Rich Johnston is not in charge at Bleeding Cool

Bleeding Cool, the pinnacle of online clickbait comic book journalism, has been receiving some well-deserved flack lately. Joe Glass, a Bleeding Cool staff writer tried to use fraud to take down a YouTube channel because he didn’t agree with what the YouTuber was saying about Marvel Comics. Joe Glass the journalist tried to de-platform someone because they voiced their opinions.

When exactly in journalism school do they teach that?

Free speech

Remember when the comic book community valued free speech? Joe Glass wrote a Bleeding Cool article this past August that claimed one of the problems in comic fandom today is that free speech law has not caught up with modern technology. Put that on a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund flier.

When people blame Rich Johnston for the shady, unethical behavior at Bleeding Cool, they’re making a mistake.

People assume Rich Johnston is in charge at Bleeding Cool. They assume Joe Glass and the other journalists employed by Bleeding Cool work for him.

Rich Johnston does not own Bleeding Cool

The facts do not support the notion that Rich Johnston is in charge of anything at Bleeding Cool. Rich Johnston doesn’t own Bleeding Cool. According to Bleeding Cool’s About page, Bleeding Cool is owned by Avatar Press.

A WHOIS search of the bleedingcool.com domain shows the domain is owned by Avatar Press. Rich Johnston’s name appears nowhere on the WHOIS record.

Mark Seifert runs Bleeding Cool

According to the Bleeding Cool About page, Mark Seifert manages the website, not Rich Johnston. Also, according to Mark Seifert’s Twitter, he’s the managing editor of Bleeding Cool.

According to Rich Johnston’s Twitter, he’s “head writer” at Bleeding Cool. His byline at Bleeding Cool says he’s “chief writer” and founder of Bleeding Cool. It seems like he can’t even get his own honorary title right.

The fact that Bleeding Cool hired Jude Terror, formally from The Outhousers, should demonstrate just how much power Rich Johnston wields at Bleeding Cool. Rich wrote this about the hiring:

I wasn’t consulted on this, obviously. Frankly, I wish he wasn’t now part of Bleeding Cool. I advised against it, but it seems my counsel was ignored.

Say what you want about Rich Johnston, he’s clearly not in charge of anything over at Bleeding Cool.

If you have a problem with anything going on at Bleeding Cool or anything someone on the staff is doing, and you’re complaining to Rich Johnston, you’re doing it wrong. Take your complaint to Mark Seifert or to Avatar Press. They’re the ones calling the shots at Bleeding Cool, not Rich Johnston.

I upgraded my iPhone 6s Plus to iOS 11 and now GPS does not work

I upgraded my iPhone’s operating system to iOS 11 when it told me to. Big mistake. Not only did key features of the iPhone change (Podcasts) to less capable versions, the built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) is now junk. It works until it doesn’t work.

When driving for Uber, GPS is very important

If I didn’t drive for Uber, I probably wouldn’t care about the GPS. At least not as much as I do now. When you drive for Uber, the GPS is very important. Not only does it tell you where to go to pick up your passenger, it continuously sends tracking information back to Uber so that it can keep the passenger updated as to your status.

Yesterday the GPS on my iPhone was not working correctly.

The first trip of the day, I picked up a passenger at a nearby grocery store. Uber was sending me up-to-date navigational information to the pick-up spot. When I pulled up to the front of the store, I had to wait a few minutes for the passenger. The reason? Because her Uber ridder app showed that I had not yet left, let alone arrived. Even though the GPS was working for me, it evidently wasn’t sending updates to Uber.

My navigational system has fallen and it won’t get up

On the next trip, the Uber wasn’t sending me navigational information. It was like I was looking at a screenshot of a navigational screen. As I was driving to the general direction of where the passenger was, I rebooted the Uber app and then rebooted the entire iPhone. When it came back up, I had to cancel the ride because I had taken far too much time getting the iPhone up and running. In the Uber settings, I switched from the native navigation system to Waze. I then drove around a bit with Waze up to make sure the screen was updating my location. I appeared to be working, so I went back into Uber and went online.

A few minutes later, I got a passenger request. It was over at Prime Outlets, an outlet mall in Hagerstown off Interstate 70. Right before I got to Prime Outlets, I got a text from the passenger asking me if I was on my way. Great, it sounded as though the iPhone wasn’t sending navigational updates to Uber. I replied that I was and would be there in a few minutes.

I picked her up and drove her home. She was a frequent passenger of mine. After dropping her off, I got another request right away. I began driving towards the new passenger. The navigation system was doing what it was supposed to do, at least it appeared on my end that it was.

About a minute from the new passenger’s location, the passenger canceled the ride. No biggie, since it has been over two minutes since they requested the ride, at least I’ll get the $5.25 cancellation fee.

Where’s my $5.25 cancellation fee?

A few minutes went by and the cancellation fee didn’t appear on my account. It showed $0.00. I then looked at the last trip, the one where I picked up the rider at Prime Outlets. It showed I earned $3.45 for the trip, the bare minimum you can make on a single trip driving for Uber. The trip showed it took 15 minutes, 35 seconds and was 0.00 miles.

I logged out of Uber and went home. Then I emailed Uber support. I told them I should have received a cancellation fee because it had been more than two minutes since the rider requested the trip. The got back to me and stated the cancellation fee did not apply because it showed I was taking too long to get to the passenger. My iPhone was obviously not sending navigation info to Uber.

I also contacted Uber about the $3.45 fare. They informed me that I would need to send them the following:
– Date of trip
– Time of trip
– Pickup and drop-off location
– Fare
– Rider name

Once they have that, they’ll be able to assist me. As much as I’d like to blame Uber for this, the problem is with my iPhone. The problem with my phone is because Apple essentially forced me to upgrade the operating system.

Apple sucks and I hate it

I erased the iPhone and reloaded the OS. What else could I do? I just finished paying off this iPhone. The last thing I want to do is get a new phone. I’d like to roll back the OS to the prior system, but Apple doesn’t allow that.

I wish Apple cared less about protecting the privacy rights of murderous dead Islamists and more about taking care of its existing customers. Just because they release a new iPhone doesn’t mean I want to buy it. By forcing a crappy OS on my two-year-old phone, breaking features I rely upon, doesn’t mean I will go out and buy shiny new iPhone 8. My iPhone was working perfectly fine until the new operating system.

When I do buy a new phone, it will not be a phone made by Apple.

I blame Tim Cook

I know it’s not rational, but I have some major hatred for Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. For some reason, when I was erasing my iPhone and reinstalling the same awful OS, I was picturing him laughing at me.

The laughing Tim Cook is the worst of all the Tim Cooks.

Again, this was not a rational thing to do. I’m fully aware of this. I’m sure Tim Cook is a wonderful person with many redeeming qualities. That said, yesterday I wanted to put him in a rear naked chokehold and watch him go to sleep.

I decided to put the iPhone down for a while and take two Xanax.

Nobody will ever get rich driving for Uber

In retrospect, I think the basis of my anger had more to do with where my life is right now. I allowed myself to get worked up about a missing $5.25 cancellation fee. Nobody will ever get rich driving for Uber. When you drive for Uber, every dollar is important. I now have to go into Uber’s system and find the information about the zero mile trip. They have all this information, yet it’s up to me to obtain it and send it to them.  For what, to get them to pay me a few more bucks?

It sucks to be in that position.

My new Nintendo 3DS XL

I picked up a New Galaxy Style Nintendo 3DS XL at Walmart yesterday. The price was rolled back to $179.00 from the original price of $199. I’ve wanted to pick one up for a while now. I wanted one to use while waiting for Uber requests.

The problem is, I don’t have any games for it. I had a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, but I cannot find it anywhere. It’s just gone. I tried to download the games I paid for through the digital Nintendo Game Store with my old 3DS, but it tells me there’s nothing to download.

I wanted to buy a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s running $19.99 everywhere that sells it.

Target

My first stop was Target. They had the game, but there was nobody in electronics.

Toys R Us

They also had it, but like Target, there was nobody working in electronics. There was a sign saying if anyone needed help, to go to the customer service desk.

GameStop

They were selling a used copy for $18.99. I tried to buy it, but it was like the register area was at the mouth of a black hole. Time slowed down to a crawl. The employee wearing a beanie was helping someone do something that involved a going to the back of the store multiple times. There were two people in front of me waiting to buy a Funko figure. The other store employee was talking to them, talking about how he got his grandmother into watching The Walking Dead. I guess the figure was from The Walking Dead.

At that point, a woman and a developmentally challenged man came into the store.  The developmentally challenged man began making very loud noises. The problem was that I began having a mini-panic attack. The only thing stopping it from becoming a full panic attack was that I left GameStop. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Best Buy

My last attempt at buying a physical copy of the game was at Best Buy. They had it in individual anti-theft plastic cases. This made buying it very easy. I bought it and went home.

What a hassle.  I think I’ll be checking out the Nintendo Game Store in the future. Even if my purchases disappear, it’s easier than going out in the real world.

 

Can you still pretend you are a male feminist when you kill a woman?

YouTube personality and male feminist Aleksandr Kolpakov (a.k.a. Russian Deadpool) is sitting in a Colorado jail cell awaiting trial for second-degree murder. Kolpakov shot girlfriend and YouTube channel co-host Heather Anable in the neck and chest, killing her.

If you’ve never heard of Russian Deadpool before now, I envy you. I’m only aware of him because he was the co-moderator of a “debate” between Carl Benjamin (a.k.a. Sargon of Akkad) and Kristi Winters. The debate was held on Kolpakov and Anable’s YouTube channel, The Skeptic Feminist.

Before you try to watch the debate, I recommend brewing a pot of strong coffee and snorting some crushed up NoDoz.

I tried to watch the debate shortly after it happened, but I found it too boring to watch. The topic was Is Feminism Good for the World. Kristi was debating for the affirmative, Carl was debating for the negative. My favorite part was the anime poster behind the two moderators. I don’t know a lot about formal debate, by I would think one of the first things you would want to do is get rid of decor that doesn’t have anything to do with the subject. How hard is it to take down an anime poster?

Is Aleksandr Kolpakov still a feminist?

If you’re sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial for murdering a woman, can you still call yourself a male feminist?  I don’t think so. I think killing a woman means an automatic expulsion from the male feminist club. There are many types of feminists practicing many types of feminism, but I’ve got to think a common belief all feminists share is the belief that killing a defenseless woman is wrong.

Kolpakov still believes he’s a feminist. He’s even still using the Russian Deadpool pseudonym. He’s been corresponding with feminist YouTuber Jenny McDermott. She’s made videos about their correspondence. In the first video, she held up a letter he wrote to her and you can clearly see where he signed it as “Aleksandr Kolpakov AKA Russian Deadpool.”

What a dirt bag. When you shoot and kill someone, maybe you should retire the YouTube username based on a comic book character who shoots people. I imagine Marvel Comics isn’t too happy to have their intellectual property associated with someone like Aleksandr Kolpakov. This case will most likely get more publicity when he goes on trial. Evidently Kolpakov is blaming his actions on poisoned psychedelic mushrooms, so I’m sure the case will have lots and lots of needless drama. If Aleksandr Kolpakov has any honor, he’d plead guilty and spare Heather Anable’s family the ordeal of a trial.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the trial shows up as a Dateline episode.

The economic reality of comic book conventions

Denise Dorman, wife of illustrator Dave Dorman, wrote a blog post about how attending comic book conventions as an industry professional is a money losing endeavor. According to Denise, people go to comic book conventions not to see artists like her husband and buy some of their work, but to see cosplayers, folks who dress up as characters from comics, movies, and anime.

From Comic Book Wife:

I have slowly come realize that in this selfie-obsessed, Instagram Era, COSPLAY is the new focus of these conventions–seeing and being seen, like some giant masquerade party. Conventions are no longer shows about commerce, product launches, and celebrating the people who created this genre in the first place. I’ve seen it first-hand–the uber-famous artist who traveled all of the way from Japan, sitting at Comic-Con, drawing as no one even paid attention to him, while the cosplayers held up floor traffic and fans surround the cosplayers–rather than the famed industry household name–to pose for selfies.

The hard-working artists and creators who are the very foundation of this industry…the reason there even is an industry….those creatives who have busted their asses and spent money they perhaps didn’t have to spare in order to be there exhibiting for–and accessible to–the fans…have been reduced to being the background wallpaper against which the cosplayers pose in their selfies. At what point do you start to wonder if–other than your faithful, loyal regulars who are like family and who find you every time–the general fandom population even gives a shit about the creators more than they care about their Instagram profiles?

I agree with her, to a degree. Comic book conventions are no longer about buying stuff. That function is now being better served by Internet-based entities like Amazon or eBay. That’s been the case for a long time now.

We were planning on going to the Baltimore Comic-Con a few weeks ago, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I looked at the schedule of panels and quickly realized that none of them interested me. That meant if I went to the Baltimore Comic-Con, my main focus of interest would have to have been the dealer’s room. I did the math and realized that two one-day admission tickets, along with parking near the convention, it was going to cost us $70 just to walk in the door, and that didn’t include the price of gas going from Hagerstown to Baltimore and then back again. That meant anything I ended up buying in the dealer room was essentially coming with an immediate $70 surcharge.

Going to the Baltimore Comic-Con made no economic sense to me.

Denise Dorman is right about cosplayers now being the focus at comic book conventions. I think that’s because unlike everything else offered at a typical comic book convention, cosplayers offer the only true thing that cannot be found elsewhere. You can buy books on Amazon. You can buy back-issues and collectibles on eBay. You can listen to interviews on podcasts or watch them on YouTube. The only place you can get your picture taken with people dressed up as a Stormtrooper or a character from an anime series, is a convention.

Cosplayers offer the lone remaining unique thing available at a comic book convention. Do I personally find what they have to offer worth the cost of attending a con? No, but it should be no surprise to anyone that cosplay is stealing the focus from everything else.

Photo: Dork Dimension