fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
I have a suspicion that when a business becomes invincible, when its market position makes it so unchallenged that its leaders are more in the position of hereditary barons than of anyone who has to work to live - even at a very high level - sooner or later a sort of greed for destruction sets in, and they start making decisions that can only be interpreted as weariness of life - as suicide - at least as corporate leaders. So Ford make the Edsel, and Pan Am make a half-dozen decisions that cancel it from the face of the Earth, and Microsoft make Vista.
I think this incredible free comics day from DC belongs to the same area of unconscious greed for self-destruction. I will certainly not take a single one of their 52 free comics; at zero dollars each, they cost at least $520,000.00 more than I think they are worth. In other words, you would have to pay me at least $10,000 to read a single one of the 52. In the words of someone who has gone through the degrading experience, "the whole [story] is a bloodbath in which all the DC heroes are hacked apart and assimilated by some Borg-like Big Bad who's taken over the world. Bruce Wayne, mortally wounded after having his arm graphically chopped off, sends his protege back in time to fix it." And the poor sod in question never even demanded his £10,000 per free comic in advance. What, seriously, does this express, except a weariness and hatred and desire to violate the characters to whom these corporate stooges own their position and their wages? Is this not an infantile fantasy of revenge against things you can no longer bear to see daily? Does it not feel as though DiDio and his helotry feel the very fantasy entity that makes DC as a suffocating, hateful construct that they, consciously or unconsciously, would like to destroy and pervert? How else can it be explained?
But if that is what is actually going on,then their plight is even more miserable than it sounds. They cannot even destroy their company, even with business decisions compared with which the Edsel was a model of fresh, economical, functional, quality engineering. They certainly seem to intend to salt the fields: "Free Comic Book Day" is supposed to attract new readers - and those new readers are treated to a story that Freddy Kruger would think over the top (Wonder Woman's head on a spike...). There goes the reputation of superheroes, to a generation that at any rate looks at games, TV shows and anime first (compare the number of Buffy or Sailor Moon fanfics on the net with the number of Superman or Avengers ones). The supremacy of comics in the lives of kids, that scared Dr.Wertham so much seventy years ago, is now not even a memory; and from now on thousands more kids will regard superhero comics as boring, depressing, and basically worthless. As the Destroyer said to Hela in Simonson's Thor: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
But DC is not its own master and cannot die until TimeWarner says so. And TimeWarner may be a big, stupid corporation, prone to similar errors, but it is still too big to even notice a loss in a corner of its empire that it uses mainly as an R&D department and source of useful franchises. So DiDio and his minions will continue to make a living from concepts and characters they secretly loathe, and Warner will continue to make bad Superman movies and wonder why the character needs to be rebooted every five years.
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http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/11/ghost-rider-creator-sues-marvel-17000/
To sum up, the man who created the Ghost Rider character - which has featured in a successful movie and made a lot of money for Marvel - was sued by Marvel because, being elderly and unemployed, he made a little money selling Ghost Rider material at conventions without authorization. I have a lot to say about the morality of this, but never mind. Just get in touch with the persons featured in the linked article and send them your money. Also please link in your own LJs. And a few abusive e-mails for Disney and Marvel would not be out of place either.
fpb: (Default)
British and other TV networks have a pleasant habit of broadcasting old and famous movies on early Sunday afternoon slots. Today ITV scheduled the legendary Western Red River, which, as it happens, I had never seen.

I switched the TV on. I saw what was being shown. I was horrified. I tried to hold on for a few minutes, but I was forced - literally forced - to turn the horror off, with bitter curses at the filth who had allowed such debauched filth to be broadcast.

It was colorized.

I have no words to describe the visual ghastliness of this obscenity. The best way I can hint at it is to think of an old, cheap postcard, of the kind in which blotches of violent colours have been cheaply overlain on a black-and-white photograph; and then imagine it stretching on in time, minute after undendurable minute.

It is not just that it looked wrong: that the sky, the grass, the flesh of the protagonists, their jeans and shirts and Stetson hats, wore tinges that no sky or grass or human flesh (except, perhaps, one in the advanced stages of some foul disease) is capable of wearing. It is that it wholly destroyed the work. One does not have to be a competent artist to know that black-and-white cinematography is worked differently from colour; for one thing, it lays greater emphasis on contrast, which the colorization simply murdered. The work of the best that Hollywood had to offer at the time, an outstanding director (Howard Hawks) and his equally brilliant cinematographer, not to mention poor old John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, have been butchered, mangled beyond description and repair. And for what reason? Is there any movie or TV executive with brains so feeble - however feeble the average of brains in that world may be - as to seriously believe that a person who would not watch a black-and-white movie could be convinced to watch this pasty, cancerous horror instead?

I am still not settled down. I wish there were words in the English language, or in any, to say just how furious I am. I could vomit, I really could.

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