Eruditorum Press

Incremental progress meets Zeno’s Paradox

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

12 Comments

  1. BerserkRL
    January 26, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

    And now maybe it becomes clear why an episode about a practical joker going around playing pranks on the Enterprise crew would make me nervous. Because there's no way in hell an episode with this kind of premise would ever have been made on one of the live action shows.

    Though if it were, it might look a little like this.

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

    Reply

  2. Josh Marsfelder
    January 27, 2014 @ 12:36 am

    …Please don't remind me of that episode. Not just yet.

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  3. Adam Riggio
    January 27, 2014 @ 6:37 am

    I've shared your analyses of Scooby-Doo with multiple folks, who have all been fascinated. I find it some of the most intriguing aspects of your work because you discover so much simply by taking these shows seriously. They deserve it.

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  4. FlexFantastic
    January 27, 2014 @ 7:19 am

    That screengrab is one of the all-time greats for the franchise, though. So it has that going for it, which is nice.

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  5. Josh Marsfelder
    January 28, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    Well, thank you. It does mean a lot to me. I'm of the belief anything that culturally ubiquitous pretty much demands to be taken seriously, and I'm not going to apologise for calling Scooby-Doo one of my favourite shows.

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  6. Daru
    February 10, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

    Thanks again Josh. I myself take issue with the undervaluing of animated and graphic works that is still around. I don't want to have to justify myself when enjoying narrative in a visual form, that is non live action and in actuality can take greater leaps of imagination and be more brave.

    Darren Aronofsky produced his Director's Cut of his film The Fountain in graphic novel form along with the artist Kent Williams. Regarding his film, he said afterwards that he had wanted to depict the travelling of the biosphere ship horizontally across the screen, rather than the normal ascending vertically, but due to production constraints he pretty much had to do the latter. In the book he simply visioned it the way he wanted to.

    Sad to hear that the readership has dropped of for this section – I am actually finding this part the most fascinating and fruitful so far – lots of ground being laid for the future. And it is always exciting to see how something like this grows by spawning itself into new media. For my part I am on the journey with you and look forwards to what lies ahead.

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  7. Josh Marsfelder
    February 11, 2014 @ 12:08 am

    "I don't want to have to justify myself when enjoying narrative in a visual form, that is non live action and in actuality can take greater leaps of imagination and be more brave. "

    You've basically completely echoed my thoughts on animation. Bravo, and thanks. Always nice to know there's at least one other person who seems to get the potential this medium has!

    Glad to hear you've been enjoying the Animated Series posts: This was my favourite section of the project yet just in terms of media consumption and writing. And grateful as always for the continued support.

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  8. Daru
    February 11, 2014 @ 12:17 am

    Oh no problem! My background training is in the arts and it really makes me appreciate many works where I can see that craft has been put into them. I don't really feel (especially with the advent of CGI) that animation is being used to its fullest extent, especially with regards to European and American output in mass media.

    Thanks for responding back!

    Reply

  9. Josh Marsfelder
    February 11, 2014 @ 12:34 am

    No problem: I do try to respond back whenever possible as I like to try and keep a lively discussion going.

    I think, unfortunately, animation has been one of those mediums that's been slighted by changing practices in the entertainment industry and a generally shitty economy. Sadly, it's a pretty time, labour and cost intensive form of expression. People like Hayao Miyazaki can do it because people like Hayao Miyazaki can afford to do it. It's the same reason practical model effects went away in live-action sci-fi: CG is just cheaper and easier.

    Unfortunately, both may wind up a kind of lost art.

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  10. Daru
    February 11, 2014 @ 12:47 am

    Yes great thanks.

    Agree re: difficulties with animation and its intensive production. Miyazaki is indeed a guiding light in terms of quality.

    I hope animation does not end up a lost art (I always have hope) and that there will still be those folk who produce wonderful work on a shoestring. Here's a vision of the future:

    Mass media products all produced via holograms/ interactive holodecks, etc. BUT there is an underground movement of animators, cell artists, stop-motion animators and model makers. All done by hand as pronounced in their 'Manifesto'.

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  11. Froborr
    October 11, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    I know you hate Internet reviewers, but I've always felt Nostalgia Chick put it best, when she pointed out that television and movies are the only things of which parents EVER say, "Who cares if it's crap? It's just for my kids."

    And I'm really glad to see you arguing for animation as a medium worth taking seriously–in particular, I think it's absolutely the medium best suited for science fiction and fantasy, and it's arguably the medium in which postmodern techniques first broke into the mainstream. (Chuck Jones is a particularly significant early voice here, but hardly alone.)

    Also yay for referencing Beck! He's great, and I have relied on him heavily in the past when discussing what exactly went wrong with American animation in the 70s and 80s. More people should read his stuff, it's well-supported, thorough, and extremely approachable.

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  12. Josh Marsfelder
    October 11, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    "And I'm really glad to see you arguing for animation as a medium worth taking seriously–in particular, I think it's absolutely the medium best suited for science fiction and fantasy, and it's arguably the medium in which postmodern techniques first broke into the mainstream. (Chuck Jones is a particularly significant early voice here, but hardly alone.)"

    Thank you! I'm an enormous fan of animation as a genre, if you couldn't tell already. I do love the Golden Age stuff a lot, especially Looney Tunes. Chuck Jones is indeed one of my favourites from the era: Actually, I think I might like his twisting, haunting, surreal take on Tom and Jerry better than his Warner Brothers stuff.

    Absolutely agreed IRT animation being the medium best suited for science fiction and fantasy. I really, really can't wait for you to get to the Dirty Pair section now 🙂

    Reply

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