Archive for the ‘Marvel Studios’ Category

The theme for this post is really tied to this panel from Kabuki: Circle of Bloodkabuki_cob_morebs

So last night I am bumbling through my tumblr account to stumble across this great little message from one of my favorite creators of all time, David Mack :

DrDavidMrMack — Great news from Marvel Film Studios that I’m... (1)

You can read the backstory here.

You have no clue how stoked I am about this. I have talked about Mack before (which you can read here). Why am I sitting here like a kid in toy store that was told they could have all the toys?

1) David Mack has always been one of my favorite people. Not only is he brilliant as a creator/storyteller but I have had the good fortune of meeting him on a few occasions and you couldn’t find a more humble person than Mr. Mack. That and he’s a riot to hang out with.

2) Captain America (outside of Daredevil) is probably tied for my second favorite Marvel hero (Thor is in second place also). If you haven’t read Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America, you will totally be flabbergasted about who Winter Solider is. If you have already figured it out, trust me, you don’t know how he came to be. Its a great story line.

3) Take an epic story line and mash it into film with some of Mack’s art? *mind blown* Just to give you an idea take a look at this picture:

Vision Quest

If the picture is large on your screen, that’s intended. I want to make sure you can see the mind boggling detail. Yes. Those are actual feathers.

Want to see more of his art work? You can go to the official unofficial website here or follow him on Tumbler here. I could wax poetic about all of the different styles of awesome art that Mack has done over the years, but that’s not entirely the point of this post.

This is the reason for the toy store analogy above.

Ink Sketch of Captain America from a conventionMarvel yet again are playing the smart card. Most mainstream people know about the Marvel comics books (here on forever after referred to as the East Coast office) and the Studio (West Coast office). What many people don’t know is how much these two have been working together. Mack working on the title cards etc for Captain America: The Winter Solider is just the latest of it. Since 2007 when Marvel took out a loan with Merrill Lynch to start the studio division, I have pretty much trolled the news about ANYTHING that had to do with the company. As a comic book fan, I knew Marvel had a tendency to do things “The Marvel Way” and I was wondering how much of that would translate over into the film industry that is nothing but rules and regulations.

Marvel has been the first for a lot of things, including the East Coast office of writers, editors etc in setting the bricks for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was the smartest idea. The Winter Solider storyline was done in comics back in 2005/2006. That’s like yesterday when you take a look at how long some companies take to adapt a storyline. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, that Marvel needs to pay their casting directors and script supervisors in gold because they are the most crucial when it comes to the adaptations of the comics.  Grant it, if you read Mack’s post, it was really a round about way that he was included in on this project (it really was based on the art/concept pitch), however, his art is very distinct compared to most artists out there (and I am not NOT curtailing that to only comic book artists, but to artists in general).

Why was this so smart? How many times have you watched a movie or seen a poster done and go “man, I really like that and would totally

Cover to Daredevil V2 Ish 20-- one of the prints hanging on my wall.

Cover to Daredevil V2 Ish 20– one of the prints hanging on my wall.

hang it on my wall”?? At least once or twice in your life. Mack is one of the types that people either really LOVE him or go “ehhh”. I personally have a number of prints hanging on my wall by Mack and gotten a lot of commentary about them. That’s the point of this, commentary. Apples to Donuts, when you go see Captain America: The Winter Solider you will be going “Man, that’s pretty effing cool. I want that”. Marketing at its best folks.

Not only that, but you have the loyal fans of Mack’s talking about this because they are excited. That helps him indirectly because of course I am telling you about him and his work. Which hopefully (and I beg you too) will encourage you to read some of his work or get some prints etc.

You are probably saying that’s not any different than any other movie. Yes it is, because in this case, Mack has done a TON of work in the East Coast office, particularly on the Daredevil and Alias books (which I cannot recommend enough). How many of you would be tempted to go and try out these books either on the Marvel Digital Comic Website or at your local comic book shop?

Having the people that have laid the ground work in the comics put their two sense into the MCU makes so much sense I am shocked that other companies *cough* DC Comics *cough* are not doing this at all or if they are, its not enough/not working. Jeff Loeb, who many of you know as one of the creators of Heroes, is VP of Television at the west coast office. He also wrote TONS of comic books and knows the stories as well as anyone else.  Everything that has worked in the past in the East Coast office has been implemented/tweaked to incorporate into the West Coast office.

IT WORKS.

Hollywood take note, whatever magic Marvel is doing you need to start trying to figure it out. The box office numbers alone should prove this (let alone digital copes, rentals, dvd/blu-ray/3d discs and merchandising). I can tell you one secret I have figured out to get you going Hollywood:

Hire people that actually care about the source material. If you look at everyone that has worked on the films from Iron Man all the way through to trailers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy PLUS Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D you can see that every single person working this truly loves the characters and the story.

That’s why Marvel is so awesome, they hire great people- like David Mack.

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So I love comics. I love movies.

Naturally I love comic book movies. Ok, well not all of them. Some of them suck pretty badly. However a majority of them, especially as of late, have been pretty damn good. (I mean, have you see the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Trailer??)

If you don’t know anything about the comic book fandom let me explain. If you are part of the comic book fandom, I apologize for the explanation, but feel free to expound upon it.

The best thing about the comic book fandom is the accessibility to the industry folks. This isn’t just at comic conventions, but really heavy within social media. Right now there are a handful of creators that I could email and ask a question and actually get a response- that is NOT some auto generated non-sense. How many sports fans can say that? Or movie buffs? It’s not like I could shoot an email to say, George Lucas and not get an almost instant response like some comic book writers and artists.

That is, in my humble opinion, what makes us unique as a fandom. It’s great. It truly is! There are extremes, but in general, comic book fans are pretty effing cool about things. So much so, I cannot begin to tell you how many charities the industry has, or when something goes south (i.e. 9/11, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Earthquakes etc) the fandom- and the industry- rally together to help in anyway they can.

Do you want to know how many times my faith in humanity has been restored because of the fandom? Too many to count. Some of which never made any news, that was only known by a handful of creators and the people that were in trouble.

However there is something that I need to address. This is strictly aimed at those extremists. In this case, the ones that go nuts around actors and other celebrities in the industry.

 

STOP IT. 

FUCKING STOP ACTING LIKE MORONS. 

Yeesh.

Working/Living in Chicago I have come across a lot of celebrities and politicians. So much so, when I interviewed for a job for a new flagship store on State Street years ago, the GM flat out asked me how I would react in X or Y celebrity walked in. Considering we were attached to a famous hotel, the 2 years I was there, I lost count how many times we had to close down per orders of Secret Service (yes, THE Secret Service) or block off areas for incoming movie stars/sports teams to avoid a rabid fan attacking someone.

This post was really started after reading this– a tiny bit whiny- a beit heartfelt post about certain fans of the Hiddlestoners fandom. What’s a Hiddlestoner? A fan of Tom Hiddleston. You know him probably best as the guy that played Loki. To be honest, my favorite role he has done hasn’t been Loki (which is just mindblowing), but actually as Prince Hal in The Hollow Crown. But that’s also because I am a Shakespeare fan. Regardless, I was discussing this with my fellow Movie/Comic Geek best friend, Scourge. We started doing comparisons, and he came up with a great analogy that I am totally giving him credit for:

Robert Downey Jr= Elvis Presley

Tom Hiddleston= The Beatles.

Both actors have wholeheartedly embraced their roles as Iron Man and Loki respectively. Downey runs around and sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t think he is Tony Stark.

Image

What’s great (and could also backfire eventually) is that the Marvel Studios office encourages this. It feels as though the West Coast office has been trying to bring the comic fandom ideal over to its movies for awhile. I thought that for quite some time. But 2013 SDCC confirmed it for me.

 I would like to point out that it takes some mighty fine talent to quiet Hall H with the move of one finger. Hiddleston just cracks me up with the above video. Along with some of his tweets. Its obvious that he loves not only playing Loki, but the fans.

Image I am very tired of seeing fans attack celebrities- whether its in the movies or in the comic book world. In this day and age of 24 hour news, it feels as though fans demand, nay, expect to have this instant gratification from their idols. Do I admire and respect Hiddleston and Downey? Yes, because they are damn talented actors. I think it would be absolutely hilarious to have both of them at a dinner party because, I have the impression from interviews they have both done, that they are genuinely nice, funny gentlemen.

That’s the catch folks- what you see in interviews, clips, pinterest, tumblr etc, is just that- an impression.

Think about this: you are going about your day, running some errands, doing a bit of shopping at your favorite store, maybe grabbing coffee and catch up time with a good friend. Then some random person whom you have never seen before nor probably ever will again, walks up to you acting like you are the oldest friends on the planet.  This happens EVERY TIME YOU WALK OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.

After awhile, wouldn’t you get a bit pissed off?

Don’t give me the story that “Oh celebrities know this comes with the job” Bull shit, absolute bullshit.  They know they will have fans, that some of their anonymity goes right out the window, but it does NOT mean, that as a fan you have the right to interrupt them at any given moment.

Scourge worked at a restaurant for awhile back in Ohio. Because of the location of said restaurant, he ran into A LOT of celebrities (I mean, the list is pretty extensive and mindblowing). When X person would walk into the restaurant, he would eventually have to take over the table because the waitress was wigging out to much or have other patrons back off because the celebrity couldn’t even finish their meal.

The most Scourge would ever say to these people that would even address the fact they were celebrities was “Hey I really liked [insert album, game, etc here]. Thanks for that”. Even that sentence was a bit much for him. Scourge told me that usually it was the silent head nod acknowledging their presence and then leaving them be.

Best example of crazy that ticked me off:

When Public Enemies was in town filming, I noticed one night that there were no parking permits put up around my neighborhood. On my way hope I also noticed alot of gear trucks parked along certain streets. The next morning Scourge and I went to go return a DVD . Scourge went in one direction and I doubled back over to Portage Theater where I was pretty damn certain they were filming. I made small talk with the lighting guys unloading a trailer. Outside of talking about gear, they refused to mention anything.

Scourge called me to tell me if I ever was going to hire a security firm, not to hire X company because the guard was a chatty cathy. Turns out Scourge found out that Johnny Depp was inside the theater.

Kick ass.

Meanwhile I called Ellie Sully and told her to make her way over to the theater, because at the least, as a production designer, she had to see the costumes that the extras were wearing. It was hotter than Hades that day and the three of us were sitting on the curb of a side street just watching everything. Ellie Sully was looking at things from an artist perspective, while Scourge and I were dissecting security and operations. Eventually the neighborhood kids figured out what was going on, and someone (not us) told them that Depp was inside. There were these 4 girls, around the age 15 that were absolutely having a melt down that Depp was inside.

We decided to hang on the curb to see if we could catch a glimpse of Depp. Not because its Depp (that was a partial reason) but Ellie Sully wanted to see his costume while Scourge and myself were making a bet on a security procedure of how they were going to get Depp out of the theater and around the mess of one ways in the neighborhood back to his trailer on the other side of six corners.

Sure enough Depp came out and I was right on my guess of how security was doing things. Depp gets in an SUV an as they pull out on the side street, he rolls his window down to wave to everyone. That was nice!

Then the 4 girls in question proceeded to chase the SUV throughout the neighborhood. Meanwhile the three of us decided to get something cold to drink, so we walk to the other side of six corners to a store where the trailer happened to be in the parking lot. I just remember watching the girls faces as they tried to figure out how we were already there, munching on stuff after Depp’s car pulled in. Depp got out and went right to his trailer to get changed. Do I blame him? Nope.

The girls were so disappointed that they were crying. I am not saying the simple crying, but the type of crying that involves huge gasps of air because they are practically hyperventilating. Eye roll.

I can’t speak for musicians but I can say making any sort of film is EXHAUSTING. I don’t care if you are actor, crew, producing- whatever role, it is exhausting. It’s a mind drain. It’s emotionally draining. You wouldn’t think this, but trust me, its true.  Art in general is an artist putting some part of themselves on the world stage for everyone to dissect and analyze.

So in essence, if you see a celebrity outside of an actual appearance they are making at a convention or tv show etc. Be nice and leave them alone. If you can’t help yourself, be polite, don’t take up their time. They are human beings and just think about how you would feel in their shoes.

So to those out their that are all in the “beatlesmania” type knocking on glass windows as a celebrity is trying to eat dinner or asking for an autograph while in the bathroom (I saw this happen once) STOP IT BEFORE YOU RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!