Carnival of souls: BCGF, spending 11 minutes inside Game of Thrones, more

* This weekend I attended the second annual Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. It was the best comic con I’ve ever been to; on a pure comics level it was simply staggering, and of course that’s the level that matters. I wrote a full con report for Robot 6, so please do check it out.

* Last night HBO aired an 11-plus minute making-of/preview of Game of Thrones. I’ve embedded it twice below: The first video is the full 11:46 preview that ran on TV, while the second is a shorter version from HBO’s official YouTube account that runs about 10 minutes. Watch the longer one, provided it’s still up. What can I say? Everything looks rock-solid, and again, they seem to be emphasizing the stuff you’d want them to emphasize; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the actor who plays Jaime, nails the mega-plot of the whole series right to the wall, for instance. Also? The Hound. (Via Winter Is Coming.)

*Here’s a lengthy and to my mind insightful essay by Myles McNutt on Game of Thrones and the HBO brand. (Via Westeros.) Sample bit:

In earlier conversations on Twitter where I tried to find just where Game of Thrones fits within the HBO Brand, there were some logical parallels: the scale of the series is perhaps matched only by Rome (which was both a BBC co-production and an actual historical series), and the kind of fan interaction necessary for its success most closely mirrors True Blood. And yet, the show doesn’t fit easily into either of those categories, in that the show lacks the romantic and camp elements of a show like True Blood but has a greater expectation for authenticity (oddly enough) than Rome – it seems strange to suggest that viewers are scrutinizing a fantasy more closely than an historical drama, but such is the nature of a literary adaptation of a beloved series with an intelligent fan base whose expectations of this story go beyond what Sookie Stackhouse readers might have expected from the adaptation of their beloved novels or what history nuts might have anticipated from Rome (which was also sold as a fictionalized account of the historical event in question).

I’ve thought about the “accuracy” angle a lot versus True Blood, which I’m told plays fast and loose with the details, and even some major elements and characters, of Charlaine Harris’s novels while remaining broadly faithful to the overall plot, and versus The Vampire Diaries, which I’m told has almost nothing to do with the novels anymore. (Clearly the same is true of Gossip Girl.) I’m tempted to say that female-based fandom is more forgiving of deviations from orthodoxy, but then I remember that a) The Walking Dead seems to be doing just fine by most of the fans of its source material despite increasingly massive deviations from the original (and despite not being all that good, but that’s not really relevant here), and b) The Lord of the Rings, which mentally I’ve constructed as the gold standard in fandoms that demand absolute fidelity, actually made quite a few changes itself. Tom Spurgeon has argued that fans don’t want fidelity, they want flattery — flattery of what they the fans believe to be the most important aspect of the work at hand. I tend to agree with him. But in a case like Game of Thrones, where so much of the story is driven by byzantine plotting by the characters, I think fans will get a bit restless of there’s too much mucking about with it.

* Game of Thrones t-shirts!

* Jim Woodring Frank t-shirts!

* Hyphen magazine profiles my pal Shawn Cheng of Partyka. (Via The Daily Cross Hatch.) Worth reading for the pronunciation guide to “Partyka” alone!

* Ben Morse on Juliet, the best villain in Gossip Girl history. Money quote, in more ways than one: “In the weird dynamic of this show where the spoiled brats are the heroes, it just makes twisted sense that the girl who has to do her own dishes is the villain.”

* Thank goodness someone’s finally going to put the spotlight on the Marvel Comics work of Brian Bendis. Aw, I kid. I actually think a PR initiative based on talking up the writers who help decide the direction of the Marvel Universe in an almost editorial capacity is a good idea, insofar as that’s a pretty unique set-up in terms of the history of superhero comics and worth talking about as such.

* Please subscribe to the RSS feed for Jesse Moynihan’s webcomic Forming; I don’t see how you’ll be disappointed in terms of the sheer visuals.

* I’m sure I must have seen this illustration of Lady Liberty and Lady Justice making out somewhere before, but only in seeing it now do I realize how cool it would be if there were a giant Statue of Justice on the West Coast somewhere, with the two of them bookending America like the Argonath.

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7 Responses to Carnival of souls: BCGF, spending 11 minutes inside Game of Thrones, more

  1. Ben Morse says:

    I think my equating Dan as the Adam Strange of the Gossip Girl Justice League is one of my crowning achievements.

  2. Tim O'Neil says:

    The Lord of the Rings is a good example because the books were so intricately and deliberately plotted that the liberties taken in the movie adaptation, which I’m sure were taken for supposedly practical reasons, ended up gutting some of the crucial logistics of the plot. I don’t think the LotR movies were very good, but not merely for the fact that the plot fell apart like swiss cheese in parts – they were too literal in places, and ultimately you were left with the overriding impression that they would have been better off not bothering.

    if the Game of Thrones books are anywhere near as intricate in design as the LotR, the result of any meddling with plot mechanics will probably be gibberish.

    • What do you think fell apart in Lord of the Rings due to monkeying around? I’m a pretty hardcore Tolkien fan and all I’ve got is “it doesn’t make sense for Elrond or the Lorien elves to be able to run around to Rohan and back at will like that, if they could do that half the trouble would be over” and “they should have said there were 100,000 orcs in Mordor, not 10,000.”

      • Tim O'Neil says:

        The bit where Frodo in Osgiliath shows the ring to the ring-wraith really should have ended the story right there – like, oh, hi there, that’s the ring we’ve been looking for, you’ve got it, thanks for playing.

        Plus, you know, Tom Bombadil. The movies were just kind of terrible.

        • The movies were terrible because they left out a huge detour? You are always full of surprises, man.

          One thing about the books that I think would have been hard to translate into the movies even if the filmmakers had decided “THIS IS JOB ONE” is how carefully calibrated the military and magical mechanics were in order for all this to HAVE to happen RIGHT NOW and NO OTHER TIME. Like, for example, back in the day it was daunting but not impossible to walk into Mordor–the Elves and Men had the manpower/elfpower and enough totally awesome powerful dudes to invade Mordor, fight their way to Mount Doom, and beat Sauron in a duel. Sauron and his minions spent the next three-plus millennia waging wars of attrition, spreading plagues, causing droughts and frosts, breeding wolves and orcs, driving people crazy, and so on to ensure that that could never happen again. That’s never really communicated. Similarly, the Ringwraiths could be punked out en masse by a guy with a burning log on Weathertop but could scare the living shit out of an entire army by yelling at them in Minas Tirith because of their proximity to Sauron/their strength as a full group of nine/the relative level of attention Sauron was paying to them and their mission there versus up North, but that’s never really communicated either.

          What I’m curious about is how Jackson will handle what it’s like to wear the Ring in The Hobbit vs. what he established in LotR, which laid it on way too thick. (Sauron saw Frodo in the damn Prancing Pony! Okay, that’s another thing they screwed up.) It’s another case where Tolkien had it all perfectly calibrated–Sauron was in a weakened state and he thought the Ring had been destroyed so he didn’t notice it even when Bilbo was wearing it while traipsing around the same forest Sauron lived in at the time–but due to the liberties Jackson and company took in LotR, I’m not sure they can sell it on those grounds.

          • Tim O'Neil says:

            See, I think the reason I don’t like the movies so much is that I do dearly love the books. And the books are just so . . . well, they are just such a *thing,* you know? Seeing them onscreen, no matter how well executed it all was (and it sure looked nice, no doubt about that) just took the air out of what had been, for me, an exercise in personal imagination. Once it’s there in living color it doesn’t seem quite so fantastic, and the melancholy tone seems forced when it’s onscreen with the soaring strings and the Annie Lennox in the background. I have some friends who love the movies and love the books as well, but for me . . . I dunno. It just wasn’t necessary for me, liking the books as I do, to ever see anyone else’s version of the story I have so wonderfully committed to the memory of my minds’ eye. It seems superfluous, and even kind of trite.

            Like, why the hell do you ever want to see an artist’s rendition of a shuggoth when the image in your mind of that giant green thing with a thousand eyes gobbling up penguins in At the Mountains of Madness will always remain far more compelling than the most arduously achieved ILM effect?

            With that said, my favorite Tolkein is still and will always be the Silmarillion, and I dearly hope that that one remains in the category of “unfilmable.” Although, hell, in ten years we might be seeing *that* on HBO. Although I still doubt it.

  3. That footage from GoT looks gorgeous. So much of it looks dead-on, from the casting to the texture of the thing. I’m trying to keep my expectations in check, but man it’s tough.

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