So it was announced today that the next Transformers show Robots in Disguise, will be airing on Cartoon Network as opposed to the now defunct Hub Network. Now let’s not fool ourselves… It’s because of the collapse of the Hub Network that this is even happening. Discovery Family is still airing My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop, but their “boy oriented flagship show” is heading back to familiar grounds again.
I am disappointed in the departure of the Hub Network. I’m a big fan of potential and I saw a lot of a young Cartoon Network in it. I truly felt it had the potential to be as big as Cartoon Network and even Nickelodeon. Well, I guess there’s only so much you can do when half of your shows are based around toys and games and the other half is reruns of Blossom and Step by Step. Still… I’m not going to lie. This does make me a bit uncomfortable. I’m really looking forward to the new TF show, but well… I kind of remember how Cartoon Network treated the Transformers the last several shows that were on there.
Armada started off strong as a premiere 6:30 PM time slot, right after Dragonball Z, during the Toonami block’s peak in the afternoon. It was an anime import during the height of the anime boom. It had that perfect storm, and all it needed was to thrive on it’s own merits. Unfortunately, Armada had some quality issues and it quickly was relegated to a 6:30 AM time slot, where it finished out
Energon also started off strong. It had a 8:30 time slot on Saturday nights, packages right in between the new Teen Titans cartoon and Justice League. The animation was better-ish (in comparison.) and errors were less likely. And in under seven episodes, it was shoved to the infamous 6:30 AM timeslot again. (It might actually have been 6 AM… I can’t remember.)
Cybertron was all in all, a better series. The production and translation errors was not present, and it had a strong toyline tie-in. It began at 7 PM Saturday. But it skipped like, the very first episode of the series during it’s debut, and it quickly went to 6:30 AM again. Eventually, I think the series wrapped up, finishing the series online before it finished on TV.
Animated was probably the best offering it had. Decent production and quality all around. And they were given a Saturday morning time slot, and to CN’s credit, they didn’t boot them from that Saturday morning timeslot. But they blew through the first two seasons non-stop and after leaving off with a big cliffhanger of Sari’s discovery, we waited a whole year (with NO reruns) to see the truncated third season which after running also got no rerunning.
And the funny thing is, it’s not like Cartoon Network has gotten better with this crap over the years. They tend to screw over their OWN shows. We’ve only recently started getting new episodes of Steven Universe after waiting near a half a year with no indication if it was ever returning. People are in the dark again about Adventure Time (their #1 show) at the moment. Beware the Batman got shitcanned (and probably rightfully so) with no warning at all. And we all know the (possibly overblown) controversy about Young Justice. And that’s the stuff they own. Their hours have been cut back to give more hours to Adult Swim. (Because, you know, how can we ever live without reruns of Family Guy and American Dad.)
So yeah, we’re all understandably worried, because the next chapter of the Transformers Universe is going back to a network with a history of screwing over shows. In Cartoon Network’s defense though, the guy who ran the network into the ground for the last several years is no longer in charge, and has been replaced by a lady who was working there when the network was kicking ass. So it might have a really good chance. Or it might not.
Maybe this is just a sign of the times? I mean, last weekend was the first weekend that didn’t have Saturday Morning cartoons anymore. Times are changing. In this day and age of YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, it’s not like it’s impossible to see cartoons anytime you want. It’s no longer the day where the only place to see cartoons is on your television at a certain time anymore. We can now see them anytime and anyplace. Hasbro’s talking about embracing Video on Demand for their content, and maybe that’s just the future talking.
And also, what does this mean for Rescue Bots? I know some people, like me, are fans of it. Does it make the jump too, or does it finish it’s run on Discovery? Does it get a fourth season? I don’t know. I just hope that Robots in Disguise can make it through it’s first season without being pulled without warning.
Tonight I was talking to a co-worker about Halloween, and she said she was dressing up as Batgirl. I mentioned my problems about dressing up as comic characters for Halloween is because I’m too big to be someone like Spider-Man, not big enough to be the Hulk, and not the right shape to be Thor, Batman or Cap. And I cannot afford an Iron Man suit, and I can’t be people like Wilson Fisk or Silver Age Lex Luthor, because my geologist likes my hair… So that leaves Cap villain, Crossbones…
…And Bane. And the one over the intercom was Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway…
You know where this is going, don’t you? :P
So I ended up putting on a painter’s mask and doing the voice, since the music was stuck in our head…
"I’ll burn Gotham down,
'Til it crisps and fries,
And then you have
my permission to die.
I’ll crush your spine,
I’ll tear your flesh,
I’ll rend your soul,
I will Breeeeeaaakk the Baaaaat.”
And I just kept going.
I now know the meaning of the word “captive audience” and it is awesome. :)
So I’ve been hearing a lot lately about some complaints that conventions are dying because of cosplayers or something silly like that. I’ll admit that I haven’t gone to as many conventions as I used to, and when I get the new comic going, it’s something I plan to rectify. But you know what? I went to the Wildcat comic convention last Saturday. It was a small convention, obviously not enormous. I mean, this IS Williamsport we’re talking about here. It’s not exactly the Nexus of Nerd Culture. (Though interestingly enough, I’m only a 2-5 hour drive from almost every major city on the East Coast, making just about the majority of East Coast cons a real possibility.) But anyway, there was a ton of cosplayers there, including no small amount of 11th Doctors. And they all looked like they were having fun. And isn’t that what you’re supposed to DO at a comic book convention? Have fun?
I mean, I get it. I’ve spent over a decade and a half behind the table, and I know what a chore it can be to try and make money at a convention. But here’s the thing… How is this any different from the last several years? When I was going to cons for Shadowgirls, we had a bitch of a time selling stuff there. One year, we were even giving away books. We printed up B&W copies of the first issue to give away as an enticement for new readers. It didn’t work that well. Yeah, there’s been some positive stories from my friends and peers for the last few years, but across the board, sales at conventions seem to be down in general. And this has been long before the dreaded influx of cosplayers ever happened.
True story: About 2008 or 2009, I as at a table the Wizardworld Chicagocon, and there’s this convention goer who came up to the table, dressed in a suit, acting all smug and superior to the other con-goers. He started talking to my then-partner about it all, and about how comics were essentially stupid. He started into Spider-Man and about how unrealistic he was. That if your average nerd “like these losers here” had gotten super-powers, they’d be selfish and horrible bastards with it, and misuse it. That in short, Spider-Man is unrealistic, because he uses his powers for good. And as he’s going off about this, I’m sitting there in my seat, clenching my teeth. I wanted to get up and yell at him “HE DID MISUSE HIS POWERS! IT GOT HIS UNCLE KILLED!! ‘WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.’ IT’S BEEN SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS FOR FIFTY YEARS. IT’S IN… THE FUCKING… MOVIE!! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THIS??!”
And I’ve run into “fans” like this all the damn time at conventions, and on both sides of the tables. They’re these entitled asshats who think they’re smarter than they really are. People who are looking for an excuse to place themselves on a pedestal higher than others, so they can feel better about themselves. I admit, that’s probably as bad of a generalization as the accusations that cosplayers are ruining conventions… But at least I’m somewhat aware of my potential hypocrisy.
I have never had a cosplayer give me any shit at a convention. Because here’s the thing: If they’re passionate enough to dress up in a silly costume in public, then they’re passionate enough to love comics. I have never met a cosplayer who thought they were too good for comic books. But I HAVE met “real fans” who did nothing but spout hate and bile. I’ve said this before many times: Give me the enthusiastic woman dressed up as Loki, over the neckbeard dressed in all black, who’s constantly pissed off about how things suck now and how they were cooler when they were younger. (No it wasn’t. We’re honestly living in an awesome time in comics. This is really an amazing era we’re in.)
And by the way, can we call this cosplayer-hating what it really is? It’s not being pissed off at cosplayers, it’s being pissed off at girls. Because girls have dared to venture forth into out sacred lands to corrupt the purity of our nerdity… Or some shit like that. Girls are not ruining comics. The vast majority of them are not asking the comic world to change for them… But simply to acknowledge and give them a place in it. From iconic kings like Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, to the rising webcomic artists making their marks, our world is built upon the infinite imaginations of over a century of the most gifted creators in all of human history.
I think we have the room to spare.