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Tuesday, May 08, 2018 

Brian Vaughan's immigration propaganda

Vaughan, who created the Runaways for Marvel, has a politicized book coming out from Image called Barrier, and the Hollywood Reporter gave him the usual superficial interview with no objectivity. They begin with:
This month, the immigration debate is going to start to involve a whole new definition of aliens. Image Comics is releasing Barrier — the five-part sci-fi immigration drama by Runaways and Saga co-creator Brian K. Vaughan and artist Marcos Martin — in print for the first time since it debuted in 2015 digitally.

Opening in Texas, Barrier sees figures on both sides of the immigration debate — a rancher in the U.S. and a Honduran man trying to get to the United States — kidnapped by aliens and forced to try and communicate and work together despite their language barrier (mirrored in the book itself, which is bilingual with both English and Spanish dialogue) to try and escape, offering both a classic science fiction tale and pointed commentary on a subject that is, seemingly, permanently a hot button topic in American politics. Barrier was previously only available digitally from Vaughan's and Martin’s Panel Syndicate platform, and the first issue will debut in print Saturday during Free Comic Book Day.

Heat Vision talked to Vaughan about how the rise of President Donald Trump has impacted how the series reads since its original digital release.
Even before Trump was elected, there were already traces of open borders mentality turning up in comicdom. The Captain America stories where Sam Wilson replaced Steve Rogers as the real Cap was transformed into a nazi were a standout example of the offensive depths comicdom sunk to in their ultra-leftism.
What made Barrier the right project to follow up The Private Eye? There are obvious similarities — both are stand-alone sci-fi stories that touch on issues that are relevant to today's readers — but it feels as different from the earlier project as it does similar.

I think Marcos and I both aspire to make work that feels relevant to 20 minutes into the future, to steal a line from Max Headroom. With The Private Eye, we pretty much lucked into the theme of privacy before Edward Snowden/the Sony leaks/Cambridge Analytica, etc., made that story feel prescient. For our follow-up, even though we decided to do Barrier long before there was any talk of a wall on American’s southern border, it was already a lot easier to predict that immigration was about to become a similarly important subject for all of us.
And most unfortunately in his vision, something that has to be supported at all costs, even if it means risking the infiltration of terrorists into the USA.
Barrier is, if anything, more timely now than it was when the digital edition debuted in 2015. Given all the many discussions, arguments and sad developments surrounding the US's relationship to immigrants and immigration in the time between then and now, does it change the way you feel about the series? Would you do it differently if starting today?

Having written this story years ago, it’s beyond surreal to now have President Trump ranting on Twitter about the same kind of “caravan” from Honduras that we show Oscar surviving in our first issue. I wouldn’t change a thing, especially the final scene of the series, which feels more appropriate than ever.
Umm, what if he wrote at least half the elements and ideas for this series after Trump ascended to office? Sure, I've seen these writers claim they "predicted" elements turning up during Trump's term in office well before his election, but honestly, I'm sure some of them didn't, and open borders mentality already had a presence among people like these in the past decade or so. And it's beyond surreal they make such a big deal about allowing this or that person into the USA regardless of whether they know what their personal character is like, and whether those who've infiltrated the border without permission are possible terrorists and such who could be seeking to harm the citizenry.

The politics aside, here's the really bizarre part: not only is this supposed to have special editions for Free Comic Book Day, but look how Vaughan and Image are going to have it released:
...We have no plans to ever collect these five issues into a trade paperback or anything, so each comic is made to last, with great paper and a classy-ass cardstock cover. I'm embarrassingly proud of how nice this once ethereal digital story now smells.
What, seriously? Now that is definitely surreal. If he's really proud of his work, why wouldn't he want it published as a trade to boot, or go straight to trades instead, so anybody who missed out can get the whole story complete? I can only assume they don't have much faith in it's chances for finding an audience, since the politics are poking through the seams and they figure even the liberal crowd's not particularly interested at this point. If anything, it's a textbook example of somebody not investing much stock in their wares, and who's choosing to litter the market with junk that'll turn up in the bargain bins later on. What can I say? A pretty weird way to sell/market a comic alright, and it probably tells a lot more than they're actually letting in on too.

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The people who call for open borders live in gated communities, surrounded by walls and armed guards.

Maybe they should put those Hondurans into camps on Cyprus. The British used the island 70 years ago to detain populations of refugees they suspected included terrorists, but I don't think it has been used for any purpose like that since 1948.

Go to Mexico/Central America which has a thriving art community. Find talented artists and writers. Bring them to the US legally using H1-B. Pay them less than scale to do same job as comic artists and writers here. Editors will correct english and or translate. Instant change in US comic art community opinion vis a vis immigration in general. Tough shit, the Kalifornia Democrats need latino votes so no laws coming to stop it. Comicgaters laugh their asses off.

What Mr. B is suggesting is what the comic book industry has been doing for years! In the forties, it mainly hired minority kids of immigrants and paid them far less than what the standard rates were for comic strips or commercial art. In the seventies, it went to the Phillippines and Latin America for artists, or hired immigrants from there (Alcala, De Zuniga, Chua, Trinidad, Rico Rival, Aragones, many more) as well as the odd artist from Korea, Spain, and so on (like Sanho Kim, or Esteban Marota and Vicente Alcazar). Name Hispanic artists subcontracted work to lesser known artists in their out-of-America studios. And today, the people who work on the art on the books are international. Nothing new under the sun.

It isn't about politics; it is about how Federal Express and then the internet made it easier to deal with out of town artists and still meet deadlines. And it generally follows trends across all American industries of outsourcing production to other cheaper countries.

(By the way, large portions of the Latino vote in the United States have in the past been strongly Republican; many remembered Reagan as their president when they came over and stayed loyal to his party.)

"...large portions of the Latino vote in the United States have in the past been strongly Republican"

Some history from a Kalifornian: Reagan passed an amnesty when the number of illegals was only about 2 million. Okay. Unfortunately that set off an immigration sh*tstorm where far more illegals came in expecting to be amnestied while living off of welfare. The most common name for new babies in LA county was "Jose" in the late 80s. The Republicans thought Latinos would vote religious right (and got big money from consortiums of large companies to keep the floodgates open - looking to lower labor costs) Then, 10 years after it was too late, the GOP supported an initiative measure to strip illegals of welfare benies and public school attendance. It easily passed but was ruled unconstitutional by the California Supreme court which was packed with Dems. Instant party reversal by the latinos, most of whom now have lots of children born here and who vote. Hispanics voted 67% versus 31% for Obama and 66% versus 32% for Clinton. That's why Hillary got two million more votes in California, it's why California is now effectively a one party state (which was deep red at one point) and it's why both parties are blocking the wall which will eventually turn the US blue. Sad but true. I recommend this to anyone looking to understand immigration politics: https://www.amazon.com/Adios-America-Ann-Coulter/dp/1621572676/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525971452&sr=8-1&keywords=adios+america&dpID=51csGO03w3L&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

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