Regular readers of this blog know that I have chronicled the problems within the comic book industry for many years. Therefore, I hope I’m seen as a credible witness when I say that that things are nearing a breaking point.
The insertion of ham-fisted partisan politics into the books, unprofessional online behavior by creators, and mainstream comic websites that shill for the industry have contributed to a bubble that appears ready to burst. Sales continue to plummet and writers regularly lash out at YouTube creators like Capn. Cummings, Diversity & Comics, yours truly, and many others.
Check out my latest video for the full run-down on Marvel’s downward spiral and the YouTube channels that are putting pressure on them to change course before its too late.
Marvel Comics released Generations: The Iron #1 this week, which theoretically should have excited fans of Tony Stark. The cover features old-school armor and it looks like writer Brian Michael Bendis was going to show the billionaire in his prime — paired up with protégé Riri Williams.
Given that this is 2017 and Marvel is run by writers and editors who downright loath long-time customers, that is not what the company delivered.
- If you always wanted to see Tony Stark as a 126-year-old man who oversees a mystical police state, then this story is for you.
- If you always wanted to hear someone tell Riri Williams that she will eventually be one of the most important characters in “the galaxy,” then this book so for you.
- If you just can’t get enough of SJW-Marvel characters who take selfies with adoring fans, then this book is for you.
In short, Marvel is practicing a “death by 10,000 paper cuts” approach with older readers to push them away. The bet is that young people (who generally steal comics online instead of buying them in stores) will somehow be convinced to fork over cash. If the plan fails and it turns out that Marvel needlessly alienated men and women who would have purchased comics for another 30-40 years, then writers and editors can always blame other factors for the industry’s implosion.
Check out my latest YouTube video for a full rundown, and as always feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I’m interested to hear what’s on your mind.
Over 20 years have passed since director Kevin Smith made Dante Hicks and Randal Graves famous. Clerks put him on the Hollywood map and endeared him to a generation of young writers, but there is no doubt that many of them learned the wrong lessons from his 90s “slackers.” Two contenders include Nick Spencer and Chip Zdarsky, who are guilty of what I’ve deemed the Clerksification of Marvel Comics.
To give you an idea of what my latest YouTube video is about, consider the tagline for Clerks, which goes as follows:
“Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you.”
Indeed, Marvel creators these days make no secret of their disdain of long-term customers, and will even tell fans not to buy the product during political disagreements. To better understand what’s going on, we must examine Mr. Smith’s work and how its sensibilities continue to reverberate in the minds of Marvel’s employees.
If you read through Secret Empire and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, then you should see the creative fingerprints of Mr. Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and a slew of others. Unfortunately, instead of Pulp Fiction-quality work fans received Hydra-Cap and Hipster Spider-Man.
Question: When is regime change acceptable in the Marvel Universe?
Answer: When It’s a Ri-regime change written by Brian Michael Bendis, or a self-serving effort by Dan Slott’s version of Peter Parker.
Yes, dear reader, writer Brian Michael Bendis is ten issues into Invincible Iron Man and the book’s protagonist (note: It’s not Tony Stark), is toppling problematic regimes, declaring herself queen, and then issuing a number of demands that must be met before she steps down. Meanwhile, the so-called genius has never spent one second trying to find the men who killed her best friend and stepfather.
If you think this is downright strange, then fans of the book will inevitably called you a “raaaaaaaaacist.” We’re living in strange times, but if you’re like and want to chronicle this era for future comic book fans, then check out my latest YouTube review for the full rundown.
It looks as though comic book fans have a frontrunner for the best story of the year: DC’s Mister Miracle, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads.
If you want to know why DC is churning out successful projects like Rebirth, The Button, Metal — and know Mister Miracle — while Marvel is … turning Captain America into a Hydra goon, then all you have to do is look at each company’s business model — DC is consciously focusing on the craft of writing while Marvel embraces partisan politics.
If you want to see how to save the comics industry, then pick up a copy of Mister Miracle #1. Companies that think big and shoot for the starts will be rewarded. Companies that pander to partisan activists while demonizing fans, in the long-run, will be punished. It’s really that simple.
It was just one year ago that I made the leap to YouTube and began a channel with the intention of providing honest reviews of comic books and the industry at large. I met up with a small group of individuals who sought to counter the Marvel-approved content that was published by mainstream websites, and before long we started to gain traction.
I knew it was only a matter of time before our collective efforts struck a nerve, and July seemed to be the first of many industry-wide screams by its ideologues.
My latest YouTube review covers the reaction by Dan Slott of The Amazing Spider-Man to guys like Diversity & Comics and Captain Cummings. His obsessive blocking of fans and critics on social media has even earned him a new nickname: Slotto Octavius.
Tune in for all the details on Slotto Octavius, the decision to liken his efforts to Judge Dredd, and the Twitter hashtag #BlockedByDanSlott. As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below. I’m always eager to hear what you have to say.
Editor’s Note: I’d like to say a big thanks to Mr. Dystopian for the artistic compliment below!
Many years from now there will be business courses on Marvel Comics’ bizarre decision to demonize large swathes of its fanbase as a means of securing sales. Common sense tells objective observers that Marvel’s downward sales trajectory is tied to hostility towards the fans, and yet guys like Stephen Wacker, VP for Current Series and Development, continue to double and triple down on insulting loyal customers.
As has been said before, the “House of Ideas” has become the “House of Ideologues,” but if you need further evidence then check out my latest YouTube video. Mr. Wacker declared victory over the fans in a war that he has cooked up in his own mind, but he did so while preemptively blocking yours truly on Twitter.
Indeed, I am so utter defeated by men like Stephen Wacker and the Marvel’s Gate cult that I must be blocked from seeing what the victor is up to on social media. Never mind the fact that I have never made contact with him on the platform, either directly or indirectly.
Anyway, check out the video, subscribe if the format is up your alley, and make sure to leave your two cents in the comments section below. Unlike Mr. Wacker, I want to hear what you have to say.
Those who follow the comic book industry witnessed a Marvel-wide “milkshake” meltdown over the weekend, which is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the company. The whole story is incredibly bizarre, but it boils down to this:
Gwenpool editor Heather Antos saw three tweets that she didn’t like over the weekend and decided that random insults are the equivalent of harassment.
Despite the fact that a random insult is not the same as harassment or a human rights violation, the industry’s writers and artists acted as if she had barely dodged an acid attack by Taliban thugs in Afghanistan. Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort put on his daddy pants to let her know that everything would all be okay; he then told her that tens-of-thousands of fans who are tired of partisan politics at the company are “racist turds.”
There is more to the story, but for that I suggest checking out my latest YouTube video. Also, I would like to thank Mr. Brevoort for his overreaction, which netted me scores of new YouTube subscribers and Twitter followers.
Fun fact: Guys like me are not “racist turds.” Every time you criticize us, people check out our work and realize, “Hey, this seems like a pretty nice dude. I want to hear more of what he has to say.”
My suggestion for Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso would be to concentrate on good stories instead of partisan hackery, but at this point I don’t see him listening to reason. Given that, I will continue to make videos as the House That Axel Alonso built implodes.
Editor’s Note: Twitter user GoodEggJoe sent me this image today, which I told him was pretty darn good and worthy of being included on a blog post. His work shows that there are numerous ways to put pressure on the comic industry’s activist-writers. One doesn’t need a blog or a YouTube channel to have their voice be heard.
There used to be a great show called Get Smart that aired in the 1960s. I used to watch reruns as a kid, and I think it’s safe to say that I had a crush Barbara Feldon… Regardless, there was a running joke where the main character, a spy named Max, would attempt to use “the cone of silence” with his boss. It never worked, and they had to abandon the device to just talk to each other like normal people.
The point of this tale is that writers and artists at Marvel Comics want their own “Cone of Silence,” and they will go to great lengths to create it. This cone requires censoring voices that don’t agree with their partisan politics, and doing so in petty ways.
Check out my latest YouTube video for the full rundown, and as always let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: Regular readers may also smile when they receive a blast from the past regarding writer Dan Slott’s weird threats of legal action against me over at ComicVine.
There was a time not too long ago when I was excited about Chip Zdarsky’s take on everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man gave fans hope that Marvel would get back to basics and away from Peter Parker: The Not so Spectacular Tony Stark Clone.
Sadly, it appears as though Mr. Zdarsky’s take on Spider-Man continues Marvel’s obsession with turning the character into an immature man-boy. The superhero is most certainly a funny guy, but he isn’t a total goofball.
Readers should never wonder if Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive clown instead of a radioactive spider, but that is unfortunately the case with PPSSM #2.
Check out my latest YouTube video for a more extensive run-down, and be sure to subscribe if you enjoy the video format.
Editor’s Note: A YouTube subscriber asked me to share this image on the blog for future reference. Critics often say that guys like me are imagining things when we say Marvel writers and editors use the books to push an agenda.