Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The vindication list: the next "big things," from anime to XM radio to (of course) Neil Gaiman

A quick thing:

I'm always responding to new "big things" by thinking, "Oh, I was wild about that AGES ago"--but then that just seems preposterous and there's NO WAY TO PROVE IT. Thus, this post. Things that are going to be big...eventually.

Computer-animated movies that do not look realistic, per se, but that look cool. Um, NOT The Incredibles. I'm thinking more of stuff like this (click on the thumbnails) or Final Fantasy-type things, but in a feature-length film.

Wilco. Okay, they're already pretty famous, but they are going to get bigger and better with every new record they produce. God, how are they so great?

Blogs. Again, I realize that these are already becoming pretty mainstream. But in the future starving artists will be publishing serialized novels on their blogs. In 30 years, we'll be able to "get to know" the incumbent president or the writer-of-the-moment by looking at the blog he kept when he was a teenager. In schools, the blogs of Iraqis will be primary sources...no longer will the victors write the history books when millions of pages of material is archives on the internet. Kewl.

Anime (that's the movie form, not manga). I'm not talking about Pokemon. But think of Miyazaki's beautiful movies, especially Spirited Away. The Ghost in the Shell movies. They're surreal, magical...and this from someone who once scorned all things anime as "lame and geeky." Then I realized that no, they actually aren't lame and yes, they are geeky--but, um, when have I NOT been geeky myself? Ha.

DVD's will be shared over the internet like music is now. Nothing more to be said on that; it's inevitable. This of course ties in with the inevitability of our current generation of Internet giving way to Internet2.

AM and FM radio will end. All radio will be via satellite, like XM or Sirius radio, or our radios will be wirelessly connected to the internet so we can stream GOOD, specific music off online radio stations or off iTunes.

All music files will be in mp3 form. Every CD will be able to hold 200 songs instead of 20.

Graphic novels. These are not comics. Think Alan Moore's Watchmen. Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Art Spiegelman's Maus. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. They span genres; they're a whole new medium in themselves. They combine the visual aspects of movies with the dialogue, the sense of immersion, and the extensive nature of books. Maybe they will appeal to people who want to read a book but are daunted by large blocks of text (coughLAZY).

Neil Gaiman. Because he's too damn good to not become more famous. Okay, I know that Sandman, as a graphic novel, does not have as wide an audience as it ought to. But every novel he's written since Sandman has progressively gotten better. I mean, American Gods! Well I said godDAMN! That should be required reading, it's so complex and it's a great story--but it also weaves in history and individual stories as well as the American Story as a whole. And it is rife with mythological and religious references (just check out the AG message boards). We need an ANNOTATED American Gods alongside our Annotated Alice. Finally, Neil's blog lets all his readers feel like they really know--and really like--him as a person; they don't just know his books. That kind of personalization (?) breeds an intense loyalty in his fans, and it makes them more likely to love his books the way you'd love a book your sister wrote even if it weren't, er, Dickens. Just believe me on this one. Or, if you don't, go to Neil's blog and then read any of his books--but especially Sandman or American Gods.

And now for the optimist, the idealist in me: books. People will begin to read again; people will begin to write again. Books will be serialized in magazines, in newspapers, on the internet. Millions more people will try their hand at writing, and consequently hoards of new talent will be discovered. Everyone will be able to talk more intelligently to one another. Imaginations will be unleashed. Because damn, people can't possibly read any LESS than they do now.


Blogger ethne said...

Ghost in the Shell kicks serious butt, but hubster likes Akira just as well. I picked up the Ghost in the Shell series. It's different from the movies. Interesting though.

7:32 AM  

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