Wrapping Comic-Con, if that’s even possible

Okay, so the big show has been over for more than 24 hours and it’s time to come to some grand conclusions. The thing is the only grand conclusion I can offer you is one that isn’t news, and really hasn’t been for many years now: Comic-Con is less and less about comics as a medium — a medium that is too frequently confused with a genre — and more and more about a kind of obsession in the media business with appealing to a young males with tales of butt-kicking monoliths and moderately dressed babes who bend over a lot, and now to young females with tales of forbidden love with troubled vampires who are more a lot more James Dean than Bela Lugosi or Max Shreck — not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, in theory. (I’ve never seen/read “Twilight,” hence my blissful tolerance on that score.)

Of course, there are plenty of bright spots and I’m fond of reminding the world of “Sturgeon’s Law,” the dictum uttered by science fiction great Theodore Sturgeon that “90 percent of everything is crap.” In other words, don’t expect greatness most of the time from any genre, whether it’s superhero funnybooks or Elizabethan plays (though the ones that survive a few centuries tend to be dandy).

And, as someone who bemoans the lack of emphasis that the still nascent art form of comics gets at its own convention, I need to get serious myself and read a few more of them this year. (If you’re curious about comics as a medium and how they relate to other media, including film which grew up alongside it, one of the best books about media ever created is a comic book, “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud.) For this kid who grew up dreaming of the day his comic book favorites would finally become major motion pictures, the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is certainly valid.

Before we go, we do have a few lingering con and geek related news items I should probably mention…

* Jeffrey Katzenberg says 3-D is coming to a home near you.

* Rob Zombie has a succinct yet fascinatingly incomplete answer in regards to the possibility of him doing a third “Halloween.”

* A lot of people have a funny idea of “fun.” What next: Cheneyworld?

* Bryan Singer has fled the hyped-up project, “The Prisoners.” Apparently not a pluralization of the new TV remake of “The Prisoner,” it is being promoted as some kind of cross between “Se7en” and “Silence of the Lambs,” which I guess is like saying “it’s a serial killer movie, but we’re not sure if we want to create a true movie classic or just you make you feel lousy about being a human.” (“Se7en” was an engaging film, but I will forever resent it “let’s just think of the worst thing possible and go with that” ending. Being dark is not the same thing as being deep.)

* New images from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” I’m all for going with the inherent weirdness in Lewis Carroll’s satirical childhood classic, one of the books that helped me form my own somewhat off-kilter view of things early on in life. Still, forgetting about giving little kids nightmares, some of these pics are creeping me out, particularly Mr. Depp. But I guess it’s a case of “what part of ‘Mad Hatter’ don’t you understand?'”

I’m almost scared to think of how the March Hare is going to turn out.


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