So today is the last day of 2004. And, as one would stand to reason, this is the last Theater Hopper comic of 2004. I love it when these little milestones occur. It's just so... tidy.
I got the idea for today's comic from href="http://www.theaterhopper.com/thorum/">the THorum where we actually discussed the Worst Movie of the Year. I had chosen Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2 as my contender for the title, even though I admitted I hadn't seen the movie.
The resulting discussion got me thinking. I'll spare you the details of the actual conversation. It's all archived in the THorum for you to read at your leisure.
Anyway, the conversation got me thinking. Here I was, unobjectively labeling this movie as the worst of the year, but essentially talking out of my butt having not seen it. I was reminded of more politically charged climate earlier in the year and all of the critics who were shouting down Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11 without seeing one frame of celluloid.
Obviously comparing Fahrenheit 9/11 to Baby Geniuses 2 is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but it's the attitudes about the film I am dissecting.
I don't know. I really don't have anything deep to go into here. Just random thoughts about how media and perception shape our opinions. Frankly, it's all so unimportant to close the year with. I have headier matters to tackle.
If you've noticed a pensive tone in today's comic, that's intentional. I also felt a dash of the romantic was in order. Such is the coming of the New Year. The opportunity for change can be both terrifying and exciting.
You'll be seeing some changes to Theater Hopper starting next Monday, January 3, 2005. This is a bit of advanced warning.
Basically I've decided to change how I approach creating the comic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In August of 2005 I will have been doing this for 3 years. It's time to stop flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to this stuff and take my preparation a little more seriously.
I know you guys aren't aware of the behind-the-scenes stuff or the effort that goes into the comic. But it's surprisingly little. I'm usually coming up with gags the day I sit down to draw the comic.
Instead of being strictly a gag strip, I've decided to push Theater Hopper and its characters into deeper waters. I've found the topical aspects of the comic help to keep it timely, but that timeliness has a shelf life. I mean, has anyone cared about my opinions on Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets since I did a strip on it in November 2002?
I've found that the best feedback I've received has been for the slower-paced character development arcs. When I undertook the month long exploration into Jimmy becoming unemployed, it really struck a nerve. People wanted to see more of that and I knew it was the direction I needed to go.
The objective is to make the characters more human, more relatable. And not just these talking heads when it comes to pop culture. I want them to become something more than a filter for me to pass my opinions though. I want you to actually care about them.
For those of you that are worried about all this talk of new directions, please take comfort in knowing that Theater Hopper will still take place in the world surrounding movies and pop culture. It will just have less to say about the specific details.
For those of you who are worried we're going to go all serious on you, don't be. I still plan on batting Ben Affleck around from time to time.
The idea is to move away from comics that specifically reference "Movie X" or "Movie Y" coming out onto DVD and instead plotting out longer story lines in advance.
Next Monday, I'll be introducing an all-new original character to the cast. Her name is Charlie and she's a rival from Cami's past. Her introduction will signal the new beginning of Theater Hopper.
New Year. New Beginning. See you Monday.
Are you talking about the films the critics told me to hate, or the films I actually saw?
That was a refreshingly honest answer!
Well, "refreshingly honest" is my New Year's resolution!
I know, dear.