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Monday, May 14, 2018 

More mind-boggling insanity from Conway

Bounding Into Comics directed attention to Gerry Conway's belief that mainstream comics should be changed a la the Golden-to-Silver Ages:

How odd, I thought this was what Marvel already did with the Ultimate universe, and in the end, where did it get them? Not very far at all. In fact, DC tried a similar approach several years ago during their overlong "New 52", with a series called Earth 2, which boasted at least a few "diverse" characters (a gay Alan Scott, a black Hawkgirl and maybe even a black Wildcat), and that lasted even less time; 3 years at most. But, it gets worse:

But changing a character's race/gender isn't? The original creators worked hard to produce those famous creations, and throwing them out with bathwater only disrespects the memories of the creators like Siegel and Shuster. If there's anything from the past that should certainly continue to matter, it's the heroic values on which the superheroes were originally created, and those have been getting lost even faster. The BIC site says:
As for Conway’s idea to blow up the DC Universe and keep continuity in a secondary line, it just wreaks of ignorance of the current state of the comic book industry. Marvel Comics essentially tried to do this with their universe. They sidelined their core characters in favor of brand new characters who would take up their mantles. They introduced Ri Ri Williams, America Chavez, Jane Foster Thor, and more as part of their Marvel NOW! initiative in 2015. The first year would see positive returns for the industry in total comics and graphic novel sales. Comichron reports 2016 saw “a $55 million increase over sales in 2015.” However, 2017, would paint a very different picture as readers became accustomed to the new stories. Comichron would report, “retailer orders for comics, graphic novels, and magazines fell 10% to $522.25 million, the largest percentage drop since 1998.”

It doesn’t look like it would make very good financial sense for DC Comics to take Conway’s radical advice. Instead, DC Comics took their own advice and introduced the New Age of DC Heroes that are books that debuted out of the Dark Nights Metal series. It introduces a number of new characters and series including Damage, Silencer, the Immortal Men, and more. [...]
Apparently, the Damage who debuted this year - Ethan Avery - is entirely new, and not related to Grant Emerson, the son of the Golden Age Atom was introduced in 1994 or so. But I do know this: while introducing new heroes who could represent different racial backgrounds is the positive way to go, introducing them in a company wide crossover is most certainly not, and that's where DC didn't go the right way. Years ago, DC and Marvel often introduced new characters in stand-alone anthologies, but now, they're relying far too much on all the cheapest ways of doing it.

And this wasn't all Conway did. He even went overboard with the following, where somebody tried to recommend the works of Thomas Sowell. He said:

Geez...aside from the nasty language in his retort, he automatically writes off Sowell as nothing more than a tool - which is extremely denigrating in itself - and refuses to recognize that Sowell's his own man, thinks for himself, which is what I thought was considered a positive trait in man and woman. BIC says:
Anyone with a hint of familiarity with the work of Dr. Thomas Sowell would know that he is by no means a prop.

This stinks of ignorance, but it’s also an insinuation on Conway’s part that if you have read Thomas Sowell and appreciate or even agree with his work, you are a racist. It’s simply insulting. [...]

What Conway is implying is that people like Sowell are tokens. He’s a prominent black economist who doesn’t ascribe to the ideas and beliefs that people like Conway expect him to ascribe to. So, in a roundabout way, Conway is basically calling Sowell a Sambo. And then he really goes off the deep end and says that anyone who finds Sowell’s arguments convincing is somehow a racist and to promote Sowell’s ideas somehow promotes racism. It’s just a logical nightmare and doesn’t make any sense.

In no way has Conway read or studied Sowell’s decades worth of work. Because if he had, he’d know that Thomas Sowell speaks for himself, and speaks about subjects through the lens of logic and reason. Something that Gerry Conway seems not to do on Twitter. [...]

Gerry Conway is yet another example of a white liberal who cannot stand to see non-white people not ascribing to the way he believes they should think. This idea of entitlement to minority opinions is shockingly similar to how the old plantation owners felt entitled to the lives and labors of their black slaves.

Conway also shows just how rough the comic book industry is doing right now. Creators are going out of their way to label fans and more importantly potential customers racists. This type of behavior is not only reprehensible, but it’s also just bad for business.
Absolutely. If book authors, movie and TV actors don't pull those kind of atrocities while talking publicly, then neither should comics writers. Conway's demonstrated exactly what's wrong with comicdom today, and won't improve if men like him keep it up. It's only hurting business in the long run. But then, as I've guessed at times, Conway's a guy who otherwise rejects his past career and has given stront hints to that effect. It's too bad, because here, he'd been a talented writer for the quarter century he'd first worked in comics, and now he has to ruin everything by maintaining poor interactions with everybody on the web. I've said it before, and will again, but it's just very, very sad, and won't help the industry at all.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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