Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Big Picture: "Continanity: Rebooted"

MovieBob vs. The DC Reboot.

Also, yes, I'm aware you can hear my real accent in this. You should hear what all the "OverThinker" characters sound like before I re-tune their voices...


motyr said...

This is your natural accent? Well I guess that's a testament to your "TV voice" considering this one sounds completely fake.

lemonvampire said...

What DC should really do with the online distribution, rather than pricing the comics the same as the print copies, is set a flat subscription fee for customers to have access to all their comics. See, the internet is already full of free webcomics, so what's the incentive for customers to pay for comics from DC, especially at 2.99 an issue? But if it were something like an $8 monthly fee for access to more content, it would be
a) a much greater incentive to get on board, and
b) an easier way to follow continuity once all the constant cross-overs and cross-references begin.
One of the biggest reasons continuity becomes a problem is that all the comics and characters in the DCU were so intertwined with each other that in order to follow one series you had to follow at least four or five others. If you missed something important in a series you don't follow, you may not have an opportunity to go back and see what you missed. But a subscription model that allowed customers see the comics they missed would make all that easier. DC wouldn't be making all the money on the individual issues, but they would make up for it with more subscribers. As it is, for 2.99 there's no reason to purchase comics in sub-par resolution in a digital format when for the same price you can have the real print issue.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

I know I've heard the accent before, but it's still a bit of a shock when it comes out. Like motyr said, it actually sounds fake compared to your "normal" voice.

As for continuity... yea, I agree that the continuity itself isn't the problem. People have no probably jumping into a TV or novel series half way through. It's that market as dug itself into such a small niche that no one really knows they're around anymore.

However, I would say that the over use of continuity is a problem. The way that unless you're keeping up with a half dozen or so series you'll have no idea what's going on half the time. And it irks me that this has started to seep into comic movies as well. Seriously, how much sense does Captain America make if you haven't watched Thor and the Iron Man movies? How much sense will Avengers makes if you haven't watched all the Marvel movies? I mean, I enjoy the occasional cross over here and there, but there has to be some element of self-containment to an individual series even if it is in a larger universe.

I mean, imagine if ever single show on network had all it's shows tying into a single continuity so that you have to watch all of them to see the whole story? As much as I'd love to see an Adrian Monk, Micheal Weston, James Roday team up, having it go on all the time would probably turn me off to the whole thing.

That's what DC and Marvel have to start doing... mostly self contained stories that make only occasional cross overs into the larger universe.

KevinCV said...

I'll be frank, Bob. I was stifling the urge to bust a gut laughing during this vid cos of that Bostonian accent. Granted, I live in Michigan, and I don't get to get to hear that accent very often, but still. But all in all, very good points on the DC "reboot".

Also, great advice for people getting into comics. However for "Doctor Who", I just suggest that people start with the first season of the 2005 revival with Christopher Eccelston's 9th Doctor and go from there if they enjoyed the first episode they watched well enough.

Ian T. Campbell said...

"That's your real voice? I thought it sounded fake." Shows what you lot know about "fake" then. Once upon a time I lived in Smawpscott, MA (or "swam-skit") as they say it there. I can assure, that accent's the genuine article.

gavstern said...

Keep using your real accent. It rules.

Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer said...

I agree, Bob. The advertising of Marvel and DC Comics are pathetic.

You'd think with them being owned by Disney and Warner Brothers, respectively, that there'd be a decent advertising push. But no, they're content to chase their tails.

DC created a couple commercials to push the New 52, but they were awful. I don't even know if their aired anywhere.

Mads said...

I kept thinking you were doing comissioner bunnyface.

People on the escapist have said the boston dialect is a continuity joke. What's that a reference to? Some earlier video, I gather, but which one?

motyr said...

@Ian T. Campbell

Yep, you're right. I'm not from anywhere near Boston; all I'm going off is vague knowledge of the accent through pop culture, the news, and one or two former Boston-ites (Bostoners? Bostonians?) that I know who have immigrated to my country.

Also, Bob, to be clear, I don't have anything against the accent, and frankly I don't know why you suppress it for the majority of your videos! It's totally cool if that's your actual voice, go ahead and use it in the future if it's more comfortable.


I'm one of those people who has refrained from getting "into" comics because the continuity seems rather daunting. I suppose I thrive for the experience of reading the source material as opposed to getting it second-hand from Wikipedia or another online source. In that respect, I'm a bit of a "completionist" in the sense that I prefer the idea of reading everything as opposed to the idea of skipping past some material. Call me crazy.

Also, I completely agree with lemonvampire. If, in the completely improbable case that I would need to, at some point, follow 52 series because of crossovers, that would set me back over one hundred dollars a month, not to mention take up incredible amounts of space in my home or on my hard drive. If DC were to develop a "Netflix-esque" service in which one may pay a low monthly fee and gain access to every DC universe comic, that would be very, very attractive to me.

Mister Linton said...

That accent is very racist and I am extremely offended by it.

Pretty good episode Bob. I quite agree, complex continuity has a place. Question is: does the nerd culture surrounding it want us "normies" to have easy access to it?

Pat said...

Sorry to go off-topic (at least for the most part) but did you make a conscious decision to stop hiding your accent for your shows or were you just in a hurry and didn't really notice? I think I remember you once saying that you don't usually hide your accent on purpose, you just tend not to slip into it when you work directly from a script. So I guess I'm wondering are you consciously employing the accent or were you not working from a script this time?

In regards to being ON topic, while I think you have a good point for the most part, the thing about a lot of non-comic readers isn't so much about "where do I start" so much as "what is good"? The problem that comics in particular suffer from that TV shows don't really run into is the fact that when people recommend comics, they rarely recommend an entire series. I mean, when people recommend "Mad Men", they don't usually add something like, "But start at Season Two, Episode Three". Unfortunately, when it comes to comics, with the exception of Event Comics, when people recommend things, they usually recommend excerpts or arcs of a series. And its usually hard to recommend Event Comics to people because they don't usually appeal to non-readers. And then on rare occasions when you CAN recommend an entire series (I like to recommend Astonishing X-Men), the prospective reader is usually screwed because I guarantee that if you go into a random comic book store, you will never find a TPB of Astonishing X-Men Volume 1. Volume 1 TPBs are a rare and elusive animal, without which it is very difficult to spurn someone to start reading. If I recommend AXM to someone and they go to a comic store on a lark and then they look at the shelves and see the TPBs for AXM and then they think "Oh, hey, I should pick that up" but then they see that the only TPB available is Volume 2, then they will usually say "Ah well, never mind". This is where online comics should hopefully help a lot.

Anyway, my big point is basically that by resetting all of the series to #1, they have made it very very easy to recommend comics. Once these comics start coming out, assuming there are at least a few good ones, we can tell our friends "check this series out" and just tell them to start at issue #1. And they won't have to worry about whether or not the TPB is available because they can get it all online now. And yes, they will have to deal with a lot of the same continuity, but that type of stuff doesn't bother people so long as it is presented in a reasonable manner.

The thing is, having a new, easily accessible starting point for all series makes it look a lot less daunting to new readers. I have a number of friends that I've finally convinced to start reading comics thanks to this new initiative. Maybe it won't last, but at least they're giving it a go.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tad surprised you didn't mention soap operas or pro wrestling as evidence that rebooting isn't always necessary.

David (The Pants) said...

I agree with lemonvampire on that pricing issue. I also agree that rebooting makes starting reading comics for new and prospective readers much more inviting.

On the accent, I don't mind it at all, but I notice it's not as think here as when you break out of your "TV" voice for the effect of you being particularly mad or passionate or snarky about something in other TBP and reviews.

Anonymous said...

I like Power Girl

there I said it.

Ralphael said...

Bob? why did you have to bring back that shitty boston accent you did in the over thinker series? Everyone could tell its fake because you used it randomly and turned it on and off every other video.

Cut that shit out, you aren't fooling anyone

Joe said...

I personally like the accent. For me, it seems to lend a bit more authenticity to your arguments. And lord knows when I was in Boston I only managed to hear it two or three times.

I'll admit continuity was a big reason I never got into Big Two superhero books. I loved Marvel's GI Joe comic, picked up some of Wildstorm's superhero titles in the early 90s, absolutely adored Vertigo, and could get into series that were more isolated from their main continuities, like Garth Ennis' Punisher or Dixon/Simone's Birds of Prey.

But superheroes always took a back seat to space opera, cyberpunk, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and a few other genres for me, so I don't have that sentimental passion for them like many of my peers.

HDCottonJr said...

I support your vigah.

Keith Braithwaite said...

There are not that many movie blogs around so it was a delight to find one as useful as this. Please keep up the good work.

Another good one I found was BestOnlineMovieSite.com.