Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun Fun Fun

Random fun right now:

* Mark Millar has volunteered to write the screenplay to Superman Returns for free. If you aren't cheering him on, because he gosh-darn loves Superman so effing much then you obviously have no soul.

Or, you realised that if he really wants to write the fucking thing, he can just, you know, um, do it. People volunteering to write stuff for free? You're losers. If you want to write it, write it. You give people the idea that writers don't deserve money for their hard work and you're idiots.

But, then again, I've never been impressed with people who do stuff like that. So what if you love the characters? If you love them that much, you wouldn't need the validation of Warner Bros. or Marvel or anyone, you'd just do it and not make a public spectacle of yourself. While I'm not the biggest proponent of fan fiction, at least those people just do it and shut the fuck up about it. There's where the love is. You want to write your Superman movie, just fucking do it. Hell, since you're already a professional writer, just call it a spec script--except that does imply getting paid later.

Of course, this argument seemingly ignores certain self-published works (or stuff done through Image or Dark Horse or Icon) where I know of writers who basically do the work for free, funneling all of the money for art and printing costs. But, again, most of them don't make a show of it. I'm not saying don't do stuff for free, just don't be a self-important asshat about it. Especially in a situation where there's no need for it. Why, oh why, would there ever be a need to write a big budget Hollywood movie for free? That's retarded. The only reason to make such an offer is a possibly recognitition of a lack of talent--off-setting your inability to write at the same level of people who do get paid by offering to forego any fee.

Wait, that makes sense. Smart thinking, Mark.

* I've been fighting the urge for over a month, but, last month, I received the October issue of Harper's and in its Readings section, is a list compiled by Perry Moore of homosexual superhero/villain comic characters and the horrible things that have happened to them. For example:

Apollo: gang-raped
Fauna: dead
Shout Out: thumbs ripped off

My favourite, though, is for Northstar: "killed in three different realities, recurrected as a zombie assassin." (Let's be honest, that sounds a LOT cooler than what actually happened.)

I've been resisting the urge to make a similar list, except using JUST Spider-Man and watch as listing the horrible fucking shit that's happened to him is longer than Moore's entire list.

Now, I understand the point of this list, but it ignores a big problem: horrible shit happens to people in superhero comics--especially in the last twenty years, which is the period in which the number of gay characters has risen. I'm not going to defend the way every gay character has been written as some choices have been pretty stupid, but... what are writers supposed to do with gay characters?

At this point it's always best to recognise that yes, I am a white, heterosexual male and, obviously, cannot fully appreciate what the world is like for someone who isn't. But, honestly, it seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. You aren't supposed to focus on things like a person's race or sexual orientation or gender, but you also aren't allowed to NOT focus on those things. I imagine complaints would eventually pour in if gay characters were handled with kid glovers always as well, because that's not equal treatment within the context of these stories.

It's been on my mind as I find it a fine line to walk--and something people seem very quick to jump on and make noise about. In a vast oversimplification of the issue, I've argued to friends that there are three types of people when it comes to issues of sexual preference/race/gender/etc.:

1) Those who are prejudiced.

2) Those who fight against prejudice actively.

3) Those who do their best to treat everyone equally and fight prejudice in that way.

It's been my experience that type #3 is often mistaken for type #1 by type #2 and I understand how that can happen, but it's frustrating.

* I hate eBay, except not really. I've spent the last week buying up Jim Starlin's cosmic stuff for Marvel. So far, it hasn't been too expensive, but that's only because I refuse to pay a lot for some things. But, there are people out there who actually charge over $100 for a copy of the Infinity Abyss trade. What the fuck? Do they actually expect ANYONE to pay that? And if someone IS paying that much, that person is a moron. I think I picked up the six-issue mini for $20-something including shipping. It's just so depressing to see people charging such insane prices for books--and that there are obviously some who will pay it.

* Tomorrow: a look at Morrison's run on Batman so far.