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Monday, March 13, 2023 

Valdosta Daily Times sugarcoats work of an overrated author

The Valdosta Daily Times highlighted an Archie horror comic written by a writer whom graphic novelist Richard Meyer once described as a "dude in a dress". The comic in focus is titled Jinx: A Cursed Life:
Jinx Holliday is the “new scream queen” of the Archie horror imprint.

“Writer Magdalene Visaggio (‘Eternity Girl’) and artist Craig Cermak (‘Red Team’) reunite in a book-length sequel to their short story in the bestselling anthology ‘Jinx: Grim Fairy Tales,’” according to a statement from Archie Comics. “That sold-out special issue introduced a modernized take on the classic character as a horror icon, sharing stories from her chilling collection of arcane books which continues to play a role in the new comic.” [...]

Jinx is not new to comics. She’s nearly as old as Superman and Captain America. She was introduced as Li’l Jinx in a 1946 issue of Pep Comics. She was a regular character of bad luck and mischief throughout decades of traditional Archie comics.
And this newer comic is written by a man pretending to be a woman, whose poor conduct and bad storytelling eventually convinced some of the fools who hired him out of virtue signaling diversity to abandon him; he's been mostly gone from the comics scene for 3 years already, and is little heard of today. What's so special about something like this, building on horror cliches as it does? All Archie's done is tarnish their properties much more, subjecting more of them to these heavy-handed cliches that are less about comedy, and more about PC.

The same paper also recommended Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, about a dozen years after its publication:
Anyone wanting to know or confirm or compare any of the behind the scenes activities at Marvel Comics from then to now should pick up Sean Howe’s “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.”

While Douglas Wolk’s “All of the Marvels” put an emphasis on character origins, story arcs, various eras of various Marvel titles, with some behind the scenes action, Howe trains the spotlight on all of the back scene actions from character development to relationships to betrayals to battles for creative credits, etc., with some details about character development, stories, etc.

[...] “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story” is likely not for the casual comic book fan or even new comic book readers or fans who only know the characters from the movies.

But for long-time fans who have heard various stories about the creators of beloved characters, “The Untold Story” has quite the Marvel tale to tell.
While I did once discover excerpts showing it seems to tell some eyebrow raising details from around the early 90s, if Howe didn't remain fully objective when reaching the 2000s and the Quesada era, that's why it'd be a failure in the long run. Save for that, however, why shouldn't casual readers and moviegoers want to know about Marvel's histofy from past decades? Wouldn't it kind of defeat the purpose of learning from history to say it's only for veteran readers and devotees? It's just like a mainstream paper of this sort to spoil everything with the suggestion only core audiences could care or get into it. Though again, if Howe was unwilling to take a critical eye of the time Quesada was the EIC, that's not giving moviegoers much to think about either. And the columnist's not improving by failing to admit that.

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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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