We at dashPunk say Fandom saves lives and here is a great story of how it literally saves lives. It is also a great demonstration of the power of myths and having mythology in our lives. Myths really set up a great communication short cut that is clear communications.
Worst: Spider-Man 4 Are We To Expect 4 Villains?
How can I be expected to get excited about someone playing The Black Cat or that even The Black Cat will be in the next Spider-Man movie?
There is a lot of buzz going on speculating on the casting and expectations for Spider-Man 4. Currently everyone is wondering who will play the Black Cat. For me the question is what can Sam Rami do to assure us that we will not be subjected to torment that was Spider-Man 3?
I Need to Know
- That there will be one consistent story
- 1 lead hero
- 1 lead villain (prove the ability to do these before attempting more)
- He will make me care about the lead Hero and Villain
A Tale of Too Much in the Soup
Spider-Man 3 was like the inverse of the tale of the mother who was making soup for her family. In that tale the mother is making a soup. She is approached by the first child who told her about his distaste of onions so the mother took the onions out. The next child announced his distaste of potatoes so the mother took it out. This repeated with each family member in turn until she was left with just broth, flavorless and unsatisfying.
In Spider-Man 3 Sam Rami kept putting things in. I want to dance, so we have a weird Spider-Man emo dance scene. I want to sing, we have MJ solo inserted into the film. I want this villain or that villain and we had multiple villains put into the film. Before we knew it there was so much that it became flavorless and unsatisfying.
I love the idea of a Spider-Man Movie
I want to get excited about Spider-Man 4. I love the idea of enjoying a Spider-Man movie but I have been too let down to many times get excited about the next one.
Black Cat, Newsman unmasked Villain… not a good sign
Production begins in 2010 I can only hope that Sam Rami will be able to assuage those concerns.
Fandom is not Obsessive Weirdoism!
Margaret Guroff is health editor of AARP The Magazine. In her first story for Urbanite, she takes out her inability to build an annotated Moby Dick website out on all fans who are not so swift to give up.
One distinctly modern form of obsessive weirdoism is fandom: becoming so devoted to a work of art that you want to augment or even inhabit it. Out of this impulse was born the Klingon Language Institute (www.kli.org), the phenomenon of “fan fiction” (unauthorized stories by civilians advancing new plotlines of beloved films and TV series) (The Urbanite Magazine),
Merriam-Webster defines Obsession as:
a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling ; broadly : compelling motivation (M-W)
What she fails to see is that fandom is a nascent culture:
a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also: the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time <popular culture><southern culture> c: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization <a corporate culture focused on the bottom line> d: the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic (M-W)
Fandom began to form in 1960's and 70's, as Speculative Fiction began taking on the role of mythology. It gave a set of values, goals, and practices that have developed and grown over time.
Through our conventions, filksings, fanfic, and fanfilm, we have developed a culture that is uniquely ours. Like all subcultures, it is misunderstood and mocked by the dominate culture. The very idea that we are merely obsessing over favorite stories is an insult not only to us, but to every culture. These characters are our heroes, and these stories are our folktales.
The problem we are having is that all of the foundations of culture now ( not just those of fandom) are copyrighted and sold by corporations that neither understand nor care that they wield so much power. Just because our mythology is copyrighted does not change the power these stories have over our lives. In fact, it only increases our outrage when our stories are treated with the same disdain that corporate media has for the mythology of the Greeks, Romans, or even the beloved stories of the Christian Bible. The Corporation cares only for its own profits, not the effect it has on culture.
While our interest in these stories may seem obsessive to some, I wonder how they feel about those who share other folktales, or folk songs. I wonder if she shares this same disdain for others who do not subscribe to her culture. People mock what they don't understand, and it is clear she just doesn't understand.
Fandom v The Scifi Channel
Eoghann Irving from Solar Flare has written a post claiming, “There’s No Such Thing as Science Fiction Fandom.” His main point:
It would be more accurate to claim that there’s no such thing as a single unifying science fiction fandom.
I think there’s a strong case to be made that historically there used to be one. The one that formed around the pulp magazines, that essentially created WorldCon and the Hugos. Members of that fandom were at one time a pretty good example of the average science fiction fan (Solar Flare).
Is Fandom splintering?
In February, I wrote Three Types of SF Fans, in which I explored the major divisions within SF Fandom. I do not believe that Fandom is splintering, our problem is Pop Culture exposure and a misapprehension about what fandom is.
The Source of the Problem:
- Fans are fanatics! They eat, drink, breathe and live SF.
- Enthusiasts think they are fans. They get excited by the release of an SF film, maybe play some games, but are not defined by their interest in SF.
As SF has made its flash into the Pop Culture, many new enthusiasts have been created and a few new fans. Every flash in the pan has this effect.
We are at the point in the cycle when SF has past its peak in popularity and is falling out of favor causing the enthusiasts to stay interested in the series that turned them on, while talking trash about other SF so they can hold on to an image of coolness, the image of a fracturing fandom is born.
The Scifi Channel is to Blame
The Scifi Channel and the major studios have fed this seeming division by conflating futuristic action films and series with science fiction leaving many enthusiasts to believe that SF is synonymous with futuristic action films.
This makes it almost impossible for any non-action based series or film to have any sort of traction.
To make this point clearer, I have debated with people whether Dead like Me and Eli Stone are SF. The group I was talking with insisted that they were not because they were not action packed...
Promoting Fan Culture
But the scale of the genre now is such that you really can’t assume that another science fiction fan will like or even be interested in what you are interested in. The sheer number of fandoms within the science fiction fan community results in a huge diversity of opinions and tastes (Solar Flare).
Our biggest problem with multiple fandoms is that fans have failed to communicate fan culture to the next generation. We have allowed pop culture to parody and ridicule our lives without offering an alternative take for people to see. The beauty and power of a filksing, the humor of a masquerade, or the basic comradery of a convention.
As long as we allow pop culture to define fandom, true fans will continue to find themselves pushed further and further out of the picture. So keep the faith, and spread the word.
Iron Man Invincible Comic
Marvel announced that an all new ongoing comic series titled Invincible Iron Man will launch latter in the month of May. I wish they would have green-lighted this project for an animated series either for TV or direct to DVD. This will follow the May 2nd premier of the Iron Man Movie and although it will benefit from the movie hype and excitement if they had done it as a series they could have really launched something to fill the void left behind by the writer's strike. The picture is the Cover by Joe Quesada which is planned for the first issue cover. The cover graphics are exciting and compelling and hope that the rest of the artwork matches.
The Invincible Iron Man will be written by Matt Fraction and penciled & cover by Salvador Larroca & Joe Quesada.
Tony Stark – Iron Man, billionaire industrialist and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. – faces the most overwhelming challenge of his life. Ezekiel Stane, the son of Tony's late business rival and archenemy Obadiah, has set his sights, his genius and his considerable fortune on the task of destroying Tony Stark and Iron Man. What's worse, he's got Iron Man tech, and he's every bit Iron Man's equal and opposite…except younger, faster, smarter…and immeasurably evil.
I really like Iron man but question his opponent in this series and how tight of a story it will make. But "Have faith true believer" and I do look forward to more info.
The animated video Doctor Strange
I watched a great animated video a couple of days ago. It is called Doctor Strange and was released straight to video on August 14, 2007. This is a superhero video using one of the marvel characters. The video was dark and the action tight. Going into this film I had no fore knowledge of the Dr. Strange character or comic but I was still able to really enjoy the story and didn’t leave the film feeling like I was left out, yet I could tell that there was some things put in certain places that were for the comic fans too. This amazing balance is a hard one to reach and I applaud them for obtaining it. The tale opens with an intense chase scene with the pupils of the Ancient One pursuing a servant of Dormammu. This chase passes by the car of the gifted and selfish Dr. Strange. The tale continues and Dr. Strange is struck with a tragedy that sets him on a path to recover his life. During the quest he is led to the training temple of the Ancient One and receives healing and instruction while there.
One of the qualities that I really enjoyed in this tale was the clear development of the character of Dr. Strange. In the beginning he is a selfish, self-obsessed, cruel, haunted man. They did a great job of creating a feeling of disgust and pity over his character in the start of the film, I found my self caring about the character because I knew something obviously led him to be the creep that was before me and yet he was still a creep that could just walk away from the woman’s suffering. Then as the tale goes on we learn about what happened to him that hardened his heart and we watch Dr. Strange forgive himself and grow into a wonderful person. It was quite a delightful experience that gave so much depth to the story. The setting and animation was wonderful and crisp. The movement was fluid and action dynamic. One aspect of the setting that I really enjoyed was how the creators limited the abilities of the magic users. Everyone learned how to manipulate their environment by realizing the oneness of it all but each person was limited to their own innate abilities. This way each character had both power and limitation, they did a great job of showing both. This helped to give great tension as you watch the characters being powerful and when they were faced with their limitations their downfall as well.
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