athelind: (clobberin' time)
One of the comic-related blogs that I peruse regularly is also art-related: Superhero of the Month. They have a pretty straightforward shtick: each month, they pick a superhero, and invite the art community to reinterpret that character with new costume designs and, occasionally, revamped backgrounds. The contest is usually sponsored by some comic book shop, and the prizes tend to be graphic novels featuring the character in question.

It's a concept that's produced some really impressive and thoughtful looks at iconic characters, and it's one that depends heavily on fair use, remix culture, and the principles of the transformative works movement.

So what in the world possessed them to shill for a copyright-maximalist marketeer and his hollow, vapid t-shirt logo "superhero"?

Here's the guy who's the subject of the December 2011 contest: NOTES (or possibly N.O.T.E.S.), flagshill for the innovatively-named Superhero EnterprisesTM.

"NOTES" is our most powerful science fiction superhero and a highly-skilled leader in music technology, whose mission is to enhance and transform the experience of making and editing electronic music.

"N.O.T.E.S." distinctively offers solution(s) to the global fight against illicit downloading and counterfeiting, as the consequences of digital piracy online and in the streets....have continued to threaten the U.S. economy, jeopardize public safety, and undermine the livelihood of our domestic entertainment industries.

Comic book superheroes are supposed to provide role models that are potentially used by children in developing self images. N.O.T.E.S. symbolizes these qualities of high moral character, courage, generosity, and honor of a noble spirit.


That's right, kids: he fights those eeeeeeeevil downloaders! He's a valiant defender of the profit margin and traditional distribution models!

The blog also offers a link to the eventless "origin story" for NOTES, in which Our Hero defeats a couple of shoplifters with ... um ... look, all snarkiness aside, but it really reads like his music is so crappy that they go into convulsions. There may be more pages that haven't been posted yet; it certainly reads that way, and the "origin" offers no explanation as to how he got these powers of amazing musical dysentery.

I've perused the rest of the site, and it just gets worse. The fake street 'tide, the obvious memetic targeting toward the metaculturally naive—he's like Joe Camel for anti-downloading. There's nothing about actual story here; he's Pure Product, No By-Product. Sure, Marvel-Disney and DC-Warner exploit their properties mercilessly these days, and yes, Joe and Jerry's concept sketches included sketches of product labels adorned with their mythical muscleman, but NOTES is designed to be merchandised first and foremost. They come right out and say it: he was the logo for their music production company first, then they decided to spin him off into a "superhero". He got t-shirts and sneakers (and an art contest!) before his first comic was ever released. They describe him themselves as "the trendiest superhero in the universe."

Higher praise no mutant could ask.

And what fabulous prizes await the artists who can best capture this Champion of Commercialism?

1st Place: Opportunity to write/illustrate a two-page short story featuring NOTES to be featured on Superhero Enterprises' Tumblr and DeviantArt pages, and a NOTES T-shirt.


Semantic Analysis: Draw us free art to make our IP look cool and popular, and we'll let you do more free art to promote our brand!

Your Obedient Serpent was sore tempted to post a comment along these lines on the SotM blog announcement, but honestly, that's flat-out trolling—especially since the comment list on every SotM entry is headed with a "don't be rude" disclaimer.

I should note, however, that the contest parameters themselves state: "What we'll be looking for is an illustration that best exemplifies what you believe NOTES stands for."

Oh my. Do be careful what you wish for.

My medium of choice, alas, is prose, and thus not appropriate for the contest.

I think it would be a fine thing, however, if the more artistically-inclined provided the blog with entries that showed exactly what they believe NOTES stands for.

As Uncle Howard used to say ... Do Not Call Up What You Cannot Put Down.


athelind: (grognard)
Does this ever happen to anyone else?

Every now and then, I get an idea for a character that just won't leave me alone. It would be one thing if it were a character that wanted me to write it—but when this kind of thing hits me, it's almost always a game character.

Sometimes, it's a game that nobody I know even plays. I have any number of files and character sheets and general notes for games like GURPS, Castle Falkenstein, and Mutants & Masterminds.

This time, it's for a game I don't even own, in a genre I haven't touched in years.

That's right. A Dungeon Fantasy character has my creative cortex by the short axons. He'd work acceptably in Dungeons & Dragons proper, but only in Third Edition. He'd work better by far in Pathfinder, Paizo's fork of D&D 3.X.

His story: )
athelind: (DRAGON!)
(Yeah, I'm posting a lot today. I'm thinky.)

Every few years, I come back to this question; for the first time, though, I've got a different answer.

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your alter-ego?



For years, I wanted Kelsey Grammer for Athelind, but I think Your Obedient Serpent has finally moved past mere self-conscious pomposity.

Just as [livejournal.com profile] jirris_midvale wanted someone who could swing between the two poles of his personality, I've found someone who can capture the full binary range of Athelind's psyche:

Peter Cullen.



When Athelind is up, he's impassioned, sincere, and inspiring, much like Cullen's most famous role.

And when he's not ... Cullen has that covered, too. You can just hear him say stuff like "any day where you don't have brain damage is a victory", "so far, so good", and other, similar gems from my Argot entries, can't you? Really, some of those only really carry their full weight as Athespeak when said in that voice.

As always, comments are open -- who's your voice?


Edit 05 June 2010: You know, when I think about it, Argot entries tend to be in Eeyore's voice, while Feed Your Head entries lean toward Prime.
athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


athelind: (hoard potato)
If you're looking for a Government Organization to use as the basis for a modern-day Monster-Hunting/Weird Science/Exotic Phenomena RPG, have your PCs work for The Center For Disease Control. They've cropped up as the "go-to guys" in several recent movies of that nature, and it makes sense: weird pheonmena that threaten large segments of the population, requiring specialists to control and contain; a well-established infrastructure for such tasks; and, for the ever-popular "secret war against the supernatural" genre, a convenient cover story that will keep most people as far from an "infected" area as possible. After all, vampirism, zombie outbreaks, or alien parasites can be treated as an infectious disease in many ways. A sewer full of flesh-eating mutant cockroaches is a disease-vector problem.
athelind: (Default)
If you're looking for a Government Organization to use as the basis for a modern-day Monster-Hunting/Weird Science/Exotic Phenomena RPG, have your PCs work for The Center For Disease Control. They've cropped up as the "go-to guys" in several recent movies of that nature, and it makes sense: weird pheonmena that threaten large segments of the population, requiring specialists to control and contain; a well-established infrastructure for such tasks; and, for the ever-popular "secret war against the supernatural" genre, a convenient cover story that will keep most people as far from an "infected" area as possible. After all, vampirism, zombie outbreaks, or alien parasites can be treated as an infectious disease in many ways. A sewer full of flesh-eating mutant cockroaches is a disease-vector problem.
athelind: (hoard potato)
A post that [livejournal.com profile] the_gneech made early this morning brought this to mind, and I thought I'd expand upon and share the thoughts in my earlier comment.

Some thoughts on the applied use of clichés and tropes: )
athelind: (Default)
A post that [livejournal.com profile] the_gneech made early this morning brought this to mind, and I thought I'd expand upon and share the thoughts in my earlier comment.

Some thoughts on the applied use of clichés and tropes: )

November 2016

S M T W T F S
  12345
6 78 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Tags

Page generated May. 30th, 2017 01:24 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios