Knowledge and Scholarship
Who's Who - Christopher Moshier
By Hervé St-Louis
August 3, 2012 - 12:30
Christopher Moshier for me was the example of what a serious writer/fan can accomplish on his own through ComicBookBin and help spread his wings. I had reviewed a few weeks prior a science fiction comic book submitted by Christopher he had co-written. Looking through ComicBookBin, he must have found something worth his while so he asked if he could write a new column on Fan Films. Chris, you see, was part of a network of fan film activists that archived and found all kinds of films often portraying comic books and other fictional properties done by fans with small budgets. However, as many seem to ignore, many of those films are made about original creations and really help aspiring film makers to learn the trades.
Fan films used to be viewed with a lot of suspicion by established comic book publishers and other larger media entities owning fictional properties. They often used to view fan films as copyrights infringements and many like Marvel Comics still try to get them erased from the face of the Earth on sites like YouTube. DC Comics hated them as much and even threatened to boycott comic book conventions that featured them.
At the time, I was clueless about fan films. We had a few articles written about Grayson, the popular fan film on the adult Robin, of Batman and Robin fame. I didn’t know better and had no clue that the fan film section built entirely by Chris would put us on the radar as an unfriendly site with both DC Comics and Marvel Comics. But the ComicBookBin has always been totally independent of anyone else. Basically, Toon Doctor Inc. pays the bill of ComicBookBin. I own Toon Doctor Inc. 100%. The buck stops with me.
I’m not sure if Chris could have convinced ComicBookResources or Newsarama to run a column like his. Go check them out and see how much fan film coverage they offer. Chances are they have nothing, for fear, even to this day of alienating the larger comic book publishers. Chris and I both viewed fan films as something different that allowed new creators to reuses existing material and spin new stories from them. I’m a defender of public commons whereby copyrights should be limited to a few years and revert back to the public where an old property can be used by new generations of creators to tell new stories. The reason I defend public commons is because it’s always been the way human culture (an even animal culture) had been created and propagated. The stories of Thor and Snow White were once told by single creators. In the case of Thor, that original storyteller is long dead and probably unknown. Yet Thor remains and has even become a deity for some people. Stories about Thor have inspired films, operas, comics, books, and paintings for centuries. If the original creator of Thor had been an asshole and tried to prevent the story of Thor from being enhanced by new generations of storytellers, there would be no Thor in Marvel Comics’ Avengers today. Likewise, there would be no Superman as he really is nothing but Moses in the modern age.
Fan films with new technological means allowing aspiring creators, allow them to tell stories about Thor and Superman too. In a few centuries, it won’t matter who really created Thor or Superman. There will be new characters inspired from them, the same way Marvel’s Thor and Superman were also inspired by old religious texts.
Chris was even more adamant than I in his defence of fan films. Chris, is a libertarian so the thought of someone telling him that he cannot do something, because it displeases an interest group and blocks the free flow of ideas annoyed him a lot.
But Chris’ greatest skill was his flair for finding good fan films. You see, he curated the section carefully and only included works he deemed good. As a curator, Chris was one of the best and over a few years the fan film section he built from scratch, one article at a time became one of the most popular one at ComicBookBin.
But Chris was also very opinionated. He butted head with some writers and that led him to leave the site. He said it’s because he wanted to invest solely in his own fan film Website, which is partly true, but I disagree with him. He says there, that he left because ComicBookBin stopped him creatively. That’s just not true. I have never censored or edited for contents an article Chris has written. I never said no to him. The fan film section he created at ComicBookBin, while he was there was his to do what he wanted to. I added a few articles here and there, and others and I have since modified it a bit, but when Chris was around, he had all the room and freedom he wanted.
In fact the section was so independent, that it had its own news section, it’s own review section and its own theatre section. Since he has left, I just folded everything together as no one has the dedication he had to maintain something as comprehensive. The work Chris did was unique. It also helped him as a launch pad to further his own Website which he still maintains. It’s a very comprehensive site on fan films.
Chris also became an editor while at ComicBookBin. He was very involved in raising the quality and fixing posting errors some writers made using our contents management system. Technically, Chris was quite adept too. What I like about Chris was his standards on quality. He once asked why we reviewed books that we didn’t like. He felt we should only review books and films we thought were worth sharing with our readers. That was a different view than mine which was that we should inform our readers of bad comics and films out there as part of our mission. There is no good or wrong answer to this but that shows what kind of person with provocative ideas that Chris was.
He was much a doer and not just a talker. Guys like Chris are very rare and the fact that he was at ComicBookBin was a very good thing for us. His first article was published in early July 2006. Chris, as well as Al Kratina, Julie and Eli would be the core of what I called the 2006 generation @ComicBookBin, just like Leroy, Philip, Koppy and Kevin had been the 2003 team. The 2006 generation was different in every way, but raised the standards of the site and added much needed energy.
Who's Who @ComicBookBin
is a feature celebrating the 10th anniversary of ComicBookBin where
publisher Hervé St-Louis features writers past and present that have
contributed to ComicBookBin over the years.
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