LNH/META: To Reboot or Not to Reboot....

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Thu Oct 27 06:07:04 PDT 2011

On Thursday, 27 October 2011 05:35:11 UTC+2, Andrew Perron  wrote:
> (Okay, I'm gonna crosspost my reply, since IMHO, this discussion should
> really be on the newsgroup in the first place; I thought the LNH Authors
> group was basically "discuss future plot points without spoiling/put
> stories up for editing".)

Agreed on both counts. My mistake for replying there: I haven't really been on the newsgroup very often lately.

> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 1:56 PM, Lalo Martins <lalo.m... at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Maybe I'm spending too much time reading about managing and marketing, but —
> > I'd go with a full reboot. As in, when it's done, that's the world we
> > continue writing in.
> Lalo, I mean no offense by the statement that follows this, and I do not
> consider it objective fact, just my own subjective opinion.
> This is an incredibly, horribly terrible idea.

No offense taken. I disagree, though :-)

> Now, an Ultimate-style new universe going on beside the first?  That's
> fine.  I like LNHY a lot, and another spinoff is cool!  (Personally, I'd
> make it distinctively different - make all the characters feel sort of
> Earth-2 - and give it a strong central idea to differentiate it from the
> main universe.  LNHY kinda accidentally did this with its Biblical themes
> and dark government stuff.)

Or go the 50s DC route and treat the old Looniverse as an Earth 2 of sorts where people grow old and whatever.

> But not writing in the old one anymore?  One of the reasons I *love* the
> LNH so much is that so many different people have poured their ideas into
> it, their different styles, their characterization and history.  A universe
> that's been fleshed out as thoroughly as the Looniverse is a hard thing to
> come by *anywhere*.  It's worth far too much to throw away or ignore.

Again: I'm not saying we pass a law that nobody is allowed to write the classic Looniverse anymore. That would be silly, for many reasons, ranging from being a bad idea to begin with for the reasons you list, to the fact that it makes no sense to try to make absolute rulings in an intrinsically anarchic group such as we are.

What I *am* saying is we shift the primary focus to the “new 20” or whatever it's called. That's what I'll be setting aside time to write for and that's what we should advertise to our friends, and heck, if new readers get bored that we're not writing fast enough to sate them, they can go hit the archives and knock themselves out with top-quality Classic LNH stuff.

Finally: I also proposed we do a “cowards reboot” like DC did, meaning, we start from a point where there is already some backstory and we use the classic universe as inspiration for that backstory. I wouldn't go so far as saying “everything that happened still happened except where we say it didn't” because DC has proved that doesn't really work (for the fourth time IMO), but we don't need to discard all the backstory either.

> (Also?  I've always thought the whole "we need to reboot to keep the
> continuity from getting confusing" thing was silly.  Just focus on what
> matters now, y'know?)

I prefer DC's new ethos of “we need to reboot to keep the stories current and give the writers more freedom to go crazy” (even though concretely I didn't really like the new 52 much).

> > The reasons are: when is the last time we got a new writer? I think I'm not
> > the last but the, well, last but one.
> Well, not necessarily the LNH, but RACC has picked up a bunch of new
> writers recently. (I'm responsible for two of them, so.) 

Any particular reason why they didn't want to write for the LNH? Is it because it feels too complicated? Because it has a high barrier to entry? Because it's intimidating? I'm sure it can't be because it's not interesting, after all the stuff you guys have been posting is really, really good.

> Really, IMHO, the biggest reason is simply nobody's going out and *trying*
> to bring in new writers/readers.

Speaking as someone who did, I disagree. But I posted a separate message about this.

>  For the LNH to survive as a concept it
> > needs both new writers and new readers. And one of the reasons we get no new
> > readers is because we're this obscure club on Usenet (really, Usenet?)
> Gaaaaaaaaaaah.  I hate the whole "LOL, Usenet is old technology!"  Frankly,
> I've never seen a web board which has the same level of functionality,
> especially in our well-moderated, completely archived group.

I'm talking about perception here, again, based on my experience trying to bring people over. Myself, as a technical-minded guy, I love the Usenet. The feature set is awesome. But people are afraid of it, or they think it's a system for distribution of pirate files, or they don't have access and aren't willing to pay for it just in case this thing maybe is interesting.

Of course, as I wrote in the other post, the answer to all that is Google Groups. It wasn't, a few years ago, but now it works beautifully. So, let's put that one to rest and focus on the “obscure club” part rather than the Usenet part. My point was not that the Usenet was intrinsically bad, just that it's something that very few people even know about, which contributes to the obscurity of the club.

>  and
> > another is that it's intimidating, it's like picking up an X-Men book in the
> > mid-90s, you know the funny parts are funny and you know the super-hero
> > parts are interesting but 80% of them make no sense whatsoever if you
> > haven't read everything in the archives. And it's intimidating for writers
> > because there's all these characters that are important for this or that
> > reason and that you just can't use (either because they're reserved or
> > because you're terrified you'll get them wrong and the ghost of wReam will
> > come in the night and give you a wedgie. I'm pretty sure wReam is still
> > alive, but you get my point. Or — because you can't be bothered to go dig up
> > all the archive issues they've ever been in. Or because the original author
> > didn't actually finish the last storyline they were in [I'm looking at you,
> > Jennifer, and, well, Lalo].)
> This is pretty much why I proposed the "Intro to the LNH" project - a
> single story that's all you need to read to start in on any LNH series.
> It's stalled out, but getting that done will be very useful.

I had the same goals with the Kid Recap mini... and the same results ;-)

> > Which doesn't mean people who want to keep writing on the “classic” universe
> > can't do whatever they want, this is not an ISO committee. But a Looniverse
> > somewhere between Ultimate and New 52 is something I'd feel comfortable
> > making a push for friends to read and even try their hands writing for. Or,
> > heck, my kids.
> Oh, sure!  Something new like that would be interesting.

-- Lalo “it appears there's no .sig setting anywhere” Martins

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