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Thursday, February 11, 2010 

The menace of the progs

James Hudnall at Big Hollywood has written about the Capt. America vs Tea Party monstrosity, and come up with a pretty good slang for "progressives", pronounced as "progs". Yep, they're one of the biggest problems with today's industry. And as for the comment Sam Wilson makes about a black man not fitting in with a bunch of "angry white folks", what's really absurd about it is that back in the 1970s, the Falcon was characterized as an angry black man - he had ancestors who were slaves, and harbored some resentment for white society. So what are they trying to say here, really?

There's one thing here I must note though:
Disclosure time: I know Brian Michael Bendis, the architect of the current Marvel plot-lines like Dark Reign and Seige, very well. I also know Captain America writer Ed Brubaker fairly well, having known him almost since he was a teenager (and Bendis from back when he had hair). I like them, so I’m not going to bash them or anything. But I do need to point out where their politics can be a problem. Bendis is pretty smart about keeping his on the down low. From what I’ve read of his work, and I’ve read a lot, it generally doesn’t creep in that much. Just a dot here and there like you’d expect from a Hollywood writer. Brubaker lives in the San Francisco Bay area. And occasionally he’s thrown in some lefty views in his work. He generally doesn’t as a rule. But his latest Captain America crosses the line and it needs addressing.
Look, I understand that knowing them personally, Hudnall feels he's got to be polite. However, I'd just like to offer a reminder that, even if Bendis is capable of keeping his politics to a minimum, that still doesn't make his writing worth reading. And it's not. He was the writer who degraded the Avengers 6 years ago, and beat up on Tigra almost 3 years later, and I don't think he's suited to put the Avengers "back together" if he couldn't disband them tastefully years before.

The point here is that, even if politics aren't the problem, there's still some very seriously bad writing that's dragging down what remains of mainstream comics today, and refraining from ultra-leftist politics alone isn't going to stand them erect again. Series like Superman and Spider-Man with a brighter viewpoint have to be toned down from some of the R-rated violence that's poured into them, and continuity and good characterization have to be respected. They also need to quit resorting to shock tactic deaths and villification, not to mention the horrid crossovers that have brought things to a standstill.

The Capt. America story has certainly drawn a lot of attention. I gotta say, it's rather amazing it took this kind of leftist nonsense to get the conservative movement, or any movement with common sense, to sit up and take notice of how something's gone wrong with mainstream books. Quesada has allegedly apologized for this, but frankly, I doubt he's any more sorry he allowed this than Brubaker is. It's about time they be taken to task for their disrespect for the audience and much of the wider public, as Brubaker's crummy story is doing. And for those who want to protest, maybe I can suggest a little something that's been tried for network television: contact their advertisers and ask them to pull their advertising in Marvel and DC's output. After all, advertising is one of the ways most comic book companies usually gain part of their revenue, just like television, and without it, they certainly won't have much to help them. I think it's a very worthy idea to try out, and a shame nobody's thought of it yet.

One more thing worth noting: it seems that Mark Waid:
is humiliated and mortified on behalf of my entire industry that Fox News is able to bully us into apologizing to lunatics.
Poor Mark, he has really lost himself. He should've stayed out of this, and now, he's only making it worse.

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Geez, Waid is a fool *and* a tool.

I eagerly await the issue where Marvel has one of their protagonists threaten to assassinate Barry 0. And tries to present it justifiably.

After all, it's not like they have a political axe to grind. No, sir.

Screw you Waid.

I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories, but I have to say I am now convinced the whole thing with the "teabaggers" sign was a publicity stunt.
As for Brubaker and Waid's comments, what they have said is ample proof of two things - Brubaker and Waid are two shining gems of colossal innorance; and their preening arrogance and intolerance are probably the two main reason why the MS comic book industry better days of greater circulation and far better stories are clearly things of the past.
The sad thing is, I could almost tolerate Waid until he made that dumbass comment of his.

For most of my life, I've lived by the "hate the artist, love the art" rule. I may despise someone and/or their views, but if I enjoy what they do, I'll let it pass.

As I've gotten older, though, I increasingly no longer wish for these arrogant bastards to see a penny of my money.

If you want to keep me as a patron, keep your frickin' mouth shut. Otherwise, talk all you want - in the unemployment line.

And to that, I say, right on!

I've been spending time going through my Silver Age comics, and one thing I've noticed (besides far more solid storytelling than much of what's written today) is that, for the most part, the guys involved with the biz back then weren't a bunch of arrogant pricks (or, if they were, they somehow managed to keep it to themselves). There was some political stuff, sure, but nothing at all like what we're seeing now.

Whoops!
Anonymous was me, Thnunumber6.
Sorry if there was any confusion.

As usual, right on target Avi. I just added some more thoughts.

Most "guys involved with the biz back then" were mature adults who had lived in the real world and had worked in real jobs. (And many of them had also served in WWII or Korea.) Today's "creators" are spoiled brats who have never been told "no" about anything. They went to schools that taught "self esteem" instead of teaching consideration for others. They love Obama because he is a spoiled yuppie who reminds them of themselves.

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  • 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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