I was attracted to viewing an episode “Cupcake Wars” by the allure of the detailed summary that it would be a battle to win a chance to serve their creations at Comic-con. It piqued my interest to see exactly what these cupcake confectioners would brew up in their imaginations and ovens, and literally bring to the table. Didn’t turn out as cool as these so I ended up disappointed.
One problem with cooking shows and competitions is that the viewers must rely on the hosts and judges to really give you a sense of how things taste. So when the show first challenges the bakers to incorporate “super powered” ingredients such as cayenne pepper, avocado, and cinnamon I had my doubts. Most of the judges’ palettes bore out that judgement. I could also tell that the cupcake shop contestants were necessarily comic book fans either as when the contest turned to a battle of design for both the cupcakes and their display cases, nearly all the participants opted to use generic elements such as comic book sound effects(“POW!” “BAM!” “ZING”) or nondescript masks. It did seem to be indicative that Spider-man must be one of the most well known comic book heroes as two of the teams used a spiderweb garnish as cupcakes toppings. But even the misuse of color schemes in the cupcakes made me doubtful that these people weren’t very familiar with comic book shops around their way.
I’m no stranger to comic books being used for commercialism. Pretty much everything cool is these days but this was obviously another attempt to cash in on the allure of the annual great nerd gathering for everything cool under the sun in San Diego every year. Step into any grocery store to see Avengers fruit snacks or toy store to see Captain America plates and forks and you’ll see just how far companies will go to make a buck by sticking a likeness on it which will garner your attention and give them another sale as well as reasoning to charge an extra buck. I’m a victim of it too. I’d rather have a Wolverine band-aid over the not-my-shade flesh toned ones any day. Just maybe some healing factor will rub off on my skinned elbow.
The commercialism is good for the industry I suppose. I used to get irritated more that I was surrounded by people who couldn’t tell the difference between Moon Knight and Task Master, and I still do anytime I’m trying to see a comic book movie on opening weekend, but I realized it’s healthy for the art form to give the properties exposure and helps to indoctrinate new readers. And that in turn is putting food in babies’ mouths and money in creators’ pockets.
I remember having any Incredible Hulk birthday cake when I was about five or six years old. Maybe that’s how I got here. One of these cupcakes just might light that spark for another lucky child out there. One can hope, true believers.
Positivity and butter cream +++=