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Thursday, March 15, 2012 

Paul Cornell insults One Million Moms while discussing a political comic

The Huffington Post interviewed Paul Cornell, a comics writer from the UK, about a political comic he's publishing called Saucer Country, which may be a subtle attack on opponents of illegal immigration.
Drawn by artist Ryan Kelly, Saucer Country has a very clean art style that stays out of the way of the fascinating dichotomy of the story, which revolves around New Mexico governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Arcadia Alvarado. She's like a cross between Bill Richardson and Elizabeth Warren in the body of a Mexican Sarah Palin.

While on the campaign trail, dealing with her alcoholic ex-husband, Republicans, and illegal immigration, she realizes she's been abducted by aliens.

This is a world where all the UFO and alien conspiracies are true. In some ways, it reminded me of a Brian K. Vaughn's Ex Machina, which paired politics with the world of superheros.
And why wouldn't it surprise me if, realizing just how leftist Cornell could be, this managed to attack both opponents of illegal immigration and even worked in 9-11 conspiracy theories to boot?
Bryan Young: The tone this book gives you is if you crossed the behind the scenes machinations of American politics with an alien autopsy. What brought you to combine the rich history of UFO and alien conspiracies in a setting where it's a major political issue?

Paul Cornell: Well, I wanted to have that contrast between the world that UFO mythology comes from, a liminal world, often of the poor and the left out, and the high level of society it speaks about, the people who are meant to be running the conspiracies, and for the first time have it play out the other way round, so we feel, alongside Arcadia, that we might have some chance of finding out the truth.
Which is that the rich belittle the poor, or keep the "poor" illegals outside and won't share their wealth with them?
BY: Tell me about the heroine, Arcadia Alvarado. She starts this series with very definite ideas about immigration, how will actual aliens alter her perspective on "illegal aliens"?

PC: That pun is close to our hearts. They don't alter her views on that at all, but they start to frame how she sees the world in a lot of ways.

BY: And how would you describe her to a new reader?

PC: She's as hard as nails, the most determined person you ever met. She thinks 'a thing is what it is'. And someone who thinks that is the last person you'd want to abduct if you want your thing to maintain its mystery.

BY: Does the "illegal immigration" debate seem as absurd from an outside observer as it does to people like myself or Arcadia?

PC: I think every country in the world has it, with varying degrees of rationality. Certainly, the heart of it is just a basic caveman fear about The Other. (We like getting into that too.) But making The Other into Us is something the U.S. used to be a machine devoted to doing. And it could be like that again.
Obviously, both Cornell and the interviewer are keeping mum about what this is like, but that could actually be a clue to just how left-leaning the book might be. But what really botches everything is when both interviewer and writer stoop to conservative-baiting sensationalism:
BY: Because books with explicit political agendas of the left to undermine the safety of our nation get boycotted and get lots of good attention (see Life With Archie #16), what would hardline conservatives who will never read the book or even consider it find as a reason to boycott it? You can make something sensational up if you like....

PC: I absolutely think that A Million Moms should boycott this title. It worked for Archie! We have profanity, a profoundly liberal politician spouting off all over the place, and there's loads of sex too. Oh, and the naked people from the Pioneer Ten space probe plaque are two of our major characters. (That's all actually true.)
Well how about that, he falls for the interviewer's bait and drags in an otherwise unrelated subject. A comic like this geared for adults is not what concerns a family group like One Million Moms, nor should it if he doesn't market it at youngsters. The only problem is whether it's even remotely hostile to conservatives from a political perspective. Furthermore, there's no clear proof that the Archie issue sold billions, and if it turns out it only sold a small portion, then all they're doing is hype and spin. And Cornell isn't helping his own reputation by insulting conservatives.

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I can't boycott something I wouldn't want to read anyway.

I hate these British comics writers, and now I can add Cornell to my list of writers to avoid, not that I'd read this Arcadia nonsense at all. They've done a lot to help destroy the medium in recent years and ruin countless peoples' childhoods.

Carl

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