Letter From The Editor - Issue 41 - September 2014

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Issue 34
Stories
What the Sea Refuses
by Brian Dolton
Foundling
by Christian K. Martinez
Portraits from the Shadow
by D. Thomas Minton
Three Seconds
by Jonas David
Oyster Beach
by Sophie Wereley
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
Blockbuster Viagra
by Chris Bellamy

Writing Fantasy

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At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
    by Chris Bellamy

* Author's note: This essay contains spoilers for Man of Steel, Se7en, 2012 and White House Down. Proceed at your own peril.

Blockbuster Viagra

"Food and sex - those are my two passions. It's only natural to combine them." - George Costanza

That might as well be the official mantra in Hollywood these days. It should be emblazoned atop the front doorway of every studio in town, with each executive and decision-maker touching it ceremonially each morning, like Notre Dame football players tapping the "Play Like a Champion Today" sign on their way out onto the gridiron.

If nothing else, it's their modus operandi already. The pop-culture ascendancy of standalone superhero movies - as new as it still is - has already given way to a culture of conglomeration, where one superhero simply isn't enough. Building entire universes out of multiple properties is the new standard. If that wasn't clear enough already after the record-setting success of The Avengers - sorry, my mistake, that's Marvel's The Avengers - it certainly is now in the wake of Warner Bros.' Comic-Con announcement of a pending Batman/Superman mash-up, set for release in 2015 and inevitably leading up to an eventual Justice League film.

It's only natural to combine them, right?

And so just like that, the Man of Steel sequel has doubled in size, and the pissing contest begins in earnest. As mid-budget studio films continue to disappear, the blockbusters get bigger and bigger - and they make them bigger and bigger simply for the sake of doing so. Though I, for one, have never watched a superhero movie and thought, "You know what this needs? More superheroes!" - one is apparently no longer enough to qualify as a franchise. For what reason beyond the obvious, I have no idea. Bigness is apparently its own reward. Enhance, enhance, enhance. Where it ends is an open-ended question.

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