Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Announcement: Moongirl Web-story

HI Pradokshawn baloos!

Since my last book has been such a roaring success, I'd like to announce a new one. An origin tale for mermaid hating, ass stomping, help-punching golden age heroine Moongirl.

Moongirl's been an obsession of mine for far too many years.  Her comics where a pain in the ass to find, only even available in a big honking collection of other EC comics. And She's basically  got a lot of the basic stuff you'd think would make her a "good" modern superhero. And to be sure, she had some reboot comics. But my take is different. And also, my take is a book, because I have no means to put together a movie, or comic or theater musical.

Why am I making a Moongirl book? Well, I want to make a Wonder Woman movie, and as I kept contracting my ambition I somehow ended with a Moongirl book. I'm  putting out the story in small, easypay chapters in some website, and then, finally putting out a collected book. I'd probably want to get the whole story down first, though.

Episodes 1-3 are now available. In them you will meet Moongirl, the young princess from another dimension, Jack Diamond, a government agent with a dark secret, Lurani, a witch who can enslave magic creatures, and Satana, the devil herself in the form of a woman.

Look for that later this year.

Titles be hard, yo.

The Star Wars Expanded Universe just collapsed...

For  the a long time, this may be weird to believe, but Star Wars was sort of scarce. There where no new movies on cinema. There were no new videogames every 13 months. For a long ass time, we didn't know what had happened before  Star Wars: A New Hope (Then just Star Wars) or After Return of the Jedi. There were 3 movies, some dubious  spinoffs and that's it.

Fans where chomping at the bit, and Lucas knew it. Therefore, he sub-licenced many products that dealt with such history.  This stories became known as the Expanded Universe.It existed for fans who wanted to know more about the Star Wars universe, but where never fully official, and always at risk of being contradicted by the movies.

This is where Dash Rendar and Mara Jade lived. This is where every random bug in the Cantina scene had a storied purpose. This is where Lightsaber Crystals where built and where  Darth Revan and Darth Malak fought. This is where Sam Witwer helped Darth Vader. ANd now, they don't.

You see, Disney's moving along with the Star Wars movies, and it doesn't feel like playing nice to stories whose canonicity was established by levels, like a hurricane. And therefore, the Expanded Universe just became "Star Wars Legends". Basically, they didn't happen.
Sadly, this didn't, either.

I for one welcome the move. The new Star Wars movies cannot be beholden to  whatever was written a bunch of years ago to  appease rabid fans.  These stories, as good or as stupid as they can be, can't be the base for a new multimillion dollar franchise. Disney is right to say "You want to know what really happened after Jedi? Here's what REALLY happened, in the media format the original movies had. ANd here's our merchandize, based on that."

Star Wars isn't like Gargoyles, where you just know it's never coming back in full, and you continue it in comics. We all knew it was innevitable they make more movies. We want those movies to be good. But we can't expect them to be the official avatars of 3 decades of comics and books.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Public Domain Calculator!

A million dollars if you guess what the background image got started as.

Trying to find out when stuff becomes public domain is a hassle. You pull out your calculator and add 95 years or's boring.

But not anymore, thanks to the Public Domain Calculator!

The PDC is a niftly little shareware I created, which does all the hard work for you. Just imput the work's first date of publishing and you can finally know when Batarangs, Baby Got Back, or Monkey Island become public domain!

What's the use? What's NOT the use! If you know which day Superman becomes public domain, well, you could create a derivative work now and just schedule it to self release in that future date, cashing in without even knowing it! It's amaaaaaziiiing!

My intuitive software checks the actual date, and lets you know if your work is, as of now, public domain. It also lets you check if under the previous law it would have  been public domain, so you can see what you're missing.  Try it today, and don't forget to fight for your right to a healthy public domain!

*Laws are ever subject to change, and may not apply where you live. I take no responsibility for any legal wrongdoing made under the advise of the PDC.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Naked Batman! 5 facts we'd have to live with if Batman where public domain...

This happened.

The maximum duration of a copyright used to be 56 years.  As we've discussed, this means that everything made before 58 should have reasonably lapsed into the public domain. In Batman's case this means most of his most well known characters and concepts would be available for all to use, free of charge and free of litigation.

I have brought this matter up to fans, and many of them are concerned. They can't even picture a world where you can  go ahead and make your own Batman. As much grief as fans can give companies like DC, many think Batman is rather safe in DC/Warner's hands.

Here's 5 realities of a world where Batman is public Domain.

5) DC still owns real Batman.

Let's face it, guys. We're not talking about a riot where we go into DC's office and rob them of Batman. As the day the first Batman comic goes public domain, this is what you'll have to work with.

He just threw a man by the neck! "Regular Exercise" my ass.
It's gonna take you a couple of years to get to "Batman as we know him" today, and by then the character will already be far, far from that. You get no Batmobile. You get no Batgirl, or Batmite or  Bane. Not for a while.

Nobody still like Jason Todd.

This is Batman and his nu 52 era buddies, some of them with Wikia pages longer than the Bible. By the 2030s all Batman related Wikia pages will have more words than the Bible. You don't get that, not initially. You get the starter Batman: an orphan richboy who wants to punches criminal while dressed vaguely like a bat.

Under previous, you'd already get to adapt this.

DC needn't fear your Batman. Unless...

4)Your Batman might be better than  their Batman.

He's Nicholas Cage. He's awesomer than most things by default.

A lot of people I saw were afraid of "any old fanboys" having their  terrible ideas on Batman.  Can you imagine what that would look like?

I don't have to. Fans all over the world are currently engaged in writting stories about Batman meeting Fluttershy or something. Fanfiction is already a thing, a thing widespead enough that WB hasn't put any major efforts to stopping it. Maybe some of this stories might be good, or great. Maybe all of them stink. At least some of them involve Robocop and Batman having sex. Frankly I opt not to read them.  I can safely ignore them and so can you.

But consider Sandy Corolla. A skilled filmaker who once made a couple of fanfilms starring DC characters, and sometimes Predator and Alien. Everybody loved those fan films. Most of us would have given Corolla our money to see the full films. But WB owns Batman, and he couldn't have secured any financing for a full film except from WB, which already had plans for Batman. Under previous law, Corolla could have taken his skills towards actually making such films. He could have asked another studio to finance them. He could have taken it to kickstarter.
Where's my "realistic" body armor?

Instead he didn't. Let's face it, guys, not all the people who could make great Batman stories work for WB and DC. Some of them might work at Marvel. Some of them might work at Image. Some of them might even work at Fox. The only difference between DCs writters and, fanboys, other writters is that  they are legally allowed to work on Batman. That's all.

However, they wouldn't all be anything close to "real" Batman because...

3) We would have a lot of weird takes on Batman

Well...he's more like a bat, isn't he?

In 1998 I saw The Mask of Zorro, a movie that followed a former bandit played by Antonio Banderas adopting the mantle of Zorro from perrenial pseudo-Hispanic Anthony Hopkins. It was a fun movie. But I kept wondering where it had left the original Zorro's mute butler. You know, from the TV series. Then there was the animated, future set series. I didn't see it much. Zorro's in the public domain, currently, so anyone can work on him and many do.

Naturally, once people get to working on Batman, they're not all going to want to have the same take. After all, that is the fun of public domain. Does Batman really have to be an only child? What if he had siblings? What if  Batman is  really Alfred? What if Batman is really a bat that, through training, became a human? Maybe we get Arronofsky's Batman where he's a bum helped by a big black mechanic named Big Al? Maybe one is just naked all the time.

This is especially true before some elements are public domain. After all, if WB still own the concept of Batman living in a cave, where will yours live? Your version should already be trying to distance itself from other Batmans, maybe yours sleeps in a casket, like Dracula. Maybe he goes back to the planet Bat or something.

It only  sounds stupid because they haven't done it yet. Eventually any and all this versions could find a place in people's hearts. We'll have many Batmans, and don't be surprised when not all of them are "Bruce Wayne, playboy billionaire orphan who becomes Batman at night

2) DC would not use Batman as much.
Jesus Christ!

DC likes Batman. He makes them a lot of money, and money's where it's at. Batman's in movies. Batman's on television. Batman's on cartoons. Batman's on videogames. Batman's on lunchboxes and sweaters and sweatshirts.

However, if someone else can make Batman, that's no fun anymore. WB, overwhelmed by greed, would probably begin promoting "their" characters a lot more, if Batman was usable by anyone. They'd probably promote some silver age character to Batman's spot of importance, if they could at all.

This would not be all bad. If Batman's as overexposed in the 2030s as he is now, a little winding down might not be as bad as it sounds. The character's never not been popular, but maybe it's best to not have 50 Batman products a month in your face.

1) You'd get Batman everywhere

If Batman was public domain today, do you think they'd put him in Street Fighter? In Final Fantasy? In Johnny Test? WWE? GTA?

Off course they would. More than a deluge of new Batman movies every year, it would result in 1000s of "appearances" in stuff. Think of it like this: imagine every cartoon version of Dracula you've seen. Imagine all his appearances in franchises that aren't adaptations of Bram Stoker's books. That's what we're looking at.

Even when the over-saturation reaches critical levels, you'll still see Batman show up every once in a while to help or hinder the characters in question. It wouldn't be rare. And maybe that's gonna be just fine.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let us bring back Public Domain

Now you know who's steering the ship.

We live in an age of unprecedented consumption of media. Creative works have never been so
widely available to access, as well as create. Indeed, the so called Democratization of
tools, and the interconnectedness of this digital age has allowed for a wonderful growth for
both independent creators and large media conglomerates as well.

Sadly, our current copyright laws do not reflect this. Due to awful retroactive tampering
with copyright durations, no creative works will enter the Public Domain until 2033. That's
 19 years, far too long a time, and that's assuming they won't tamper with it again before
that. Copyright law, at it's heart, is meant to help authors support themselves of their
creative works. However, as of now, many works of long-dead authors remain locked behind
doors, sometimes quietly withering away, the creative elements languishing away.

This is why I say all works between 1960 whose authors are no longer living should move to the Public  Domain.

Everybody stands to gain from more works entering the Public Domain. If it wasn't for the
Public Domain we wouldn't have this year's Noah. Or Ben Hur. Or Spartacus. Or The Ten Commandments, with
Charlton Heston. We wouldn't have Dreamworks' Prince of Egypt.

We Wouldn't have Disney's version of Snow White. Or Pinocchio. Or Robin Hood, Aladdin,
Cinderella, The Hunchback of Notre Dam. We wouldn't have Frozen or Tangled, based on "The
Snow Queen" and "Rapunzel", respectively. We wouldn't have Scrooge McDuck!

Worth a 1000 crappy  Christmas Carol retreads.

We wouldn't have the musical Les Miserables. We wouldn't have The Wiz, or Wicked. We
wouldn't have the modern Zombie genre. We wouldn't have American McGee's Alice. Or Tim Burton's Alice. Or The 3 Musketeers. Pick whichever version you like best.

These are all things that things that the Public Domain has given us. What has the Sonny
Bono act of 1998 given us? Nothing. That's not a knock on it. This is what it was meant to
do. I think,  that it is reasonable that works of authors who have passed away
stand to benefit in no way from their works. So I ask you, sign this petition to bring back balance to the Public Domain, which for so many years has been
skewed in favor of big interests. Don't wait for them to make the first move and extend copyright yet again!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dear Autobots: An intervention

"YOU LIED TO US!" "On our defense, here's an astronaut who traveled all the way to the moon." "THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!"

I just want to say, that I love you. Well, not love-love, but I did have a fun time watching your first two movies, even if it doesn't make sense that Megatron can fly to a distant planet in a day. Even if your potty-humor seems entirely out of play and your robots curse. I like you.

I brought you here because I saw your new trailer, and I want to say, you have a problem, and I'm not talking about an in-story conflict that needs resolution to deliver catharsis, either. You see, the theme of this trailer, as it where, is that the U.S. government betrayed you. Or rather, that you betrayed yourselves using the U.S. government.

Because I have seen your movies, and in every single one, the Government of the United Stated has been fucking you up your robot asses, possibly litterally in Bumblebee's case.  In movie one they captured and tortured him in a secret base, after all. In movie two they used you for their own personal benefit, and then failed to assist you when your leader died. In movie 3 they straight up sold you to your enemies.

So when movie 4's trailer indicates that the US is again  hurting you, it's not so much a disturbing scenario, but the 2nd direct to DVD sequel to the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog; no cause for surprise.  Autobots cannot continue to be in this horrible relationship with the American Government. I know that their military resources are necessary to maintain your campaign against the Decepticons (and indeed, the intake of cash of this franchise). Most people in abusive relationships are willing to  stay in them, as long as they don't have to depart certain benefits of them.  But you guys can make it on your own.
Lou Diamond Phillips is now the Frog.

In your cartoons, you guys are perfectly able to fend off most of your enemies most of the time. Maybe the silver lining to staying away form the U.S. government would be that you'd get to be more like that: Maybe this time you'd get to be the heroes of your story, instead of  Shia Lebouf, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight, Mark Whalberg, and Ednik Stero-type. Maybe next movie we could get a look at how the 'Bots relate to each other.

I cannot continue to watch you hurt yourselfs. Certainly not while paying full price for a ticket. Please. You need help...but you can do this without the air force. We don't want to see Transformers constantly put up with government abuse while in constant admiration of the Armed Forces, Michael Bay  Autobots.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Regarding the Ninja Turtles trailer

I always wondered what bald Whopee Goldberg looks like without hair.

I'll keep it short. There's two kinds of nerd-group reactions to the idea of Michael Bay directing sodomizing destroying annihilating eradicating eviscerating producing  Ninja Turtles movie. One is that, as General Garza from Expendables put it once "is no good". The second is a backlash against the backlash. A lot of us have been around the block plenty to know that us geeks can be a petulant and thankless lot, and some of us are kind of hopeless optimists.
And if you can't trust a fictional hispanic being played by a Bazilian, who can you trust?

This trailer, it is clearly not going to turn most of the General Garza's of the world into ardent supporters. In fact, it neatly matches every half-hearted joke one could make about this franchise in relation to said Bay. In fact, I kind of joked with my brother that, within the first quarter of the trailer Transformers could have popped onscreen and i wouldn't have bat an eyelash.

I'm not even gonna complain about this being bad. I'm just loving how Michael Bay can just match every single criticism we could lobby against his shit. We think we're playing him, but he's playing us. He knows what's up.

First he hits you low with expectation lowering  terrible leaked scripts. Slowly he builds it up with Megan Foxes and a whitewashed Oroku Saki called Erik Sach's.  And then, by the time you're watching one of these gorillas in a half-shell bend a Humvee with his body, it's over: you're just glad they're not aliens.

Michael Bay Joke Punchline  opens this August. Evil remains triumphant.

15 reasons why Christopher Nolan sucks.

After so many years, I have finally made another video. In this one, I denounce the total hackery of one of Cinema's greatest rip-off artists with 15 hard hitting reasons why he should be dragged out in the streets and beaten to within an inch of his life. If your panties aren't already way too tight, click on the vid yo find out.

On an unrelated note, happy whatever day this is.