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Sunday, September 19, 2010 

Colorado Springs Gazette's comics columnist quits

I discovered that the main writer in charge of comics coverage for the Colorado Springs Gazette is ceasing to write his column after 15 years. I really can't care, since he wrote some of the worst, most sugary, double-talking items possible over the years, including his fawning over Identity Crisis while supposedly having a problem with Sins Past in Spider-Man (and if Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson had been protagonists in the DCU, I suspect he'd be even less likely to come to their defense), gushed over Barack Obama's guest starring roles in Spider-Man and the Savage Dragon, had no complaints about Marvel's recent rendering of Iron Man, and wrote an unobjective article about the desecration of Roy Harper and Green Arrow.

And in this closing column of his, he says:
For 15 years, I have funneled my longtime love for comic books into a Sunday column for The Gazette. Over that time, Marvel — once known for some truly awful movies — saw its characters win blockbuster status on the big screen. CrossGen tried to shake up the comics industry but died. “Smallville” hit the small screen. Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane was erased. Digital comics arose. Captain America was killed, but got better. DC weathered an “Infinite Crisis” and a “Final Crisis.”
Yeah, but did he make any serious attempt to write a serious argument about where Marvel and DC, among others, were handling everything the wrong way? Nope, and that makes me doubt he really means it when he talks about his "longtime love" for comic books. Otherwise, he would've objected to the monstrosities of Identity Crisis, Avengers: Disassembled, Civil War, Blackest Night, etc. But no matter how hard he tried to make it look like the contrary, I was never convinced he wanted to help defend the better values of the industry and the art form, nor did he really want to stand up to Quesada and DiDio.

Surprisingly enough, he even says in this short closing item of his that:
...after having been through event after event, through blackest nights and secret invasions and superhero civil wars and dark reigns, I’m a bit burned out. I doubt I’ll ever give up on comics completely, but Wednesday — new comics day — isn’t the lure that it once was.
Well how about that, now he tells us how discouraged he is with mainstream comics! And even that statement is muted. Did it ever occur to him that if he'd spoken out years earlier and clearly complained - via a serious, meaty opinion article, and even criticized Quesada and DiDio for all the horrendous mess they caused - that he might not feel so burned out? What's the point of only saying so now, after he failed to write up any objective opinions and coverage all these years, about how the people in charge of DC and Marvel today have brought about ruin in the long term?

I think that the less journalists employed to write comics coverage as fawning, superficial and unobjective as what the one working for the Colorado Springs Gazette was turning out, the better it will be for all of us. I certainly won't be missing the Gazette's reporter, if all he can do is make J. Jonah Jameson look far more informative by comparison (and then why did any MSM journalists in real life ever want to read comics like Spider-Man if JJJ was meant to be reflection of them? I just don't get it.)

The only way to save the comics medium is if any journalists with expertise in the subject are willing to do an objective report on who and what's destroying them today, and not worry about whether they'll get to do an up front interview with the EICs and publishers, nor whether the head honchos will resent them for asking straightforward questions and challenging them boldly about whether they're going in the right or wrong direction. After all, people like Quesada and DiDio aren't deserving of press coverage as fawning as what some of these MSM writers are sadly giving them.

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'new comics day — isn’t the lure that it once was.'

Dang, it took him awhile to catch on. That feeling hit back me in '93.

Ego is pretty much the driving force in MSM these days; columns of any kind were a rarity when I was in journalism school back in the late 1980s. Back then, we were encouraged to at least maintain some kind of objectivity. Hacks like the Gazette's ex-columnist make me want to fwow (sic) up.

Columns of any kind were a rarity in the 1980s? When newspapers were cranking out money and more columnists were employed in this country than any time before or since?
You don't know what you're talking about. Don't confuse newspaper columnists with cable news opinion pushers.

I'll bet this dude got his column whacked by a failing newspaper and then had to make up reasons he was "choosing" to discontinue the column. If the paper's not making money, the last thing they want to spend money on is a column for middle-age losers who read old-fashioned picture books in their basements.

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