Sunday, 3 August 2014
PANELS TO FRAMES: A GALAXY OF EXCITEMENT OPENS UP
Okay. So. Panels to Frames is back, for now at least. It may still be homeless (Lost In The Multiplex remains offline – I hope the place comes back someday, as it was a great place), but there's stuff I need to talk about. The column covered comic book movies and the related lifestyle, and right now seems like a damn good time to talk comics, film and comic based films once again. In fact, there's rarely been a better time to do it. Excitement for a comic book movie release hasn't been this high since the Avengers film arrived and blew a great many of the world's minds.
Basically, Guardians of the Galaxy has exploded across the world, and the cinematic Marvel Universe is opening a lot of minds to the prospect of more cosmic adventures, and that's an absolutely beautiful thing to see. An interest in far-flung adventures with ludicrous characters, comedy, action, pathos and the promise of a larger universe is a thrilling prospect, and one which I hope will help to fire up the imaginations of a new generation of young fans.
It may be the grumpy old geek in me speaking (it usually is), but having comic book movies continue to kick box office ass keeps positive role models in the public eye, and also helps young creators be inspired to bring their own characters to life in the future. The kids watching these films right now are the people who one day will be running the studios and publishers that will bring more heroes into the lives of yet more fans-in-waiting.
I am yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy (I'm finally getting the chance this coming Wednesday, and I'm taking my awesome mum along as it looks like the sort of film we would have watched together when I was a kid), but the massive amount of positivity surrounding the film is just intoxicating. I've seen so many reviews that say it harkens back to another era, a retro sci-fi comedy blockbuster with heart, a tongue-in-cheek adventure, a great big romp, that I can't help but get excited.
People are talking about it being a ton of fun, real fun, and it's bringing to mind the sort of uncomplicated, joyous adventure of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Romancing The Stone and suchlike. I love that. I love that something that people are picking up on is how the film is making them feel (especially with its upsetting opening scenes). That emotional investment in characters an what they get caught up in is something that has been missing from a lot of recent blockbusters outside of comic book films, and I'm proud to say I'm still a fan.
I've said it before but it remain true – it's a beautiful thing to finally be able to show the world that we were right all along and these stories and characters are genuinely wonderful. It's a wonderfully liberating feeling. All those years with comics being frowned upon as unimportant fluff are being made up for by comic book films breaking records while audiences flock to lap up more adventures with improbable people in improbable costumes doing improbable things.
Escapism is a wonderful thing, and in an increasingly tough world to live in, right now we could do with all of the escapism we can get. This should be easy to remedy, as the sequel to Guardians has now been confirmed. As soon as the credits roll (and you've watched both credits scenes), it's time to get excited again.