Let me reiterate something I said before: I actually don’t want to be right about any of these fandoms being dead. It always makes me sad when people lose passion for something, and something worthwhile goes unread or unseen.
The Pulp Heroes (the Shadow, Doc Savage, etc.)
The Shadow was the first and most famous of the larger than life magazine heroes, mostly published by Street & Smith, who came out during the Great Depression. They weren’t superheroes, exactly…but they were too uncanny, too bigger than life, their adventures too bizarre and fantastical, to be typical adventurers or detective heroes in the usual sense…they were in the same ballpark as Tarzan or Zorro, a kind of “transitional fossil” between grounded detective and adventure characters, and the later far out superheroes.
I realized the reach these novels had in their own time when I heard this amazing story about none other than jazz great Thelonious Monk: he was obsessed with Doc Savage magazine. When he performed, the jazz man sometimes had a Doc Savage magazine rolled up in his coat. I have a hard time imagining that!
The reason the pulp heroes went away and stopped having pop cultural cache is simple: the audience for it went away. You have to remember that pulp hero stories were always a composite genre, meant to appeal to two audiences simultaneously: kids, who loved action and fantasy and heroism, and working class men, who also love action, but who also loved lurid mystery and gore. To appeal to working class men, there were always way more hints of blood, gunplay, dread/terror, and sex, but because kids also read these, it was all very subdued. If you realize that pulp heroes were meant to appeal to these two very different audiences with conflicting desires, the question isn’t why the pulp heroes went away, but rather, why they lasted as long as they did.
What took the kid audience away from the hero pulps could be summarized in two words: superhero comics. Sales on pulps fell every year when they had to compete with comics, and the history of the pulp heroes in the 1940s is defined by their reaction to the challenge of comics, a little like the history of movies when they had to compete with television.
There were three big reactions to comics in the 1940s from the pulp magazines:
They dissed comics. This reminds me of the 50s movies that called television “the idiot’s lantern.” The best example of this I can find is the Doc Savage mystery, The Whisker of Hercules. By all accounts, Doc Savage author Lester Dent hated, hated, hated comic superheroes, particularly Superman, who exaggerated the traits of his own heroes beyond what he felt an audience would believe. Whisker of Hercules is a novel where Doc finds criminals who who take a potion that turns them into Superman, gives them superstrength, the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the ability to move at superspeed, but in the end, they are ultimately bested by Doc Savage, who outsmarts them and reveals the Whisker of Hercules ages them to death. Lester Dent, you see, felt superhero comics were a passing fad without staying power.
They created characters that were both in pulp magazines and in comics as well. An example of this would be Ka-Zar and Sheena, who was in both comics and pulp magazines simultaneously. Today, we’d call them “multimedia properties.”
They created far-out pulp heroes that were aimed at a kid audience to lure kids back to magazines. The best example of this is Edmond Hamilton’s Captain Future, which was a pulp hero who was extremely kid-friendly, with robot sidekicks and a cute mouse pet, and a base on the Moon.
While the kids who read pulp heroes were lured away by comics, the working class men were pulled away by a new invention: the “men’s adventure” paperback novel, which could have explicit sex and violence. James Bond (Casino Royale was first published in 1954) was more typical of the paperback heroes, as was gun-toting Mack Bolan the Executioner, a special forces guy who came back from Vietnam to find his family killed by the mafia, and who declares war on the mob with his special forces training and arsenal of firearms (he also directly inspired a certain Marvel Comics character you might be familiar with).
Just like almost all pop music is either Beatles or Stones inspired, nearly all men’s adventure heroes are some variation of either James Bond or Mack Bolan. This leads us to today, where men’s adventure novels are either porn, or gun porn. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you can probably guess which one I like better.
Here’s another thing to consider when wondering why the pulp heroes went away. The Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider, are really only a few years older than the superheroes. They were not separated by a geologic age, the way many histories lead you to believe: they came out in the same decade as each other. Doc Savage came out in 1933, and Superman came out in 1938, which is not really that much time difference at all. The difference may be that there is a publishing company (DC Comics) that views Superman and Batman as essential to their identity and that keeps them alive for that reason, whereas no company does that for the pulp characters. In fact, there was even some dispute early this century as to whether the Street & Smith characters fell into the public domain.
Original Battlestar Galactica
I used to post old cosplay pics, and my gosh, were there ever a lot of OBSG
images. The actor who played Boomer was a regular at early science fiction
conventions (there was a time when it was considered unusual for celebrities to visit conventions), and when a new BSG show was announced in 2003 (believe it or not, there was once a time that a hard reboot of an old scifi property was rare), it led to one of the all-time biggest nerdrages in nerd history.
I hesitate to say this, but part of the reason that Star Trek and the
Next Generation are discovered decades later by new fans is because they really
are good shows, and OBSG is…well, it’s a challenge for a new person, with fresh eyes, to see just what got everyone so excited in 1978. The reason why
BSG was a big deal is clear: most people who are fans of it are fans because
they watched the show when they were children, so it’s imprinted in their minds
(rather like 90s kids and “Saved by the Bell” or “Power Rangers”). OSBG fandom isn’t growing for the same reason that “Saved by the Bell” fans aren’t growing: it’s a product of hormones and nostalgia, you “had to be there” to get it.
To me, this explains perfectly why people went ballistic when a BSG reboot was announced back in the stone age, 2002. For one, the concept of a reboot was so new that I remember I heard people wonder if this means their favorite characters from the original were dead now. More importantly, though, this is a fandom with a few core people who remember BSG from when they were kids, and therefore have strong feelings about why it works and doesn’t work.
Here’s a test to determine if a fandom is dead: if a movie adaptation royally screws everything about it up, would people get angry and yelly and passionate? Remember how people got death threats over the M. Knight Shyamalan Last Airbender? Well, in the case of Prince Valiant, I don’t think anybody would actually care. This is surprising, because for years, when people thought of comics, they thought of Prince Valiant: he was emblematic of an entire medium. Years before the prestige of Maus, Persepolis, and the “graphic novel,” it was the one comic that was classy, that adults were alright reading.
Why is it no longer popular? Well, copy and paste everything I said on Dick Tracy about newspaper comics here. But also, if you ever run into someone who really loved Prince Valiant back in the day, ask them why they liked it. The answer should be incredibly telling. Most likely, they’ll tell you they loved the beautiful art, that they loved the great style of Hal Foster’s godlike pen. They loved the sweep of the story and the epic feel.
Here’s what they won’t say if you ask them: they probably won’t say they liked the characters. (I can’t think of one adjective to describe Prince Valiant’s personality - he totally fails the RedLetterMedia test). They won’t remember any moment that made them cry or made them feel a rush of triumph.
I swear, it is not my intention to be a hater and drink some haterade. That’s really not in my nature, because I am a positive person. The whole point of this blog is for me to share cool old stuff I love - negativity has no place here. But there’s a dishonesty, a willful obtuseness, in trying to understand why Prince Valiant stopped being a phenomenon, and not realizing that Prince Valiant is beautiful looking, but it doesn’t give us the things about stories that “stick to our ribs” and make it stand the test of time: great characters and memorable, earned moments. Praising a comic for having beautiful art is like praising a movie for the great special effects. You don’t want the one thing people to remember about your hero to be a haircut.
John Carter of Mars
The fandom for John Carter of Mars is a little like Barsoom itself without the Atmosphere Factory and water pumped from the depths of Omean: dead.
To the modern eye, one of the weirdest parts of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series is the 3 minute digression in the episode on Mars where Sagan starts talking about how he was the hugest John Carter of Mars fanboy ever, and how he dreamed of rescuing beautiful women in gallant swordfights on thoatback, with his fanboy narration intercut with shots of Frazetta and Michael Whelan cover art. This really happened. And this was typical of the kind of passion that John Carter of Mars inspired that you don’t see much of today. It’s so easy to blame the tanking of the movie adaptation, but the movie failing was a symptom, not a cause, of the fact there was no hungry audience to receive it.
Sagan was a huge John Carter fan: his car had a “BARSOOM” vanity license plate, and he wasn’t alone: without hesitation, I would say that Edgar Rice Burroughs was the most important and influential scifi writer of the first few decades of the 20th Century, so important that everyone defined themselves as either Burroughs-like (Leigh Brackett, for instance) or rejected the tropes ERB created (see: Stanley G. Weinbaum). John Carter of Mars didn’t inspire Star Wars. Instead, he inspired the things that inspired Star Wars (e.g. Flash Gordon). Edgar Rice Burroughs, not Faulkner, not Hemmingway, was the best selling novelist of the 1920s.
Remember the last time I did this, and I was sincerely baffled why the Tripods novels have not had a revival? Well, when I got to John Carter of Mars, the answer came to me: the reason is that this work was so influential, so ubiquitous, that it has been strip-mined of creative power by imitators to the point that very little about it seems original anymore. Tripods, if it came out now, would just look like a Hunger Games rip-off despite the fact that if anything, it’s the other way around. The problem with John Carter of Mars is exactly the same: remember how the response to the trailer to the film adaptation was that this was Avatar Goes to Attack of the Clones? When, actually, Avatar and others got a lot from the Barsoom books. In other words, because John Carter was influential enough to create cliches, paradoxically, it is now seen as cliche.
The Ghostbusters reboot had a big, big problem: it’s a remake of a movie that’s an untouchable classic, like Back to the Future. Any remake would inevitably be compared to the original and suffer in the comparison. Well, here’s one movie you could probably remake with a gender swap hero: Highlander.
It’s not Back to the Future, Jaws, or Terminator; this isn’t a movie people can quote every line from. People know of Highlander, sure…people know things like the Queen song, “there can be only one,” electric swordfighting, etc, but people don’t actually care that much. People won’t go ballistic. Highlander is a remaker’s dream: it has enough name recognition to get sold and made, but it doesn’t have a legion of nitpicking nerd fans to second guess everything and treat the original like gospel.
Highlander used to be kind of a big deal: it had not one but two tv shows, and it had three movie sequels. Just like “Wild Wild West” was steampunk a couple decades before that term existed, Highlander was “urban fantasy” before that term existed. Because of the themes of urban fantasy and tragic romance, it always had a strong female fandom, and there’s no understanding Highlander without understanding that it was kind of the Supernatural of its day: theoretically, with its swordfighting and cool powers, it was trying to appeal to boys…but ended up building up a way bigger female audience instead.
Posterity is really never kind to any fantasy property who’s audience is
primarily women. Who, today, talks a lot about Gargoyles or Beauty and the
Beast, for example, to pick two properties that used to have a strong fandom? The last one (B&B) is pretty amazing because it was created by two people immensely relevant to
the zeitgeist of today: Ron Perlman (the Beast himself), and the show’s head writer and producer, a fellow by the name of George R.R. Martin. It could be just plain chauvinism over a “girl thing.” I don’t deny that plays a role, more likely, it could just be that scifi fans are immensely nerdy in a way fantasy fans
aren’t, so they keep alive their favorite scifi artifacts. That, I think, is why we’re still talking about Terminator and not Highlander: Tolkien fans who write in Dwarf runes are a freakish exception. In general, fantasy fans are way less hardcore than scifi fans.
Magnus, Robot Fighter
Ever talk to any old gay nerds? They will usually tell you they realized they were hella gay because of three men: Robert Conrad in “Wild Wild West,” Ultra Boy from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Magnus, Robot Fighter.
Russ Manning’s Magnus, Robot Fighter may be one of the great subterranean sources of pop culture. Matt Groening admits that the aesthetics of this comic inspired a lot of Futurama. Magnus, Robot Fighter was such a nostalgia totem in the minds of the Baby Boom generation, on the level of the Mars Attacks! cards, that George Lucas, who was always very hands-off with supplementary material, personally requested Russ Manning come out of retirement to do the Star Wars daily comics.
Magnus, Robot Fighter is an interesting example of how comics only have cache and longevity long-term if they can successfully convert into other media formats. Comics are important, but comics are ephemeral. Superman is the king of comic characters, sure, but most people know about him because he made the leap from comics to radio, screen, and television.
Magnus is all the more heartbreaking because he almost made the jump to a medium with durability - video games. Under circumstances too complex to relate here, Acclaim bought out all the Gold Key comic characters, and Magnus was generally considered to be the crown jewel of the lot. Because Magnus was too important an IP to screw up, and the development team was so inexperienced, Acclaim instead decided to make their first Gold Key game adaptation one of the minor guys, so if they blew it, no biggie: Turok, Dinosaur Hunter.
The rest is history: Acclaim was so busy making sequels to the surprise hit Turok, Dinosaur Hunter they never got around to giving Magnus, Robot Fighter a game.
Part three is coming, so stay tuned. Believe it or not, I actually have a fandom from the past ten years on here! Can you think of any dead fandoms?
***This is a response to the above requests, and a sequel to In the Rain (also a little NSFWish)
She was laughing again as they finally turned the last corner to her block. Mulder’s shoes squished with every step he took and his soaked clothes were starting to become more than just a little uncomfortable. The air conditioning inside the building had them both shivering before they even got in the elevator.
They left a trail of rainwater behind them and a Scully gave a sincerely apologetic look to the desk clerk who looked at them with disdain. They drip drip dripped inside the elevator, creating a pool around their feet and Scully caught another case of the giggles. Mulder couldn’t stop smiling. She took her heels off and Mulder squished his way behind her to her door.
“I think…” she said. “Come into the bathroom.”
“Let me get my shoes off.” He untied his laces in the hallway and stepped out of his shoes before entering.
“Come on,” she said, guiding him through the bedroom into the attached bath. She had most of her shirt unbuttoned by then, but couldn’t seem to manage peeling it away from her skin.
“Don’t suppose you have anything of mine I could wear laying around do you?”
“Sorry, no.” She shucked her shirt and shivered. It made a little plop as she dropped it on the counter next to the sink. “There’s a washer-dryer in that closet though.”
Mulder tried to keep his eyes on her face, but it had been a long time since she’d been even the remotest bit naked in front of him. Her bra was dark blue satin, revealing nothing, but still. He knew what it was hiding.
So I did a thing… I was grocery shopping yesterday and I saw that the tanks were on sale, and I fell in love with this angry little nub..
When I realized I had a spare small filter that was still cycled it was game over.
I’m going to transfer some plants tomorrow when I have more time and make it all cosy.
Happy home day Pineapple! 💕💚💗
Request: FriendshipFic - Reader had a bad day the day before and has been acting different while working and the only one to notice is Dwight. She normally leaves a little note each day on his computer screen but today there is none. To cheer her up he leaves notes in random places on her desk throughout the day and knowing Dwight the notes are weird making her day, end of the day she leaves a note on his windshield thanking him. :D
A/N: I’ve had this prompt saved since I saw it around the end of last year but only just got a chance to write it. (I also went online and found some good Dwight quotes for all but one of the notes because why not go to the source when trying to figure out what he would say?)
You walked to your desk and looked down at the scattered papers, immediately reminded of the sale that had fallen through on you the day before. The sale that was supposed to significantly boost your earnings for the company at a time where more earnings were desperately needed. You shook your head as you sat in your chair and quickly cleared the papers. Everyone on the sales team had sales that fell through, you couldn’t let everyone see how this was affecting you when everyone else was so able to quickly get back up on the horse and go on with their work, unaffected.
You looked down at the stack of post-its sitting next to your computer and, instead of going on with your morning routine and writing out a quick note for your coworker, Dwight, you shook your head and picked up the phone, checking to see if you had any messages. There was a twinge of guilt in your stomach at your unwillingness to keep up the daily tradition. It had started years back, after Jim had pulled a particularly elaborate prank on Dwight– not knowing he had been having a horrid day already– and hurt his spirits a bit. But, the way you saw it, how were you supposed to do something to brighten Dwight’s day if you weren’t even in the right mindset to brighten your own? Better no note than a less-than-cheery one, right?
Dwight walked in a few minutes later and took his spot at the desk across from you. His shoulders slumped a bit when he noticed a new post-it wasn’t anywhere to be found on his desk. He looked over at you, noticing your slumped posture and the frown spread on your face (instead of your usually bubbly smile) but quickly turned back to his computer, unsure of how to try to cheer you up, especially with all your colleagues bustling around the office.
Once you had heard all your messages, you decided to head to the break room to get a cup of coffee. Perhaps the caffeine would help get you out of this mood. When you got back to your desk, your brow furrowed when you found a post-it stuck to your keyboard. You sat down and lifted it up to read it.
“Why are all these people here? There are too many people on this Earth. We need a new plague,” was written in Dwight’s handwriting.
You couldn’t help but let out a quiet laugh at the absurdity of the words, causing a smile to spread across Dwight’s face.
This happened periodically for the rest of the day. Every time you returned to your desk, there was a new note, each more absurd than the last. You stuck each in your day-planner, wanting to keep them with you forever.
““R” is one of the most menacing of sounds. That’s why they call it murder not ‘muckduck’.”
“I don’t have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor’s dog.”
“In an ideal world, I would have all 10 fingers on my left hand so my right hand could just be a fist for punching.”
“I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for “Grizzly Man” and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Because that’s the thing about bear attacks… they come when you least expect it.”
“In the wild, there is no healthcare. Healthcare is “Oh, I broke my leg!” A lion comes and eats you, you’re dead. Well, I’m not dead. I’m the lion.”
“People say, ‘oh it’s dangerous to keep weapons in the home, or the workplace.’ Well I say, it’s better to be hurt by someone you know, accidentally, than by a stranger, on purpose.”
And your personal favorite: “It’s okay to lose your shit sometimes because if you keep your shit, you’ll end up full of shit and then you’ll explode and there will be shit everywhere. A shitstorm. And nobody wants that.”
You ended up leaving before Dwight, unable to thank him properly as he was on a call when you finally left. Instead, you quietly packed your things, making sure to grab a post-it off the stack. You went out to the parking lot and wrote out a quick note, sticking it on the windshield of Dwight’s car before you got into yours and drove off. Dwight came down a few minutes later, a part of him hoping you would have waited. He frowned slightly when he didn’t see your car left in the lot, but that quickly changed when his eye caught glimpse of the yellow square on his windshield. He walked over, his pace a tad faster than usual, and grabbed the note.
“Thank you for being there to make me laugh, even on the worst days. -Y/N”
His smile widened as he read the words, glad he could be of help to you. And the note quickly found it’s way into the folder he carried around full of every note you had ever given him.
setting: non-magical, mythical AU pairing: marcus flint/oliver wood word count: 2981 A/N: finally, we’re here! this fic is the result of my giveaway from a few months ago. dedicated to the brilliant and lovely @flintwoodandco, who suggested an amazing idea about selkies that I just kind of…. ran with. ;D there are four parts to this thing, and I’ll be posting the rest of them for the next three days (part 2 on sunday, part 3 on monday, and the final part on tuesday - if all goes to plan). I hope you all enjoy reading this one, because I’ve absolutely loved writing it! (as always, a big shoutout to my beta and cheerleader @nymphadoraholtzmann!!)
I’m not excited, but should I be? is this the fate that half of the world has planned for me? I know I love you and you love the sea but what holy water contains a little drop, little drop for me?
- unbelievers, vampire weekend
The last of his bags landed with a thud on the wooden floor of the old cottage, and Marcus dropped ungracefully down beside it with a loud huff of exhaled air. He took a moment to catch his breath before he glanced around the room - there were boxes on every available surface and two duffel bags beside him at the door. His entire life, packed up and carefully wrapped and it looked like so much less stuff than it should have been - shouldn’t twenty five years take up more space?
Shaking away the morose thought that he had nothing that mattered and no one who cared, and that’s why this room looked so woefully empty, Marcus forced himself to his feet. He grabbed a small box from the living room couch, then padded into the small kitchen of the cottage, surveying the space as he went. He had purchased the place with the furniture included but this was his first time seeing it in person, and it was certainly as… quaint… as had been advertised.
Marcus dropped the box onto the small kitchen table and pried it open, digging through until he pulled out something that felt mug like. It took him entirely too long to pull off the paper that had been wrapped carefully around it to prevent breakage in transit, and he silently cursed Pansy for her over-the-top precautions, especially since it was just a stupid plain mug anyways.
He reached the sink and cranked the tap on, pleased that the water that came out looked drinkable. As his cup filled he glanced up to look out the window and when his eyes focused he nearly dropped the mug in awe. It was stunning. His friends had all looked at him like he’d grown a second head when he sat them down and explained that he’d purchased a small cottage in the Orkney islands in Northern Scotland, but now that he was here he knew he’d made the right choice. The cottage was a little ways from the nearest town and up on a piece of higher land, and from his kitchen window he had the most incredible view of the ocean. His property sloped downwards and ended in a sandy beach interspersed with large boulders, entirely private according to the girl who had sold him the property.
After Marcus’s father had died, he stepped back to take a long look at the life he was creating for himself. His father had been part of the Death Eaters, one of the most notorious gangs in London, and Marcus was set to join up as soon as he, according to Thoros, “pulled his head out of his arse”. Then there’d been a major raid, organized and carried out by some orphan police officer whose parents had been murdered twenty odd years ago by the gang, and now Marcus was an orphan with no prospects. By the time the press had figured out where he lived, he had fallen so deeply into depression he almost walked out into the madness of it all and surrendered to the inevitable.
And then Adrian had, quite literally, smacked some sense into him and told him to get out of town for a bit, move to the coast, recollect himself, and come back when he was ready.
Adrian hadn’t quite been expecting him to go this far, but something had tugged at his heart and this cottage showed up for sale and everything just… fell into place.
Luna brushed some hair behind her ear, keeping her head down but occasionally glanced at people walking by. She wasn't stuck but she didn't dare to move away, and the man who had her knew she didn't dare to. She sighed quietly, hating these markets, and didn't know what was worse between being stuck with the man she was with, or come to someone she didn't know at all.
Slade had walked around, looking at different things, from ingredients to creatures. As he looked at the various things that were for sale, his eyes fell to a man, with a woman. He stared at them from afar before he eventually walked over. He glanced at the woman then looked to the man. “How much do you want for her?” He asked, it moving his eyes from him.
Gail Simone's New DC Book Not So New: Writer Hints She's Relaunching Secret Six
The announcement that Gail Simone was leaving Batgirl this week also included yet another reference to her writing a new book for DC Comics. During a recent Reddit session Geoff Johns mentioned her working on a “Top Secret” project.
Today at the London Comic Con during a spotlight panel Simone hinted to attendees she is launching Secret Six. She then continued the hinting on Tumblr.
The Secret Six was one of the most well reviewed books that Simone worked on while under contract to DC Comics. Spinning out of a Infinite Crisis mini-series, the book ran for 36 issues and was cancelled as part of the new 52. At that time the book had just fallen under 20K an issue.
During the new 52 DC launched Suicide Squad which many saw as a replacement for the Secret Six. That book was cancelled earlier this year when sales fell to just above 20K. That book used several of the same characters that had appeared in Simone’s Secret Six including Deadshot and Killer Shark as well as Amanda Waller.
Suicide Squad just relaunched with a new writer so it will be interesting to see which characters from Simone’s original run appear. Several of the characters including Catman as well as Simone created characters Scandal Savage and Jeanette have not been seen in the new 52. Tremor a character created near the end of Simone’s run appeared in The Movement. Another Simone creation, the modern Ragdoll, recently appeared in Batgirl.
The biggest name from the original run was Bane. Since he appeared in that series, the character gained prominence when he appeared in the final film in Nolan’s Batman Trilogy where he was played by Tom Hardy. During the Reddit session Johns said that Simone was writing XXX XXX which certainly leans toward a top name character such as Bane.
Secret Six was one of my favorite books during its run and i think probably the best thing Simone has written. It combined high adventure, horror and black humor like few other comic books have. I hope the hint is true.
Audi 5000. The C2 and C3 series Audi 100s were badged as 5000s in the US because they were fitted exclusively with 5 cylinder engines (in Europe and elsewhere they used 4 and 5 cylinders). During model years 1983–1987, Audi’s U.S. sales fell after a series of recalls of Audi 5000 models associated with reported incidents of sudden unintended acceleration linked to six deaths and 700 accidents. The 5000 was rebadged as the Audi 100 and 200 in 1989 in line with European naming conventions
US weekly album sales fell to a new low this week with only 4.25 million albums being sold. The previous low came in October 2013 with 4.49 million albums sold. Read a report from Billboard below after the jump.
Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton abruptly resigned Monday, as another disastrous holiday season showed his recent efforts to revive the creative culture at the world’s largest toy company didn’t do the trick.
fyi for folks who didn’t know. important notes from this article (and others) that might explain some of the things happening:
- Profit during the holiday quarter fell 59% from a year earlier to $149.9 million, as sales dropped 6% to $1.99 billion. The results were the last straw after several quarters of declining sales.
-According to current and former executives, Mattel’s executives needed to be thinking up better toys. Instead, they became entangled in a culture that valued endless meetings and long PowerPoint presentations.
-With its results weakening, Mattel is preparing for another major round of belt-tightening. In October, it announced plans to cut another $250 million to $300 million in annual costs.
-Sales of Barbie fell 21% in the third quarter, contributing to a 22% drop in profits and an 8% decline in sales for Mattel
-the company’s stock, already down more than 20 percent over the last six months, fell another four percent Monday afternoon.
-Lego surpassed Mattel for the first time as the world’s largest toymaker
-Monster High sales appear to be cannibalizing sales of Barbie dolls, rather than growing Mattel’s top line
Illmatic is the debut album of American rapper Nas, released on April 19, 1994, by Columbia Records. Upon its release, the album debuted at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 59,000 copies in its first week. However, its initial sales fell below expectations and its five singles failed to achieve significant chart success. Though it experienced initial low sales, Illmatic received rave reviews from most music critics upon its release and earned praise for its lyrical content, production, and Nas’s lyricism. On January 17, 1996, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and in 2001, it earned platinum certification after shipments of one million copies in the United States.
Okay, so I’m warning you now, this is probably going to be really long. So this all starts on November 3rd last year when Taylor announced the tour. I was driving to class and when I got to school, I checked my phone and had like 10 texts and twitter notifications about the tour. I knew that I was going to want to go to both Gillette shows. A couple days later, the presale started and the best seats I was able to get were club ones. I decided to buy them and take my brother with me the first night. I continued to look for tickets for the second night for my sister, Allison, and me. I tried again when tickets went on sale and got nothing besides the 300 levels. We decided to wait and see if more tickets would be released or if we could get some on Stubhub. I found some people selling some, but something always came up and the sale fell through. Most of you know that I surprised my brother with the tickets for his birthday/Christmas. I wrote him a card (x) and recorded him reading it (x). Taylor liked them both and replied to it saying:
She also replied to a video of my David singing, saying:
This made us even more excited for the tour. I started to look around for contests for Gillette because I didn’t think I was going to be able to find anyone selling any tickets for night 2. I found probably about 10 different contests and entered them all everyday. I found the Keds one for the first night, but entered it anyways because it was a meet and greet (As you all probably know, it did end up being changed to a backstage tour). I entered that contest everyday with my name, my two sisters, and both my parents’ names for over a month. So let’s flash forward to June 23rd. I was at work and my sister, Casandra, was out with her friends. She came into work and was like, “I just won tickets and backstage passes to see Taylor Swift from Keds.” I didn’t believe her at first and thought she was just joking. She showed me the email and my dad called them to make sure it was legit. So now I had 2 sets of tickets to the first night and none for the second. Allison and my friend bought the club seats I had for the first night. I finally found someone selling pit tickets to night 2 for my brother and me for face value. Although they were expensive, it was worth every penny seeing how happy my brother was.
So July 24th and 25th finally came. My brother and I made shirts with both replies on it (Taylor liked a picture of the shirt a few months before the show). The first night came and my sisters, friend, and I got to Gillette around noon (I woke up early that day because I had a nightmare that I missed the concert, only to realize that I actually didn’t, lol). My sister and my tickets and backstage info had to be picked up at will call. We went straight there when we got to Gillette. We wanted to get our tickets as soon as possible because we had no idea where our seats were. We got to will call and our tickets weren’t there. No one had any idea about them either. They told us to come back in a few hours. Everyone else that had won the Keds contest and whose tickets were late to will call got a meet and greet instead of the backstage tour, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up (good thing I didn’t). So we went to have lunch and went back to will call and our tickets still weren’t there. They told us to come back again in an hour, so we went back to my car and charged our phones. The gates opened at 5, so we headed back to will call around 4 and our tickets were finally there. I opened up the envelope and freaked out when I saw where our tickets were. We were right at the catwalk, seats 3 and 4!!! Since my other sister and friend had club seats, they go in their own entrance, so they left to get in line and my sister and I went to find out where we should enter. We were told to meet at 5:15 at section 128/129. We went to the gate to get to that section and they told us that is where we are supposed to enter. The gates opened and we tried to go in, but they were telling us that we couldn’t go in there and had to enter on the floor because we had floor seats, which was on the complete other side of the stadium. It was already almost 5:15 and we didn’t think we would make it in time. We literally RAN the entire stadium and finally got to where we needed to meet. We ended up waiting there for over an hour so we ran there for nothing.. It was also where the meet and greet people lined up, so I saw so many people from Tumblr there. They finally took us in and told us that Taylor Swift’s mom, Andrea, was going to be giving the tour and no one seemed to care, while I was freaking out. The entire time, my sister and I were like running to be right next to her, haha. I explained everything we saw backstage here: (x) When we were backstage, Shawn Mendes was coming to go on stage, and Mama Swift was like, “That’s Shawn coming. Say hi!” And I just saw the security guard so I was like okay?? Hi? Then, I saw Shawn behind him and I was like, wow, I just casually said hi to Shawn Mendes while standing right next to Mama Swift. Then we were walking around backstage, and Shawn had his guitar on and was about to go onstage and I was standing right next to him. I could have just lifted up my arm and touched him, but he was so concentrated and looked nervous, so I didn’t say anything. So the tour ended and Shawn had just gone on stage and we got to take pictures with Mama Swift. I was too nervous and shy, so I didn’t mention anything about Tumblr to her which I have regretted everyday since then.
So the show had already started by the time we got to our seats. Shawn, Vance, and HAIM were all AMAZING. Feel So Close started playing and I started completely freaking out. Taylor came out and I could not believe how close I was. I swear she looked right at me like 10 times. She brought out Walk The Moon and they were so good! The night ended and I couldn’t believe that I get to see it all again the next day. We got home probably around 1 am, but I was too excited to fall asleep, so I didn’t go to bed until close to 3 am. The next morning, I woke up early again. I had decided that since I was so close the night before and I knew that my brother wouldn’t be able to stay in the pit all day, I was going to just be more towards the back of the pit, so we could just enjoy the show and sing and dance. We got to Gillette around 2 and met up with people from Tumblr. I finally got to meet so many people for the first time. The gates finally opened and we were with some family friends who also planned on going to the Taylor Nation booth, so we decided to go together. We went in and they went to scan our tickets, and it said refund and told us to go to customer service. My brother was freaking out and I was just trying to keep my composure, so he wouldn’t freak out even more. After waiting for like 10 minutes, they finally told us that we were just supposed to pick up another set of tickets from will call. So we finally got in and went up to the Taylor Nation booth. We ended up waiting for 2 and a half hours and no one from Taylor Nation was there and we never even got our picture.. We were in line with people from Tumblr, so it was fun to chat with everyone for awhile. We finally got down to the pit and ended up getting a good spot where my brother could see. This was his first concert so he was amazed with it all. He ruined all my videos with his singing, but I don’t even care because he had so much fun. The special guest was MKTO, who I had already seen, but it was nice to see them again.
Once the Gillette shows were over, PCD was sooo real. I really wanted to go to one more show, but I knew my parents would never let me. Jess (@jtmaster13) even offered to buy me a ticket to the Tampa show, but my parents wouldn’t let me go. I knew that the only way I was going to be able to go is if I won tickets. I began looking for contests all over again. I entered ones for just tickets and flyaway ones too. I knew my chances of winning another one was slim to none, but I continued to enter about 10 of them everyday. I found the Xfinity College Sweepstakes which included airfare, hotel, tickets, and spending money. Only college students were eligible to enter, so I entered everyday with my name and my sister’s. Most of the contests ended September 30th and said they would notify the winner by October 1st. I hadn’t gotten any emails by then, so I just assumed that I didn’t win any and it wasn’t meant to be.
I was in class on October 6th and just refreshed my email as I always do in class to see if my next class got cancelled, lol. I saw an email that said, “Congratulations Kimberly from Xfinity and Fly Away…” and just assumed that it was an email from a college or something because I get emails like that all the time. I exited out of the email and then went back and actually read it and started freaking out. I left class and went to call my parents and sisters. I told a couple people on Tumblr that I knew were going to the show and were trying to help me go to the show. I didn’t want to tell that maybe people until I submitted all the paperwork and it all got approved. I was going to try and keep it a secret until the day of the show, but that didn’t last, lol (If I had already met Taylor before I probably would have, but I wanted to make my tour post for her to see). My dad and sister ended up going down to Tampa with me because my sister was afraid to fly by herself. My sister agreed to wear a costume though, so we dressed up as Red Lip Classic Thing 1 and 2.
Halloween finally came and we got to the stadium around 4 pm. We met up with so many people from Tumblr and just hung out until the gates opened. It was SOOO HOT out and they ended up opening the gates a little earlier to get us out of the sun. Before they let us in, I told my sister that I wasn’t going to run to Taylor Nation because it was too hot, but once I was in, something came over me and I literally sprinted there, scaling a set of stairs, lol, and managed to get to almost the front of the line. I was so focused on getting to TN that I didn’t even realize that I ran right past Shawn Mendes. My sister and I took our picture and then talked to Kevin and Ali for a little bit. Sierra wasn’t there yet (Kevin said she was stuck in a meeting). After hanging out at TN for awhile, my sister and I walked around the stadium, visiting the Keds booth and stuff. We went down to our seats which were on the floor and waited for Shawn to come on. Shawn played and then Vance, who was dressed as a pirate, and they were both amazing again. Feel So Close started playing and my sister and I started freaking out and everyone around us just stared at us like we were crazy. Once we told them that Taylor comes on after it, they started freaking out with us. We even got on the screen right before Taylor came on. Taylor came on and was absolutely perfect again. She brought out Alessia Cara and absolutely killed that performance. I completely lost it when she was dressed up as Olaf for Style and then brought out Idina Menzel and sang Let It Go. I was freaking out more than the 5 year old next to me. The show ended and I couldn’t believe that that was the last time I would be seeing Taylor for awhile. We left Tampa the next day and I miss it so much. I still can’t believe that I actually went though!
So I doubt any of you actually read all of this and I apologize for how long it is. I just wanted to write it all out, so I would have it to remember how amazing this year was. I would like to thank Keds and Xfinity for both sets of tickets that I won. I can never thank them enough for making all of this happen. I would also like to thank Taylor for everything she has done this year. For releasing an unbelievable album, for putting together the most amazing tour, and for making me feel special. Whether it is on Tumblr or in a crowd of 60,000 people, I have never felt closer to her before. Thank you for always being there for me and making not only me, but also my brother feel special. Thank you again and “I love [you] so much. I really really do!” @taylorswift
I’m usually against complots theories everywhere, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
Kubo either changed his mind at the last minute after 15 years or really wanted revenge against SJ or had his child kidnapped - just kidding guys, don’t take it seriously. Because one can ignore the manga and pretend all the moments didn’t happen - but they did, and if not a proof for “IR canonicity"they would still testify how underdeveloped IH is -, but if you go in that mare magnum of non strictly canon material, you must have some doubts about the man’s intentions.
The anime endings - one where they are connected by a red string, akai ito, just a major love symbol -, the fillers, the movies - Fade to Black in particular, in which Kubo himself was involved -, the data books, posters, calendars, the interviews: “Rukia’s name means light, so it’s fitting, because she’s like a ray of light to Ichigo.” Now, whose parent says that some “friends” are a ray of light to their kid? Mine certainly not. When asked to draw Ichigo he drew Rukia as well, as he said he couldn’t draw Ichigo without Rukia.
So, aside from canon - which is yet another proof -, this means the man shipped the two of them.
Today we have Twitter, Facebook, reddit, tumblr, 2ch in japan and Kami-sama knows how many more fan sites where you can read exactly what your fans think of what you write. Kubo couldn’t have helped knowing that basically all of his fandom in Japan is IR and they stayed even the declining of the series just for that. You can read about it as I did, Bleach sales fell steadily and the last good sale was the volume with Rukia on its cover. And you can also read about the harshness of manga industry in Japan, the Japanese are stakanovists for a living and that sector is no exception. You can read about the abrupt ending of other mangas by SJ in particular, after the sales fall and/or they decide to make room for others. Don’t forget this a competitive sector like all others, and art is sold exactly like groceries. If zucchini doesn’t sell, make room for cabbages. If Bleach doesn’t sell make room for BNHA, which is really good actually, but even if it wasn’t, Bleach is old while that is new.
I’ve read here and there about Bleach being the last true Battle Shonen, which is shonen of the 80′s-90′s focused solely on fights, and where ou shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds to read a page. Naruto already wasn’t, while other mangas like One Piece, HxH aren’t at all, as it isn’t uncommon to take five whole minutes to read a single page. But Bleach was still focused mainly on battles, which Kubo delivered epically, with splendid drawings and sublime scenography… and it’s old school today.
Given this and that and much more you can think of yourself, for as absurd as it may sound, I think Kubo delivered the finale to hurt SJ. Even if a manga sales are low, the last volume will sell for sure. With this, completely distressing the eastern community, who are taking the hit much worse than us, he made sure to fuck up the sales. He wouldn’t earn much on it anyway and he already has a little something in his bank account. Legend says that Zombie Powder, Kubo’s previous manga, didn’t sell as well, and so did the first three volumes of Bleach - which were apparently strikingly similar to Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi, if you don’t know him , he’s just the man who publishes a single chapter every ten years and earns from it enough for a whole lifetime -, so Tite Kubo wanted to quit, as already back then he was feeling the pressure of the job: but Toriyama-sensei encouraged him to continue, and he created something incredible.
Fifteen years later I find it hard to believe that the pressure had diminished, especially now that new mangas were popping everywhere, all very different from his, and only One Piece, which is eternal, was still there to shove his always high sales in the poor author’s face. Knowing how much he liked those two together, is it so hard to imagine why he would make such a change?
Again: people can ship whoever they like. But one thing is shipping and another is recognizing facts. IR didn’t happen and there’s nothing to be done, but I know I wasn’t blind for 685 chapters, and I want to understand why.
Of course, this was just to explain the shipping choice, it can’t explain the plot holes or the missing characters or all the rest that was left suspended.
I have tagged anti-IH: if you are pro please refrain from answering or reblogging unless it’s to bring respectuful actual ideas and reasoning to the discussion.
‘SUICIDE SQUAD’ EARNED $267MILLION GLOBAL OPENING WEEKEND!
‘Suicide Squad’ grossed $135million domestically this weekend, easily breaking the record for an August opening weekend. It unfortunately didn’t reach the $150million opening it was predicted at the beginning of the weekend after ticket sales fell 40% from Friday to Saturday, but it still managed to break the record previously held by ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. It also opened to $132million overseas, giving the movie a massive $267million total opening weekend worldwide!