Joss Whedon tweets for the death of Donald Trump

Has Joss Whedon lost his mind? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he has a brain tumor or full-blown AIDS of the brain

It looks like all that toxic masculinity Joss Whedon has been employing the last few years has finally caught up with him. And not in a good way either. The man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly took to Twitter to share his opinion that for the good of the country, he wants President Donald Trump to “quietly” die.
Joss Whedon tweets for the death of Donald Trump - Bent Corner

Has Joss Whedon lost his mind? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he has a brain tumor or full-blown AIDS of the brain.

A normal person in command of their mental facilities doesn’t go on Twitter and express the opinion that he wishes the President of the United States would die.

Joss Whedon is not acting normal.

Draft dodging Donald Trump's transgender military ban - Bent Corner
President Donald J. Trump.

I’m no fan of our current president either. I didn’t vote for him. I look forward to the day he is no longer in office. That doesn’t mean I want him to die. Even if I did, I would not go on Twitter and express those feelings, especially if I had over 225 thousand Twitter followers. What if one of them is even more insane than Joss Whedon and for the good of the country, tries to make Whedon’s wish come true?

I don’t think there’s anyone I dislike so much that I would want them to die.

Joss Whedon tweets for the death of Donald Trump - Bent Corner
Twitter sees everything. It reacts to some stuff, it ignores everything else.

And how exactly has Joss Whedon’s life been ruined under the Trump Administration? How is it any worse now than it was under the Obama Administration? What’s changed for him? Considering his tax bracket, Joss Whedon got a huge tax cut because of Donald Trump. Whedon is a richer man now because of Donald Trump and for that he wants him to quietly die?

I’ll be really interested to see how Twitter responds to this tweet. Technically, this would be considered hate speech under the Twitter Terms of Service (ToS) and would earn Joss Whedon a suspension of his account. My guess is that won’t happen in this case. Normally only transgendered people get away with tweeting death threats. Joss Whedon is not transgender, but he is a male feminist.

Comic book writer and transgender woman, the always classy Mags Visaggio.

I don’t know if the same relaxed rules apply to famous male feminists. If Joss Whedon doesn’t get a Twitter suspension, I will have my answer.

The Daily Beast’s article on #Comicsgate

The most glaring lack of diversity in the Marvel Universe has been the diversity of thought. Where are the conservatives?

The Daily Beast published an article about #Comicsgate, an online movement that has as many definitions as it has members. Asher Elbein, the writer of The Daily Beast article and someone who describes himself as “a storyteller for hire” defined Comicsgate as the following:

An ugly new front in the online culture wars targets women, people of color, and LGBT folk in the comic book industry. And some have figured out how to cash in.

Needless to say, Asher Elbein is not a supporter of the movement known as Comicsgate.

I don’t agree with his definition. I don’t think anyone associated with Comicsgate would define their movement with the above definition.

Douglas Ernst, a writer for the Washington Times and a comics YouTuber gave the following definition for Comicsgate on Jon Malin’s Mortal Enemy’s YouTube channel:

A community of individuals that are trying a multipronged, multifaceted, approach to getting to the heart as to what has left the comic book industry a shell of its former self.

The above definition makes more sense to me than Elbein’s definition. It rings true while Elbein’s definition does not.

I don’t think anyone can deny that the comic book industry is a shell of its former self. That is the root of the problem. Last year alone, over fifty comic book shops closed their doors and went out of business. That is a problem.

Comic books don’t sell like they used to. In February 2007, the top-selling comic was Civil War #7. It was $2.99 and sold 265,886 issues. In February 2017, the top-selling comic book was Star Wars Darth Maul #1. It was $4.99 and sold 105,177 issues.

Star Wars Darth Maul #1

In February 2017, Amazing Spider-Man at $3.99 sold 61,953 issues. In February 2007, Amazing Spider-Man at $2.99 sold 142,930 issues.

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #24

With comic book sales plummeting, it’s no wonder so many comic book shops have gone out of business. It’s a wonder so many have been able to remain in business.

The real question is why have comic book sales been so poor? Making this question even more puzzling is when you consider how popular the comic book genre has been at the movie box office. It seems the more popular comic book movies are, the less popular comic books are.

The most popular opinion for the current state of the comic book industry is the amount of (fake) diversity that has been forced upon so many of the Marvel Comics books. Thor is now a woman. Iron Man is a 15-year-old African-American girl. The Hulk is a Korean scientist. Captain Marvel has been made masculine. Ice Man is gay. Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim girl.

Captian Marvel in her masculine glory.

The diversity Marvel Comics has engaged in is merely the appearance of diversity using only the most superficial criteria. They have a Muslim character, yet I know of no Mormon characters in the Marvel Universe. If you were to sit in a chair near a window, what would you think you’d see more, Muslims or Mormons?

Just a couple of Mormons being all Mormon.

The most glaring lack of diversity in the Marvel Universe has been the diversity of thought. Where are the conservatives?

Marvel Comics used to have a policy that the Marvel Universe should look like the world you see outside your window. When I look out my window, I see both Democrats and Republicans. I see more Mormons than I see Muslims.

Even though around half the country is made up of people who consider themselves to be more conservative than liberal, no conservatives can be found in the Marvel Universe. That’s because the people who make the comics identify as liberals. To them, the Marvel Universe doesn’t look like the world they see outside their window, it looks like the world they see in their mirror.

Not only do they identify as liberals on social media, they demonize anyone who identifies as conservative or Republican. In other words, about half the country.

I’m neither a liberal or a conservative. I was a registered Democrat going into the 2016 presidential election, but I changed my political affiliation to UNAFFILIATED shortly after the Democratic National Convention. I twice voted for Barack Obama. I already knew the Republican party didn’t represent my views, but I then came to the conclusion the current Democratic party didn’t represent my views either.

One of the things I believe strongly in is that if you are a good American, you cannot hate someone just because they are a Democrat or a Republican. If you do, you essentially hate half the people who make up this country. That’s not being a good citizen. That’s not being a good American.

Unfortunately, the comic book industry is filled with people who seem to go out of their way to hate people because they’re Republicans. DC artist Ethan Van Sciver is routinely called a Nazi simply because he’s a Republican and voted for Donald J. Trump.

If you equate Republicans to Nazis, you’re not being a good American. If you equate Democrats to Communists, you’re not being a good American either.

Comic book professionals who hate conservatives and Republicans on social media don’t seem to realize that when they engage in this childish behavior, they’re cutting their potential market in half.

Back to the Daily Beast article. I found it better than the BuzzFeed News article on the same subject, but it had its problems. I deduct ten percent from the final grade of any Comicsgate article that doesn’t mention Melissa Morgue. I also deduct one point for every time the word “troll” appears in the article.

A storyteller for hire, Asher Elbein.

Asher Elbein used the word six times.

It would have also been nice if the Daily Beast article mentioned how expensive comic books are today than they’ve been in years past. Since the writers of these articles have probably never purchased a comic book that wasn’t covered by an expense report, they presumably don’t realize how much the price of a comic book has outpaced inflation. Comic books are expensive. That fact has to be considered when trying to grapple with the problem of historically low sales in the comics industry.

 

The BuzzFeed News article about #Comicsgate

According to my count, the word “troll” appears 28 times in the BuzzFeed News article. That seems excessive.

BuzzFeed News published an article about Comicsgate, something they identified as an online harassment campaign and culture war against people pushing to diversify the comic book industry, whatever that means.

According to BuzzFeed News, Comicsgate “trolls” target those calling for increased representation for women, different races, and the LGBT community in comics. If you decide to read the article, be prepared to read the word “troll” quite a bit.

According to my count, the word “troll” appears 28 times in the BuzzFeed News article. That seems excessive. The word “troll” has always been pejorative and a disparaging word. Lately, it’s become a derogatory term for anyone you disagree with… online.

Disagree with a neighbor over a fence in the real world, chances are you’re not going to call them a troll. This specific slur is something used exclusively for people on the Internet.

Speaking of inappropriate words, the word “Nazi” appears 17 times in the BuzzFeed News article. That struck me as somewhat odd since this is an article about the current state of comic books, not World War Two.

These are Nazis. They no longer exist.

I had a hard time taking the article seriously. It relied too heavily on words aimed at offending and defaming.

What people like Rachael Krishna, the reporter at BuzzFeed News who wrote the article, don’t seem to understand is that comic books have always been diverse.

BuzzFeed News Reporter Rachael Krishna.

I’m assuming she isn’t aware of this because she’s probably never read a comic book. That’s not meant as a slight on her. I just assume most normal people haven’t read a comic book. I’m usually right.

Storm on the cover of The Uncanny X-Men from 1987.

Comics have always been inclusive. They’ve always featured characters from diverse backgrounds. Comics have always catered to the marginalized in society, the outliers, the geeks and the freaks.

When people push to diversify the comic book industry, it confuses many comic book fans. How do you push to diversify something that’s already diverse?

The goal in comics should always be to make them better. At $3.99 for a monthly floppy comic book, something that can be read in less than ten minutes, the comic book industry owes it to the fans to make the best product they can possibly make. That means hiring the best writers, artists, inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors. No special consideration should be given to a person because of what part of the world their parents came from, what pretend deity they choose to pray to, or what gender they most associate with on any given day.

It’s about the product.

If you are working in the comic book industry and you’re trying to do anything other than improving the product you’re working on, you’re doing it wrong. Stop doing that and concentrate on making the product better.

 

Comic book writer Kwanza Osajyefo questions if Richard C. Meyer is a veteran

Comic book writer Kwanza Osajyefo has discovered a new low when it comes to criticizing Richard C. Meyer, the man behind the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel. He questioned his veteran status:

Kwanza Osajyefo has probably never served in the military, so he might not realize how inappropriate and offensive it is to publicly question a veteran’s service.

Being ignorant doesn’t excuse what he did.

I like to say that it’s impossible for me to be offended by the words of others. Words are just words. If I was the type of person who would allow myself to become offended by things said by others, what Kwanza Osajyefo said would offend me.

Kwanza Osajyefo

If nothing else, that he could question if Meyer served in the military or not just shows he’s never watched his videos. As a veteran who’s watched all of Meyer’s videos, it’s quite obvious to me that he served.

I blame Twitter for creating the atmosphere that allows something like this to happen. Much like some users are allowed to verify who they are on Twitter and then get a blue check mark next to their name, like comic book writer Kwanza Osajyefo, veterans should be allowed to verify with Twitter that they’ve served and then get some type of identifier indicating they’re a veteran of the U.S. military.

The state of Maryland added this feature to the driver’s license.

Maryland driver’s license with the veteran indicator.

Even Uber added something like this to driver profiles. If you’re a veteran of the U.S. military and you drive for Uber, your passengers will be made aware of this fact.

This may seem trivial to some, but questioning someone’s military service is highly offensive. It’s certainly more offensive then referring to someone with the wrong pronoun.

The #MoveTheNeedle Twitter comics campaign

There’s a positive Twitter campaign going on involving #ComicsGate. The way it works is this: whenever you buy comics based on the recommendations of people associated with #ComicsGate, Diversity & ComicsCapn CummingsYellow FlashDouglas Ernst, etc., you take a photo of the comics you bought and post it on Twitter along with the hashtag #MoveTheNeedle.

It hopefully shows that the same customers often maligned and disparaged by some (not all) comic book professionals because of their backing of the ideas behind #ComicsGate support the comic book industry by actually buying books. Imagine that.

Our comic book purchases are helping the comics industry by moving the needle.

It’s the mastermind of Richard C Meyer of Diversity & Comics. At least I think his name is Richard. Sometimes I think it’s Zack. Other times I think it’s Diana’s dad.

Here’s one I just posted on Twitter:

What I like about the #MoveTheNeedle campaign is its positivity. It’s not attacking anyone for supposedly supporting social justice infused books that nobody wants to read, or more importantly, buy. It’s showing the comic book industry that customers want to buy good comics when given the opportunity. Good comics sell. Bad comics don’t.

Hopefully, the #MoveTheNeedle campaign will make it more difficult for the comic book industry to dismiss the points raised by customers who support #ComicsGate. At least that’s the idea.

The real reason comic book shops are in trouble

There’s been a lot of chatter online as of late about the poor state of the comic book retail industry. A lot of comic book shops have been going out of business.

The host of the YouTube channel Diversity & Comics claimed in a recent video that fifty comic book shops went out of business last year. He attributed this in large part to the number of social justice warriors working in comics producing bad comics people don’t want to read.

America #10 written by social justice advocate Gabby Rivera sold 7,971 copies to comic book shops and had a price point of $3.99.

I’m not sure I totally agree with that. Sure, there has been a slew of low-selling comics produced that push a certain social narrative, but I’m not sure they’re the reason so many comic book shops have gone out of business. I think the reason so many comic book shops have gone out of business (and more will go out of business in the future) is that comic books are just too expensive. Good comics, bad comics, and mediocre comics all cost too much.

Both Marvel and DC price their monthly comic books anywhere from $2.99 to $3.99. That’s too much money for a monthly comic book.

It wasn’t too long ago that comic books were cheap impulse buys. They were priced cheap enough that if something caught your eye on the shelf, you could just add it to the stack of books you were buying that week. Not anymore. That doesn’t exist anymore. If you’re going to pay four bucks for a monthly comic with 22 pages of story, you’d better make sure before you buy it that it will be worth it.

More times than not, it won’t be worth it.

Compared to the other forms of entertainment I spend my discretional money on, comic books by far give me the less bang for my buck. It’s not even close. When I spend $3.99 on a monthly comic and I sit down to read it, I’ll have to read in less than ten minutes.

In comparison, I’ll spend more money on a science fiction prose book either for my Kindle, or an actual paper book made from dead trees, but I’ll get hours of reading enjoyment from my purchase. Hours, not minutes.

The same is true for my audiobooks. I pay $15 a month for an Audible membership which gives me one credit per month for an audible book. The books I choose to listen to run anywhere from 8 hours to 22 hours. I feel like I get real value for my monthly Audible membership.

(I don’t mean for this to sound like a plug for Audible, I’m just stating an economic fact.)

When I read a $3.99 comic, I never feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. I don’t feel like I’m getting value. How long can something like that last?

I’m not sure there’s any way to fix this problem. Can Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and the other comic book publishers make cheaper comics again? They did it before. It would stand to reason they could do it again.

If they wanted to.

My gut tells me $1.50 is a price point sweet spot. If comic publishers found a way to return the price of a single comic to $1.50, a lot of the problems plaguing comic book retailers would go away.

X-Ray Comics and Records, located in nearby Greencastle, Pennsylvania is closing its doors at the end of the month. It will be missed.