Gail Simone’s new policy on writing comics

Comic book writer Gail Simone went to Twitter today to share her new policy about the comic books she will write in the future:

The abbreviation “LGBTQ” stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer. I believe only one of the terms must be met to qualify. For example, a person does not have to be both lesbian and gay to qualify. By person, I mean a fictional comic book character. The abbreviation “poc” stands for person of color. Since it isn’t a real person, but a fictional comic book character, the correct abbreviation would be “coc” for character of color.

That could be problematic. Coc sounds like cock. People might think Gail Simone will only write comics that include cock.

Gail Simone's new policy on writing comics - Bent Corner
A cock on a fence.

It’s always interesting when someone announces something virtuous before they do it. If one wants to write comics that include characters from groups not usually seen in comic books, a better way to go about it is just to do it. Allow the public to discover on their own how inclusive you are.

Announcing it beforehand on Twitter spoils the enjoyment a reader would feel when seeing organically that one of the characters is part of a minority group. Now, people will go into any Gail Simone comic looking for the character who satisfies her new self-imposed inclusively mandate. Some may even consider these characters as tokens. That would be unfortunate.

I’m not sure why bisexual gets lumped into the same group as gay, lesbian, and transgender. When a person who is bisexual enters into a committed relationship with someone, presumingly only having sexual relations with their committed partner, are they still bisexual?

Hopefully, that’s something Gail Simone can explore in a future comic book.

Rick Olney 1954 – 2012

Rick Olney 1954 - 2012
Rick Olney 1954 – 2012

Comic book convention promoter Rick Olney has passed away. He was 58.

To say Olney was somewhat controversial in the world of comic book fandom is perhaps an understand. He had run-ins with a good many comic book professionals over money, none more public than that with comic book writer Gail Simone. It was the basis of a gigantic message board thread over at Comic Book Resources. At last count, the thread had over 53,000 posts.

Personally, I took an interest in stories about Olney because I used to live near his area of operations, Herkimer County in upstate New York. Back in the early 90’s I was stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in nearby Rome, New York. It’s where I was reintroduced to the medium of comic books. There was a comic book shop in one of the malls and I happened to see a poster of Spawn #1 in the window. I couldn’t believe how great the artwork was.  I went into that mall comic book shop and bought a couple comics. The following week, I went back and bought more. The week after that, I went back and repeated the process.

Olney is survived by a wife and five children.

Rick Olney vs. Jeff Ketz/Artful Angie

Rick Olney and Jeff Ketz

Bleeding Cool has a link to number of videos from a recent About Heroes podcast in which co-hosts Jeff Ketz and Dante Beavers talk to legendary comic book shyster Rick Olney.

Olney is infamous in the world of online comic book fandom for, among other things, his financial dealings with comic book writer Gail Simone. Evidently he stiffed her out of some money for an appearance at his comic book convention in upstate New York. This resulted in a legendary message board thread over at Comic Book Resources that is over 58,000 comments long.

This video is fairly interesting in that in the fifth segment, co-host Jeff Ketz tells Rick Olney that he is Artful Angie, one of Olney’s most vocal and persistent Internet critics. Olney has written about him on his blog, here, here and then again, here.

A very uncomfortable exchange then begins to ensue.

This is the second time Rick Olney was on the podcast. He was also interviewed for the April 15 episode. In that episode’s comment section, Artful Angie, the same Internet sock puppet controlled by co-host Jeff Ketz, takes the show to task for having Olney as a guest:

Jeff Ketz is calling himself an idiot.
Jeff Ketz is disparaging his own podcast by referring to it as a “show” in quotation marks.

I’m not really sure what this stunt was supposed to accomplish. What’s the point, to make Rick Olney look dishonest? He’s already looked that way. No new information was revealed in this podcast other than the fact the co-host Jeff Ketz is really Artful Angie, an online persona that has hounded Olney for some time now.

If the podcast was going to set this confrontation up by first having a rope-a-dope first interview and then this one, there really should have been something, anything, revealed about Olney and his financial shenanigans. Otherwise, what’s the point? That Olney didn’t know he was sitting down with one of his most vocal online critics? Why would he know that?

At the very least, they could have closed the blinds in the background so the sunlight wasn’t washing everything out. Maybe next time.