Friday, May 21, 2010

Son of a pitch: Small Wonders

Greeting! I have been on a bit of a self imposed exile, as I try to prove to my parents their out of control, violent, drug smoking daughter's problem isn't me. I am fluctuating between living places and well, haven't been able to blog much.

But what do I blog about? Well, how about a little idea I have for a certain languishing franchise called Wonder woman?  

Yes, Warner, I once again rise to the occasion and use my wonderful creativity to bail you out of your design-by-comity woes. Yes, no need to thank me. Yes, I'll take that money, now.

Wonder Woman is a pop culture mainstay. Every year more than one actress tells us she'd love to take on the character. As opposed to say, Zattana, or Vixen.

Yet, she is conspicuously absent from our multitude of media. If you don't count her Justice League appearance, there was a 30+ year gap between the old TV series and the straight to video animated film. No Videogames. No Tv Animation. This is a character that DC considers part of a Trilogy of it's most important characters. Which is ridiculous, because as slow as DC and Warner have been with their films, they even managed to get Legion of Superheroes a cartoon. You know, the franchise that has Arm-Fall-Off-Boy and Bouncing Boy. 

Yeah, but an Amazon in  star spangled wear is weird

Much can be made of the Wonder Woman lore, and it often has. Originally created by a Psychologist named Charles Marston Multon, her original adventures where rather strange, but also rather smart, too, much like their originator. And while the stories played off some Psychological aspects, most people are mostly aware of the strange obsession with bondage and other sexual fetishes.

Try and count how many fethishes are going on here No, I'll wait.

After the original era ended, Wonder WOman was taken in rather strange directions(and we're talking about a character who's rogues gallery included at least 4 cross dressing women.), including fighing a giant, communnist faux asian egg, a dreaded powerless era, and even more weirdness until finally DC rebooted it's universe.


A giant chinese egg. Holding people with his mustache. Soak it in...

Current Wonder Woman draws a lot more on her Greek Mythology, rather than the character's own. It's no wonder, then, that DC can't get one the most recognizable Superheroine into the screen, because adapting Wonder Woman is strangely complex. For Female audiences, she can be either too brutish OR too sexy to be taken seriously. For male audiences, well, sometimes even hot women can't get them to watch a film if it's not without a good hook(see "Jennifer's Body") and while most males 20 to 40 have an idea regarding what Wonder Woman is, most of them are just thinking about  Linda Carter, and none of them can tell Cheetah from Dr Cyber. Years of media exposure made sure most people have seen SOME version of the Joker, and that's what Wonder Woman needs more than a movie, she needs exposure, of her AND her supporting cast. But how to, now that the sequel to last years awesome animated film got axed?

No, you morons!
How can you sell a feminist character that dresses in skimpy clothes? How can you get a sexual fetish fuel generating, weirdo fighting Amazon and make her work forthe mainstream.

The answer is anime. ANIME!

 But more like this.

I propose an anime-inspired Wonder Woman T.V. series, and then you build up from there. I want to recommend someone other than Gendy Tartakovsky for it, but in good faith, I can't think of anyone else. Her success on Teen Titans proves she can ride the anime tropes  without going overboard with them.
Think about it! Anime has a long history of Female leads in stories, which the West could do well to learn from. Popular Anime such as Ghost in the Shell and Sailor Moon may have skirted entirely different sides of the female world, but they nonetheless do  have a good history there. As to whether a Wonder Woman  anime ends up being Ikki Tousen or Fruit Basket, well, I'm always one to call for balance.

Anime has also long been working in sexual weirdness in it's stories. I don't think I need to go on too long about this, but a lot of that stuff could be worked on more naturally within the confines of the genre.

 Her lips are devil red and her skin is the color of Mocha!

Finally, Anime is a format a lot of  young girls and women are familiar with.

Oh, stupid, am I? Search for Teen Titans on Deviant Art and tell me it's mostly COMICS fan art.  A huge part of the fanbase of that  show is females.  And It was a great show, no doubt, but it's anime roots are a lot of what made it successful with a wider range of audiences.

Warner has obviously gone nowhere with the character on the big screen, but how can they, when the character hasn't been given for the public to crave.  The bus came and went with the Justice League, but it's not too late to get the Amazing Amazon to the hearts and minds of the people. Just try that. Plant the seeds, watch them grow, then reap.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Race to the Finish

 Here's my N-Word license. I believe everything is in order...

Long time no see.  Now, friends, I want to talk about something, and it's a bit of a touchy issue. I want to talk about race.

There are certainly some default reactions I expect some of  you will have regarding this topic. And it's about those reactions I want to talk about.

See, in a recent event a chat was had regarding racial equality, and representation and all that...on video games. It was a long Video, but I had the sense a lot of you just didn't watch it. Which is fine. It's a bit of an abstract thing, not in any way related to the veracity of cake or other Lulz inducing affairs. Still, the reactions I saw where disapointing, to say the least. Many of you felt that race just doesn't matter at all. After all, we're living in a "post-racial" world, where the President is black and Limp Bizkit is allowed to walk the streets.

But I think a lot of you missed the whole damn point.

You see, it's not just about how many black people star in videogames and how much you can totally identify with the character, even though he's skin color isn't yours. It's about having a wider range of experiences in videogames.

I mean, I think we all want newer experiences in videogames, correct? Sure, we can still sweat the Tolkien Ripoffs and JRPGs, the WW2 Shooters and Fighting games, the Kart Racing Games, but whenever something different is announced, something that hasn't been done, you feel that hype. "Hey, it's that new detective game that's all down to earth and junk. Never seen that before" or " Hey, it's the Space/Norway mythology game, that's different" or "Hey, Steampunk, cool".

Well, there are a wide array of cultures from which to derive stories and concepts for games, and it IS a loss for us, as gamers, and for the industry in general, to not draw from them. What could anyone have to say against that? "No, too much difference! Take it away, it burns!"

I don't think industry types wake up in the morning hoping no Hispanic leads a game. But they are sticklers for what works, or seems to work. The world doesn't start at "Greek Myth" and end  at "Apocalyptic Future". And even though you "don't care about that stuff", tell me if you'd rather Assassins Creed be a WW2 shooter, and Heavy Rain be fantasy hack and slash.  Diversity in characters and settings hurts no one at least, and makes something fairly straightforward and generic into something special.