Saturday, February 28, 2015 

Busiek retweets misinfo from Norway

Here's a screencap of a retweet Busiek did, of a story from Norway:
I'm afraid he bought into a dreadful media hoax - only 20 Muslims actually came:
According to a local eyewitness, only about 20 or so Muslims formed the “ring of peace” around the Oslo synagogue. In fact, pictures from multiple angles show that there wasn’t enough people to form a ring, so the locals instead formed a horizontal line in front of the synagogue.
Worse still is that one of the organizers made anti-Jewish and even anti-gay statements:
Chishti was one of a number of people from the Muslim community to organise the event, but has been known in the past to make anti-Semitic statements.

In 2009, he was booed off stage at Oslo's Litteraturhuset after giving a speech entitled Why I Hate Jews And Gays - although he insists he did not come up with the title.

"There were several thousand Jews away from work in the World Trade Center, and why were there more Jews in Mumbai when Pakistani terrorists attacked than usual?" he said, alluding to conspiracy theories that the Jewish community knew about the 2001 attack in New York in advance.

"Jews are a small group, but everyone knows that they have a lot of power."

Chishti admitted he previously held these views, but assured he now considers them "embarrassing".

"I have reflected a fair amount about the state of things since then," he told Norway's VG newspaper. "I was very angry at that time. Since that meeting, I've had many discussions about Islam, and I've developed a more nuanced picture of everything."

However, he did not refute his previous public condemnations of Israel.
And Busiek thinks this was something worth mention? By contrast, I can't say I've seen him retweeting about the Jerusalem mayor's heroic act in capturing a jihadist. What makes the misinformation from Norway worth noting, but not the heroism of Jerusalem's mayor? For a man who's written the adventures of superheroes, Busiek doesn't seem to have the same faith in real life figures.

On the other hand, here's something Busiek posted himself:

I'm betting this won't sit well with Dan Slott and Ron Marz when they see Busiek saying what may conflict with their visions of diversity, even if they don't tell him directly. Incidentally, is Busiek aware that the cartoonist the awards are named for was critical of Muslim anti-semitism when he published his last graphic novel, The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? It's worth wondering why he values an award named after a guy whose politics did differ from Busiek's.

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John Romita Sr. reflects on the decision to off Gwen Stacy

CBR interviewed John Romita Sr. about his past career, right down the credit he takes for influencing the decision to make Gwen Stacy a sacrifice. One of his arguments here is odd:
I would be remiss if I didn't bring up one of the biggest events in the history of Marvel Comics, which you were involved with, the Death of Gwen Stacy.

Yes, I'm the murderer. [Laughs]

The reason I take the credit for it was we were told to kill Aunt May. Gerry Conway and I got together for our plot session -- we used to get together at his apartment -- and he said, how are we going to kill Aunt May? I said, if you kill Aunt May, you're not going to do a damn bit of good to the strip. It'll lose one of Peter Parker's hangups. He won't have to worry about Aunt May anymore. He won't be treated like a child anymore. If we want to make any kind of stir in the monthly line, we have to kill somebody important. That means we need to kill Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy.

The reason I told we should kill Gwen Stacy was Mary Jane was an airheaded comedy character at the time. She was there to jazz the place up. She was not his girlfriend. His girlfriend was Gwen Stacy. I said, I learned from Milton Caniff. Milton Caniff every three or four years killed an important character. I remember as a young boy hearing adults saying that did you see that Raven Sherman has been killed in "Terry and the Pirates?" I said to myself, oh my god, grownups are talking about "Terry and the Pirates?" They worried about Raven Sherman. Raven Sherman was Pat Ryan's girlfriend in "Terry and the Pirates." I was an avid reader of "Terry and the Pirates." It hurt me, but I didn't expect it to hurt grownups. That stayed with me. I told Gerry Conway that story and I said, if you want to kill somebody, kill somebody important or leave it alone. He said it was a good idea. He was all for it because I convinced him, that would get attention. I submit that after forty years, I think it's still getting attention. [Laughs] I think I was right.
More importantly, if they had to kill a character, do it with rationale, and don't make it sensationalistic. But what's this about Peter not being treated like a child any longer? Strange, and I thought it was all about growing up! That's certainly what came to be in the 80s, and then in the 90s, they began the grueling process of backtracking.

He's not entirely right about Mary Jane being a comedic character up to that point: at the time Harry Osborn became addicted to drugs in 1971, she was becoming alienated from him. Then, Romita goes to say the following of Stan Lee's whereabouts:
Very definitely. But one reason is because she wasn't brought back, which isn't true of many characters who are killed off.

Stan was out of the country when we did that. He accused us of doing it behind his back and he wanted us to bring her back. Roy Thomas and I and everybody else in the company said, "We can't do that. It would be an embarrassing silliness to bring her back." We talked him into it, but he was very upset. After that, they used to kill people off routinely and it was never the same effect the second and third and fourth time.
Here, he relays a different story than what Conway gave. I thought Lee was still in the area when the decision was made, and he gave his okay, close or from a distance. It was after he met with a negative reception at a college convention that he regretted the story. But Romita is right about what came later: the following decade, you had an increasing number of characters both major and minor being killed off, initially with respect, and then throughly without, and fates worse than death became a serious embarrassment.

Not mentioned is the compromise reached, conceiving a clone for Gwen by the professor Miles Warren, revealed as the Jackal in 1975. That must be how they managed to calm negative reactions.

It's rarely mentioned, but Gwen's death had a precedent: Lady Dorma's death in Sub-Mariner #37 from May 1971, on their wedding day, at the hands of an evil queen named Llyra, who wanted Namor for herself. It may have been in a 3rd tier's book, but that doesn't mean it's not important. Towards the end, Romita says:
You killed her, but she's immortal.

I take great pride in that. When people say, "Did you really want to kill Gwen Stacy?" I say, "She was one of my favorite characters." She was a Ditko character, remember. I created Mary Jane but Gwen Stacy was my favorite character and I did that knowing that that's how I could get people's attention.
What's maddening is that Joe Quesada and J. Michael Straczynski did their Sins Past retcon knowing that's how they could get people's attention, for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes it's better not to go to extremes for the sake of getting people to notice, because that suggests they're only worried about sales dropping, and that wasn't exactly happening back then.

Romita says Gwen was one of his favorite characters. But does killing her off prove it? It's probably yes and no. If he did with respect, without resorting to the kind of shock tactics prevalent today, then yes, that could ensure he did appreciate her as a character. But at the same time, one could argue it doesn't make sense to say a specific character is a favorite and then kill them off. There are other choices, and killing a character isn't the only option if they think current characterization isn't satisfying.

I can respect their choice with Gwen based on how they did it in good taste without resorting to vile shock tactics. But it's regrettable how it ultimately led to some of the worst steps ever seen in superhero comics by the 1990s, and a shame - but not very surprising - CBR wouldn't even ask what Romita thought of later imitations.

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Friday, February 27, 2015 

New52 Catwoman becomes bisexual

The writer of the latest solo book for Catwoman is turning her bisexual:
One of comics’ strong female leads has come out as bisexual.

In Catwoman #39, out this week, the titular character kisses another woman, and in a blog post on her personal website, writer Genevieve Valentine shares the beats she wanted to cover, including “establishing Selina (Kyle) as a canon bisexual.” In her view, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s followed the character.
Or maybe it should be? I don't think they ever tried suggesting that until Frank Miller's Batman: Year One story from around 1987, and just because Selina Kyle's been portrayed as a crook with honor doesn't mean they should exploit an established character for this PC hogwash, any more than Alan Scott's already been misused, or how the Batwoman role's been filled by a lesbian.

By the way, is their use of "strong female leads" supposed to imply being strong makes her perfect for this PC direction? If that's what they're saying, it's ridiculous.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 

A female Thor is the result of progressive hand-wringing

Over a week ago, Breitbart's London section wrote about Marvel's replacing Thor with a woman for the sake of progressivism:
Thor a woman? It’s hard to believe the most macho, overtly masculine character in the comic canon could possibly be reimagined as a broad. But that’s almost certainly precisely the reason Thor was chosen: as a screw-you to so-called nerdbros from the achingly progressive staff of today’s comic book establishment.
I'd say it's also an insult from the lefty staff to the female audience, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are some out there who find the idea of a woman sporting an ultra-masculine name side-splittingly hilarious.
Captain America, too, is changing: he’s becoming black. Changes like this are designed to provoke readers, and they do–not because readers are racist or sexist, but because they understand that certain characteristics are intrinsic to certain characters. James Bond and Captain America are obviously white. It is a part of their personalities. Thor is obviously a man; to suggest otherwise is daft.
Bingo. But the only other reaction readers should give is to stop buying the books, and their new Secret Wars designed to lead to a reboot is reason enough to quit buying and concentrate on older material instead, and newer material from different publishers that isn't intended for desperate controversy.
What sticks in the craw of the fans I’ve spoken to about female Thor is how utterly transparent the political posturing is behind the change. No one likes their thunder stolen but there is simply no good literary justification for making Thor a woman, they say–and the results have been execrable. You can write intelligent satire about masculinity without making a classic masculine icon into a girl, an observation that seems to have escaped Marvel’s writers.
That's not all they failed to consider. There's also What If #10 from August 1978 where Jane Foster was already cast as a female Thor (or Thordis), and an alternate reality anthology tale is all we needed. If they really have to emphasize a woman from Asgard, Lady Sif and Valkyrie could've filled the role perfectly without being shoehorned squarely into the role of a male protagonist with one of most masculine names around.
Men don’t seem to care about gender-swapping great female characters, which rather gives away the game about the sort of agenda driving these awful decisions. Why is there a demand for female versions of male superheroes, but no demand the other way? I mean, have you ever heard of calls for a male Lara Croft? It makes very little sense, until you learn that comic books, fantasy and sci-fi were taken over years ago by ultra-progressive misandrists who basically hate their own core audiences.

Does that sound familiar? It should: the recent GamerGate controversy in video games happened because ordinary gamers, unlike comic book readers or fans of fantasy and sci-fi, stood up to the authoritarian moral panic brigade in the press and their feminist agitator icons and said: no. We don’t recognise the world you’re sketching out, and we don’t want your bizarre and outlandish politics to pollute our hobby.
Marvel and DC addicts who keep buying out of habit - some just for alleged monetary value - would do well to take notice of the better example set by video game players and realize just how poor an example they've set by contrast. Reading this makes me think again how shameful it is that comics readers aren't borrowing a page from gaming counterparts and proving they have the ability to perform a consumer revolt and demand serious repair jobs for desecrated universes. No matter how small the comics readership is today, that doesn't mean they can't find ways to make a difference a la the Gamergate consumers. The time will have to come, sooner or later, for addicts and speculators, first and foremost, to decide where they stand and if they can continue to give the Big Two's staff a shovel to bury the pastime they allegedly love under tons of misery.

A good point is made how DC and Marvel's staffs have dedicated themselves to insulting the audience under the confidence it won't abandon them in spite of that. It's something that may date back as early as the Armageddon crossover by DC in 1991, but really started coming to a head with Emerald Twilight a few years later. In fact, I faintly recall reading a guy on an old message board 15 years ago, in the earlier stages of the internet, who said he'd met Kevin Dooley at a convention, and Dooley made it clear that his interests were not character growth in Green Lantern. Rather, it was "shaking up" the series. So it's clear where they were really headed, on a road to nowhere. That callous attitude still continues to this day, as mainstream writers and editors ignore all challenging dissent, under the confidence nobody will ever ask them any hard questions.

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If Bendis wrote these other Marvel books, it'd be an embarrassment

IGN's upholding Bendis as a "great" writer, when truly, he's not, and has written a list of 5 Marvel books/characters whom they think he should write next. But if he did, he'd only dumb them down, as he has with Avengers and X-Men. They dishonestly tell everybody:
The question is, what's next for Bendis? We know he recently signed another exclusive contract with Marvel, but after penning lengthy, influential runs on the Avengers and X-Men franchises, helping birth the Ultimate Universe, and reinventing characters like Daredevil and Luke Cage, where do you go next?
He should just drop the contract and just go back to his not-very-interesting creator owned books. Were his runs long? Yes. But influential? No, they were not. They were pretty unimaginative, turning the Avengers into something less elaborate, yet IGN blatantly obscures all that. And after recommending Bendis write Peter Parker, they say:
Sure, Dan Slott has been doing great work on the Spidey franchise for years now. But what is there left for Slott to accomplish after the heights of Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Verse? It's time for a little fresh blood in this franchise and a new sets of challenges for Peter Parker to wrestle with.
There was never anything great about Slott's work, and nothing was accomplished except turning Doc Ock into Spidey. And no mention of Mary Jane Watson in the article either, I see. That's long been off the table for many of the comics journalists, who never had any serious objections to One More Day. Otherwise, they would've urged everybody to boycott Spidey until that part's set right, and better editors/publishers were hired too. And, they'd be willing to admit the post-OMD scene's been awful.

Bendis was also interviewed this week by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose article begins by telling:
Comic book writer and Cleveland native Brian Michael Bendis remembers a time when Marvel wasn't atop the pop-culture universe.
And even today, with all the big movies, they still aren't on top of the pop world. Save for some premiere issues and other stunt-related books, their sales are very bad, and still were after he came aboard.
"When Marvel hired me, they had actually just declared bankruptcy," recalls Bendis. "They had sold the movie rights of Spider-Man to Sony and sold X-Men to Fox to pay the bills."

"When I first visited the company, there were filing cabinets in the office with Post-it notes saying 'Sold.' I thought I was writing the last Marvel comic book."

Fortunately for Bendis, he became a big part of the solution. Bendis and other new Marvel creators like Joe Quesada, David W. Mack and Garth Ennis injected new life into some of Marvel's biggest franchises.

Bendis was given the keys to Spider-Man, Daredevil and, later, The Avengers, helping lay the foundation for the boom that was to come. Marvel began producing its own films beginning with 2008's "Iron Man" and signed a deal with The Walt Disney Company a year later. Sales of comic books skyrocketed.
And gradually sank down to dismal levels. His books too. By the end of the last decade, they were even worse off than the previous one, and that hasn't changed with the rising prices. Bendis was not part of a solution, only a short-term one for boosting sales temporarily, which he did by wrecking some of Marvel's best cast of characters like Scarlet Witch. I'd say Daredevil also suffered thanks to his joke of writing.

And what life did Ennis inject into the MAX titles he wrote like the Punisher's? None. He only exploited it for more left-wing biases than he'd ever used before. Again, sales did not go up the way they claim, and their failure to note any figures just compounds their cowardice. The interview later says:
You also recently signed a new contract with Marvel.

Usually I don't make a big parade when I re-sign a contract. It's kind of no one's business really. In this instance, I'm at a crossroads where Jessica Jones is going to debut later this year and Powers is going to debut next month. When I announce I'm leaving the X-Men franchise or this or that, it becomes, "Oh he's leaving." I'm not leaving Marvel and I'm not leaving comics. It's very important to me almost on a religious level to let people know that I'm not leaving comics. Comics was always the goal. Comics was the thing I loved the most. I wanted people to know where my head was at.
It's very sad he won't leave. He may love comics but he does not love superheroes. So he's not telling where his mind's at.
Marvel is getting ready to publish its new "Secret Wars" comic book series in May. It seems like it's going to be a superhero free-for-all.

Anything could happen and almost anything is happening. It's like a one-time deal where you can go bananas. I can say that we're taking full advantage of the freedom of the series.
What a joke. They only have "creative freedom" because people like him are part of the establishment and interior culture that declares many better folks unwelcome at their doorstep.
The idea of Spider-Man joining The Avengers goes back to when you created "The New Avengers."

It's funny because when I got The Avengers, my biggest contribution right away was that we took Spider-Man and Wolverine and put them on the team. The idea was why isn't The Avengers a big bag of the coolest stuff ever? Wolverine is in X-Men. Why can't he be an Avenger? That was very controversial among the fans at the time. People were screaming and yelling, saying Spider-Man is a loner. Then I sat back and enjoyed how much people wanted him on The Avengers after the movies came out. It's the same people screaming at me 10 years ago. That felt good, like we made our point.
The only point they made - a very poor one at that - was that flagship heroes are a draw, not talented writing, which he decidedly lacks. I don't buy what he's telling about receptions after the movie debuts either. A guest role is fine, but shoving Spidey and Wolvie so obviously into the Avengers is contrived and forced, particularly the way they preceded it with turning Scarlet Witch into a madwoman. At the end, talking about a visit he'll be making to a conference:
What's your speech going to be about?

It's mostly me reading a list of people who did me wrong in college. No. I spend a great deal of my time in education and I have a book out called "Words for Pictures" that really focuses on what I'll be talking about. It's going to be about the realities of what's coming next. You think when you graduate it's going to be a no-brainer and you're going to pop into your dream job. Then it starts to seem impossible and you don't know what you're going to do next. I'm going to talk about the positive things that come when you stick with your dreams.
Those dreams were more like negatives. And what about all the people he's wronged in his modern career? Those don't even matter to him.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

Fishy comments by Ethan VanSciver

I'd heard that artist VanSciver was a conservative. But last month, he tweeted a few posts involving the Charlie Hebdo massacre that make me uncertain that's really his stance. First, here's the positive posts and a screencap of a retweet:

So far, so good. He's expressing solidarity. But, here's where it becomes less certain:

First off, it's not good there's a hashtag like that turning up. In fact, it's very bad. But this honestly reeks of liberal mentality to say it was done in the name of a few, or to ignore the Koran's influence, and I don't like his inference that the writers at Charlie Hebdo's office who were murdered were "martyrs". This tragedy should not have happened, and to suggest the contributors are martyrs by being murdered is offensive to their memory. And that's not all Van Sciver's said:

He goes on to say that "innocent" Muslims are killed by Americans abroad all the time, and that's another serious detractor from his credibility as a would-be conservative. It's offensive to US army officials fighting to defeat jihadists overseas, and his retweet of some taqqiya claiming it's not about religion doesn't help matters either. What about all the Muslims killed by their own fellow Muslims? Note to Van Sciver: research the Koran before buying into taqqiya at face value.

As for the bombing at the NAACP, it turns out the culprit was targeting an accountant's office nearby in revenge for the businessman's failure to address his financial problems, and not the NAACP's office at all. But even if it was what they initially suspected, has it ever occurred to Van Sciver that what happened in Paris also stemmed at least partly from racism, along with the hatred for infidels who dare mock their "prophet"? It sounds like he was "reverting to type" pretty fast there.

This info makes it a lot less certain Van Sciver's really a conservative. If anything, he might be an alleged libertarian like Ron Paul. Thanks to this dismaying info, Van Sciver is adding himself to a growing list of artists and writers who, if their work is worth something, will have to be taken with a grain of salt.

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Monday, February 23, 2015 

Slott goes the race card route justifying a change in Peter Parker's race

Slott's turning haphazard in his attempts to play company spokesperson for Marvel. Here's a pretty long list of tweets he's written:

Slott's dislike for himself sometimes scares me too. In this case, we're not talking so much about Spidey as we are about Peter Parker, who suffered some of the worst abuse by a writer under Slott's penning.

Like we ever asked it be. And sometimes it's not the world outside our window. Besides, what is so inherently "realistic" about a world where a guy gets powers from a radioactive spider bite instead of dying from poisoning? And yet, if it is the world outside, why does he uphold a direction taken after Peter makes a faustian pact to dissolve his marriage to a woman who got badly mistreated too, even under J. Michael Straczynski?

In that case, it doesn't have to be Slott speaking.

We can ask the same question about why can't Spidey be married. As for different races playing Spidey in the MCU, that would've been fine if they kept the concept in its own world - the Ultimate line - but now, it's all being grafted together, and if the whole idea is to emphasize "diversity" alone, that's where they fumble.

In that case, Slott is a product of his time too!

So that means he's not a fan of Luke Cage? Guess he's not a fan of Shang Chi or Colleen Wing either. But then Slott says:

And why? Because of the mask Peter wears? Sorry, false argument. Remember: Black Panther wears a whole bodysuit mask too, and the same argument could be made about him. Slott's doing little more than emphasizing the whole "care about the costume, not the character" argument. And didn't he hint just a tweet ago he's okay with changing Power Man's race? As usual, Slott doesn't think things through.

And if he's so concerned about Spidey's race changing, does he also feel the same way about DC's major stars like Superman? I guess he does, and for him, Black Lightning and Vixen are not enough; it can only be the established characters whose roles qualify. As some may recall, DC did pull some of these diversity stunts a decade back post-Identity Crisis, using at least 3 established 3rd tier roles like Atom, Blue Beetle and Firestorm. At the time, it was surely because they knew changing the race/gender/orientation of the characters would not prove successful with the audience, so they foisted it on minor heroes instead, but only proved what cowards they really are. More recently, they pulled the same stunt with Golden Age heroes like Green Lantern Alan Scott, and that's been no success either. Not even with minority groups.

If icons really do belong to everybody, then white protagonists belong as much to blacks, Asians and Latinos as they do to white people. So what's his point?

Tsk tsk tsk, he's pulling out race cards again. Nobody said superheroes of different races aren't welcome, but they'd work better in roles created specially for them, not by shoehorning them into the role of an already established protagonist. And for somebody who's so concerned about the issues, he sure doesn't seem particularly concerned how the industry's idea of race, gender and orientation is often limited to just American folks of different race. African-Americans, but no Ivory Coasters, Asian-Americans, but no Mongolians, Latino-Americans. but no Chileans. There have been some foreign minorities in the past (Sunfire and Sunspot), yet these characters have been marginalized as time went by, and too few attempts to try more serious efforts have been made, if at all.

Translation: if editorial wants to go full change-of-race, he'll back them full force.

Translation: Robbie Robertson and Glory Grant were never enough, because they're co-stars, not costumed superheroes. It can only be costumed crimefighters who qualify for his vision, and not supporting casts.

And in some ways, they haven't. Poor storytelling like Slott's still reigns supreme, and won't be changing in the forseeable future.

So now he's using excuses like eye color in a movie world to justify what they're doing back in the four color world. I hereby conclude - movies truly have had a bad effect on comics.

Raising that old race card again, I see. Some friendly advice - quit acting like everybody who disagrees is just a racist. If Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were alive and disapproved of changing Superman's skin color, I don't think he'd be so quick to call them that.

His "character" didn't even exist under Slott. He was "out-of-character".

So he's saying a non-white child can't possibly appreciate a white hero? I guess that's what he can't admit to. Interesting how he implies children only play with toys and don't read the comics. Does that mean nobody should read any of the archives?

No, he's just justifying the company's steps to the bitter end, all without admitting story quality matters. Changing a character's racial background doesn't guarantee good storytelling will follow. In fact, here's an example of a TV remake that certainly didn't work out: 10 years ago, Ving Rhames starred in a remake of Kojak, but unlike Telly Savalas, there was little else Greek-American about the new rendition, save for the character name. What's the point of giving the new actor the same character name if they can't try much further? A better idea would be create a new role with a family name commonly used in south Africa, and build a background emphasizing this. But nowadays nobody's creative enough to think of that, so they veer for the cheap instead of the challenging.

In that case, we're past the point where comics have to look exactly like the movies! We're also past the point where Slott's lecturing generates any interest, and is frankly boring.

So says the man who characterized Peter very poorly.

Yes, keep citing movies as your justification, please. Again, I thought it was all the other way around.

And if he were created as a white guy from a white country, that wouldn't define his character?

He could've been created white too, Mr. Slott. And let's say he was of Finnish descent. It wouldn't be key to who he is?

Then kindly look in the mirror and see the qualities of your own argument, Mr. Slott. You're the one who had Peter replaced with Dr. Octopus. Say, if Peter were black, would Slott be so eager to depict even a mind-swapped Spidey taking advantage of Mary Jane?

He's shrieking into the wind now.

Poor fellow, he forgets that bodysuit that can refute his claim so long as he keeps this up.

No, fair IS. There's more blacks and Asians out there if he'd just look at all the recurring co-stars in various books. But to Slott, they're all worthless, because character focus was never his concern. Even Jim Rhodes, co-star in Iron Man, doesn't matter to him.

Oh, I see, now he tells us! But then why was he wasting all that time lecturing why Spidey's race needs to be changed? He's just reaching for the excuse folder again.

And Slott's already buried his other career opportunities by being such a crude troll. He's just one of many hack writers today who go out of their way to demonize potential customers just as much as older ones.

That's what Slott's doing. A man who doesn't think Armenian history matters. And who hasn't exactly been standing up for blacks either. He never seems to care about the blacks who've suffered at the hands of Boko Haram in Africa, and he'd probably never approve a fictional comics story based on those real life issues.

If they even survive financially, which is looking less likely every year. Poor storytelling only ensures their eventual downfall.

There's also this tweet about other movies:

What, he's not happy American Sniper paid tribute to the Punisher?!? A telling clue he's no fan of Marvel, just their paychecks.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015 

The history of Dell's Disney comics

Arkansas Online reviews a book by Michael Barrier called Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, about the history of Dell's Disney comics, and how artists like Walt Kelly and Carl Barks deserve far more credit than they get for their contributions. And, surely the most valuable question Barrier asks is:
Are these comics from 60 and 70 years ago still worth reading? Made to be thrown away, were they really that good?

Five years of research and countless comic books later, he is ready to report. In a word, "yeah," good comics -- sometimes great comics.

The best, he says, "are worth reading by my 70-year-old self as much as when I was a teenager and younger."
Of course they're great stuff, worth our children's reading both for the humor and the history of what kind of jokes everybody liked years before. It's the same with a lot of superhero and fantasy comics that are well worth reading for learning what kind of ideas everybody found thrilling in adventure fare decades before, and to get a taste of decent adventure, far more convincing than what we've seen since the turn of the century.

And that's why reading older creations is important.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015 

There need to be distinctions made with certain comics

The UK Guardian wrote about why most heroes should be celebrated and not trashed. But their article is one that doesn't make distinctions on a few items from Europe itself. For example:
Earlier this month, the 110th anniversary of Pinchon’s Bécassine was celebrated in France with a Google doodle. In France and Belgium, comics have long been celebrated as the “ninth art”, not only in readers’ minds but by academia. Across Europe, they are treated with similar respect, not relegated to specialist shops or hidden beneath the cape of the superhero, as they are in Britain. From the Adventures of Tintin to the arrival of the Moomins and the Smurfs, not to mention Dennis the Menace, Dan Dare, and Roy of the Rovers, comics have long been part of daily life for millions.
Yes, but the Smurfs is not one of the best examples you can cite from Europe, what with its appalling traces of Marxism in the tales. Even Tintin isn't a great recommendation because it had some fishy traces of defeatism mixed in.
While the UK’s comic creators didn’t cause the same shock to the national system, the comix movement nurtured, encouraged and inspired a new generation who would go on to imagine Judge Dredd and Tank Girl, as well as fuelling the “British invasion” of US comics. Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman are the headliners, but there are many less well-known but no less talented artists, such as Peter Milligan, Brian Bolland, and Brendan McCarthy.
The reason the latter 3 may not be as well known could be that they're artists (like Bolland), and don't exactly perform the same shock value stunts Morrison does. Or, in Milligan's case, it's probably because he never had the time to brew as much controversy as Morrison did with New X-Men and his creator-owned series. X-Force, which Milligan took over in 2001, was cancelled about a year or two afterwards, and clearly never made any significant headlines.

And what's the use of citing Judge Dredd as an example? The whole setup was little more than an excuse to depict the USA as a totalitarian regime in the future. If papers like the Guardian can't admit this is problematic, or make clear distinctions, they have no business making this argument.

The following is a bit more interesting though:
Since the dark 1980s of superhero-hate and the neon 1990s, when ginormous breasts featured on every cover, the new century has seen a groundswell of interest. Comic conventions frequently boast more small-press and self-published creators than those with ties to the larger comic publishers. The audience is at least 50% female, with many people bringing along their children.
Well, now we know what's really driving some of the modern conventions, and it's not the big two. It's the smaller creations owned by their authors and not by corporations. And those are what deserve everyone's attention now, unlike the big two, which cannot be supported for as long as they continue to misuse their properties.

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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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