It was only a few short years ago — 2015 to be exact — that your friendly neighborhood blogger tried to warn Marvel’s Joe Quesada that seeds of unprofessionalism planted at the company were going to bear bad fruit. He liked to play dumb when readers confronted him on the partisan bile spewed by Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and others within the industry, and in time my predictions came to pass.
Fact: Alienated but social-media savvy readers connected in 2017 on YouTube after years of sounding the alarm bells in small pockets across the internet. Our collective efforts to discuss the need for professionalism, strong storytelling, and honest journalism became known as Comicsgate.
Cut to Mr. Quesada, the company’s chief creative officer. He’s flummoxed. He’s angry. He doesn’t know what to do because guys like Richard C. Meyer, aka Diversity & Comics, have over 90,000 subscribers who are regularly learning just how corrupt the comics industry has become.
What does Mr. Quesada do in response to the new status quo, you ask? Does he admit to dropping the ball in 2015 when he was warned of the coming backlash?
Answer: Of course not. Instead, he looks for the most unstable people on Twitter and tries to exploit their condition. He cozies up to anonymous individuals who spend all day (and many nights) obsessing over Comicsgate and ways to destroy the personal and professional reputations of those associated with it.
In short, Mr. Quesada has tried to weaponize troubled individuals — those who come across like Mark Wahlberg’s character in the 1996 movie ‘Fear’ — against the industry’s critics in an embarrassing display of “ends justify the means” vindictiveness. He literally follows and interacts with what amounts to full-time Twitter trolls because he has no answers for guys like myself, Just Some Guy, That Umbrella Guy, artist Ethan Van Sciver and others.
Yes, telling the truth is always an option, but Mr. Quesada decided at some point in time that honesty and transparency regarding the industry’s problems was off the table.
What Mr. Quesada fails to realize is that it’s no longer 2015. A tipping point was reached with the creation of Comicsgate, and for every underhanded and unprofessional move he (and his ideologue peers) make, tens-of-thousands of people soon hear about it.
Those alienated customers talk. They tell one, two, three, four or more friends about what’s going on. There is a cascading effect — and not in a positive way for Marvel Comics.
That, dear reader, is why more and more people every month are speaking out about the industry.
YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms have freed consumers from shill websites with Orwellian moderators.
Consumers are better organized, better informed, and unafraid to shine giant spotlights on the immature behavior of men like Mr. Quesada.
There is much more to say, but for a better picture of what’s going on I invite you to watch my latest YouTube video: Joe Quesada exploits Wahlbergian ‘Fear’ clones in blind hatred of Comicsgate.
As always, make sure to hit the “like” and “subscribe” buttons if the format is up your alley.
Also, let me know what you think of Mr. Quesada’s behavior in the comments section below.
Something happened in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018: Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer debated the existence of Comicsgate with the networks’s supposedly insignificant members. There was, however, some big problems with his performance: Mr. Quesada wanted to pretend as if he had anterograde amnesia straight out of Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
In short, the Marvel executive wanted to act as if your friendly neighborhood blogger wasn’t trying to warn him for years that the industry’s bad business practices would produce something akin to Comicsgate.
Marvel’s personal boogeyman (i.e., Diversity & Comics), is supposedly the root of all that ails the industry. Spontaneous Comicsgate Combustion happened in late 2017 and a fire of bad behavior soured the relationship between creators and readers, if Marvel’s top brass is to be believed.
The fact of the matter is that Mr. Quesada and his peers had countless opportunities to right the ship. Myself and others (e.g., Dave Huber when he was writing at Colossus of Rhodey) gave Marvel a series of simple steps to avoid a large-scale consumer revolt.
We were ignored.
Regular readers know that I made the leap to YouTube with the assumption that I needed a bigger megaphone if I was ever going to help spearhead said consumer revolt.
What started on blogs eventually transformed into Comicsgate when myself, Capn Cummings, Diversity & Comics and a core group of others united behind the idea that we could create a parallel industry to “SJW Marvel Inc.”
The response by left-wing ideologues was to double down on unprofessional and immature antics — like Max “feast upon my a**” Bemis putting the “Uncle Ernst” villain into Moon Knight.
Question: Did Mr. Quesada, who stayed up until about 5 a.m. EDT. talking about Comicsgate, dare to answer questions about Mr. Bemis’ lack of professionalism?
Answer: Not a chance. He stayed far, far away from me because he knows the facts are on my side and I would make him look like a buffoon.
The good news about the industry’s decision to dig in its heels into a quicksand pit of stupidity is that readers finally have other options. Indiegogo campaigns like Jawbreakers: Lost Souls have been wildly successful. The products will soon ship, and when that happens the paradigm will have officially shifted.
There is no turning back, and for that we can oddly enough thank guys like Mr. Quesada, Dan Slott, Mark Waid, Erik Larsen, Tom Brevoort, Alanna Smith, Max Bemis and a whole host of ideologues.
If you want to learn more about Mr. Quesada’s faux short-term memory problems, then be sure to check out my latest YouTube video. As always, make sure to hit the like and subscribe button if the format is to your liking.
Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, took to Tumblr on Friday night to bemoan the way comic industry “professionals” are treated by fans. He played the world’s smallest violin for people like Steve Wacker, Dan Slott, Mark Waid, Erik Larsen, Gail Simone and countless others who say incredibly nasty things via their social media accounts. When confronted about his silence on the despicable behavior of his buddies, he chose to play dumb.
Here is what Mr. Quesada said Friday:
“It has never ceased to amaze me how some people, in defense of their favorite fictional characters or stories, treat creators and each other, flesh and blood people living actual lives with actual feelings and families, with such disrespect and cruelty as though they were two-dimensional, fictional villains who merely exist on a page or the imagination.”
A fan then called him out on the laughable attempt to play the victim.
I don’t know what inexcusable behavior you’re referring to, but I known that they all love this medium and the fans as well. I see them at conventions and online, they’re giving of their time, funny, even cheeky at times, even when provoked in horrible ways. But, I’ve never known them to behave inexcusably.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane just for Joe, shall we?
There was that time Dan Slott stalked and upset a random woman on Twitter.
And then there was that time when Dan Slott told Hobby Lobby supporters to go to “Christ-Land.”
Note: I’m pretty sure that if a group of mostly Jewish individuals won a court case and I told them to go to “Jew-Land,” Dan Slott would find that rather repugnant. The same goes for a request to go to “Muslim-Land” to a group of Muslims. But hey, Mr. Quesada has “never known” Dan Slott to behave inexcusably.
Moving on, we have Erik Larsen last year letting all his Christian fans know just what he thinks of their faith by posting an Easter bunny ejecting bloody eggs out of its butt, which then hatched different versions of Jesus. But again, Mr. Quesada has “never” known comic book industry “professionals” to behave inexcusably.
What about if you’re a conservative comic book fan? How do writers and artists comport themselves online, then? Since Mr. Quesada has “never” known creators to behave inexcusably, let’s see a snapshot of Mark Waid’s online behavior. Ah yes, he wants Republicans to go “f**k themselves.” How quaint.
Speaking of conservatives, how many conservatives work with Joe Quesada? I know he likes to talk about diversity, but I seem to have trouble finding one comic book writer employed at Marvel who is openly conservative. I guess ideological diversity doesn’t count.
I can go on and on, but since Mr. Quesada struggled to find comic book industry “professionals” acting inexcusably I’ll even add in an example from Gail Simone. Apparently it’s okay to start resorting to personal attacks against combat veterans if they disagree with Ms.Simone’s politics.
If I called Ms. Simone a “walnut-brained woolly mammoth” over a disagreement on politics or comics, I suppose Mr. Quesada would lecture me on how I need to treat her like “flesh and blood” with “actual feelings.” We all know that he won’t give that lecture to Ms. Simone, though — he agrees with her politics.
Here’s the bottom line: At Marvel, tolerance, tact and understanding are all part of a one-way street.
If you agree with them on politics or the creative direction of their books, then they’ll laugh and giggle and chortle along with you all day long. If you happen to think that young women who work the late shift at a hospital should be able to carry a handgun, then things start to change. If you think having Peter Parker make a deal with the devil goes against everything the character stands for, then it’s a different story. Steve Wacker and Dan Slott and Tom Brevoort and the whole Marvel crew can make smarmy, condescending cracks in your direction all day long, but if you’re a smart guy who has a few intellectual nuclear warheads in your back pocket, then suddenly you need to be concerned about “feelings” and “families.”
Joe Quesada is the guy who burns bridges and then berates fans for not making those bridges out of stronger material in the first place. Joe Quesada is the guy who eggs on his buddies to act like bullies, and then when fans give them a verbal beat-down he gives lectures on inflammatory rhetoric. The brown-nosing comic book and entertainment “journalists” who will do anything to cozy up to a few Marvel writers and artists may not call out inappropriate behavior, but bloggers will.
Keep playing dumb, Mr. Quesada. Keep going with the Arnold Jackson “What you talkin’ about Willis?” strategy. This isn’t 1990. The digital trail doesn’t go cold very quickly, and bloggers are always ready to chronicle your hypocrisy. If you want to know why you’re not treated with respect by countless fans — or why the comic book industry is a shadow of its former self — all you have to do is look in the mirror.
Peter Parker fans often wonder where it all went wrong. Marvel’s flagship character has, more or less, been an inconsistent performer in his own book for years. With each passing season there are glimpses of what makes the hero so enduring, but in general it seems like he is creatively adrift in a sea of editors who don’t know what to do with him. Enter Tom Brevoort, who went a long way in terms of clearing up why the character regularly disappoints in his own title.
In response to a question about the almost universally-panned “One More Day,” where Peter Parker made a deal with the devil (for all intents and purposes) and his marriage was magically dissolved deus ex machina-style, Mr. Brevoort replied:
“The medicine may not taste good, but if it makes you better, then you need to take it.” – Tom Brevoort on why Marvel refuses to undo “One More Day.” Jan. 30, 2015.
According to Tom Brevoort, deals with the devil are fan-medicine, and if they don’t like it, then they’re just being recalcitrant fools.
The hubris of modern Marvel editors like Mr. Brevoort knows no bounds. The reason why so many horrible stories go forward is because they think they’re beyond reproach. Marvel’s Orwellian message boards long ago cleared out evidence of just how much Peter Parker fans detested the story, but at least one can still go on sites like Amazon and read some classic one-star reviews.
Here one example from a reviewer named Cindy:
Yes, boys and girls… You are now told to believe that your hero makes deals with Satan, sacrifices his wife to keep his 80-yr-old Aunt alive (who would pinch his head off if she knew what he did) and that now, in this “new” reality, Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, Mr. Responsibility, just “shacked-up” with a live-in lover, even tried to make a baby with her, but never got around to marrying her. Yeah… it didn’t work out, they split up and they are moving on… Whatever.
Cindy, Cindy, Cindy… Don’t you get it? Making a deal with Mephisto had to happen because apparently that’s a better option than divorce.
Here’s what Joe Quesada said to CBR on Jan. 28, 2008:
“First and foremost, I think Peter getting divorced to me says that they gave up on their love, that their life in love together was so awful, so stressful, so unfulfilling that they had to raise a red flag and walk away from it. They quit on their marriage and even more tragic, they quit on each other. In other words, Peter would rather be alone and single than to spend another moment with MJ.” — Joe Quesada
This, according to Tom Brevoort, is “medicine.” Even though there are countless examples of people who divorced and then eventually got back together, it was for your own good that Peter Parker made a deal with a devil to save his … ancient aunt who should already be dead and reunited with Uncle Ben.
Here is the bottom line: Tom Brevoort and his team of geniuses killed Peter Parker’s marriage and the stories still stunk. Then they literally killed Peter Parker off for over a year and made Doctor Octopus the book’s “hero.” Nothing says “good reads” like making a deal with the devil and then making the villain the hero… Then, Marvel brought back Peter Parker and made him a supporting character in his own book with Spider-Verse. Was Mary Jane the problem all along, or is it narcissistic know-it-alls like Tom Brevoort?
Years ago doctors gave women Thalidomide to alleviate nausea during their first trimester. Their babies were then born with arms and legs that were too short and incredibly deformed. If Tom Brevoort were a doctor, he probably would have been the guy who gave out large doses of Thalidomide to pregnant women. Luckily he decided to work at Marvel, where his “medicine” only damages fictional characters and his employer’s reputation.
Related: Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse: Peter Parker sadly gives off ‘Where’s Waldo?’ vibe in his own book
Back in December I wondered if Marvel’s next “big” event, Fear Itself, would be just another round of liberal claptrap force fed to us for $4.00 and issue. I was partially right—the claptrap was there, but it only cost me $2.99!
Let me set the stage. Something is very wrong in New York City. Citizens have been taken with fear, and they’re acting out in irrational ways. Spider-Man is working overtime (what else is new?) to keep the city from tearing itself apart. Cue Naveed Moshtaghi, a taxi driver and Iranian immigrant. Naveed’s vehicle is hit by an angry white guy, who then blames the accident on Naveed: “He’s one of the terrorists. He wants to kill us all!” says the aggressor. A mob swarms around Naveed, swallowing him whole until Spider-Man saves the day.
At this point I’m willing to give writer Chris Yost a break. Maybe the “God of Fear” is really behind it all. I’m even willing to shrug off a narrator who begins, “Naveed Moshtaghi is afraid of the same thing he’s been afraid of for ten years,” (i.e., Americans are just itching for an excuse to bum rush Muslims post-9/11 to infinity and beyond), right before the story unfolds that way.
But then something interesting happens. All alone on a rooftop, Spider-Man tells the man he’s dealing with the crisis very well. Naveed responds:
“I’m a second generation Iranian in New York City. Living in fear, that’s what I’m used to. What is happening down there, sometimes I think it was only a matter of time.”
Has Marvel been reading DC’s Superman (the kid from Krypton with a super-sized crush on the United Nations, even though they put countries with the worst human rights records on human-rights councils)? What’s with the Iranian love fests as of late, whereas police state goons respond to Superman’s “peaceful protest” by handing flowers to protesters, and Marvel Universe’s New York City stokes more fear than an actual fear society?
Dear Naveed (or should I say Chris Yost and Matt Fraction and Joe Quesada?),
You’ve probably never heard of Neda. And I’m not just saying that because she’s dead, murdered by police state thugs. Or because you couldn’t recognize her as she went into shock. Or because her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she died. Or because she was covered in blood as her friends cradled her in their arms.
No, my liberal writer friends at Marvel, you don’t know Neda because you apparently don’t want to know. You stay willfully ignorant, creating fictional universes imbued with a liberal interpretation of what you think the world is really like. In the limited panel space you have, you chose to highlight an immigrant whose family left the Middle East so they could walk on eggshells in New York City. You write characters whose deepest darkest fears about what really lurks in hearts of Americans end up being true! Meanwhile, officers at West Point have to deal with a civilian population that increasingly doesn’t understand (or was that “fear”, Mr. Yost?) their mission. I wonder why that is, Marvel.
While I certainly don’t want a sanitized Marvel Universe any more than I want the “C” in DC Comics to stand for “Chomsky,” I find it just a little bit distasteful how often the liberal worldview is shoved down my throat by the “creative officers” and “talent” with each publication.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch video of Neda dying again. In Iran. In the real world. Where there isn’t a Spider-Man to save her or a Superman to sit idly by in peaceful protest. Perhaps it will remind me how much different America is from the authoritarian black holes littering the world.
Batman has battled many enemies but now has to face the anger of rightwing US bloggers furious that the comic book caped crusader has recruited a Muslim to run his crime-fighting franchise in Paris…
The hero he picks in France is called Nightrunner, the alter ego of a 22-year-old from Clichy-sous-Bois, a tough Paris suburb where urban unrest sparked riots in immigrant districts across France in 2005.
Bilal Asselah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, was caught up in that unrest and at one point he and his friend got beaten up by police who mistook them for rioters.
“Furious”? Umm…no. While I would normally revel in the chance to grab the hook you’re dangling into conservative waters, intellectually pull you into the deep, chew you up, and then spit you out as chum for another blogger…I’ll pass today, AFP. Instead, there’s a different angle I’d like to take, which is DC’s decision to reinstate their Letters to the Editor section:
Posting comments via Facebook or Twitter seems faster than a speeding bullet, but DC Comics is going back to its Silver and Bronze Age ways, returning readers’ letters to the pages of its comic books…
Letters pages were once common in comic books and gave far-flung readers the chance to weigh in on stories, heroes, villains and make requests about what should happen next. Those pages gradually disappeared not only in DC’s comics, but those of other companies, too, as the Internet, e-mail and the rise of Facebook and Twitter all but rendered them obsolete.
David Hyde, DC Comics’ vice president of publicity, quietly announced the change on Monday, in DC’s own blog, The Source. Reaction was positive with one reader remarking that “as a fan of DC Comics since boyhood (more years than I care to remember), one of the things I looked most forward to was the letter page, so very excited.”
Someone needs to ask this anonymous reader what he thinks of Nightrunner, or Wonder World Consensus Woman, or Superman: Earth One. Then they need to ask him whether or not he thinks DC’s Letters to the Editor page would ever print his point of view if it differed in an intelligent way with the powers that be in their corporate offices. My guess is, they wouldn’t.
Robert Gibbs recently tried to make the claim that the White House was somehow more transparent due to Twitter. This is a blatantly misleading statement, as it confuses information with the vehicle that provides it! Some DC readers might think the company is doing a great thing, but I’m inclined to believe one reason they’re doing it is because in the age of Facebook and Twitter it’s the one area where they have total control over the feedback readers see.
Don’t believe me? Anyone who read Marvel’s One More Day, in which liberal Joe Quesada destroyed Spider-Man for tens of thousands of fans by allowing the character to make a deal with the Devil, knows what I’m talking about.* In the wake of One More Day they’ve filled their Letters to the Editor page with reviews from readers who are giddy over the direction of the book. As I said my nerd-tastic response at the time, (jump in at 3:20 if you’re not an uber-nerd) it was as if the editors of Marvel went to the Kim Jong Il School of Journalism. Reading the page was often hilarious, as it was 180 degrees from reality: readers left the book in droves.
If the editors at Marvel and DC can get you looking at their hand picked (and perhaps hand-written?) responses to controversial story lines or creative missteps instead of online—where “right wing bloggers” give you a heads up that stories like Marvel’s Fear Itself might be more liberal claptrap—they’ll be happy. New technology has destroyed liberalism’s ability to silence the conservative point of view, whether it’s on the radio, television, or in print. Conservatism, honestly articulated, is always a winner. They hate that. And they really don’t like to have the spotlight (or was that the Bat Signal?) shown on them. But if we don’t want to keep shelling out money for tales that tell us our worldview is beneath theirs, we need to redouble our efforts.
I’ll see you in DC’s Letters to the Editor page, dear reader…and if I don’t, I’ll see you here!
*I’m sorry, my fan boy friends, but for all intents and purposes Mephisto is the Devil.