Comics Creators

What are you watching? 2019 edition


I’m no expert on him, but everything I’ve seen over the years makes me think he was genuinely eccentric, strange and odd and childlike, and that may be part of what led him to commit these abuses. But it doesn’t excuse them.


I kinda can understand his desire to be around children… Imagine living a life where EVERYONE is using you or trying to use you to make a buck… from childhood to death and beyond… =/

I think the guy was really fucked up in the head, how could he not be with such a life… It’s really not an excuse if he indeed molested little children, but I can at least understand the fact that he probably lived a very lonely and difficult life, despite the money and the fame. His was really a tragic life begining to end…


There is too much sex in it. Not that I’m a prude or anything just that there was so much of it in the first two series it detracted from the plot flow. However, the acting, directing, screen directing, cgi, sound reproduction and underlying plot are all so good, it ended up being one of my favourite ever shows.

It is an adult prequel to Treasure Island.

The sound in particular, which seemed to me to be recorded as filmed rather than added later, helped take you right back to that time you first read Treasure Island. Superbly atmospheric.

The sex content was greatly turned down from about halfway through the 2nd series.

It has a background historical political message too, namely that the pirate community in the Caribbean was a prototype for the American revolution to come. A newish theory I’ve seen from a couple of historians.


What’s this you guys are talking about, is it Black Sails?


Why do you think @Jim likes it so much?


Personally I know he was a monster, not just a very strange man. Still cannot say more.


Black Sails. Do yourself a favor and go into it knowing as little as possible. Don’t look up characters or Treasure Island or anything like that. Ignorance is bliss. That’s why Ronnie is so happy.


Hearing that Black Sails is connected to Treasure Island is the first thing to ever get me interested in this show.


They mean the island in San Francisco


Ah, well.


The live-action Ghost in the Shell hit Netflix. And, well… where to start?

This is awful, awful stuff. When you watch the various anime adaptations, each one takes elements from the manga, alters and repurposes elements, and tells its own story. But they each at least attempt to maintain some level of the introspective nature and dense worldbuilding of the original - Oshii’s films lean heavily into the existential elements of the manga’s final story arc, while Stand Alone Complex goes for the complexity of the national and international politics evident in the other stories. And Arise… tries.

But like so many Western adaptations of Japanese properties before it, this film shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the source material. It shoehorns a bunch of cardinal points across the manga and anime into a very traditional and standard anglocentric story framework, and it just doesn’t work.

Ultimately, this means that all the awesome elements of Ghost in the Shell that are on display are little more than window dressing, and that’s probably this movie’s greatest crime.

Visually, it’s incredibly uninspired. Scenes are either repurposed from one of the anime versions or another, with any visual flair removed, or are taken from the big book of Cyberpunk cliches. There are some great elements - especially the costuming, physical props and some of the physical/CG composites for the cyborgs, but almost every shot is full of stuff - animated holograms, flashing lights, and the like that the good is oftentime drowned out in a sea of mediocre. I’m a huge fan of Clint Mansell, but even his score here is bitty - there’s some pieces that are uninspired redos of Kenji Kawaii’s music for the anime, and others that are more suited to Tron than this.

Beyond that, there are some decent performances - Johansson has some great body language at times, but she’s more a generic full-body cyborg rather than Motoko Kusanagi. Beat Takeshi si always fun, and Pilou Asbaek has some good turns as Batou, but pretty much any sequence where he’s displaying his affection for Kusanagi is directed in an incredibly hamfisted way that tears all the nuance out of their relationship (and when they redo the boat scene fromt he first anime, they even remove the bit where he turns away as Kusanagi gets undressed, which was probably their most blatant moment)

I suppose it’s in the movie’s benefit that it’s on Netflix, because the sunk cost fallacy meant I watched it all the way through. If I went to this in the cinema I would have walked out less than ten minutes in.


For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.


Finished Umbrella Academy today. In final review, it’s… okay? It suffers from some fairly big problems. The first is that both the twists surrounding Vanya and her boyfriend are blatantly obvious from the very start (and I say this as someone who knows absolutely nothing about the comic). So you spend the entire series just waiting for the twists to arrive and it makes it a slog. The other issue is that it’s never clear how the world the show is set in works. It seems to be s normal world but there’s talking monkeys and super advanced robots that are presented without comment. Did none of the other miracle babies develop powers? It feels odd that nothing is ever mentioned about them. The time travel element doesn’t make any sense either. Also if any show earned a power of love resolution it is this one so it’s odd that they went with a non-resolution cliffhanger.

Beyond all that the show is fine. I’d rank it better than most of the marvel shows but nowhere close to the best of those.


This is probably the thing that bothered me most… I kept expecting for some of those other babies to show up at some point… =/

I hope they get into it in the 2nd season.


:joy: I really enjoyed the live action GitS, I’m caveating this with saying I’ve not watched or read very much of it prior to this.

It was on Sky not so long ago there and I found myself caught up in it again a couple of times while channel hopping, although I’ll admit I’m a sucker for the sort of stylistic flair that it displayed (even if a bit derivative)


I’ll freely admit I’m a big fan of Ghost in the Shell - I’ve adored Shirow’s work since I was a teenager and as such was apprehensive about the movie from the get-go. If you don’t have the same cultural touchstone a lot of the stuff that I didn’t like about the film wouldn’t even register. A mate of mine joked that if they’d called it Deus Ex: Cultural Appropriation instead of Ghost in the Shell it would have been more acceptable, and I can’t really disagree. I mean, I still would have found it derivative and stale, but I probably wouldn’t have had such a visceral dislike.


For fans of The Orville:


What gap?


The biggest crime is that the score never got a standalone release.


Well, to be more accurate, it is actually a bit of a mix of characters who appear in Treasure Island and yer actual real historical pirates.

But does that matter?

Long John Silver in Treasure Island itself, was based on a real life pirate called John Silver but one who operated in the eastern Mediterranean rather than the Caribbean as in the book.

The joke one in the TV series, one of the leads in fact, is Captain Flint. That name does appear in Treasure Island but was Long John Silver’s parrot.

Who cares?

The main thing about it is the historical accuracy of the sailing techniques, battle tactics and the kinds of communities their activities created.

In the 17th c there were tens of thousands of ‘pirates’ in the Gulf of Mexico although they then mostly went under the euphemisms of ‘Buccaneers’, ‘Privateers’ or ‘Corsairs’, with ‘licenses’ to steal, with various levels of official approval by their respective governments (England, Holland, France).

They were tolerated by those countries since it was presumed that most of their activity would be directed at rival Spanish and Portuguese shipping, which it was in the beginning.

The ‘pirate’ community there evolved some, frankly, progressive ideas. For example, captains were elected by the crew and could be deposed by election at any time. An election was held allowing the crew to vote on whether any proposed attack should or should not happen. A detailed system of social security payments for injuries was adhered to, e.g. so much for the loss of an arm etc.

Black Sails is set a little later in time where those governments, no longer so concerned about the Spanish threat, were more concerned with trying to bottle the Genie they had released, especially as many of them now saw English ships, etc. as fair game, or even as the baddies.

Quite fascinating really.