The beginning of LOST‘s sixth and final season is just months away, and one mystery has already been solved: the title of the premiere. Historically, LOST season premiere titles do have significance when it comes to the tone of the season, so the title of the LOST season 6 premiere should be no different. The way it was revealed should also be of interest to LOST fans looking to pass the time between now and Januaryish.
The title is LA X, and it is a two part premiere. Obviously it is mutation of LAX, the airport that was to be the destination of Oceanic 815, but with a very conspicuous space between LA and X. Could X be like x-factor, variation X, or the infamous symbol for unknown quantity that terrifies algebra noobs? Or could this be the roman numeral X. As in 2010, the now of the LOST premiere.
It all started with a black velvet painting. Comedian Paul Sheer crashed the LOST season 6 panel at Comic Con to deliver to the show runners his masterpiece “Damon, Carlton, and a Polar Bear.” Obviously this was a bit of live theater, and most fans dismissed it as a joke at the expense of LOST‘s more obsessed fans, but it turns out that the incident was the first act in what will be LOST‘s third adventure into the world of online alternate reality games – or ARGs. In case you have no idea what an ARG is, an ARG provides a highly active grape-vine for viral marketing by allowing fans to participate in a fictional world related to the subject – in this case LOST – and usually involves difficult puzzles and clues that require a community effort to solve. Last season’s ARG, Dharma Wants You, was aborted reportedly due to a lack of funds.
The actual substance of this years ARG has not been fully revealed, but it seems to be setup with these elements: Paul Sheer represents a sort of gateway character for the online community. He’s engaged in creating a series of fan-art paintings on black velvet. Hero. Check. A bunch of signed and numbered prints of Paul’s initial painting, Damon Carlton and a Polar Bear, was sent to fans and fan site webmasters along with a hand written note from Paul. Shortly following that, each of those recipients received a cease and desist-ish letter from the mysterious Ronie Midfew Arts claiming to own the rights to LOST, at least in terms of artistic representation. Villain. Check. (Incidentally, I’m one of those webmasters contacted and have been dutifully playing along. Check out the print and the letters here.)
The reveal of the LOST season 6 premiere title came in a bit of video where the hero Paul ventured to the Disney lot in an attempt to find out the fate of his painting, and wound up doing what every obsessed fan does when they visit a studio – a little dumpster diving. Here’s the video.