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Wednesday, September 26, 2018 

Chelsea Cain turns against Marvel in a Daily Beast interview

Chelsea Cain, whose planned Vision miniseries was recently cancelled before it even went to press, is now speaking out against Marvel at the leftist Daily Beast:
Chelsea Cain used to be afraid—of the internet, of Marvel Comics, of what she might lose if she broke the unspoken rules of an industry-wide “culture of silence.” But she isn’t afraid anymore.
Well if there's one thing this article does tell us, it's how hostile the medium's managers can be to criticism coming from anybody, freelance or intern. But what follows we've heard before:
Two years ago, the bestselling novelist and first-time comic-book writer became the pet target of a wave of online harassment and misogyny sparked by a single image: artist Joëlle Jones’ cover to the final issue of Cain’s Marvel series Mockingbird. It had been Cain and her creative team’s farewell middle finger to the low-level din of trolls that had accompanied every issue: the heroine, S.H.I.E.L.D super-agent Bobbi Morse, holding a lemonade on a beach in a T-shirt that read, “Ask me about my feminist agenda.”
Once again, they're using this to distract from all valid criticism of her corrupted view of Mockingbird in the stories proper. And making her politics that obvious on the cover only made it worse.
She founded a company called The Ministry of Trouble to help facilitate more storytelling, and to “make trouble in spaces where women are usually told to be silent.” And she lined up another high-profile gig at Marvel, writing the follow-up to Tom King’s Eisner-winning run on The Vision.

Fans had rejoiced at the news of Cain’s return to Marvel. Her Mockingbird run had been nominated for two Eisner Awards, the highest honor in comics, and its first collected volume became the No. 1-bestselling Marvel comic on Amazon—a week ahead of its release date. Four of the limited Vision series’ six issues, Cain says, were already complete ahead of the title’s scheduled launch in November. But abruptly, Marvel canceled the series. The publisher declined to comment on why.

Sources told The Daily Beast that shifts in the publisher’s long-term plans for the characters of Vision and his teenage daughter Viv mandated the book’s cancellation, and that the decision was not made lightly.
Which fans are we talking about? Not Avengers fans, because her rendition of Mockingbird did not charm any. And nobody's telling ladies to be quiet. They just don't want liberal feminism clogging what's supposed to be foremost entertainment. Having seen some claims on the net the Mockingbird solo was boring, the Eisner board's nomination only confirms they've been corrupted to the core, recalling over a dozen years ago, they nominated Identity Crisis covers for awards, no matter how defeatist the illustrations looked, especially on the finale.

But how interesting that the reasons for cancellation, if factual, tie in to the direction they're taking with a new daughter for Vision, and this overrides their deals with freelancers in nearly every way. Considering their directions have become as poor as the leftist freelancer's own story, I just don't see why it would matter.
Marvel officials declined to comment to The Daily Beast.

But for Cain, it isn’t the book’s cancellation that’s provoked a disquieting sense of déjà vu. It’s the pressure, spoken and unspoken, she says the company tried to exert to keep her quiet. “I am not a comic-book writer,” Cain says, emphasizing her footing as an outsider with less at stake in the industry than most of her peers. The position empowers her, she says, to speak out now against the ways that mainstream publishers fail the people who actually write and illustrate their product: freelancers.
Whoa, what's that? She's NOT a comics writer? That's the problem with much of the Big Two's choices for hiring today - so many Hollywood types with questionable resumes who don't even learn the trade well or do any research, nor do they have any understanding why it can pay to leave their politics at the door, or at least keep them to a minimum. Sure, the industry can be very unfair to freelancers, but that's still no excuse for the example she followed, to just take a job with no proper experience or interest in learning. Ann Nocenti may not have been the most experienced when she first got her jobs, but the difference is that, unlike Cain, Nocenti actually made an effort to study the medium and gather an understanding what makes it work. If Cain didn't do this by contrast, and Marvel didn't encourage or guide her, that shows how things have changed for the worse, as quality gets thrown the winds.
Marvel canceled Mockingbird after just three issues, though it waited to announce the end of Bobbi Morse’s first-ever solo title until after its eighth. And when the publisher nixed two years’ worth of work on The Vision, cutting a chunk of expected income, “they wanted it to be clean and quiet, with the implication—not even—with the understanding that they had more projects for me in the future if we could keep this clean and not make anybody look bad.”
Doesn't this lend credence to the assumption the whole controversy was manufactured? Also, 2 years is awfully long to be finishing a book, her daytime career as a novelist notwithstanding. It brings to mind how it took 2 years for overrated Kevin Smith to complete the early 2000s Black Cat miniseries, and it was a botch job all the same.
Our Skype interview, I note, voids Marvel’s wishes. “Yeah, I’m dead to them. Trust me,” Cain says brightly. “I guess there is that freedom of being like, well, I don’t have to worry about that anymore!”
She's obviously not worried about closing the door on future jobs with Marvel either. No matter. Her feminist viewpoint is so dreadful, it wouldn't serve Marvel or DC well at all.
“I have so many friends who work in comics who this kind of stuff happens to in one form or another, not uncommonly, and nobody can speak up,” she says. “They’re always told what messages they can share and the things that they’re supposed to lie about. And you have to do it because otherwise, you won’t have the next job. And it’s not just Marvel Comics, it’s a freelancer economy, in a way I think that most people do not understand.” Mainstream comic books, she points out, are largely written, drawn, inked, lettered, and colored by people “without health insurance.” The culture that creates “is really just toxic.”
If she's concerned about lack of health insurance, maybe she should ask why Jay Edidin shoved Dark Horse into covering operations for transvestism more than for actual health coverage? And why not take time to complain that if anybody can't speak up, it's usually conservatives? Chuck Dixon spoke about this in past years, and now, we're at the point where some have decided to specialize in creator-owned books that can be crowdfunded, and even Ethan Van Sciver's having success bankrolling new Cyberfrog tales that way. And as for messages, those you can share in comics today are far more liberal than conservative, or, they're what the editors consider appropriate from a left-wing perspective, not a right-wing one. Worst is when the messages that can be shared happen to be pro-Islamic, as is the case with the Muslim Ms. Marvel book.
She stresses how many “lovely” colleagues at Marvel, including her editor Wil Moss, expressed shock and compassion after both Mockingbird and Vision’s cancellations. “I don’t think that it was part of some kind of like, sexist conspiracy,” she says. “I think it was some really smart, funny, friendly boys in a room making a decision and it never occurred to them that this was important, or that these kinds of comics needed a place.”

“It’s just that kind of institutional complacency in the way that decisions get made and don’t get made,” she adds. “And that’s what we have to chip away at. It’s the only way to change it, to just keep calling them out.”
This is true in a sense. There's just so much fanaticism and cultural marxism running rampant at the Big Two, along with several smaller publishers, that has to be countered. But that obviously isn't what she meant. Even though her own poor vision for Mockingbird is something that has to be criticized, whether she thinks so or not.
For two years, Chelsea Cain kept quiet, following company orders. She regrets that now. “I wasted that time when I could have been an advocate,” she says. But she’s no longer afraid to rock the boat.

“I feel really freed now,” she says, smiling broadly. “I have no censor function anymore.”
Okay, good for her. So she's decided Marvel's brass isn't worth apologizing for. It's just too bad she was upholding their tasteless visions all this time, and probably still does, ironically enough.

And I think I may know why her Vision miniseries was cancelled: unlike Ta-Nehisi Coates, David Walker, G. Willow Wilson, Eve Ewing and Sana Amanat, Cain's white and non-Muslim, lacks the peculiar clout Brian Bendis had when he was still active with Marvel, and it's possible Cebulski and company saw Cain as easily expendable because of her white background. If they don't cancel the books the non-white/infidel bunch are working on in such a hurry, that'll certainly hint why Cain got short-changed, the poor quality of her comics notwithstanding. It remains then to be seen whether she'll actually call Marvel out on their selective paths.
Marvel did little more than extend condolences for the abuse she endured over Mockingbird, she recalls. “Totally, like literally just, ‘Oh, that must be terrible for you!’” she laughs. “Again, they’re all such nice people but they authentically were like, ‘That’s too bad! Blah!’”
Well then who were the real sexist scumbags? It would seem to be Axel Alonso and Joe Quesada, under whom some of these projects were greenlighted, and C.B. Cebulski looks like he's part of the same bandwagon too if he took a biased direction. Maybe she should consider asking if it makes any sense that they could be.

Anyway, in all due fairness, good luck to Cain with her new Image series, Man-Eaters, but considering it's little more than a left-wing feminist metaphor for lambasting anybody she considers an opponent of her directions with Mockingbird, that's why I don't see it being something to look forward to. Honestly, who needs that kind of nonsense?

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Dude, Identity Crisis was 14 years ago. Get over it already.

How many people read The Daily Beast and Marvel comics both? Effectively zero. If Marvel cares, and apparently they do, then they are run by cowardly ideologues.

You have to be careful when you throw around buzzwords and phrases like "cultural Marxism". Using that phrase is like hanging a big sign on your back saying "kick me, I am an alt-right conspiracy theorist".

In truth, anyone being effective against the far left will be considered an alt-right conspiracy theorist. Of course, anyone being effective against the left and actually making a difference can't be such a coward that they'd care if they were smeared.

This post got me to finally look up the Mockingbird series. It is a good book, clever, funny and well written. The outrage over the reversal of the rape storyline is misplaced; Cain did that because she hated the idea of Mockingbird as a victim, and wanted to give her back her own agency. It is exactly the kind of series you say on the blog you want to see more of; a well written woman character who is her own agency and not taking over somebody else's name and costume. Although, as Cain says, Mockingbird is an unreliable narrator; no guarantees that things happened exactly as she reports them.

Thanks for getting me to finally look up Cain's work. It was a good series cut off too soon.

"If they don't cancel the books the non-white/infidel bunch are working on in such a hurry, that'll certainly hint why Cain got short-changed,..."

Books by the 'non-white/infidel" (?) bunch like the Black Panther and Crew, and the most recent Falcon series, were cancelled in a hurry before they had a chance to got off the ground, so the hint seems a bit off. America might fit that pattern too, depending on whether or not you categorize hispanics as non-white or not.

"Books by the 'non-white/infidel" (?) bunch like the Black Panther and Crew, and the most recent Falcon series, were cancelled in a hurry before they had a chance to got off the ground,"
Black characters have been given numerous chances. They, like Dr. Strange comics just aren't that popular . I love how armchair analysts like complaining about comics with black leads being cancelled too soon without investigating whether a sizeable number of young black people would pay money to read anything of the comics they are championing because of the skin color and politics of the characters. The number of non-black people who would pay money to support a comic with a black lead is , at this time, so small that it's not enough to pay anyone's bills.

"Dude, Identity Crisis was 14 years ago. Get over it already."
It's hard to get over it when the industry keeps trying to take its characters with the broadest appeal and make them tackle very serious subjects in the stupidest way order to show the Establishment that "comics aren't for kids anymore."
Actually, the updated version of "comics aren't for kids anymore." is that "Comics aren't for men anymore, comics aren't for straight people anymore, and comics aren't for everyone, anymore"

It is actually the comics industry that needs to get over the moronic perception of being kiddie and or non-welcoming to women and minorities that exists among the minds of the worst and most ignorant of people, many of whom have college degrees.

It is the comics industry that needs to get over Identity Crisis. They need to stop using it as a blueprint for events that are meant to attract non-readers.

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