How Politics Are Ruining Comics – Part 2

Ok, this post is going to take a look at how, in my opinion, the social side of politics is ruining comics today. Again, I’m not trying to pick on liberal politics, but that’s the only kind we have in comics so those are the only examples I can cite.

Marvel’s diversity initiative has been well talked about so I won’t spend too much time on it, but I did want to address it briefly. I am 100% OK with diversity in comics. A character’s race or gender or religion has absolutely no influence over whether I enjoy a comic book. However, like many other fans, I think systematically replacing white male characters (or simply creating copycat alternatives) with a female or non-white copies of that character is a really bad way of doing it. Now here are two other points about Marvel’s diversity initiative that irritate me:

  1. They tried to claim all these new characters were all independently story-driven. That’s right, it was all just one big coincidence that these characters started appearing at the same time. We later confirmed that was not true, but I don’t think anyone fell for it to begin with. Just another example of disrespect for the fans who plunk down 4 bucks an issue for this stuff.
  2. If you dislike these changes, you are a racist, sexist, homophobe, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. This is absurd. Of all the complaints about it that I’ve heard, I haven’t heard one person complain that they don’t like diversity. What people object to is losing the characters that they’ve read and loved for decades. The reaction would be the same if the new characters were also white males, I guarantee it.

While this has all been most blatant at Marvel, it exists with other publishers to a lesser extent. I think the recent saga about Vampirella’s costume is part of this. In the comments of my interview with Dynamite’s Joeseph Rybant, he said the new costume was designed to be palatable to more fans. The implication being that many people won’t buy Vampirella because of a perceived sexism in her costume design. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I keep asking myself one question:

When did liberals become the prudes?

Seriously, a couple of decades ago it would have been considered a conservative position to want to eliminate scantily clad female characters from comics. And liberals would be making fun of them and saying “there’s nothing wrong with the human body!” Now left-leaning comics writers seem to be really put off by such a thing, thinking it’s misogynistic and that it objectifies women. This really does baffle me and I haven’t seen anyone else point out this apparent about-face.

Let’s again take a look at our pal Chris Sebela on Twitter the other day:

So noble, so progressive! (I think he may have gotten that from this blog, but not sure) He goes on to share his nickname for the costume – “pomegranate hammock.” Cute, huh? Further down in the thread, there is this exchange:

I’m not surprised that he’d never seen Trina Robbins’ Vampirella drawings as he obviously isn’t a fan of the character. What is surprising is that he seems to deem this drawing so much more acceptable than others of the same costume. To my eye the main difference between Robbins’ Vampirella and the one Frazetta painted for Vampirella #1 (and almost every Vampi artist after him), is that Robbins’ drawing shows less belly and less back. So very scandalous to show back and belly. Women should have their backs and bellies covered at all times, you know. We better hope Sebela doesn’t write another Vampirella series, or we might see her convert to Islam and be covered head to toe in a burka (a story-driven change of course).

Then we have James Cameron who, you may remember, recently said that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was an “objectified icon.” He’s now doubled down on that, citing her good looks and form-fitting costume as evidence. Seriously? Again, you have a female superhero who has been in comics for decades in essentially the same costume, and only now the left-leaning creatives think a form fitting costume objectifies women (I guess he just forgot to mention the short skirt). What did he expect Patty Jenkins to do, give her a completely different costume unrecognizable to the public as Wonder Woman? Well, I guess that’s probably what Chris Sebela would have done.

If these people are so concerned about people seeing the shape of the female anatomy, why do I only hear them wringing their hands about comic book characters? If they’re so concerned, maybe they should try taking on the pornography industry which does actual harm to women and society. Now that is objectification of women. That is something that destroys marriages and families. But, no, they aren’t offended by that, they’d rather focus on fictional characters wearing form-fitting armor and navel-bearing outfits.

So to sum up these last two posts, it seems like the road we’re going down in the comics world is one of more “serious,” less fun, one-sided propaganda pamphlets. People will grow tired of it, and I hope the publishers correct this folly before the readers dump them.

8 Comments

  1. There’s still Boundless comics,zenescope entertainment,,Broadsword comics,aspen cooks, amyrl entertainment, and whoever oublishes Danger Doll and Vampblade,,, not sure if any of these publishers are considered liberal or conservative in a political arena,,,, there are comics out there for everyone,,, unless you’re a long time vampirella fanπŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“

    • Mandy, Broadsword Comics is a good point. I’m sure Jim Balent isn’t a Conservative in his politics, but he definitely isn’t going to change the way he draws his characters to please the PC-Nazi prudes. I’m guessing that’s one reason he started Broadsword in the first place. Look back at his run on Catwoman. The absolute sexiest drawn Catwoman to date. And his work on Tarot…well it’s definitely not for everyone but he isn’t going to change for anyone’s idea of what’s PC. You have to respect him for that.

  2. Well I think Part two was right on as well. But the more I look around at the writers, editors, associate editors, and all involved with marvel, dc, and dynamite the more hopeless it seems.

    They have wrapped themselves in a little SJW cocoon where they all think alike and look alike. They are the complete opposite of the diversity they claim to be. They are no longer Captain America, Batman or Superman. They are Hydra, Hive and The Legion of Doom. Mindless followers of a dead..long ago failed experiment.

    They are the pall bearers at the funeral of comics. They cry and sob hoping that no one watching will realize that they caused the death. The editors and writers wonder what happened and blame the readers and critics. The associate editors run off to find new jobs..because they only took the job as a first step to a job they really wanted. They really had never read a comic before they were hired. But they were young…mostly female and they were what was considered diverse at the time. And they hated those sexist costumes as much as the old liberal men and lbgtq crews did. So congratulations your hired. Now put on these glasses and dye part of your hair blue so you actually look like a real geek girl.

    I do love the fact that Sebela is reading your blog. His comments show how childish and unimaginative he is. There is a huge rift growing between writers and publishers and their dwindling customer base. And you can see it in the rants of those writers and publishers. They are scared, not because the public is mad, but because the public see’s no hope for change and are leaving.

    It’s going to get bad when people get tired of watching comic characters on tv and in the movies. No more living off of the previous writers and no more movie revenue welfare to keep your little SJW comic book office going. Disney has fired way too many Americans and replaced them with foreign workers to give a damn about ending marvel comics. Hell they have stories to last them hundreds of years. They don’t need marvel comics, the have marvel movies.

    Well, I’m off to the local comic book store. The owner asked me to stop by after he found out I cancelled all my subscriptions. Wants to know how to get me back as a customer. Maybe he could unfollow Sebela and all the other nuts on his shops twitter site. But he’s a liberal as well, so that won’t happen. At first I didn’t understand why he cares so much about one customer, then I added up the money I spent in his shop over the last 5 years. I guess he just realized that you afford to lose someone who spent $26,000 in his shop. Maybe he can speak with Marvel, DC and Dynamite…get that classic Vampirella costume back and rolling again. No..I doubt that.

    $26,000…That’s a lot of money. The silver age I bought from him are still wonderful but do I need more? No. The new stuff I can buy in the $1 bin in 3 years. So what do I do after our meeting at the comic shop? I guess I step out of the fascist comic darkness and into the light of a really kick-ass Dodge Challenger Hellcat? We’ll see, but as my wife points out , without the comic book hobby we can now afford the dream car I’ve wanted for awhile. Damn, my wife is a genius.

    Now the big question….can I really ever give up on Vampirella? I think the answer is probably no.

    So keep up the good work.

    • I do think Marvel being acquired by Disney has a lot to do with what they’ve been up to. I don’t have any proof of that, but it just makes sense. You can even see that in some of Disney’s movies. My kids love the Cars movies with Lightning McQueen. In the most recent movie, they essentially replaced McQueen with a female car with a hispanic name.

  3. Dynamite is publishing red sonja ( in the metal bikini), Bette Page, the new Sheena comic, and what many consider to be the first adult comic: Barbarella! Not sure what they have against Vampirella!!!!!!!

      • Yes, but I think we all know that they will be taking all the sexuality out of Barbarella (including her risque costumes) and turning her into a female version of Flash Gordon. Although it appears that a French gentleman who worked with the creator of Barbarella in the 90’s is going to have final approval so I may be totally off base. But as far as a crossover series…no doubt about that.

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