You’re a fine one, Mr. Grinch

December 9, 2010

I never watched Glee, but I was in the room recently when a friend was watching the latest episode on Hulu. On headphones, I didn’t hear a thing apart from the occasional laugh, muted. Then there was a loud one. I looked up and saw this…

I didn’t have to watch the show, I knew EXACTLY what they were doing. That’s The Grinch That Stole Christmas, fondly remembered Dr. Seuss Xmas tale from all our childhoods. Later my friend talked about “how well they did it” and how they “did the whole thing” – from a character wearing the reindeer antlers and dog ears pulling the sleigh to plucking the ornaments off the tree.

Friend: And just when you’re thinking “There should be a Cindy Lou Whoo”…

I mention this because there is a misconception out there among some big names in comics that people are “bored” with the very elements that MAKE THE STORYVERSE WHAT IT IS. That’s why there is a wail of protest every time they announce the next big stunt that will fuck up the comics for another year and postpone the return to what it is SUPPOSED TO BE. Because these core things they are changing are not repetitive and boring, they are ritual and reassuring.

Bruce Wayne is Batman. Joker is his nemesis. Catwoman is his adversary/love interest. Jason Todd is dead.
Last year, next year and always.

If you don’t want to do that, don’t write Batman.

“Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”
“Keep it?” repeated Scrooge’s nephew. “But you don’t keep it.”
Last year, next year and always.

If you don’t want to do that, don’t perform A Christmas Carol.

“Face it, Tiger… you just hit the jackpot!”

Last year, next year and always.

If you don’t want to do that, don’t write Spiderman.

“It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Nobody is looking for reinvention here. They got it right the first time, and that’s why these stories last.

When it’s right, don’t reinvent, recapitulate:

Here endeth the lesson.

Chris Dee

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