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Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Patrick Zircher says something sensible for a change about relations with consumers

He seems to be coming to terms with how unproductive his past conduct was, with rightists or otherwise:

The article, if I'm correct, came from Bleeding Cool, and Bounding Into Comics has more on the subject. Well that's good he's coming to his senses and realizes that negative attitudes towards the audience doesn't help the medium one bit as a whole. I still wish though, that he'd apologize for upholding Identity Crisis and that embarrassing variation he was the illustrator for in Nightwing about 14 years ago. Simply put, it does no favors for his own reputation, and Devin Grayson's disowned the story, so I believe it could do Zircher a lot of good to follow her example, and not serve as an apologist for Brad Meltzer's offensive farrago either. A good way to repair a reputation is to distance oneself from distasteful projects.

Anyway, this latest news involving Zircher apparently came on the heels of an announcement by DC calling on their freelancers - and hopefully internal staff - not to engage in "mean spirited" comments online. It possibly came as the result of the whole controversy involving Ethan Van Sciver, and the letter says:
Dear DC Talent Community –

The comic book industry is a very special creative community dedicated to telling epic and legendary stories of action, heroism and intrigue with a rich and diverse portfolio of characters. Both DC’s employees, as well as its extended family of freelance talent, contribute to our success and are direct reflections of our company, characters and comics.

As such, DC expects that its employees and freelance talent community maintain a high level of professionalism as well as reasonable and respectful behavior when engaging in online activities. Comments that may be considered defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or that incite violence are unacceptable and may result in civil or criminal action.

In addition, comments that may be considered insulting, cruel, rude, crass and mean spirited are against company policy and guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.

Below you will find the most current version of the company’s social media guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.

DC Entertainment Social Media Guidelines for Talent

This policy has been developed to empower DC Talent to participate in social media activities, represent their creative endeavors well and share their passion for DC’s characters, stories and brands. We recognize the vital importance of online social communities and this policy reflects our commitment to the best possible use of social media. Below are DC’s recommended guidelines when partaking in social media.

Stay positive when you post and we also recommend that you avoid negative comments in this very public forum.

You may want to refrain from engaging with individuals who may be speaking negatively about you, other talent, DC, our fans and the comics industry as this is a no-win situation.

If there has been a personal threat to you or those around you then in addition to alerting DC, please involve the proper law enforcement authorities.

Use good judgment when posting, reposting and liking comments, photos and videos as these may have unintended consequences.

Talent should take special care when using social media to ensure that comments and postings made by you are not associated with DC.

Under all circumstances, please indicate that you do work for DC, but that your comments are your own and do not reflect those of the company.

The internet is permanent regardless of “privacy settings” or other limits you may try to place on your posting. Think before you post, comment, retweet or like something.

Do not reveal plot points, storylines or launch timing — including photos or video of in-progress assets, artwork, story outlines, scripts, panels, announcement details, etc. without coordinating with DC Publicity. Members of the press may follow you on social media, and your posts can — and probably will — become news.

Don’t break news on social media. If you have any questions on what you can or can’t post on any platform, DC Publicity or Talent Relations departments are available to assist.

If you’d like to share DC news on your social pages, we recommend sharing news from DCComics.com, DCE-sanctioned social media pages and other news widely reported on credible news outlets.

If you are contacted by members of the press or asked to participate in an interview about your work for DC, please coordinate this with the DC Publicity department so that news can be rolled out in an orchestrated fashion and elevated on DC digital and social channels as well.

And finally, we recognize that there can be a dark side to social media and to that end if you feel that you are being harassed or bullied through social media channels because of your work for DC or your association with us, please feel free to contact the DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.
Well I'll give them credit for recognizing that both freelance and staff attitudes have been out of control for some time now, and that's why it's vital for both divisions to simply refrain from serious interactions with the audience. Thus, it leaves the query: is Marvel going to ensure the same be done at their end of the spectrum? After all, Dan Slott for one acted so embarrassingly bad over the past few years, that's why anybody as far-left as he is has to be reined in and told they cannot keep doing this anymore. And while Ron Marz may not have worked for either company of recent, he's lost his mind many a time too over awful leftist politics. Thank goodness IDW had the brains to discipline Aubrey Sitterson for causing them bad publicity with his 9-11 comments, and they finally parted with him by the end of the year, as the GI Joe spinoff he wrote turned out to be a disaster.

In fact, here's one writer who hasn't been working for DC lately who's not taking the news kindly:

Well, I guess so, if only because if that's how it's gonna be, DC won't be able to offer Hine any assignments again for quite a while, because they [hopefully] don't want the controversy he could wind up causing. Which, now that I think of it, could explain why Dan DiDio scrapped the Twitter account he once had, as people who recognized that he was mainly responsible for devastating the DCU in the mid-2000s surely condemned him on the platform, and he just couldn't take it any more than he could requests that Stephanie Brown be restored to her role as Spoiler (and Chuck Dixon should be rehired for regular assignments without question over his politics). Hine's the writer who crafted that Islamic propaganda in one of the Batbooks, and if he's not sorry, then he won't be missed. Somebody else told him he lost respect for Hine over the political tirade he posted. And IMO, Hine deserves to lose a lot of respect if he keeps this up.

Augie deBlieck, who may or may not still write for CBR, had a better comment on the topic:

Exactly. If it's online and accessible in any way for public reading, then it's not personal but public. And so many left-wing comics writers have made asses of themselves online over the years - far more than any conservatives combined - that it's advisable for any business to set guidelines for what can and can't be done on the web. IMHO, it'd be better to just run accounts on social media sites like Facebook and not Twitter, because a character limit of 280 is little more than an excuse to write utter nonsense, rather than something intelligent.

That said, DC's own executives still have to be held accountable on their own part for serious errors made in the storytelling they produce, and on that, they cannot be ignored any more than Marvel's.

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You have to be careful about Chuck Dixon. When it comes to things like government regulation and political party loyalty, he is right wing to the max. But when it comes to diversity and comics, he is very liberal. This is the guy who killed the Ollie Queen Green Arrow and replaced him with a younger Eurasian version; who replaced the British, upper crust Anglo-Saxon Black Angel with an African-American one; who brought in a female Hispanic disabled version of Sky Wolf; and who rewrote a caricatured evil Japanese World War II aviator to turn him into a hero. He may have killed off Ollie for political reasons, but still, when it comes to diversity, he was the precursor to the movement. Who knows what he would do with Bruce Wayne if you gave him half a chance?

I remember in 2005, he also wrote a short-lived series starring Richard Dragon that ignored past continuity, much like the Doom Patrol series they published at the time. And his treatment of the Alison Pierce character seen in the Outsiders volume of the time was questionable too, no matter how poorly developed she was when Judd Winick first added her. You've got some good points, and Dixon does have to be held accountable for some of the works he did in the past.

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