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Tuesday, June 05, 2018 

UK Spectator talks about US comics' SJW pandering

James Delingpole at the UK Spectator addressed the recent case of social justice flooding in mainstream US comics, which is still prevalent to some extent, and IMO, an outgrowth of the dark storytelling angles and leftist politics already seen littering comics in the past 2 decades. He even talks about a British comics anthology of the 1970s:
Comics aren’t what they used to be. In 1976 I was 11 — the perfect target audience for probably the most subversive, gory and entertaining comic series in British history, the now legendary Action.

The strips, often rip-offs of movies we readers were too young legally to see, were quite outrageously violent. Hook Jaw was about a heroic great white shark who eats everyone. Death Game 1999 was a death sport based on Rollerball. Kids Rule OK was about a post-apocalyptic world which made Lord of the Flies look like Mary Poppins. Hellman of Hammer Force was the second world war seen from the perspective of a German Panzer major. Inevitably, after complaints from the likes of Mary Whitehouse helped to create a moral panic, it got banned. But from the ashes of Action rose the phoenix of 2000 AD whose creators realised they could get away with murder, so long as they set all their stories in the future.
Now isn't that ironic? If the violence seen in the Action anthology was pretty gory, how could it have been that 2000AD would be considered any more acceptable, future settings or not? Personally, I've sometimes thought such an anthology got off easy because of entries like Judge Dredd and the accompanying political metaphors, which depicted the USA as a quasi-totalitarian police state several decades into the future. And who knows, maybe I'm right.
But what does today’s Generation Snowflake have by way of comic-book entertainment? Well, 2000 AD is still going — just — though it’s gone so wearisomely PC that my brother Dick, a loyal subscriber since pretty much Prog One, finally gave up on it last year. The situation in the US is worse, though. So much worse that you may think what I’m about to describe is satire.

Iron Man is now a 15-year-old black girl who might be a sociopath; the Incredible Hulk is a 19-year-old Asian hipster guy; Thor is a woman who is dying of cancer; and Captain America is a full-on Nazi — to show readers how evil Donald Trump is — while his duties as a good person have been handed over to Falcon, who is much more to be admired, obviously, because he is black.
Hmm, so 2000AD (apparently not retitled 2100, since we're already long where it was set) actually got toned down of recent? Or did it? Maybe not, though if anything, I'm sure whatever liberal viewpoints it ever sported before have remained intact, recalling Nigel Farage once came under assault in a Dredd storyline, so let's not think the writers and artists of those UK stories haven't cut out their own metaphorical attacks on right-wing politicians, both UK and overseas.

By now, some of Marvel's PC introductions have been all but abandoned, and the white superheroes brought back, though Carol Danvers, the real Ms. Marvel, continues to be humiliated with a PC outfit and short-cropped hairstyle. But if it matters, the irony about Riri Williams is that she was not given an admirable personality, one more reason why that little venture as "Iron Maiden" failed. You could probably argue the SJWs who attacked J. Scott Campbell over his variant illustration gave another ironic hint they weren't interested in the book to begin with. All that said, variant covers have taken up far too much focus in comicdom, appeal only to collector's mentality, and consume a lot of money better spent on marketing the stories themselves.
No, really, this is not a joke designed to satirise the leftist, identity politics lunacy which has afflicted so much of the US entertainment industry. This is what has actually happened to the superheroes of those two iconic imprints Marvel and DC Comics. Their characters have all been updated to make them relevant in a more diverse, gender–fluid age where, as rebel comic-books publisher Vox Day puts it, ‘all the princesses know kung fu and none of them need rescuing’.
It's just a shame Day's got such a shady personality, making him little different from the leftists he's supposedly against (will we learn next that he's a Never-Trumper?). Anyway, the problem with how the princesses are depicted is that they're near perfect and it's not like they ever screw up and face setbacks, so how is one supposed to find the stories anything other than boring? Which a lot did. That Marvel wouldn't even conceive new characters in their very own roles and agencies was another serious error in marketing.
Except, of course, the demographic that mainly buys comics — young white males — isn’t much interested in having its consciousness raised. It wants strong storylines with memorable characters, like Spider-Man (now Latino) and Punisher (now trans-gender) used to be before the social justice warriors took over the comics industry. Sure enough, the drop in sales reflects this. In 2016, the total annual sales of the top 300 selling comics in the USA was nearly 90 million; the next year it had fallen below 80 million; this year it may well drop by ten million more.
And that's partly because of the rise in prices for single issues to 4 dollars or more. Since it's unlikely they'll reduce prices back to 50 cents, it'd do a lot of good if they'd make the switch to full-time paperbacks/hardcovers, and they needn't worry about not being able to do stuff like guest appearances by one character in another's book.

I think it'd be a good idea to take issue though, with the assertion it's mainly white men who buy comics. There have been black, Latino and Asian consumers in the past, and still are, who've been just as alienated by poor writing and artwork that doesn't do anything for the casts of characters.
Almost inevitably, this hideous PC takeover (see also: Gamergate, the video games version) has been christened Comicsgate. If you’re not American or you’re not into comics you may feel disinclined to care. But you should, for comics are yet another theatre in the much wider culture wars being waged by the militant left. Free speech, people’s livelihoods and what ought to be the most basic criterion of all art — the pursuit of excellence — are under threat. Talented comic writers and artists deemed insufficiently woke (i.e. left-wing) have been hounded out of work. Comic-book readers have been treated as if they don’t matter.
And I know why it ended up this way. In the early to mid-90s, many publishers all but left the newsstands and bookstores, opting almost entirely for the specialty stores. A perfect way to ensure ghettoization, along with the cover prices that continued to rise. I'm sure if you asked some of the operatives of the times if they had any regrets about that approach, they'd say no.
One of the miseries inflicted on them is that female characters have got less slim and attractive to discourage any unhealthy objectification. Happily this has created opportunities for upstart independents who can’t abide these new rules. One Jawbreakers (not avowedly political: just pure, escapist entertainment from a team including disgruntled Marvel artists and colourists) has already raised more than $300,000 from its crowdfunded launch on IndieGoGo, sending it near the top of the graphic novel charts.

Another Alt Hero, which launches in print this week after a similarly successful crowdfunding campaign, is attracting interest from the movie industry. One of its heroines, Rebel, is a superhero Southern girl who always seems to be losing part of her skimpy, deeply un-PC Confederate flag-themed costume. Not all the US electorate voted Hillary. Good to see at least some parts of the entertainment industry slowly waking up to the fact.
By making the lady casts less attractive, Marvel not only insulted the past creators, including Stan Lee himself, they even insulted women, by implying they're inherently sexual, and only further discourage the lady fans they supposedly seek. It's still uncertain if, under C.B. Cebulski, they're improving, but even if the art does improve, there's still the scriptwriting to consider, and that's still a serious point of contention, because they've still got leftist political propaganda abound, and the rabid approach they've taken under Quesada/Alonso still doesn't look like it's going to evaporate at ease. One more reason why some independents are doing relatively better for now, though even they're not immune to the same diseases.

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Vox Day is a Trumper, certainly no never-trumper. He got on the trump train early on.

https://redice.tv/news/vox-day-of-gamergate-why-i-support-donald-trump

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/05/three-word-trump.html

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/12/vox-day-of-washington-post.html

He is part of a fringe element that were strong supporter's of Trump from the beginning.

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