With another Terminator sequel on the horizon, it seems like a good time to make this comic, and beat the rush a bit. The genesis (or… uh, “genisys“) of this week’s comic actually has its roots way back in my high school days. I had some sort of hare-brained idea to make a play for the drama class about an alternate-universe world in which the Terminator was actually successful in his efforts, and then had some time to kill until Skynet came online. That unproduced comedy didn’t get very far– I think I may have written one page of the first scene, if even that, so this comic can probably be considered the final form of the idea. Still, it would be kind of hilarious to see a Terminator-based high school play, right? Given the rights issues and licensing requirements, I think I can safely put that idea in deep storage, along with the ballet production of Blade Runner.
But talk about time travel: is it just me, or is pop culture going through a severe nostalgia period right now? Han Solo seems to be coming back to the big screen this summer, Terminator rides again, and every 80’s toy and/or cartoon seems to be getting made into a movie, if it hasn’t already been made into one. Oh, and then there’s that Adam Sandler retro-video game movie that’s coming out… the reopening of the X-Files… a Poltergeist re-do… Return of Jurassic Park…yet another re-boot of the Spider-Man reboots… and a whole cavalcade of superhero movies that everyone seems to be excited about. I’m even hearing some grim rumor about a “Blade Runner 2”, which is kind of troubling.
I know this isn’t a new phenomenon– all those television shows from the 70s were getting made into movies way back at the turn of the century, and Hollywood’s current obsession with sequels and adapted properties has to be at least 30 years old by now. Superhero movies have been around since the newsreel days. Heck, the whole Neo-Classical art movement of the 18th century was one big nostalgia trip looking back at Ancient Rome and Greece, who themselves looked to “exotic” eastern cultures for inspiration. Sooner or later, everything can be said to just be a re-telling or reboot of something else, so it’s best to not get too worried about it.
I’m sure there are great new things out there, but they’re just little seedlings amongst the redwoods right now. They’ll sneak up on us, I think, and sooner or later we’ll complain about them being too represented in the movie theaters… or… holo-downloads, or cave-paintings, or whatever the popular media of the day will be forty years from now. Game of Thrones was just a whisper amongst the D&D crowd back in 2000, and now it’s something so mainstream that my Mom drops references to it every now and then. Talk about topsy-turvy, right?
But man, what a time to be 10 years old. It’s a world of licensed Legos, a buffet of sic-fi and fantasy properties, and the entire body of all the Star Trek and Doctor Who television shows are just able to be watched whenever you want. If anything, the big hurdle for today’s generation of youngsters isn’t finding the stuff… the challenge for them will be to not get overwhelmed by its prevalence, and become mere consumers of media, rather than getting inspired to create and explore their own worlds.