September 25, 2006

War at Home report

The Super Dave episode of The War at Home has aired. For those who didn't see it, here's what you missed:

  • By my count, the PEACE PARTY display appeared in five scenes. The first one was the overhead establishing shot for the comic-book convention. In the other four, the characters passed by or stopped in front of the faux PEACE PARTY display.

  • The establishing shot showed the entire room with the top of the PEACE PARTY poster prominent in the lower part of the screen. The PEACE PARTY logo was arguably the most notable thing in view for three seconds.

  • The other scenes showed the PEACE PARTY display in the background for a second or two. One shot showed the cover of PP #1 at a severe angle; another showed the top of the cover of PP #2. Because the Indian drum and doll were in front of the display, the camera kept catching them.

  • Some additional thoughts:

  • Now I understand another reason why they wanted to use PEACE PARTY. I don't think they showed a single brand-name logo or character. No Superman, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Pokemon. (They did mention Captain America and Darth Vader, but that's about it.) I imagine they saved a lot of money by not using brand-name properties that would've required a licensing fee.

  • Other than that, the displays looked okay. But most conventions have long aisles with displays on either side. This convention had fans circulating around a couple of islands in the center of the room.

  • The convention was too small for the huge building it was in. It was about the size of the first tentative comic-book conventions held in the 1970s. Clearly the producers were limited to dressing up a single room and pretending it was a whole convention.

  • In reality, today's conventions are much, much larger. I estimate the San Diego Comic-Con is literally (not figuratively) 1,000 to 10,000 times larger than this convention was.

  • By showing everyone wearing goofy costumes and saying goofy things, the show trivialized the whole comic-book/sci-fi subculture. Actually, these people dress and act normally most of the time, even at conventions. Unlike the geeky boys in the show, they're probably more thoughtful and sensitive than average, not less.

  • Since everything the characters said was about made-up properties, I bet most people will think PEACE PARTY was a made-up property also. I doubt we'll see any bump in website traffic.

  • And a couple of corrections:

  • The convention was only modeled on the San Diego Comic-Con. It was set in Philadelphia, which I don't think has a major comic convention.

  • Only one of the geeky boys, Larry, was Dave's son. The other was Larry's geeky friend Kenny.

  • All in all, it was a typical episode of The War at Home. It was fun seeing the posters on-screen, but I doubt they'll register with anyone who didn't know about them already. Oh, well...every little bit of publicity helps.


    Not a Sioux said...

    Thanks for mentioning in one of your points the tired old stereotype of the comic book / sci fi nerd. It looked particularly tired in this episode, as it often does. See the Noel character in "Frasier" for a rare example when this is actually funny.

    Interestingly enough, the "guest of honor" character, Zoltar, had the same name as the villain from the old "Battle of the Planets" cartoon.

    Anonymous said...

    All in all, still pretty cool PEACE PARTY made it on the show. Huzzahs all around~~!

    Rob said...

    Since I'm one of those nerdy types, I know what they're like. ;-)

    Anonymous said...

    Comic Book or Sci Fi nerd? My older bro was an ORIGINAL. In fact, he started going to conventions 40 years ago when hardly anyone even thought about comic books as anything other than kid's throw-aways.

    And, like most of you nerds, he's never really outgrown it. He writes about the topic extensively and has a site dedicated to the finer art of classic comicdom. So here's a plug, big bro:

    Rob said...

    I think I took up both comics and sci-fi around the same age...about 9 or 10.

    Rob said...

    Alas...judging by the statistics, there was no bump in traffic from the show.