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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 

When comics turned political

The New Statesman wrote about how modern comics ended up becoming political tools, and some of what they say is pretty dishonest, and pays lip service to propaganda cartoonists too. For example, when they bring up Joe Sacco, they say:
Sacco, creator of Palestine, Safe Area Goražde, and Journalism amongst others, is highly acclaimed for his documentary journalism in the comics medium. The cartoonist was keen to stress to his audience at the second Stripped event the differences between his subjective journalism and so-called objective journalism, saying that the former was far more honest – all reporters and journalists have their own preconceived notions that dictate how and what they report. While journalists reporting only the cold hard facts left gaps in the story, Sacco mused that, “I don’t know if there should be more outrage for the sake of outrage,” and pointed out that their choice of story was often telling enough.

“My sympathies are clear at least by what I’m reporting on,” he said, adding that by portraying himself within his stories he was indicating that this work was filtered through his own viewpoint. Sacco also spoke of the tension between the idea of journalism, representing the facts and the truth, and drawing, which he said was subjective by its very nature, filtered by the artist and the choices they make on the page.

But does his work record history or does it actually influence people? Sacco personally went from the US media created illusion that all Palestinians were terrorists to being able to show the bigger picture. “For whatever it’s worth,” he said, “this is when I can do something about that situation. This is when their voices can have some agency.”
Since when did the US press ever claim that all "palestinians" are terrorists, as the magazine/Sacco claims? Leftist publications - much like UK periodicals like the one that published this article - will say Israel is the evil one, and legitimize the so-called palestinians and other Islamofascists who do commit violent crimes. I suppose there's an irony here, that despite the New Statesman sharing some of the same left-wing biases as the New York Times, is still willing to denounce their leftist counterparts in America no matter how tilted they are in the same direction. Interesting how both they and Sacco say that his hogwash form of "journalism" is great while denouncing objectivity. Clearly, there's no honor among leftists.

The article also brings up the UK writer Paul Cornell, and says:
One writer who openly embraces political issues in his mainstream work is Paul Cornell, writer for DC, Marvel and Doctor Who, as well as numerous novels including London Falling (Tor, 2013). Cornell is known not only for including great women characters in his comics, but also for spotlighting issues including LGBT and immigration as almost a byproduct of his plots.
Does that include characters like Faiza Hussein, the British Muslim in Captain Britain and MI13 whose religion is presented in an otherwise normalized light? As for LGBT issues, he's already made clear he has no respect for concerned mothers.
“I think there's a lot more resistance from certain elements in the fandoms than there is inside the companies,” Cornell answered. “Certainly, Marvel have got behind Panel Parity, putting my wonderful Wolverine editor, Jeanine Schaefer, on their Comic Con panel (editors appearing on panels is a surprisingly rare thing), and emphasising their female-led books and female talent.

“In the past, comics companies have tended to suggest diversity should 'happen naturally', as if when you leave a comic book open overnight gay men might grow in the pages like mustard and cress, so it's great that Marvel are now championing it, doing it deliberately. Because that's the only way it can be done. Jeanine's a force for change. And there are a number of prominent female editors now who are altering the face of pro comics culture pretty swiftly.

“Online comics fandom, meanwhile, if you judge solely by the comics message boards, remains conservative and behind the times. The action is to be found on Tumblr, where the Carol Corps lives."

Tumblr is indeed the place to be for many younger comics fans who have been horrified at those same conservative internet forums. Here burgeoning communities of like-minded souls can be found, with a sense of real enthusiasm in the air.
What conservative forums are we talking about? It couldn't be CBR, since last time I looked, they had quite a bit of ultra-liberalism going about there, much like their own staff. Many of the readers still hanging on are liberals too, and in Cornell's case, way behind the times, judging from his selective approach that whitewashes Islamisogyny even as he allegedly complains about the lack of women at various comic panels. And why would Tumblr be just a liberal platform? All major blog hosts have their share of writers from both sides of the political spectrum.

And pretty silly of the New Statesman to be calling fandom conservative, when many of the hardcore readers for the mainstream today are anything but that.

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It's sad, but not surprising, to see a UK outfit sugarcoat the work of a rabid anti-Semitic moonbat like Joe Sacco. I remember in addition to his rampant anti-Semitism, he was asked once by my local newspaper, the Star Tribune, if he'd ever consider writing Superman. He claimed that superheroes "were ridiculous and unrealistic" to him. That's ironic, considering his comics are biased and unrealistic, from what I can tell.

As for Cornell, it's sad that he's declined like that, because his Doctor Who episodes generally were pretty good. That has not translated well into comics, however, as the propaganda he's written in MI-13 and other publications clearly has shown.

And if he thinks that online fandom is conservative, well, he obviously doesn't get online very much. You, me, Doug and Hube are all conservatives... but then we're bloggers, not message board posters. A quick perusal of Twitter, Newsarama, CBR and other sites reveals that a lot of today's fanboys are overwhelmingly liberal and the very definition of Low Information Voters (LIVs). Tumblr might lean predominantly left, but there are conservatives on there, too, like you said. Just as there are people of varying beliefs on all blog platforms.

Honestly, if you want evidence that today's fanboys are liberal, just look at some of the moonbats that have shown up here on occasion, like during the Orson Scott Card "controversy," for example. Or that anonymous idiot who called us "Islamophobes" and "racists" in response to the Islamic character in MI-13.

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