Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 5 Next >>
Topic: DELUXE Captain Marvel and the Monster Society of Evil. Cancelled Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 115970
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 8:15am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Sure, but there's a difference between presenting a racist history and celebrating it. It's the argument with Confederate statues. I'm on board with not erasing history. But I don't think that statues of people who fought to preserve slavery need to exist in places of honor like public parks and government buildings. Remember these people in books and museums where they can be discussed in the appropriate historical context, not as some monument where the intent of their display is confusing, at best.

•••

False equivalency.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Larry Gil
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 November 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 622
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I found the earlier issues here ..LINK
In fact almost every comic is here...I use a macbook and other than occasional annoying pop-ups when searching , this site seems to work fine. I am actually surprised this site is even available.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Stephen Churay
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8333
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 12:09pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Sure, but there's a difference between
presenting a racist history and
celebrating it. It's the argument with
Confederate statues. I'm on board with not
erasing history. But I don't think that
statues of people who fought to preserve
slavery need to exist in places of honor
like public parks and government
buildings. Remember these people in books
and museums where they can be discussed in
the appropriate historical context, not as
some monument where the intent of their
display is confusing, at best.
•••

False equivalency.
=====

Agreed. We are talking about a
stereotypical depiction of a character
that was perfectly fine for its time.
It would be different if Captain Marvel
started spouting off about white power and
such nonsense.

BTW, nobody has ever had a problem
reprinting old SPIRIT issues.Even without
having read the Captain Marvel story, I
can promise that the SPIRIT is closer to
being offensive than this.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15617
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I have the sneaking feeling that this might come down to DC not wanting the impending SHAZAM movie linked to anything potentially controversial or offensive. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Stephen Churay
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8333
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Greg, I'm sure that's a huge part of it. I
just don't understand why it should be
controversial. If someone created those
stereotypes today, sure.

I can't wait till we once more live in a
time where people just get over things
instead of letting every little thing
offend them.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12827
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply


 QUOTE:
Sure, but there's a difference between presenting a racist history and celebrating it. It's the argument with Confederate statues. I'm on board with not erasing history. But I don't think that statues of people who fought to preserve slavery need to exist in places of honor 
like public parks and government buildings. Remember these people in books and museums where they can be discussed in the appropriate historical context, not as some monument where the intent of their 
display is confusing, at best.
•••

False equivalency.
=====

Agreed. We are talking about a stereotypical depiction of a character 
that was perfectly fine for its time. It would be different if Captain Marvel 
started spouting off about white power and such nonsense.

I was talking about the difference between preserving an artifact of a racist past, which we should most definitely do, and repackaging a story with racist art in a deluxe volume in order to profit from a movie tie-in. Whether the latter is the intent or not, it's a side-effect of putting the book out now.


 QUOTE:
BTW, nobody has ever had a problem reprinting old SPIRIT issues.Even without having read the Captain Marvel story, I can promise that the SPIRIT is closer to being offensive than this.

Aren't there reprints that just straight up skip any stories featuring Ebony or worse, attempt to recolor Ebony as Caucasian? I think it would be incorrect to say /nobody/ had a problem.


Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15617
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I agree, Stephen. 

Listen, I’ve been paying keen attention to what’s been happening in both mainstream and nerd culture, over the past few years. Madness is everywhere. People are going off the deep end over utter nonsense. No one can take a joke, and everything and everyone are lumped in on one extreme end of the spectrum or another. 

Consumer revolts of once-unkillable franchises are in full swing, thanks to the culture war between those who pander to the easily-offended, and those who demand quality storytelling. Fans are being labeled as racists and sexists and manbabies because they’re taking a stand for quality writing and faithful characterization. And because they’re actively calling out hypocrites, media shills, and those who become hyper-offended at the drop of a pin. Comics, movies, and TV are becoming more and more about a culture war than about the fun, escapist entertainment that they’re supposed to be.

You, Stephen, are suffering the unfortunate result of that. You want to read a classic Captain Marvel story, but are being blocked from doing so by people who fear the Offense Brigade. You have the wisdom and maturity to understand that the story is a product of its time, and that the negative stereotypes it contains are A) Bad; and B) A reminder of the past, and what parts of the past not to repeat. 


I am now totally convinced that we’re on the edge of a major nerd-culture paradigm shift. The important thing is to stay calm, use your brain, and embrace history and the lessons it provides. Stories and characters are what should be important, here. The sociopolitical context of decades-old stories should come second. 

On the flipside, the opportunity to be able to study the sociopolitical context of decades-old stories is something which modern audiences should not be denied. My first time reading the earliest Superman and Batman stories from the late 1930s was a very illuminating experience, and really transported me back into that era. It would not have been enlightening if those stories had been censored, or, worse, not made available for me to read in the first place.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2180
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Nobody is preventing Stephen from reading anything. As Larry pointed out, the stories are available for free online. (The site he linked to is full of illegal, up-to-the-minute bootlegs, but the public domain MONSTER SOCIETY stuff can be read free of guilt if not complicity.) 

Something I haven't seen touched on is the staff required to produce such a book. I think it's very likely there were objections at the production and editorial level -- and I can't blame anyone who doesn't want to spend hundreds of intensive hours restoring the likes of Steamboat, or have their name on it, and a company that ordered employees to engage with such imagery over voiced objections could face legal sanction for racial harassment. I would think a supervisor would hesitate to even broach the assignment. 
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Stephen Churay
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8333
Posted: 10 January 2019 at 4:51am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

David, I appreciate what you're saying.
But I'm also a bit upset that I can't
support my LCS for this. A $50 hardcover
would put money in my shop's register. We
live in a world where comic store giants
Meltdown closed last year and Mile High
just closed a location. My town really
only has one shop. I'd like to keep it
healthy. Whatever store credit I'm getting
for my downpayment, is mibey I would've
still spent on top of rhis book.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 8239
Posted: 10 January 2019 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Just for the record, Mile High is doing extremely well. That store closed as a result of the manager leaving after 20 years, a tiny parking lot, and Denver's insane rent prices of late. Five thousand dollars a month for a smallish, second-floor retail spot with little to no parking and no air conditioning made little sense, business-wise. Mile High's Mega-Store location, however, continues to boast record profits. 

Back in the day, the location that closed was part of a shopping complex built around a Denver attraction called the Celebrity Sports Center, a huge building with a bowling alley, arcades, and water slides. Once that went under, the complex was anchored with a Home Depot and a natural grocery store. Additional stores and restaurants have been put in since and the parking situation has been an ongoing disaster. Raising the rent to keep pace with Denver's breakneck gentrification was the last straw after Aaron, the manager, left recently. Enough was enough.

As for the Monster Society volume, the times today play very little part actually in the decision not to publish racist depictions of numerous characters, especially on the cusp on a motion picture debut for the franchise. You don't have to be especially thin-skinned to be offended by Steamboat's mammy and Nippo, the Japanese saboteur. Am I correct in assuming that we never met Ebony's mammy or had him involved in voodoo shenanigans? Because if I'm right, Golden Age Captain Marvel is, in fact, more offensive than the Spirit.

Historical context aside, DC would be publishing that volume in the present, and not as a curiosity from an earlier age. It is not kicking off some new line of educationally-relevant historical curios to tickle the fancy of race-study academics and golliwog collectors. It would be sold mass market for the enjoyment of everyone, and rubber-lipped mammies and inscrutable, murdering devil-people are no longer commercially viable properties. Nossuh, Mistah DC reader, suh. So solly. 

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2180
Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I find the Spirit stories to be slightly harder to read because the Ebony is such a prominent and developed character in an otherwise adult milieu. Despite pleading ignorance and innocence in later life, Will Eisner devoted several Spirit stories to justifying Ebony's portrayal, including arguing that it represented realistic physical characteristics and dialect. I get the feeling CC Back and Otto Binder put a lot less thought into their  offensive stereotypes. 
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15617
Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Historical context aside, DC would be publishing that volume in the present, and not as a curiosity from an earlier age. It is not kicking off some new line of educationally-relevant historical curios to tickle the fancy of race-study academics and golliwog collectors. It would be sold mass market for the enjoyment of everyone, and rubber-lipped mammies and inscrutable, murdering devil-people are no longer commercially viable properties. Nossuh, Mistah DC reader, suh. So solly. 
+++++++++

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, Brian, but where is that line drawn? After all, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is available both as literary educational material in schools, AND as entertainment for sale in bookstores.

Yeah, the Captain Marvel book isn’t being taught in schools, but both books come from a century not our own, and both contain product-of-their-time racism which modern society sees as unacceptable. Both originally had the same target audience of kids, too.

So, I ask—legitimately, not because I actually have an “answer” and am therefore trying to offer a rebuttal to your statement—where is that line drawn? What makes some product-of-their-time books okay to keep in publication, and others not? Granted, Golden Age comics may not be at quite the same literary level as Mark Twain, but...
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 5 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login