Saturday, July 19, 2014

The "Phantom Ninja" Incident

If you didn't know, I'm autistic. I have Asperger's Syndrome, to be specific. If you've ever been friends with an autistic nerd, you know there are things the person is a fan of, and then there is the thing. The Thing. That one thing that an autistic person is currently obsessed with and latches onto like Velcro. In my case, there are those works of fiction I like and then there's The work of fiction that I can't wait for the next installment of and have pull myself away from spending too much money on merchandise of every time I go to Wal-Mart. Ninjago was, and is still at time of writing, that Thing.
While waiting impatiently for the release of The LEGO Movie in the United States, to give you a rough idea just how long this stupid mess has been going on, I got hooked on another LEGO themed series: Ninjago: The Masters of Spinjitzu. The show is currently airing its third season, which is only eight episodes long. This means the story is really tightly written, but it also means that somebody at either LEGO or Cartoon Network got the bright idea of stretching out their investment by airing two episodes every three months.
If you've ever seen a fandom during a long hiatus, especially one mid-season where every episode ends with a cliffhanger, it's not pretty. Weird fan art starts popping up. Horrible puns flood discussions. People start foaming at the mouth. Okay, maybe not the last one, but I'm pretty certain their brains start foaming at the proverbial mouth. And few nerds start showing symptoms of "Where the heck is the new episode of my show?" faster than college students like me who have nothing else to look forward to on the weekend. But even at the corner of "They haven't even given an airdate" and "We had to wait 2 years for this season to even start" there is hope in the growing realm of tie-in comics. Ninjago has a line of graphic novels, also released every few months, with pretty good stories that seem to be getting better every issue. Volume 9 was great, and news came that Volume 10: "The Phantom Ninja", would be released early May, smack dab in the middle of the break between two sets of episodes. I ask my comic book store to add the Ninjago graphic novels to my pull-list and mark my calendar.
Except my calendar turns out to be wrong. "The Phantom Ninja" is pushed back to the end of the month.