Monthly Archives: June 2011

Complete Bayhem: An oral history of Michael Bay

On the set of Pearl Harbour:

One day, I was on the way to meeting with Michael on a battleship at Ford Island. Complete Bayhem. I passed a squadron of Zeros chasing two P-40 fighter planes forty feet above the deck, guns blazing, followed by the camera ship. Then watched fireballs exploding on a nearby frigate as burning stuntmen leaped into the water. Then saw another Zero come around and buzz our battleship as Cuba Gooding Jr. fired back with a .50 caliber fifteen feet over my head. It wasn’t even 10 a.m.

Classic.

A Game of Thrones & ‘Fantasy’

More Shoals, this time on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Spoiler alert - if you haven’t read the books:

The show danced around its genre, convincing us that we weren’t watching fantasy. Game of Thrones covered an immense amount of thematic ground, but none of it depended on, or dealt with the implications of, traditional fantasy elements. The Sopranos or The Wireaddressed and reformulated this stuff in the first few episodes. It took until the last scene for Game of Thrones to emerge-like Kelisi from the ashes-with its dragons.

DC Universe reboot

DC Comics are rebooting. Everything.

Their entire comic line will reset at Issue #1, from Batman to Superman and beyond. This is a great thing if you’ve lost track of continuity (and who hasn’t?), and a terrible thing given the continuity is what gives a lot of these comics their weight.

Amongst a web full of coverage, the Snarkmarket team have chipped in with a trifecta of thoughtful analysis.

Robin Sloan - The Cosmic Custodians:

Today, you don’t go work at Marvel and DC because of what they are; you go because of what they have. It’s almost like a natural resource. Superman and Batman are potent substances. They have this incredible innate energy, this incredible mythic density, built up over decades. They really are like petroleum-a bright eon of individual organic contributions all compressed into this powerful stuff that we can now burn for light, for entertainment, for money.

Today, this is really the only pitch that DC can make to a talented creator: Come, come, work for us. We’re the only ones with sweet Gotham crude.

Tim Carmody - The Cave, The Corps, The League:

Green Lantern is about will-the impossible will that allows you to believe you can harness that cosmic energy for your own purposes. Batman is about fear-the fear that allows his opponents to believe that he is more than just a man.

In this allegory, the authors who turned to indie creator-owned comics in the 1990s out of mistrust for the big legacy publishers are clearly Batman. And the ones who returned to reignite those same publishers a decade later (in some cases, it’s the same people) are the Green Lantern Corps. 

Gavin Craig - Hacking the story:

But rather than thinking of continuity as some sort of sacred history of tradition, let’s remember that it’s a technology. And like any technology, it might be most interesting once we start thinking about how it can be hacked.

Plus who can resist getting in at the ground floor with Batman #1.

Stellar

I’ve been playing around with Jason Kottke’s stellar.io, which is a service for aggregating and sharing favourited items from Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.

You can see other users’ favourited stuff, and hence theoretically see the ‘best’ of the web in one place. The immediate problem I had was I had never really used the favourite feature on any of those sites. I think I had one Tweet favourited. And nothing else. I wasn’t even a member of Vimeo, despite viewing stuff on it.

So I started faving a few items, importing them automatically to Stellar in the process. And I checked out a few other users’ streams. It’s kind of neat. It’s a window into what other people like enough to star, without the associated verbage.

One issue was I wanted to be able to favourite other stuff - blog entries, instapapered articles, tumblr posts, Soundcloud songs, etc. Stellar will no doubt add those things over time.

Why use Stellar? It aggregates other peoples favourites, which you otherwise wouldn’t see. And I guess because it’s transparent - see something you like, quickly favourite it, Stellar has it instantly. But it doesn’t allow for any context setting or sharing of anything other than the big four, and most of the stuff I find I want to share or bookmark is elsewhere. And favouriting on other sites is just not part of my webflow, which kind of breaks the Stellar premise.

Then I realised that this blog was pretty much serving that purpose for me. A bunch of favourited stuff aggregated into one place that anyone can follow via RSS or otherwise.

So I’m back. Still a little uncomfortable about pouring all this ephemera into a 3rd party platform, but the lazy web in me means this is home for now.