tartysuz: (Default)
Yesterday, [profile] kadymae and I co-moderated a panel about live action adaptations of comic books on TV, which is a huge trend that shows no sign of slowing.

All four major English-language networks are airing or have commissioned comic book shows. Cable, Netflix and even the Playstation Network are developing comic book shows.

We looked at a list of current and upcoming live-action shows based on comics:

and a liist of all TV shows based based on comic books:

We found many differences between earlier TV shows, which are more serialized and produced by people who are producing comics today, have previously worked in the comics industry, or are longtime fans of comics and familiar with the canon.

Some points that were raised:

  • As the Comics Code Authority loses its cachet, changes in what comics can show reflected in what TV can show.
  • The Feels: you used to watch TV for episodic plot, and movies for emotional resonance, but now TV shows convey that sense of intimacy
  • The technology has improved for special effects and costumes.
  • New shows produced from a place of love and respect for the material, not from a place that is just using the brand.
  • Shows are remixing the source material and they are conscious that audiences are aware of the remixing.
  • This remixing adds a Shakespearan dimensionality to the shows: we're watching how these characters are being interpreted by this particular production.
  • There are now shared universes on TV and also with movies, whereas older shows were stand-alone.
  • There is a seriousness to the characters, as we take comics seriously -- in contrast to campier interpretations in the past.
  • Television producers are now expanding out to feature lesser known characters, like Arrow and Agent Carter.
  • Agent Carter was great at showing attitudes to women in the 1940s, but it missed out on commenting on the whiteness of the office.
  • Comics and shows based on them can help us look at things that make us uncomfortable, such as sexism and the long-term effects of PTSD.
  • You get families on TV, much more than in the comics.
  • You now see consequences of actions, even several seasons from the initial incident.
  • There are a lot of ensemble shows.
  • Some stories deal with how we relate to veterans: we say they're heroes, but we ignore them.
  • Heroes can be something other than purely good. Sometimes they're rat bastards, creating complexity in the characterization.
  • There is more diversity now.
  • Diggle is good with being Diggle, wasn't impressed with being Arrow
    Defenders will be diverse and slashy

Hopes for the future
  • Hoping they don't all copy each other.
  • Hoping they continue to reflect the diversity source material.
  • Hoping the Netflix series are more arc-oriented.
  • Hoping the shows on cable, Netflix and smaller networks can survive because they don't need huge Nielsen numbers.


    [profile] kadymae wore a t-shirt that says "I read banned comics," which is from the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. For information about the CBLDF banned comics, visit:
  • tartysuz: (Supernatural)
    At Escapade this morning, [personal profile] devilc and I combined the panels we proposed for Supernatural into one. One half the panel was about the show; the other was about J2 fic. Here are my notes:

    Season 10
    • The boys are back to dealing with their own shit, and they are dealing with it together.
    • Back to saving people, hunting things.
    • Not at odds with external forces.
    • The conflict are not manufactured (as in Season 8 and 9). They work through things.
    • Like the idea of the angels, but the theological plot overtook the show and does not seem to be planned out.
    • The writers have simplified the overall plot and can handle the smaller scale stories this year.
    • The emotional trust between the boys is back, but they still have disagreements over the methods and means.
    • The show is getting back to other supernatural beings, which is interesting for people who are interested in mythology and folklore in general.
    • A good angel story was Hannah's, though it wasn't perfect.
    • There should have been more episodes with Demon Dean.

    The 200th Episode: Olive Branch or Pacifier?
    • It was a love letter to fandom, with reservations.
    • Line drawn, as if the show was saying, you do your thing, this is our thing.
    • It was not like the previous fandom-focused episodes that alienated fans.
    • Message: there is power in fanfiction.
    • Message: it is what you make it.
    • The show is still willing to push the envelope.
    • The casting was perfect, especially the stage manager.
    • Appreciated that the musical an all-female cast.
    • Great songs.

    • One participant says she reads Wincest for unhappy endings, J2 for happy endings.
    • Why is there a renaissance? #boathouse
    • Like fics that are about a life they might have had or might dream for themselves.
    • Like fics where the J2 characters are similar to their real life personalities.
    • Has there been a change in how J2 are characterized? From being like Sam and Dean to being like their public personas?
    • Character bleed stories were popular in the early years.
    • Wife bashers seem to be out of the fandom by now: they've moved on.
    • Fic draws a distinction between having fun with J2 as characters and objectifying the actual actors.
    • Early on, the most popular fics were Gen and Wincest. Now, on A03, it's J2, Destiel and Wincest, in that order.
    • It seems like the first five years of vids are all gone from the Internet.
    • One participant contributed to [personal profile] poisontaster's A Kept Boy universe.

    General Stuff
    • A good spin-off would be hunter school, perhaps with Jody and Charlie as instructors.
    • Men of Letters needs more exploration, including Judah Initiative and famous historical figures who might have been hunters.
    • The bunker allows them to have access to resources previously provided by Bobby. The show had relied too much on Bobby to solve things.
    • They need to go back to Vegas, where they are supposedly visit every year. They should go to the Neon Boneyard to find a case.

    There was a call for J2 recommendations. If you have some links, please add them to the comments!
    tartysuz: (Default)
    Co-moderator devilc and I are expanding the topic of our panel at Escapade.

    Have you ever been part of a fandom where the main character dies in canon? Or a star dies in real life? How about a bandom where the band splits up? Or a sports fandom where your ship is torn apart by a trade?

    Join us on Saturday at 2pm in California C to talk about how fic readers and writers handle real life events and canon decisions about how to deal with them.
    tartysuz: (Comics)
    How did I not know that Patricia Highsmith (best known for writing The Talented Mr. Ripley) wrote comics? I guess because she kept it more of a secret than her sexuality, which was illegal and socially unacceptable when she was younger.

    I'm reading a book called Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. In a passage about the early days of the company (then called Timely), author Sean Howe writes that during and immediately after World War II, comics had become an attractive market for writers. "for Jap-Buster Johnson alone, future novelists Mickey Spillane and Patricia Highsmith were submitting scripts." (The Marvel Wikia entry for Jap-Buster Johnson makes sounds racist and fascinating at the same time.)

    Curious, I found that cartoonist Ariel Schrag recently wrote about a massive biography about Highsmith, Alter Ego, by Joan Schenkar. Schrag sees a strong tie between Highsmith's sexuality, her comics and her novels. In After Ellen, Schrag writes:

    In the four parts titled “Alter Ego,” Schenkar details how writing for comics influenced Highsmith’s “serious” (prose) writing, not only in Highsmith’s common themes of double lives and secret identities – but also her pulpy, action-heavy style itself. Highsmith’s stories – which often center on an obsessive relationship between two men – were likewise fueled by her homosexuality. Her murderous protagonists, most suffering from some form of repression, expose our darker impulses.

    Schrag goes on to speculate whether today's acceptance of homosexuality (at least in the businesses and circles associated with Highsmith) would have changed how and what Highsmith wrote.

    Having spent most of my morning reflecting on Escapade, I wonder how much current genre shows owe their slashability to attitudes baked into their pulp origins.
    tartysuz: (Default)


    I can't believe it's been a week since Escapade ended! This time last week, I was at breakfast, sitting next to a wise individual whose plate bore a scoop of scrambled eggs and a mountain of bacon. "Clearly, I'm here for the bacon," she said. As a bacon connoisseur, I do have to say the bacon at the hotel was unfailingly fantastic. One day, when I'm less of a newb, I'll have the confidence to skip all the other respectable items (like fruit and stuff) and just load up with what I *really* went to breakfast for!

    I also can't believe I forgot to include the Supernatural panel that I co-led in my con report, which I'm now ret-conning as 23.01. This was the 23rd "season" of Escapade, and this is episode 2 of my report :)

    Spoilers for SPN up to 8.13 )

    tartysuz: (Default)
    Yesterday, I returned from my second Escapade, a con that celebrated its 23rd anniversary this year. That is some impressive longevity for a 100% fan-run con with a very specialized focus.

    On to the escapades! )

    tartysuz: (teen wolf)
    "It could be raining soup and he would be holding a fork." -- [profile] kadymae

    tartysuz: (Default)
    Hola! If you're at [community profile] escapade_con today, please join [profile] kadymae and and me for a discussion about the Winchester brothers and friends at the Supernatural Café at 6 pm in the Santa Cruz room.

    What do you think of the new characters and storylines? Which new ships have sailed for you? Which old pairings endure? Share your obsessions and recs!

    There is one tiny bit of homework. Please bring one of the glass tumblers from your hotel room or any other divine drinking vessel.
    tartysuz: (Default)
    Woot! I'm co-leading a panel about Supernatural at [community profile] escapade_con! Here are the details:

    • Time: Saturday 6 PM
    • Topic: Supernatural Café
    • Description: New mythology, new characters, new ships! Share your Supernatural obsessions and recommendations.
    • Leaders: tartysuz, kadymae-devilc

      If you're going to the con, please drop in!


    tartysuz: (Default)

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