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One of the weird things about the comics industry in 2018 is that books are often far less interesting than all the bizarre drama that creators bring upon themselves. Regular readers know why this is the case: The unprofessional antics of Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Gail Simone and others have been covered for years.
The past week, however, provided a sterling example of the industry’s corruption. The DC-Vertigo book Border Town was torpedoed after one of its writers had a #MeToo scandal explode on social media; almost no one wanted to talk about it.
If you went to any of the mainstream comics news sites, then you were greeted with the sound of crickets chirping.
If you went to the Twitter feeds of all those creators who chimed in Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination process, then you were greeted with crickets chirping.
The only people who were substantively covering one of the biggest comics stories of the year (and doing it with a fairly even hand) were YouTubers within the Comicsgate movement.
The Hollywood Reporter eventually chimed in, and so did Gail Simone — but the latter somehow found a way to make Comicgate the focus of her anger and frustration.
Ms. Simone even attempted to say with a straight face that she “never heard” of Border Town writer Eric M. Esquivel until “three days ago.”
Yes, that’s right, even though Comicsgate’s members have been told for years that the industry is a small community and they’ll never work for Marvel and DC, we’re now supposed to believe Ms. Simon didn’t know of the guy who *cough* was literally featured in one of her projects: Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico.
Got that? Gail Simone, “industry juggernaut,” was in the same book as “industry juggernaut” Eric M. Esquivel, yet she only heard of him “three days” ago. Weird.
Ask yourself: What are the chances that two “juggernauts” within a small community of creators never heard of one another?
Ms. Simon’s other message — another lie — for Twitter followers was that Comicsgate YouTubers who dared to point out the industry’s hypocrisy are really just the organizers of a long-running “harassment campaign.”
Those who are wondering why someone in her shoes might lie need to only search through the history of this blog. Ms. Simone has been behaving like a mean-spirited ideologue (to combat vets) since at least 2015.
Yours truly has covered the way she and her ideologue peers alienate long-term readers, but in Ms. Simone’s mind that constitutes “harassment.”
If you want to know why the comics industry is in dire straights in 2018, then look no further than the laundry list of lies from creators like Gail Simone.
You’ll also want to look at the gaggle of Cable Guy-esque characters who are elevated to the level of creative “juggernauts” by shill websites.
Ms. Simone likes to call guys like me a “puppet,” when the truth is the exact opposite.
- The real puppets are the individuals in the comics media who wait for their industry masters to tell them when to talk and what to say.
- The real puppets are the writers and artists who should “Believe Women!” when an accusation is leveled at a political opponent, but then sit in silence when allegations land in a colleague’s lap.
This blogger and YouTuber has never shied away from telling you what’s on his mind, which is why women like Gail Simone often go into overdrive to peddle easily disproven lies.
Note to Gail: The internet never forgets. Your tweets are archived. Your interviews are archived. No matter how much your try and scrub, scrub, scrub away your online history, guys like me will find the truth and present it to readers.
Your friendly neighborhood blogger has been away for awhile, but I’m back — and with good reason. The #Comicsgate community continues to grow, dear reader, and left-wing ideologues like Marvel’s Dan Slott are terrified.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, a YouTube community of men and women who want sound storytelling formed in 2017. “Comicsgate” flexed its muscles, and in the end (with help from vocal retailers and fans who voted with their wallets), Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso was shown the door. Books that should have been canned long ago were finally put out of their misery.
The past few days has seen the explosion of #MoveTheNeedle, which utilizes Twitter to show insiders just how much money the Comicsgate community spends on superhero fare.
Note: It’s a lot.
Week after week we are figuring out new ways to grow our channels and better disseminate the message. Diversity & Comics is a bigger boogeyman than ever before (Dan Slott refuses to even speak or write his name).
In short, the fight for comics culture is white-hot in 2018 and shows no signs of cooling off.
Check out my latest YouTube video for an extensive rundown of Hulk Hogan Wannabe Dan Slott, along with the desperate behavior of his ideologue peers.
Many years ago this blog used to cover the intersection of politics and popular culture, but for a number of reasons comic books seldom came up. If a reader told me eight years ago that I would one day be doing YouTube broadcasts with artists like Ethan Van Sciver, then I would have responded, “Hmmm. Are you sure? That’s cool…but I don’t know how it’s going to happen.”
The universe is a weird and wonderful place, and as it turns out I did recently chat on Planet YouTube with one of the industry’s best artists. We hung out like we were Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock after a long day at the law firm — and it was a blast.
Check out my latest live-stream below and then feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below. As always, be sure to subscribe if the video format is up your alley. I don’t always have the time to cross-post like I used to, so a lot of content goes straight to YouTube without ending up here (I’ll try to get better about that going forward).
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.
The past year or so has seen the classic “DC vs. Marvel” debate take on added significance due to the success of DC Rebirth and the faltering (to put it lightly) of Marvel under the tenure of Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. There are many reasons for Marvel’s failures, but DC’s Dark Days: The Forge #1 shines a giant Bat-Signal spotlight on one of them.
The bottom line is that DC, whether it’s something like The Button or Dark Days: The Forge, is telling good old-fashioned “yarns” because it’s actually concentrating on big ideas — namely the issue of Good vs. Evil.
The Forge #1 is a tale that revolves around two beings — one of goodness and light, the other of darkness and evil — who are granted immortality via a mysterious metal and then tasked to fight each other in cycles of reincarnation. Batman’s discovery of the metal prompted a years-long investigation into its origin, which led him down a dangerous rabbit hole. It’s one that no man — even Bruce Wayne — should explore.
What separates modern DC from Marvel is that the former is willing to explore ideas of good and evil in serious ways. If you pick up most Marvel comics, then what you’ll find is moral relativist heroes fighting each other over a catty disagreements; and heroes fighting villains in a “going through the motions” manner because that’s what they’ve always done; political allegories that primarily use characters as vehicles to vent anger at [insert politician here].”
Out of all the comics I’ve read over the past two years, I think only Charles Soule’s Daredevil confronted a character described as truly “evil.” When most Marvel heroes talk about good and evil, they do so in ironic Deadpool-speak.
Paraphrase [insert hero here]: “Do you think we’ll come out of this one alive? Of course we will — we’re the good guys!”
People who believe good and evil are real — not just artificial constructs in a godless universe — typically do not become jaded. If you believe that your life has meaning and is intrinsically good, then you are not prone to hold life in contempt.
DC appears to have enough writers and editors on its staff who understand this, who are genuinely inquisitive about big issues, and then willing to appropriately use their iconic stable of characters to explore them.
Marvel, on the other hand, appears to be populated with a cloister of bitter moral relativists who write books for a small population of philosophical malcontents. Then, when their screeds don’t sell, they rhetorically lash out at fans for not being embracing Mighty Marvel Pessimism Pods.
I don’t know too much about Dan DiDio, but I do know quality work when I see it. I got into DC in a significant way for the first time in my life this year, and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon as long as I keep getting books like The Button and Dark Days: The Forge.
Kudos to DC’s creative team for a job well done.
Editor’s Note: I’ll be reviewing Dark Days: The Forge #1 on my YouTube channel soon. If you haven’t already subscribed, then please do. I don’t always have time to transfer the videos over to WordPress as quickly as I’d prefer.
Last weekend I made the mistake of not reserving my movie tickets for Wonder Woman ahead of time and ended up having to decide whether I wanted to see a later showing or go home. I opted for an extra hour’s wait — and it was worth it.
Here is what I wrote **pseudo-spoilers ahead** for Conservative Book Club:
Director Patty Jenkins can make a strong case that she had one of the most pressure-packed Hollywood tasks in recent memory — making Wonder Woman a blockbuster for Warner Bros. She needed to please fans of a character with over 70 years of history while overcoming doubts about the direction of the DC Extended Universe and Gal Gadot’s acting.
Wonder Woman, much like Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, was the kind of job where studio executives pull one off to the side and say, “Good luck, but don’t you dare screw this up.” Ms. Jenkins, like her creative peer, responded by churning out an upbeat film of solid craftsmanship across the board. Gadot’s Princess Diana just so happened to make her debut during World War I instead of World War II (both ideal backdrops for films pitting good against evil).
As is the case with most quality superhero origins, Wonder Woman takes its time establishing the character’s backstory before fists start flying and guns go blazing. This fish-out-of-water tale required the women of Themyscira to meet military men like Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), and Ms. Jenkins wisely dictated slower pacing. The DC Universe is one where Greek mythology meets Judeo-Christian beliefs, but writer Allan Heinberg (story byJason Fuchs and Zack Snyder) made it work.
The plot is simple: The first World War literally breaks through a protective bubble put in place by Zeus to hide the Amazons from the god of war, Ares. Diana saves Captain Trevor when his plane crashes into the ocean, which serves as the impetus for her to leave utopia and save mankind. She believes that locating and defeating Ares on the field of battle will end all war. Steve humorously goes along for the ride as a means of getting home, although a romance between the two heroes eventually grows.
Perhaps what is most impressive about Wonder Woman — besides a memorable “No Man’s Land” scene and the iconic “lasso of truth” — is the way Diana’s improved understanding of love and free will allow her to fully realize her potential. The god of war eventually comes across as a Satan stand-in, and Wonder Woman adopts, for all intents and purposes, a Catholic definition of love (i.e., willing the good of the other as other).
Check out the rest of the review here.