A Celebration of Cowboys & Aliens Tanking: As a comic fan, for me personally, this image from Deadline Hollywood being on my computer monitor is a wonderful, wonderful moment. This is the happiest I’ve ever been looking at Deadline Hollywood. I would argue this is fucking Christmas. Cowboy & Aliens is based on a cash-grab “let’s make a comic only so we can get it optioned by Hollywood” comic put out by cynical people (who conceived the “idea” for the “intellectual property” and then left the boring old job of actually making the comic to others, drawn from comic’s legions of the willingly anonymous). The comic was then turned into a "#1 graphic novel" on some arbitrary list by its publishers gaming the "system" (note: comics are too backwards to actually have a “system” but whatever)— basically, paying retailers to buy it, if I understand correctly, in order to make it look more attractive to Hollywood. And it worked and they were rewarded in spectacular fashion. Big name directors, one of the biggest movie stars of all time in the movie, the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Olivia Wilde.
Until it got near an actual audience who only cared about being told a halfway decent story, for the very first time in its miserable existence. And the audience ran the other way. Because cowboys and aliens is a fucking hacky and fucking stupid idea. It’s the kind of idea you think of as a joke, when you’re making fun of the kind of shit that asshole psuedo-cartoonists chasing after movie options put out into the world. Audiences LAUGHED at the trailer because they thought the movie was a parody of a real movie — and those audiences were fucking RIGHT to do that.
And granted, foreign audiences are probably flocking to it because… that’s what foreign audiences do with shitty movies, apparently; The Tourist's success overseas is the only argument against socialism that I've ever found persuasive. And HBO, cable, video games, etc— nothing actually “loses” money, supposedly, or at least so they say. This is a small victory.
But Platinum Studios, Radical Comics, Virgin Comics, those Image books like the Seth Green one or the Rosario Dawson one, all the psuedo-“celebrities” (Ed Burns! John Woo! Marlon Wayans! Guy Ritchie!), and on and on and on, all the pallid, fucking “high concepts" that have gotten shoveled down the comic market’s throat?
When it came time for an actual audience to choose, THEY ALL LOST TO PEYO! A Belgian cartoonist who created the Smurfs more than 50 years ago > > > the entire Hollywood-douchebag industrial complex. Fake comics lost to real comics! It’s not just that it came in #2— oh, it’s the fucking poetry of it! (P.S. Jon Favreau should make a goddamn comedy again— the guy made Swingers, Made, and Elf! Guy with that comedy resume should put the stupid comic books away— comic books are NEVER, EVER, EVER funny!) And here’s hoping next week is significantly, significantly worse. (p.p.s. go see Attack the Block instead, if you can! It is rad.)