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Ambidextrous - Being Unbreakable

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Being Unbreakable

I always intended to write this column…I swear. It’s just that something I encountered recently forced my hand (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/monkey/viewnews.cgi?newsid994914000,94902,). How ironic that it was on the website to which I call myself a contributor. Before we discuss just why Unbreakable was one of the best movies ever put to film involving comic books, let’s first look at the concept of comic movies and what it means to our little corner of the entertainment world.

Some of the most creative and visionary professionals are toiling away their lives and word processors writing these little things called comic books. They get minimal respect from those outside of their insular industry and their work is approached with an ever critical demeaning eye. They don’t respect us, but on occasion…they will take some of our better (or maybe I should say more marketable) ideas, and splash it on a screen at the local multiplex, providing some strange manner of vindication for our interest in the four-color realm we know and love.

Perhaps that explains just why fandom sets away with obsessive anticipation at the announcement that one of our little “properties”, one of our little books, is being turned into a movie. I’m not excluding myself from this reaction of course, when I heard they were making an X-Men movie, I said, “Cool.” Spider-Man was announced from Columbia Pictures, and while my enthusiasm regarding this latest foray wasn’t as heightened…I thought to myself, “That’ll be cool.”

But why dammit?? Did the X-Men movie in its near perfection alter the enjoyment I find and will always find from the X-Men comic?? Hell no. Will the Spider-Man movie change my life?? I doubt it. So why am I excited at the prospect of witnessing Marvel’s mighty mutants adorned in black leather and dashing across my local theater screen?? I think the main reason, other than it could be great fun is that it suggests that someone is looking at us…finally.

I want the industry to explode back to its previous overblown stature. The days when creators reaped incredible financial benefits and took daily baths in their money bins must return at all costs. From a creative and production standpoint, the industry has never been as fresh, as diverse, or as prepared for the spotlight. The time is now, but in order for this to occur…people have to know we exist. We’ve got to find new ways to attack the mass market, and big budget movies are an appropriate entryway into the throes of mass media. Unless of course…they suck.

The most dangerous Catch-22 folks, because the majority of people involved in the production and conception of comic movies have never read a comic in their life, and when handed a stack for research, can barely suppress a deep chuckle. Comic creators do it for the love, because there isn’t any damn money in it. The big-time producer, the hotshot screenwriter, and the lackluster director are going to receive a huge paycheck regardle