A Former Trek Fan’s Comment on the Marketing of Star Trek Discovery

Reader and former Star Trek fan Gamera977 has more to say on Star Trek Discovery in a response to my post on start-a-fight marketing:

Thanks Rawle, I was thinking they were going down the same route as the ‘Ghostbusters’ remake too but I think you’ve hit the nail the head by pointing out the deeper issues here.

And it might had some success if they hadn’t already honked off many if not most Trek fans already. As a former big Trek fan and I guess I’m still a little bit one even now my two cents for what it’s worth:

1). It’s been what, the early ’90s since we’ve had a ‘new’ ST series? ‘Enterprise’ was a prequel and soft reboot of the original. Then the Abrams movies were a hard reboot. And now ‘Discovery’ is both a prequel and a hard reboot. There’s a lot of complaining from fans about ‘why the BLEEP can’t they just set a new show in the future like they did ‘The Next Generation’ instead of remaking the original over and over!?! The ‘Star Trek: Online’ game picks up a bunch of plot threads left over from ‘DS9’ and ‘Voyager’ and makes a far better story than anything I’ve seen from Paramount in years.

I’ve noticed there seems to have been an ongoing effort to clean-up or erase the original show by displacing it with the reboots. You have ‘A Private Little War’ which supported US involvement in Vietnam War. The SJW types either ignore this episode or try to explain it away. Or ‘The Way to Eden’ where a bunch of free-loading space hippies following a cult leader almost start a war with the Romulans so they can find a paradise planet where they don’t have to work for a living but spend all their time frolicking and playing terrible music. Funny the space hippies seem a lot like SJWs……

2). Trek fans can get pretty obsessive about consistency. As you’ve pointed out we’ve got aliens called ‘Klingons’ that have nothing in common with the ‘real’ Klingons. Why use name Star Trek if you’re going to change everything- fans tend to get upset over stuff like that.

3). Complete ignorance of the original. I loved the lead actress braying about being the first black person to play the lead in a Trek production. Only that Avery Brooks did that as Captain Benjamin Sisco on ‘DS9’ TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. Fans don’t like the ignorance on simple facts about the series or the ranting about doing something ‘new’ that was first done a quarter of a century ago.

4). Even many of the fans tend to hate the preachy political sanctimonious attitude the series often adapted. The most PC episodes tend to be some of the most disliked of the various series.

5). Trek was always based on optimism and hope. The ’60s pretty much sucked on a lot of levels. But Trek said we wouldn’t only survive but thrive. Making a grim-dark angry show in the Trek universe- I can’t see how it can work. It’s simply not Trek. Even the darkest show ‘DS9’ was about how we’d overcome the odds and win in the end.

Sorry to run on and on but I really think Paramount has royally screwed themselves here to the point we’re looking at another ‘Ghostbusters’ remake. The only defenders of the show I’ve seen are some of the troll types on Jon del Arroz’s site who I wonder if they’ve even watched it or are just screaming how it’s the greatest thing ever just to argue and get attention.

As I said, it remains to be seen if this new series will drive more interest in Star Trek. However, I find it interesting that according to some Trek fans, Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville captures the spirit of Star Trek better than the official show.

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Moe Problems

This is not the solution. (Artwork by Kasuga)

On a Google Plus thread, JD Cowan discusses what led to the decline of the anime industry in the US:

It was the perfect storm of bad management and the overseas industry going insular. There’s a reason there’s such a hard drop off of anime fans from that era more than any other. Ask any old fan when they stopped keeping up and the answer is always between 2006-08.

It hasn’t worked out well for anyone.

For example, these were Bandai’s top sellers before they shuttered their doors.

Cowboy Bebop (absolutely #1)
Escaflowne
Outlaw Star
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

When they stopped making series like 4/5 above, the audience left. Even Haruhi isn’t a straight moe series.

https://www.animeherald.com/2012/08/31/bandai-to-discontinue-anime-manga-sales/

While the Lucky Star manga did well for them, the anime did not. It’s volumes were the fastest ever to hit the clearance bin. And neither did K-On make a splash, which they overpaid for. Even when Sentai got it, it still made no impact. In Japan, moe barely ever cracks the top 30 monthly manga sales and it is never on the sales charts here.

These were the top 30 selling manga of the first half of 201 in Japan. No moe.

Moe is not strong enough to hold the industry up. I have no idea why saying this is controversial. It wasn’t what built it, the audience will never be replaced, and there is no wide appeal to attract new audiences. The slump post-2006 is because the licenses were not what the core audience wanted, so they walked away.

The industry messed up. Moe is not good enough to hook audiences. It should have remained a niche focus. Part of the mismanagement is due to this stupid decision.

Yet more evidence that large, mainstream industries cannot rely on niche marketing techniques.

By the way, you can visit JD Cowan’s site here.

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Musings on Anthologies

A model for future anthologies.

Anthologies seem to be a dime a dozen. You have Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Strange Horizons. You have Beneath Ceaseless Skies and you have Uncanny. And then there are magazines like Cirsova who cater to a completely different clientele than those others.

However, I started thinking about how short fiction doesn’t pay and how it is said that no one can make any appreciable amount of money on it, but this isn’t about the economics of short fiction — Dean Wesley Smith is more knowledgable than I on that topic. Instead, I thought about how the average anthology is structured, and how that can be improved. The conclusion I came to? Anthologies would be better if all were set in the same world, then used as a jumping-off point for novels set in that world.

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Now at PulpRev: Enemy at Blood River ~血の川にいる敵~

Over at the PulpRev website, I have uploaded yet another entry in my serial. In “Enemy at Blood River,” Kikuta Mai and Yonekura Sana — rendered outlaws for killing samurai — flee in search of protection from bounty hunters who hope to get a reward from killing them, but their journey takes them somewhere rather dangerous.

Unlike the others, this one will be a five-parter; I’m trying to tell longer stories in this universe now that I’ve got a feel for how it would shake out. I hope you enjoy walking this journey with me.

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Big Media Tries “Start a Fight” Marketing

Marketing in the 21st century. (Photo by Karthik Easvur)

While I have no plans to watch the recently released Star Trek: Discovery — both because of its premise and because I’m not a Trek fan — I have observed its pre-release marketing campaign over the past few months, and make no mistake, this is a marketing plan. It doesn’t mean that those who worked on the show don’t mean what they say, it simply means they stated their beliefs in a very strategic way.

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Responses to My Post on Conservatives and Art

What yesterday’s post did. (Photo by Leaflet, from Wikipedia)

My blog post yesterday about why conservatives shun the arts sparked a wide-ranging discussion, with Brian Niemeier, Daytime Renegade, Yakov Merkin, Jeffro Johnson, and many others chiming in. All of them disagreed with me, and the common theme of all their objections is that conservatives have been very prolific in the arts in the past, but do not engage in it now because the Left controls all the major outlets for it.

First, there is much to be said about the blackballing effect. Pros in comics are relentlessly hostile to people on the Right. Voicing any right-wing opinion in Hollywood is a fast track to unemployment. Book publishing is almost uniformly liberal, and speculative fiction publishing even moreso. Any up-and-coming conservative artist would simply turn away from it all since he would be actively opposed by everyone in those industries.

But why did it get this way? Why did conservatives abandon the arts?

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Of Conservatives and Art

UPDATE: Brian Niemeier responds.

UPDATE 2: Daytime Renegade responds.

UPDATE 3: Yakov Merkin responds.

Recently, Brian Niemeier put up a post criticizing conservatives for abandoning their ideological allies in the workplace whenever SJWs demand their firing. He asserts that conservative claims of high principle are masks for cowardice, and that any conservative seeking to dissent from the SJWs — who hold influence in all major institutions — will receive no support from their supposed allies.

This got me thinking on how this applies to art, because as many a commentator has noticed, all artistic institutions, from film and television to music to comics to fine art to book publishing, are stuffed with people of the Left (though not necessarily SJW extremists.) The few non-Leftists in those industries tend to be libertarians, not flag-waving, God-fearing patriotic types. I think I have an idea of why this is the case, and it is related to the points Niemeier made.

Mainstream conservatives are too practical, and this is why they ignore the arts.

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In Which a Fairy Beats Up Monsters

Here’s some footage of me playing a game from a while back. It’s called Fairy Bloom Freesia, and it’s available on Steam. In this beat-em-up, you play a fairy with martial arts skills who has to guard a magic tree from monsters and mages who seek to steal its power.

Unlike the beat-em-ups of the 90s which follow the Double Dragon model of side-scrolling, this one takes advantage of the advances in computer technology since then to deliver an experience more like Super Smash Bros.; remember that the gameplay of older games was largely dictated by technological limitations. Today, it is purely a matter of the desired style and the developers’ skills.

Now, enjoy the video. There’s no commentary, though, just me playing for a couple of minutes.

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The Nadir of Neo Yokio

This show.

From merriam-webster.com:
nadir (n.) — the lowest point

Neo Yokio is one of the worst shows on Netflix. The voice acting is poor, the plot is unfocused, and the characters are flat. The main character Kaz Kaan is emotionless and uninspiring, as if going through the motions, and the Neo Yokio setting is interesting but painfully underutilized.

However, one particular episode of the show stands out as the worst of the lot, the most terrible episode in this most terrible show. That episode is Episode 4: Hamptons Water Magic.

Brace yourself.

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Neo Yokio (review)

Kaz Kaan is an aristocratic mage in the city-state of Neo Yokio. Descended from a long line of demon hunters, he patrols the city at the behest of his aunt Agatha, earning money to support his lavish lifestyle. Considering himself to be a true gentleman, he embodies the values of the city he calls home.

A storied family history. Demon attacks. Magic powers. Sounds like an awesome series, right?

WRONG.

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