Putting together my last blog entry, about the Video Game Market in Leeds, I realised it had been a long time since I last blogged. In fact, the previous time was to announce that I had secured a stall at the market, some 6 months prior. Obviously this is unacceptable, and I am resolving to try and write at least one post per week, reflecting on the things that have caught my attention. Mostly comics, games, movies and pixels of course! So here goes…
Video Game Market
This week I have been riding high from the Video Game Market. I shifted nearly half of the stock I took with me, and the day was definitely worthwhile from a monetary point of view, but it meant more than that to me. For me, seeing peoples’ reactions to my work and hearing their feedback first hand was incredibly rewarding. For over a year now I’ve been reading comments about my work on Instagram and Twitter, but to hear it in real life is great final confirmation that I’m on the right track. All too often I will become obsessed with the things I’m not happy with in my work, and I won’t be able to stop tweaking it until it is as perfect as I can get it. I’ve come to realise that most of these flaws are things that only I see, through hours of concentrated work on a piece up close. The market gave me a nice chance to set up my stall, make it as appealing as possible, and then step back and see what others thought.
While some of the artwork (like the framed Ninja Turtles sprites) may not have sold, they consistently drew comments and praise from people who were tempted by them, but for whatever reason couldn’t justify the extra expenditure on the day. It’s funny how some items I thought would be really popular, didn’t sell (the Lemmings canvas, the framed Duck Hunt sprite), while others I didn’t think would sell, did (like the framed Robocop sprite or the Pyramid Head frame that I thought was just a little too big). I guess it just goes to show that you never know who’s going to attend, or what they’re going to be looking for. I definitely came away with the impression that the cheaper items (framed sprites priced up to £10 each) were the most popular. These items sold out, while anything more expensive turned out to be more of a decision for the buyer, so not as many sold. I’m already looking forward to doing another stall somewhere, I’d love to be able to have two tables side by side – one for Sega, one for Nintendo, and see which stuff fares better!
However, there is still a little debate over whether to have Peter Parker as Spider-Man now. Let me explain! There is a big push from fans for Miles Morales to be the protagonist in these movies. He’s Spider-Man in the Ultimate comics, and he got his powers from some spider experimentation by Norman Osborn. After witnessing Peter Parker’s death, he realises he could have helped him, and decides to take on the role of Spider-Man. The slight controversy is in the fact that Miles is half African American, half Puerto Rican, which means there will probably be sceptics claiming that Marvel are just diversifying one of their characters for the sake of political correctness. Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with having a non-white Spider-Man. Far too many of the mainstream superheroes are white, so why not make a character more relatable to others? At the end of the day, the colour of his skin is irrelevant, as the character is what makes him Spider-Man.
From the studio’s point of view, Parker is definitely the safer choice, and will allow the character to come into the movie, hopefully as an already-formed Spider-Man. Personally I hope they skip the origin and just have him as the new guy in town showing up on SHIELD's radar. I think they should ignore the "Amazing" movies and start again. They could do what Superman Returns did and ignore the 3rd and 4th movies, and just pretend that only the first two happened. This would kind of work, but they’ve stated that Spidey will be of high school age, and by the second Raimi Spider-Man film he had finished school. And modelling your film on Superman Returns probably isn’t a great idea anyway. No matter what they do, I just hope they get the basics right - I like the idea of Spider-Man being just a kid with powers and loads of problems who gets in way over his head with SHIELD and the big boys.
It works well with either Morales or Parker, but going with Morales would mean the risk of alienating those who won't accept a different Spider-Man, and also possibly bogging the story down with another origin tale. So I'd also be surprised if they go with Morales, but I'd just like to see a fresh take on Spidey, personally. There was never a need for the "Amazing" reboot, so I have a feeling the new Spider-Man films will ignore them and rewrite the character's history.
So yeah, big news for Marvel fans! I didn’t realise how strongly I felt about it until I started typing…
Oh, and one last thing about Marvel – did they HAVE to publicise their release schedule for the next 5 years or so?? Doesn’t that just spoil everything? Instead of looking forward to the next film, people are already looking at how it will fit in with and affect the next film, and the ones after that. Where’s the fun in that? What happened to the excitement of the teaser scenes at the end of Marvel films? Tony Stark turning up at the end of Incredible Hulk and hinting at The Avengers? Finding Thor’s hammer in the desert? In the early Marvel films, those of us who stayed to the end of the credits felt like we were in a special club, where we would get snippets of information and try to figure out where the MCU was going. Now we know exactly which year each character is getting a film, and when they will be in each others’ films. Like we already know Iron Man and Spider-Man will be in Captain America’s next film, and that it will be based on the Civil War storyline from the comics about 10 years ago. While I can’t resist speculating, I do miss the surprise of not knowing what’s going to happen in a movie. For this reason I’ve managed to stay relatively spoiler-free with regards to the new Star Wars film, but we’ll see how long that lasts. All it will take is one wrong click over the next year and I’ll know something I shouldn’t.
This isn’t exactly up-to-the-minute new, but I only got around to watching the trailer for Netflix’s Daredevil show this week. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. The tone is very dark and moody, which is a nice difference from the brighter movies Marvel is known for (not that they’re bad). The trailer didn’t reveal a lot, just brief clips and images, but there are no signs of ridiculousness just yet. The fact that Stick will be in it, and they haven’t gone straight for the Elektra Saga is a good sign that they’re going to take the time to build the character and story. And the classic Daredevil logo at the end of the trailer filled me with fanboy joy!
I’m something of an Affleck-Daredevil sympathiser. People love to shit on that movie, but I honestly don’t think it’s as bad as it’s made out to be. There are some great dark moments in the film, and I liked how he starts the film as a Punisher-type of anti-hero, dealing death to those who escape the justice system. There is plenty to make fun of though, so I understand the bad reviews. The costume wasn’t great, the CGI was worse, and a lot of the other characters were a bit cringeworthy (Bullseye, Elektra, Kingpin…). I thought the Director’s Cut improved the film slightly by getting rid of the sickeningly clichéd fireplace love scene, although it did add Coolio to the mix, which didn’t help at all.
New Nintendo 3DS
I had one of these bad boys on pre-order from the day they became available, and just last week I was forced to cancel, due to getting saddled with an unexpected debt at work. Expenditure on luxuries has to be limited for the time being, and unfortunately, my new 3DS was a victim. Not only that, but the Majora’s Mask Special Edition I had on order from Nintendo had to get canned too. It was not a good time in my household for gaming… To rub salt in the wound, this week I’ve had to endure countless pictures on social media of people receiving their shiny new consoles and games, while I’m left looking at my little release day aqua blue 3DS with nothing but resent. The dead pixel in the corner doesn’t help it endear itself to me either. I had even put off getting any further in Smash Bros, because I was looking forward to playing with the bigger screen and better 3D. One day…
Speaking of Nintendo, I want to voice my displeasure at the whole Amiibo thing. I started off buying the odd character I like, as they were cheap and looked good in my display cabinet, but it’s just gotten ridiculous lately. It seems Nintendo didn’t predict their popularity, so didn’t make as many of the “less popular” characters. Obviously, these became most desirable, and things soon got out of hand, with rare ones disappearing off shelves and reappearing at inflated prices on eBay. I have Zelda, Link and Samus, but have lost interest in hunting them down and paying through the nose. I don’t want the Wii Fit Trainer, regardless of how rare she gets. The only ones that interest me are the retro characters, and of those I only want characters who don’t already appear on my games shelf in some form or another. I did have Sonic and MegaMan on order, but cancelled them along with the 3DS. The only others that interest me are Pac Man (sold out), Duck Hunt Dog (not yet available), Zero Suit Samus (not yet available), Little Mac (sold out and priced ridiculously on eBay). But they’re not essential, and I can wait. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
Latest Bead Art
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.