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Sunday, December 25, 2022 

In the age of wokeness, liberal attitudes towards underground comics have changed

The Washington Examiner looked at how underground comics are pushing back against wokeness, and how, at the same time, they're no longer respected at left-wing universities that may have once embraced them:
The talent and freedom of expression at the time were dizzying. It was only a matter of time before it would be poached by the corporate media. Artists such as Tomine and Clowes did several New Yorker covers, and films were made out of Clowes’s work. Maus broke through to a massive audience. Crumb’s notebooks began selling to people like Leonardo DiCaprio. Now you can find the stuff at Barnes & Noble.

This is great for American culture, as these artists deserve a wide audience. Still, something has been lost in the move to the main stage. As Bagge puts it in Raw, Weirdo, and Beyond, “You can’t fly under the radar anymore.”

Bagge also makes a telling comment — that when comics were underground, it wasn’t something that any creator “was going to lose a college professorship over.” In the age of the woke, that has changed. In the fall of 2020, for example, Phoebe Gloeckner, the author of the graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl and an associate professor at the University of Michigan, was accused of “curriculum-based trauma” by students partly because she showed them Crumb’s work. The art itself might not have been offensive, but Crumb and his refusal to accept woke ideology were.

Talking to the New York Times, Crumb “refers disdainfully” to “the wokies.”

“The whole identity politics and L.G.B.T.Q. stuff,” he said, “I agree with it. These people need an equal share. I can’t argue with that. But then people get kind of intolerant about anything that could be seen as triggering.”

The establishment man Crumb and others battled in the 1960s is now the arms-folded college scold.

And so, as with so many other cultural trends, the world of comics has come full circle. Underground comics, at least those willing to buck leftist cultural trends, are once again banned by the establishment. Which means, of course, that they're right on target.
So this seems to confirm that Crumb's sadly shunned by left-wing college inhabitants of the modern era. And unfortunately, he may still be too liberal himself to recognize that there's no point continuing to adhere to an ideology whose modern embracers are throwing past generations under the bus because they don't meet their much more extreme standards.

Also, if mainstream matters, there's also this article at Town Hall about the sad state of the Big Two, where LGBTQ propaganda reigns supreme, at the expense of many other, better ideas the writers refuse to explore:
The author of the bisexual Superman story says gay people write to say they "burst into tears" when they saw that the characters had become gay.

While it's nice to make LGBTIQ+ people feel more welcome in the world, not everyone is happy.

They became bisexual "out of nowhere!"
complains comic creator Eric July in my new video. "They make it seem as if the only way that you can relate to a character is because you're gay and that character's gay, which is nonsense!"
And even some homosexual practitioners admit as much. No doubt, that's what Tom Taylor sees unfit to mention, much like the New York Times goes by the slogan, "all the news that's fit to print."
July, who is Black, says you don't have to share the same traits as a superhero to enjoy the character. His favorite was Batman. "I ain't got Bruce Wayne money, and I'm not rich! And I'm certainly not white."

July points out that there have long been gay comic superheroes, like Northstar. But what's new and dumb is that DC and Marvel are changing the identity of established characters.

A new Batman is Black. There's a new Spiderman-like character, except she's a lesbian who uses a wheelchair. Iron Man is now a Black teenage girl. Really.

Maybe this is progress.
More like it's a joke. Because none of it is built on merit-based writing, let alone artwork, and July also points this out:
"When I was a kid," I say to July, "all the characters were white. It's a good thing more are non-white."

"But they've been just reduced to being an item to pander to certain audiences that aren't really buying into it," July responds.

No, they sure aren't. Marvel and DC had the bestselling graphic novels. Now the best sellers are from Japan. Often, they aren't even in color, yet they outsell Marvel and DC. The American-made books aren't even in the top 20.
This reminds me that Bounding into Comics recently noted some artists and writers have complained they're not being paid properly for their work at DC/Marvel. I remember the now defunct Crossgen was criticized for not paying some creators properly in the early 2000s, before they went under, but when the Big Two fail to do so, apparently it's not news. It remains to be seen how many more people will want to take job assignments with companies that're not only seeking the cheapest, poorest scribes around, they're not even paying them well at this point. Sooner or later, that too will put them out of business.

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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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