Random theory

“Some panels and pages [of some erotic comics, like the work of Molly Kiely and Colleen Coover] unfold like snapshots, gesturing at a larger hole that is unrepresented and perhaps unrepresentable.”    -Lyndsay Brown, ‘Pornographic space-time and the potential of fantasy in comics and fan art’

My own question, then, isn’t whether unrepresentability is possible in the ways we communicate our narratives–especially our fictions–but how.

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A footnote and accompanying media cut from the following, which is, itself, part of an upcoming piece on the Marvel Omniverse:

…if superhero film narratives are inspired by superhero comic narratives, the whole #itsallconnected ethos only adds the complication of replacing ageing human actors to the problematics of multiversal/time-travelling/title-hopping/otherwise-conveniently-present characters interacting with themselves, others, themselves-as-others, and others-as-themselves.[1]


[1] A little tangentially: I still don’t get how Logan St. Claire is supposed to be a version of Quinn Mallory.  Gender-swap, fine, but why would they have different last names if they’re ‘genetically identical’???  WTF???

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Also some bullshit.  DROP ZIGGY, YOU FRAUD!!!

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Text (howard_buttonfor context) and a deleted footnote (the fun part) from the methodology chapter of my dissertation, currently in development:

Superhero comic book culture itself recognizes its own media situation: the Marvel Comic Universe is sometimes, in fandom particularly, referred to as Earth-616, while the Cinematic Universe is conceived of as an ‘alternate dimension’—a variation rather than a derivation—known as Earth-199999.[1] 


[1] This is an intentional distinction on the part of the content creators, but the discursive situation is further complicated by other factors, such as business and politics.  For instance, the Spider-Man and X-Men films do not exist in nor recognize the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe–or each other, for that matter–yet they nevertheless stand in an identifiable proximity to the same Marvel Comic Universe that provided their origins and which, through the assignment of designation numbers, both recognizes them and reserves some potential for mounting future narrative mergers and crossovers featuring them.  Their designations are as follows: the Spider-Man series beginning with 2002’s Spider-Man is denoted as ‘Earth-96283’, while the ‘reboot’ is known as ‘Earth-120703’, effectively validating the concomitant canonical existences of both: according to Marvel, both are Spider-Man.  The X-Men series, beginning with 2000’s X-Men and extending into the Wolverine franchise constitutes Earth-10005 (though others, such as 2016’s Deadpool and 2017’s Logan, occupy Earth-TRN414; the new television show Legion, meanwhile, takes place in another X-Universe offshoot, Earth-TRN620).  Interestingly, the Marvel Database (Marvel.wikia.com) lists the original X-Men film universe, Earth-10005, as ‘destroyed’, due, narratively-speaking, to the timeline-bending events of its ‘last’ film, Days of Future Past, itself a plotline culled from the 616 universe.  But it doesn’t end there, the complexities of licensing have also given us, among others, Earths 121698 (beginning with 2005’s Fantastic Four film), 400083 (2003’s Hulk, as opposed to the iteration of the character that appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers films, part of the aforementioned 199999), 92131 (cartoons such as X-Men: The Animated Series), 58627 and 58732 (the 1989 and 2004 Punisher films), and even 58470 and 58472 (the Howard the Duck film and its own subsequent comic book adaptation, respectively; ‘58471’, oddly, has no listing).  

Our own material reality is designated as Earth-1218, but we also inhabit what Marvel calls the “Omniverse”, which itself comprises: 

“every single universe, multiverse, dimension (alternate or pocket) and realm. This includes not only Marvel Comics, but also DC Comics, Image, Dark Horse, Archie, Harvey, and every universe ever mentioned or seen (and an infinite amount never mentioned or seen)….  The Omniverse is EVERY reality, including those published by all other companies. Even fan-fictions, cancelled works, mere thoughts created by people, and fictional universes yet to be published are considered part of the Omniverse, simply put the Omniverse is every version of every type of reality and existence imaginable.”  

Random Theory

Ce ne sont pas Mark Gruenwald

Mark Greunwald (1953-1996) was a writer and editor of numerous Marvel titles, including Captain America, What If?, and most relevantly here, a number of editions of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

Mark Greunwald is the [psychoanalytic figure of] The Father of the Marvel Universe.

Grueny: Keepin’ it firmly away from The Real since at least ’78.

 
cest-le-darkhold

 

 

Random Theory

Another attempt to summarize my perspective that will only seem inaccurate later:

At this point, it’s seeming as though the only notable difference between narrative and linguistic subjects (fictional characters and real people) is one of physicality in this linguistic, physical realm (lacanian ‘reality’): we linguistic subjects have bodies, narrative subjects don’t and may or may not ever. But, in discourse–communication via representations that pretty much constitutes all media by definition–physicality is what’s precisely not needed, worked around, obviated. So, the distinction between the subject who has a body and the one who doesn’t, at least in how they’re treated, how their identities are socially understood, how they are defined in discourse, doesn’t amount to much.

Especially since we’re also getting around the lack of fictional bodies by making our fictions more realistically interactive in various ways, such as gaming, VR cinema, and even ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ YouTube series.

[In]Defining[able] ‘Media’

‘Doors and mirrors, computers and gramophones, electricity and newspapers, television and telescopes, archives and automobiles, water and air, information and noise, numbers and calendars, images, writing, and voice–all these highly disparate objects and phenomena fall into media studies’ purview.’

-Eva Horn, “There Are No Media”, Grey Room #29

Random Theory

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Also, check out ‘The Art of the Archive’

So then, Wolfgang Ernst gets dropped into my life. Thanks, Dr. Miller!

 
Though, every time I come across theorist that’s new to me, it makes me feel kind of dumb–like I should have known the whole time that there was this person talking about some of the same things I’m talking about.  Like I just didn’t look in the right places or ask the right questions. 

Ah well.  For some of us, at least, I suppose feeling dumb is a prerequisite for learning.

Check out a great talk on the re-emergence of extinguished cultural artifacts in the internet age here.