March 6, 2023

Thoughts on recent headlines

Congratulations to Tim. diamond has reversed its previous decision and will be providing Comic Foundry magazine. I’m not sure “ok, we’ll drop the price 27 cents” is really, as the headline says, meeting halfway, but the real test will be how numerous orders it gets. (Readers, will you be ordering the first issue? Does your store purchase shelf copies for customers to browse jobs like this?)

And I do wish Tim wouldn’t say things like “We were considering taking the book to a publisher, but we’re going to stick it out on our own for the first issue. maybe we’ll reevaluate after this issue, maybe not.” It’s good to be flexible, but it’s much much more reassuring to feel that the editor-in-chief has a plan that’s much more than “I dunno, we’ll see.”

Valerie D’Orazio makes an outstanding point (link no longer available):

I think that our quest for excellence in mainstream comics ought to include acknowledging when the big two get it right. offering positive feedback where it is due. For example, I’ve heard a fair amount of bitching about DC’s “Minx” line. … but there is good stuff in the “Minx” line. There is female-positive stuff. Why not talk about that as well? Why not send a signal to companies like DC that such initiatives are welcomed?

Because you know how it’s perceived on the publisher’s end? The publisher tries to do Something Right. maybe it’s a little awkward, maybe it’s perceived as too little. but they try. and then they get kicked in the teeth for the effort. and they think, “well it’s much simpler to just feed the fans the Wizard magazine fodder and leave it at that.”

I’ve heard the same thing expressed, the “why ought to I bother creating a minority character when I can’t make anybody happy?” giving up. I think it’s a result of just how big the gulf is between viewpoints. some of the men making these decisions in creative and editorial don’t want to offend, but they’re rather naive and honestly don’t understand the problem. They’ve rarely thought about symbolism or alternative experiences or the lack of diverse viewpoints or what it would really be like to not be a comfortable white guy. instead of having their “consciousness raised”, they get vilified, and that makes them fearful of trying again.

Yes, they ought to know better. but some of them don’t, and they won’t ever get there if they’re attacked instead of educated. So, yes. Condemn the negative but support the positive. and maybe reevaluate how we’re condemning the negative. Personally, I like the humorous reconceptualization method over the “swords out, fellow fangirls, we got us some castrating to do!” ride of the Valkyries technique.

And then there’s Nymphet. because I live in the American South, I’m used to thinking “ok, how will the ‘protect the kiddies whatsoever costs’ folks react to this?” So I’m amazed anybody ever considered importing a manga about a nine-year-old girl sexually propositioning her adult male teacher, even as a comedy.

At the link above (no longer available), Brigid Alverson praises seven Seas president Jason DeAngelis for discussing the company’s process and reasons for their decisions (first to put the title on hiatus and then to cancel it). I agree, it’s great to see this kind of transparency instead of simply wondering, “hey, whatever happened to that title?” Brigid points out that DeAngelis’ method makes for much more supportive fans, which might help sales. Plus, she says, with scanlations, those who want the series will likely be able to get it one way or another.

Simon Jones of Icarus publishing (link no longer available) uses the event to evaluate the various forces that had an effect on the decision and calls for continued support of the publisher.

He also sounded a cautioning that nicely encapsulates some recent disturbing trends, decrying:

the rise of sites and bloggers from both sides of an issue whose sole raison d’etre appear to be inciting acrimony between different industries of fandom and the belittlement of opposing dissidents, and the willingness of numerous to lend credence to them. That general attitude is troubling, as it portends a shift in technique by such grass-roots triggers from advocacy, to the smear-and-ridicule tactics much more befitting of political or religious extremists. rather than taking a step up, the call has increasingly become for everyone else to take a step down.

That is not empowerment. These spontaneous umbrella triggers do not really issue themselves with promoting the interests of individual people whom they count amongst their members and place on their banners, but the development of singular ideology and the desire for everyone to march in lock-step with it.

Hear, hear.

Share this:

Related Posts:

Angel City: town Without Pity Out this week – Maybe?Angel City: town Without Pity will be in your local comic shop (if they were smart and purchased some in) tomorrow. It’s a hard-bonull