Original page by Bill Sienkiewicz from Elektra: Assassin #4, published by Marvel/Epic, November 1986. I really need to re-read this series!
Been re-reading small bits of this before bed most nights. Just crazy stuff.
Here’s a look at my Batman ‘66 ‘selfie’ variant I drew for DC.
BAT CAMERA PHONE.
CARPENTER WAS RIGHT.
Team Columbo (being RJ White and Jon Morris) is proud to announce the launch of the pilot episode of its new podcast, JUST ONE MORE THING, a podcast dedicated to all things Columbo! We’ve started off with guest Leonard Pierce discussing Swan Song, guest-starring Johnny Cash and Ida Lupino. Check it out!
I’m very pleased to announce the pilot episode of our much-threatened Columbo podcast, Just One More Thing, is now available online for your listening pleasure! Give it a listen!
Gonna have to watch this ep tonight so I can listen to the podcast tomorrow.
The other week I lost my temper and said some stuff about Marvel’s announcements of Captain America and Thor, who are replacing White Captain America and Dude Thor. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, mulling it over, because it’s been pretty inescapable.
I like Marvel’s characters. I think that much is obvious. I like the creators, too. I might quibble with some story details, but big whoop. That’s the smallest thing ever, “I don’t like this specific aspect of a comic that isn’t being written for me.” No me importa, basically. But it’s the marketing that’s killing me, and I think I figured out why.
Marvel’s making moves to increase the character diversity in their books, and drawing ire from the usual gang of idiots. Which I’m all for, even though I’m way more for creator diversity, and believe is a good thing. But the thing that’s grating is that instead of putting the work out on its own merits and marketing it about how great it is, a lot of the conversation around it has been about the basics that hate it.
I’ve been seeing Marvel folks, mostly white dudes but not entirely, retweet or address or bring up racists and scumbags and sexists while pushing their books, positioning themselves as taking a stand against these people talking trash.
They’re hijacking hate to a certain extent, in the Situationist sense, and are using it to market their comics. The new black Captain America, the new lady Thor, both of these announcements were followed, within minutes, by people talking about the people who are hating on the project. “Big ups to all my haters!” is such a soft position, because it positions you as good because these other people are worse.
On top of that, it also colors the reaction to the announcement. If you disagree with whatever for genuine reasons, but you phrase it as “I don’t like that the Falcon is Captain America,” the reaction to that is now tilted heavily toward “Oh, what’re you, racist?” instead of it being something more reasonable. By putting those people front and center, by tweeting about them and giving interviews about how you won’t change the project no matter the response because you believe in your stuff, you’re…it’s not ham-stringing criticism, but it’s definitely preempting it, in a way.
And I think that’s the gross part. I spend a lot of time consciously pushing back against the messages society tells me about being black. The unworthiness, the laziness, the dumbness…all of it’s fake. But I have to stay on the ball, I have to keep Black Is Beautiful in the front of my mind, because black IS beautiful, and it always has been, and it always will be.
But I remember being in kindergarten and getting called nigger on the playground. I remember fachas screwing with me and my friends in Spain. I remember getting followed around stores, people looking at me like I don’t belong, and getting ignored when trying to do my job because there’s a white dude next to me who people assume is the boss of me. This weekend I got confused for a few other black dudes in comics who I don’t even resemble, and it stings every time.
And I think it’s messed up to see somebody who doesn’t know that pain harness it to sell some comics. That’s what’s been grossing me out, that’s what I haven’t been able to properly articulate. It’s the corporate version of dudes crowing about how feminist they are, like being a decent human being means they deserve groupies. “One episode of The Wire, what you know about dope?” right? And I feel like Marvel gets it on a certain level, and they certainly employ people who get it, but they don’t get it yet.
Somebody calling you a nigger ain’t a badge of honor. You don’t show off your gunshot wounds. You don’t crow about how people hate you in the name of making yourself look good. You let the dead bury the dead and leave the garbage men in the rear view or in the ground. They should not matter to you or me not nary an inch.
That’s why it feels like diversity-as-marketing to me. The creative teams are killer, and I like that Marvel is putting the full weight of their machine behind these books. I respect the people creating the comics. But I can’t take seeing people be proud of getting hated on in a way that doesn’t hurt them but forces me to think about how crap and dangerous it is to be black (or anything else) and alive in America in 2014.
"Goddamn government fucks you comin’ and goin’."
That’s Marvel editor Jordan White tweeting about the lack of big announcements from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. When someone from Marvel Comics is complaining about a lack of announcements, you know that something’s gone screwy somewhere.
I feel like it’s almost too easy to say that this was the year where Comic-Con jumped the shark or whatever, as if my own jadedness about the show and “insider” status give me some sense of privileged apathy about the show that others don’t share, but there’s been something about the convention this year (and the coverage of it as well, for that matter) that’s suggested some kind of shift about the show this year that I can’t quite put my finger on.
That confused, strange lack of news that everyone was primed to expect from both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios on Saturday— the complete lack of mention of movies that have either been rumored, in Warners’ case, or are known to be already in active development with directors and/or writers having already spoken publicly about them, in Marvel’s case—seems to crystalize the feeling that, somehow, everyone involved just decided to half-ass the show this year. Combine that with what feels like a scaled back presence by certain media outlets and what appears to be a general sense of “Wait, was anything new actually announced…?” that I’m seeing online, and it makes me wonder whether this is the shape of things to come for Comic-Con, or simply an off-year when compared with the razzle-dazzle of the last few years. And if 2014 is a transitionary year for SDCC, I’m not sure what it’s transitioning into.
This definitely felt like a year when studios got conservative and only promoted what is coming out within the next year rather than announcing what’s in the future. Could be a sign of how much that is flux, especially during such a crappy summer at the US box office.
"I’m Superman done right."
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