Before we kick off this Panel, let's explain how this will work since we've changed the set up of the site! Any of the Spectacled Seven who respond to the panel will have to add their responses to this post or send them to email@example.com and Tommy will add them! Also, something new, if you are an ALL PULP follower and want to weigh in on the PANEL topic, then either email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on the comments page and it too will be added to the PANEL topic! So...with that said...here is the ALL PULP PANEL for this week!!
The GREEN HORNET film is debuting on 1/14/11. This movie has stirred up a nest of something within the pulp community, many fans not looking forward to it at all. However, an argument is being made that even if THE GREEN HORNET is as bad as many believe it will be, at least it is still exposing the public to Pulp like characters and stories. and that is a good thing....But is it? Are there positives for Pulp when someone produces something in another medium that is...not good and maybe even downright awful for whatever reason?
Let the Paneling ensue....
Tommy-I'll weigh in more later...but my initial response is no, a bad pulp movie isn't a positive for pulp in general. Some might say any exposure is good, even negative exposure...but in a field that is still somewhat fighting for legitimacy and its place in society, one example of bad may do a ton of harm to all the multiple, less seen examples of good within Pulp.
From Hank Brown on ALL PULP'S comments page-
Your Pulp Panel topic has touched on my own dilemma. While I think the characters are long overdue for a feature of their own and would love to see Kato thumping bad guys in 3D, I'm reluctant to waste a big chunk of change to watch a formulaic special effects extravaganza conceived by a bunch of beancounters and their yes-man director who have no respect or understanding of the source material or characters. I will probably wait for it to come to Redbox and watch it then with my 3-year-old. I might could handle it being a comedy, but from what I've seen so far, they've written the title character as a pathetic loser. I'm all for emphasizing what a badass Kato is, and for demonstrating he has brains as well as martial arts skills. But at the expense of making Britt Reid/the Green Hornet a hapless boob? Hey Hollywood: Your cognitive/creative limitations are showing again! Here's a clip that demonstrates a creative effort respecting the characters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rjm53J1G4M
From Adam Garcia-
Everyday all pulp and comic book writers adapt and rework classic characters. Some of these changes are minor, some are major. Characters like the Shadow went through a variety of iterations, as did Batman or Superman. We can accept "Batman: the Brave and the Bold" in the era of "The Dark Knight;" I myself am writing a version of the Green Lama noticeably different than that of Jim Krueger or Mike Barr, or even, for that matter Kendell Foster Crossen.
The new Green Hornet film is only one of many interpretations of the character that has appeared over the years, from the original radio to TV Series to Ron Fortier's fantastic work for Now Comics. In this interpretation, the creators choose to make a more comedic-action adventure, one that highlights Britt Reid's arc from spoiled playboy to hero and his relationship with Kato. The notion that this is a "bad" film originates in the purist distaste for the interpretation, the leads, and tone; not in the quality of the film, which based on early reviews has been noted to be flawed but overly positive. While I am firmly in the camp supporting this film, (I am a fan of Seth Rogen and feel the character arc of slovenly playboy redeeming himself as hero makes for a better narrative) and plan on seeing it opening weekend with my father, himself an old school fan of the character, my defense the project originates from belief that we as pulp/comic writers constantly ask our readers to at least give our interpretations a chance and to hopefully accept them as legitimate adaptations. This negative wave against the film from the original fans -- some of which are themselves creators -- is at best hypocritical.
With public domain and licensed characters there is ultimately no "right" version; they are evolving, adapting, changing every year. That's what keeps them alive. Why has Batman remained one of the top sellers for 72 years? Because various creators have been given the chance to give their interpretation that was appropriate for the time. Some were successful, some weren't, but he remained in the public consciousness constantly since his inception. You don't have to enjoy the film but you should at least respect the creator's right to make it. Again the reviews are positive, and if that upsets purist fans, then that's unfortunate, but in order for this character -- and every character we write -- to survive, they must be allowed to evolve and adapt or they will become stagnant and disappear from public consciousness like so many fantastic, but forgotten heroes.
And how bad can it be now that you can buy a Green Hornet costume for Halloween?
Not that bad at all.