Wednesday, August 24, 2016 

Why independent creations are finding more audience than mainstream today

Publisher's Weekly wrote about companies for printing creator-owned products, which are surely a better source of escapism at this moment than mainstream. But they won't stress the most challenging reasons why:
“Self-published comics are as popular as they’ve ever been—at an all-time high,” says Anthony Composto, an assistant editor and writer at the pop culture site Monkeys Fighting Robots. “People are gravitating to smaller, underground works ahead of the mainstream comics. It’s on an incline and I see that continuing.”

There are a few reasons behind the rising interest in self-published comics. To an extent it has to do with increasing receptiveness to indie publishing in general, and the fact that social media has connected authors with readers more than ever before.“Readers seem to be moving towards a greater acceptance of self-published titles and a greater appreciation for work that is personal, creative, and the result of a more singular vision,” says Amy Edelman, the founder and president of IndieReader. “It is also easier these days for authors to share their work.”
And of course there's plenty of creator-owned products out there worth reading. But why don't they explain the exact reasons why anybody could be turning to these independent creations instead of superhero books? The answer they won't give is that all the obsessive political leftist madness now consuming the mainstream is turning people off. And movie studios who own comic properties wonder why the zygotes aren't selling? If they don't tell the publishers to cut it out and remove some of the worst managers from their posts, they shouldn't be shocked if everybody's money ends up going to self-published products instead.

And this article's also got something rather ambiguous diversity:
Taneka Stotts, the publisher, editor, and founder of Beyond Press, also uses self-publishing to challenge the frequent lack of diversity and representation in mainstream comics. “My current project, [the anthology] Elements: Fire, was born from the notion that the comics industry doesn’t feel so inviting to creators of color,” Stotts says.

“Librarians, publishers, and authors are listening, but in comics it’s still not enough. I found 32 people to answer my submission call, and from that 22 amazing stories were created for the book, [which focuses] on creators of color telling their own stories and leading their own narratives.”

Indie comic creators love the mainstream superheroes and the legacies they have spawned, and want to merge those legacies with other kinds of protagonists. Dennis Liu, for instance, self-published Raising Dion, illustrated by Jason Piperberg, to tell the story of a single African-American woman raising a son with superpowers.

“Raising Dion was about helping diversify comics with a strong female protagonist that was a person of color, while also telling a superhero story from the point of view of a parent, and not the superhero,” Liu says. “It also dives into the ethics of gene manipulation and racial perception.”
Now the premise of the above book is clever, and could serve as an interesting template for mainstream to build variations on. But if they're saying mainstream superhero comics aren't offering "diversity", that's been very inaccurate for a few years now, as Marvel/DC have sought to replace established white heroes in their costumes with characters of different racial background and such.

On the other hand, if they're saying the publishers aren't hiring people of color, that's where they may be more accurate. No doubt, even now, they're not hiring as many writers/artists/editors of different racial backgrounds as we might think, and those they do are chosen based on their politics. But to be sure, there's plenty of decent folks out there of different racial background who'd rather not work for them at this point anyway, because there isn't much creative freedom, if at all, if you take the crossovers into consideration, and besides, if a black writer wanted to write Spider-Man with the white cast, including Mary Jane Watson, and keep the marriage canon, he/she would be rejected for the assignment.

Looked upon in that context, that's how the industry isn't very inviting to people of color.

There's also an eyebrow-raising revelation about Diamond, as a distributor:
“Diamond is the only nationwide distribution platform that exists in the comic book world and it’s notoriously hard to get into,” Kralowec says. “Many comic creators don’t even bother trying.”
What if that's because the mainstream publishers do their damndest to keep them out? At the same time, if these independents are sticking to the same old monthly serial format, I think that's another drawback. If they'd just think of publishing the stories in trade paperbacks direct, not only could they get them into the bookstores and have a chance of finding new audience more easily, they could save money that way too.

The article's interesting, but there's still a lot of questions that go unanswered, and a lot of potential that wasn't realized.

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Monday, August 22, 2016 

An Ohio professor's love for the medium

Big Ten Network in Ohio has an article about a state university professor who's working as the curator for their cartoon museum, and likes comic strips too.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016 

Does Marz still think ill of Milo after he interviewed an erstwhile co-writer?

I found this comment by Ron Marz from last month, gloating over how Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannapoulous lost his Twitter account, all because he didn't like the Ghostbusters remake:

If anything, I'd say this contradicts any claim by Marz that he's on the side of LGBTs. In any event, I wonder if Marz still thinks this way after Yiannapoulous interviewed Chuck Dixon, who's been blacklisted by the mainstream superhero publishers, after all the hard work he did on their products, some of which they never bothered to republish in paperback archives; to date, I think they've still only republished 3 of the 90s solo Robin story collections. I couldn't find any clues Marz said anything, so he's at least respecting that much, but my estimation is that he hasn't changed a bit. Sigh. And, to be sure, he won't come to Dixon's defense either.

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Friday, August 19, 2016 

Spawn's nasty attack on Trump

Todd McFarlane and company's leftist side has come to the fore, as his dreary series depicts Donald Trump alongside Red Skull, in a most disturbingly graphic scene:
Image Comics has become the latest comic book publication to take aim at Donald Trump, “beheading” the Republican presidential nominee in its latest issue, “Spawn Kills Everyone!”

The comic strip sees Trump standing next to character Red Skull in a stand-off with Spawn, a chain-wielding anti-hero waging a war against Satan. Spawn beheads both Trump and the Nazi villain, Then he swaps their heads, putting one on top of the other’s body.

“That’s more accurate! And Donald, you look great again! If I do say so myself,” Spawn says, according to an image of the panel obtained by Bleeding Cool.
Did Image even have permission from Marvel's marketing department to use the image of Red Skull? Come to think of it, with the kind of far-leftists now running the store, they probably don't care, if the writer/artist's politics are aligned with theirs. Now there's one more reason why not to waste time on such a pretentious series as Spawn. It's distasteful they're trying to draw comparisons between Trump and a villain like Red Skull. It's also distasteful how they're marketing so much storytelling emphasizing death and violence. This is exactly what's bringing down comicdom.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016 

Spencer rewrites past Captain America history

With the 12th issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson, Nick Spencer continues to politicize the title and rewrite Marvel history to his liking, as seen in the following picture:
So the police were (and in his vision, still are) more like the Keystone Kops, and the story makes it look as though they see every black as a crook and every white as a hero (or, as Steve Rogers says, an Avenger), and arrested Sam instead of the Trapster. And to make matters worse, this story also features a new adversary called the Americops. And it's bound to get even worse from here.

Marvel has really become unreadable today, and we may have to ponder whether it's even a good idea to pay money for the movie adaptations, if they end up financing the bank accounts of anybody who's in charge of the comics.

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Busiek must surely take the side of J. Jonah Jameson

Kurt Busiek's recently been lashing out at Donald Trump in the most cynical ways possible. For example, in response to Trump's "Make America Great Again" advertising, he says:

Umm, what proof do you have Trump actually pays for his account? The verification symbol maybe, but I thought Twitter was a free service. In any case, gee whiz, don't politicians always spend money for campaigning? What a lethargic bit of blather about something painfully obvious. And I guess he's got no comment on how Hilary paid herself $250,000 from her own campaign funds, huh?

I think this comment, in response to Trump's lamentation about the media not covering him honestly, gives us a good idea what Busiek really thinks of Spider-Man, and J. Jonah Jameson as the web-slinger's media adversary. Because he's putting Trump in the Spidey role while the press takes the role of JJJ.

And this, written in reply to Trump's comment about how the MSM is protecting Hilary Clinton, gives us a good idea what he thinks of the Teen Titans, and Bethany Snow as their media adversary. After all, she was protecting Brother Blood and his Scientology-style cult, which she'd secretly been a member of during the 1980-96 run.

As a result, one can only wonder why Busiek wanted to be a superhero writer in years past, and feel glad he hasn't been for a while. His positions here only suggest he doesn't have much faith in the components of the mainstream superhero world.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016 

Joss Whedon wants a PC change made to Doctor Who

Whedon may not have written many comics lately. And I don't think he's involved with the Avengers movies now either. But he did recently let know where he stands on Britain's famous TV sci-fi adventure, Doctor Who, and hinted he's got no issues with where Marvel's taking their own universe:
Not taking the hint from Ghostbusters that social justice doesn't sell, Whedon made his comments during a Nerd HQ forum after a young fan asked him if he'd ever helm the director's chair for one of Britain's most iconic television character.

"I’m not sure, and here’s why. I’d have to do a lot of research, like, watch 40 years of television. I mean I’ve seen some of it, but let’s get real… Check back with me when the Doctor is a she. Or Idris Elba. Every question can actually just have the suffix ‘or Idris Elba," Whedon said, prompting applause.

British actor Idris Elba has been in the running to replace James Bond, which would make him the first black man to play the iconic MI6 agent. During this year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Elba walked in lockstep with social justice warriors when he lectured British parliament about the values of (left-wing) diversity and its need in the entertainment industry.
I think it's safe to say he's not the least bit bothered at Marvel's own drastic changes to their universe, all at the expense of enjoyable storytelling. He just drank the SJW Kool-Aid idiocy. And he doesn't ponder that many of the people he's supposedly trying to please aren't interested in reading based on the racial/gender/sexually oriented background ascribed to the cast. Honestly, what's so great about Whedon? He's way overrated. He doesn't even seem to realize that it's not like he has to research each and every detail from over 50 years of TV to know what Doctor Who is about; just the basic premise is enough. What he said is just another way of telling his audience he doesn't care for the product. Not even if it represented his apparent PC positions. So what was the use of commenting on the famous British sci-fi series at the panel he attended?

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Monday, August 15, 2016 

CW network turning the Ray into gay

The CW channel is launching a new superhero cartoon allegedly based on the Freedom Fighters, and wouldn't you know it, they've decided social justice matters more than talented scriptwriting:
The series is to be based on the 1990s re-imagining of The Ray character first introduced in 1940 and will feature newspaper reporter Ray Terrill aka “The Ray.” The 1990s reimagining updated The Ray’s “Freedom Fighters” team to “better reflect American demographics,” and featured a gay “The Ray,” a woman, a Jewish character, an African-American character and others.

In the new series, the main character will be a reporter who stumbles onto a group of evil government scientists who are trying to invent a weapon of mass destruction based on the power of light. Ray Terrill will be accidentally transformed into “The Ray” and will use his powers to stop evil. He will also be portrayed as an openly gay man.
What are the odds the government scientists will be based on right-wing caricatures? I figure that's the only way Hollywood is willing to depict crooks working for the government these days.

And if they think putting a Jewish character in the cast is going to make people like myself soften our stances, forget it. The new lesbian Batwoman developed by Greg Rucka a decade ago also had a Jewish background, and does that make the homosexuality presented from a positive perspective any less degrading? Of course not. I'm not sure if the 1990s series actually did that, if only because it's so obscure to me (this might've happened in the Infinite Crisis crossover in 2005), but I do know that one of Marvel's worst modern editors, Joe Quesada, was the artist who developed Ray Terrill along with writer Jack Harris in 1992. I'm sure not many parents who find homosexuality a poor role model will want their children watching this new TV show, but I also don't see why anybody who realizes the harm Quesada did to Marvel should bother to provide viewership to a show based on something he created either.

And since we're on the subject, the planned series based on the Ray isn't the only one that'll involve homosexuality: the "Arrowverse" is going to feature something like that too:
One of the shows -- producers declined to say which one -- will find a "significant" character experimenting with their sexuality, and ultimately coming out as gay. Given there are already a number of LGBT characters on the four shows, fans' speculation engines are already going wild... Any guesses?
A better query would be "any interest"? The answer is "no". It sounds like the DC adaptations they're producing have become propaganda vehicles, and that's quite disappointing, because it takes away entertainment value. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the recent Marvel TV shows have also experienced the same PC entries. This is hardly the best to develop great escapsim and other entertainment programs.

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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.
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