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Since last week, the media and the general public have been bashing 20th Century FOX’s second crack at one of their few remaining Comic Book movie options, Fantastic Four. Cast and crew are overtly pointing the finger anywhere away from themselves and everyone else is spinning rumors about its failure. Whatever really occurred during this production to ultimately end with a sour film is, in my opinion, irrelevant when we take into consideration FOX’s overall track record with Comic Book movies: FOX has never been able to produce a critically successful film based on a comic book, unless they leave it in Bryan Singer’s hands.

People tend to forget that 20th Century FOX actually started this superhero movie craze. When they put decent funding into X-Men (2000) and it turned out to be a hit, that gave Hollywood the green light to produce more. Several mainstream movie studios started buying up what they could – FOX had X-men, Daredevil, Fantastic Four; Paramount had Iron Man, Thor, Captain America; Universal had Hulk; Sony had Spider-Man; Warner Brothers stuck with the DC universe with Batman and Superman, but added Green Lantern; and various other lesser-known and independent titles were purchased. And as I’ve stated many times, when Batman Begins was released in 2005, it was “cool” to like comic books and geeky things, and so began the mass production explosion.

Back to my point, FOX’s release of the 2005 Fantastic Four did see a profit, but ticket sales were based on the growing hype. In reality, Fantastic Four was not well received but the figures looked good to studio executives, and a sequel was produced. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) was able to make back its budget, but little else (relatively). Taking a look at the rest of FOX’s batch, the less said about the 2003 Daredevil film the better. As well as the subsequent spinoff in 2005, Elektra. In 2003 FOX also put out The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and while it grossed more that double its budget, critics and audiences found it generally unfavorable. Both X-Men and X2: X-Men United were widely appreciated, but the third installment, which coincided with the departure of Bryan Singer, was abysmal. X-Men: The Last Stand is still considered to be a monumental disappointment for fans of the comic book; as were pretty much every X-men film until Singer’s return in 2014 with X-Men: Days of Future Past. The three X-men films in between The Last Stand and Days of Future Past {Origins: Wolverine, First Class, The Wolverine} hold mixed reviews at best. 20th Century FOX gave original concepts, i.e. screenplays not adapted from already established comic book lore, a fair shake. However, most of those were abject failures all-around. That leaves FOX’s stats at 3 undoubtedly successful comic book movies and 11 questionable-to-failed comic book movies. The 3 successes were directed by Bryan Singer. I need to point out at this time that those figures are based only from 2000 to present; FOX has done other comic book movies before they were popular.

Even before the bashing and bellyaching subsided, FOX exasperated the tense scene by announcing they were moving ahead with the already planned sequel to their rebooted Fantastic Four, projected for 2017. There were initial rumors that they would actual put the funding towards a Deadpool sequel, but that may not be the case afterall. Many question why FOX doesn’t wise-up and simply sell their rights to this perhaps doomed (pardon the pun, fans) franchise to the Marvel-Disney beast, like Sony/Columbia did with Spider-Man. This is probably for two reasons. First of all, Sony/Columbia had absolutely nothing profitable on this matter outside of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and eventually they really had no more stake in the game. Secondly, FOX still has a reinvigorated X-Men franchise and a possible Deadpool one. Not to mention they have already made the mistake of announcing their intentions to construct their own Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool could eventually meet up in – the rights to Daredevil defaulted back to Marvel-Disney. Quite honestly, it’s admirable to think what FOX might be opting for: Learn from their mistake, and ensure the follow-up is super strong. Too quickly are studios preferring to reboot something than do that. Best of luck, FOX.


Tumbling Down the Space Opera

Relating to my trance-electro music side project, Space Opera, I made a rather embarrassing mistake. Space Opera is intended to be a small project to satisfy my musical creativity while I’m taking time to repair, purchase and set up equipment to start recording live instruments again. I originally planned to produce an EP, and post it for free on Soundcloud or BandCamp. I started work on the first track, and somewhere in the middle I realized this could be done two ways: A) Release this as one continuous track, which is how most trance albums come, or B) as separate tracks. Then it hit me that it might be fun to do both; I could put one version up for free and the other up for a pay what you want to deal – which would be which isn’t decided yet. It seemed better to make the EP as one continuous track first and then divided it up later. However, upon near completion of the first movement, I noticed that the tune was written/recorded at 60 bpm. Trance music is traditionally characterized has between 125 bpm and 140 bpm. Frustrated with this discovery – because it was a carless oversight – I tried several ways to edit it out, but ended up having to redo the whole thing at an appropriate beat. There is certainly the option to release the whole thing at 60 bpm, but then that would feel like a comp-out.

Due to moving plans and other projects, Space Opera will probably be delayed more than once. At least I’ve put drawing and sewing on the shelf and will not be distracted by those.


The Unname Collection of Short Stories

What I’m presently working on is a collection of short stories for self-publication. Self-publication because I would like to have something more tangible to my name before I finish up and shop around my second novel. With self-publications, it’s really just a question of funding. I’ve also tangoed with the notion of rewriting and self-publishing my first novel, Concealed Weapons, but that would take some extensive rewrites; especially since it would mean not being restricted by a publishers expectations. Trying to rewrite an entire novel – even though the outline is already in place – while attempting to generate, write out, re-write, edit, and self-publish several stories, simply does not sound appetizing right now. Although, I feel the potency of Conceal Weapons grows with time; it ages well, in a sense.

The short story collection (not presently titled) will be tied together by the concepts of Alienation. That might not sound like a pleasant read initially, but I have been getting good feedback from the installments I’ve been work-shopping. More details will seep out over further blog entries, of course. It will not be a long book, because I don’t want to waste another whole year concerned about if it looks “thick” enough to be a “real” book – real concerns I’ve heard from idiots. I figure about 150 pages. It will contain short and flash pieces. Hopefully it will be done and available by the Fall of this year. Stay tune


Donald Duck…I mean trump…for President

My new theory concerning Donald Trump’s surprising lead in the polls is related to the typical short attention span most people have globally. The that people who support Trump in his running for President only listen to half of what he’s saying. When he says things like “the people in Washington are stupid,” that’s something most people would agree with. But, anyone who actually listens to what he says around one-liners like that shouldn’t agree with the policies he wants to supplement. I think his supporters are getting swept up in his discontent with the present state of government in this country (because we all are) to a degree that they’re magically ignoring everything else; especially since a lot of what he wants to do is entirely illegal and unconstitutional, and it would never get through.

Donald Trump appears to believe that once elected President, he gets to sit in an office and bark orders that get carried out without question. He doesn’t realize that being President of a country is not like being President of your own business. So, nothing he wants to do is going to happen, and somehow his supporters don’t realize it either.