‘Soulfinder: Demon’s Match’ trailer for June 14 Indiegogo launch

Make sure to check out my Indiegogo page on June 14.

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Bounding into Comics’ ‘Soulfinder: Demon’s Match’ live-stream

Bounding into Comics was kind enough to invite your friendly neighborhood blogger onto their channel to discuss Soulfinder: Demon’s Match and a host of other issues. Check out the full interview below.

‘The White Donkey’: Iraq War veteran’s graphic novel a powerful read

White Donkey

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.

White Donkey Garcia

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.

White Donkey leave

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.

Dan Slott: I love Peter Parker so much I turned him into a ‘meat puppet’

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.”

From CBR News:

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.

NPR fresco
Dan Slott’s work on Spider-Man can be compared to the Spanish woman who took the 19th-century fresco of Jesus (Ecce Homo or Behold the Man) and turned it into something so strange people had to notice. How will anyone return the fresco to its original beauty? How will a writer return Peter Parker to his rightful place of glory in the Marvel Universe?

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.”

Joss Whedon: Now that I poop $100 bills, let’s embrace socialism

Joss Whedon directed the newest Avengers movie, which has pulled in roughly $1.5 billion around the globe. He has enough cash to flush buckets of it down the toilet, if for no other reason than because he can. Having attained success beyond his wildest dreams, he now denounces capitalism. Classic.

Joss Whedon has so much money that when he has a bowel movement hundred dollar bills come out of his butt. When he has diarrhea, mutual funds and bonds and other liquid assets now end up in his gold-plated toilet. And so, having reached such a profound level of critical and financial success, he is now comfortable telling the rest of us that we should either board the socialism-train-of-dignity, or consider ourselves “off the reservation.”

“We are watching capitalism destroy itself right now,” he told the [Comic-Con 2012] audience.

He added that America is “turning into Tsarist Russia” and that “we’re creating a country of serfs.”

Whedon was raised on the Upper Westside neighborhood of Manhattan in the 1970s, an area associated with left-leaning intellectuals. He said he was raised by people who thought socialism was a ”beautiful concept.” …

We have people trying to create structures and preserve the structures that will help the middle and working class, and people calling them socialists,” Whedon said. “It’s not Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal […] it’s some people with some sense of dignity and people who have gone off the reservation.”

To be clear: If you look at $16 trillion of debt and think to yourself, “This is going to end really, really badly if we don’t get this under control,” Joss Whedon probably doesn’t think you have much dignity. Whedon says that capitalism is destroying itself, and yet the Congressional Research Service has admitted that there are so many federal regulations that it can’t even tally them upThe masterminds in Congress (of Joss Whedon-type sensibility) have managed to create so much red tape that even those tasked with keeping track of it are reduced to guessing games.

The number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in the early 1980s to 4,000 by 2000 to over 4,450 by 2008. …

Scores of federal departments and agencies have created so many criminal offenses that the Congressional Research Service itself admitted that it was unable to even count all of the offenses. The service’s best estimate? “Tens of thousands.” In short, Congress’s own experts do not have a clear understanding of the size and scope of federal criminalization.

Last week I detailed how Christopher Nolan creates more jobs than Barack Obama, but perhaps I should have substituted the Batman franchise with Whedon’s Avengers, so that the message may have penetrated into his socialist skull like a blast of gamma radiation.

Joss Whedon advocates on behalf of Keynesian economics, never realizing that a more expansive federal government means more crony capitalism. More rules, regulations and centralized power begets more lobbyists and corrupt politicians and backroom deals (e.g., the pharmaceutical industry leading up to the passage of Obamacare) — and yet, the Avengers director blames corporations for acting on the incentives that the federal government creates. It’s like making deal after deal with Loki, and then blaming Thor for the calamities that ensue.

As I said before, our debt is at $16 trillion. And counting. We are dealing with a basic math problem here, and at some point in time the accounting tricks will run out. When they do, we will have few options. Those include:

  • Repudiation (see Greece and Spain for a preview)
  • Massive cuts to entitlements within a short amount of time
  • Inflation
  • War

All of the above are likely outcomes of an out-of-control federal government that has stolen the wealth of future generations for the sake of a few votes at the ballot box. The savings of the elderly will be slashed through inflation. The standard of living will be lower for your children and grandchildren. People will have to put off major life events like getting married, buying homes and starting families — and none of it will be because of the decisions of Disney or Warner Bros. or Apple or Microsoft.

It will, however, be because of bloated governments with an insatiable appetite for spending other people’s money.

Having made more cash than he could have ever imagined, Joss Whedon will be shielded from the impact of financial collapse like he was using next generation Stark technology. Oddly enough, he’ll probably continue to blame corporations and write leftist rhetoric for his movies. That’s okay though, because conservative comic nerds have econ’s Professor X — Milton Friedman — on our side.

Hat tip for this blog post: Carl’s Comics