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Wednesday, January 19, 2011 

Kurt Busiek is losing himself in liberalism

Kurt Busiek used to be a very high profile writer. But, there's a downside to him, certainly these days: he's a deluded liberal. Thanks to Hube, here's some screenshots of comments he made on his Facebook account (I myself don't have a Facebook account, and it may be difficult to reach the blog-like listings there without one), where he loses his way in discussion of the tragic shooting in Arizona, which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was very lucky to survive:





Now he does admit that we can't jump to conclusions in assuming that Sarah Palin actually led to this in the first/second examples featured. Unfortunately, his bias against Palin is still pretty apparent, and did it occur to him that the insane comics vendor he cited there could be liberal, seeing that the man is from Massachusettes, which has long been a bastion of leftism? This is certainly the case with the monstrous Jared Loughner, who, as better investigation has revealed, is a marxist, a Dubya-hater and was even obsessed with a conspiracy film called "Zeitgeist" that combined anti-Christian messages with 9-11 conspiracy theories (H/T: Betsy's Page).

Busiek also alludes to Palin's announcement that the left won't shut her up in a way that signals contempt, and his admittal that he's a "social progressive", makes me sad, and his claim to being a "economic centrist" rings hollow. Over a decade ago, if Busiek's comics work is any suggestion, he was far from sounding like a liberal, and the storyline he put in the Avengers, where the team has problems with a religious cult called the Triune Understanding, a possible allusion to Scientology, may have been a critique on the absurdity of multiculturalism and race-pandering. But it looks like he's a liberal in spite of all that, and over the years, he certainly degenerated into one.

Busiek used to be a very popular writer too back in the 1990s, but in recent years has been sidelined: as far as I know, he has not officially worked for the big two for about 5 years, and has been largely limited to independent works like Astro City. I vaguely remember stumbling over him telling in a conversation on CBR's forums that he didn't like the Spider-Marriage either; another disappointment. I don't know if it's the big two's cease of assignments given to him that's led him to wallow in this kind of dreadful leftism he's displayed on his Facebook page, but Busiek is not setting a good example.

Update: Busiek saw it, and decided to incite against me on his Twitter account by technically encouraging trolls to blabber. Yet he won't even try to defend himself here by speaking up to me personally. Not much of a way to defend his positions. Sigh.

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'I want more idealists and fewer zealots.'

In current parlance, those are the same damn thing.

Great. Another writer I like becoming a leftist hack. Sighs. But I'm not surprised, as it's groupthink.

"More idealists, fewer zealots"? Funny, as isn't the same thing, as being a liberal supposed to mean you're an idealist? And then, you become a zealot, like most liberals have become. Sighs.

Just saying.

Of course he's a leftist. Do you think any writer could get work at the Big Two these days without being a very, very vocal "progressive"?

BTW, "more idealists and fewer zealots" translates to "more people who agree with me and no one who strongly believes differently."

It's that left-wing open-mindedness and tolerance at work.

I know, I know, but I was being amused by or commenting the irony. Silly me. Heh.

Of course, the biggest giveaway to Kurt Busiek being a liberal is that fact that he's a warm-hearted, generous, decent human being.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

"...did it occur to him that the insane comics vendor he cited there could be liberal, seeing that the man is from Massachusettes, which has long been a bastion of leftism?"

How does that matter? The vendor claimed to advocate assassinating members of Congress. Conservatives and liberals alike should condemn that.

"...as far as I know, he has not officially worked for the big two for about 5 years, and has been largely limited to independent works like Astro City."

I'm not sure what kind of work constitutes "not officially" working for DC and Marvel (do you think they paid him under the table?) but he had a well-received Superman run and a sequel to his Marvels series not too long ago.

It's true that he's not that interested in doing the mega-crossover-events that dominate the Big Two's output right now, but if he's doing well for himself with creator-owned work instead of work-for-hire, I'd hardly call that "limited". Surely, as a conservative, you can admire the entrepreneurial freedom that comes with being one's own boss?

"did it occur to him that the insane comics vendor he cited there could be liberal"

Did it occur to you that Busiek might object to the fact that the guy, whether he was a conservative or liberal, advocated shooting members of congress?

Oh dude, seriously?

"Because if we're going to try and stop the misuse of our favorite comics and their protagonists by the companies that write and publish them, [and own them, don't forget that part] we've got to see what both the printed and online comics news is doing wrong."

And from that noble sentry-post you monitor the printed and online news and the personal opinions of industry artists (yes, writers are artists.) So you "scan the media for what's being done right and what's being done wrong." That's a big job, but I guess it's a lot easier when you have such a narrow idea of what's right.

Listen, if you're just looking to slam lefties, and having read some of your other posts I can see that clearly that is what you live for, then slam 'em. I hear you. I don't like mercury. And I think circumcision leads to a lot of psychological problems. We all have a thing.

Where I really have to draw the line, though, is with your comment on, as you say, the Spider-Marriage. Dude. Are you seriously in favor of any version of Peter and MJ married? And you don't think *that* is an abuse of the character by the company (that owns it) and the media (that makes $ off reporting it)?

Think big, dude. Instead of being a sucker for the left, aren't you perhaps being a sucker for the right?

It's so sad to see both sides of this issue so hopelessly fooled and played against each other.

Palin should just disappear. She's being used and doesn't even realize it.

On the one hand, it's so sad to see Busiek (among many others) run with the idea that Sarah Palin "targeted" the congresswoman in any realistic way. Palin certainly hasn't used that "targeting" metaphor/image any more than any other number of political sources. And besides that, the shooter wasn't even influenced by her. Even if he WAS influenced, that's still on him for taking a metaphor too seriously.

On the other hand, "expose" articles like this one fall on their face so often. What's the point of even insinuating that a comic retailer would be liberal because of where he lives? Who cares? And the supposed tracing of Busiek's "descent" seems backed up with very shaky evidence.

The end result of all this stuff is simply greater polarization on both ends. Busiek will go away pushed further to the left, more eager to equate everything "conservative" and/or "wrong" with Palin. And so-called right-wingers will become even more touchy and intolerant of anything and everything supposedly "liberal".

You're all being played, being made to live in a wonderland of heroes and villains, while the real controllers of your life rob you metaphorically and literally without you even realizing it. If we were smarter and less controlled, we wouldn't even be having these conversations. Instead we're distracted by sideshows. Trillions of dollars are being lost. Human rights and civil rights and rights to privacy are being eroded by the day. And all we can debate about is whether or not an attention whore (who isn't even in office at the moment) was right or wrong to use a "target" metaphor a long time ago, the same metaphor used by others--and a metaphor that didn't even lead to a shooting in any realistic way.

Our society is totally dumbed-down, distracted by trivia. And what's worth, is that people too stridently on either side of the issue, they're all so sure that they're correct. You're both believing in different sides of a false paradigm.

"I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I do not know if I'll ever be as good as him, but I do my best."

Sounds a lot like Lex Luthor.

Here's what I gleaned from this post:

1) Labeling a call for 500-plus assassinations as "ugly" is "deluded liberalism."

2) Not rushing to blame Sarah Palin's aggressive rhetoric for the Arizona shootings is "deluded liberalism."

2) Kurt Busiek "has not officially worked for the big 2 in about 5 years." I better go check that I didn't just imagine the existence of Amazing Spider-Man, Action Comics, Marvels, Trinity, and Wednesday Comics issues written by Busiek in the last couple of years.

3) "The absurdity of multiculturalism"? Before reading this I didn't know it was
"absurd" that our planet contains several different cultures with different traditions and viewpoints. I just thought it was a fact.

So what is your point? If Busiek has lost his popularity and ("as far as you know") doesn't work on the characters you are afraid he'll "misuse", then why do you care about his political views? There are a couple of conservative creators (Bill Willingham and Ethan Van Sciver) whose views I don't agree with, but whose work I still buy and admire.

Striving to be a "conservative-leaning" Clark Kent (as you say in your bio) is a lofty and worthwhile goal, but you have a ways to go.

In fact, it's kind of ironic. Remember, Kal-El came from another planet and embraced his new home and became its protector. He's the quintessential "other." Do you really think he'd complain about multiculturalism and "race-pandering"? Do you think he'd promote blacklisting someone who has opposing (but non-threatening) views?

I don't.

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You know, there's at least 2 comments here that, if those posters don't watch their language, I'm going to either mark their comments as spam, or obliterate them altogether for disrespecting someone else's property. Simply put, if you bring a knife, I bring a M-16. Disagreement is one thing, but acting abusive and criticizing someone else's positions, including what they choose to write in their Blogger profile, is another entirely. So get you act in order. Meantime, I obliterate any abusive replies here.

Oh yes, and to "Portland Paul": if you really don't appreciate Stan Lee's contributions to literature, I don't see why you should even bother reading Spider-Man. I once knew another insane man from Portland a decade ago who made me ask similar questions.

Wow. The author of this must have taken a deep, deep drink of the Kool Aid!!

"Disagreement is one thing, but acting abusive and criticizing someone else's positions... is another entirely." um, isn't that what you're trying to do to Busiek?
Not convincingly, but it does seem to be the goal of the blog.

So Travis Corcoran might be a liberal because he lives in Massachusetts? Well he's an anti-tax, anti-regulation, pro-gun "anarcho-capitalist" who is pretty contemptuous
of liberalism. He does identify with libertarianism. But why bother to spend a few seconds researching online when one can stereotype based on a person's address? Please explain how everyone living in Israel shares the same political view! Or how everyone born in Pennsylvania votes the same way. I suppose Mitt Romney might be a liberal because he was Governor of Massachusetts?
Scott Brown is a Massachusetts Senator - he might be a liberal!

You're linking to Jim Hoft's erroneous reports about the shooter. The myspace page he did his research at was fraudulent.

Being a good reporter requires fact-checking. Jom Hoft is not a reporter, but a blogger with a particularly conservative political view. His work is decidedly nonobjective so using it as source material colours the whole as political propaganda

Referring to someone else's blogs even if they are seemingly politically impartial (regardless of any fact-checking) isn't reporting either.

You've made a number of assumptions about Kurt, borrowed some assumptions from another blogger and essentially spent a good deal of time on a poorly executed attack on a popular creator for daring to have a different political ideology than you.

You, and several respondents are engaging in the same anti-intellectual and thoughtless reflexive attacks on the other as spouted by paid pundits in the media. Liberals no more want to destroy the country than Conservatives do, despite the fringe elements convinced of that from the opposite side.

~R

You do know that Kurt grew up in the town next to Arlington, Massachusetts, right? The same town that gave us Scott McCloud? And also, started the American Revolution? Full of liberals, Lexington is. Since 1775.

That's a funny thing to say (and a very angry way of saying it.) Of course I appreciate and admire Stan Lee's contributions to literature. In this we are brothers. Though I'm more a fan of Jack Kirby's approach to character than Stan's, I would never disparage Stan Lee's contributions. His twitter feed, however....

Regardless, I hold that Peter Parker should never win, never get the girl, always be the outcast (as originally created.) Let Spider-Man win (barely) and Peter lose (always.) But I don't write Spider-Man. So I make do with reading it and enjoying the iterations as they come. I haven't missed an issue since the first time Frank Castle shot Pete's web-shooters off his wrists. In fact, I don't think there's been a good run on the main-universe's Spider-Man since before Straczynski's run, but I'm still reading it. I'm an optimist.

I also like that you knew another crazy person in Portland who made you ask questions. Totally sounds like Portland.

Anyway, with the whole Kurt Busiek thing, obviously some of your conclusions don't add up and that affects your overall argument. Personally, I don't care about Busiek's philosophy or if he ate a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. But I sure do love his writing, especially Astro City and his run on Conan, and that Superman alternate concept he did a while back, Secret Identity (I hear he's working on a Batman version now.) I could go on, but what all my accolades would share is an appreciation for his ability to write a character and make that the focus, all the action and high stakes are important only for what it means to this character. Regardless of his philosophy, that's not just good writing, it's great writing. And it seems to me that this is what you and John K. and TheDrizzt should focus on: the product.

I remember hearing lots of talk about John Byrne years ago, people were hating on him for one reason or another. I thought that was too bad. Who cares what the man's personal philosophies are? It's not like he's running for public office. But even today he remains one of my favorite illustrators and among my top writers.

So you feel Busiek's losing himself in liberalism. How important is that, really? Even if it's true, whatever that means, does it really matter? Liberalism, Conservatism, and all the ism's between, maybe you think yours is the best. How quaint.

Busiek can be a chicken worshiper for all I care, so long as he keeps writing well. But that's the thing with you, isn't it? You don't really care if he's writing well or not. You're more interested in how he thinks. Your partisan approach to evaluating what's "right" and "wrong" in comic books threatens the very industry you and I both care so much about. Comics need talent. Not "right" or "left" talent; just talent. I'm pretty sure Busiek doesn't track his philosophies through his stories in any kind of propagandist way. And that, too, is a talent.

Wow, what a spectacularly ignorant post. Even for the blogosphere, this is some useless stuff. Delete this comment, if you like, but the truth stands: Busiek's not "losing" anything, and you're gaining nothing but haters by opining this garbage.

I think the real problem is that the "multiculturalism" really isn't true multiculturalism but "left-wing fundamentalism." Actual multiculturalism would need to respect conservative views even if they didn't agree with them.

Indeed, Tricia S. Same for diversity. The irony is, I'm for actual diversity -- ideological diversity. How about the Left actually explore on that, if they are the bastions of tolerance and open-minded ness they claim they are.

Fine, for fun, I'll play on Portland Paul's contention, since he cited me.

I deeply loved Busiek's Thunderbolts and his Untold Tales of Spider-Man runs, so he already had cache with me. What the issue is is Busiek's character, and, yes, fear what he might do. I fear he may become like Millar or Bendis, as their leftism are a part of their work. I used to read comics to escape, to get away from the politics of the day. (This is one of the main reasons I don't bother with modern comics, anymore, starting with Civil War.)

However, maybe, we might be a touch knee-jerk in our reactions, as who knew Bendis, Millar, Ellis would do what they do? As long as Busiek keeps his politics to himself, or balances with the other side in his arguments, fine. I concede on that part, but, on the other hand, this shouldn't be ignored as a possible predictor, either.

Comics didn't tilt hard-left, when Busiek had his fine moments, 10 years ago, but they do now. And the fact this thread has drawn so many comments proves Avi Green touched a nerve. All of which is good, as it motivates us to think. And unfortunately, modern comics are becoming a sewer, and you can finish my metaphor.

Read his Twitter feed. It's weird stuff. He seems to think David Frum (!) is and Nixon (!!) was a conservative. Makes me think he doesn't have any conservative acquaintances. Certainly hasn't read anything by, say, Friedman (Milton, not Tom) or Buckley (William, not Chris) or Hayek or Sowell or Kirk or...

Oh, well. He's scarcely the first person in comics to be a better writer than thinker.

And he hasn't worked for either of the Big Two in 5 years (apparently a reply to my comment above?), but he has active assignments with them today. Er, wouldn't that be "working"?

And didn't Trinity come out just a couple of years ago?

Weird, weird stuff. Not Ditko-level weird, mind you, but awfully odd.

Ignore the comment above. I got it after re-reading Avi's post; he's quoting Avi ironically (or at least attempting irony), not asserting a response to my previous comment. Mea culpa.

You sold me at Frum. Heh. Nixon (Oh, sorry, Number One of the Secret Empire) had his problems, but he was more to the Right than Frum ever was. Oh, well, that's the way it goes.

I'd forgotten about his Trinity work; mea culpa from me too. It's more like 3 years that he hasn't done work for the Big Two.

I wouldn't worry too much; it's not like too many people remember Trinity, either. It came and went without so much as a ripple.

I do, and always will, greatly admire Busiek's work and writing talents. Any cursory glance at my Amazon reviews, blog postings and personal e-mails to Kurt all prove this. And while I don't share all of the conclusions that Avi's makes in this blog post, the overall issue is a valid one for one who works in the industry Busiek does: entertainment.

I've absolutely NO hassle with anyone pontificating on matters political, whatever your field of endeavor. However, if you're in Kurt's field, it is ridiculous to expect NO criticism in response to your outspokenness. In regards to the Giffords shooting, Kurt immediately took the Reflexive Left's penchant for invoking conservative "hate" rhetoric as a "cause" for a killer's/terrorist's actions. Yes, he did say "we need to wait and see," but then again, Kurt did not exactly wait, did he? Moreover, by exclusively focusing on Palin, the Right, and moronic a-holes like that hateful comics vendor, Busiek effectively alienates approximately half of his fan base. And then people complain when those alienated point to his comments?

Why?

Sorry, but why is it wrong to point out that it is not very wise to essentially call about half of your fan base "stupid?" Because that is precisely what Busiek did (and does) and when he exclusively focuses on only one side of an issue. And again, he has every right to harbor these feelings and opinions -- and to express them ... but he does not have the right to be free from criticism of them.

And I think Kurt would agree. Hell, long ago, he and I had an e-mail exchange about this very issue and he said he thinks "boycotting" an entertainer b/c you don't like his/her politics is a bad idea. To which I pointed out that many people would have a problem giving money to someone (and a rich someone at that) who thinks they're stupid. And I'm one of these people.

Regardless of whether Kurt is a liberal, if he had merely posted something like "hateful rhetoric by both sides should be toned down," and/or immediately wrote "no one jump to conclusions," that'd show a reasonable attitude toward your entire fan base. (The evidence has shown that Loughner was NOT influenced by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck or any other rightist politician or pundit.)

Ah well, I could ramble on about this for hours. In conclusion, again, I greatly admire Kurt's work. But when you act condescendingly towards many of those who support you (financially and otherwise), not expecting a (negative) reaction is just silly.

I had to "Unfriend" Kurt Busiek the day Gabriel Gifford was shot. His non-stop posts filled with hate and illogical attempts to tie the shooting to Palin, Beck and anyone else he disagrees with was just too moronic.

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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 do not know if I'll ever be as good as him, but I do my best.
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