Posts Tagged ‘the avengers’

It occurs to me that except for blaming the lost weekend for my lapse in productivity (yeah, like that’s the only reason), I have said very little about Comic-con. This seems odd, since the very scope of Comic-con would presumptively lend itself to having a great deal to say. This is true, and yet not.

Let me emphasize here that I like the idea of Comic-con. I grew up with comics. I own a lot of them (and the ones I’ve lost that would be worth a fortune today?–don’t ask). I love that they’ve finally hit the mainstream.


My personal experience inside Comic-con was largely limited to one room (Hall 20), which in and of itself does speak volumes about the event. We were only there one day, and we were there to see a particular panel (Outlander), which did not premiere until late. Under the rules by which Comic-con operates, however, this meant we had to sit in the room all day. And that is where the concept of blame, of which Comic-con bears much, comes in.

You see, Comic-con’s large halls (H and 20) feature panel discussions all day. Hall H is where the infamous “movie reveal” panels happen, where you can see the entire cast of “The Avengers,” for example, on stage. Hall H holds 6000 people. It caters to movies and some very popular TV shows (like The Big Bang Theory). Hall 20 is the smaller venue for TV shows of somewhat lesser, but still significant, popularity. It holds, if memory serves, 4800 people.

The problem with these rooms (and thereby hangs the blame), is that they are not cleared after each panel. Once you get in, you stay. You can try to maneuver your way to a seat closer to the stage once people vacate on their own after seeing the panel that they came to see, but given the high standard of events in Hall H, I doubt that happens much. (It did in Hall 20.) This is why people camp out all night to get into Hall H. (Kind of a waste of a hotel reservation, wasn’t it?) In our case, it meant sitting through several hour-long panels we cared nothing about.

Now I understand that clearing a 6000-seat (or even 4800-seat) auditorium and re-filling it every hour would be a mammoth task. Notwithstanding, this policy is garbage. If you don’t want to empty the hall six times a day, do it once. People can come in for the morning sessions, or the afternoon sessions. Force them to choose what they want to see, and give twice as many people the chance to see something. At least allow people to pre-register for Hall H the way they pre-register for the convention so that they don’t have to camp out all night.

Comic-con is big. Really big. It shows no signs of slowing (to my knowledge), but a lot of events now happen outside the convention center. I saw Star TrekBladerunner, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones events, among others. This trend will grow. Exhibitors are already complaining that the traffic in the dealers’ room is declining. Part of that is the outside events, and part is because anybody who wants to see a panel in the latter part of the day cannot do anything else that day. You want to see a 4:00 panel in H or 20? You’re stuck from 9 to 5. (And for Hall H, that’s 9 PM.)

Like any monster, Comic-con moves slowly. And like the dinosaurs, even if it lasts millions of years, it carries the seeds of its own destruction. “Really big” is only a short step from “too big.”

And who would be to blame for that?



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If you have any connection to SF fandom or geek culture, you’ve heard by now that the new incarnation of Doctor Who is going to be played by a woman. You may also have heard that this is going to bring around the fall of civilization, much like, oh, I don’t know, electing a black President.

I have no interest in arguing whether the new Doctor’s gender is a result of left-wing politics, political correctness, feminist pandering, or just a new showrunner bringing along an actress he really enjoys working with, from his current show. (It bears mentioning that he could not bring along the lead actor from his show, because David Tennant has already been the Doctor.) I have no interest in arguing this question because I don’t know the answer. And neither do you, unless your name is Chibnall.

Furthermore, I don’t care. It’s all in the story. If you tell good Doctor stories next season, I’m all for it. If you don’t, well, then, it won’t be Jodie Whittaker’s fault. Unless it is. Who knows? (No pun intended.) But the Doctor’s gender should not be the determinant of whether you watch the show.

As far as I’m concerned, the Doctor could regenerate into an aardvark. (A talking aardvark, of course.) Or maybe Disney will buy the BBC and she will regenerate into a gun-toting raccoon. Or a mouse. The point is: If the Doctor had regenerated into an aardvark, or a mouse, or a dancing bear, it would not have made any difference because this is fiction. Science fiction. They make this stuff up as they go along. Are you an expert on Time Lord biogenesis? Do you have a Ph.D. in temporal biophysics? No? Well then, where do you get off saying the Doctor can’t be a woman?

And what difference does it make anyway? I defy anyone to give me one good story-related reason that the Doctor can’t be a woman. Apparently, it’s been in the cards for years. This is the same reasoning that said John Steed’s partner couldn’t be a woman–until they hired Honor Blackman to play Cathy Gale and TV was changed forever. Oddly enough, The Avengers was not ruined, even by a succession of female partners.

Could a woman have replaced John Steed? Probably not, but I know a lot of guys who wouldn’t have complained if all we got was sixty minutes of Emma Peel


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It’s funny how your mind works. One minute you’re trying to think of something worth writing about, and the next you’re wondering who would win between Godzilla and the Hulk. Then you’re thinking that actually the two of them have a lot in common (big, green, ticked off, created by nuclear bombs) and would probably be great friends if they stopped talk a minute. Which, fortunately for the rest of us, isn’t going to happen.

And then you start thinking, hey, I’m a writer, and writers are a lot like that big green guy–the Hulk, not Godzilla, although I’d be willing to be convinced of that. So how are writers like the Hulk? Let me count the ways…

  1. They tend to jump around a lot with no apparent plan, but somehow they get the job done.
  2. When they’re criticized, they try to stay calm, but inside they want to smash you! (Okay, writers are more like Bruce Banner that way. The Hulk would just smash you.)
  3. They have a propensity for wearing purple pants and no shirts. (There’s a reason writers work alone.)
  4. When they’re stomping around trying to work something out in their heads, it’s best to give them lots of space.
  5. They are, to put it mildly, wildly misunderstood.
  6. They take great leaps.
  7. They try to pare their dialogue down to the most essential words and phrases.
  8. They don’t work well with others, but if Scarlett Johansson bats her eyes at them, they’ll usually settle down.
  9. They both work mostly in fiction.

And the final thing that writers and the Hulk have common:

10. The Hulk is stronger than a tank, and the pen is mightier than the sword.


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