::The large curtains have been drawn back to reveal the open stage. A podium sits in the spotlight. Almost unseen down on the stage floor, Gadget peeks out from behind the curtain.
Ray had stepped away for a moment and now was late as usual getting back. She sighed. It was time to begin the next award presentation. He could be so exasperating and absent-minded sometimes! Still, he had such a child-like enthusiasm for someone his age. Ah, here he comes....
He came bounding up, carefully watching the stage floor for fear of stepping on someone. Spotting his co-host standing by the curtain, he stopped and stooped to pick her up. Carefully, he slipped her into the pocket of his rather threadbare old black suit and readjusted his cheap clip-on tie. Gadget, with her hair tied back by a big red bow, cut quite a different figure and he was very proud indeed of her company.
They came up to the podium. Much applause::
Ray: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here tonight to present the award for Best Picture inspired by a Fanfiction. Before I blurt out the winner, we will be honored by a few words on the subject of fan literary and artistic activity by my lovely and learned associate, Gadget Hackwrench.
::MUCH more applause::
Gadget: Golly, thanks!
::She waits for the clapping to tone down then continues::
Gadget: I'd like to say a few general words about symbiosis. In biology, it means two or more different organisms working together for their mutual benefit. Humanity has long enjoyed a cultural symbiosis between art and literature. In many cultures, the earliest forms of writing were in fact pictures. We have books and essays written about art and we have countless illustrations of literary works and of art masterpieces inspired by literary themes. Today, in the modern world, we see art and literature coming together into a new and higher synthesis in the graphic novel, in which text and illustration are woven together to tell a story with a single voice. I need not tell you what such works as "Of Mice and Mayhem" have done to advance this new art/literary form.
::Again, much applause, and Fish waves in the audience::
Gadget We are here tonight, to award and reward a somewhat simpler version of this sweeping concept. The single illustration which adds a new dimension, a new depth of experience to a literary work. It's hard to place enough value on this amplification of the power and effect of a work. When we read a story, we have two points of view - the author's and our own. When an artist is moved to add the additional richness of an illustration, then we now have three points of view. And any physicist will tell you that the calculation of so-called "three body problems" is vastly more difficult and complex than the simpler case of two bodies. This owing to the new depth of complexity of the problem. It has become a much richer system, with many more possibilities.
::The audience realizes the trap it’s fallen into, but it’s already far too late::
Gadget: I'm reminded of something I read in a critical review of the "Tenchi Muyo" series. The critic was saying something about the series "running out of steam". Ray was rather incensed with that - he likes Washu and says that she is what I might become given more time to study and develop my own skills, which I certainly find quite flattering. Anyway, Ray said that a series does not "run out of steam", but rather the artists and writers may grow stale after a time. No matter how "used up" the basic situation seems, fresh new perspectives can always be brought to it. Take "The Simpsons", now probably the longest continually running cartoon show ever. The networks routinely rotate in new authors to keep up a steady stream of fresh ideas. Ray says... well, let him say it himself. Ray?
::Ray wondered if his watch had stopped due to battery problems or explanation overload—he decided it was the former::
Ray: Thanks, Gadget. I have said many times that the Rescue Rangers are infinite. By that, I mean they are quite adaptable to different situations. They are archetypes - the adventurer and his sidekick, the clown and his serious counterpart, the brilliant and beautiful but unattainable ideal (who might be attainable after all - the eternal tension!) I believe that they can work with any characters, in any situation, however realistic or fantastical through the expedient of remaining faithful to their basic behavior and personal characters. Ridiculous crossovers (The Rescue Rangers and the Dukes of Hazzard, say, or an intrusion into the Matrix) CAN be made to work, but it is up to the artist and writer to make it so. His or her imagination is the limiting factor - not any limitation in our characters themselves.
::Indy wakes up at the mention of “The Dukes of Hazzard” and mutters something about “Them Dukes, them Dukes”::
Ray: Combining stories with illustrations gives the writer/artist combination additional dimensions in which to try to pull this off. I have thought about many crossovers. Suppose the Rescue Rangers were paired up with "The Doom Patrol". - you may know the DP? The members of the team change frequently, but the one constant is Cliff Steele - a former racecar driver mangled in a wreck - his brain saved by being transplanted into a mechanical body? If you know the series, a crossover sounds pretty idiotic. But now try to see the following scenario in picture form in your head: Battling the bad guys, Cliff loses his footing at the edge of a cliff - not a pun, it just worked out that way. He is clinging for life to a rock or tree root. Gadget extends her paw and cries out - "take my hand". She offers her paw to the 500 pound robot-with-a-human-brain. He just stares at her for a couple of panels. Then she puts her paw to her head and says "No, that wouldn't work, would it?" You see? Just talking about the idea sounds amazingly dumb. But if you can really see those last couple of scenes, the humor of it might just make you more receptive to the idea. The picture has worked its magic.
Gadget: And now, we are going to work our own magic. May we have the envelope please?"
::The envelope is lowered down via a paperclip tied to a long string above::
Gadget: Golly! What happened to Monty? During awards the last two years, he was holding the envelope and tied to the end of the string.
Ray: Well, Gadget, he said that after the ribbing he took from the last two times, if I made him do it again this year then, to quote him, "Something bloody awful is going to happen in your underwear drawer!" By the way, I'd recommend that you NOT try to put any sort of picture to THAT idea…but anyway, let's rip open this envelope and see what we've got.
::Ray examines the card::
Ray: And would you look at that! Gadget, will you read it for us?
Gadget: The winner for the best picture inspired by a fanfic IS….Shelley Pleger, for her drawing of Theo and Bink!
::The audience stands and applauds as Dr. Indy approaches the podium::
Dr. Indy: Shelley’s currently on location, involved in a big “Cats Don’t Dance” project. But she did give permission for two other people to accept her award. And here they are!
::As Bink and Theo wave and leave the stage, Gadget and Ray respond in kind and head out as well: