When we were in college years ago, my pal Paul Barresi overheard two girls talking about music as they listened to a Wings song. One girl was astonished when she learned that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings.
That’s the way it often goes. The new generation is oblivious to that which is dear to the previous one. But a wonderful thing that’s really different about Geek Culture is that it’s so accessible. I always use the example that if you like rock music, it’s unlikely you’d be able to spend time with the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger. But if you like comics, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be able to spend a little time with Neal Adams at one point or another. It’s almost magical how the world of comics, especially when combined with conventions, provides robust opportunities for fans to meet, and spend time with their artistic heroes.
And with all that, it’s always debilitating when creators are not acknowledged. There’s been a bit of it lately.
ITEM: DC FanDome
DC FANDOME looks amazing. It’s exceptionally well done. The production value is incredible. The focus on diversity and inclusion was perfectly executed.
Except for one minor detail…. The actual comic books and the talent that created the ENTIRE brand itself. The backbone of all the Intellectual Property and the genesis of all the TV/Film story lines.
It’s understandable that with so many great Films, TV shows and Video Games, that fans would want as much as much as “DC” [ AT&T and Warner Bros ] can offer them. So much money and advertising goes into producing that sort of content. AT&T and Warner Bros justifiably wants to insure their endeavors create as much of a profit as possible. But it’s sad to see that the heart and soul of what these licensed properties are built on are, for the most part, simply a side note.
My heart broke listening to the WW84 movie team announce the 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman. Not a single mention of who created the character or the team of talent currently holding the torch by creating new content. Not their fault. They’ve done awe-inspiring jobs bringing Wonder Woman to life. It’s not up to them to spotlight the comic books. But it should be part of the production to thread this sort of thing into the “celebration”. The direction of the entire DC Fandome simply misses the boat. Do they want the comic book publishing side to turn a better profit? Mention the comics and why they’re such unbelievable inspirations for all the film, tv, animation and video games. How and where do you buy comics? “Hi fan, where you buy your comics from?”, “Who me? I get them from my local comic book shop! They’re amazing and make me feel like family!” Such an opportunity to promote the publishing end… Hours and hours of content. Where are the comic books and the creators behind them?
DC FANDOME looks amazing. It’s exceptionally well done. The production value is incredible. The focus on diversity…
ITEM: New Mutants
And then this weekend, The New Mutants movie finally debuted. I always kind of liked this series, but was never super passionate about it. So, I didn’t see it on opening weekend, and probably wouldn’t have even if not for the COVID-related issues with movie theaters. But then I saw Bob McLeod, another one of my favorite artists, post that although he is listed as a co-creator in the movie’s credits (that’s good), his name is misspelled! (That’s bad!)
They couldn’t even be bothered to check the spelling of my name sometime in the last three years. And that can’t be fixed. That will be on the movie forever. I think I’m done with this movie.
— Bob McLeod (@mcleodbob) August 28, 2020
ITEM: Chadwick Boseman
The other sad news from the weekend was the death of Chadwick Boseman, known for his roles as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and T’Challa, The Black Panther. My wife and I watched the commercial free showing of Black Panther on ABC Sunday night (when was the last time anyone watched ABC on a Sunday night?) and were heartbroken the whole time.
While Chadwick Boseman brought the character to life with his charisma and talent, I wish that the world could, at some point, just share a little bit of love and recognition for the creators & contributors behind The Black Panther. In a perfect world, writers like Don McGregor and Christopher Priest would be appreciated a little bit more.
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So, for all the fans out there – I hope you be just a little more diligent. I hope you can celebrate the accomplishments of the creatives and entrepreneurs who work so hard in this industry. “I have seen gods fly”… thanks to comics creators.