Another Poll!

Since we started Law and the Multiverse we’ve gotten a lot of questions about non-comic-book-based movies, TV shows, and books, and on the heels of our posts about Castle we’ve seen an uptick in the number of those questions.  While we try to keep the blog focused on comic books, superheroes, and broadly-related media, it’s clear that there’s an interest in discussing how the law works (or doesn’t!) in other kinds of fiction.  So to gauge that interest among our readers we’ve set up a poll.  If enough people are keen on the idea, then we’ll start a sister-site with a wider scope.  Let us know what you think!

[polldaddy poll=5594579]

20 responses to “Another Poll!

  1. Will "scifantasy" Frank

    Though personally I don’t see why it has to be a separate blog.

    • There are a few reasons to keep them somewhat separated. Thematically, the title of “Law and the Multiverse” implies a comic book & science fiction-oriented site. And the early poll results suggest that about a quarter of our readers would stick to one kind of post or the other; splitting them into separate blogs makes it easier for more focused readers to see the posts they’re most interested in.

      • It doesn’t imply that to me; I’ve frequently seen “multiverse” used in context of other works of fiction. (Though I can’t really say whether it’s used as frequently, since I don’t read comic books. But I like this site anyway!) But either way, I’ll look forward to your posts about other works of fiction!

      • TimothyAWiseman

        @Evan, I think most people seeing “multiverse” would think of Superheros, Science Fiction, and Fantasy and in roughly that order. It seems to come up fairly rarely outside of those genres and it is generally borrowing from those genres when it does.

        Personally, I would certainly be interested in a broader “pop culture” legal blog, though my preference is strongly on the comics, sci-fi, and fantasy side and I would hope that would be given priority.

  2. Why not make different categories on the blog? Those who want just comics can read just that.

    • If you use different categories, that means people won’t see the comics-only blog by default. Given how people stumble on sites and sites develop reputations, this would be as good as not having a comics-only blog at all. Sure, it’s just one click to get all the comics posts, but the one click can make a huge difference in how the site is perceived and used.

      I’m also skeptical that the blog authors actually have time to keep up two blogs whether they are separate or not. We’d probably end up with a blog which is the same size as this one but which only covers comics half the time (or less if there’s topic drift).

      • We would only take up a second blog if we could maintain the current thrice-weekly schedule at Law and the Multiverse. The general pop culture blog would be secondary to it. Also, we’re just about to finish a major project that should give us some additional time for blogging.

        Another factor is that (perhaps unsurprisingly) we enjoy a lot of general pop culture media already, so it’s not like we’d have to spend a lot of extra time watching shows or reading books that we weren’t going to anyway.

  3. To me, “multiverse” implies something that encompasses SF/fantasy in general, not just comics, so I’d be fine if L&tM were broadened to include all genre fiction. As for stuff like mysteries, procedurals, courtroom dramas, and the like, technically they would fall under the “multiverse” label too (since something like CSI or CASTLE isn’t in our own universe anyway), but I can see how mainstream audiences wouldn’t see it that way.

    Then again, not all comics are SF/fantasy/horror/etc., are they? Comics are a medium, not a genre per se. If there were a legal issue arising from, say, a ’50s romance comic with no genre elements, it would be covered here. So if you broaden the scope of this blog from comics (and their film/TV adaptations) to mass media in general, it seems a bit asymmetrical to limit it to SF/fantasy mass media while shunting non-comics, non-genre stuff to a different blog.

  4. Personally I’d like to see them kept together as a ‘fictional universe legal commentary’ blog. I sometimes have a variable suspension of disbelief, and having worked for a major police department and having previously had a large gun collection, there are many times when I have to pause the TiVo and bitch to my wife about something particularly stupid in the program we’re watching. She does the same thing if the program involves astrophysics.

    My interest in legal conundrums in comics is marginal at best. I stopped reading Marvel & DC probably over 15 years ago and only read independents now, so I find issues with those two amusing but not a vital part of my life.

  5. The biggest problem I can see is similar questions popping up on both blogs and you guys saying “We already answered that question” and people having a hard time hunting down the answer to their question. I notice that movies and television are already categories on the side bar so this blog is NOT just about comics. If the blog starts getting away from being mostly about comics then just add “comics” as a category to the sidebar and people who just want to read posts about comics could just go there and click and avoid posts about TV and movies. Simple.

    Before we commit ourselves one way or another, it would be interesting to know what TV shows you watch besides Castle. Rants about how bad CSI Miami is legal wise might be entertaining. For that matter, for shows like CSI, CSI New York, Law and Order SVU, Bones, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, NCIS and NCIS: LA, which -unlike comics- are actually expected to get the law right could just be given a grade from F to A. You could always bring a third person in to help ease the workload. You might want to add bylines if you didn’t want any comments misattributed.

    Now here’s an idea: instead of a separate blog for TV and movies, how about a blog called “Science and the Multiverse”? I realize that there was a book published in 1995 called the Physics of Star Trek, a 2002 book called the Science of Superman, a 2000 book called the Science of the X-men, a 2002 book called the Science of Supervillains, a 2006 book called the Physics of Superheroes, a 2003 book called the Science of Superheroes, a 2000 book called the Science of Star Wars and a 2007 book called Stupid Movie Physics (WHEW!) but that just proves that there is interest in this stuff. The blog would also include comics, TV and movies and sci fi and medical shows and movies could be given a grade from F to A because they are expected to get things right whereas comics would, like you do here, be treated more evenhandedly because they aren’t expected to get anything right. Obviously you’d need at least one volunteer to carry on the Multiverse franchise so to speak, seeing as how you are lawyers and not scientists. You can set up the blog yourself and have (an)other(s) take it over. (Maybe three people. one covering comics, another covering TV and another covering movies.)

    • Don’t forget: if you brought more people into this project, you can always reply to their posts if you don’t agree with them. 🙂

    • I think we’re considering shows like Castle, White Collar, Psych, Dexter, and Breaking Bad. Basically, shows that involve the law but have more of a hook than straight police procedurals. Off the top of my head, a movie example might be Fracture. Our review of The Lincoln Lawyer would similarly be more at home at the hypothetical new blog than here. Of course, just like with this blog we’re open to ideas from readers.

      I think there are already blogs that do science analysis for TV and movies. Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics and the Bad Astronomy Movie Reviews page are two such blogs that I know of.

      • Martin Phipps

        Okay but neither site has reviewed a movie or TV show in over a year. The guy who created the Bad Astronomy is currently writing for the Discover Magazine website so he’s not reviewing movies anymore. Well, good for him I guess. 🙂

      • Martin Phipps

        I don’t watch these shows so correct me if I am wrong but isn’t Dexter like a supervillain? He kills people and never gets caught. And on Psych the guy is pretending to have psychic powers. That arguably falls under the same category as Kick Ass except he’s not wearing a costume. (Neither of them have powers and they are bluffing.) I would find it hard to imagine people objecting to posts about those shows here.

        Anyway, I’m blanking as to what the new blog could be called. Law in the Real World? No. Law on the Screen? Better. But ten years from now when everybody is reading comics on their IPads they won’t know what you mean. 🙂

  6. I think it would be fine to continue as this is, but if it changes I would follow both blogs.

  7. Personally I’d love to see the interpretation of various rights (‘droid rights in Star Wars and how it may or may not parallel Data’s rights in Star Trek) across a wider swath of media.

    • Interesting as they are to contemplate, we can’t really write much about that kind of scenario because a) there’s not much information out there about the legal systems of Star Wars and Star Trek and b) it’s not the same as our own. That’s why we stick to fiction that takes place in a universe that is the same as the real one unless stated otherwise (e.g. in Marvel’s Earth-616 the legal system of the United States is essentially the same as the real one).

      • Martin Phipps

        Besides which there already was a post on artificial intelligence and what constitutes personhood. As I recall, the conclusion was (correct if I’m wrong) that androids having all the qualities of human beings wouldn’t be enough if their intelligence was the result of a program that could simply be copied and pasted into another machine complete with all their memories because that would then mean that you’re committing the equivalent of murder every time you delete software from your computer!

  8. Late to the party, but honestly? I’d like to read your commentary on other works (Castle/Psych/Dexter being good examples), but if it were two separate blogs, I’d probably never go to the other one. I’d definitely prefer they stayed as one.

    It’s less that I’m lazy, and more that I’ve got too many sites too keep track of as it is.

  9. This does put a interesting twist on things. It’s very cool to see how things would playout if this was a real scenario or if real law applied to these fictitious situations!! I’ll be checking out this site more often.

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