Monday, December 11, 2017 

CBR has officially become tabloid trash disguised as journalism

They published a tedious article (via One Angry Gamer) about the cancellation of Aubrey Sitterson's GI Joe spinoff very early, and it all turns into a hit piece against Richard Meyer's Youtube channel. The propaganda piece begins with:
Upcoming G.I. Joe comic book series Scarlett’s Strike Force has been cancelled by IDW Publishing before final orders from retailers were due, leading to to the book’s writer and industry professionals publicly questioning the circumstances behind the decision.
And if those sales are pathetic, then there's no point questioning anything. See how neither "pros" nor the reporter himself is willing to stress that Sitterson's disturbing cracks about 9-11 - to say nothing of the social justice propaganda he shoved into his story proper - outraged and alienated many a Joe fan, and the damage was such that plenty decided to boycott. Something Marvel and DC fans alike have to prove they can do too, even when the content in a book itself isn't political per se, but is offensive and disrespectful from an artistic viewpoint. And, to be fair, there are some who have, but still more are needed if they really want Quesada and DiDio gone from both publishers.
While IDW has stated that the cancellation is due to low sales, observers have wondered if ongoing controversy surrounding series writer Aubrey Sitterson influenced the decision.

On Sept. 11 of this year, the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., Sitterson tweeted, “Oh good, it’s Self-Centered National Tragedy Remembrance from People Who Weren’t Even Anywhere Near New York City Day.” As provocative as that may be, the tweet didn’t receive much attention until one day later, when, as detailed previously by Bleeding Cool, the G.I. Joe fan site posted on Facebook that it would “no longer promote anything from IDW Publishing while Aubrey Sitterson is involved with G.I. Joe or any other Hasbro brand.”
Isn't it obvious that Sitterson's nasty comments on 9-11 and his quarrels with franchise fans led to low sales? Or, do they believe his toxic visions are fully legit? Sigh. They continue towards the attack on the video filmer:
Sitterson, who lived in New York City during the time of the attacks, provided further context to his comment on Twitter, underlining the difference he sees between “sincere remembrances & self-centered ones.” That didn’t stop the writer from being targeted over social media from both a section of G.I. Joe fans — many of whom already had issues with his direction for the franchise — and the same corner of comics fandom that earlier this year targeted Marvel editor Heather Antos. This contingent of fans purports to be displeased with the push for increased diversity and representation in the industry, and employs tactics that have drawn association with and comparison to the alt-right. One of the most vocal critics of Sitterson has been the highly contentious and widely condemned “Diversity & Comics” Twitter and YouTube account, which currently has published at least six videos targeting the writer, including “This Is What You Get When An SJW Writes G.I.JOE.” (Its other videos include “ICEMAN Coming Out Is Worse Than You Could Possibly Imagine” and “SJWs Look Even Worse When Compared To Normal People.”)
So...they believe all these twisted visions, which include changing the established character traits of Bobby Drake, and, they perpetuate the exaggerated allegation that busloads of people were attacking Antos over the milkshake picture when it was only a handful, and only one looked vulgar. And they even act as though the SJW acronym never came to bear a bad meaning. CBR's bias is flooding the article already, aside from which, this news is already 2 weeks old, and won't recognize that Sitterson's tirades - along with his injection of homoerotica into the stories - had a terrible toll on sales, leading to an inevitable cancellation. What else do they expect?

And just who condemned Diversity & Comics podcasts? Only the most rabid of industry apologists, that's who. If they don't like the videos, they don't have to watch them.

I think I can understand why the previous owners of CBR sold it to another company. Maybe some of their advertisers thought they weren't a good investment and withdrew. And even more advertisers should now withdraw from marketing their wares on such a crummy site, now that their hostility to core audiences has become so increasingly blatant. It goes without saying they owe Meyer an apology for smearing him with such an obvious hit piece, and they'd do better to turn over a new leaf if they really want people to take their comic book journalism seriously, which it's not.

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Saturday, December 09, 2017 

It's always the newer stuff they advertise for digital services, and never the old

Again, there's news of Marvel making a special deal with a library service, this one digital, only to provide them with newer items built on poor groundswork:
The free library lending service Hoopla Digital has teamed up with Marvel Entertainment to add more than 250 Marvel comic books and graphic novels to its catalog. Patrons of public libraries that offer access to Hoopla can now download titles from series like “Thor: God of Thunder,” “Black Panther” and “Civil War and X-Men” to their iPads, iPhones or Android devices, or read them via Hoopla’s website.
If the Black Panther material they gave Hoopla turns out to be the brand new stuff written by leftists like Ta-Nehisi Coates, it'll be no surprise at all. The Thor material certainly appears to be one of their far newer products, and anybody who knows what 2006's Civil War was about can guess where that material's going.

But if they have offered older, better material pre-2000, Variety sure isn't making that clear, and that's the problem with such trade papers. They never know how to advertise these items in their own words, or don't want to. Because the older stuff never matters to these fools detached from the past.

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Friday, December 08, 2017 

The AV Club has a problem with anti-abortion Zootopia fancomics

The AV Club's voicing dismay at some manga-style fancomics on the web featuring characters from the Zootopia cartoon, which take a pro-life vision:
...there’s another side to this culture of fandom, one wherein an anti-abortion advocate feels a Zootopia fan comic is the best vessel for sharing their views.

See, Zootopia is a sweet, funny animated Disney film about a con artist fox and a rabbit police officer who team up to solve a mystery. Color us surprised, then, when we read the above tweet from Onion Labs copywriter Eric Munn, who stumbled upon this alternate reality where a cartoon fox tells a character named Officer Judy Hopps not to have an abortion. “I beg you—please let your light continue to shine through him or her!” Nick the fox pleads.

The whole comic is similarly histrionic, with Nick sneering about “premeditated sin” after admonishing Judy for “kill[ing] our baby for your career.” Nick, the hero (?) of this story, later abandons Judy in a way that makes Judy’s ordeal entirely about him.
Not entirely, if this other panel says something. It looks like they had a fight and she scratched him, though when I read further on the official site, she did regret and apologize. I'll admit, that was probably going too far, and maybe it would've been better if the cartoonist had avoided going the ugly spat route. But sneering? I couldn't tell if he actually did that in the finished product. Are they parchance trying to make it sound worse than it is?

All that aside, the movie's not quite as "sweet" as they claim, since, according to Acculterated, it's got some kind of male-bashing message stealthed in, and the AV Club's writer didn't mention the cartoon's about a girl bunny who wants to be the first lady policewoman/detective coming from a bunny background:
But when it comes to the politics of Zootopia—a magical land considered a “utopia” because there are no humans in it—you’re going to need a stronger word than “heavy-handed.”

I know that this is a movie intended primarily for grade-schoolers, and to be fair, there are positive lessons throughout the film. But it was difficult to avoid the feeling that Zootopia was trying way too hard to be politically correct. Every third film these days—animated or otherwise—is about a female character who isn’t taken seriously (or worse) by male characters who prove to be her intellectual and/or moral inferior. Yes, young girls should be raised to believe that they can achieve their dreams, but Hollywood’s relentless insistence that females must want to do everything men do (and are better than men) is growing wearisome.

As well, teaching young girls that men will always “have it out for them” is misguided. Not every male boss thinks his female employees are dolts. And not every male boss is a dolt himself. It’s lazy storytelling and encourages female prejudices against men. Even the movie’s humorous takedown of the Department of Motor Vehicles bureaucracy—DMV employees are molasses-slow sloths—goes on too long.
There's also this LA Times article about the making that raises eyebrows:
The filmmakers brought in an array of experts as they designed the world, from zoologists, who advised on how each species should move, to specialists on the Americans With Disabilities Act, who helped construct a city where a 2-inch character and a 27-foot character could coexist, to HVAC system designers, who puzzled over how to build a tundra neighborhood next to a desert one.

Female police officers spoke with the filmmakers about challenges they faced—including having trouble finding male officers willing to partner with them. In the case of Judy Hopps, who also faces difficulty being taken seriously as a police officer, animators used small scale to dramatize her struggle, as she struggled to hop up on a chair in the police department.
Apparently, they didn't bring in any male police officials to tell what it's like to work with/for a lady counterpart, and it honestly doesn't ring true no guys would be willing to work with a girl...unless it's due to the worries now going around about sexual harassment, especially in an age when Harvey Weinstein's doubtless had an impact on the psyche. I guess that never occurred to them?

PJ Media's view of the cartoon is even more damning, stating that it obscures any distinctions in its moralizing:
The message isn't entirely without merit. Bigotry is certainly a negative force which should be opposed. However, no distinction is made in the film between bigotry and the recognition of legitimate differences. The moral of the story is that "anyone can be anything." It's meant in both the occupational and metaphysical sense. The film literally rejects biology, promoting the notion that how people identify should define how they are regarded in spite of what they actually are. At one point, a young canine's desire to grow up and become an elephant is treated as healthy and valid. The allusion to real-world trans issues is obvious.
It sure is a lot different from the anthropomorphic cartoons and comics of yesteryear, where you'd have animals walking on 2 feet and using their hands to hold objects, but beyond that weren't trying to be a lifeform entirely different from what they officially were. That's hardly a good message for youngsters, and makes me wonder if it's even a good idea to draw up fancomics dedicated to a product whose politics mostly stand in contradiction to one's own.

It sure is odd using a cartoon with possible male-bashing as a vehicle for a story balking at abortion as the basis for a fancomic, and honestly, I don't think the cartoonist should've made the Hopps character out to look like such a jerk. But the AV Club's not helping matters by making light of issues like abortion, let alone the cartoon's own putdown of menfolk or the potential allusions to trans topics. Besides, if they don't like the fancomic, they don't have to read it, let alone go to all that trouble to let anybody know it exists. In hindsight, all that bunny business doesn't age well, and isn't all that amusing either.

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Thursday, December 07, 2017 

The latest leftism from Ron Marz

Here's some more comments I found from Marz, including a reply to a Wash. Post article claiming that GOP voters don't think tax cuts will help, and he says:

We could ask the same about people like Marz, who ignore the damage wrought by Obamacare. Then, he attacks politician Roy Moore, whom the left's been blatantly claiming committed sexual misconduct without concrete proof, after all the ignorance they exhibited towards Bill Clinton, and even Harvey Weinstein:

And people like Marz made no effort to get Eddie Berganza thrown out of DC for the reprehensible sex offenses he committed as a senior editor. People like Marz did, however, send completely unqualified loons like Al Franken to the Senate in the past decade, and only now, he's finally getting his comeuppance. In the past few weeks since the Buzzfeed expose got him booted, I couldn't find any signs of Marz commenting on how humiliating it feels to have worked with Berganza when he was assistant editor on Green Lantern, one of the first books he was assigned to in the mid-90s when he began working there.

Marz even said:

But Democrats like Bill Clinton never did the same, nor did Hillary Clinton? Not even Harvey Weinstein, whom they were both chummy with? Another example of somebody only concerned with one side of the spectrum, but not his own.

When news came out that Moore condemned ultra-leftist George Soros, all Marz could say was:

I guess it doesn't take much to guess Marz has a low opinion of Hungary too, where Soros has been trying to cause damage with illegal Muslim immigrants. He continues on the Moore topic with:

And apparently, so is Berganza, because again, I couldn't seem to find him saying anything about his former co-editor on GL. But I repeat myself.

And to see some of the disgraceful ignorance of people who turned their backs on the offenses committed by Berganza, which isn't so surprising. Sigh.

Just like he didn't see Roman Polanski as the scumbag he sadly turned out to be, with more than just one offense to his record, yet France's government/establishment so far refuses to extradite him to the US. Because of Polanski's early origins, that's why it's angering he'd later stoop to sexual atrocities and sully his past career so badly.

Imagine a holding a panel at a comics convention, and Marz is only the second most morally objectionable person next to Berganza. Again, he has quite a bit of nerve joining the accusations against Moore while doing nothing to demand all Berganza's enablers at DC be fired. A list which unfortunately includes at least a few women who failed to act against the now disgraced editor any more than the menfolk at the company, making themselves little better than Angela Merkel. That's a sad reality, that even women can throw their own under the bus if they feel high up enough in the company ranks.

So there we are, Marz continues on his weak path as an ignoramus, only worried about Republicans but not about the screwballs in the Democrats. For now, let's just say that, if anybody sees Berganza's name on the staff credits in the recent trade paperbacks of Marz's work on Green Lantern, they could feel discouraged from buying them just for that, and who could blame them? These days, especially after the bad news about Gerard Jones, I think the whole third volume's been tarnished, and indeed, it certainly has.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017 

The manufactured fauxtrage against C.B Cebulski

The Federalist had more to say about the manufactured controversies at least a few leftist dominated comics sites stirred up for the sake of their social justice leanings:
It didn’t take long for the gossip entertainment news to attack Cebulski, however. This week, Cebulski is the victim of manufactured identity politics outrage, in an attempt by the media to get him fired before his work as editor in chief even begins. Bleeding Cool, IO9, and the Huffington Post, outlets notorious for hyper-partisan clickbait, attacked Cebulski over the fact that 13 years ago he used a pseudonym to write a few books for Marvel. If it sounds like something not even worth mentioning, you’d be right, but it has the leftist outrage machine calling for Marvel to remove him.
Which proves they were always in the tank for men like Quesada and Alonso, because they represent all the PC visions they've never had any issues with. No doubt, the above clickbait sites never had any issues with erasing the Spider-marriage, and that's why, for the past decade, they've never had much to say in protest, if at all. On Cebulski's work as a writer in the 2000s, it's said that:
...Marvel and Cebulski really wanted some of his written work on comics. To get around this, they created a pseudonym. While perhaps it was against Marvel’s written policy at the time, various people at Marvel seemed to be aware of the pseudonym and published the books without any controversy at the time.

Akira Yoshida, Rising Star

The comic industry is very small, and it’s filled with different contract language and exclusive work clauses, predominately controlled by Marvel and DC Comics. Cebulski clearly created Akira Yoshida to get around the issues with the tricky contract language so he could further his passion in writing comics. The name references his love of Japanese culture, with Akira the name of one of the most popular manga and anime of all time, and Yoshida a nod to Shiro Yoshida, or Sunfire, one of the only Asian characters in the X-Men.

Cebulski worked on several comics under this name as a writer for Marvel, including very highly regarded “Thor: Son of Asgard,” “X-Men: Age Of Apocalypse,” and “Wolverine: Soultaker.” These comics were some of the finest produced in the mid-2000s. Marvel was happy with the work, the readers loved it, and there were no public problems.
So why is it suddenly an issue now? Does that also mean all the "critics" who praised his work before intend to disown their past opinions today? Here's how it all apparently began:
The complaints began earlier this week, when a Marvel competitor took a public swipe on Twitter to try to harm Marvel’s brand. According to Bleeding Cool, Image Comics Brand Manager David Brothers called on journalists to look into the Akira Yoshida pen name, in order to stir up controversy. Bleeding Cool obliged, as did several other left-wing clickbait sites.
If memory serves, wasn't this Brothers once a writer for the awful Comics Alliance? And now he's one of at least a few "commentators" undeservedly working in the biz as well, and I'm sure his motivations are more than just business rivalry. No doubt, he was pro-Quesada/Alonso and anti-Mary Jane Watson, to put it one way. Back in the early 90s, I know Marvel shouldn't have tried competing in desperation with Image through variant covers and other collectible merchandise, but now, in a manner of speaking, it's Image that's making the mistakes, and they're certainly allowing one of their staffers to do so. It's not good business, and who knows if Image ever really did have any?
They framed Cebulski’s pen name as an attempt to pose as a minority to get jobs because of diversity initiatives. It became an immediate identity politics issue, as even though Cebulski lives in Asia and has family there, he is Caucasian. The social justice lynch mob took to Twitter and immediately branded him a racist because of his love of Japanese culture.

Like usual in these situations, the outrage is so clearly manufactured. The paper trail comes from a business competitor incentivized to harm Marvel Comics, and the media sources amplifying the outrage are well-known for their fake news. But it also makes no sense. [...]

The non-story aspect didn’t stop some of the more extreme social justice advocates in entertainment from chiming in. Multi-award-winning author Alyssa Wong ranted on Twitter, swearing about Cebulski and accusing him of “racism,” “hurting people,” and causing “real harm.” She didn’t list specifically how he did any of this, but bizarrely followed up by saying “repeat offenders often mask their bad behavior with intentional Niceness [sic].” His crime is he’s too nice?

It’s hard to make sense of what harm he apparently perpetrated. Her rant concluded with a call to purchase work by real Asian-American authors, making her selective outrage appear to be little more than a self-promotional tool. Los Angeles Times writer Jen Yamato went on to accuse Cebulski of “cultural appropriation.” A story that never should have been in the spotlight has gone viral. [...]

It exposes a discrimination against white males. If the media is right that Cebulski had to use a minority moniker to get a job, it means white men aren’t considered for the work, or at the very least, minorities are preferred. Therefore, pro-white racism in entertainment doesn’t and didn’t exist as far back as 15 years ago. We’ve had a whole generation with no white-biased race preferences, and the media is hyping racial divisions for far more nefarious purposes than they let on.
Ironically, the people attacking Cebulski are the same ones who have no issue with white males like Dan DiDio, Bob Harras and Geoff Johns running DC, because they've all proven what side they're on, politically speaking. I've noticed how some of the SJW bunch are even content to let DiDio off the hook for tolerating Eddie Berganza when DiDio was the main editor in the 2000s (his name didn't seem to turn up in Buzzfeed's reports), and that's telling something. If the white males in question are leftist and politically correct enough, they'll accept them, but if they believe they're not, then they'll turn against them. That's evidently the case with Cebulski, quite possibly because he at least refrains from getting too political on Twitter, and they figured his appreciation for adventure tales signals he's got a more respectable view of Marvel than we think, though the jury's obviously still out on that one.

What matters is whether Cebulski's willing to take all the necessary steps to turn back the clock on much the harm done to Marvel in the past 2 decades. Again, the Spider-marriage is one example. But if he doesn't, and if he allows Quesada to interfere, then he's failed expectations for improvements.

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Marv Wolfman communicates with the wrong bunch and swipes at the Koch brothers

I can't believe Wolfman's added himself to the list of creators who're associating with men like Bendis and Meltzer...or can I? First, he congratulated Bendis over his move to DC:

Wow, does that mean he's okay with the hack job Bendis did on Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Disassembled? Or the degrading treatment of Jean Grey in X-Men? Or even his part in the Civil War crossover? There's several instances in Bendis' work that were very poor, yet Wolfman chooses to ignore? Very sad. Then, he posted an agreement with Meltzer on a subject involving Superman:

Well, I guess we can understand now why he never brought forth any complaints about the nasty depiction of Deathstroke in Identity Crisis, where Meltzer and Rags Morales depicted Slade Wilson punching Zatanna's stomach hard enough to make her vomit, and wrapped a leather bag over Black Canary's head, among other obnoxious deeds, before Green Arrow manages to stop him. I admire a lot of Wolfman's past work, but this is beneath even him. It's utterly stupid to associate - and to communicate - with such disgraceful writers, the former who's long become notorious for his one-dimensional rendition of Scarlet Witch as crazy in 2004, the same year the latter rendered Jean Loring crazy and depicted Sue Dibny raped in flashback by Dr. Light. Seriously, I think Wolfman's making a terrible mistake.

And if that's not sad enough, Wolfman even wrote a swipe at the Koch brothers, no doubt lacking altruism along the way, because they're interested in buying Time:

Who cares if they buy the dumb magazine? I stopped reading it long ago, because of how ultra-leftist, anti-Israel and anti-American it became, and that may not even change after the Kochs buy a stake in the magazine. So what's the big deal to guys like Wolfman if they buy it? Circulation is surely as bad now as it was for Newsweek when they all but stopped their print editions, so it's not like anybody reads it much anyway. I don't think the Kochs are saints, and there have been some times when they've been galling, but the problem is that leftists basically attack them for all the wrong reasons.

It's not often I've seen Wolfman making political comments, which is a good thing, but sometimes, when he does, it's very disappointing, as is his willingness to associate with men like Meltzer and Bendis. This is another demonstration of why there's so many writers who did fine work in the past whose work has to be taken with a grain of salt now.

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Monday, December 04, 2017 

Subtle negativity to Trump in DC's holiday special?

Is there some subtle attack on Trump in this holiday special DC's putting out, which Comics Beat describes as "Trump and North Korea have Superman down"? Let's see the picture with political references:
From this opening, it looks more like John Constantine's the guy feeling down. Here's a description of the story:
...In “The Reminder,” we find Clark Kent at the Ace of Clubs bar in Metropolis, which is run by Superman’s greatest fan, Bibbo Bibowski. After a long 2017 filled with blowhards and the threat of nuclear annihilation, even Clark is feeling a little down. [...]
And he doesn't rush into a phone booth to change into his Superman costume so he can do something about the nuclear weapons? They already ran the gauntlet of minimizing serious issues 6 years ago with the botched story where Supes gives up his US citizenship, as though he'd have it in his secret identity, and he never tried to bring down the Iranian regime. This is no improvement when they put allusions to North Korea on the TV screens at the nightclub, to say nothing of "blowhards" whose own mistakes pale considerably in contrast with their liberal counterparts. If that's what they see in Trump, no wonder this latest story won't work well, and they're not helping matters by sticking Superman in a restaurant instead of trying to put a stop to autocratic regimes building lethal nuclear warfare. That's just not fitting of Clark Kent's character. Certainly it would look absurd if Superman took down North Korea while it still reigns in reality, but that's why it's far better from a modern standard to use metaphors instead of putting the real thing on display, which just makes everything seem ridiculous.

What this does tell us is that DC's slid back to more noticeable - and very awkward - political allegories that make the heroes look like they're just sitting around, and failing to make use of metaphors for real life regimes that the heroes could combat without concern whether serious real life issues are being trivialized.

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Sunday, December 03, 2017 

History comics about Colorado

The Denverite has an article about some educational comics for school classes telling the history of the state of Colorado and its influence on the rest of the USA.

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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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