Friday, February 24, 2017 

3 political tweets by Brian Bendis

Yes, even Bendis is as leftist as the Marzs, Busieks, Waids and Slotts out there, and I just noticed some tweets he posted over the past week that'll have to be commented on. For example:

I'm sorry to say, but he's taking this all out of context, as even the reporter, whom he doesn't even describe clearly, was dismayed that his rather awkward questioning for Donald Trump was distorted by all the usual suspects on the left. Jake Turx, the reporter in question, came to Trump's defense afterwards, and said:
On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Jake Turx, White House Correspondent for Jewish news magazine Ami Magazine, who got into a tense exchange with President Trump at his press conference earlier in the day over an increase anti-Semitic incidents, stated that “we understand why this is so hurtful for him, to see himself being called an anti-Semite,” and that charges of anti-Semitism against Trump are “very unfair,” “And I am with him when it comes to being outraged about him being charged with this anti-Semitism.”

Turx said that he had a prior “relationship” with Trump through covering him as a correspondent.
Even Mediaite, a leftist-owned site, confirmed Turx is siding with Trump and doesn't think he intended any wrongdoing. Which must dismay Bendis a lot now, I'm betting.

Does that include Avengers: Disassembled, with all its mistreatment of Scarlet Witch, and his X-Men work, which was pretty condescending to the female cast too?

Oh, insulting Sweden, is he? He can't even be bothered to connect the dots, and ignores that  over a month ago, there was a form of attack in the guise of fireworks during New Year's Eve in Malmo. That's pretty much what Trump was talking about. The country's also experienced rape gangs. And this past week, riots broke out again. Yet Bendis has the gall to belittle the subject, which is shameful. Whatever anybody in Sweden thinks of these horrors, he's done a terrible disfavor to all who've been affected.

Bendis already proved himself left-wing enough when he took part in writing the first Civil War crossover in 2006. He hasn't changed a bit, and one can only wonder if he's got any plans to attack Trump in his own books for as long as he'll remain at Marvel.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Newsweek believes America needs a Muslim superheroine

Newsweek just published this laughable piece arguing that the USA needs the Muslim Ms. Marvel as a "hero", claiming she's "best equipped" for the job:
During the first few weeks of the Trump administration, we’ve seen increased pressure on Muslim and immigrant communities in the United States.

In the face of these threats, which Marvel superhero might be best equipped to defend the people, ideals and institutions under attack? Some comic fans and critics are pointing to Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel.
Some very left-wing "fans/critics" are pointing to a character created more as a political statement than a true entertainment vehicle, and when the moonbats who came up with the idea to characterize her as such whitewash the entire Religion of Peace, and call all dissenters liars, is it any wonder the book doesn't hold up?
Khan, the brainchild of comic writer G. Willow Wilson and editor Sana Amanat, is a revamp of the classic Ms. Marvel character (originally named Carol Danvers and created in 1968). First introduced in early 2014, Khan is a Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager who fights crime in Jersey City and occasionally teams up with the Avengers.

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, fans have created images of Khan tearing up a photo of the president, punching him (evoking a famous 1941 cover of Captain America punching Hitler) and grieving in her room. But the new Ms. Marvel’s significance extends beyond symbolism.
Wow...what kind of "fans" are these exactly? They're actually hurting the character they supposedly root for more than helping. It's not just Trump they're being "tolerant" of. Some way to respect at least half the nation too.
In Kamala Khan, Wilson and Amanat have created a superhero whose patriotism and contributions to Jersey City emerge because of her Muslim heritage, not despite it. She challenges the assumptions many Americans have about Muslims and is a radical departure from how the media tend to depict Muslim-Americans. She shows how Muslim-Americans and immigrants are not forces that threaten communities – as some would argue – but are people who can strengthen and preserve them.
Reading this part made me fall to the floor laughing. By their definition, even Daily KOS and the New York Times, some of the most Islamophilic news sources around, would be depicting Islamists in a negative light. This comes from the European division of Newsweek, but even so, I doubt the writer of this silly propaganda believes a word she's saying. And if she won't quote or acknowledge a single verse in the Koran/Hadith, then I just don't see what her point is. Then, as if more proof were needed the series is already politicized, it's noted that:
...Khan cites her family’s safety and her desire to lead a normal life, while also fearing that “the NSA will wiretap our mosque or something.”
What that's de-facto saying is, it's wrong to keep surveillance on any mosque in real life. And if the character's safety matters, what about that of many other US residents?
The comics paint an accurate portrait of Jersey City. Her brother Aamir is a committed Salafi (a conservative and sometimes controversial branch of Sunni Islam) and member of his university’s Muslim Student Association. Her best friend and occasional love interest, Bruno, works at a corner store and comes from Italian roots. The city’s diversity helps Kamala as she learns to be a more effective superhero. But it also rescues her from being a stand-in for all Muslim-American or Jersey City experiences.
An accurate portrayal? No doubt. They certainly don't paint a respectable one, if they even go so far as to attack Bernie Sanders, confirming the writers don't even like their fellow Democrats. And they're whitewashing Salafism, predictably. Just how is Salafism only sometimes controversial?
As one of 3.3 million Muslim-Americans, Khan flips the script on what Moustafa Bayoumi, author of “This Muslim American Life,” calls a “war on terror culture” that sees Muslim-Americans “not as complex human being[s] but only as purveyor[s] of possible future violence.”

Bayoumi’s book echoes other studies that detail the heightened suspicion and racial profiling Muslim-Americans have faced since 9/11, whether it’s in the workplace or interactions with the police. Each time there’s been a high-profile terrorist attack, these experiences, coupled with hate crimes and speech, intensify. Political rhetoric – like Donald Trump’s proposal to have a Muslim registry or his lie that thousands of Muslims cheered from Jersey City rooftops after the Twin Towers fell – only fans the flames.
It's getting pretty obvious at this point this is more an attack on Trump than a sincere argument. What they're doing here is little more than confusing race and religion/ideology. And look how she refuses to acknowledge Trump did have evidence to back up his accusations there were Muslims celebrating: some NJ police witnessed local Islamists doing so, and here's more information that tells even Dan Rather found proof there were Islamists out there who celebrated the acts of evil on 9-11. The writer goes on to give a description of one of the stories in the Marvel series: one of Ms. Marvel’s most powerful narrative arcs, a planet attacks New York, leading to destruction eerily reminiscent of 9/11. Kamala works to protect Jersey City while realizing that her world has changed – and will change – irrevocably.
Gee, a whole planet? And it's probably not even Ego, the living planet seen in the Fantastic Four back in the early 1980s. But what if is a metaphor for right-wingers, and built on Trutherism? If so, it'll only further compound any concerns the book is more a political rant than anything else.
Kamala Khan is precisely the hero America needs today, but not because of a bat sign in the sky or any single definitive image. She is, above all, committed to the idea that every member of her faith, her generation, and her city has value and that their lives should be respected and protected. She demonstrates that the most heroic action is to face even the most despair-inducing challenges of the world head on while standing up for – and empowering – every vulnerable neighbor, classmate or stranger. She shows us how diverse representation can transform into action and organization that connect whole communities “by something you can’t break.”
Except they did break it. They broke the entertainment value of Marvel, and turned it all into a political rant, much like this article. Say, if they really think a character who adheres to Islam is the "hero" America needs today, how come they don't think the same about say, Joe Mannix, who's Armenian? Or if a Canadian resident counts, how about Alpha Flight's Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, who's got Polish ancestry? This whole article is nothing more than a selfish bit of twaddle by somebody who's simply not being altruistic, and doesn't consider that comics like these are among the reasons why Trump got elected.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

The time when Gerard Jones defended violent entertainment in Mother Jones

Over 15 years ago, before the now disgraced comics writer/historian Gerard Jones was arrested on charges of uploading child pornography to the web and suspicion of assault, he wrote an op-ed in Mother Jones where he defended violent entertainment as good for children, which does not work well coming from him after what he was caught doing recently:
Then the Incredible Hulk smashed through it.

One of my mother's students convinced her that Marvel Comics, despite their apparent juvenility and violence, were in fact devoted to lofty messages of pacifism and tolerance. My mother borrowed some, thinking they'd be good for me. And so they were. But not because they preached lofty messages of benevolence. They were good for me because they were juvenile. And violent.
Awfully rich coming from somebody who turned out to have a very juvenile view of children in real life, and what he may have done to at least one in Britain. Never mind that as things stand now, he's run the gauntlet of giving Hulk comics a bad name, what's disturbing is that Jones seems to think juvenility and violence are literally positive ideas. And while Bruce Banner as the Hulk ultimately did do more good than harm when he fought all those larger than life supervillains, some people could probably wonder if Jones was influenced in all the wrong ways by what he read. After all, on the surface, the Hulk was construed by the army/government/press in the MCU as a crook only interested in committing vandalism on large scales, and didn't have exactly the same reputation as Spider-Man, who was able to rise above J. Jonah Jameson's smear tactics more easily. It's unfortunate if Jones misread any of these books and their messages, but that's the takeaway you could inevitably get when you view this in light of the recent discoveries. Which is a shame, because I do consider even the Hulk to be a Marvel production with value, and now, he's led to a situation where anybody who's read the recent news could think they influenced him in all the wrong ways. He went on to quote a psychologist who also defended violent showbiz:
"Fear, greed, power-hunger, rage: these are aspects of our selves that we try not to experience in our lives but often want, even need, to experience vicariously through stories of others," writes Melanie Moore, Ph.D., a psychologist who works with urban teens. "Children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they've been taught to deny, and to reintegrate those feelings into a more whole, more complex, more resilient selfhood."
In light of the recent findings about Jones, one has to wonder if maybe this whole defense of violent entertainment really is the right thing to do. Do children really need violence? If anything, it shouldn't be the only thing. They should be taught to appreciate drama and comedy to boot, for example. And they should be taught that violence is wrong except if you have to defend yourself or another innocent being against violent bullies and criminals. For now, what's abundantly clear is that Jones has proven unqualified to make arguments about violent entertainment.
I'm not going to argue that violent entertainment is harmless. I think it has helped inspire some people to real-life violence. I am going to argue that it's helped hundreds of people for every one it's hurt, and that it can help far more if we learn to use it well. I am going to argue that our fear of "youth violence" isn't well-founded on reality, and that the fear can do more harm than the reality. We act as though our highest priority is to prevent our children from growing up into murderous thugs -- but modern kids are far more likely to grow up too passive, too distrustful of themselves, too easily manipulated.
By any chance, does he consider Islam to be one form of violence-inducing education that's led to violence against innocents? Recalling his leftism, I wouldn't be shocked if he doesn't have a critical opinion on the Religion of Peace, and probably never did.

And look who's talking about "inspiration": he sure was "inspired", wasn't he? As of now, he's filled me with pure disgust, and I'll never be able to look at many of the books he wrote years ago the same way again. How does he think it's helped? If he was against defeating Saddam in the early 2000s, for example, and the Viet Cong during the 60s, then I'm not sure how he believes it helped. As for youth violence, what about adult violence, as seen in what he was trafficking on his computer when he was arrested by the SFPD?
We send the message to our children in a hundred ways that their craving for imaginary gun battles and symbolic killings is wrong, or at least dangerous. Even when we don't call for censorship or forbid "Mortal Kombat," we moan to other parents within our kids' earshot about the "awful violence" in the entertainment they love. [...]
And yet nobody seemed to send Jones the message that what he was storing in his cottage industry is wrong, or tragically failed to. As I'd noted earlier, he once complained he thought turning Hal Jordan into a tyrant was a cheap plot twist and had some fallouts with the editors, but now, who knows how much of that was true? How do we know he didn't leave voluntarily and was just trying to please the standings of GL fans who felt betrayed?

It's worth noting that he states in the op-ed he'd spoken with children, which should be cause for alarm after what he was discovered doing nearly 2 months ago.

Later, in 2006, Jones was interviewed by Gamasutra about a book he wrote further defending the practice called Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Superheroes and Make-Believe Violence, with violent video games added to the focus, and at the start of the piece, he said:
I think anyone who’s a decent person but who finds himself or herself attracted to aggressive or violent imagery is a little troubled. Why do I like this? It’s not really something that we’re taught in life to examine. It just sort of sneaks up. So I think a desire to understand what’s happening inside ourselves is a big part of it. People in the games business are particularly inclined that way, being, for the most part, a gentle group in a medium where violence has become so prominent.
He's putting it very lightly, all without even looking at himself in a mirror. This article too now stands as a goldmine of irony. When the interviewer points out how comic books haven't actually become mainstream unlike the movies and other merchandise, he says:
GJ: Comics, in their early days, were pretty much ubiquitous. There was a point where almost every kid at least read them occasionally. But comics is one medium that never really hit the mainstream, which I think is the carry-over from that furor in the fifties. That’s one case where I think the alarmism really did change the direction of the field. Also, I think when T.V. showed up it pulled a lot of that kid time and attention elsewhere, and left comics as sort of a geek thing.
Did it ever occur to him another reason they didn't, and, courtesy of his evil acts, might still find it hard for a long time to come, is because they remain nailed on a now disastrous format, the monthly pamphlet? That the publishers practically withdrew into the shadows, stopped selling in bookstores and prices jumped as a result, making comics far less affordable? This, I realized, is another weakness of Jones: he's never complained about the formats and how it's sinking the medium because the publishers won't switch exclusively to trades and abandon all those horrible company wide crossovers, at least a few, IIRC, which he participated in during his time with the Big Two, and never seemed bothered about. As a result, one can rightly ask: what good did Jones ever really do for comicdom if he couldn't unambiguously point out some of the biggest elephants in the room like the pamphlet format and the crossovers? And that doesn't even begin to describe all the grave errors a lot of publishers made even today. There's also the jarring violence which he, in all his hypocrisy, sure hasn't made much of an effort to call out as terrible mistakes, if at all. Still later in the interview, he even said:
[...] This word violence is rather old, but the way we use it now to mean physical damage to someone’s body is pretty recent.
Damage he aided, abetted, and may have committed himself, tragically enough. Then, another moment of hypocrisy comes up:
GS: Do you see a larger relationship between video game violence and video game sex?

GH: Very much. There is a certain absurdity that parents make peace with Grand Theft Auto, until naked women appear in it. It has something to do with the fact that it was snuck in. In that way, it’s similar to people’s reaction when S&M is introduced in mainstream porn. Bondage gets a lot of heat. It’s okay to watch human sexuality, but when you bring power relations into the equation...

With violent games, we’re learning to accept it. Your kids’ friends have these games too. But then our threshold for violence has always been higher than for sex.
Not when he's the one giving sex a bad name, as he demonstrated for who knows how long. Sex is one thing, but rape and sodomy of minors is another, and he had the sick nerve to traffic that porn crap on his computer and disks. At the end, they even brought up a certain presidential candidate of recent:
GS: So if you had Hillary Clinton in front of you now, what would you say to her on the topic of video-game violence?

GJ: Well, I’d want to be sympathetic. I understand that she’s trying to appear morally upright, and not let the Republicans steal that. But I’d tell her to remember that so many things that we now understand to be good were once attacked at this level, and that things look differently from the outside than the inside when you’re not used to them. In my experience with kids and adults who have played video games, they’ve turned out fine. So I’d say, let’s take another look at this material as part of the upbringing of decent people.
As he confirmed some months ago, he's a Democrat and on her side, so I wouldn't be shocked if even back in 2006, he wasn't particularly interested in protesting whatever issues the woman who defended a child rapist in 1975 had to say about video game violence, which would only come across as hypocritical in light of her own reprehensible conduct as a lawyer.

These op-eds and interviews Jones gave now come across as limp in their points, and won't hold any water when one considers what a wolf in sheep's clothing he really was.

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Monday, February 20, 2017 

Political manga

The Japan News wrote about political manga stories for the "post-truth" era, hinting at how, in true form to kabuki, not all political manga books reflect reality. At the beginning, they say:
In his book “Trump: How to Get Rich,” Donald Trump writes: “I am the creator of my own comic book, and I love living in it.” With an intensely powerful personality, the current U.S. president seems far more adaptable to comic form than his former presidential rival Hillary Clinton or former President Barack Obama.
Hmm, is that a compliment to Trump? If it is, it's sure doing a lot more for Trump than what the mainstream American press are willing to. It certainly says something when a foreign paper's more favorable than local press are.
Having said so, manga that portrays real-life politicians heroically should be read with caution and taken with a pinch of salt. Manga essentially appeals strongly to emotion rather than logic and reason. The protagonists are usually illustrated handsomely, whereas the antagonists are depicted unattractively. History has proven that cartoon caricatures often tend to be used as a tool for political propaganda.
On which note, the main example given is:
In “Shippu no Hayato,” the protagonist and other young politicians such as Eisaku Sato, Masayoshi Ohira and Kaku-ei Tanaka, who all later served as prime ministers, are depicted as handsome young men, which was far from the reality. On the other hand, those working for the GHQ, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur, all have villainous looks. Hayato boldly rattles on in Hiroshima dialect, and the political and diplomatic exchanges are rough and violent, akin to gang warfare. Sure enough, this manga is far more exciting and thrilling than Saito’s epic, but it makes me rather uneasy because it is so easy to understand. How can post-WWII history be simplified to a morality tale that rewards the good and punishes the bad — with Japan on the “good” side?
The above certainly sounds like something written by somebody who sided with the Japanese fascists/imperialists, if I'm reading this correctly, which is disturbing. So the columnist's points are well taken here. In a land where kabuki's supremely surreal style is put to heavy use in more ways than one, which can result in liberties taken for all the wrong reasons, you certainly need to be wary of what specific products are like.

And if the writer's being respectable to Trump, which must have what to do with the positive meeting he and Shinzo Abe had at least a week ago, that's very flattering.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Without Mary Jane Watson, there's no "back to basics" with Spider-Man

Whether or not Marvel stops piling on with the politics in their books, they still haven't stopped marginalizing Mary Jane Watson, as this Entertainment Weekly interview about a new Spider-series suggests. The first paragraph proves even the magazine doesn't get anything:
Spider-Man has had an eventful few years. In the pages of his main comic, Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker has recently become a tech millionaire running his own company. As fun as it’s been to watch Peter become a technological powerhouse like Tony Stark, Marvel fans have been clamoring for a return to the wall-crawler’s down-on-his-luck days. [...]
Missing the boat entirely. What fans want is restoration of the Spider-marriage, yet so far, all signs point to Joe Quesada's yes-men remaining adamant about retaining the opposite, the recent Gerry Conway-scripted miniseries notwithstanding. Oh, and just what kind of "events" has Spidey gone through in over the course of a decade? Little more than reduction of his personality to that of a crude slacker, getting mind-swapped with Dr. Octopus, and all that time, Mary Jane, whenever she turned up, was shoved into situations where she was degraded and belittled. No thanks to the awful machinations of Dan Slott as the leading writer, of course. Nor did any of the company wide crossovers help matters. The interview continues with the following:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How would you define the mission statement of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man? What separates it from other Spider-Man stories/books?
CHIP ZDARSKY: The main book, Amazing Spider-Man, has kept things fresh by stretching the character and his situation. It’s still classic Spider-Man at its core, but transposed into new settings. With this book, we’re using the same Spider-Man in-continuity but shifting the spotlight back to his NYC environment and supporting cast. But even though we’re pushing to make it a more personal book, we’re still going to have big adventures with ramifications that’ll be felt in his other books. If I had, like, a true mission statement for the title though, it would be: “Have fun, have heart, have stakes.” My personal mission statement going into the book is “With great power comes something something I don’t know I’ve never had power before.”
As noted above, stories like Doc Ock mind-switching just so he can pose as Peter Parker are hardly keeping the story anything other than stale. And about ramifications? That's just the problem with modern superhero comics; they're almost entirely about so-called ramifications that only amount to tasteless substitutes for character drama.
What are your favorite Spider-Man stories? Are there any in particular you’ll be drawing inspiration from on the new series?
I’m a child of the ’80s and ’90s, so a lot of books from that time really imprinted on me. The mystery of the Hobgoblin hooked me as a kid. I also loved the stories that made you feel like Spidey was up against impossible odds. The classic scene from issue #33 of him struggling under the wreckage; his defeat of Firelord, Galactus’s herald; the introduction of Venom, which was terrifying; or when J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr. introduced Morlun, an unstoppable, single-minded villain. Even though he’s been on teams, Spidey as the loner trying desperately to survive and save everyone is key. I also love stories that remind you of why you love the character. Superior Spider-Man managed to do that superbly while not even having Spider-Man as a character, which was incredibly bold with a fantastic payoff. I think those are the things I want to push in this book: impossible odds and reminding people why they love Spider-Man.
Now there's a telling sign something's wrong, when the assigned writer starts fawning over Inferior Dr. Octopus. A story where the usually tentacled troublemaker exploits Mary Jane. Not a good example to bring up. Even Straczynski's Morlun storyline was very weak and didn't lead to anything better in the end. What anyone saw in Straczynski's work I just don't get. He was an early example of a writer who was politicizing his storylines long before today's Marvel writers did, and the Sins Past storyline was particularly execrable.

The following statement has something awfully peculiar:
Spider-Man obviously has a long, complex mythology. What can you tease about potential new characters you’ll be introducing to that mix?
Your head’s going to spin when you see all the senior citizen characters I introduce! Marvel keeps telling me to “skew young” and to keep my “weird fetishes out of their book” and that I’m “fired,” but I think audiences are clamoring for the next Aunt May! I’m also introducing Rebecca London, a recent transplant to NYC looking to have a career in stand-up comedy. Spider-Man, not Peter, is the only person she’s managed to meet since arriving in the city, so they strike up a friendship and … possible love connection? Marvel is thrilled with me that she’s (sigh) “age appropriate.”
Now what's that supposed to mean? That Mary Jane's not age appropriate? On which note, the redheaded lady isn't even mentioned in the interview, and I can't help wonder if this is going to wind up another absurdly SJW-pandering book.

Whether audiences really want May Parker around, that doesn't mean they don't also want Mary Jane, and this new volume clearly fails on that count. The talk of old folks highlighted here sounds like a metaphor for what the audience is turning out to be: aging fans for whom Marvel shows no interest in encouraging new fans to join the audience. Some of the commenters to this article show they understand this, as the following lets know:
"The main book, Amazing Spider-Man, has kept things fresh by stretching the character and his situation. It’s still classic Spider-Man at its core..."

No, it absolutely isn't and ASM hasn't been Spider-Man "at its core" since before JMS left. While fans haven't liked the Slott Spider-Iron-Man take on ASM, they're not necessarily clamoring for Peter Parker to be 'down on his luck.' They're missing the main book actually feeling like Spider-Man, with familiar supporting characters, instead of bad fan fiction.

"I’m also introducing Rebecca London… possible love connection?"

Then you've missed the point entirely.

And another says, more noticeably:
Agreed! Nobody wants a Peter down on his luck, a new Aunt May or a new love interest. We want old spidey back. A guy who was down to earth, an everyday man who though had his own set of troubles had also his own rewards within his wife or friends around him.

Everybody knows the fans want Peter and MJ back together, Peter not being a millionare, and Peter to finally start acting more like an adult! ...yet Marvel will never accept that!
Exactly. The above got it quite right. Mary Jane Watson-Parker is the leading lady we want paired with Peter Parker, and not some forced replacement. And about financial status: nobody's saying Peter has to be a millionaire. Indeed, that's already ridiculous and contrived, mainly because even after MJ became a successful model, she herself was still anything but a millionaire on the level of Aristotle Onassis. Now that I think of it, I don't recall Peter and MJ ever owned a car in the time the Spidey franchise was in better health. Which doesn't mean they couldn't.

So again, no one's saying Peter and MJ should be millionaires, but they don't think the former should be inherently down on his luck either, and depicting him that way became ludicrous long ago. In fact, to do that is counterproductive to character growth. In which case, it doesn't take much to figure out all they care about is "shaking up" the books, not plausible character drama. That's why there's obviously nothing to see here either, nothing much different from the past decade, and nothing to waste money on. Just another example of domineering editors/publishers refusing to admit they screwed up and do whatever can be done to turn things around for real. That's why the fans they drove away won't come back.

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Left-wing feminists don't want Kevin Sorbo to appear on Supergirl, even in a villain's role

Heat Street recently told about the SJWs/feminists who were enraged about former Hercules: The Legendary Journeys actor Kevin Sorbo, an outspoken conservative, making a guest appearance on the Supergirl TV show:
...the feminist vertical The Mary Sue was not happy about the decision to cast Sorbo. “I guess it would be cool to have such a person join the cast,” declared Keisha Hatchett. “But I think in this case, his off-screen persona overshadows what he’s accomplished on the small screen.”

The Mary Sue writer went on to point out all the times the conservative actor voiced contentious views. He condemned Black Lives Matter for its role in the Ferguson race riots—making very emotional comments that he later apologized for. Sorbo spoke out against Hillary Clinton during the election, signal boosting articles that pointed out her campaign’s tactic of smearing anyone who wasn’t voting for her as a sexist.

For these sins, The Mary Sue calls him a “real life villain,” a term best used for criminals or people who hurt others. The comments were likewise filled with vitriol about the actor. “I hate that I spent so long watching this guy on TV,” wrote one user.
I wonder if they actually watched the series and its spinoff Xena: Warrior Princess at all. For all we know, they probably didn't. At the end of the article, an interesting comment is made:
...for a group of people that can’t tell Harry Potter apart from real life, it’s no surprise that they’d also have a hard time reconciling his politics and his on-screen persona.
This perfectly echoes my arguments about so-called readers who attack fictional characters - some quite gleefully, in fact - but never make any valid critiques of the writing that the fictional characters in question are saddled with.

One of the commenters also noted:
SG has already shown it is a worthless program. And with all the homosexual underlinings, not sure why anyone would watch it. Not to mention, it is one of the most poorly done shows in some time, and that is saying something with all the "reality" and PC programming garbage we are inundated with now.
So whatever Sorbo's role is like in the series, after all I've researched about it and the Arrow/Flash serials that preceded it, I don't see what makes it so big a deal. These shows are, unfortunately, products of a leftist mentality that exploits corporate-owned properties for their own agendas. And casting Sorbo in the role of a crook was probably the producers' intent all along, as revenge for his politics, even if they were willing to pay him well. The irony is that now, there's a certain PC crowd out there that apparently despises him so much they ostensibly won't even watch him cast as a villain. Granted, the ratings will determine in the end whether anybody's willing to leave their politics at the door, but personally, I just don't see the use in watching a program that's already become a political soapbox.

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Friday, February 17, 2017 

Dilbert cartoonist wisely stops contributing to Berkley

Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, recently announced he's no longer donating any money to the university at Berkley, California, after the horrific riots because "students" didn't want Milo Yiannapolous to give a conference there. He also noted:
Scott Adams, who became something of a pariah after endorsing Donald Trump for president, said the angry backlash to the speech convinced him he would no longer be “safe or welcome” on campus.
That's just the problem with today's university complexes - they're turning them into havens for violent felons. Adams is doing the right thing, and setting a far better example than Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau may be doing now.

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Only 30 percent of news on comics sites is about the actual medium

Comics Beat admits one thing wrong with today's websites and other such sources for comic book news: they're far less about comic books than ever before:
Months ago, a comic book publicist and I were chatting about this and that and he suggested, rather ominously, “Have you ever tried counting how many stories on comics news sites are actually about comics? You’d be surprised.”

The idea percolated in my head for a while. And it took a while to do it. But I did. And the answer probably won’t surprise you a bit. Only about 30% of the stories on the top 6 comics news sites – CBR, ComicBook.Com, Bleeding Cool, Newsarama, Comics Alliance and this very site – are about comic book news. More than half – 54% – are movie, TV or nerdlebrity news. The rest is a melange of toys, wrestling, video games and what I’d call “related business news” like conventions, collectibles and human interest.
Now MacDonald may admit her own site's contributors - not the least being she herself - have contributed to the decline of coverage for zygote. But there's something else she hasn't admitted: they've long let their political leanings get the better of them, or, they otherwise refuse to call out superhero publishers and others for leading the way in flooding their products with a torrent of ultra-leftist tirades that drained the entertainment value from the comics. Nor do they make any serious effort to clamor for publishers to adapt to better publication formats, let alone anything else that might help comicdom emerge from the self-imposed ghetto they put themselves into nearly a quarter century ago, and are apparently uninterested in getting out of.

And they're surprised if public interest in a comics news site plummeted? The reason they're turning to movie, toys and TV news is because the traditional audience they once had lost interest as they aligned themselves solidly with the publishers, never objectively covering anything they did. It's a mindset that may have begun with the now defunct Wizard, which surely led to a lot of the problems now littering the medium, and has gotten considerably worse since. Yet nobody's willing to admit their politics or un-objective approach to coverage led anyone to abandon their news sites.

While we're on the subject, Augie deBlieck, long a contributor to CBR, wrote a similar topic several months ago on Pipeline where he states that comics journalism is dead in the water:
It pains me to write this, but it’s just too obvious to ignore now.

Big Web Comic Book Journalism is dead as an institution. It can no longer support itself. We can all proclaim that “We’ve won!” because superheroes have “gone mainstream” and dominate the box office ticket sales every year. We can wallow in the glory that Old Navy and Target will sell you a t-shirt with Captain America’s shield on in, just like you’ve seen 20 people wearing in the last week. And we can eat it up when a television network has devoted most of its weekly programming to superhero series from a shared universe.

But none of that is comic books. Books. The things you read. Those are still dead in the water. Those are still the things the “mainstream” press writes about with headlines that boldly proclaim “Bam! Pow! Zap!” before writing about how these aren’t your father’s comics anymore, or how these are the comics that have gone to Hollywood. Those are the things that people on the street will look at you and quizzically ask, “Oh, they still print those?” Comic books are the things that are worth money, right? Because didn’t CNBC do a piece about their investment value?

We’ve won? Pshaw!

As further proof that the fight is over, I submit to you this week’s redesign of Or, as it is now known, Like KFC, it’s now removed that pesky unhealthy “Fried Chicken” part of its name from the title. Let’s not mention “comic books” anymore, people. Those are secondary.
Or worse, third and fourth. Interestingly enough, CBR doesn't seem to turn up much in the news page results of the major search motors, if at all. Not that it matters, because the site is so pathetic now, and I wouldn't recommend such a leftist site to anyone.
Marvel and DC bust their humps to figure out a way to sell 300,000 copies of a comic, and it’s never by building a bigger audience. It’s always through sales tricks like exclusive covers and variants and all the rest.
Their vehement refusal to abandon the pamphlet format only compounds their insular, self-imposed ghettoization, as do their politics. I'll give credit to deBlieck for covering this too and admitting CBR's a sellout coverage-wise, but if he won't admit ultra-leftism's proven toxic for comicdom too, then he's not much better than Comics Beat's staff. Journalism is collapsing along with the medium, but that's because nobody's willing to admit there's more to it than meets the eye.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017 

A political outburst from Adam Hughes

Hughes may be a talented artist, but is sadly also a very one-sided leftist. He recently posted the following anti-Trump tirade:

Well since he decided to throw his hat into the political ring, let me ask: does this ensure he'll never support a demagogue like Jeremiah Wright, the so-called reverend who declared "God damn America"? Because if he's got zero interest in condemning somebody like that, then there's no point in his Trump-bashing, which noticeably isn't backed up with facts.

J. Scott Campbell, while we're on the topic, chimed in, and somebody said:

Agreed. Especially if that's all they care about, and if that's all they can say. Say, what about Tim Kaine? If they really think Trump's just a dimwit, wouldn't Kaine be the same?

When somebody argued that Hughes should just stick to illustrating, he said:

Okay, I'll give him credit for refraining from politics whenever he does, but when he does go into such junk, he really knows how to emerge a huge disappointment. Then, another tweeter made what looked like a sarcastic comment about SJWs, and Hughes said:

The point that can be made is that it's incomprehensible why artists like Hughes, who've been persecuted by SJWs, would refuse to take a good look at how a lot of them support leftist politics like he does, and ponder how his own side is turning against him for petty reasons. And why it may not do any good to support the left if they're going to allow such awful folks to undermine his ability to get assignments and ensure they won't be censored by the cowards now running Marvel, for one. Oddly enough, the tweeter may have actually been a leftist herself, and he then said:

It's certainly odd, since it did look like sarcasm at first glance. Nevertheless, the point could still be made that sticking with the side that may be failing to stand up to such disgraces is inexplicable, and doesn't help artists worried about SJW persecution one bit.

Oh, please. If that's the case, isn't it monsters like Iran's Hassan Rouhani who are forcing everybody into the open? Say, why not add the Swedish government's phony feminists who kowtowed to the tyrants?

Not always, but it's still galling when all they can do is be monomaniacal and concern themselves only with the POTUS and none of the other serious issues the world's facing.

Hughes is a talented artist, but espousing such pathetic standings as he does makes for a frustrating experience, and risks making it difficult for some fans to feel sorry whenever artists like him are attacked by SJWs.

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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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