Last week, we attended the VidCon. It was started in a Los Angeles hotel by John & Hank Green (The Vlogbrothers) and now in its 6th year, VidCon has grown to take up the Anaheim Convention Center with about 20,000 attendees. This probably isn’t on most ComicMix readers’ radars, but it should be. Online video and its creators and fans too are taking over the world. Seriously. The YouTube Famous are stars to billions (with a B). They are our generation’s A-list celebrities and at VidCon they walk the con floor and meet their fans and so there are lots of teenage girls who freak out and lose their minds in a screaming fit. There’s also people in the online video industry upstairs learning stuff. We had a great time and were able to meet some of our favorite YouTubers. The video tells the story, as it should being about a video convention and all.
Last week’s 5th Annual Vidcon at the Anaheim Convention Center brought together video content creators, industry and fans to celebrate the medium. As we expected, it was a con filled with lots of tween and teen girls screaming for their favorite YouTubers, but it also featured an industry keynote from YouTube’s CEO announcing all kind of new features for the site like a “tip jar” for content creators, fan translations and a radio show on Sirius. Through the panels, concerts and signings it was clear that kids our age see online video like our elders see TV – so this con, started by the Vlogbrothers (Hank & John Green) is only going to grow in importance. Watch our video for a taste of the experience.
It’s summer, so we know that their kind has kicked-up their time watching online content. As a matter of fact, we’re currently kicking back with our online video community at VidCon right now. In celebration of all of that we offer up 5 of our favorite YouTube Channels. There’s something for everyone whether you want pop culture musicals, thoughtful hip-hop analysis of literary classics, cute cats, comic culture in your kitchen, or dorky teenage boy advice.
“Whose side are you on?” That’s how Marvel touted its mega-event of 2006-2007, Civil War. Me? I’m on the readers’ side. So, even though Civil War ended some time ago, we’re still living in its aftermath and I’m still looking for a way to prove it couldn’t have happened.
Civil War started because the New Warriors, a team of “poorly-trained” super-heroes, tried to boost the ratings of their reality show by capturing a group of super-villains on camera. One of the super-villains, Nitro, the villain who can blow himself up over and over, decided that rather than be captured, he would blow himself up “real good,” killing over six hundred people, including a school bus full of children.
Everyone blamed the New Warriors. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s easier to blame the heroes than the super-villain who actually killed the six hundred people. Maybe because Civil War’s plot needed a plot device that would prompt Congress to enact a Superhuman Registration Act. All I know is that in the eyes of the law, the New Warriors shouldn’t be blamed for Nitro’s acts.
See, the law has this thing called the Doctrine of Emergency, which says people can act in emergencies without being subject to normal standards of care. The doctrine exists to encourage good Samaritans, so the law seeks to immunize them if they try to do good in an emergency situation but cause some harm as a result. So if a person performs emergency CPR on a heart attack victim and accidentally breaks the victim’s ribs, the good Samaritan isn’t liable for breaking the heart attack victim’s ribs. In the same way, if a group of super-heroes takes on a group of super-villains who are attacking a city, the heroes shouldn’t be held responsible if third parties get hurt or killed in the fight; and they especially shouldn’t be blamed if one of the villains acts on his own and kills said third parties. God, if the Doctrine of Emergency didn’t exist, can you imagine the property damage and wrongful death suits that would have been brought against Superman after Man of Steel? Instead, he got thanked by some Metropolans in the middle of a bomb crater.
Civil War had major problems in its premise because of the Doctrine of Emergency. The New Warriors shouldn’t have been be liable for the deaths that Nitro caused. Nevertheless, and despite the fact that the law may not be on its side, the Marvel Universe Congress passed the SRA. After all, when has a little thing like the law not being on its side ever stopped Congress?
The SRA required all super-powered individuals in the Marvel Universe to register their identities and super powers with the federal government, so that the government could train meta-humans to use their powers properly. Riiiiight. Our government couldn’t even train FEMA agents how to book passage on Orbitz to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, it’s the perfect organization to teach Captain Wrigley how to keep his mutant-powered minty freshness fresh all day.
Under the SRA, failure to register was a criminal offense. Several of the super-heroes, most notably Captain America, opposed the SRA. They refused to register, and immediately became outlaws and fugitives because the SRA and its registration requirement went into effect the day it was enacted. Which is the second legal reason why Civil War couldn’t have happened.
In the real world, laws have a phase-in periods. New emission control standards don’t go into effect overnight, before any automobile manufacturer had a chance to comply with them. Car manufacturers are given time to get their cars into compliance with the standards; usually years. Registration laws also have phase-ins periods. When the Selective Service Act was enacted, the federales didn’t start rounding up the unregistered at the stroke of midnight on the day the law went into effect. No, the SSA gave people a period of several months to register before they were called draft dodgers.
Why? Well, what if someone was in Europe on the day the law went into effect so couldn’t register? Should he be a criminal under those circumstances or should he be given time to return from Europe and register? Now multiply that problem a millionfold for super-heroes. What if, when the SRA went into effect, a super-hero was visiting the Blue Area of the Moon, or fighting Blastaar in the Negative Zone, or was dead and hadn’t been retconned back to life yet? Should said hero be guilty of violating the SRA?
So, if the SRA had a phase-in period, and it would have had one, that means Civil War hasn’t actually happened yet. Remember, the Marvel Universe time moves much, much slower than real time. In the Marvel Universe, the SRA’S months-long phase-in period probably wouldn’t be ending until right about now. We still have time to give Captain America and Iron Man a copy of Civil War #7, with its oh-so-obvious solution to the problem, and keep them from fighting in the first place. We can keep Civil War from happening.
And that means we don’t have to see Tony Stark become someone unrecognizable to anyone who grew up with him when he was a hero. It means we don’t have to see Reed Richards explain that he was in favor of the SRA, because the law was the law and as long as it was the law, we have to obey it; conveniently forgetting that in his own origin he stole a rocket ship, thereby committing the grandest grand theft motor vehicle in history. It also means that we don’t have to see Captain America scolded for not really knowing what the American people wanted because he didn’t have a MySpace page or a YouTube account. (After all, everyone knows that you really measure how in touch with the American people a person is by counting how many e-mails offering financial aid he gets from deposed Nigerian princes.)
So Marvel’s Civil War couldn’t have happened. And we can ignore all those stories that came during and after it. Well, not really, but sometimes don’t you wish you could? I was born in 1952, some ninety years too young to have been in the American Civil War. And after thinking about Civil War all over again, I realized that I wish I had been too young for Marvel’s Civil War, too.
Author’s Note: I wrote a few installments of “The Law Is a Ass” for Comics’ Buyer’s Guide which, for a variety of reasons, it never printed. From time to time, I am going to run one of these previously unpublished installments, slightly edited to bring them up to date. This is one of those times.
This is a column for all you “I want to be a writer” writers out there.
The XXII Olympics officially opened on Friday, February 8th, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Thirty years ago the XIV Olympics took place in Sarajevo in what was Yugoslavia and is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, although the region is usually just called Bosnia. Thirty years later the Olympic village, the ice rink, the bobsled and luge tracks, the ski jump, the other sports facilities and hotels are gone, destroyed during the Bosnian war and the 44-months-long Siege of Sarajevo which killed nearly twelve thousand of the city’s residents.
On October 17, one of the hottest animated series returns for a second season as Frederator Studios unleashes all new episodes of the breakout hit Bravest Warriors exclusively on its Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel.
From Pendleton Ward, the creator of the Emmy-nominated Cartoon Network smash hit Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors chronicles the out-of-this-world futuristic adventures of four teenaged costumed heroes as they warp through the universe to save adorable aliens. Joined by fan favorite characters Catbug and Impossibear, the Bravest Warriors split their time between intergalactic adventures and hanging out in their invisible giant robot hideout. The new season will feature 12, 5-minute episodes with new installments debuting every other Thursday at 4pm ET.
Upon its premiere last Fall, Bravest Warriors became an instant hit. The 11 episode first season has garnered more than 32 million views to date, and won the Shorty Award for Best Web Show of 2013. Its appeal has also attracted the attention of the licensing community, with more than 15 manufacturers signing on to develop an array of merchandise featuring Catbug, Impossibear, and the warriors that is now rolling out to Hot Topic, Wal-Mart and other retailers.
The Bravest Warriors second season premiere episode , “Aeon Worm,” directly follows the season 1 finale cliffhanger “Catbug,” with the secret of the mysterious, unlockable door sent from the See-Through Zone where their parents have been trapped for two years. The new season will feature episodes written by Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Nickelodeon’s cult-hit Invader Zim, and rising star Noelle Stevenson, best known for her Internet Comic Nimona. The roll-out of the new season is being supported by a multi-platform social media campaign across YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram.
The show is the flagship series for Frederator Studios burgeoning Cartoon Hangover YouTube Channel and the new episodes are part of an aggressive programming expansion planned over the next year. Conceived and developed by Frederator Studios’ head Fred Seibert – the animation luminary whose executive producing credits include such animated blockbusters as Adventure Time, The Fairly OddParents, The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory – Cartoon Hangover ranks as one of the fastest growing channels from YouTube’s 2012 funded channel initiative. Since its launch in November 2012, the channel has generated more than 13 million unique viewers (source: YouTube Analytics), over 55 million views of its programming, more than 156 million minutes watched of its shows, and over 780 thousand subscribers. Cartoon Hangover is part of Channel Frederator, a new multi-channel network devoted to animation and entertainment.
“The internet is ushering in the next golden age of animation. We created Cartoon Hangover to hurry it up and give tomorrow’s hitmakers a platform to show their creations to big audiences who deserved and are craving quality animation, wonderful writing and great characters. Bravest Warriors reflects the type of highly-innovative and imaginative entertainment Cartoon Hangover will deliver as we look to lead a whole new animation revolution,” said Mr. Seibert.
Bravest Warriors is directed, written and executive produced by Breehn Burns, with Frederator Studios serving as series producers. The show was developed by Breehn Burns, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (Pete & Pete, Sanjay and Craig).
Also this month, Cartoon Hangover will continue to unveil new animated shorts that could serve as the inspiration for new series on the channel. This includes Dead End, created by Hamish Steele and animated by Mel Roach, who has also created the popular Cartoon Hangover short, Rocket Dog. Dead End tells the tale of the dynamic trio of Barney, Norma, and Pugsley who discover that a ghost is haunting their Wifi, and clogging up their Internet connection with ectoplasmic goo. The Dead End pilot is slated to release just in time for Halloween on Thursday, October 24.
The new season will feature 12, 5-minute episodes with new installments debuting every other Thursday at 4pm ET.
The debut episode has already gotten 1.6mm views.
CineFix, the ultimate destination for true movie buffs & filmmakers on YouTube, is celebrating the Caped Crusader with“Batman Month,” a month long series of original programming throughout September that includes swedded remakes of iconic Batman scenes, 8-bit video game recreations, countdown lists, contests to win The Dark Knight Trilogy and more!
Batman was recently named the most popular superhero ever on YouTube with over 3 billion views of 71,000 hours of video.
For example, check out the newest video that launched today on CineFix at:
Other Batman Month Programming on CineFix includes:
8 Bit Cinema – Batman The Dark Knight
Hottest Batman Girls
Conspiracy Cinema – Ben Affleck Lands Batman by Flexing Irish Mob Muscle
Tune in on Friday, September 27 when “CineFix Now: Best Batman Villans” goes live.
In celebration of the upcoming holiday, here are some recent cosplay videos available on YouTube:
San Diego Comic Con – I Just Want To Be A SuperHero – Cosplay Music Video
10 Extraordinary Cosplayers w/James and Oliver Phelps (aka The Weasley Twins)
See the full videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbpi6ZahtOH4vPrhnbbn8w1hScFfSoyCu
Love Cosplay! Anime Expo Music Video
Music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons announced in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that The Harlem Shadow, a new animated online superhero series that will be set in the Jazz Age, will be revealed at the New York Comic-Con in October. The Harlem Shadow will feature hip-hop star Common (currently seen in AMC’s Hell on Wheels) in the title voice role and is executive produced by David Uslan.
The Harlem Shadow is an adaptation of the indie small-press series of the same name from RavenHammer Comics and the creative team of Brian Williams and Christian Colbert.
About the comic book:
THE HARLEM SHADOW
BIRTH OF THE COOL
Born at the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem Shadow is the first official Black paranormal crime-fighter that hit the streets of New York around 1929-1930. He was known for his scary appearance, his vicious hand to hand
combat skills and his mastery of two lethal revolvers, used to maim and disarm his enemies but never kill. In 1950 as a result of the Black Mask Act…Harlem Shadow was hunted down by New York City Police, lynch mob style, and unmasked. His name was Linden Somerset, a school teacher and librarian, and he served a twenty year jail sentence at Alcatraz Island. This is his story.
You can read the entire EW interview here.