Ended, The Clone Wars Have
Bonus points if you recognize the Ewokese I’m quoting. We’re not gonna just go for the easy, “yub nub.” Here in The Sub-Basement we have to add that extra step.
Between Clone Wars and the recent Marvel announcement, it’s pretty excited to see how Disney is embracing Netflix as a distribution channel. It’s not unlike when TV itself was new; as the other studios saw it as competition, to be either avoided or destroyed, Walt Disney, showman that he was, saw it as yet another avenue to promote the studio. It was his early deals with ABC, in fact, that allowed Disneyland to become a reality.
They’ve embraced YouTube just as eagerly. Chances are you’ve seen some of their Muppets shorts; if you haven’t seen their new Mickey Mouse cartoons, or the charming It’s A Small World shorts, you owe it to yourself to check them out.
But as exciting as it is to see new works being produced for the intarwebz, what excites me more, you’ll be shocked to learn, is the prospect of digging up the old and obscure. Want to see a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that Rhino lost the rights to? It’s on YouTube. The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, guest-starring Billy Barty, Florence Henderson, and Kiss? You better believe it’s on YouTube.
And that’s just stuff people have dug up from dusty old VHS tapes. Studios are just starting to realize the huge untapped market for that material that’s barely remembered, that’s not hugely in demand, but will mean the world to those few who have fond memories. It costs a lot to manufacture and distribute, say, Fast Times At Ridgemont High: The Series, but comparatively nothing to upload it to YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix.
And there will always be viewers actively seeking that stuff; Mrs. Richmond and I have lately become obsessed with The Mothers-In-Law, a terrible, cliched, sitcommy, but ridiculously entertaining 1968 series that recently turned up with no fanfare on Hulu. If Disney were to put Droids: The Adventures Of R2-D2 and C-3PO on Netflix, I guarantee that some kid, hepped up on Clone Wars and Rebels, will check it out and get hooked. And from there, it’s just a matter of time before The Star Wars Holiday Special finally achieves the classic status it deserves.
No? Just me? Mark my words, it’ll happen.
On an unrelated note: the way Mowrer and I produce the strip goes like this. We get together, break the story, and write the dialogue. Mowrer goes off and draws it, then hands it off to me for coloring. Now, occasionally, Mowrer will save himself some work, by skipping over parts that he knows will be covered by word balloons. Which means occasionally I’ll open a Photoshop file and see something like this:
Hey, Mowrer, thanks for the nightmares!