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Saturday, October 17, 2020 

It's embarrassing when a Jewish college organization wants to host Brian Bendis

The Cleveland Jewish News had a brief report that Bendis, now notorious for ruining the Avengers and Superman, is being hosted by the Hillel student organizations in a webinar:
Cleveland Hillel and Greater Portland Hillel are joining forces with Hillel@Home to host a free conversation with award-winning comic book writer and artist Brian Michael Bendis at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

Bendis, who grew up in University Heights and attended the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, is best known for creating the Ultimate Marvel Universe. He lives in Oregon.

During the conversation, Bendis will discuss what it takes to succeed in the comics and graphic novel industry, tell stories from his career and answer questions from attendees.
What are the chances he'll admit it was distasteful to put Scarlet Witch, Tigra, Spider-Woman and Jean Grey through some very revolting storylines? That casting Spider-Man and Wolverine in the Avengers was cheap and obvious? That canning Superman's secret identity was another mistake? Alas, such chances are almost non-existent, and I've got a feeling that, if anybody tried asking him questions pertaining to any of those elements he used, they'd be cut off from the upcoming webinar, no matter what the above states. It's regrettable they're wasting time with such an overrated writer, but as I've long realized, hardly a shock when academia considers these kind of people the most recommended.

And it's unlikely Bendis will actually admit the reason he's gotten as far as he has in comicdom is because he answers to all their requirements for political correctness. That's how he succeeded in playing his part in ruining established franchises.

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He is a popular writer with a large fan base; people want to talk to him.

Did you ever read the Barry Lyga novel The Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl? Bendis has a walk on part in that book, and you can feel the author's adulation and idolation just coming through.

You may disagree with his plots, but that doesn't make him a monster.

He's does not have a large audience. If the majority of comic writers had large audiences, the industry would not be depending on subsidies ( The Young Adult Market is a market where teachers and librarians buy comics) for their continued survival.

Comic books are a very obscure hobby, and novels about comic books aimed at the YA market are even more obscure since their true audience are adult liberal women.
Shake your fists all you want, these people do not reflect anything close to the interests of the wider public, who just go with the flow. The flow these days, is moving away from literacy and reading, yes, even among progressives, who think standards are "ableist."

"It's unlikely Bendis will actually admit the reason he's gotten as far as he has in comicdom is because he answers to all their requirements for political correctness. " Bendis got to where he is partially because he is Jewish. The comic industry is overwhelmingly Jewish . Like any other industry, people tend to hire people who have the same ethnic background. The jury is still out on Geoff Johns being one, but Michael Nasser is a Lebanse Jew from Michigan, so it's quite possible that Geoff Johns, who is ALSO Lebanse and is from Michigan, is one.

Bendis has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine, he has given a TED talk and appeared on late night talk shows. He does not have the wider crossover public superstar status of writers like Lee or Gaiman or Sfar or Moore, or of popular writers who have dabbled in comics like Atwood or Picoult, but he has a significant fan base and his name on the cover sells comic books.

Somehow I don't think adult liberal women are reading Supergirl: Age of Atlantis, except maybe to their kids. And can't say I see purchases by libraries and schools as being subsidies. They are markets like any other market; Harper Lee sells a lot to kids who read her book for school classes, libraries buy multiple copies of Dan Brown books, but nobody calls those subsidies. The "flow" does seem to be towards graphic novels. It is one area of publishing that seems to be expanding. But the superhero stories are not what is driving that expansion.

"Bendis got to where he is partially because he is Jewish. The comic industry is overwhelmingly Jewish ."

You are a bit out of date. In the 1940s, comic books were published out of New York, and a lot of the people they hired were Jewish and Italian, the two biggest immigrant groups in the City, second generation kids who had to hustle for work. Those professionals - people like Lee, Kirby, Siegel, Shuster, Kane, Infantino, Buscema - became the backbone of the industry. But that was decades ago. I don't think Marvel has had a Jewish editor in chief since the 1970s.

Michael Nasser was not Jewish when he did work for American comic book publishers. He was Druze. He converted to Judaism later on, after he moved to the Middle East, as part of a mystic belief in the concordance of the world's major religions, and he changed his name from Nasser as part of the process. When he published under the name Nasser, he was not Jewish and nobody had any reason to think he would convert.

" he has given a TED talk and appeared on late night talk shows. " Just because a small segment of the elite are aware of him does it mean he is mainstream or is well-known by a layman. 99.9% of people in the U.S. don't even know who Bendis is or have read anything by him.

Giving a Ted Talk or appearing on late night show is meaningless. At best, it means one has approval of a couple members of the ruling class. It doesn't mean someone is well-known or widely-read.

Taxpayer money being used to by comic books are subsidies.

No different when the government hires artists for public works projects.

Does that means the government is subsidizing the toilet paper industry when it stocks the washrooms in public buildings? Buying things you need to run your operation is not a subsidy to your supplier. Schools and libraries need books; if anything, libraries cut into sales, because readers borrow the books instead of buying their own copies.

Seth Myers gets well over a million viewers a night, on occasion he has had more than 3 million; it is a decent size audience. Bendis apperaring on the show is not a nothing, and Glen Beck really put Bendis on the map. Bendis is not mainstream like Sfar or Gaiman, and I do not think he is anywhere near as creative or exciting. He is too wedded to traditional superheros and genre stories. But among superhero comic book readers, he is well known and evokes a lot of adulation and imitators.

"Does that means the government is subsidizing the toilet paper industry when it stocks the washrooms in public buildings?"

Yes it is if the industry gets a significant amount of it's revenue or profit from the government. The market for comic books outside of the YA market is very small. The YA market is the government.

If the government stopped ordering toilet paper, it would not cause all toilet paper manufacturers to go bankrupt. If the government stopped ordering YA books, many comic books and Indie publishers would disappear.

YA fiction is not exactly on life support.

According to Publishing Perspectives:

"Young adult titles sold 11 million units year to date, through the second quarter of the year, up 9 percent over the same period in 2019.

"The largest gains in the category came from young adult fiction, up 34 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter of the year, and this was largely driven by the science-fiction category following the release of The Hunger Games prequel, A Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes (Suzanne Collins). The novel sold nearly 900,000 units in its first seven weeks of sales."

Libraries are great, but there are only about 120 000 of them across the entire country, total.

Libraries buy more than one YA book at a time.

You have shown nothing that proves that individual consumers are the backbone of the YA market.

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