch was a genuinely disturbing, visually amazing movie that didn't shy away from making its audience uncomfortable, and that's probably why it failed; I regret only that every time a genuinely interesting movie like this flops, it insures that we'll only see more pablum for the masses in the future. As for the rest of the flops on the real surprises!

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