The Week in Gay Geek: Will Bryan Fuller be NBC’s hero?




This week:

  • Will a gay writer save NBC’s Heroes?
  • Catch up on 30 days of good LGBT comics this November.
  • Is YAOI publisher DramaQueen making a comeback?
  • Which Legion character is making a surprise appearance?
  • Are True Blood‘s vampires a bad analogy?

IT’S THAT SUPER STORY POWER TO THE RESCUE:
You might have heard that geek favorite drama Heroes has had a very troubled third season with ratings down again, fans (already unhappy with the second season) frustrated by the current story arc named "Villains", and Entertainment Weekly recently dedicating a cover to the show’s troubles. At the beginning of the week, NBC took action to try to fix the series by firing producers Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander. The departure of Loeb certainly resonated with the comic book-reading segment of the Heroes audience, as Loeb was a big name in comics as well as behind-the-scenes at Heroes.

The memorable car crash from Fuller’s first Heroes script, "Collision"

However, the latest news being reported by E!’s Kristin Dos Santos certainly is more than a little bit exciting:

I’ve just been told by reliable insiders at NBC that Heroes most likely will replace Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander with at least one new writer-producer, and one of the names being tossed around is Bryan Fuller, the creative genius who served as a consulting producer for the first half of the first season.

Fuller wrote two of the most-praised episodes of the first season including the moving "Company Man". Fuller also was reportedly responsible for overseeing Claire’s storyline which was the most focused part of the first season. There’s good reason to hope that, if given enough creative freedom, Fuller could get Heroes back on track.

A scene from "Company Man"

Still, fixing Heroes is looking like a pretty huge task. I’ve given up on the current season (or at least that’s what the collection of unwatched episodes on the DVR says) which has been feeling like a bad crossover series with plot twists that just add complexity to the series without much reward.

LGBT COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD:
October may have been LGBT history month, but Brian Cronin at the Comics Should Be Good blog is spending November highlighting notable LGBT comics, an effort done with the advocacy group Prism Comics. Cronin starts out promisingly by looking at some of my favorites like Ivan Velez, Jr’s story about a group of gay teens in the 80s Tales of the Closet, Kris Dresen‘s comic strip Max & Lily and Robert Kirby‘s Curbside Boys.

Tales of the Closet and Curbside Boys

Today, Cronin takes a look at a title I hadn’t heard of before, an anthology series called Juicy Mother which features work from some great queer comics creators. How did this one miss my radar? Guess I’ve got another gay anthology comic to add to my wish list next to the latest Boy Trouble.

Max & Lily and Juicy Mother

With 30 titles eventually being featured this should either be a great way to spot gems you’ve missed or just a way to be reminded about some of the great stuff in your comic boxes.

A DRAMAQUEEN COMEBACK?:
This has been a tough year for manga publishers and, especially, the boy-meets-boy genres. Not only have we seen publishers like Tokyopop —  which publishes a wide variety of genres including BL — face financial troubles, but you can add specialty publishers like DramaQueen to the "in trouble" list.

The Tyrant Falls in Love

There’s a ray of hope for DramaQueen fans, however as the publisher hopes to release their first new comic The Tyrant Falls in Love. (I’d make a comment about a Yakuza in Love crossover, but isn’t the violent, emotionally-walled seme a cliche of the genre?) After TTFL, DramaQueen hopes to put out another book every 6-8 weeks with the anthology series Rush to hopefully resume in December. Hopefully, the DramaQueen fans will finally get their YAOI source back on track.

GASP! SHOCK!:
Well, here’s something I wasn’t expecting. Over at The Legion Omnicom, Michael Grabois points to a preview of the upcoming Adventure Comics Special with a character in it I wasn’t expecting to see again.

Things are going to be interesting for Legion fans in the next few months, aren’t they?

ANNALEE HATES FANGS:
Over at io9, "Techsploitation" columnist Annalee Newitz offers up a rather eyebrow-raising rant declaring "Let’s Face It: True Blood Hates Gay People." Basically, Newitz’s beef with Alan Ball‘s vampire series is that if the True Blood vampires are supposed to be stand-in for gays or ethnic minorities, the vampires’ worst qualities play more to negative stereotypes.

Why is this nothing more than a spicy fable about minority rights? Because True Blood‘s vamps, who fight for acceptance and the "vampire rights amendment," are murderers, rapists, and harassers of the innocent. Bill’s buddies try to kill Sookie when they first meet her, and the vampires at the local vamp watering hole make it pretty obvious that they regard the humans among them as prey who "want to die," as the bartender puts it…

… If these murderous, evil creatures are figures for gay people, then they are figures for the religious right’s worst nightmare of what gay people are. Their orgies are soaked in blood, and one sip of their v-juice can convert anyone to a mindless, lust-wracked pervert.

I haven’t been able to join the True Blood discussion due to my lack of an HBO subscription, but in my time following Techsploitation I rarely found myself totally agreeing with her. Still, even when I disagreed with her, I find her a challenging and thought-provoking read. At the core, I take Newitz’s complaint as saying that any analogy attempted by True Blood‘s vampires is too clunky to make much of a point. What do you think?

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