mfioretti: comics*

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  1. The X-Men and the Avengers can appear in the same magazine but not the same film. Spiderman can only meet Captain America with Sony’s permission. After five decades, the world of special powers is fraught with personal issues
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...engers-sharing-a-screen-a7023096.html
    Voting 0
  2. "I spent at least a year dealing with the Japanese corporation Kodansha, which owns the rights," Davis told me by email. He had to "hire someone who spoke Japanese to conduct face-to-face negotiations in Japan." Worse, in the end, Davis wasn’t even allowed to use the images he had asked for. Kodansha insisted he choose from a small selection of publicity photos, rather than the scenes actually analyzed in the text.

    Davis’s acquisition process was more arduous than most, but the general predicament will be familiar to many academics who work with film, art, comics, or other visual materials. Many academic presses and journals require permission for the reprint of any images. For instance, Julia Round, a principal lecturer at Bournemouth University and editor of the journal Studies in Comics, told me that, at the request of its publisher (Intellect Books), "we always seek image permissions." Only if authors can’t track down permissions holders, Round said, does the journal consider printing small images under the legal doctrine of fair use.

    But while publishers want authors to get permission, the law often does not require it. According to Kyle K. Courtney, copyright adviser for Harvard University in its Office for Scholarly Communication, copyright holders have certain rights — for instance, if you hold rights for a comic book, you determine when and by whom it can be reprinted, which is why I can’t just go out and create my own edition of the first Wonder Woman comic. But notwithstanding those rights, fair use gives others the right to reprint materials in certain situations without consulting the author — or even, in some cases, if the author has refused permission.
    http://www.chronicle.com/article/Fair...s-Unused/240033?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_2
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-05-12)
    Voting 0
  3. Any comics fan will tell you: DC has a reputation for rebooting its line often. With its headline-grabbing "New 52" initiative as recent example, the company seems to enjoy starting their stories from the beginning and discarding previously established continuity. Critics point to the company’s massive, universe-shattering crossover epics as prime examples: Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and most recently Flashpoint, which ushered in that controversial New 52 era. This happens so much, many readers now treat the next reboot as inevitable.
    http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse...the-saga-of-dcs-never-ending-universe
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2016-08-28)
    Voting 0
  4. None of this had any greater, narrative payoff, or ended with Snoopy realizing he was a dog. It was always a pure visual gag, and it lacked the subtlety, pain, and vision that had previously been the strip’s trademark. In short, there was no balance. It was just a series of Snoopy in new costumes, almost as if Schulz was anticipating merchandise demands. Cuteness had replaced depth in a strip that had always celebrated the maturity and adult-like nature of precocious children. And since the strip had become globally, universally loved, there was little impetus to revisit the darker social commentary of years past.
    http://kotaku.com/how-snoopy-killed-peanuts-1724269473
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-08-18)
    Voting 0
  5. A few years ago, thousands of physicists working in a massive international collaboration, discovered the mechanism that gives all matter its mass. Just over fifty years earlier, one single scientist working alone uncovered the secret of size.

    On July 4th, 2012, physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson. This fundamental particle, long predicted to exist, is an excitation of the Higgs field that permeates all of reality. Verification of the existence of the Higgs field answered a fundamental question of science – why do different particles, such as electrons or protons, have different masses. The omnipresent Higgs field can be thought of as a fluid through which all particles must move. If the fluid is thick or dilute, then it is either harder or easier to move, and the particle will have either a heavy or light mass. The viscosity of this ‘fluid’ depends on the strength of the particle’s interaction with the Higgs field,. With verification of the Higgs mechanism, physicists understand why atoms have the mass that they do.
    http://boingboing.net/2015/07/13/ant-...A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-08-05)
    Voting 0
  6. Some time in the middle of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I came to terms with the fact that there will never be any more decent Marvel movies. In fact, there can’t be.

    Some of what I have to say is going to read as genre snobbery. So let me get this out of the way: I fucking love stupid popcorn movies. They can be about superheroes, dinosaurs, aliens, a bus that can’t slow down; I’m not picky. Movies are unparalleled in their ability to portray scale. If you have a giant screen, huge speakers capable of blasting everyone with earth-shattering noise, and hundreds of people gathered together in the dark, you can — and should — occasionally use those tools to provide pure, overwhelming spectacle.

    What I really dislike about Marvel is what they’re doing to stupid popcorn movies. This is a genre I care about, and they’re fucking it up.

    Marvel’s most profound failing is that it just plain doesn’t care about people. Age of Ultron is the clearest demonstration yet of the problem. And you should care about this problem. Because it’s getting worse, and because you can’t get away.

    I know Joss Whedon can make a good popcorn movie. In fact, I know he can make a good popcorn movie about the Avengers: That first movie is a stone-cold classic. Therefore, I’m disinclined to blame the badness of Age of Ultron on Joss Whedon. If you’ve watched someone throw a ball fifty times, and then, the fifty-first time, he just drops the ball at his feet and stands there motionless, you don’t assume that he can’t throw. You assume something is wrong.

    When you look at the formal requirements imposed on Whedon’s script by Marvel, it’s clear that AoU actually couldn’t have been good—that Marvel, not knowing or caring how good movies work, mandated that Whedon make a bad one. To name just a few of those requirements:

    •Too many characters. This is standard Marvel strategy — they go by the premise that all it takes to gratify their base is dropping a name that’s familiar from the comics, and so far, it’s paid off — but the never-ending quest to “improve” each movie by adding a sidekick, and another sidekick, and three villains this time, plus that other superhero you might know about if you read every Avengers comic from 1971 through 1973, has resulted in a movie with,

    by my count, fourteen central characters. The movie is only 141 minutes long; that might seem lengthy, but if you were to somehow divide it up so as to give each character an equal amount of uninterrupted focus, you’d only have around 10 minutes for each character. In practice, you get less than 10, because…

    •No matter what, Marvel’s structure mandates at least one fight scene every 20 minutes, and most of the time, those characters aren’t having in-depth discussions while they fight.

    etc

    So, once Marvel’s formula has deprived the movie of (a) time for the characters, (b) the potential for the story to unfold in a surprising way, and (c) meaningful consequences, we then get each character’s maximum 10 minutes of focus (which is now more like five or six) cut down even further, with ads for other Marvel products.

    Don’t let anyone tell you that silly popcorn movies don’t matter, or that they can’t be smart or beautiful or profound. A silly popcorn movie can change your life. All it has to do is create characters with identifiable, human problems, and let them work out those problems over the course of the story. Stories are about change, and about people, because ultimately, they are about you, the person sitting in a dark theater, working out your baggage by projecting it onto CGI cartoons of overly handsome actors.

    Here’s another way to put it: The extent to which a movie invests in character-based, character-driven storytelling is the extent to which it recognizes, appreciates, and honors the humanity of its audience.

    So when Age of Ultron doesn’t invest—when it goes by the assumption that the formula, and the formula alone, is enough to appease the popcorn-eaters—it says something pretty bad.
    http://www.wired.com/2015/05/marvel-killing-the-popcorn-movie
    Voting 0
  7. Two years ago, comic book writer Brian Vaughan and comic book artist Marcos Martin teamed up for a 10-volume series called The Private Eye, about a future in which society has abandoned the Internet due to “the Cloud” bursting. It’s the year 2076, sixty years after everyone’s secrets spilled out into the open, and no one wants to own a smartphone or commit anything to collective digital memory. The graphic novel’s hero is a journalist who has to solve a murder (while deprived of the power of Googling) and thwart an evil TV executive. (Without Internet, television is thriving of course.)
    http://fusion.net/story/109827/the-private-eye
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-04-07)
    Voting 0
  8. I felt pretty clever until I realized I'd invented webpages
    http://xkcd.com/1367
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2014-05-30)
    Voting 0
  9. Do you never miss a new strip from xkcd? Read webcomics regularly? Or would you like to back up all the strips of your favorite website? Hopefully, the open source community has the solution: a command line program to download all your favorite webcomics from your terminal.
    http://xmodulo.com/2014/04/download-webcomics-command-line-linux.html
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2014-04-22)
    Voting 0
  10. Most databases are relational, most easily visualized as tables of rows and columns: When you enter a search query, like “all products that sell for more than $3 but less than $5,” the search system returns absolute answers based on data properties. Marvel still has use for this kind of database that returns queries with solid, irrefutable answers, like listing all the issues they’ve sold for the above prices.

    The new database, however, will run on graph theory, looking for relationships between characters, teams, and events. The graph above displays relationships between characters, which would be extremely difficult for a relational database that might look for superheroes but leave out villains instead of showing more abstract values, like how popular/visible a character is across Marvel’s comic titles.
    http://www.fastcolabs.com/3022482/mar...character-in-the-universe?partner=rss
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2013-11-29)
    Voting 0

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