Saturday, April 21, 2018 

NY Vulture's biased writeup about Trina Robbins

NY Vulture wrote about the career of veteran artist Trina Robbins, talking all about her feminist background, but curiously enough, leaving out famous creations like Vampirella, presumably because it doesn't jibe well with their social justice agenda. What they do bring up is the anthology stories she illustrated about lesbianism, but it's otherwise just skimming the surface. Interestingly, what they do say is:
And that comic wasn’t the only instance in which Robbins helped shape the development of comic books and the way we perceive women in them. Just two years later, she helped launch the longest-running comics series created and edited entirely by women, Wimmen’s Comix. On top of that, in its first issue, she wrote and drew a short story called “Sandy Comes Out,” which starred the first extant lesbian comic-book character outside of pornography. Later, she became the premier historian of female comics creators, penning one prose book after another on the topic. The women she writes about managed to carve out niches in the boys’ club that is the American comics industry — an achievement she shares with them.
Well gee, doesn't that at least confirm there have been women in comicdom for decades, and that it's not just some recent occurance? Robbins' co-creating Vampirella is another prime example of women's achievements in the field, yet that's something they oddly didn't mention, possibly because it conflicts with their SJW agenda. Nor do they mention Dorothy Woolfolk was the DC writer/editor who introduced Kryptonite as a weak point for Superman into the DCU. They continue with some pretty low propaganda:
If you haven’t heard of Robbins, it’s in no small part due to the fact that the comics ecosystem has historically been uninterested in feminist rhetoric and female achievement. That’s changed to a significant degree in the past decade, which has seen more and more outspoken women creators rising in the ranks. But Robbins was their distant forerunner. Her time in the underground was rarely a smooth ride, and the bumps along the way were sometimes created by her tendency to advance a version of feminism that both inspired and rankled those around her in that underground.
Wrong. It's the Vulture writer himself who's uninterested in female achievement. Why else would he blot out Vampirella as an accomplishment? Come to think of it, if the subject were about African-Americans in the field, he'd surely omit Phantom Lady as an achievement for artist Matt Baker, one of the earliest African-Americans in comicdom. So what's the columnist's point anyway? I get the vibe he thinks feminism as rhetoric is a positive trait. But as recent leftist examples of the same have proven, it can be quite damaging. What I do know is that years before, interestingly enough, there were liberals who actually did see the harm that could come from radical feminism, recalling that in one of the decidedly better moments in Denny O'Neil's run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow, he pointed out how some feminists risk being tools of manipulative men, and in the early 80s in Marvel Team-Up #107, there was a story guest-starring She-Hulk in one of her early appearances featuring a band of female villains that were meant as a metaphor for radical feminists ("This Rumor of Revolution"). Of course, under today's managements it's no longer possible to produce a story even remotely negative towards left-wing feminism.

Now here comes something puzzling, if we include Robbins' most notable achievements:
But all was not well in the revolution. Wimmen’s Comix also featured the debut of one cartoonist who would become Robbins’s loudest critic: Aline Kominsky, now Aline Kominsky-Crumb. She had a style that couldn’t have been more different from that of Robbins. Where the latter was fond of refined elegance in content and presentation, Kominsky was committed to radical messiness. Kominsky’s stories for Wimmen’s Comix were autobiographical affairs that depicted, in uncomfortably vivid detail, her own self-hatred and neuroses. Robbins wasn’t a fan of the work, but she was even less keen on Kominsky’s decision to date R. Crumb. Kominsky and Noomin grew resentful of Robbins.

“[W]e were feeling increasingly annoyed and alienated from the group, especially from Trina Robbins and her minions,” Kominsky wrote of herself and Noomin in her 2007 graphic memoir Need More Love. “We unabashedly liked men. We liked being sexy, and felt our Female Power to be a positive force … We also started looking at Trina’s and Sharon Rudall’s [sic] work more critically, and concluded that it was shallow, childish, simplistic, and humorless. We were more comfortable seeing ourselves as ‘Bad Girls,’ sluts, anarchist artists doing whatever we pleased.”
At this point, I'm sure something's been taken out of context, given that Vampirella's pretty sexy and the kind of character who could count as a "bad girl". And the next paragraphs only add more to the confusion:
The resentment was — and is — mutual, though Robbins thinks it has less to do with politics than personalities. “I think they just don’t like me and just never liked me,” Robbins says. “I think it’s as simple as that.” Whether or not that was true at the outset, Robbins certainly gave them reason for bitterness in time. In April of 1975, a fateful article was published in the Barb, written by a woman named Sally Harms, ostensibly about sexism in the underground-comix scene. But the key passage was a bit of spite in which Robbins was quoted as saying Kominsky and Noomin were “camp followers” (an archaic term for women who sexually serviced men in the military) that “[t]heir work is obviously crude,” and that “I’ve already rejected work that’s better than theirs.” Kominsky and Noomin had enough. They set out and formed their own all-woman comic, Twisted Sisters.

“We didn’t like Trina’s definition of feminism,” Noomin tells me. “We were more interested in irony and self-deprecation and autobiographical stuff than presenting idealized Amazons who looked like Sheena of the Jungle. It was kind of a difference of opinion.” Says Rudahl, “It wasn’t any kind of deep-seated philosophical artistic split. It was just plain jealousy, and that was typical high-school, bad-girl stuff.” Whatever the cause, the split rocked the underground. “Unfortunately, it seemed to force some of the other women in that collective to take sides,” recalls publisher Denis Kitchen, who had been one of the few men to invite Robbins into his comics. “I think I thought initially, Well, it’ll fly over, and it didn’t.”
Man, is this mind-boggling already! So on the one hand, you have somebody telling they liked men and being sexy, which Robbins never went against, and on other, you have somebody saying they cared more about irony, self-deprecation, and autobiographies than Amazons like Wonder Woman and girls like Sheena, which only confirms the fact Robbins had nothing against all that, and she'd drawn WW in the mid-80s. Something's been taken out of context here alright, and I figure they were taking some minor disputes among the contributors to the anthology she worked and blowing them way out of proportion. But, they do also note she'd had her problems with the left as well on the following grounds:
Robbins was criticized from the left flank, as well, on the grounds that Wimmen’s Comix didn’t include enough work from queer women and women of color. “We reached out to all women in our comic; we always asked for submissions,” Robbins says, but “we just never got anything from women of color” and “there really wasn’t much we could do until we finally got a submission from a lesbian.”
That sounds like early versions of what we now call "social justice". The belief somebody should be lambasted just because the segments of society they wanted putting in their own contributions seemingly weren't doing it. Well gee, why didn't those left-flankers they speak of just step up to plate themselves and offer something for the anthology when it was in publication? Totally pathetic.

They don't even mention she visited Israel last year (and even met with artist Michael Netzer, who was also notable in his time), and it's clear whatever Robbins' politics, she's got some respect for the Land of Milk and Honey that today's leftists have far less of. This Vulture article is one of the lowest they've ever coughed up, and it's possible they were so otherwise biased because in their view, she's not the kind of feminist they see fit.

Labels: , , ,

 

Aftershock hires a former Marvel milkshaker

The independent publisher Aftershock Comics hired Christina Harrington, one of the former "milkshake" crew at Marvel, for their editing staff:
AfterShock Comics, the independent publisher responsible for titles such as Animosity and World Reader, is expanding, with the addition of Christina Harrington.

She will be the company’s first editorial hire to join editor-in-chief and co-founder Mike Marts. Harrington, previously an editor in Marvel’s X-Men office for the last three years, will serve as the managing editor for the publisher.

Harrington said in a statement that she is “excited to start the next step of my career with AfterShock. Comic books hold a special place in my heart, and to be able to contribute to the history of beloved comic book publishers is a real dream come true — especially since I get to work alongside the rest of this great publishing team at AfterShock.”
At least she'll no longer be part of making Marvel into a joke, though as their continued employment of figures like Slott and Coates makes clear, they're not clear of the majority of SJWs yet.

I looked at Aftershock's website and noticed they publish quite a few books by leftists like Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Warren Ellis and even Mark Waid. There's every chance they could be practically flooded with liberal agendas, so no need to put money into their pockets, yet Harrington certainly seems to have found the perfect home where to spout her own social justice agendas. So, she can enjoy their company, while we with more sense can refrain from bothering.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, April 20, 2018 

No, Bendis cannot save Superman

The New York Times wrote about Brian Bendis' move to DC after working for over a decade at Marvel, and receiving the keys to the Man of Steel. Predictably, no challenging questions asked about his past resume, though the beginning tells what's wrong with DC's approach:
Last March, DC Entertainment, the arm of Warner Bros. that controls the commercial rights to the comic book icons Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, among other superheroes, decided it was time to brag about its newest hire.
Bragging is a pretty poor way to go about business. In Japan, it's frowned upon, along with excessive shows of confidence, which is just where DC and Bendis are erring.
On advertising posters placed in popular comic book stores around the country and on full-page ads within its books, like Wonder Woman and Justice League, a smiling, triumphant Superman, his hands at his hips, was standing alongside a chunk of large, bold type that announced: “BENDIS IS COMING!”

Besides promoting Mr. Bendis, the ad was a homage to perhaps the last hire from Marvel that was this significant: Jack Kirby, in the early 1970s. Mr. Kirby was one of the creators of, among other characters, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, the Avengers, Hulk, Thor and the X-Men. Back then, in an attempt to lure Marvel’s loyal fan base to DC, the company blared, “KIRBY IS COMING.”
But results were mixed, and while Kirby's creations have their significance, the books launched in the early 70s did not all last long. New Gods ran a year or so at best, and while the casts were revived a few years later, they still didn't find the huge audience I'm sure DC was hoping for that could enable them to run longer, more sustained years in publication. As for Bendis, I honestly hope the wider audience will recognize he's not a messiah, but there's sadly so many gullible people out there who'll still buy his books no matter what. On which note:
Today, Mr. Bendis, 50, is one of a handful of writers and artists (including Jason Aaron, Gail Simone and Scott Snyder) whom readers will follow from title to title, and whose interpretations can completely help redefine a character and provide plotlines for television and film.
See, this too is a problem, and was when J. Michael Straczynski was writing Spider-Man. He had this loyalist fanbase who'd read almost anything he wrote, but didn't stick around once he'd left, so what was the point if they're not reading for story merit, but for the individual helming the series? As for Simone, she may still get a job or two at the majors, but she long ago ceased being relevant after she went along with some of the worst mandates they had to offer.

And if their "interpretations" are meant more for providing plotlines for other mediums like films and games, then it only makes their work laughable.
“Think about how much Bendis has shaped what is the current Marvel world,” said Sean Howe, author of “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.” “He is in the position to have a big effect on DC.”
Wow, I'm disappointed with Howe. He once made some good points about why buying a comic out of ideological reasons like LGBT beliefs is ludicrous. So why, when Bendis, who pulled those very stunts with Iceman, comes into the picture, Howe suddenly becomes all mealy-mouthed? This is not how to improve a collapsing medium at all.
There’s no denying the effect Mr. Bendis had on the Disney-owned Marvel, but also on popular culture. He reinvigorated Daredevil, restarted the Avengers in 2004 and introduced Jessica Jones, the dark, foul-mouthed superpowered private investigator who is now known by millions of binge watchers through her onscreen adaptation on Netflix. That same streaming service also features “Luke Cage,” who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Bendis’ interpretation of the street-level hero.

“There are very few creators who can be an impact player from the moment they walk in the door,” said Jim Lee, the DC co-publisher. “And Brian is one of those people. As soon as he walked in, you knew he was going to make a difference. Not only the attention he brings, but the quality of story he tells.”
Yeah, quality that dictated Scarlet Witch be regressed to a crazy harpy, Tigra get assaulted by The Hood for cheapskate reasons, Jean Grey made to look bad, Iceman changed to homosexual, and goodness knows what other horrible steps Bendis took at Marvel. It's honestly an embarrassment some of the stories he was involved in, like Civil War, were used as the basis for movies. Someday, people are going to put two and two together, and discover those Avengers movies relied on some awful comics-based scripts for crafting movies. Ah, and so the reason Luke Cage has been made to look bald with a beard is because that's Bendis' idea of how a black protagonist should be envisioned, no matter how stereotypical it is. But IMO, it's nothing more than an insult to Roy Thomas, John Romita Sr. and Archie Goodwin's vision for Luke when they first created him in the Bronze Age. After all the hard work they did, this is what some modern PC advocates bring it all down to.
There are those who have declared the fate of any superhero on the page irrelevant, given the financial success of movies and television and video games based on those same characters. But as John Jackson Miller, a comic book writer and former trade magazine editor who tracks industry circulation for comichron.com, points out, the death of the medium is a myth — for now. From 2011 to 2016, there was intense growth in sales across print and digital — largely because of individual comic books acting as a outlet for graphic novels. In 2016, sales in the industry hovered around $1.08 billion. And while numbers for last year are expected to show a decline in overall sales (most notably with Marvel), those numbers will still exceed $1 billion.

“Comics readers — the ones buying the monthly comics — are the focus group,” Mr. Miller said. “They are the ones with the early access fee to get into what’s going to be hot, what’s going to be in theaters, in video games, in Netflix shows.”
This glosses over the decline in sales experienced in the past 2 years or so, coupled with 50-plus specialty stores closing down for lack of sales. Besides, a lot of the comics generating sales now are actually coming from the smaller companies, as readers, amazingly enough, are starting to wake up and realize quality won't improve at the Big Two if they just keep buying out of habit and the quixotic notion the pamphlets will one day become valuable on the speculator market.
Mr. Bendis has not been shy about his desire to move beyond word balloons. He is currently writing an X-Men spinoff movie for Fox to be directed by the “Deadpool” director Tim Miller. His original character, Scarlet, which he created with the artist Alex Maleev, has been picked up by a television network that Mr. Bendis said he couldn’t yet name.

He’s fully aware, however, of the limitations of comics. After all, to date, “Black Panther” has made $667 million domestically, and become a pinpoint in popular culture — but that won’t mean $667 million in new comic book sales for the Black Panther character.

“That has never has happened,” Mr. Bendis said, referring to the bump effect of a popular film. “Since the Christopher Reeve Superman movie, there’s just people who will never read anything — comics, magazines, books; they love their television and film.

“And that’s the way they want to experience these characters,” Mr. Bendis added. “But inside that mix is a group of people, usually young people like myself when I was a kid, that finds a character that captivates you, and someone says you should read the comic, and all of a sudden you’re reading the comic and are a die-hard fan of comics. You become a die-hard fan of the medium.”
But not everyone's ever become a diehard fan of Bendis' work, and those who did read his work have evidently since been discouraged, as it's become clearer than ever he's a leftist who, while he may not resort to the same approach as Dan Slott on social media, he's still pushed an agenda in some way or other, and never apologized for any of the smuttier work he did at Marvel.

And did he ever ponder that the reason movies haven't translated into skyrocketing sales for comics is also because of the outmoded business models of pamphlets now reaching 4 dollars or more, and a failure to reformat directly for the trade collections? Why must the industry insist on sticking like glue to a format that's now proving discouraging for consumers who could be wary of the price, and the story's failure to justify it? Alterna Comics may sell for less on their single issues, but it's still ridiculous we continue to see the format - even miniseries - coming out like it just has to be done that way, and only that way, and company wide crossovers make the situation worse.
“Even if Superman is not our best seller,” Mr. DiDio said, “the success and the positioning of the company works because of Superman. If Superman is working well, the entire line seems to be working well. If it’s not working well, then it seems like something’s out of whack. It’s intensely important for us to make sure that the Superman franchise is in good hands.”
Not because of story merit, huh? I'm sorry, but not only do the majority of their titles not sell hot, Superman obviously isn't guaranteeing tremendous success either. And if they wanted to ensure the Man of Steel would be in good hands, they wouldn't have surrendered him to Bendis, what with his entitled belief in deconstructing once popular products.
When DC released the news on Twitter in November, outlets from industry websites to The Washington Post reacted and speculated on the move. After all, here was a man who had openly taken his shots at DC over the years, specifically questioning the company’s decision to entirely “reboot” the story lines in nearly all of its comics in 2011. And he was vociferous in his criticisms of the bleak and commercially disappointing films “Man of Steel” and “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“I told Marvel that I don’t see this as going over to the competition,” Mr. Bendis said. “I told them I was going to the other side of the place that’s in charge of curating this beautiful medium I love so much and keeping these characters alive and vital and relevant.”
Now isn't that rich coming from a man who foisted crossovers like Avengers: Disassembled and House of M upon the Marvel casts, along with incredibly dumb declarations forced into the mouth of Scarlet Witch like "no more mutants". If they really had such a problem with having thousands upon thousands of mutant humans in X-Men and the rest of the MCU, all they had to do was quietly drop them and just pare it all down to several dozen. I'm betting he never dared criticize Joe Quesada for throwing out the Spider-Marriage and making Gwen Stacy look bad either (the whole notion of Gwen sleeping with Norman Osborn practically reeks of shock value). Let's also consider he's apparently retconning Krypton's history just to suit the modern belief only darkness taken to extremes makes for suitable storytelling.
Mr. Bendis knows how other people have struggled with the character. Over the years, Superman has been stripped of his powers, split in half into red and blue versions, even killed. In the 1990s, he was “reborn” with what can best be described as a mullet. Now, Mr. Bendis — beginning with a 12-page story in Action Comics No. 1000 — will take on the task that many have tried and failed at: Invigorating a character that many see as, frankly, boring, without betraying the core of who Superman is.

“When you strip everything away on Superman you’re basically stripping away all the ridiculous stuff and getting to the real truths,” Mr. Bendis said. “It’s about making your own family versus the family you’re born with, about finding out who you are versus where you were put.
So, does that mean he believes Krypton's destruction via earthquakes caused by radiation is ridiculous? Well, if he wants to retcon the premise so an alien monster named Rogel did it, I can only assume he does. Predictably, they make it sound like Superman's the problem, and less so the assigned writers. Why don't the company wide crossovers like Armageddon, Underworld Unleashed, Bloodlines, The Final Night and Our Worlds at War count as a fault? Some of them were plain trash, and in recent times, Marvel's certainly caught up in terms of poor quality, with atrocities like Civil War and the repellent Secret Empire foisted on the MCU. Speaking of which, did Bendis ever protest turning Steve Rogers into a nazi collaborator? Probably not. The only reason he supposedly criticized DC's directions is because he wasn't working for them at the time. But if he was, the chances he'd complain are far less.

And then, at the end, lo and behold, Bendis repeats one of his most troubling statements of recent:
“These are big, big issues that we deal with,” he continued. “Truth, justice and the American way. These things are under siege. This is the world we live in. These are not absolute things anymore. These are things worth fighting for.”
As noted before, it's apparent he sees them as "under siege" by the Trump crowd, and only worth fighting for when it's coming from a liberal perspective. Well, if that's how he wants it, then I see no reason to waste money on his Superman run. He may not be one of those creators who's antagonized the audience directly, but trolling the audience in the comics proper and the press is still reprehensible, and if that's how he's going to go about his business, he's not worthy of writing/editing the Man of Steel.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Ron Marz wants Fox News to get rid of Sean Hannity

He retweeted a call by CNN's contributor Seth Abramson calling for Hannity's dismissal, and said:

Oh, and he even insults Hannity by belittling him to the size of a thumb! IMO, it's Marz himself who's all thumbs, because he's just added one more dumb goof to his record of leftist comments. If he's attacking Hannity because he didn't let anybody know he shares a lawyer with Donald Trump, that's cheapskate.

Of all the leftist comics writers still on Twitter, Marz is one who sure can't let go of his lethargic politics. Hannity will remain with Fox News, and the network will certainly remain for quite a while, so Marz should just let it go already.

Labels: ,

 

Steven Spielberg's adapting the Blackhawks to film

Wouldn't you know it, a guy who was once one of the most prominent directors in Hollywood has been assigned to direct the famous WW2-based comics adventure Blackhawks, originally from Quality Comics before DC acquired it in the Silver Age:
Steven Spielberg is jumping into the world of DC Comics.

The iconic filmmaker is tackling his first DC Comics property, the World War II action-adventure hero Blackhawk.

Spielberg, along with his Amblin Entertainment, will produce Blackhawk for Warner Bros., and is developing it as a directing vehicle, the studio announced Tuesday. The move reteams him with the studio behind his latest tentpole, Ready Player One.

David Koepp, who has worked with Spielberg writing the blockbusters Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is penning the script.

The material seems tailor-made for the filmmaker behind the Indiana Jones movies. The comic book series told of an international squadron of heroic pilots led by a man named Blackhawk who fought the Nazis and their ilk in World War II.
Yes, they'd seem to be the right folks to handle a project like this. But Spielberg's gone downhill since 2001 with several examples of leftist politics now in his resume (War of the Worlds and Munich were some of the most loathsome films he ever made), and he hasn't improved much since. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull also wasn't as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark still is; IMO, the first Indiana Jones adventure from 1981 is what still holds up the best today. And The Post, his most recent production, is surely one of the most ultra-liberal films he's turned out lately.

So how do we know he won't seek the opportunity to exploit the Blackhawks for his latest bout of leftism? That's decidedly the big question surrounding this project, because Batman vs. Superman had some liberal propaganda turning up, and the Justice League movie may have too. If Blackhawks is exploited, not just by Spielberg but by practically the whole Warner Brothers business, then they'll have denigrated a notable creation yet again. They won't improve the DC adaptation resume if they keep that up.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

More embarrassments in X-Men of the political/violence-prone variety

I found two examples of how badly Marvel's track record continues to be with Xavier's mutants. The first is from X-Men: Red (and next thing you know, we'll be hearing they have dozens of colors from the rainbow to use as titles), where Grant Morrison's concoction, Cassandra Nova, shows up again:
Aside from the superfluous violence, notice how masculine Jean Grey's drawn here?

The second example from the same book involves an Indian girl named Trinary, and what she's pursued for is dumbfounding:
She stole other people's funds and the X-Men are willing to help her out? This only hurts the characters' ideals even more. As noted here:
You read that right. The newest X-Men is a confessed super criminal who actively stole other people’s money. She then gives it to others because she believes a certain group of people is victimized. I won’t get into the actual political discussion of this issue because it’s been healthily debunked here in the United States by great minds like Thomas Sowell.

However, I will get into the fact that this isn’t even a good story. This is straight propaganda disguised as a comic book. Writer Tom Taylor even has Honey Badger interject into Trinary’s confession and plea for help by saying, “And, just like that I have a new hero.” No, this person is a criminal. She actively confessed to stealing. What in the world is going on at Marvel where they think people stealing money is righteous and on the side of good? Would Tom Taylor like someone to go through his bank account and steal his money and claim it was for a good cause? I bet he wouldn’t like that one bit.
It makes me wonder if Spider-Man will fall victim to this kind of propaganda next, now that Nick Spencer's assigned to write the series. This is just all the more reason to avoid the X-Men and its spinoffs.

Labels: , , , , , ,

 

SJWs went after the Simpsons for all the wrong reasons

No surprise, obviously. I read an article on the Federalist about the left's pushing moralizing to extremes, and how it wound up extending to Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian immigrant who manages the Kwik-E-Mart store in the Simpsons:
Not even “The Simpsons,” which has been around for 30 years, is immune to the moralizers of our day. We’re told now that Apu, the beloved Indian-American owner of Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart, is a hateful racist stereotype of Indian-Americans and should be removed from the show, preferably with a simpering public apology from the show’s creators. Comedian Hari Kondabolu, an Indian-American, made an entire documentary about how he’s offended by Apu.

A recent episode of “The Simpsons” responded to Kondabolu with a scene of Marge reading Lisa a politically correct—and boring—bedtime story. At one point, Lisa faces the camera and says, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” The camera then pans to a framed picture of Apu with the line, “Don’t have a cow!” written on it.

Kondabolu and other critics proceeded to have a cow, accusing the show of trivializing their problems with Apu and the supposed racism and negative stereotyping his character foments.

Never mind that Apu, as Tunku Varadarajan recently noted in the Wall Street Journal, “represents the American trajectory of immigrant success and assimilation,” or that he’s been a beloved character on “The Simpsons” for three decades without provoking widespread outrage. The real problem with Kondabolu’s critique is that its entire purpose is to control what others do. He wants “The Simpsons” to purge Apu from the show, apologize for causing offense, and submit to his pop cultural prerogatives.

The moral response to such moralizing is to say that if Kondabolu and others are offended by Apu’s character, they should go create their own comedy show and leave “The Simpsons” alone. In that sense, the show’s muted response demonstrates one effective way to respond to petty moralizers: not with an apology, but with disdain.
The points made here are valid, and speaking as somebody who once watched the Simpsons and once thought it was funny, I think it's regrettable they wouldn't pan it for the same reasons I now find the series alienating, including jokes about sexual harassment/abuse and nazism. Even the scriptwriters' apparent hostility to Fox News - so far belonging to the same studio that produces the Simpsons unless Rupert Murdoch intends to sell it off - was dismaying, as was their negative stance on Trump and his staff. Indeed, where were these SJWs when all that happened in the past 2 decades? Attacking a character (and it's pretty apparent they blame Apu rather than his characterization) is very cheap, pathetic, lacking in altruism, and only confirms they don't believe in good writing applied to characters and casts.

All that told, this subject made me think of how it's now become applied in even worse ways to all sorts of comics characters. For example, as the recent UN members' objections to using Wonder Woman as a project mascot shows, along with refusal by feminists to defend the famous Amazon, WW is no longer appreciated by today's feminists, having suddenly become a pariah figure in literature because she's gorgeous. Many such SJWs are also guilty of destroying Carol Danvers as they shoved her into the role once maintained by Mar-Vell of the Kree and his son, Genis-Vell, in the late 90s-early 2000s Captain Marvel series written by Peter David, all for the sake of putting a Muslim character in her more ideal role. And I'm sure that's just the beginning of all the social justice pandering monstrosities Marvel's been pulling. If this denigration of notable comics characters is not challenged effectively, it will continue unabated. For those of us who admire the wonders of the past, we cannot allow all these modern-day witch-hunters to ruin the best of pop culture and literature to appease their bizarre notions of what entertainment's supposed to be or not. What matters is whether the socio-political issues featured in the stories are in good taste or not. Too bad the SJWs don't actually care about that.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Bendis retcons the cause of Krypton's destruction, to one not unlike Black Zero's doings

As expected, if there's anything else Bendis had in store for Superman besides tearing down on his ideals, it's a retcon to the causes of Krypton's destruction involving an alien named Rogel:
...Originally, Krypton exploded originally from old age, then from growing radiation, then the over-mining of its core, then Black Zero space saboteur, then that it was enveloped by the sun, then it was crushed by the sun, then it was seismic activity, then blown up by Dheronians and now we have a TV series that will probably, eventually, give us a whole new reason for Krypton’s explosion.

But it looks like Bendis got there first. An alien who destroyed Krypton, is destroying Kryptonians… and Jor-El knew.

An ugly alien who destroyed a planet and is now trying to kill off everyone who lived on that planet to get the job done.
It's just a redo of the story from Superman #205 in the late 60's with Black Zero, the intergalactic pirate who, according to that story, destroyed Krypton. A tale so crummy it was quietly dropped and not forced into becoming canon. I don't think this approach would work well with Supergirl's Argo City either. It's just another example of writers with no confidence desperately reaching for the easiest ideas how to build an origin story today - make it as violently dark as possible, all to give the hero motivation. But in the end, it adds nothing except the very angle that's brought down superhero comics as a whole: darkness.

As things look so far, it could've been worse - Geoff Johns' retcon to Barry Allen's history is a lot more repellent. But that doesn't make it any better, and it's not impressive either. Bendis' debut on Superman elicits nothing more than a snooze.

Labels: , , , , ,

 

Black Panther comics are now imitating visual elements from the movie

And IMHO, not in a good way. The following revelation about where the comics are going with the lady named Okoye under Ta-Nehisi Coates is enough to question whether the way she's portrayed in the film was in good taste:
The latter seems to be the case with the newest issue of Black Panther, #171. When the Black Panther film went into production, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on the Black Panther comic title was only just beginning. Even so, the series was so unique and forward in its approach to the character’s world and mythology that a few issues managed to inspire Ryan Coogler’s film. Now, things are coming full circle, with Coates and Kirk paying homage to the successful movie in their latest issue of Black Panther.

While it would have been easy to simply emulate the large scope of the film, Coates doesn’t opt to mirror the Wakanda audiences has discovered. Instead, he continues to write the story he’s always been telling, that of a nation that is evolving, and of a King trying to allow his people, and his home, to flourish.

But on the opening page of the latest issue, fans of the movie recognize a familiar character: Okoye, who is played by Danai Gurira in the film. While Okoye originated in writer Christopher Priest’s Black Panther run in the 1990s, she hasn’t made an appearance in a very long time — that is, until Black Panther #171. What’s more, Okoye’s look has drastically changed; no longer is she a long-haired femme fatale. Now, she looks exactly as she did in the film, with a shaven, tattooed head.
Wow, and I thought it was bad enough Luke Cage had been victimized this badly since the turn of the century! Now they're taking one of Priest's creations and denigrating her visually, not unlike some of the white ladies who've been humiliated visually, with features like forcibly short hair and disturbingly masculine-looking character designs (as happened recently with Kitty Pryde in one of the X-books). This is just so unappealing, and simultaneously does a disfavor to the movie to boot, along with the audiences.

And the story Coates was always telling (and in at least one prior volume that got cancelled)? Basically leftism, and his politics, are discouraging. What's so unique about Coates' rendition that isn't so unique about the writers they've rejected like Priest, his own liberal politics notwithstanding?
However, the words “Wakanda Forever” are not used in the book — it seems that even Coates recognizes that this battle cry belongs to the film. Instead, the writer opted to use a “Hail Wakanda!” which could very well become a staple of the book. Still, the use of the cross-armed salute is a beautiful nod to a popular film that is sending shock waves on a worldwide stage.
What if the use of "hail" is an allusion to nazism? If that's what Coates is doing, that's really a show of disrespect for Lee/Kirby's creations. Marvel is simply not cashing in the right way on the movie's success.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, April 16, 2018 

Larry Hama is losing it

The Washington Post's Comic Riffs section spoke with Larry Hama about his creation of Dawn Moreno, the Latina girl who replaces the male Snake Eyes in GI Joe. After reading this, I honestly don't think he made good points:
Hama’s latest, and perhaps most popular, addition to the “G.I. Joe” comic book world is the creation of a young new female Snake Eyes who happens to be Latina. The character first appeared in the “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” No. 226 and was more recently featured in the five-part “Dawn of the Arashikage” story, ending at the 250th issue, which was published on March 28 and illustrated by Netho Diaz.

Snake Eyes was one of the most popular “G.I. Joe” characters, both in the comics and in various animated series and even the “G.I. Joe” live-action movies. Hama killed off the character in the comics in 2015 but saved the name for Dawn Moreno, the young Latina who now takes on the mantle of Snake Eyes, which comes with the ninja’s memories.

Hama is aware of diversity efforts at major comic publishers such as DC Entertainment and Marvel Comics where people of color have assumed well-known comic book mantles, such as Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. But he says the idea for Dawn Moreno as Snake Eyes came from female “G.I. Joe” cosplayers who complained to him that there weren’t enough female characters.

“I started thinking about what kind of outfit a female cosplayer would be excited about,” Hama said. “So, yes, it was sparked by inclusion, and then I thought, why not make her a young Latina?”
But does that mean they had to replace a notable male character with a female character in the same role? Even if the mantle passing in GI Joe wasn't handled as badly as DC/Marvel did theirs, he still embellished what's now a running joke in comicdom. Introducing a new character of a different racial background is fine. But what's even more bizarre is why Dawn had to be injected with SE's memories, and above all, why she couldn't be introduced as her own separate role? By now, this diversity replacement mentality's become a cheap gimmick that certainly didn't pay off for the Big Two. I'm sure not all the cosplayers expected him to go to such lengths to replace the older character with a new one in the same costume.
The character has received a positive reaction from fans, and the issues are flying off the shelves. Hama attributes the success to giving a new idea a chance without worrying about the “G.I. Joe” status quo.
Oh, and it's just like them to rely on that scrappy news site known as Comics Beat, which doesn't even specify in digits how many additional printings were made for the introductory issue of Dawn Moreno. What if it was just a few hundred? That still wouldn't measure squat. And the following statement from Hama makes me feel more disappointed:
“The best we can do is give something a good shot and throw it out there, and see if it flies,” Hama said. “I don’t write for the middle-aged male fanboy, nor did I write for the 9-year-old kid back in the day. I write for myself.”
Good grief, I don't think that's a good way to promote the work. To say everybody's just some moldy oldy fanboy risks insulting even the younger core audiences. Nor is "writing for oneself" the best way to go, because while there are many writers who take pride in their work, it's more wonderful when you can find an audience to share the enthusiasm. It certainly doesn't get better with this:
Hama does recognize that putting a character of color in a popular and established mantle sometimes has a more powerful effect than creating a new character.

“There is definitely a lot of power in donning the mantle. If Dawn had been just another female ninja, nobody would have cared. It’s the whole idea of Snake Eyes living on inside her that makes her stand out enough for readers to give her continuity a try,” Hama said. “Once their eyes are on the page, you have to present a character they can get into, and a story line to back it all up. Otherwise, it’s just a gimmick like an alternate cover or an imaginary story.”
Is he kidding?!? By that logic, nobody would care about William Tucci's Shi, let alone kunoichis who appear in any popular manga book. For heaven's sake, if Dawn were her own agency, I would've cared a lot more, and given him far more credit. His statements suggest he lacks confidence in the ability to win over a crowd with a new protagonist in her own personal role. What's the use of the medium if they can't market new concepts as their own agencies?

And gimmicks is exactly what Marvel/DC's stunts were when they replaced established characters with POC, and changed the sexual orientation of others like Iceman. Interesting he notes variant covers are gimmicks, because many most certainly are, for the sake of drawing speculators who hope the books will become valuable someday based on that. Exactly what's harming the industry's image. But he's disappointing on the subject of drawing reader interest.

It's a real shame he's succumbing to cheap gimmicks, and buying into propaganda that did nothing to improve Marvel/DC's already dwindling fortunes. But realizing he's liberal-leaning (and he even signaled a few months ago he buys into "social justice"), I know I'll have to come to terms with how it's not all that surprising when you think about it.

Labels: , , , ,

 

Some more horrid propaganda from the mouth of Heidi MacDonald

Comics Beat manager MacDonald recently posted one of her "kibbles and bits" balderdash entries linking to various external articles across the web, and found time to peddle more of her own SJW agenda. For example:
Nice art: IDW is reprinting Prison Ship, by Bruce Jones and Esteban Maroto, a space opera originally published in the 80s. Maroto’s obsession with drwaing sexy women in the middle of an adventure story is a habit that seems out of place now, but he sure could draw.
In that case, we can guess what she thinks of Will Eisner for co-creating Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and even John Romita Sr. for his beautiful designs for Mary Jane Watson when she made her official debut in 1966. There's plenty more fine artists she's slapped in the face, and if she thinks Good Girl Art's somehow outmoded now, she had no business praising these artists in the first place, seeing as she has no respect for them.

It gets worse with the second example:
Asher Elbein has contributed another examination of #Comicsgate: #Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable. This is a strong, necessary folllow-up to Buzzfeed’s story a few weeks ago and goes into a lot more detail on how Comicsgate has a special troll gun pointed at trans comics creators, and with multiple examples of the kind of harassment being spewed.
Surprise, surprise. She vehemently refuses to mention just how reprehensibly Michelle Perez behaved a few weeks ago towards Richard Meyer, resulting in the closure of one of Perez's Twitter accounts. Eric Stephenson appears to have gotten Perez to stop, but MacDonald's obscuring the incident speaks volumes, making her almost as bad.
While there’s some fear that naming these groups gives them more power, I think it’s important to document this, and Elbein did everyone a service by getting some of the main players to go on the record. IN a tweet he noted that he had worked on this story for three months. That’s why people need to get paid for journalism, folks.
Not if they lie. Which could partly explain why MacDonald's no longer working for Publisher's Weekly; they deserve much better than her. Elbein didn't do anybody a service so much as he did insult their intellects with a weak, unnecessary followup to the Buzzfeed baloney.

And this further confirms how useless MacDonald's site really is if she doesn't want to better the industry.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, April 15, 2018 

IGN whitewashes Mark Waid's take on Captain America

And even what they're doing with Thanos. Leave it to IGN's comics section to serve as Marvel's apologist for the bad direction continuing in the Star-Spangled Avengers under Mark Waid, and they even draw a moral equivalence between good scribes like Stan Lee and bad ones like Dan Slott, claiming the latter's work is oh-so classic already. It goes downhill early on:
Few would argue that Marvel Comics didn't have a rough go in 2017. The ambitious Secret Empire crossover courted plenty of controversy but failed to translate that into steady sales. And while the Marvel Legacy relaunch promised a nostalgic return to the Marvel of old, it's been pretty much a case of business as usual for the company in recent months. Despite this, there's reason to be optimistic for Marvel's future. And it's all thanks to the most unlikely of alliances - Captain America and Thanos.

Legacy underwhelmed largely because so little about Marvel's comic book lineup seemed to truly change. Beneath the renumbered covers, most Legacy books featured the same creative teams working with the same characters as before. The ongoing Captain America and Thanos titles are two notable exceptions. With Captain America, writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee came on board to give readers a "back to basics" story about Cap getting back in touch with the people of America following the events of Secret Empire. With Thanos, God Country creative team Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw took the reins of the series to tell a story about the Mad Titan confronting his own future self.
I don't see how, within the context of Secret Empire's aftermath, this could work. Certainly not after Waid continued the ultra-leftist agendas in the pages of Captain America's solo book lately, and it's bound to get worse with Ta-Nehisi Coates coming on board. That's not back to basics so much as it is a continuation of radical leftist basics in the modern age. And what was so "ambitious" about Secret Empire depicting Cap as a nazi? I can't see their point.
On the surface, these two books might not seem like they have much in common. One stars a bright and shining hero, while the other one of Marvel's most fearsome villains. One features a well-established creative team, and the other a pair of relative newcomers. But both books have quickly become two of Marvel's best during Legacy, and largely for the same reasons.

Both the Waid/Samnee Captain America and Cates/Shaw Thanos runs succeed because they focus on telling clean, accessible and self-contained stories. Captain America may spring out of the events of Secret Empire, but it really just uses that event as a starting point to explore Steve Rogers' strange road trip across America. Thanos, meanwhile, downplays continuity to the point where it could be taking place at any point in the modern Marvel timeline. Both creative teams are bucking the trend by telling short, six-issue-long stories. Rather than trying to build multi-year runs on these titles, the two creative teams have simply focused on telling one ambitious and very enjoyable story.
So, what's so great about a story in the 700th issue set in a future timeline where Cap ends up fighting futuristic takes on Donald Trump, and possibly Ben Shapiro? That Cap later returns to the present and "resets" everything is no excuse for such a crude concoction. And how is 6 issues short? There have been tons of stories for nearly 2 decades running as much as 6 parts, all for the sake of trade collections, and it's actually resulted in quite a few getting padded out for the sake of the idea. Brian Bendis is particularly guilty of leading to this embarrassment. In the earlier days, whether it was an ongoing or a miniseries, they were usually just 3-4 parts, and that's all they needed for a story. Today's tales have been forced by editorial mandates to go as many as six or more, and that's hardly what I'd call "short". Except on brains, as the columnist demonstrates he lacks.
Frankly, Marvel could use more books like this. As I've explored in the past, Marvel doesn't put a lot of emphasis on self-contained, standalone comics. Where DC has books like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen - books that remain perennial bestsellers year after year and are perfect for new readers who have no interest in grappling with complicated continuity - Marvel tends to emphasize ongoing series. The best Spider-Man comics aren't singular graphic novels, but lengthy runs from creators like Stan Lee and Dan Slott. The focus is always on stories building over time and leading into new stories and forever expanding on the struggles of these iconic heroes. That approach certainly has it merits, but it doesn't do much for readers who just want to read one good comic with a definitive end point.
Oh, so at least he admits the deviation from self-contained storytelling hurt a lot of books from Marvel and elsewhere. But then, why say 6 issues long is something short? It's not when you look under a magnifying glass.

And again, nice moral equivalence they pulled there, claiming Slott's the greatest writer to come down the pike since Stan the Man. It's not even clear what they mean by lengthy runs - in Stan's case, there were all sorts of developments occurring, and best part is that they came organically. But in Slott's case, he was abiding by an editorial mandate that condoned trolling the Mary Jane Watson fans, insulting everyone's intellect with shoddy, protracted tales like Doctor Octopus taking over Peter Parker's body as part of a bizarre "one man's criminal is another's freedom fighter" type of insanity, and even the Spidey comics under Slott's reign had their connections with at least a few of Marvel's company wide crossovers.
My hope is that Marvel is looking at the critical and commercial success of these two series and working to replicate it in their upcoming Fresh Start relaunch. Sure, it's been great fun watching Jason Aaron and his artistic partners build a truly epic run on Thor, but not every comic needs to go down that road. Not every series needs to devote years to weaving a complex superhero saga. Not every creative team needs to stick around for the long haul. There's a lot to be said for books like Captain America and Thanos where creators swing for the fences and then get out while the getting is good. One great superhero adventure is always preferable to several mediocre ones. That sort of "quality over quantity" approach is exactly what we need to be seeing from Marvel's impending "Fresh Start" relaunch.
Last time I looked at sales charts, Cap's sales predictably were anything but spectacular, and without figures given, the columnist should just take his propaganda and stuff it. Still, at least he's given us a hint what he thinks of Jane Foster, if he's not sorry she's been thrown under the bus in Thor. And the incoming Coates on Cap is no assurance of a "fresh" start. One of the commenters said:
Not to be a Debbie downer but the Cap book isn't redeeming anything. I thought the worst idea that marvel could have was turning Cap into a Nazi. But Cap battling a deformed Donald Trump in a dystonian future may be the worst storyline ever written for the character.
Absolutely, and time travel's no excuse. IGN's writing staff has only proven they're in the tank for the social justice panderers at Marvel, and therefore not worth listening to.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

 

The cult following of the Nancy comic strip

The Washington Post's Comic Riffs section spoke about the big influence Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy comic strip seems to have among a lot of cartoonists.

Labels:

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile

Archives

Links

  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • GoStats charts
  • W3 Counter stats
  • Click here to see website statistics
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory Top Blogs Entertainment blogs Entertainment Blogs
    Entertainment blog TopOfBlogs
    View My Stats

    AmazingCounters.com

    Comics blog Blog Directory & Search engine blog directory eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.