Film by Shane “The Medium Vs. Misinformation” Hnetka

Criterion’s August release slate was just announced and Orson Welles’ Chimes At Midnight is finally getting the high-definition release that it deserves. Thanks to stupid legal and ownership disputes, Chimes At Midnight has barely been seen in the last 20 years. It’s going to be awesome to watch what Welles himself considered one of best movies.

Medium Is Not Genre

The New York Times recently ran an article titled “The Success of the Comic Book Genre has changed an Entire American Business Industry.” It’s been since corrected to “The Superhero Franchise: Where Traditional Movie Stardom Goes to Die”.

Notice the error in the first headline? Comic books are NOT a genre. They’re a medium.

Look at it this way: there isn’t a book genre or a theatre genre. Television isn’t a genre and neither is music. These are mediums. And while many comics feature superheroes, comic books aren’t exclusively about them any more than paperbacks are about spies, love affairs or mysteries.

Comic books can be (and are) about just about anything  and New York Times writers should know better. Lots of non-superhero comics have been made into movies and TV shows. A History of Violence, Road to Perdition, Persepolis, Snowpiercer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, 300, V for Vendetta, Sin City, Blue is the Warmest Color, Ghost World, Gemma Bovary, The Adventures of Tintin and even the extremely popular The Walking Dead are all adapted from comic books, and they have nothing to do with the current superhero reign at the box office.

Comics have long struggled to find respect in the United States despite a rich artistic, literary and cultural history that goes far beyond leaping tall buildings in a single bound. The New York Times reminds us that there’s still a ton of ignorance and snootiness out there. Sucks.

Studios Still Need Fans

Looks like Paramount is dropping their lawsuit against a crowd-funded Star Trek fan film. In the past, Paramount tolerated fan films. But after Star Trek: Axanar crowd funded $638,000, Paramount slapped a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. This pissed off a ton of Star Trek fans and, with it being Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year and a new movie coming out this summer, Paramount backtracked. I guess they really need them to go see the new Trek movie this summer.

Shane Hnetka is professional film and comic book nerd.