Friday, May 16, 2008

COMICS and VIDEOGAMES- news that gives you the blues

(Video games artwork coming!)

A couple of miscellaneous news items that were interesting:

Microsoft has denied rumors that they are planning for a Blu-ray drive upgrade to the XBOX 360. While I normally consider anything that MS says to be of probable equal veracity to anything the current presidential administration says, this time I believe them. Not only would it be a useless upgrade for gaming (any new game dependant on the extra storage would be unplayable in the old systems and there is no reason to use BR if you don’t need the extra space because it’s more expensive). It would be a useless upgrade for watching movies (The whole idea behind the HD-DVD add on was to push the format and hurt Sony. They never sold enough to make it worth their while even with the sweetheart deal they got from the OEM. A deal they would definitely not get from Sony.) And it would be a tacit admission from MS that they lost and Sony’s tech was better. And if the other two weren’t deal killers, that one right there is. I hope I don’t live to see the day that MS has to admit that even 800 pound gorillas don’t always get their way. (I’ve already seen GM and IBM have to do it and it isn’t pretty.)

Time-Warner\Warner Bros.\DC Comics (Does Time-Warner have a parent company?) has reminded us why corporate citizenship is an idea that could only be supported by a braying jackass or a prostitute. Seems they are shutting down an original art auction on ebay because it included some images or their property. The fact that the auction was intended to benefit children with cancer didn’t seem to matter. But why would it? Corporations are soulless constructs that have no compassion and no loyalty except to their stockholders. The only way they resemble citizens is that they have an instinct for self preservation which is often overridden by greed and stupidity. They are usually right wing, but I don’t think it’s for the reasons you would suppose. You might think it’s because they want small government and minimum interference. After all, that makes sense. But I think the real reason they are right wing is because all right wingers have a single defining characteristic that sets them apart. They are blind to irony! The irony in this case is that DC doesn’t actually own the copyright to Superman. The legal hocus-pocus is too long to go into here, but read the article. Seems when Disney decided to change the term of copyright to the-life-of-Mickey-Mouse-plus-one-year they were a butterfly (an 800 pound butterfly, if you will) that flapped its wings and created a tornado for other intellectual property holders. (Frankly, I prefer the analogy Phillip Jose Farmer used for this chaos theory meme in RIDERS OF THE PURPLE WAGE- If a bear farts at the north pole does it cause a big wind in Chicago?) I’m not in favor of dynasties, and truthfully I have to say that Paul Levitz at DC has been a mench about kicking some chickenfeed back toward creators (after Neal Adams led the fight to get the creators of Superman a paltry pension in the last years of their lives) but it’s good to see a little power revert to some folks that actually knew (and share genes with) one of the two guys that invented a character that has given me so much joy throughout my life. How much better is that than having some 29 year old douchbag buy his Maserati with profits from Superman when he’s never come closer to creating something than making excrement.

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