Monday, June 09, 2014

Batman: Kathisophobe?

By Ray X

After bingeing during my younger years I hardly read comics books, especially those way overpriced floppies from the Big Two.  It's the same stuff recycled ad nauseum.  How many more times will Galactus threaten to pig out on planet Earth after promising never to do it again?

I find reading about the business of comic books and related media more entertaining.

Disney owns Marvel, Warner Brothers owns DC.  And between the two corporate competitors WB is the worst.

Let's face it: too many corporations have idiots in key positions.  As in know-nothing idiots.  They make decisions without taking the time to learn the product or service they're providing. Ergo, crap reigns.

Like the time a comic book fan/film director was pitching a Superman movie plot to the guy who made the final decision.  The fan/director was going on about how he would tell Kal-El's story.

The studio exec was puzzled.  He asked: "Who's this Kal-El character?"

And if you don't know who Kal-El is then you shouldn't be deciding on any project, movie or other media, portraying him.

Apparently that kind of studio exec unawareness/self-centered stupidity has been affecting DC Comics editors, if you believe the stories told on the Net.

The writer and artist working on the Batwoman comic wanted the heroine to marry her girlfriend.  But the editors said NO.  Not because of the gay marriage controversy but because -- so the editors stated -- that all DC heroes can't be married, they have to suffer, darkness is the main theme.

I'm tired of this nonsense trying to transform some clown in spandex into a tragic Shakespearean figure.  I hate Shakespeare, the most overrated writer shoved down the throats of high school English class students.  (Hemingway comes in a close second.)  Let superheroes be superheroes.

Sure, you can have drama with superheroic stories.  But wallowing in gut-wrenching tragedy all the time -- boring.

But the best example of micro-brain micro-mismanagement is when the order came down From On High that Batman never sits down, never show Batman sitting.  It’s common knowledge that he never sits, said an editor.  Of course if the jerk who issued that decree ever bother to READ any Batman comics...

And so creators have left DC because of such editorial interference.  What I find funny is that DC (and Marvel) end up rebooting their characters, throwing out all previous history to start anew.  So why not let Batwoman get married?  In a few years there will be another company-wide reality-bender crisis and you can unmarry her.  Who cares?  It's all imaginary stories.  Let's the creators create.  That's why they were hired, right?

DC Comics editorial hyperlogic clearly illustrates how corporate polyps are destroying America -- right down to its comic books.


Doug said...

The Caped Crusader would sit on his cape if ever he attempted to sit; that would never strike fear into the hearts of evil doers.

(Exceptions: When he sits in the Batmobile, Batcopter, Batplane, Batcycle, or, of course, takes a Bat-crap.)

X. Dell said...

1. Lol@Doug. One has to wonder what kind of technological wizardry bedecks the BatCommode.

2. I agree with the Hemmingway assessment, but leave the Bard out of it:-)

3. What your addressing here actually constitutes subject matter similar to my dissertation: namely, the corporate influences on artistic content. When companies are smaller, they tend (with some notable exceptions) to give artists more of a free hand.

Larger corporations are more prone to quarterly pressures to increase the rate of revenue growth, and often they take out loans from banks and other financial institutions to produce and market product. So there's more of a chance that the person making decisions about creative control isn't creative, but rather comes from the legal and/or banking arena.

There's tremendous pressure on these individuals to meet quarterly expectations. Thus they tend to stick to formulas, and resist attempts to take narratives into a new direction. While this might bore older fans like yourself, who get tired of reading the same old recycled stories, they would still be new to a younger generation who hasn't read nearly as much. And younger audiences have been preferred by media companies for many years.

I can write at great length about how this phenomenon affects the music, movie and television industries. I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise that even comics are manipulated in this same way under the trusteeship of corporate leviathans.