Wednesday, February 10, 2016 

Jughead's new writers prove themselves more jug-headed than their subject

One of the current writers for Archie is characterizing the co-star with the goofy crown as asexual. As if that's such a big deal. He says:
"My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual," Zdarsky said at an "Archie"-themed panel at NYCC. "They just didn't have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he's not a misogynist -- he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I'm writing Jughead, because I'm very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I'm continuing to write him that way."
They've all reached new levels of absurdity. Is there even such a thing as asexuality? Realistically speaking, I would think hardly, so we know this doesn't speak for the realism they think exists. It's more like an excuse to avoid character development and stick Jughead in the role of a cypher.

And if he has been depicted with girlfriends in the past (Big Ethel, January McAndrews, and a few others), how can he truly be asexual? He certainly was seen taking to some of the girls he did based on their shared love of food. But what I'd really like to know is where he got the idea anybody called Jughead Jones a "woman-hater"? I certainly never did, so I can only assume Chip Zdarsky made that up.
"There are people out there, and they come up to me in conventions, because I work on another book that involves sexuality ['Sex Criminals'], and that's one of the questions we get all the time. [There are] a lot of asexual readers, and they want representation," he continued. "We want to put out a book in which people that aren't necessarily represented enough in media can see themselves reflected in it in a positive way, so if you have an opportunity presented on a silver platter like Jughead, really, I feel like your responsibility is to go with that and serve that underrepresented reader."

"It seems like his take was always it's a waste of money to go on dates, not so much that like he hated women. Because he always hung out with Betty. They were always friends," added Henderson.
The man would make a better career as a comedian. Just what proof does he have that there's a gazillion asexual humans out there jumping up and down demanding representation?

And this brings us to the leading mistake Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson have made: neither they nor the press sources covering this non-event have asked if the past tales with Jughead were slapdash, and if the writers screwed up with their characterization (or lack thereof). Catch News gave a bit of history, and said:
Archie Comics tried to get Jughead to date several women for years, but none of them stuck around. From Big Ethel, to January McAndrews, to Debbie who shared his love for food. Following Archie's footsteps, he later dated Debbie and Joani simultaneously.
No, I don't think that wording describes it well. That should be "tried to depict", or gave writers the task of conceiving stories where he'd date the above. However, they also say:
Until all of it came crashing down as readers protested, as did the essence of what Jughead's character was all about. Give or take a few other random dates, Archie Comics came out with eight issues where the major plot was Jughead's various love interests. But the running theme throughout his dating history has been his reluctance to actually be the women.
If any readers objected, they don't know how big an error they made, and what it led to in modern times. And, the likely juveniles they speak of failed to consider how the direction they took, rendering Jughead a peculiar cypher who cares more about food than girls per se, could've been a bad idea. At the least, they shouldn't have opposed any writer who wanted to give Jughead - or any cast member, for that matter - the direction they thought could have some juice to it. Maybe this whole topic sheds some light on what went wrong with Archie, and how modern writers are exploiting these mistakes rather than improving upon them.

Just like superheroes, even Archie cast members shouldn't be held hostage to bizarre notions of what writers with questionable credentials think they should be depicted as.

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Slott's anti-GOP rantings

For the week of the GOP debate, ultra-moonbat Dan Slott's got a couple of things to say that need a little scrutiny. For example:

So we know he's against interrogation concepts that are actually rather effective (he or another writer may have even written a story attacking the use of waterboarding several years ago in Spider-Man involving the Sandman). Maybe he should consider that some of the families of 9-11 victims came out in support using waterboarding to interrogate jihadists. And I don't think they'd be happy if they knew Slott was taking the same stances as a pretentious actor like Edward Asner did. That's why I recommend he go out and rent a video copy of Katheryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty to show he's not so close-minded.

We also know he's a Jimmy Carter supporter. That he backs a president who was otherwise responsible for allowing the ayatollah's acolytes of darkness to take over Iran and plunge it into oppressiveness, one that Betty Mahmoody's daughter just barely escaped from, and one that Slott doesn't seem to have much of a problem with. He also buys into every leftist narrative at face value with a closed mind. Perhaps he should read about several things he might not have known about regarding the hostage crisis, including how the Iranians didn't like Carter despite his own dhimmitude:
4) The hostages were released only after President Reagan was sworn in.

Ted Koppel described this as the Iranians' last act of cruelty toward President Carter. Even though the United States and Iran had come to an agreement to free the hostages in December, the Iranians waited literally until the hour President Reagan was sworn in before allowing the plane with the hostages to take off. The Iranians had a deep hatred of Carter and wanted to deny him this last moment of victory as President.

5) After the hostages were released, they met with President Jimmy Carter.

William Daugherty, who was held in solitary confinement for almost the entire time he was a hostage, said, "It was not a warm welcome" when Jimmy Carter flew to the U.S. military base in Germany to meet the hostages right after their release. The hostages were split on their thinking. Many felt they were left unprotected in the embassy after Carter made the decision to allow the Shah into the United States. Daugherty said that during the meeting, Carter went around to hug all the hostages, and many remained still with their arms at their sides and did not return his hug.
I assume Slott's going to turn his hatred against the hostages now, much like he already has towards Reagan? Tut tut, that wouldn't be a good idea, no matter what one thinks of Carter's willingness to take in the shah whose pro-western system was allowed to fall without standing up to the ayatollah's monsters. On which note, I don't think CNN is being fair to the shah himself, and Carter was at fault for doing nothing to ensure the sharia advocates wouldn't succeed in taking over Iran and plunging it into oppressive darkness, where torture is used against anybody who dares to disagree. On which note, how come Slott's so worried about waterboarding, but not about torture tactics used against dissidents in Iran? As usual, he lets his ultra-leftist upbringing get the better of himself, to the point where he can't even raise more challenging issues. And what's the use of saying Carter built houses for the poor, when he failed to make anything better for people in the Muslim world, which has a sizable poverty rate? We can only guess what Slott's stance is on Carter's approach to Israel too. Even a writer for the SF Chronicle, a very left-wing news source, says that Carter was quite a failure, and Shmuley Boteach turned against him. Slott can uphold Carter as much as he likes, but it won't change anything about the real picture. Nor will he be helping by attacking Republicans one-sidedly and acting like conservatives are the root cause of all evil.

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Monday, February 08, 2016 

Linus Van Pelt's real life inspiration is gone

The New York Daily News reported that Linus Maurer, the California cartoonist whose name was the inspiration for Linus Van Pelt in Charles Schultz's Peanuts comic strip, passed away at 90 years old.


Sunday, February 07, 2016 

Larsen retweets Planned Parenthood propaganda

Alas, Erik Larsen's still stuck on ultra-leftist mode, as seen through this screencap in which he retweeted a link to a video interviewing one of Planned Parenthood's most dishonest managers:
(And as you'll notice, the browser on the computer I was using couldn't load flash software through Twitter properly, leading to that special notice in the middle.)

Boy, what a shame he's among the crowd that considers Planned Parenthood defendable even after the scandal they committed, where they were exploiting human organs, yet here, the legal system has chosen to give PP protection and attack the messengers. It's regrettable they've done that, and additionally so that Larsen's siding with the disgraces in charge of PP, including that woman who won't admit PP was the one running a scam.

Sure, Larsen's argument against censorship in comicdom is a valid one in itself. But if he continues to back the kind of moonbat businesses he's supporting, then he's soaking any impact his arguments could have, and explaining why I find it hard to feel sorry for him after some SJW types turned against him after he spoke up. IMO, those who don't show they care about respect for human life are not helping the case against censorship in entertainment one bit.

In the end, it's probably no surprise Larsen could still be sticking by the poorest of causes, which doesn't help the reputation of comicdom a bit.

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Saturday, February 06, 2016 

Now Kryptonite can't even kill Superman

Once again, DC's made a joke out of their products, giving Superman a new power in a way that contradicts all that was ever once established about Kryptonite:
Released this past week, Action Comics #49 has Superman back in action. In this particular story, he throws himself on a big pile of Kryptonite hoping to rejuvenate his super powers. His abilities have been in decline and acting up after he used his Solar Flare in the Truth saga. But Kal-El's plan hits a snag. When he finds himself fully back up to speed, he feels a bit different. His eyes are now green due to the abundance of Kryptonite in his blood cells. And because of this, a new super ability has been discovered.

This new super power is a variation on Superman's super-hearing. Its comparable to how his new super flare was a slight take on his heat vision. Kal-El has always had the ability to see radio waves and different signal frequencies, but he could never hear what was on them. But now, Superman can fully receive and interpret these signals. And he can hear what is being broadcast.

The power emerged in Superman before. In the 90s, he had this ability back when he had electric powers, giving him blue skin and hair
. But Action Comics #49 is the first time this super power has been added to Superman's standard set of skills. [...]
This reminds me of a storyline with Wolverine from nearly a decade ago, when Civil War had been released, and Wolverine resurrected after all his flesh had been burned off the skeleton, in complete contradiction of what was seen in Days of Future Past, when a Sentinel robot incinerated his flesh. Now, DC's conjured up their own variation on such a ridiculous tale, topping it off with powers that make Superman far too much like a deity. There were people who foolishly complained in the past about Superman being too powerful. Well, it's still happening, only this time, they've become truly mindless about it. And the worst part is that it's not even new; as the article notes, it already happened in the late 1990s. But it's not so accurate to say this is the first time he's had these skills - if it happened nearly 2 decades ago, then it was already added to his standard set of skills; it's just that it didn't last. This time, with such mindlessly adamant people in charge, it could, yet it'll lead nowhere.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more laughable, it did.

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Friday, February 05, 2016 

A manga adaptation of the Zelda video game

Tech Times reports that a manga story's being produced based on the Legend of Zelda video games, although it appears to be designed for reading on computer screens.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016 

DC goes the cliched route, launching "gritty" reboot of Hanna-Barbera cartoons

And when Dan DiDio is involved, you know something could be wrong. Entertainment Weekly (via the AV Club) interviewed him about their plans to "reboot" the cartoon products as comics aimed at people who they think never saw them before:
[...] Featuring books like Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, Wacky Raceland and The Flintstones, DC is looking not to rehash old stories, but revitalize the characters in a new day and age — while keeping their charm, of course.

“From a personal standpoint, I was always a fan of the old Hanna-Barbera characters, having grown up on them,” says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Entertainment. “I think what you find right now is there’s so much material on pop culture, and these characters resonate with so much of our fanbase. It was so fun to go out and look at them, but not just bring back versions that existed 40, 50 years ago and really look at it the way of saying, if these characters were created and interpreted today, how would they exist? So we handed off our materials to a number of top creators, and what came back was an exciting look that felt very true to the existence of the characters.”
If they're even remotely gritty, as some of the news material says, then they're not being very true to the original material at all, and the writers/artists they've assigned to the books cannot be trusted to understand that. Especially when DiDio says the following:
“We didn’t want to just repeat what people saw in the past,” adds DiDio. “It’s really important for this to resonate with folks who have never even heard of the characters. If this is the first they’re seeing it, we want them to be enjoying the material. So from our standpoint, our goal is to make this exciting and accessible to all generations, whether they’re fans of the material and the characters or not.” As for what they hope the reaction to these new and updated characters will be?

“Outrage!” Lee jokes with a laugh. “I hope that they put a smile on people’s faces. I think we think of these characters so much as our childhood, and I want people to kind of embrace these updated versions of the characters and really understand that at the core, these concepts are not just limited to little kids.”
DiDio makes it sound like they're hoping the crowd they supposedly covet has no interest in the original cartoons, or, like they think nobody likes the old Hanna-Barbera products at all. What kind of faith is that in the zygotes? Again, if this is even remotely a gritty take on the cartoons, then they neither understand nor respect what they claim to be fans of. And Jim Lee's one-word comment may not be as much a joke as we'd like to think. The original cartoons of the Flintstones and Jetsons from the 1960s may not have been limited in marketing to children, since they began on prime time, whereas later iterations were usually broadcast more on Saturday mornings. But even back in the day, whatever one thinks of those cartoons, they were usually done in far better taste than what these new adaptations are bound to be like.
“When we discuss the plot of these books, the smile that comes over people’s faces is infectious,” says DiDio. “And even without reading any of the stories, they’re already excited at what we’re trying to accomplish. As a longtime fan of this material…this is my childhood dream come true. And when you see what’s going to happen with Scooby and Wacky Races, even if you were cynical about how we approached these things, you’re going to love everything once you see the finished product.”

Turning these Saturday morning “kiddie” cartoons into young adult comic fare isn’t so out of the question, given that the shows themes at the time were just as suited to adults as they were to kids. “You have to have to remember that Jonny Quest and Flintstones were both primetime fare when they were introduced,” says DiDio. “They were already going for the older audience at that moment.”
Oh, but what if it turns out these new products are much more "adult" fare than kiddie fare? That is, what if they're more mature in tone? DiDio doesn't even seem to realize that the prime time cartoons weren't built on utter lewdness like most of DC's superhero output's become infested with.
What can fans expect from this new series? “You’re gonna have an epic adventure in the future stories with Jonny Quest and Space Ghost,” says DiDio. “You’re going to have a scary, dangerous world in Wacky Raceland that is just as strange and dynamic as you hope it would be. I think Scooby Doo is going to excite people and challenge people, and I think that we’re going to use Flintstones to really bring out that voice and social commentary that they might’ve brought out in the ’60s and raise it back for today.”
That could just as well suggest their liberal politics will show up in the books, and just why it's better to skip it, and stick with the older cartoons instead. As I've said before, DiDio alone is reason enough to avoid these new renditions, which are bound to cost quite a bit as pamphlets, another reason why it's just not worth the effort.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016 

Busiek attacks Republicans for "Islamophobia"

Wouldn't you know it, for the week of the Iowa primaries, boilerplate leftist Kurt Busiek has chosen to mouth off with the cheapest attacks on the GOP:

As a matter of fact, many Islamists in the USA haven't for about a decade now. All because the public woke up and began to research and understand what's wrong with Islam. This article from the Intl. Business Times, though not entirely honest about "minorities", does note that the shift to Democrats among Islamists began around 9-11. And that's bound to include plenty of Muslims in Iowa too. So why's Busiek acting like this is something new? It isn't.

Challenging question: if one of those aforementioned refugees came into Iowa or anywhere else in the USA, and later started gathering equipment with which to commit violent acts of terrorism like the terrible incidents in Fort Hood and San Bernardino, or even rape, much like what happened several weeks ago in Cologne, Germany when many women were mass raped at the city's train station, would Busiek want that to happen? Would he even express any regret if, God forbid, it happened? For now, the sad answer is probably "no". This was of course the same man who acted oblivious to the violence committed by one of Dark Horse's editors against several staffers in the months after the case made headlines, basically pretending it had never happened, as much of the comics press now appears intent on doing, proving they're not truly interested in bettering the workplace. Like I said, that's why Busiek cannot be considered somebody for sensible women and men to consult on serious issues. Say, how come, if he's so bothered about GOP members condemning Islam, he can't say the same about any of the wider public whose opinions are negative? Panning politicians is just a cheap way of voicing grievances meant for the public, dismaying as that would be if he did so.

It's certainly telling when the only topic somebody like Busiek can think of commenting on is something like Islam, acting as an apologist and vehemently refusing to look under a magnifying glass. I'm sure tomorrow, he'll be acting as apologist for Satmar socialists too, and many of them have also supported the Democrats and Obama. A real shame a once decent writer is making himself look incompetent today by wasting his time on politics in the worst ways possible.

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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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