Sunday, January 15, 2017 

Disney really is no longer allowing artists to draw the "slave Leia" outfit

A few weeks ago, Bleeding Cool revealed that J. Scott Campbell was right - under Disney/Lucasfilm, Marvel's no longer accepting illustrations of Leia Organa from Star Wars in the slave outfit, no matter how bravely she fought back against Jabba the Hut. According to Frank Cho, a submitted illustration he offered was rejected:
Frank tells me he was told that Lucasfilm/Disney were no longer allowing artists to draw Princess Leia in the slave outfit. The “Slave Leia” or “Hutt Killer” portrayal of the character of Princess Leia in Return Of The Jedi has certainly been a controversial one over the years, albeit a look popular among cosplayers.
Cho also noted this on his Facebook page:
As I stated before, the original Star Wars variant cover with Slave Leia was rejected by Lucasfilm/Disney. It was all around miscommunication. I wasn't aware of the Lucasfilm/Disney edict of no more "Slave Leia", and Lucasfilm/Disney wasn't aware that I didn't know of this general order.
Good grief. Despite the fact that the late Carrie Fisher decided later on that the outfit did bear significance due to how she fought back against Jabba, choking him to death with the chains, Disney decided otherwise and insulted her memory by rejecting all to do with the outfit. Yet they would accept a Han Solo drawing by Cho.

What does this tell us? That the Disney Corp. today is a slave the will of politically correct SJWs who likely don't even watch the Star Wars movies or buy any of the merchandise. And that's the problem with corporations today - they're jelly-spined and don't have what it takes to stand up to anybody wishing to make a mockery out of their properties.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017 

A manga editor was arrested for murder

Even the world of manga/anime in Japan, sadly, is not without people who've turned out to be repugnant fiends, as one of the editors of Attack on Titan turned out to be:
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday arrested the first editor of the popular manga “Attack on Titan” in the alleged murder of his wife, 38, at the residence they share in Bunkyo Ward last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 10).

At around 2:50 a.m. on August 9, Park Jung-hyun, a 41-year-old vice editor for publisher Kodansha, telephoned emergency services to report that his “wife had collapsed.”

[...] An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be suffocation due to pressure applied around the neck.

Park, who at the time lived in the residence with his wife and their four children, initially claimed that his wife “fell down the stairs.” However, he later changed his story, saying she “committed suicide by hanging herself by a handrail.”

An investigation was launched after police were unable to find sufficient evidence to back Park’s claim of suicide.
Unlike some of the recent cases in the US, where at least two creators turned out to be felons trafficking child porn and/or molestation, the Attack on Titan manga series may not be as tainted since this was only an editor who committed the violent crime, not a writer/artist. Nevertheless, it'll surely be an embarrassment for the medium as a whole, because now a career contributor to the manga industry's become a violent criminal much like O.J Simpson. I hope Park Jung-Hyun's given a severe punishment for what he did to the poor woman, and no sane person should allow him near the medium ever again.

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More about the 3rd issue of Champions, Love is Love, Supergirl and even Civil War 2

Since we were previously on the topic of the recent series Marvel's publishing called Champions, Bleeding Cool's got more details, panels scanned from the issue, and the following picture that I'm posting here is just one making clear there's nothing particularly impressive about this self-defeating story of the group taking on Islamic fundamentalists oppressing women in a fictionalized regime in a story that won't even admit the villains are just following their indoctrination:
So getting help from Americans is considered a bad thing in this fictional country? Wow, some show of gratitude, I'll say. Just another clue to how self-defeating the story was. And the artwork in the panels is pretty weak too. (Side note: so Cyclops is back? Has he been exonerated of killing Prof. Xavier yet, and has the latter been resurrected? If not, then I'm not sure it'll be easy to overlook how this story pans out.)

In fact, cartoonist Bosch Fawstin said in the comments section:
I wrote this on Facebook: Three years after she debuted, Marvel's “Muslim superhero”, as part of a team, goes to Pakistan to fight “extremists” who are dismissed as “heretics” by actual heretics, and I'm supposed to be pleased with that for some reason. BS. The Muslim writer and Muslim editor of the comic book hasn't taken on the “extremists” at all in the character's main comic book. They left that to a leftist, but he only did so in a half-assed way, and mainly in order to play up the “girl power” in Pakistan, those who want an education. And one of these girls tell the “extremists” through a bullhorn: “How dare you be so frightened of young women learning.” Mohammad was frightened of that, something that the writer wouldn't dare touch. Oh, and there's no mention of Islam or Muslims or Jihadists or Sharia Law by name at all in the issue. So Marvel “took it on” in a way that they can deny ever really taking it on. In other words, if you want to see a comic book t ake on Islam and its Jihad in as thorough and honest a way as possible, there's still only my Pigman comic book for that. [link]
Simply put, if the writers/editors publishers aren't willing to take it up meat-and-potatoes style and acknowledge the koran's contents, then they haven't accomplished anything, period.

And, since we were also on DC/IDW's superficial "tribute" to the victims of the jihadist in Orlando, the AV Club's got another an article about that, and about a few other books worth pondering as well. First comes the pointless sequel to Civil War, which they come close to describing as a "so bad it's good" type of work, yet I can't help feel they still want to like it so much because of its politics:
Bad comics used to be fun. The first Civil War, 10 years in hindsight, had charm—a well-made piece of hokum that falls apart the moment one looks away. It was a fun book to flip through and pick out weird or awful or (occasionally) interesting sequences. It doesn’t hold up, not proportionate to the weight Marvel places on the fun potential of heroes splintering into violent schisms because of ideological differences. It poses a question answered by a majority of superhero stories published since roughly 1987: Who is cooler than who?

No one is cooler than anyone, Marvel. Not now. No one’s going to be cool again for a very long time
Not when you have somebody like Joe Quesada still pulling the marionette strings. Secret Wars ruined corporate owned superhero comics for years to come, and still is, with the approach of encouraging readers to root for one hero or group at the expense of another, instead of admiring all of them equally for who and what they are, and what they stand for. Or used to.
Marvel is in sad shape. These characters have no more weight on the page anymore. It’s possible to be distracted by individual successes like Ms. Marvel or Squirrel Girl or The Ultimates. But put all these heroes on one page—including many of the company’s flagship characters, stuck in the throes of uninspired costume redesigns—and there’s no friction. These characters inhabit a trivial world. Brian Michael Bendis’ diaphanous plot falls apart the moment one looks at it. The conflicts are so ill-defined that the Beast needs to spend two pages at the end explaining the series’ themes. There are so many endings. There’s the Beast haranguing Carol about the book’s plot, a deus ex machina so random it almost achieves the audacious, a pin-up spread advertising future Marvel Comics, and a final final ending that would have read quite differently had a different candidate won in November. None of it hangs together.
Sigh. They just can't bring themselves to admit Muslim Ms. Marvel is a failure in many ways, nor that Squirrel Girl surely isn't selling as much as they'd want it to. As for an ending that might read differently, maybe so, but it wouldn't read any more appealingly, that's for sure. So let's proceed to the category about Supergirl:
One of the strengths of the lineup at DC right now is that it isn’t trying to make every book exist within the same continuity. Given that some characters can appear in five titles at the same time, with five completely different creative teams, it’s a losing battle to try to convince readers that they’re all the same exact person and they have a Santa-like ability to be everywhere at once.
Now that's a laughable argument. Both DC and Marvel were once able to tell plenty of stand-alone stories set in the same universe without contradicting continuity severely. It was through the simple conceit of keeping a lot of stories stand-alone that they were able to tell their stories as well as they did. A character with his/her own solo book didn't have to have their developments there seriously emphasized or brought fully into discussion. That's why so many older stories worked far better than today's. As for this new take on Supergirl, here's what's eyebrow raising about its approach:
[...] Unlike the Kara on TV, she doesn’t know why she was sent to Earth, never met her famous cousin, and doesn’t remember Krypton at all. She’s not sure who she is or where she belongs, and those are the kind of questions every teenager has to cope with. Her struggle is just dialed up to a much higher degree.
Even if somewhere along the way, she does begin to recollect, this still looks an awful lot like a joke. And how could she end up on Earth without any superheroes finding out? Or, why separate her from Superman just like that, and not have any heroes discover her existence? Self-containment is certainly helpful, but omitting all connections to Superman sounds awkward at best.

Now, let's turn to the Love is Love anthology, which the entertainment site, like quite a few others, won't mention is supposedly a tribute to the victims of the jihadist in Orlando last year. For starters:
...there are some powerful tearjerkers and inspirational messages for the future, but there are also some uncomfortable, tone-deaf pieces that venture into some embarrassing territory.

Patty Jenkins, director of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, writes the introduction, and her experience exploring the life of Aileen Wuornos for her film Monster results in an introduction that is more about Wuornos and how she connects to the killer in the Pulse shooting. It’s an awkward way to begin an anthology honoring the victims, and while Jenkins is ultimately talking about empathy, that introduction should have gone to someone who would write about the victims, what Pulse meant to them, and what they meant to other people in their lives.
Reading this, I was reminded that Monster from 2003 was a potentially left-leaning type of movie (when Wuornos is convicted, she asks if they're going to terminate a rape victim, as if that clears her of the vile crimes she committed), and why do I start to wonder if Jenkins is talking liberal junk in that intro? It won't be shocking if she did, and that just demonstrates how some liberals don't want to learn from mistakes.

There's more:
...Marc Guggenheim and Brent Peeples’ two-pager with Batman investigating Pulse when it’s still filled with dead bodies is in very poor taste, with exploitative visuals and an extremely groan-worthy final line. Taran Killam is primarily known for his comedy work, and he contributes a laughably bad Deathstroke story that has the supervillain assassin dumping his arsenal of guns after hearing news of the Pulse shooting. It’s reminiscent of J. Michael Straczynski having Marvel supervillains mourning the 9/11 attacks in Amazing Spider-Man when they themselves have been responsible for similarly horrific deeds, and despite Killam’s good intentions, his concept is both ludicrous and lazy.
Now that's even more telling! The 9-11 issue in Amazing Spider-Man was one of the worst examples of leftist defeatism sinking in, and now, over 15 years later, another leftist falls back on the same garbage. And after reading the description of the Batman story, I think Guggenheim's just become a successor to Straczynski as a propagandist too. These recent books are definitely as bad as they sound, and look.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017 

J. Scott Campbell says he's going to miss Obama

Campbell's just revealed his downside:

Oh, isn't that just wonderful. He just has to give his backing to one of the worst POTUS we've had to endure for 2 terms, and who's bound to continue some of his badness even afterwards. Even some Democrats are becoming disillusioned with him, belated as it is. Some of the respondents voiced their disappointment he was doing this.

What's really weird is that Campbell supported a politician who's more or less on the same side as the SJWs who caused Campbell any number of problems recently. Or, more specifically, the same pro-censorship crowd who were targeting Campbell over peanuts. I'll never understand why people who've had problems with Wertham-ites stick firmly with the kind of people who're willing to throw them under the bus. Doing so can actually hurt their positions.

I think Campbell's a talented artist, but he's making himself look ridiculous after his prior experience with SJWs, not seeming to recognize that a lot of them come from the same political side that he's taking, and shouldn't be on if they won't give him backing.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017 

What are any creators saying about the Gerard Jones debacle?

I decided to look and see if any creators on Twitter are responding to the terrible news that comics writer and historian Gerard Jones turned out to be a repellent child porn trafficker. Before I begin, let me note that, if you know how to spot a SJW when you see one...not many seem to be reacting to this upsetting case, if at all. Indeed, the traffic on Twitter featuring comments about Jones is far from vast. It's enough to wonder if the SJWs are even remotely concerned, and I've long doubted they are.

Similarly, despite Comics Beat's claim that there's alarmed reactions around the medium's spectrum, I couldn't find many creators reacting either. I tried looking at the feeds of some artists who worked with Jones over 2 decades ago (Ty Templeton, Cully Hamner, Gene Ha, Darick Robertson, to name but some), but they didn't seem to say anything. In their case, I can guess why - it's clearly embarrassing to discover that the man whose scripts they were realizing in illustrations had an even more revolting personality than they. Well, I guess it's best not to concern oneself over those who worked with Jones proper. That's why, let us turn now to those who actually did say something. For example, Ron Marz, who took over from where Jones left off on Green Lantern, and made the title a dud in the long run (and now, after what Jones did, he's tarnished what came before very badly):

Oh, look who's talking. One of the same people who gave his backing to the idea of allowing men into women's bathrooms, which led to the danger of similar crimes occurring. Maybe he should go back and take a good look at his own revolting politics before he thinks of himself as qualified to comment, which he's not.

And here's something to ponder: what if Jones was influenced by the political atmosphere his leftist peers were leading to, and this encouraged him to commit such evil? If so, then a lot of leftists have to start looking at themselves in the mirror and ask where they went wrong. But alas, a lot of them probably won't.

If there's any other scriptwriters I've found commenting on the case, John Byrne is one:

Oh for heaven's sake. If felons in the movie business have their professions named, then it can only be fair to identify the professions of comics creators to boot. Stephen Collins and Bill Cosby's careers were too, so it's idiotic to say the press shouldn't let know the professions of comic creators. And Byrne's off base: when a comics writer commits a serious offense, it is he/she who taints the medium with their disgust, not the press. That's not saying the MSM is innocent, and they've done some very sickening stuff of their own, not the least being their own contributions to an atmosphere that encouraged monsters like Jones to go down dark paths. But in this particular case, it's not fitting to say the MSM shouldn't let know what jobs/careers any felons have worked in.

That's about all the writers I can find so far. Among artists commenting, there's Phillip Hester:

Oh, now look who else is talking. Somebody who worked with Brad Meltzer, who penned a repellent insult to women in Identity Crisis, and worse, sugarcoated his resume. And who was oblivious to the dark side of Hillary Clinton. Yeah, his comments sure carry a lot of weight.

There's also the artists Peter Krause, Bill Sinkiewicz, and even Rob Liefeld who've chimed in:

Regarding Liefeld, well at least now he's saying something sensible for a change! Sinkiewicz's post may have originally come from Facebook, but I can't reach it because his page needs logging into, and I don't have an account with them. I can only guess he's told those who can reach his pages that he met Jones briefly at a convention, and now we've all had to bear the awful news about what Jones really is. As for Krause, I can agree with him that this is a very upsetting case.

And then, there's also the comments of reviewers and historians like Tim Hanley, author of a few books on Wonder Woman and even Lois Lane:

Well, Hanley does deserve some congratulations for recognizing that when a writer commits such an unspeakable act of evil, it tarnishes his/her past work for a long time to come. I just hope he also understands that there's leftists out there who've created an atmosphere that encouraged sick men like Jones to cross the lines.

On which note, it's also worth examining one of Jones' older series, the Malibu character named Prime, which he co-created with Len Strazewski and Norm Breyfogle. It was basically a Billy Batson/Capt. Marvel clone, albeit more adult, and tackled some grisly topics like child molestation. According to this history page on Malibu comics:
Prime wasn’t fighting off some insane supervillain; he was menacing a high school gym teacher who had been molesting his students. [...]

“[The Malibu editors] knew that they wanted to kick comic book heroes up a notch,” said Strazewski. Co-writing Prime with Gerard Jones, Prime would not only face villains, but would face molestation charges when Prime continued to visit a girl his thirteen year-old alter-ego had a crush on or staying in superhero form to sneak into a bar. [...]
One can only wonder what Jones' exact influence was on that particular story. Even if the subject itself was depicted negatively, the whole series has now been irrepairably damaged by the sad misfortune of having a hypocrite on board. Don't be surprised if it'll be a long time before Marvel has the books reprinted, if they still own the rights to the properties (they're probably reeling with regret that they bought it now). And don't be surprised if the Malibu books are never adapted to movies, if they ever really had those ideas in mind.

As things stand now, any legacy Jones might've had, however minor, is gone. He's left a lot of superhero fans feeling punched in the face, and tarnished dozens of books he wrote, especially his own history books like Men of Tomorrow. If Marvel and DC had plans to reprint some of his past work anew, it's clear they're unlikely to do so in the forseeable future. The medium's been hit with a really sad experience that won't be easy to recover from.

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Comics Bulletin turns to Trump-bashing, yet does admit there were bad stories written during the election

Leave it to Comics Bulletin to add themselves to the list of sites that are neglecting their medium for the sake of bashing Donald Trump with uninformed, profane propaganda that compares him to Lex Luthor:
I’m not going to mince any more words at this point. This is about president-elect Donald Trump. Trump is a motherfucker who has fucked up more times and fucked over more people than we can count. It’s all public record too. In the past year we’ve all become aware of this man’s many sins. Yet we live in a world in which he can be elected to the highest office in the free world. We live in a world in which his terrible business practices, abuse of women, and open incitement of hatred towards anyone who isn’t a straight, white man is embraced.

We live in a world where a man who makes Lex Luthor look like a dream can be elected President in spite of continually being exposed for being a monster. That’s the reality we live in. That’s what we must come to understand.

And that’s the crux of your question. In a better world, I might respond that people are too stupid or egotistical to alter their behavior after having it exposed. That might still be true, but it’s not the fundamental truth of this answer. Because even if someone like Trump is stupid or egotistical, it’s not the core of why he continues to behave like he does.

The truth is that he continues to act this way because there are no consequences. Trump has shown us that you can indiscriminately fuck over contractors, grab pussy, and disparage people based on their color and creed, all while becoming President. So maybe the better question is, why do people care about being exposed if they’re in a position of power?

I can’t answer that question. I don’t really want to.
The real question he can't answer is why men like the jerk who wrote this one-sided, foul-mouthed, ignorant rant repeatedly turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the offensive actions of Bill and Hillary Clinton alike. There's even a Wikipedia page about his past felonies with links to more articles. If he wants a real life variation on Lex Luthor, he'd never have ignored the Clintons. Slick Willy acted as he did for many years because the liberal establishment would ensure via their ignorance that there'd be no consequence to his actions. It's the same with Hillary and her apologia for sex offenders.

By the way, if Trump's "poor" business practices, among other details, are really on public record, how come the guy didn't link to any of them? I'm sure he could find quite a few reports online if he wished. We must be missing something here. We're also missing how the guy writing this crude piece fails to acknowledge that Lex Luthor gets away with his crimes repeatedly because the writers/editors have decreed it to be that way. It's not a fault of Lex himself, because he's only imaginary.

Surprisingly though, the same Comics Bulletin writer did admit that the election issue of Muslim Ms. Marvel was a serious mistake, even as he continues to lay on the propaganda simultaneously:
[...] The past month has been full of examples of big releases in mainstream comics that were clearly driven by good intentions, but definitely crossed that line you mentioned into being “overtly harmful/reductive”. It’s a lot easier to understand nonsense when you see nonsense, so let’s take a look at a few.

The most obvious recent example of this is Ms. Marvel #13, the big election issue that was published after Election Day. I think there’s a need to preface any discussion of Ms. Marvel screwing the political pooch with mention of how often it hasn’t done just that. It’s a comic that has been an inspiration to many current and new readers within comics, and even people outside of the medium. Kamala Khan means so much to so many. The creators on the title have consistently tackled important themes of diversity, acceptance, and responsibility in a fashion that is both charming and intelligent. I would have highly recommended every issue in the series on both accounts, until this one.
Well that's certainly quite a giggler. A title that's already plummeting to less than 25,000 issues shipped to stores - probably as a result of the insutling election propaganda - is intelligent when it's full of dishonesty about Islam from the first story told? Please. But maybe he's starting to turn around and admit it's not worth the paper it's printed on. I just don't get why only the 2016 election serves as a turning point in his defenses for the book.
Because Ms. Marvel #13 is a clusterfuck of good intentions going horribly wrong and no amount of previous good work justifies this particular stapled pamphlet of nonsense.
No, but let us remember - if it's dishonest about the religion the main character goes by, then there's no good work at all, and wasn't to begin with. Hey, even the artwork was dreadful.
Let’s start with the most obvious issue: the release of the issue itself. Ms. Marvel #13 was originally slated to be released before Election Day on November 8th, but was delayed until November 30th. This wouldn’t be a problem if the story inside existed well without the context of an upcoming Presidential election. That is not the case. The antagonists of the piece are clearly intended to mimic the major party candidates of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. An entire page of the issue serves as nothing more than an infomercial on how to find your polling place and register to vote. The comic is not a free advertisement encouraging people to vote though, it’s a piece of entertainment that readers paid for to be informed about things that no longer matter.

What’s worse is that in the wake of the election, the issue highlights so much of the ego and rhetoric that made the dark reality surrounding the issues publication possible. While Ms. Marvel #13 tries its best to remain non-partisan, the politics of the series and the issue itself are clearly liberal. It abhors rules that limit voting and partisan redistricting. It supports a diverse electorate and make the Trump-like candidate an actual member of Hydra, while the Clinton-like candidate is merely an unpopular incumbent (and a victim of his opposition).

The comic actually advocates for strategies and beliefs that run contrary to effective voting strategies and the compromises necessary in democracy. At one point in the story Kamala says that democracies rely on daily engagement and that you can’t just get out on Election Day, but the entire story is about people getting woke on Election Day. Nobody in Jersey City cares about the Election or any of the problems of the likely new Mayor, until Ms. Marvel and her friends run around rallying them on the day of the election itself. It’s a complete contradiction of her speech and supports the idea that Election Day is all that really matters.
Well at least he's admitting the heavy handed leftism is a turnoff. That the book features a page or two explaining how to vote and get the certificates suggests the Marvel staff behind the propaganda really do think whatever readership they're marketing to is dumb as a log. As one of the most blatant propaganda products they've turned out, it wouldn't be surprising if this is why sales are taking such a dive.

Interestingly, he also brings up the new Champions title from Marvel, whose 3rd issue, on the surface, would seem to be attacking Islamic fundamentalism, but when it doesn't even a]acknowledge Islam is the problem, b]has the Muslim Ms. Marvel participating in the ostensible rescue mission, c]is written by Mark Waid, who's biased in favor of Islam himself, and d]is coming from a company whose heads are otherwise fully biased in favor of guess what, you know it's unlikely this'll make a clear statement on anything pertinent. Anyway, here's what he says about that:
Unlike Ms. Marvel #13, which can at least be called idealistic, Champions #3 is purely cynical. It establishes its tone at the start of the issue by casually dismissing the cliffhanger of Champions #2 with some adolescent dialogue that sounds like poor-imitations of 21st Century teenagers (and an awkward joke about lesbians). The very premise of the book is continually questioned as being silly or driven by outside concerns. Everything reads like it is being written because it was determined to be saleable, not because someone thought it was a good idea.

Then the team goes to the imagined country of Sharzad where Muslim women are being prevented from receiving any formal education under penalty of death. It’s a very real issue that affects millions of young women in different areas of the globe, one that has no easy solutions and demands incredible bravery from those resisting oppression. The Champions look at this as an easy adventure and decide to throw out the name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai just to wink at their audience that they totally know this is a real thing and totally hopped on Wikipedia to learn about it.

The plotting of what comes next reads as cynically as the setup, too. They crash into a small town, have a brief learning moment, then execute a plan that mostly involves just punching the bad guys. It’s superhero comics 101 and doesn’t take into account the continuing death threats and suppression that will face the women of this community after the six children with extraordinary powers leave. Champions #3 acknowledges these problems exist, but essentially ignores them at the end because they are too complicated and fraught to be dealt with in the pages of this Marvel teen superteam book.
It sounds even worse than the ending of Tintin and the Picaros, where one autocrat is replaced by another (General Alcazar, who'd been deposed at one point), and the citizenry of the fictional Latin American country (San Theodoros) are left in no better a position than before. That's certainly not getting anywhere; Waid and company didn't even leave square one.

The columnist's also got a disturbing revelation about DC/IDW's Love is Love (on which note, none of the news outlets I've seen talking about this seem to acknowledge jihadism was behind the Orlando bloodbath. Very strange...), and a ludicrous story featuring Deathstroke:
Just to make sure it doesn’t seem like I’m picking on Marvel Comics too much, DC Comics (along with IDW Publishing) offered a great example recently in the Love is Love anthology. The anthology itself is a great concept founded on good intentions. It uses lots of recognizable characters along with some original stories by a bunch of top-notch talent to send proceeds to those affected by the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I would encourage getting it simply to help support a good cause, check out the good stories, and encourage similar initiatives in the future.

However, there are some really poorly conceived stories packed within this volume. A one-page story of Deathstroke shows him listening to real coverage of how and where the shooter obtained the weaponry used during the slaying. In response he takes all of the guns in his apartment, dumps them in the garbage, and swears to only use karate from now on.

It’s a joke, a very bad joke.

Not only does it play poorly against the character chosen, who regularly uses gun violence to slay hundreds of people, but it diminishes the problem it’s seeking to address. There’s a cause and effect of seeing guns used to kill, then deciding to put guns in a dumpster on a city street that is silly in nature and might evoke a laugh from some. Yet the setup for the joke is the Pulse shooting itself. The facts of the case are stated at the start of the strip and sets this story in a world where this really happened (albeit one where Deathstroke also exists). His reaction is farcical and the joke becomes darkly unfunny because it’s a minor gag confronting the mass murder of dozens of innocents due to their sexual orientation. It’s a very bad joke.
It's a sick joke. What if some thug came along, discovered the guns before the trash collectors did, and took them to use for more crime? Why didn't Slade just smash them or take them apart? Recalling that DC's thrown away continuity cohesion long ago, it doesn't take much to figure this story ignores the fact that Slade Wilson did try to reform after the whole Judas Contract debacle he caused, and even the new story is out-of-continuity, it still stinks. Yet somehow it's just not shocking at all that any story could be published in this "tribute" anthology that's more offensive than educational, let alone informative.

So, as bad as the Comics Bulletin columnist's own leftism is, he still at least provided some eyebrow-raising information about the worst comics to come in the wake of last year's election. And you can be sure it's not going to get any better this year.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017 

If that's all these TV adaptations are about, they're not worth hurrying home for

I've been doing some research on the latest comic-to-TV adaptations like Archie's Riverdale and Supergirl, and have to wonder what the point really is. First, let's take a look at this sugary Forbes article that doesn't give the whole picture:
Determining whether to not Riverdale is worth watching boils down to the individual viewer’s taste for over-the-top, primetime soaps. There’s nothing supernatural. There’s not even that big a hook when it comes to the murder mystery portrayed in the trailers. It’s just a colorful hyper-reality put on screen for anyone into such a thing to enjoy. In fact, it might be the ultimate example of the genre.

There’s sex. There’s drama. There’s scandal. There’s violence. There’s angst. There’s more sex. There’s everything a fan of primetime soaps could want. Unfortunately, if one isn’t into such things, the show isn’t going to appeal. It goes so far into the direction of 90s stylings that it will turn away anyone that doesn’t have a predisposition for such material.

As for how it stacks up as an adaptation of the comics the show uses as sources material… it doesn’t. Riverdale is not the classic, goofy comics that filled audiences with glee throughout the 40s and 50s. It’s very much an over-the-top drama putting a new span on some truly classic, American characters.
Well at least they note this sadly isn't exactly the family friendly fare it could've been (murder mysteries aren't something I consider inherently suited for families, no matter the tone they're filmed with). But, they haven't told everything, and this TV Line posting tells what they fail to:
Newcomer Casey Cott — brother of Broadway star Corey Cott (Newsies) — has been cast in The CW’s Archie comics-inspired drama pilot.

Cott will play Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the Archie universe, who was introduced in the comic-book series in 2010.

EP Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (Supegirl, Looking) announced the news via Twitter.

Riverdale, which hails from writer Aguirre Sacasa and über-producer Greg Berlanti, is described as a “subversive” take on the famous characters and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.
Because that's all we need besides murderous mayhem. It would not be possible to make CHiPs, the Dukes of Hazzard and the A-Team today and refrain from corpses falling down at nearly every turn as the setup for the stories in this live action Archie TV show apparently uses. As if that's not bad enough, Movie Pilot notes how Betty and Veronica appear to have been turned into lesbians:
From zombie attacks to encounters with Sonic and even the Predator, Archie and his friends have dealt with their fair share of unusual plot developments in recent years, but none shocked the world more than the introduction of #LGBT issues to the quiet town of #Riverdale.

For decades, comics set in Riverdale High School continued to perpetuate outdated concepts of sexuality and identity, failing to move on from Archie's heyday in the '50s — but that all changed in 2014 when Archie died (?!) taking a bullet meant for Kevin Keller, the first openly #gay character in the series.

Since then, Archie's best friend Jughead has openly revealed himself to be asexual, and now it appears that the small screen adaptation Riverdale will continue this progressive trend for the franchise, as the latest trailer depicts Betty and Veronica sharing a kiss with each other.
Because that's all we need too. Namely, cheap sensationalism. Yet what's really dismaying here is the news site's resorting to the disrespectful claim that most of the older takes on sexuality/identity are "outdated". This is exactly the problem with today's PC crowd. They have no respect for older products or the people who wrote them.

Even the Supergirl series, besides the gun control standings already advocated in episodes from a few months prior, is going out of its way to push the LGBT agenda on everyone:
Now that Supergirl‘s Alex Danvers (played by Chyler Leigh) has come to a realization about her sexual identity, sparked by new partner-in-crimefighting Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), her journey will not be without one small hiccup.
Or, one big yawn. Because this is getting very obviously forced. So much in fact, that, according to some commenters:
Big deal. The sexual preferences of characters is getting to be quite boring. Much more interested in how they perform in the show than their sexual appetite. Also see it as the circle changing from Ozzie and Harriet which was just as boring.
Agreed. How about we start making Supergirl the focus of the show instead of all the side characters. It seems the writers are so busy with Superman, J’onn J’onzz, M’ghan, James, Mon-El, and Alex they forgot to include some stories about Supergirl
No kidding! This reminds me of the 2005 series written by Jeph Loeb, whose first several issues all seemed to feature guest superheroes roles and no stand-alone tales for Kara Zor-El. If you need a valid complaint about sexuality being used embarrassingly, the artwork on the covers alone was, absurdly making Kara's skirt look like it was falling off her hip. Indeed, that was ludicrous, and one could easily argue it gave SJWs ammunition to use for railing against depicting sexy illustrations even tastefully. In any case, the ensuing stories were mostly botched and didn't add up to much in the long run.

All that aside, it makes little difference if the Maggie Sawyer character was already lesbian herself when John Byrne introduced her in the Superman comics in the late 80s; it's pretty apparent this TV show and its use of her as a cast member is for little more than LGBT propaganda (and let's not forget the gun control/open borders propaganda from earlier!). In that case, I hesitate to think what the Marvel TV shows are like. I wouldn't be shocked if they've got similar themes to boot, which at this point are quite political.

In the end, it's apparent these TV shows are run by entitled producers with no interest in making a series free of the very issues that are alienating audiences, family or otherwise, and would rather lecture everybody with their phony tolerance and diversity idiocy than ensure they'll be making a show that entertains a wider audience rather than just SJWs. I really don't see the use of giving them audience, because they're not doing the source material any favors.

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Monday, January 09, 2017 

New Delhi's manga library

Here's an article on Live Mint about the Japan Foundation Library, located in New Delhi, India, which has a sizable manga collection with a whole section of its own.

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Saturday, January 07, 2017 

Devastating: Gerard Jones committed felonies similar to Justiniano

If you were ever a fan of Gerard Jones's runs on books like Green Lantern, Wonder Man and Justice League in the early 1990s, you'll be sickened to learn that he pulled some filthy crap on a scale much like what the disgraced artist Justiniano was convicted for several years ago:
An accomplished San Francisco comic book and nonfiction author, who has been published in Marvel and a slew of other publications, was arrested on suspicion of possessing more than 600 child pornography files and uploading the graphic videos to YouTube, police said Friday.

Gerard Jones, 59, was arrested after a police investigation and ensuing search warrant at his residence in the 600 block of Long Bridge Street in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood turned up a host of electronic devices storing more than 600 images and videos depicting child pornography, police said.

The longtime author has written screenplays for Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, served as a writing teacher for the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, and put together graphic novels for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, according to his official website. [...]

He was booked into San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of possession of child pornography, production of child pornography, sending harmful material to a minor and distribution of child pornography, police said.

The uploaded YouTube videos depicted a child performing sexual acts on an adult, police said. And other videos uncovered inside Jones’ home showed adults performing sexual acts on children as young as 1-year-old, police said.
This was enough to make me want to throw a tantrum of despair. I thought his work on some of those books he'd written for DC/Marvel over 2 decades ago were pretty good, and now, I have to suffer the aggravation of discovering that another man whose work was better than that of his successors is as scummy as Justiniano and even some of the Hollywood "celebrities" who've been exposed for crimes either similar, or worse. On which note, the news about Jones gets that much worse:
Police also determined Jones allegedly traveled to London several years ago to engage in sexual conduct with an underage minor. [...]

The investigation into the England incident is on-going, police said.
Now it's enough to make my blood boil to explosion point. There was once a time when I felt sorry Jones got booted by Kevin Dooley, who turned out to be one of DC's worst editors, from the job he had on Green Lantern. Now, I'm only sorry that the original direction in GL got thrown out with bath water. And I feel especially sorry for Jones's victims. Forget that now, any reprints of his comics material will probably gather dust on shelves for a long time before future generations can get to see them, if they even care to at all. What matters is that Jones turned out to be another sad case of a moral hypocrite who complained about the darkness forced into 1990s comicdom yet embraced the same in real life. He's not the only one, and he won't be the last.

Incidentally, Bleeding Cool's follow up report has an awkward note about his bibliography:
He is also the co-creator of DC hero El Diablo, [...]
No, that is not accurate. The original El Diablo, Lazarus Lane, was created in 1970 by Robert Kanigher and Gray Morrow, in the 2nd issue of All-Star Western. Jones only created the second protagonist in the title role, Rafael Sandoval, in 1989, in a solo series that actually bore the codename as title. Another product that'll probably gather dust on the warehouse shelves for a long time before being reprinted. Sure, it may be possible to separate art from artist in a comic book more easily than to part actors in a live action movie/TV program from it, but now, we have a situation where some people are likely to be discouraged from reading Jones's past work for understandable reasons, and I'm utterly disgusted at Jones for lowering himself to stupefying depths of inhumanity. I was afraid/knew/predicted something like this awful case would turn up, and tragically, it did.

Update: something else about Jones that isn't too surprising: he's a Democrat, and on his own site, he wrote post-elections:
This year has been so heated and bizarre that it’s hard even to talk about this, but when I look back four years I remember a lot of fairly reasonable people calling one centrist, pro-Wall Street technocrat a radical leftist or the other centrist, pro-Wall Street technocrat a radical rightist. And I can see the lenses in action this year. I know sensible Republicans who were appalled by Trump in the primaries but were actively supporting him in the end because they saw Hillary as a threat to everything that makes America what it is. From my side, I can’t conceive how anyone could possibly see a cautious, centrist wonk like Clinton as a threat to everything that makes America what it is (or at least any more of a threat than any Republican or Democratic candidate of the past forty years). But they had no doubt. On the other hand, they don’t understand how I can see Trump as a racist, fascist threat to everything that makes America what it is, where they see just an impulsive jerk who attracted some wing-nut supporters but is basically a pragmatist who will at least preserve most of those things that make America etc. Leaving aside any argument about who’s closer to the truth, there's a split in perceptions here that’s clearly in place long before we know what candidates we’ll be dealing with.
Sigh. In light of the discoveries Jones may have committed child molestation, he has really presented an utter head-shaker there. Man, is he one sickening hypocrite. Why do I get the feeling he's not even sorry he lost the gig on GL in 1993? As of this writing, his Twitter account appears to be cancelled, but I may have seen him spouting more liberal propaganda there too in past years. Well now he can blabber in prison for the duration and not litter up the comics landscape ever again.

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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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