Comic-Con prompts thoughts on the prospect of a great superhero film
In a July 28 post, (www.soundonsight.org/will-we-ever-see-a-classic-superhero-movie/), my Sound on Sight colleague Deepayan Sengupta pondered the admittedly arguable premise that, for all their entertainment and box office value, the superhero movie has yet to provide a true cinematic classic. Back in March, I came at a vaguely similar idea but from a different angle (www.soundonsight.org/how-serious-can-a-comic-book-movie-be-discuss/). I suspected – as does Sengupta – that the problem could be that there might be some inherent barriers as to how far dramatic substance in the genre could be pushed: “…the form has limits, I think, more so than its printed source…and so does its core audience.”
As it happens, the July 27th issue of Entertainment Weekly offers their annual coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con which took place July 12-15. I think, in that coverage, possibly Sengupta and myself have our answer.
I’m sure most of the people who write or visit this site are better acquainted with Comic-Con than I am, but for you rare few who may be in the dark, let me borrow from reporter Adam B. Vary’s piece: “…(what) began in 1970 as a weekend-long hangout for a few hundred comic-book aficionados…has evolved into the single most important showcase for Hollywood’s biggest – and most expensive – projects.” According to Vary, over 125,000 fans packed the San Diego Convention Center for the granddaddy of comic book conventions.
Whatever individual Comic-Con fans are fans of – comic books, genre movies, TV shows, etc. – they’re unmatched in their rabid devotion. They come in costume, they remember franchise trivia even the creators have forgotten. Their bond with their idol of choice can be frightening in its intensity. And what they feel – about preview footage from an about-to-be released blockbuster, about a treasured TV classic, about a casting announcement for a new superhero franchise – they blog, tweet, text, Facebook, Skype, email about enthusiastically (good or bad) and relentlessly. Think of it: 125,000 Comic-Conians going back to their hotel rooms, campers, sidewalk tents each night to connect with their like-minded brothers and sisters all across the country (nay, the world!) through every social media pipeline there is to say, “See it as soon as it comes out! It’s gold!” Or, “Save your money; this one sucks the left hind one.”