Round-Up July 15 2013 Edition

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Hugh Jackman wants Wolverine to join the cinematic Avengers.

For a 40th Anniversary celebration of Red Sonja, Gail Simone.

The 2013 Harvey Award nominations were announced. Hawkeye and Saga lead. I should check out Revival, considering how unfamiliar I am with unfamiliar I am with the work of writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton, both of whom were nominated.

Two scientists have a sad motivation for their investigation into biomarkers for violence. Their daughter died in Newton.

A minor mystery writer was outed as JK Rowling.

On his podcast, John August and guest Craig Mazin wonder if the first act has gotten shorter in film.

Craig: And you need the, if they meet each other… — So, okay, the way you just described it is sort of a perfect reason why you don’t want 15 to be the new 30. You need 15 pages to introduce two people and show them as they are separately, so that we understand what their strengths and limitations are, separately.

Then we need some time where they are together where we establish that they do not get along and why. And ideally it’s tied to their strengths and their weaknesses. Once we’ve done that groundwork, it’s perfectly fine at that point to kick the apple cart over and force them to head out into the field, whereby they will do the work of the plot as well as their own relationship. But we need those 30 pages.

And I’ve got to tell you, I mean, I don’t understand why there’s this big rush, rush, rush to shorten the first act. I think audiences love first acts.

John: So, my theory on why we feel this development pressure for shorter first acts is the people who’ve been reading the script have been reading the script for like six years.

Craig: Yeah.

John: So, they know what the movie is and they know what’s going to happen. And they’re eager for what’s going to happen to happen. And so as they read the script or as they see early cuts of the movie they’re like, “Just get to it already. Just get to it.”

And that pressure is the pressure of someone who does not have fresh eyes, who is not seeing this for the first time. They’re seeing it as a person who knows every frame of the movie or every word that’s going to happen. And they’re eager to get to the thing much, much quicker.

Fox announced plans for an X-Force movie, apparently based on Rob Liefeld’s characters, as opposed to the more acclaimed run by Rick Remender. Brett White recalls his 1990s casting selections.

Johanna Draper Carlson considers the problem with good comics journalism: No one wants to pay for it.

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Brandon Thomas breaks down what works about one of my favorite comic books: All-Star Superman #10.

Adam Wayst of the Pacific Standard ponders the effects of the internet on criticism.

The actual accuracy of experts seems secondary to their purpose: to provide guidance. As a Midwestern teenager entering a phase of intensive cultural consumption in the 1990s, I sought out expert opinions in music, television, and film. This expertise came in the form of critics, who I believed had more access to media, earlier access to media, and more experience with the medium that they were covering. I turned to them for guidance, and I followed their critical advice. Plus, I couldn’t expect to find out aboutMr. ShowMiller’s Crossing, and The Cenobites merely from my social network. Critics—with their extensive access, priority access, and comprehensive experience—provided this exclusive knowledge. Critics led, and I followed.

WITHOUT DIPPING INTO TOO much armchair sociology, let me state the obvious: the Internet has dramatically changed the role of the cultural critic. Albums and movies “leak” far in advance of their due dates, entire libraries of music or television shows can be torrented and hoarded in a matter of hours, and as quickly as terabytes of .mp3s and .avis are transmitted, so too are all of our opinions on the media we are consuming. All of this means critics no longer have exclusivity, priority, or even, necessarily, expertise.

Expertise requires that, compared to the average person, one has a deeper understanding of a topic, a more well-researched opinion on the topic, and privileged information on the topic. The ability for anyone with a fast wireless connection to obtain an entire Lou Reed discography or the entire compendium of Get a Life episodes means that anyone can dig deep into a particular body of work. Access to carefully written blog posts about the true meaning of Inland Empire and the hidden samples used inPaul’s Boutique (not to mention access to Wikipedia) means that research is easy. Music and film piracy means that priority access has become a thing of the past.

Amanda Morcotte suggests there are six kinds of atheists.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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