There’s been a bug going around the household, and it looks like Lucky’s the last one to catch it. I caught it sometime last week too, and it was a pretty bad cold. Lucky’s definitely not enjoying it, either.
So, to those who keep up with our blog, please wish him well as he continues to recover! (It’s a cold, though. He’ll recover.)
As I’ve stated before, I grew up reading comic books, both of the “mainstream” and “alternative” variety. The heroes I grew up with include a roster of famous Marvel superheroes like Spiderman, Wolverine and Thor. Those who read Marvel comics are starting to notice a new trend emerging. Marvel is now focusing on female protagonists to try and draw in female readers.
We here at Fancy Tuna Comics are delighted to see this. We endorse equal rights and privileges on all fronts, be it based on age, gender, race or religion. I like to consider myself an “equalist”, avoiding any specific nomenclature and their connotations. The only doubt I have about Marvel’s new movement is if they are doing things right. You see, the big comic book guys (Marvel and DC) run things differently than independent studios do. For example, here at FTC we have two writers and a single artist. Marvel employs dozens of in house artists, writers and editors, then go as far as to hire freelance contracts to add new story arcs or revamp a series. So where we try to keep up with two or three titles with everything we’ve got, Marvel will pick and choose from their staff and assign their talent depending on what title needs the most work.
This is where things get a little murky. Marvel is putting focus on female leads, so they’ll use their most talented to work on titles like Spider Woman, the new Ms. Marvel and the recently gender polarized Thor. As good as that idea sounds in the, now defunct Marvel Bullpen, the transition of focus seems to have missed the mark. For example, Marvel hired Milo Manara to make the alternative cover of Spider Woman #1. He chose to illustrate her in the classic (and anatomically incorrect) Spiderman wall crouch pose, where Spiderman is crouching on hands and knees against a wall or ledge. Unfortunately, due to fundamental physical differences between men and women that will never go away and how Spider Woman’s physique is portrayed, it made the pose look bizarre (as always) and overtly sexual. This put Marvel right in the center of controversy. They have since apologized for the cover.
Now, I usually have an opinion and ram it down your throats, but today, I don’t. On one hand I love the fact that the big companies are embracing a group usually ignored by the industry and written about by the indy comics (Like us), but I’m also a bit wary about where this is coming from and how it’s being handled. What do you think? Is Marvel doing a good job changing itself and moving forward, are their hearts in the right place with a lot left to be desired in execution or is this a cynically half baked idea to bring in more readers during lean times that’s being handled in a ham fisted manner?
In either case, let’s hope women are depicted in a much more respectful manner than they have been in the past by the comic industry and we see less air headed sexually starved minor characters that are just in the frames for the big muscly man to sweep up in his arms. (insert terrible Super Girl movie references here).
Okay, let’s put it out there. I love Apple products. I work on a mac, I take calls and post updates from my iPhone, I check script revisions on my iPad, I look at springboards on a large screen using an Apple TV and Perfume and Primer Caps is produced on an exclusively Macintosh network. Why do I love Apple products so much? Well, I’m at a point in my life where simplicity outweighs features and price. I prefer to turn on a product out of the box and be using it to fulfill my immediate needs over digging through menus or playing around with plugins to get the customized experience many people look for and I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars for that convenience. This may be the reason why I prefer console gaming over PC gaming, or why I use simple text editors and Apple word processors over signing up for a subscription for MS Word for my manuscripts. Not to mention that I enjoy the esthetic of Apple products. Everything from the Mac Pro cylinder to the iPhone aluminum casing, Apple has a way of making their products the prettiest consumer electronics on the market. For example, Apple just announced two new products. The iPhone 6 (alongside iPhone 6 plus) and the new Apple Watch. These are some of the most gorgeous gadgets I’ve ever seen. Polished steel, glass and gold all make up shiny expensive looking (and plain expensive) devices.
There are many out there who would call me a fanboy. I’ve always seen that as bizarre nomenclature. Fanaticism towards a corporation doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, I’d call myself a Scorsese fanboy, a director who has directed a more good films than bad, unlike many of his contemporaries (Eat your heart out, Spielberg). I’d even call myself a Spiderman fanboy (I don’t care what anybody says, Spiderman would kick Batman’s ass in a proper fight). Do I buy Apple products; Yes, I buy a lot of them. Would I buy Apple products under any circumstance; No, I’m not buying products that wouldn’t fit in my life any way, shape or form, like the Apple Watch. What I have is brand loyalty. It’s the same reason why your best friend won’t buy any television but a Sony, or why your dad insisted on buying Ford cars his entire life. I bought an Apple product for a particular reason, it fulfilled my needs and now when I buy products, I tend to buy products from the same company. I find those calling me a fanboy are people who show signs of fanaticism themselves, over competing products.
Besides, being a fanboy for a company that makes disposable “things” doesn’t make any sense. It makes more sense to show that flag waving for cultural icons and pieces of art that will last a decades or centuries within its first and final iteration. So, save the fanaticism for the culturally relevant. Like Perfume and Primer Caps, which currently has two volumes available in The Fancy Tuna Comics Store right now. You can click on the link using any type of browsing device you might own, be it Apple, Google, Blackberry or Microsoft.
On August 31 2014 the Comic Industry lost a master of the art. Stan Goldberg, the artist that brought us the Antics of Archie and a bunch of fun loving Teenagers from Riverdale and who has lent his brush to such characters as Spiderman, The Fantastic Four and The Punisher, has died.
Born in 1932, Goldberg stood shoulder to shoulder with Industry giants such as Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Archie comics became an institution and paradigm in sequential art. I grew up with Archie and his friends, I aged and became wiser as the kids from Riverdale High stayed eternally youthful and optimistic, but that doesn’t change how Archie comics taught me important life lessons and how to laugh.
One of my fondest memories of Archie and the gang was a hot Summer in 1993. I bought an entire box of old Archie comics digests at a garage sale and sat in front of my parents’ living room air conditioner as I read every little book front to back. Oddball characters like Dilton, Mr. Weatherbee, Moose and Ethel falsely informed me of what to expect from high school only a year away. Betty and Veronica filled me with delusions of pre-pubescent desire and Archie showed me what it meant to be a best friend as he forgave Jughead’s lethargy and all around idiocy. Even near the end of its circulation, Archie comics affected its readers with life lessons and the craving for the ideal, as we saw when Archie died saving his friend Kevin in issue 36 of Life With Archie.
I guess it is only fitting to see the death of a great comic creator within the same year of the death of his creation, but poetry seldom ever eases grief. Fancy Tuna Comics lends our hearts to Stan’s family and those who were close to him. And without any ambiguity, Stan… We’ve always loved you.
(sorry about the late post. I tried to use the auto publish feature, but I kind of screwed that up)
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Peter and I love gaming. Video games have been a integral part of our youth and adult life. We love the projection of response when we press a button and make something on the screen do something, we love the art that is put into the big stew of media we call a video game, we love how a story unfolds based on our transient decisions to jump here or slash there. We just love video games and discovering new titles and discussing how to solve this puzzle or that. Which brings up the issue at hand. Summer drought season.
Every year between the end of June to the Beginning of September, we see a serious lack of triple A titles to play. Sure, there are ways around this, such as the onslaught of small budget or indie titles that’s released almost weekly at this point, or playing old triple A titles we never had the chance to play earlier in the year and there’s always re-visiting old classics to master speed runs or watch alternate endings etc.
There are issues I have with all of those solutions, the small budget or indie titles tend to be short, frustratingly short, with completion times ranging from 1 – 3 hours of gameplay. I mean, I love the indie games, but I finished Hotline Miami in less than 2 hours. Besides, as much of a fan I am of creativity over production, sometimes you just feel like watching pretty graphics and grandeur stories.
Playing older games is fun, but I passed up some of those titles for a reason, and this a gap year for gaming. A year right after the newest generation of consoles has been released. Which means that all the games from last year are on last generation consoles. Nothing against last generation consoles, I’d be remiss to say they don’t matter anymore, but I just bought a PS4 and playing games on my Ps3, Xbox 360 or Wii is like buying a brand new Cadillac and parking it while I drove your old Chevy Malibu for a year.
Finally, the solution of playing classics ranging seven console generations; As much fun as I had with a lot of games from the NES to the PS2 era, I’ve learned that games don’t age very well. There are a few select franchises that stand the test of time, Like most of the Legend of Zelda series, The Super Mario Bros. series up to and not including Mario 64 and the Final Fantasy Series up to Final Fantasy 9, but for the most part, the games of childhood all have this primordial goo of old technology on them that has taken away the sheen of novelty we painted them in when we were kids. Colors look drab, pixels are more square, controls are loose and unresponsive and the stories, oh how corny they are. So I refuse to re-visit old games as to not taint my childhood with reality.
It may seem like a depressing outlook for gaming, but this blog entry is not meant to bury video games, it is meant to praise them. Rejoice, for we are coming to the drought’s end! Summer is giving way to Fall and Indie/budget/PC titles are giving way to the flashy console titles of the Holiday season. Even all you hipster gamers out there have to admit it’s a nice feeling when you steal a rare car in GTA, you all cried when Ellie admitted to Joel she needed him in The Last of Us and nothing beats the superiority you feel over your best friend as you flip over his Samus on the edge to kick him off the screen using your Game and Watch skills in Smash.
As much as we love comics and graphic novels, we love video games too. So have fun this season with great titles and we’ll see all of you in September!