Posts Tagged ‘Captain America’

So its been awhile. I know. 

The new job is awesome, but I have been putting in some long days .Actually, I am typing this up on my lunch break. THAT’S how crazy its been.  I will be better I promise! 

But here’s the real reason that I wanted to talk to you today.  There is this little article that @EllieSullie (and, unbeknownst to be until after the fact) @JulianGrant threw up on their Facebook feeds.

It pissed me off to no end folks.

I will be nice and link you to said article which you can read here.  The gist of the article is this, that the “strong female characters” we have been seeing in films lately are really just… to use the author, Tasha Robinson’s own words “Superfluous, Flimsy Character disguised as a Strong Female Character”.

She lists example after example of this: 

-Valka in How to Train Your Dragon 2

-Wildfyre in The Lego Movie

-Tauriel in THe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

-Dahl in Riddick

-Carol Marcus in Star Trek: Into Darkness

and more and more.  Here’s where I get ticked off:

The idea of the Strong Female Character—someone with her own identity, agenda, and story purpose—has thoroughly pervaded the conversation about what’s wrong with the way women are often perceived and portrayed today, incomics {sic}, videogames, and film especially.” 

This is an annoyance right here. The entire article focuses on films. If you are going to mention comics and video games, then guess what, you need to give examples of those too, which Ms. Robinson does not. (This is Speech 101 kicking in). However, I would like to bluntly express, in my post, I will NOT be talking about video games because I am not a gamer.

However, I am a TV/Movie/Comic Geek and Gender theory in mass media is one of my favorite subjects.

The other thing, she only gives one- yes ONE- good example, which is….. Emily Blunt’s character, Rita in the recently released Edge of Tomorrow. That’s it. One example of a positive (by her standards) strong female character.

I do agree with Ms. Robinson that there are a number of “wanna-be” SFC in mass media, but to give only one positive example is ridiculous. I ranted on @elliesullie’s post on this, and I realized there are a ton of SFC in film, television and in comics. So to balance out the negative article, here is a list (not completely comprehensive, because that would take probably 8 years to read) of strong female characters, through and through.

According to Ms. Robinson, to be a “legit” strong female character needs to do the following:

  1. After being introduced, do something that is “fundamentally significant to the outcome of the plot”. 
  2. If she is contributing to the plot, is it something other than getting hurt to motivated the hero? (I.e. what I always called the “damsel in distress” role).
  3. If the character could be replaced with a note on an inanimate object, then she is not useful to the plot.
  4. She cannot be the strongest/fastest/meanest etc until the male protagonist shows up who is stronger/meaner etc
  5. If she never needed to be rescued before, does she get rescued in this story to make the male hero look good?  (For comic fans- think of the old Fantastic Four or X-men comic books where all of a sudden Sue Storm got a nose bleed in the beginning of a fight or Jean Grey wandered off to fix her make up). 

So with that five qualifiers in mind, I would like to present to you some of the most kick ass “Strong Female Characters” in TV, Film and Comics.

(Some with explanations, but a complete list will be added and continued to update as time goes on). 

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  • Glenn Close as Monica Rawling, Season 4 of The Shield

A former professor of mine, PG, can attest how much I love this character. I wrote a paper (it was suppose to be only 10 pages, I wrote close to 20) for my final grade for his class on Monica Rawling. 

Why is she so kick ass?  Well she is one of the first characters I ever saw that DID NOT fall into one of the major categories (whore/saint/damsel in distress). She was all of them. Coming from a cop family, I am VERY picky about my police shows but Ms. Close just made my jaw drop on the first line she has. Throughout the season she plays a tough as nails police captain (which right there, being a female captain is hard enough), dealt with unpopular politics of a controversial asset forfeiture program she spearheaded and even went out with the Strike Team to kick ass and take names. She didn’t see herself above anyone else, and even though she was a captain, didn’t have an office. She planted herself right in the thick of everything (defiantly-lead from the front, not behind a desk).

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  • Black Widow (both in comics and portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2, The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Solider

Ill be the first to admit that I have a girl crush on Black Widow. She has always been one of my favorite characters ever since I started reading the Daredevilcomic book. She is THE spy. She is NEVER the victim. I mean really, to be part of the KGB red room training is not something anyone could go through. Did Natasha ever go “woe is me, I was made into a KGB spy against my will?” No. She rolled with it and then turn coat and started working with America. So now, you have a KGB agent, who’s now an American agent? Hell’s yes. And if anyone questions her, she pretty much kills them. 

Now, with the film adaptation, I was slightly disgusted because in Iron Man 2, she was handled more like a trophy wife until the last 5 minutes of the film. Now in Avengers, Wheadon actually gave the character some depth, and then in Winter Solider, she actually seemed more….human… then in Iron Man 2.

@EllieSully pointed out that alot of the aforementioned article that makes me upset does force feed some ideas down kids throats (in regards to The Lego Movie) and that there wasn’t really much out there for kids.

I beg to differ.

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-Merida in Brave

I mean come on. She stands up to EVERYONE going “yeah, no I am not following tradition to be married off so we can get some land”, she is an early tomboy, “yes, I much rather play in the woods and shoot things with my bow and arrow”.  She realizes her mistake and does everything in her power to fix it, unlike the delayed realization with her mother.

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-Torunn in Next Avengers

I love… LOVE… Torunn. This Marvel animated movie (set in an alternate universe), is a story about the sons (and daughter) of the Avengers. The parents were killed by Ultron and they are being raised by none other than Mr. Bachelor himself, Tony Stark. 

Torunn is the daughter of Thor and is upset because she thinks her dad either left her and/or is dead. Understandable why she is upset.  She is very much into her heritage. So much so she goes to the opposite extreme to be Asgardian as possible- even trying to put words like “Verily” into her every day speech. She goes through the true hero’s path (stubbornness, fighting, loosing something she thinks is important, realizing that it isn’t important, saving the day— wow, sound like her father much??) Her journey is practically a mirror image to the Thor film. At the end of the day- even though she could return to Asgard and be with her family, she decides to stay on Earth and take care of her little “brothers”. 

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Agents Simmons and  May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

There are various reasons why these two should go on the list. Simmons is smart as a whip, May is a tactical genius. Simmons creates all types of gadgets etc and geeks out reading scientific studies. May, well she is nicknamed (much to her dismay) “The Calvary” for a reason. These two, both being on the same show, display vastly different aspects  of a “strong female character”- both brains and brawn. Do they need to be rescued sometimes? Yeah that happens to even some of the male heroes on the show, so you cannot count it against them.

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Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller in Sons of Anarchy

There is a specific reason that I used the image above with that quote. I will agree with some people that the way Gemma handles things is not exactly ethical, but its coming from a good place. If they need to put a picture with the phrase “Mama Bear” then it has to be of Gemma/Katey. For those who haven’t seen the show, Gemma has been a victim of rape and also of domestic abuse. I am only using the word “victim” here to classify the plot. She was NOT a victim by any stretch of the imagination. She picked herself up, brushed herself off and in the moved on (to do some devious planning to retaliate against the people that hurt her, but you get the idea). 

Other Strong Female Characters: (listed)

  • Agent Carter (Captain America: The First Avenger and the upcoming Agent Carter miniseries on ABC)
  • Agent Scully (X-Files TV show and movies)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both television and comic books)
  • Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager
  • Hermonie Granger in the Harry Potter Series (Both books and films)
  • Pepper Potts in the Iron Man films
  • Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (both books and movies) 
  • Wonder Woman (Comics and the ever loved Lynda Carter TV Series)
  • Xena the Warrior Princess (TV)

Please feel free to comment and throw your two sense in here folks. The bigger this list gets the better! Support your reasoning and I will update this post (asap) with your reason on the list! 

MickeyThe answer: Copyright problems.

I would like to preface this post to make it explicitly clear that I am NOT a lawyer. However, I do have an extreme interest in copyright law. Why? Well I come from a law enforcement family. I was actually considering going into law for a long time until my mom convinced me I would be happier in the film world. The great thing about producing is that you need to know a lot of legal things, at least a basic understanding of copyright, trademark and contract law.

While at Columbia College Chicago, I really studied copyright law because it just interested me that much. Since graduating out, I have (and Scourge can attest to this) read legal briefs for fun, especially if its about copyright law. This is why the post today is about copyright. Deadline broke the news today that the Jack Kirby estate is taking their issues on copyright law all the way to the Supreme Court. The Kirby estate is going up against the biggest baddest lawyers– Disney. These were the same lawyers that actually got a new clause written into the copyright law back in 1998. That clause changed rules on public domain so much that its unofficially called the “mickey mouse” clause.

Click on the links for the nitty gritty details on the Captain America/Kirby Case and the Superman/Schuster Case. I don’t want to get into the specifics of these cases, but I will say, unlike some

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Jack “The King” Kirby

companies, at least Marvel has tried to reach a middle ground with the Kirby family. That and I am surprised that both cases are being repped by the same lawyer- Marc Toberoff. Man, I am glad I am not him.

I cannot stress this enough. In this day and age, where if you make ANYTHING (a film, comic book, photography) you should copyright it. Why? Well theres alot of great reasons but heres the big ones:

  • If something happens to you, you can transfer the rights to someone else (i.e. your kids).
  • If someone,god forbid, tries to steal your work, registering it with the copyright office solidifies when the work was created. Plus, with registering, you can sue for punitive damages (which you cannot if you do not register).
  • If you want to sell the rights to your work (especially if you want to option for say, a film or tv show) any producer worth their salt will not touch your property or even think about optioning unless you have the copyright notice on you.

I cannot tell you how much it gets under my skin when people do stupid things. Over the years, I came across postings on Craigslist of fans trying to make movies of {insert comic book here} and flat out admit in the posting they don’t have the rights. Guess who sent emails to the publishers to let them know? Yes, me.

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Superman By Alex Ross

I know you may think that is very mean/dirty/underhanded. It’s not. People who do this cause problems for everyone else. First and foremost, its not fair to the original creator that someone is taking their property and doing something with it without the original creators permission/input. Secondly, lets say that this fan film got made. Then lets say, Lionsgate did the proper paperwork etc and wants to make the same movie? Now there is confusion in the market.

It’s like shopping for a high end purse- unless you know what you are looking for- you can’t tell the knockoff from the legit. When I was in school, Ellie Sully (read her web comic here or her blog here) worked on every single production that I did either as a production designer/actor or both. There was one shoot in which I couldn’t be on set for a chunk of the day. The director called me pissed as hell because Ellie Sully was holding up the production.

Why? She went through the entire department with a fine tooth comb looking for anything that was showing logos. I mean, EVERYTHING. She flipped dvd’s on the shelf around so you couldn’t see the labels, taped over logos on the stove and fridge, pulled down posters etc. Ellie told the director that if I walked on to the set and saw all the trademarks I would have a melt down.

Well she was right. I told the director to deal with it. Then I called Ellie Sully and told her to hurry up. I saw rough edits later on in class along with other people. Guess who was the only director that wasn’t going to have to go back and “clean up” ? Yea. You guessed right. The director, right then and there, dubbed me the “copyright nazi”.

There is also this huge misconception that if you give credit, then you don’t have to get the rights. For example, you made a movie for a class project and added, say Bon Jovi music to the soundtrack then uploaded said movie for class onto youtube. Even if you give credit to Bon Jovi, they can still sue you.  Why? You didn’t get permission before hand.  I know someone will be like “But I made it for class! It falls under educational use!” Actually no it doesn’t. Education use is only for teachers folks! Not students!

If you ever have a question about using someone else’s work or if you should copyright something go to the US Copyright Office website. They have a great little FAQ section and you can also

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Captain America by Alex Ross

register your work online here!

Also do a bit of research- if you need some legal advice there are numerous charities that could help depending on what you are doing. Here in Chicago we have a great organization called Lawyers for the Creative Arts. If you need help and you are working on a comic book or realize that someone stole your art etc talk to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.  Do a google search for more charties that are local to you. In a lot of cases, they will not charge you or they will charge you VERY little.  I have worked with Lawyers for the Creative Arts personally, and they are awesome. I am also a member of CBLDF. If you ever have an extra few dollars- help them out!

 

 

 

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.

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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!  

Look at it this way, the good old USA is a child compared to most other countries. The English have Shakespeare and countless other brilliant writers. Europe has the likes of Norse Mythology, the Grimm Fairy Tales. Greece and Italy have their pantheon of gods and goddesses in their mythologies.
What does the USA have? Yes, you can argue, we have stories like Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed and the like. However, that only reflects part of our history- the frontier days. What about after that? Can you think of anything? Not really.

So take a look at the comic books.  Superman is the protector of the world… but landed in the middle of a Kansas farm field. Captain America, skinny kid from Captain America, Vol. 1 Ish 1Brooklyn who grows up to fight the Third Reich.  Batman or Iron Man- the billionaires with the brain power to come up with gadgets not only for themselves but to share with the rest of the world (ahem, does that remind you of anyone recently? *cough* Gates *cough* Jobs)

I have sat in classes with professors who can correlate how comic book creators are a bit futurists. Captain America punching out Hitler on the cover of Captain America #1 nearly a year before we enter World War 2.

And not to make anyone upset- I am going to talk about 9/11 here for a moment.  If you are not a comic book fan, I need to explain the following picture below.  The Big 2 (Marvel and DC) plan story lines out months, if not years in advance. This gives plenty of lead time for the art team to work on the book. Books are usually (USUALLY) locked into printing at least a month before shipping. New Comic books come out on Wednesdays, so most local comic book stores have their shipments sitting somewhere in their store on Tuesdays.

Now in the original version of this post- a friend pointed out that in this day and age of technology he couldn’t believe that comics couldn’t be printed to coincide with major events.  I see his point, especially in this new age of digital comics. However, this first example- with Captain America- was back in the 1940’s.  There was really no way that Lee and Kirby could have truly known that we were going to enter into World War 2 nearly a year later after this issue was printed.

Even back in 2001, digital comics were still a thought but not fully implemented. Comic books get released weekly on Wednesdays. 9/11 happened on a Tuesday. So, with this particular copy of Adventures of Superman #596, the issues were either already in sitting in the back rooms of stores and/or on trucks out for delivery to comic book shops when the Trade Towers were hit. Did the writer/artist team know? If they did, I bet good ol’ Uncle Sam would like to speak with them.  Readers of this book were surprised to see the next few days when they got their copies the the image below- which in the story, is LexCorp towers in Metropolis.  Note the bottom panel of Page 1 of the book.

Adventures of Superman #596 (9/12/2001) Page 1

Adventures of Superman #596 (9/12/2001) Page 1

Adventures of Superman #596 Page 2 (9/12/2001)

Adventures of Superman #596 Page 2 (9/12/2001)

Comics not only weirdly predict things, but they also reflect the attitude of the people of this country. Here’s another 9/11 example from the infamous “Black Cover” Amazing Spider-man #36 written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by John Romita Jr. (with Scott Hanna on inks) was a tribute to New York City in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Since the Marvel universe takes place in the real world (i.e. New York, not Metropolis) EIC Joe Quesada at the time, felt that the terrorist attacks should be addressed by the characters that live in the city. Who else better than every man, Spider-man?

Amazing Spider-man #36

Amazing Spider-man #36

Comics not only  predict/reflect major moments in history such as 9/11 or World War Two. Sometimes, they reflect societies attitudes about the world.

A few years back Marvel did a story line throughout all their books called “Civil War“. In the story, there is an incident where a school full of kids gets blown up- and its pretty much the straw that broke the camel’s back with society. This causes the President to create a “Superhuman Registration Act” in which anyone with “powers” would have to register for the government.  The Marvel Universe is divided down the middle. One side (Captain America’s ideals) says no because then the government tells them who the bad guys are, they want to keep their identities secret and not let the supervillains have a way to get to a database and find out who they are. The other side (Iron Man)  thinks that it’s a good idea, that it would bring a quality control- for the lack of a better word- and also accountability to the superhero set.

It’s a brilliant mini-series written by Mark Millar (you know him from the Wanted and Kick-Ass movies) and drawn by Steve McNiven. However the issue that pulled my heart strings the most, was actually an issue of the first volume of “New Avengers” written by Brian Michael Bendis.

New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis

New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis

New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis

Luke later on in this issue, convinces Jessica Jones to take their daughter out of the country. Luke Cage  saying goodbye is the most heartbreaking thing on the face of the planet.

Now this series came out in 2006-2007. We as a country were already halfway through a decade plus long war (Iraq, Afghanistan) we were tired of it. Tired of the politicians. This was also the beginning of the  2008 political campaign.  If you take a look at people’s sentiments at this time, especially around the time this series came out.. you can feel the build up of resentment, anger and frustration pour not only out of us, but out of this book.

A hundred years or so from now, people will be looking at this books and making correlations to what was going on at the time. Just like a lot of us did with Shakespeare or books like “A Tale of Two Cities” or “Homer” while we were in school. Actually, I have sat through classes that dissect comics like this already.

So go and pick up a comic book. There are plenty out there that are non-superhero, superhero, horror or just plain goofy. Not only will it give you the mental/emotional distraction that you need, but you will be contributing to our cultural zeitgeist for your grandkids, great-grand children to stare and dissect.  Support these writers and artists who are telling stories about our society in a unique and interesting way that, until the birth of comic strips here in the good ol’ USA, was never even thought of. Things like this will survive for decades to come to explain how our society is NOW.

That’s why Comic Books Rock- they are an ongoing, evolving, time capsule.

So in the last little bit I wrote about this (read it here ) I was talking about Marvel Studios and their batch of films (better known as the MCU).

Since the last posting, and I apologize for the delay (family matters arose), D23 came and went with no real major announcements.  However, over at the Distinguished Competition (DC/ Warner) a huge announcement almost broke the internet in half.

Batfleck.

Ok. Here’s the thing, Warner did this. It’s a done deal. The likelihood of WB recasting after this… slim to none. Stop wasting time on petitions. Really folks.

I promise this post does circle back to producing, but take a look at some of the commentary over at Comicbookmovie.com about about this news.

Some of my *favorite* comments:

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This is why I have a hard time reading comments on stories such as this. Fans don’t know what they are talking about.

Let me explain the chain of command on a production (in regards to Casting). A Director tells the Casting Director (CD) what they are looking for based on the Director’s interpretation of the script. The CD presents a number of possibilities. The Director auditions/screen tests the actors and makes a decision and hires them. In a big Hollywood production such as this, the Producer needs to sign off on it and deal with negotiations with either the actor and/or agent.

So, at this moment Julie, its not WB’s fault. Blame the producer if you want to blame anyone.

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There are a number of comments similar to this one, comparing Daredevil to Batman. (Which, from a Geek’s perspective, is easily done).

Sigh, they say you “are only as good as your last picture”. Folks, that’s Argo, not Daredevil, but I will go with the comparison for the moment.

I’ve stated before, I am a huge fan of the Daredevil comic book. (my twitter handle is @murdocksgirl). I have watched the film multiple times for multiple different reasons, both the theatrical cut and directors cut. I could got through and list multiple problems with the film (but that’s another post for another day), I can tell you Affleck wasn’t the problem with that film.

But what does this have to do with Producing? Planning. It really does, and I have to give credit to Warner Brothers for locking down a multi-picture deal with Affleck long before he won the Oscar for Argo.  So now you are a director at Warner Brothers and you want a hot star for a lead iconic role? If I was the Director, I would have been calling the top brass at Warner seconds after Afflecks NOMINATION for Argo going “Give me Affleck”

And I am betting that is what happened.

But this makes sense. WB has announced for awhile now they want to set up their team equivalent to the Avengers, Justice League as a picture. Now I personally think they are going about it the wrong way with this detour to Batman V. Superman, but thats just my two cents. Will Affleck be in the Justice League Movie also? I sure hope so, and based on this casting decision from WB, it feels as though they are making Affleck the RDJ equivalent to the film (the “godfather” for the actors).

It’s actually quite smart and also quite dangerous. From my producing chair, it’s nice to have an actor that can also speak director- they can act as a go-between translator for the rest of the cast.

Then again, they can also try to overrun the film (I am having flashbacks to stories surfacing about Edward Norton being a diva on the Incredible Hulk set)

In my previous post I mentioned that producer’s play therapists, babysitters and Captain’s of starships. What I forgot to mention is that they are a bit futurists. You have to think 12 steps ahead of the game and try to mitigate all possible problems that arise.

Don’t believe me?

Scourge can vouch this statement as he is the one I usually play “If I ruled the world” game with.

I predicted Affleck as Batman 3 years ago. Bale was already on the way out of the franchise and wanted to do other things. My reasoning behind that prediction was a) Daredevil and Batman are similar characters, b) Affleck would jump on it to get rid of the Gigli and Daredevil remarks that are still floating around and c) his “star power” was on the rise.

Another Example. Back in late 2007, I was able to go into a very kick ass site used by professionals thank you to a very awesome professor at the time who had access. I knew about Ant-Man being on the production slate at Marvel back then, along with Captain America, Thor and the Avengers.

Good Producers plan far out ahead.

Great Producers plan out far ahead, and avoid problems at all costs.

The Best Producers do all that, and have 30 backup plans in place if something completely left field throws a wrench into the system.