Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Comic Book News Network

Lois Lane could have a show too; especially if she could get Wonder Woman.
So, I was visiting my friend Gary one day and we were talking about comics. He had ESPN on the TV for background noise, so during a lull in the conversation, I watched a few seconds.

Now, I am not at all a sports fan. I enjoy going to games the same way your average person enjoys going to Spider-Man movies, but try as I have, I just can't make myself care about stats or who's moving to what team. I'm doing good to name even three guys who play for any of Minnesota's four professional sports teams. To me, folks who are more into sports than that are nerds, plain and simple.

So I voice that opinion to Gary who's something of a sports nerd himself, though not a hardcore one, and he agrees with me. As supporting evidence, he explains that we're not watching ESPN, but ESPNews, one of ESPN's nine affiliated channels (not counting ABC). And we're not watching the NFL draft as I'd first thought. We're not even watching the pre-draft show. We're watching the warm up to the pre-draft show, and I'm thinking, "Holy crap, how do nerds this hard make it out of high school alive?"

And, because Gary and I are comics nerds, we start talking about how comics and graphic novels are becoming more and more accepted today in popular culture, and how it's not inconceivable that one day we might be able to watch a Comic Book News Network on cable. And because we're hardcore comics nerds, we start trying to figure out the programming for our fictional station. (Hey, I escaped high school alive by being bigger than everyone else. I can't explain how Gary did it.)

Since most cable news channels repeat the same news over a period of time, we figure that we really only need about 12 hours of new programming a day. A lot of the day would be spent keeping up with comics news and interviewing publishers and creators. For instance:
  • The Marvel Show (1 hour)
  • The DC Show (1 hour)
  • The Manga Show (1 hour)
  • The Dark Horse/Image Show (1 hour)
  • The Indie/Alternative Show (1 hour)
  • The European Comics Show (1 hour)
  • The Newspaper Comics/Editorial Cartoon Show (30 minutes)

We could also have specialty programming, like:

  • The comic book movie news/interview/review show (1 hour)
  • A graphic novel review show (30 minutes)
  • A comic book trivia game show (30 minutes)
And how about shows that feature reviews of comics from various time periods, as well as interviews with creators and experts on those periods?
  • The Golden Age show (30 minutes)
  • The Silver Age show (30 minutes)
  • The '70s show (30 minutes)
  • The '80s show (30 minutes)
  • The '90s show (30 minutes)
That takes us up to 11 hours without even thinking hard about it. And because I don't want to think hard about it, I'm filling the last hour with re-runs of The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Shazam/Isis, and any other comics-based show I can think of (live action or cartoon; superhero or otherwise).

Oh, and once a year, we'd totally steal Tom Spurgeon's idea about doing a Shawn Hoke-hosted draft of graduating students from comics-focused art schools.


Siskoid said...

You could have a lot more reruns and/or cartoon shows on the agenda, and on Saturday nights, a comic book movie, anything from Captain America to Road to Perdition.

CBNN would probably be more profitable than a lot of cable channels!

America's Next Cartoonist, anyone?

Michael May said...

Dude, you're so hired. :)

And with all the bloggers and podcasters out there, we already have a pool to choose from for hosts of the various shows.

West said...

Food for thought! Good post.

Siskoid said...

I used to have this stupid habit of imagining everything I read as a film (novels) or tv show (short stories/book series) airing on my own SF/fantasy/whatever cable network. Let's call it Siskcom at this point.

I guess its hit shows were Wild Cards, Discworld and the Magic of Xanth. Oh, and lots of unaired Star Trek episodes by way of the novels.

Michael May said...

Is it sad that I sometimes still do that? I've always thought visually and read novels as movies going on in my head.

Same with comics. Even though they're already visual, I tend to cast them and imagine them as episodic TV shows.


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