Monday, January 02, 2006

Are there any original ideas out there?

It's been said in the past that there aren't any new ideas in the world of entertainment, movies specifically, and that is why everything today seems derivative of something else. I'm not sure if I buy into that, because in my mind, ideas and stories come from a wellspring of the writer's experiences, and because western culture has become somewhat homogenized, the general populous' has a somewhat similar lifestyle (I know that's not really true, but I'm speaking in broad strokes here).

On the other hand, even if there are not any new ideas, there are plenty of spins on old ideas, and it's up to the writer to make them seem fresh. Take the comic book Invincible for example. It's sort of a mixture of the familiar mythos of Superman and Spider-Man. Omni-Man, Invincible's father was sent from another planet to live on earth, like Superman. Invincible, by contrast, is a teenager who gets super powers and has to deal with the problems of day to day life, as well as fighting bad guys, like Spider-Man. On the surface that may seem pretty derivative, and it somewhat is, but what Robert Kirkman, the writer, does is to twist that on it's side and reveal that Omni-Man is in reality an advance scout for an invasion force and really isn't there to protect the populace. Kirkman has taken an idea that could be thought of as pretty tired, and make it feel fresh and new, and most importantly, interesting enough to keep me coming back each month for another installment. Not to go off on a tangent, but if there are any comic writers in the field today that I would aspire to be like, it'd be Robert Kirkman.

So yeah, all the ideas may have been pulled from the well already, but I don't believe it, and I am going to come up with something no one's ever tried before, and as soon as I do, you'll hear about it.


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