Make sure to check out my Indiegogo page on June 14.
Make sure to check out my Indiegogo page on June 14.
For years this blog has tried to make the case that a comic book can be much more than “just” a comic book. For years this blog has tried to make the case that the industry would benefit if it employed, say, men like Terminal Lance creator Maximilian Uriarte. His New York Times bestseller, “The White Donkey,” should officially put that debate to rest.
“The White Donkey” is the story about Abe, a young man who left his small Oregon town in search of … something. He wasn’t quiet sure what he was looking for, but he thought he might find it in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman. Abe, his best buddy Jesus Garcia, and the rest of their battalion are eventually deployed to Iraq. There is not much more I can say without spoiling the book other than to note its honesty rivals National Book Award Winner Redeployment,” by Phil Klay.
Every so often a critic comes to this blog and says something along the lines of, “You write about popular culture because you wanted to make it in Hollywood and never did.”
Yes, I did go to USC upon exiting the Army as a mechanized infantryman, but nothing could be further from the truth regarding professional regrets. In fact, a better personal attack would be that I exited the military prior to 9/11, didn’t have the courage to re-enlist after the Twin Towers fell, and that it still haunts me to this day.
There actually is some truth to that — I carried a ton of guilt with me for years after 9/11, which was exacerbated after a friend of mine, Hector Leija, had his head blown off in Iraq by a sniper. I disclose these details because readers need to know that everything that happens to “Abe” prior to his deployment is eerily close to what I experienced as a peace time soldier (i.e., it’s authentic). The characters, situations, and confrontations Abe navigates in many ways mirror my own.
I see myself in Abe (except the atheist part), and cannot help but wonder what I would be like had I stayed in military.
If you’re looking for a book with intelligence and emotional weight, then check out “The White Donkey.” If you’re looking for a book that can help civilians better understand returning war veterans, PTSD, and the other burdens they might be carrying, then Uriarte’s work is a must-read. One can only hope that he continues telling tales for many years to come.
The New York Comic Con is on, which means that comic fans get to view internet photo galleries of beautiful Cosplay ladies dressed as Power Girl, and Peter Parker fans get to read Dan Slott interviews where he inadvertently telegraphs to the world what he really thinks of the character.
Caps-lock abusing Dan teased things to come for Superior Spider-Man this weekend, and his state of mind couldn’t be clearer. ‘The Superior Freaky Friday Spider-Man’ takes on the Green Goblin in the months ahead, but before they clash Dan Slott wanted to set the record straight for posterity: He is the guy whose editorial judgment was so sound he decided to let a megalomaniac use Peter Parker as a “meat puppet.”
CBR: We know what the Green Goblin meant to Peter Parker, but what does he mean to Otto Octavius?
Dan Slott: I don’t want to give stuff away. You’ll have to wait and see, but one thing to keep in mind is Doc Ock killed Spider-Man, took his life, and carried on. So he’s had the ultimate victory over Spider-Man.
When you look at the rankings, I’m sorry but everything he’s done from the “Dying Wish” arc of “Amazing Spider-Man” on moves him up in the rankings. Norman Osborn is like, “Ha! I threw your girlfriend off a bridge.” And Dock Ock could reply, “You know what? I RIPPED HIS BRAIN OUT OF HIS SKULL, PUT MY MIND INSIDE, AND WORE HIM LIKE A MEAT PUPPET! TOP THAT!” [Laughs] So at some point you go, “You know, I think Doc Ock might just be the #1 Spider-Man villain of all time.” It’s like, “Suck it Goblin!”
Slow clap for Dan Slott. He is actually proud of allowing Peter Parker to be treated like a “meat puppet.” If you take to blogs, twitter and other comic forums to voice displeasure with his Peter Parker meat puppetry, he mocks you. Question for long time Peter Parker fans: Did you ever think things would reach this point?
How do you top that? In Dan Slott’s mind, one would assume that making Peter Parker into The Green Goblin might be an option. There are probably all sorts of dastardly things one could do to Aunt May that could “top” it, but do we really want to go there? Anti-heroes are still, on some level, supposed to be heroes, and if Dan Slott thinks Doc Ock can exist as one in Peter Parker’s body for such an extended period of time, what now constitutes a villain?
Read the full interview and you can’t help but notice that Mr. Slott seems to have concluded that if he can’t generate sales by uniting all Spider-Man fans (those who love Peter Parker and those who really just want to see someone in the costume swinging around the city with spider-powers), he’ll do so by creating events that a.) have far-reaching implications for the entire Marvel Universe, and b.) tormenting readers. People filled with anger and people filled with inspiration can be moved to action, but it is much easier to upset readers than to uplift them — hence, Superior Spider-Man.
Again, the question becomes: Where do you go from here? At some point in time Peter Parker will have to come back, and a poor writer will have to figure out a way to undo the damage. Dan Slott’s work on Spider-Man is reminiscent of the woman who tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus and turned it into an abomination. The finished product isn’t popular because it is beautiful, but because it is so incredibly weird and bizarre.
Dan Slott is the Celia Gimenez of the comic book industry, even if he doesn’t realize it yet.
If you are a fan of Peter Parker, I high suggest taking to social media platforms to let your voice be heard. There are few comic book characters that can be considered American cultural icons, but Peter Parker is one of them. When the history books are recorded, it should be a mark of shame upon the creative team that allowed him to be treated like a “meat puppet.”