"Reaction time is a factor in this so please pay attention. Answer as quickly as you can."
The Black Diamond broke a couple brains.
I'm always interested in reviews of movies and comics and books and things that boil down to "Wow, I'm not sure what to make of that, because it wasn't what I was expecting." Well, through overt marketing and word-of-mouth from friends and pre-conceived notions and whatnot, your anecdotal audience member is pretty much guaranteed to have an impression of what's going on that's going to be removed from authorial intent, nowadays, yes?
For example, I just watched Danny Boyle's Sunshine
on the treadmill this morning, and man, did they mis-market that movie. All the stuff I saw and read in SFX
and the like indicated it's 2001
meets The Shining.
Now, leaving aside that while that's good in a pitch meeting, it hardly ever works in marketing. The feint is that studios think "If this appeals to the sci-fi crowd and
the horror crowd, we'll get twice as big an audience than we would if we market it as just SF or just as horror." Well, no. What happens is that you split the audience, distilling 'em down into the subset of people who like both things. The SF guys don't respond to the horror, and the horror guys are thinking there's too much space and not enough blood. So what ends up happening is most of both parts stay home.
Now, I blame the instant-gratification Twitterheads, here. The mind that has convinced itself that there's a global audience dying to read about that corn dog he just ate while cyber-stalking his eighth-grade girlfriend is a mind that is certainly going to engage an entertainment on its terms instead of on the work's terms, it seems safe to say. So, there's always going to be a disconnect between the "Give me what I want" folks and the "This is what you need" prescription Doctor Larry and his pals are writing for you.
You can see Issac struggling with the dichotomy with this last bit: "You donít read The Black Diamond
so much as you soak in its atmosphere." Well, yessir. Not what you want,
but what you need.
I friggin' loved Sunshine,
by the way, once I got past my preconceived notions and started enjoying the thing on its own terms.
Russell Burlingame has a new column over at Comic Related called Conscientious Sequentials
and uses his inagural column to interview ol' Matt Silady: "The Homeless Channel
was one of the most celebrated graphic novels of 2007, drawing positive reviews from industry and mainstream press as well as award nominations and many columnistsí year-end accolades. And it was for good reason ó Siladyís likable, believable characters and a compelling story coalesced with a lifelike art style and a cinematic storytelling method to create the feel of a smart, sometimes funny, and always compelling movie happening on the page in front of you."