I wouldn’t go to Comic-Con with a knife at my back and a $1000 cash bribe in a brown paper bag. Except for noteworthy exceptions like Ant-Man, Avatar, portions of the 2014 Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, the first two Captain America flicks and others I’m forgetting right now, the Comic-Con influence is the nexus of evil in the action-movie realm. ComicCon culture despises real-world thrills. Knowing as I do that real-world thrills (example: Han Solo dodging asteroids in The Empire Strikes Back) are the only kind that drill right into my nervous system and that nothing puts me to sleep like generic CG pigfucks in fantasy action flicks (example: the dino stuff in Jurassic World), there’s no choice but to despise ComicCon with every fibre of my being.
Seriously — Solo dodging asteroids in Episode V (a memory that is 36 years old now) feels like bare-bones, no-frills reality compared to the fake-itude and crap-itude that ComicCon product has come to represent in my head.
Comic-book/superhero/fantasy/CG/fanboy culture has obviously been good for Hollywood’s bottom line from time to time, but it’s been poisonous in terms of its formulaic reliance and suffocating repetitions, and the general dilution of the influences and traditions of 20th Century dramas, spectacles, comedies and action films. The ComicCon mentality is a sworn enemy of the actual realities of life on the planet earth, which is to say recreations of same for centuries, going back to the time of Shakespeare. ComicCon-ers are the aesthetic locusts of our time — the dustbowl drought visited upon potentially fertile cinema.
The failure of 2016 sequels has been glorious. Perhaps, just perhaps, this will lead to an emphasis of more originality. Then again journalists and commentators resuscitate this pipe dream on a regular basis.
“It’s unlikely that the studios are going to drastically change course as the result of one bad summer,” Variety exec editor Steven Gaydos told The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks in a 2013 piece about Hollywood’s “Summer of Doom.”
“However, it is imperative they diversify their slate. They’re laying down too many big bets without anything else on the agenda. They have to kick their dependency on $300 million blockbusters. If they don’t, they’re going out of business.”
“Look at Comic-Con and then tell me if you think Hollywood is going to cut back on its comic-book dependency. Look at how that event was covered by the critical establishment and you’ll see how everything still validates the conglomerates’ bottom line. By and large, people are not looking for intelligent, edgy, mid-range movies. They’re looking for superheroes and special effects. They’re looking for amusement rides. They’re like the kids in Pinocchio who still want to go to Pleasure Island. They’re voting to be donkeys.”
Yes, I still dream of strafing the ComicCon faithful in an F-16 Fighting Falcon.