Sunday, 25 August 2013

Batfleck Is The Least Of D.C's Problems.

The hunt for the new Batman to star in Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel 2 has been the subject of much interest amongst the fans. Wes Bentley, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling had been mentioned, we were told they were thinking of an older man, someone to fill the serious possible plot that would be based on The Dark Knight Returns. So perhaps many felt shock and confusion when Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman. It got ugly quick and the #BetterBatmanThanAffleck hashtag on twitter trended for longer it ever should, but hey, let's say just a paragraph here shall we? Okay.

Ben Affleck is an actor, he acts, he plays different roles and perhaps (though unlikely) he may 'Crush' the role (meant positively) as Joss Weddon thinks. I personally I can't see it but I have been wrong before, so now I'll do what no-one else is doing and I'll just wish him luck.

Good luck Ben.

Now if you thought this was the worst thing that could be happening to the comic book universe then I'm afraid you are seriously mistaken. Not only has there been a horrifying amount of comic writers stepping out to say they don't write for women but D.C are also happy to admit that the market for their product is a mid forties, white male.

Oh God.

Now there are articles out there about these scary mental trends as well as things I've read concerning 'real fans' and how the Cosplay girls aren't considered to be 'real fans' when compared to the lazy comic book guys that don't dress up. I thought about this and I have come to a question that can't be answered with any sensible answer...

Where is the Wonder Woman movie?

I keep seeing people being quoted as saying it's a 'hard project' and 'tough to sell'. Please explain how? How exactly is a kickass Iconic superheroine hard to sell exactly? It isn't! You take some of the plots, places and people that have created the legends, you adapt, you back it and you have a movie.

For me what shows the real level of incompetence in the D.C/Warner Brothers creative house is the constant inability to adapt the costume so that it can function. I'll post a picture of fabulously attractive young women that they have picked to do the job and then we can ask what's wrong with the pictures?

Let's play!

See the problem? She's very attractive, obviously fit and designed to appeal to the male viewer. That is obviously going to be one part of the deal, you do need to bring in an audience of course, but let's face it there is a fundamental problem with the costumes....How are these women meant to do their action pieces, their physical stunts, their chase scenes without it being all about the boob tape and the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction? Seems unlikely right?!

Does Wolverine fight in the smallest posing pouch possible? Did Superman walk out with his pants over his trousers? Does it strike you that the only reason this costume hasn't been adapted is because they think the audience wants to see Wonder Woman just because she's in something skimpy as hell?!

Right, so it's difficult to make the costume work for real life? You know? The studios have designers and make up people and all the materials to make it but basically it defies any sort of change without it not being practical or marketable?

Lets have a look at what some cosplay 'fake fans' came up with shall we?

Serious, warrior looking headgear? Check! Cool hair? Check! Sword? Easy to replace with fists if you want you superheroine to be a fist thrower only. This also has straps over the shoulders... because that's the only sensible way to travel.

Heavy straps,classic costume, great look!
The two costumes here both have exposed legs but supported tops for movement, look cool and are still easily recognisable as the iconic Wonder Woman.
This one is based on the reboot costume seen fairly recently. The armour looks great, the jacket looks great, the whole thing is cool. It's easily recognisable not just as a Wonder Woman costume but as a take on a specific costume that has appeared in the comics.

Looking at this makes it clear just how bizarrely out of touch the studios and creative teams are.

So, you may be about to tell me that it's typical that the talk about Wonder Woman lands on what she's wearing and not the character or plot, that this is the same bullshit that you see in all those articles that are about a woman in the papers that HAVE TO MENTION WHAT SHE'S WEARING!!!

Sorry, you are kind of right. But what I'm really trying to point out is that these ladies wearing the Cosplay know what they're doing, that they have a design idea, a grip of the character and a wish to see her brought to a convention so people can see that A/ They are cool. B/ Wonder Woman is cool. c/ They are probably more of a fan base worth chasing than some drooling dude in a Batman T-shirt and D/ That it is possible to make the look work!

Yes, I firmly believe the story is even easier to bring to screen. Great writers and directors are needed, please, let's finally get this done yeah?

(Ta to all the Cosplay women, of all shapes, colours and sizes, that are still showing the idiots in charge just how to get the job done)

Silent Sunday

Friday, 9 August 2013

Doctor... Oh.

So, Auntie Beeb made us a special program, a program to unveil the person that would step into the shoes of Matt Smith, none other than the current Doctor Who! They made an announcement that the show would be live! They built it into what we will classify here as 'A Thing'! They made the show over half an hour long!

This is gonna be good right? That's what I was thinking!

All day I joked that Idris Elba was coming out on stage. All day I built that joke up, at home, on twitter, in my head. It was going down a storm with me (pretty sure no-one else was listening) and I was joking... But I really wasn't.

No, I wasn't waiting for just one actor and none other would do. Nope. I was hoping for something that I thought was I finally going to see; an unconventional choice for the flagship science fiction role on British television! I wanted science fiction to do what it's always done in the past; push the envelope with casting selections.

The show started, the guests were... well, it was all a bit dull. People going, 'oh, isn't Who good!'

Well yes, we fans were all tuning in. We didn't need celebs to tell us it was cool... But thanks anyway.

Anyway, so Matt Smith told us he was really pleased and that's fair and cool. Then Moffat came on the video and told us it could be anyone, any colour, any sex, any age! He went on about the person to take the role and said he was really excited. That it was going to be cool!

It sounded like they were going to do something special...

Here comes the Elba!!!

Boom! The end of the show approaches! The lights go down! Zoe Ball issues on the new Doctor!! Here he comes!!!


Peter Capaldi.

Now don't get me wrong. Capaldi is an excellent choice and I'm sure he'll be great. But lets face it, this isn't some stunning casting choice. It's a slim white dude, like all the others.

Doctor Who is going to be marvellous with Capaldi as the main man. I wanted an older Doctor to follow and he's cool. But he has been in both Doctor Who as a Senator in Pompei and in Torchwood as a major character that goes home and kills himself and his family in Children Of Earth. It was a major role and he was brilliant... But he has been in it. Twice.

Let's face it, Capaldi was a safe choice. It didn't evolve the character. It didn't push the boundary and it did not fulfil the ill-placed hype. There are plenty of actors out there, black, white, Asian, Oriental, male, female, gay, straight, bi, trans, and everything in-between. There was an opportunity here for Doctor Who to step forward and do something not massively brave but something that was really needed.

A new Who for a new generation.

I read somewhere that Neil Gaiman said a black actor was approached in the past but that he turned it down. Should the role have been filled by someone non-Caucasian just because? No. But there are thousands of actors who haven't been in Doctor Who, who would have been excellent and who may or may not be different in colour or sex when compared to the other Doctors.

Peter Capaldi is a great choice, but it wasn't brave. It wasn't cutting edge. It wasn't worth the hype and I'm pretty sure that Moffat doesn't really get it.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Three Months Down: A self-published author's thoughts.

It's been three months since I released Blank Canvas on Kindle and they have indeed been fun months. I was very nervous about it all before the big day; May 10th 2013, when it all went live (so to speak), but now I'm calmer.

I can see that I haven't burned up the charts and stamped my foot on the e-publishing industry with a shore tread and screamed; 'I WILL NOT BE DENIED', but then that wasn't really going to happen anyway. I knew I would find it difficult to make a lot of sales, that success, real, overnight, huge, staggering success, was highly unlikely and I now find I never really expected it. I may have thought, 'wouldn't it be cool if I sold X amount', but really, in the end, I'm happy with how it's gone.

I have come to a point where I can look around and say, 'I have tried, I've enjoyed trying and I, in fact, will certainly be trying again'. I can say I haven't made an impact, a splash, a defined financial return, but I can also say that it really doesn't matter. The object was to get my work out there and to share it. To get past any feelings of fear and anxiety and put something I'd spent a long time writing onto the market.

It has been, in all the quarters that really matter, a resounding success.

I was stunned when I received my 'proof' paperback copy of  Blank Canvas just how many mistakes I had left in the book, how many things I could improve! I did feel embarrassed and self conscious thinking of the people that were reading the book that faced the 500 or so errors in the original release edition. It stung badly that I could have been so incredibly fallible, but I took the time to correct the mistakes, reload the contents, find the art work for the paperback and then release a better book.

These are all things I should have done first, but then this is a steep learning curve and I've never been a great student. This means I make mistakes, screw things up, pass over what should be obvious, and yet it also means I improve continuously for I have so many flaws to correct.

With Blank Canvas out there and people saying some nice things about it I suddenly felt the urge to get my next book right become intensified and so I have been focusing on that. It's been a big job, plenty of rewrites, details added, extra content bolted on top. These were all things I knew I would need to do but with Blank Canvas out of my head I found it easier once more to tackle the next project.

I have a few ideas about how I want to maybe increase the profile and sales of Blank Canvas, I have a few ways of helping it maybe make a stronger case for itself, but in the end my little book is an incredibly important piece of work... To me. It has shown me how to think and feel, shown me that my belief that I have what it takes to make it as a writer is not misguided or foolish, no, just a goal I must still strive towards.

I've read some fabulous reviews for the book, been shown so much support and love by the twitter community that it still makes me slightly wet around the eyelids and I can honestly say I feel it has made me a better writer.

I'll be doing some promotional material over the coming weeks in the hope of pushing Blank Canvas into the light so that more people can read my work. Obviously I hope it works and that the book takes off slightly more, though I doubt it will, but that is (as I've already said) okay. It has shown me what I want to do in life isn't unreal or perhaps out of reach.

Blank Canvas has shown me I have to stretch a little higher, a little further, a little longer and that with ever time I nearly get my fingers to that golden loop of success I am increasing my chances of being able to grab that sucker and just start really swinging.

I'd like to thank all those that have supported me, retweeted me, written reviews, plugged the book and tweeted to say they were/have/intend to read Blank Canvas. It's been a wonderful experience and one that I have every intention of repeating as many times as I can.

Thank you for reading and see you soon.