Posts tagged #comic books

Nothing Funny About Print's Demise

The Lone Beagle flies his dog house like any good dog should in a classic Peanuts strip. (Courtesy King Features)

Egon Spengler proclaimed print dead in the 1980s, but for the longest time the newspaper has barely hung on by a thread. Alas, my beloved Rocky Mountain News in Denver went the way of the do-do bird several years ago, unable to keep up with the instant demand for news through other outlets and the dwindling attention spans of its readership who would much rather consume news online or through 140 characters on Twitter.

It's been sad to see newspapers slowly entering retirement and watching them struggle to adapt to an online format in some shape or form to survive. Which is why it's also especially sad to hear news that the NY Post has dropped its funny pages from the publication. While there hasn't been an official confirmation, and many of the cartoonists that provide strips to the newspaper have received cryptic replies and answers according to the linked blog, it seems like the comics page was kicked to the curb rather unceremoniously.

While I'm sure that it's a dated nostalgia that kids don't really relate to much anymore, getting the newspaper out of mom and dad's hands meant being able to go straight to the funny pages for a laugh or two (many of them over our young six-year old heads but at least they looked funny). The funny pages introduced us to the Peanuts characters and Garfield in our youth, were most likely to blame for the massive amount of paperback Garfield collections that we forced our parents to purchase at every book fair, and when our tastes got a little more sophisticated took us to the Far Side.

What will the future hold for newspaper strip comics (and the creative teams behind them)? Will the format strictly become the webcomic strip? Or will the format be able to adapt and evolve to be consumed in a way that modern audiences will be able to access them? I sure hope so. The four panel strip is highly underrated and incredibly influencing to developing the humor and artistic tastes of all ages. No matter how cynical of a world we currently inhabit.

Star Wars Fans Shouldn't Have a Bad Feeling About New Timeline

Cover art from the novel that started it all: Timothy Zahn's "Heir to the Empire" (Courtesy StarWars.com)

Before the weekend, Lucasfilm made the announcement that "Expanded Universe" materials that have been released since the mid-1990s including books, comics, video games and more will not be considered in the Star Wars "canon" (or storytelling events that are considered officially recognized as happening within the world of Star Wars). From here on out, a new timeline will be groomed and maintained by a new story department out of Lucasfilm which will oversee all of the books, video games, and others and begin releasing new materials that all coincide with this new timeline. Much like Marvel oversees its "cinematic universe," this story department will be the keepers of everything Star Wars from this point forward.

From the official press release:

While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.

Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects of Star Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy's direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.

 

Sure, an outsider reading that first paragraph might be scratching their heads wondering what type of nerdery is afoot here and shrug it off with a, "who cares?" But apparently Star Wars fans are in a frenzy about it, curious how close to 30 years of materials could just be thrown out the window. 

Something like this is actually a great opportunity. Lucasfilm will now be overseeing all of the Star Wars universe to make sure that A ties to B and that, as often seems to be the mantra, everything is connected. How great will it be to pick up new books that directly coincide with the forthcoming movies and TV shows? It'll all be one big story that we all have no idea what path it will travel. And the amazing stories that were told in Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, the fantastic Dark Empire comics, and others will still continue to exist as great pieces of storytelling and it's not a slap in the face to those artists and writers who poured their heart and souls into those still respected previous works. And this isn't exactly something completely foreign to nerds like us either (how many alternate/parallel universes exist in Marvel and DC comics).

Star Wars fans should be excited and remember that traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops - travel outside your comfort zone and enjoy the adventure that ensues.

Posted on April 27, 2014 and filed under Movies.