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Wednesday, February 07, 2018 

Now that's real cheap and dishonest

The awful New York Times has spoken about DC publishing special stories for children called DC Zoom, including a book which confronts, not Islamic jihadists, but rather, the easy-peasy choice of the Ku Klux Klan, and wouldn't you know it, they're even using the Muslim Green Lantern, Simon Baz, in another installment. Although not discussed directly in the article, as the picture indicates, that's the character they chose for this propaganda (and the caption in this Polygon article says so too). And it says that:
“We wanted to go back to what we used to have in comic books: story arcs for younger readers,” said Bobbie Chase, a vice president at DC and the executive editor for the new imprints.
Unfortunately, they didn't want to go back to a time when companies weren't prone to shoving bizarre propaganda down the readers' throats.

What's funny is how they're relying on novelists to write these items:
Though a few of the graphic novels will have creators who are already working in the comic book industry, the majority of the writers are a Who’s Who of popular novelists for young readers. They include Laurie Halse Anderson (“Speak”), Melissa de la Cruz (the Descendants series), Michael Northrop (“TombQuest”) and Ridley Pearson (the Kingdom Keepers series).
I think this merely states they lack confidence in their ability to sell the books with homegrown talent, and there've been far too many comics over the years written by people coming from different mediums, who may not even understand what it takes to make a comic work, and use it more often for the sake of pushing political agendas in whatever form.
“Any initiative that will create material for 7- to 15-year-olds, I’m all for,” said Chuck Rozanski, the president of Mile High Comics, which has three comic stores in and near Denver. “That’s our biggest growth area in the store.”

Mr. Rozanski added that a lot of comics, particularly those centered on superheroes, attract a limited, die-hard audience. “The young people coming into stores are not getting material they can take ownership of,” he said. “They are hungry for adventure and for the kind of escapism that comics can provide.”
But if biased propaganda is being shoved into the books, is that something most children and their parents are looking for? Hardly, and it's a bad influence for them as it is. One more reason why this isn't likely to sell millions, that's for sure. Doesn't it occur to them at this point, that if any kind of apologist propaganda is stuffed in, that could scuttle the chances of selling big?
DC Ink will begin with two graphic novels: one featuring Harley Quinn, a supervillain from the Batman universe, written by Mariko Tamaki and drawn by Steve Pugh, and one with Mera, the regal, longtime love interest of Aquaman, written by Danielle Paige. (No artist has been announced for that project.) DC Zoom will make its debut with “DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis,” by Shea Fontana and Yancey Labat.
I'm wondering why a villainess is being marketed as something for readers, even the female audience they say they're gearing these for? That's not exactly what I would consider perfect promo material either, any more than a Muslim Green Lantern.
While staple-bound comic books have traditionally appealed to an audience of male readers, graphic novels have a more diverse readership.
Excuse me? Is that supposed to mean women won't buy pamphlets? Now that is such BS. A few decades ago, there were women who bought some series in pamphlets, like New Teen Titans. That was all before the precursors to the modern SJWs started ghettoizing comicdom by largely ceasing sales in bookstores and newsstands, all for the sake of specialty stores which limited the new content's visibility. And prices went up, further discouraging all but the diehard speculators who went out of their way to buy almost every variant cover sold. Some consumers like myself would rather buy paperback collections today, because they can be a bit cheaper and you get the whole story rather than risk missing a part. IMO, it's a far better example for today's market, and would make things less expensive if companies tried it, and be easier to sell in regular bookstores too.
“You’ll see that Gene Luen Yang book, ‘Superman Smashes the Klan,’ will be for both,” Ms. Wells said. “If anyone can make a bold statement with Superman, it is Gene Yang.”
Oh, tell us about it. In this day and age, to depict the Man of Steel going against such an antiquated enemy is hilariously cheap and pathetic. Why, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster may have done it already long ago. A real challenge would be to write a story where Supes smashes Islamic terrorist movements, but as the inclusion of the Muslim GL in the line makes clear, their approach is throughly intentional, and not willing to show any courage.
“They are character studies, not necessarily superhero stories,” Ms. Chase said.
Really? Surely that doesn't contradict the argument younger readers today are hoping for some adventurous escapism? How will they find that in this so-called drama? I think that only confirms further why this isn't exactly something YA novelists are qualified for writing.

And since Green Lantern is such a notable part of this subject, one has to wonder why Hal Jordan's been sidelined again for the sake of a creation whose existence is entirely propaganda. As if it weren't bad enough that the Justice League movie didn't make use out of GL (though the bad screenplay is obviously the real problem), and their choice for what character to cast in the same role in the Zoom and Ink line only further compounds the damage that's long been inflicted on GL as a franchise, by resorting to characters who were created more for political agendas than real entertainment.

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"... including a book which confronts, not Islamic jihadists, but rather, the easy-peasy choice of the Ku Klux Klan"

That "easy-peasy choice" has historical roots, in the 1946 Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” That storyline is widely credited with helping to weaken the influence of the Klan. You can read more about it in Richard Bowers' book, Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate

"That was all before the precursors to the modern SJWs started ghettoizing comicdom by largely ceasing sales in bookstores and newsstands, all for the sake of specialty stores which limited the new content's visibility."

This statement is difficult to parse, but I'll do my best. Some kind of mythical, O.G. "SJWs" had nothing to do with the move away from newsstands and into the direct market. It was entirely about sales (of course). By the 1970s, comic books were no longer selling in the volume that they were in their World War II-era heyday, which resulted in both more costly returns to the publisher and far fewer outlets willing to dedicate valuable shelf/floor space to the periodicals. Decades before the rise of bookstore chains, a direct-market distribution system made perfect sense for publishers. It wasn't a political agenda (what that would've been, I can't even fathom), only a political one.

That should read "only an economic one."

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