Thursday, October 27, 2016 

A curious case of manufactured controversy, perhaps to hide another issue?

A short while ago, news surfaced of a writer named Chelsea Cain, assigned to write a now cancelled Marvel book starring Mockingbird, who was allegedly the target of nasty, abusive Twitter trolls, and later erased her Twitter account following the harassment. Trouble is, for all the attention it's getting, almost none has been cast upon the abusive tweets themselves. Writer Brad Glasgow says:
I've searched through Chelsea Cain's mentions on Twitter going back to October 16, and there are only a few unkind tweets among thousands of encouraging messages. Others have searched and have also said they've found little evidence of "a slew of hostile tweets." I and others have asked people who have participated in the #standwithchelseacain hashtag for screenshots of the abusive tweets that forced her off Twitter and have not received any.
Now what's going on here? A case comes up on a prominent social media site where vicious harassment is claimed to have taken place, and nobody took any screencaps of the offensive messages supposedly posted there? As dishonest as the commentator Anita Sarkeesian was, even she presented screencaps of the abuse she may have gotten, though some could argue she might've faked at least half of it (and from the observations I read in the past 2 years, that's very likely). Another writer, Robert Kroese, said that none of the articles he found bringing this up featured any pictures of the abusive tweets, and:
By this point, I was getting pretty suspicious. How can you write an entire article about someone being chased off Twitter by harassment without giving a single example of this harassment or backing up your claim in any way? The authors of all these articles were pretty clearly on Cain’s side; wouldn’t it have been in their interest to include some of these nasty tweets to demonstrate how awful these trolls are? Why didn’t they?
Having taken some time to think about this, I can't help but wonder if this was all manufactured to draw attention away from the persecution of J. Scott Campbell for committing a thoughtcrime. And who knows, I may be right.

What's additionally telling is the cover for one of the series issues, which appears to be connected with Civil War 2 (in that case, how can the book truly be good when it's not self-contained?). Bobbi Morse is drawn wearing a shirt telling everybody "ask me about my feminist agenda." You have to wonder if this is another attempt to create controversy about something that may not be as severe as it looks on the surface, much like what happened during the Gamergate campaign.

From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to have been any harassment of the level they're claiming. But if there was, the people pushing this accusation might want to consider that some of it could derive from the same thought patterns  various male writers in the upper echelons of publishing go by. There are some very bad apples out there in comics fandom. But not everybody is that demented, and if there's no evidence to back up the harassment claims, then this is apparently an attempt to smear the best of comic book fandom as much as any decent video game player.

No less disturbing is how many sources in the comics press have been buying into and pushing this narrative without research. As the above writers/bloggers noted, when they tried to ask for screenshots to serve as evidence, nobody would help them, and a few even blocked them on Twitter. This suggests it was all pre-planned. If that's the case, the press are doing a great wrong to fandom by painting all fans of superheroes and other comics with the same brush, to say nothing of tarnishing the art form's representatives.

Unsurprisingly, some of the most unqualified opportunists have been commenting on the issue, such as:

Straight from the guy who sees nothing wrong with intimidating women out of public bathrooms. He's pretty much in the same boat as those who throw their core fandoms under the bus too.

As far as I can tell, along with the other guys mentioned, this is all a non-troversy that must've been cooked up deliberately by the same people who haven't even apologized to Campbell for their defamation efforts. They've only demonstrated perfectly why the medium is collapsing.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 

Obsidian's history has been distorted

When Arcamax's recent article about the Legends TV show brings up Obsidian, they give a very fuzzy description of Infinity Inc. member Todd Rice, the son of Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott, who was created by Roy Thomas:
Obsidian: Todd Rice was introduced in 1983, the biological son of Alan "Green Lantern" Scott and supervillain Rose "Thorn" Canton. He somehow inherited the power to merge with his own shadow, control darkness and perform other shadow-related feats. Rice is openly gay, and has a super-powered sister, Jennie-Lynn "Jade" Hayden, who doesn't seem to have made the TV cut. A modern character, he'll be transplanted to WWII on TV, and is played by Dan Payne.
This obscures the exact history of how that came to be very badly. When Obsidian first debuted in the mid-80s, he wasn't characterized as gay, and did get involved with some girls. For about the first decade of his existence, he was far from undergoing a homosexual characterization. It was in 1994 that the tampering first began, with a story implying Todd was homosexual in the Justice League titles at the time. And the most devastating part of this? I think a conservative-leaning writer, Dan Jurgens, was the one responsible for sowing the seeds that led to this hijacking of Roy Thomas' creation after 2000! There may have been more exploitation of Todd Rice before that, but it was by the mid-2000s that the appropriation of somebody else's creation really came about. Possibly more disturbing was the dreadful story David Goyer and Geoff Johns wrote in JSA where Todd was brainwashed by a villain from All-Star Squadron named Ian Karkull into murdering his stepdad. And all this is conveniently obscured by the press.

Obsidian may be one of the most mistreated 3rd-tier characters in recent DC history, and the most dismaying part is that the article's writer has no interest in complaining about that.

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Monday, October 24, 2016 

Would they admit that about today's liberal writers?

The IO9/Gizmodo site wrote about the origins of Green Lantern's John Stewart, one of the earliest black superheroes introduced in the DCU. In describing how his introduction story from 1971 was developed, this is what they say about the ending where Hal Jordan admits he misjudged John:
That moment can be read as a tacit admission that the white liberal creators of this new character are drawing from a reality they know nothing about. The text caption at the end of “Beware My Power”—almost certainly titled that way to reference the phrase “Black Power”—says, “Where or when, no man can say… but rest assured—John (Green Lantern) Stewart will return.” The uncertainty in that caption probably indicates that the powers-that-be were waiting for feedback on the new GL, but it also betrays a little bit of doubt, too, as to whether DC could pull this off.
Now isn't that funny coming from a website that's more or less liberal themselves, and doubtless run by...white liberals! One can only wonder if they'd admit today's white liberal writers are far more screwed up, and can be even more incompetent with racial issues than those from the past. Aren't they equally capable of drawing from realities they don't know much about, if at all? Brian Bendis is a white liberal, and not only has he taken part in replacing some of the white protagonists in the MCU for the sake of contrived diversity pandering, there's no telling if he understands these realities either. And if he doesn't, shouldn't that also be a topic of discussion?

Of course white libs in the past may not have known everything about racial topics. But then, that's why we have to realize that modern libs of any background can be just as awkward, if not more so.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016 

SJWs make a fautrage against Campbell variant cover of series that's already pandering to them

J. Scott Campbell drew a variant for Brian Bendis's diversity-driven replacement for Tony Stark featuring Riri Williams in a tank top, and SJWs went bonkers, resulting in Marvel caving:
Marvel has pulled a forthcoming comic cover after it was criticised for “sexualising” the 15-year-old girl who is the new Iron Man.
Or did they? There are mid-teen girls who wear bare midriff outfits, so this does sound like an overreaction. Besides, Tula, the original Aquagirl, wore one in the late 60s, so I don't see why this is such a big deal. If they don't like the variant, they don't have to buy it. But what really undoes the whole fauxtrage is a certain cover that's not mentioned in the MSM:

It's pretty clear now this was all just an excuse to attack Campbell because he represents everything an obsessed SJW wants to hate because they simply must. If Campbell is "sexualizing" the character, isn't the artist who drew the original cover doing it too? I'm not sure who the guy is who drew that one, but one can only wonder why he gets off almost scot free while Campbell doesn't.
The variant cover showed Riri Williams, a science genius who reverse engineers one of Iron Man’s suits in her dorm room at MIT, in a revealing crop top, and drew sharp criticism online. “It’s as though they decided a teenage girl’s face was fine, but let’s attach a more grown-up body to that face, because she’s not a true female superhero until you can imagine having sex with her,” wrote Teresa Jusino at comics site the Mary Sue, calling on Marvel to “stop sexualising female teenage characters like Riri Williams”.
It's almost amusing the same sources who see nothing wrong with adding on these PC replacements at the expense of established heroes suddenly complain about the characters being sexualized when the whole product is hardly worth the fuss to begin with.
Marvel has subsequently withdrawn the Campbell variant cover, which was exclusive to Midtown Comics, and released images of interior art from the comic by the artist Stefano Caselli, showing a very different version of the character. Another variant cover by Campbell, in which the character is wearing the Iron Man armour, is still on sale and out in November.
Let's see, this was only going to be sold at a single store or chain? In that case, I'm not sure what the point was of bothering, since there's bound to be only 2 or 3 dozen covers available. All they're doing is making jokes out of themselves, to say nothing of taking up socialist positions.
Campbell called the decision “unfortunate” and said that he “simply attempted to draw a sassy, coming-of-age young woman”. “I greatly appreciate the noticeable uptick of support today in the wake of the fallout of this faux controversy,” he wrote on Twitter. “I gave her a sassy ‘attitude’ … ‘sexualising’ was not intended. This reaction is odd.”
It sure is. All they're doing is boosting support for Campbell.
But Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of the series, said he was “very glad they are not going forward with the cover”.
Then why did he have no objections to the first one? As if this weren't silly enough, there's even been complaints lodged that Riri's skin color was "lightened". Please. It's hardly that. It's just a case of using lighter looking graphical effects. Yet another goofball looking for excuses.

It's pretty clear that as of now, Campbell's become the ideal scapegoat for many SJWs looking for somebody - anybody to attack because they loathe his/her style. Yet I want to note that unfortunately, Campbell's still not making the best choices for assignments. Look what he's been promoting:

I can't believe this. He's touting a storyline that turned out to be a ripoff? Which didn't restore the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson? What's the point? I don't see why we should buy something written by a writer as awful as Dan Slott. That Campbell's been lending his talents to those kind of people's work is hugely dismaying. Besides, I for one have no interest in supporting "Iron Maiden" when it's all being done at the expense of Tony Stark, who's been kicked to the curb in the latest crossover. I look at what Campbell's been doing lately and have to shake my head and wonder why he's wasting his talents doing cover drawings for books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

Campbell doesn't deserve this kind of petty hostility. But he's not making things any better by propping up books written for a SJW crowd that even they probably don't buy and read.

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Friday, October 21, 2016 

A sugarcoated look at Image's origins

Vice's Creators Project gives a pretty superficial view of how Image was founded in the early 1990s, most tellingly in their notes on Rob Liefeld:
The company first came about after artists and writers Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn), Jim Lee, and Rob Liefeld left Marvel after huge successes. They (and the other like-minded comic creators who joined them) felt they weren’t being justly compensated for their meteoric work, so they split and Image was born. “These weren’t just hot headed kids rebelling against the system,” kaptainkristian explains in the video. “These were the driving forces of the entire industry. Comics were picking up steam, and the creators wanted equal compensation.” This desire drives the central ethos behind Image: all comics are 100% owned by the people who create them.

As soon as they formed the new company, readership followed. “For just a short time,” says kaptainkristian, “what was popular were the books and the creators, not just the characters. Image was a gateway for millions of new fans to get into comics, and it also served as a jumping-on point for people too intimidated by the four or five decades of history and continuity of Marvel and DC comics.”
Was it the creators? I suppose you could say that, but what's certainly lacking here is any note on the quality of the writing, and in Liefeld's case, the artwork. What drove Image in at least some instances was, most unfortunately, the speculator bubble, variant and silver foil-style covers that were little more than cheap gimmicks. Liefeld himself all but left after fallouts with the rest of staff over Youngblood, which had a very troubled publication history as it is.

Did the above artists have big successes? Yes, but in Liefeld's case, it was for all the wrong reasons, as his artwork did not a good book make, and the quality of New Mutants plummeted due to his incompetent style (so what did Marvel do? Replaced it with X-Force, which didn't come at a great time for superherodom). McFarlane and Lee are far more talented artists, though Spawn is really nothing to write home about. And did the medium really pick up steam? Not for long, and it sank down again after the speculator bubble burst pretty quickly.

As for people worried about decades of continuity in the mainstream superhero worlds, here's something to consider: it was only by the mid-90s that things really started to deteriorate, and bad storytelling is the real reason why anybody should find a lot of continuity troubling. There's also the fact that by that decade, it seems like that's all most writers could think of doing; harkening back to whatever they thought was great for alluding to, even if their newer story pales terribly next to the older one. I'd also suggest too much reliance on costumed supervillains and such as adversaries hurt superhero tales. Even too many time travel stories must've taken a toll. How come those aren't considered as a potential factor in the decline and fall of superherodom? But surely the biggest fault is failure to judge each separate story on its own terms, not to mention the Big Two making it exceedingly difficult with their crossovers, something Image is guilty of taking up at times too.

At least they admit the above artists were only popular for a short time. And that's because - certainly in Liefeld's case - most people realized his work didn't have high value, and the Image books were only being bought by speculators, which hasn't changed much since. The approach to marketing is another serious fault. If comicdom had changed its approach and gone with a more paperback-style format where an ongoing series came out just 2-3 times a year, the industry could've weathered the storms much better, and I don't get why most people don't bring that up.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 

Frank Miller used his Master Race mini as leftist election propaganda

In a new issue of Dark Knight 3: The Master Race, Miller's basically let all know he's for Hillary Clinton despite all the serious accusations and faults piling up against her and her husband Bill, and also let know he's against Donald Trump:
But why, in the midst of the fight, would Hillary Clinton come out in favour of the Batman’s last stand against the threat, while Donald Trump….

…seems to be against a Good Man With Bat Armour.

Frank Miller, despite everything you expect folks, is a Clinton supporter 100%.
All without considering her faults, I guess. He may have set out to do something admirable when he developed his Holy Terror graphic novel 5 years ago. But since then, he's apparently succumbed right back to the mindset he first started out with, all so he can be up there with the rest of the elitists in the mainstream.

But will this actually convince SJWs who hated his recent work and his pan of Occupy Wall Street that he's worth upholding? I think not. Even now, there's bound to be quite a few who loathed his recent directions so much it makes no difference whether he supports a leftist candidate; they'll never forgive him, and he'll only disappoint those rightists who thought he'd come to see the light.

It's very disappointing Miller, after it looked like he'd come to be somebody a patriot could admire, is now supporting a politician whose record shows anything but being that. And of all places where he could convey his slideback, it had to be in a sequel to the original Dark Knight Returns, which was fairly leftist to boot.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

A manga Kindle program with bigger storage

Engadget reports that Amazon's Japanese division has introduced a special Kindle program for manga called Paperwhite, which can store 8 times more manga stories than previous editions.

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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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