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#475241 - 09/21/01 10:22 PM TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
steranko Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Reading PA USA
You're in danger!

We all are. We've watched as our beliefs, our work, our way of life, our country, and our very existence has become increasingly corrupted. The 9/11 attack on America has pushed me and probably most of you to the razor's edge of endurance for the destructive forces around us--and the people behind them.

Those who know me can confirm that I've never thought of myself as one of the good guys. But the malevolence I've seen in the recent past, culminating in the WTC tragedy, has put that perception in a different perspective.

Like many others, I'm repulsed by the plague of violence and death ravaging our nation and feel frustrated, even helpless, to combat it. I find it particularly disturbing that the artistic form with which I'm most closely identified has seemed to turn its back on the virtues upon which it was built.

Today's comics are possessed by brutality, destruction, depravity, cynicism, and obscenity. No? Here's a press release I received a few weeks ago:

ENNIS, CONNER, PALIMIOTTI TURN A TRICK!
August 19: Ever wonder what it would be like to sleep with a
superpowered prostitute? Garth Ennis has and he's enlisted Amanda
Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti to flesh out the story in PRO, a 64 page
one-shot coming next summer from Image. Following the announcement on
the "Image All Stars" panel at WizardWorld, Palmiotti told the
SPLASH, "This will probably keep the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
very busy for the next five years. It's the world's first superhero
prostitute and pretty much every comic book character's run in with
her. It's done Garth style so it won't be the actual characters, but
it'll be like mainstream superhero comics with a prostitute thrown in
the mix. It's evil, it's gonna be worse than Hitler's testicles. It's
Garth, which guarantees it's madness. It's Amanda, so it's a woman
drawing this evil stuff, which makes it even more evil. And then it's
me and I usually like trouble anyway." Conner and Palmiotti signed at
the CBLDF table on Saturday afternoon to start building the war
chest.

If this is supposed to be funny, I'm not laughing. Are some of the most-publicized talents in the field so desperate they've turned to celebrating evil? Apparently so. They obviously think of themselves as cultural terrorists and want the world to know they've allied themselves with evil. They're welcome to it.

Personally, I'm sick of evil, particularly the psychotic, nihilistic garbage that's pitched as entertainment and has signalled the twilight of the comics era. All I have to do to witness evil in its highest form is to look out any window--it's FREE! I don't have to pay $2.95 to know that I'm surrounded by hatred, fear, destruction, and death. And I'll be damned if I'll endure having it thrown in my face by those who clothe their contempt for the rest of us with tragically-cool posing and bubble-gum arrogance.

Well, gang, if you fancy yourselves as terrorists, there are those among us who'll treat you as terrorists.

I felt like my creative soul was crushed as I saw the Twin Towers collapse. At that moment, most people realized the time for equivocation was over. Now, it's a MATTER OF SURVIVAL! Our families, our friends, our lives are at stake and it's time to take action, to take a stand AGAINST evil and all those who ally themselves with it.

A few years ago, I asked Stan Lee about the bleak direction comics had taken. It was easy to see that he wasn't pleased with it, but he said, "It's what the readers want." I don't believe it. I do believe we want well-developed characters, compelling dialogue, interesting plots, and our money's worth of solid entertainment--God forbid, something that suggests an atom of virtuosity or a new age of awareness.

Instead, we are confronted with an avalanche of over-priced booklets in which it's no longer possible to distinguish between the heroes and the villains because of panels choked with numbingly repetitive fangs and claws, blood and gore, fan-boy rage and T&A chaos. Instead of social mythology, the lillipop esthetic has produced a monument of intellectual and moral poverty. It would be laughable if it wasn't so damned pathetic. Am I being too subtle?

I'm alive, but I'm not all right. I'm in the same position as you and all Americans are at the moment. We've let the world around us get out of hand because we've been too complacent, too careless, too politically correct. The everyday tradition of simply civility, gratitude, courtesy, and thoughtfulness has been replaced by scowling indignation, virulent language, towering disrespect, and open hostility. Our nation is being crushed by evil. I don't know what you're doing about it, but I can no longer turn my back on what I call the Kervorkian Age of Comics. I'm ready to fight it using every resource I can muster.

If there's enough of us, we can put the irresponsible bastards out of business and out of our lives with terminal efficiency--and if that doesn't work, I'll personally provide tickets to the caves of the Taliban.

Is there anyone out there who's had it with devil-worshipping heroes who aren't content unless they're picking shrapnel out of their skulls? Stand up now and fight for the kind of ethics, values, and ideals you believe in. If you don't, you deserve everything you get--and it won't be pleasant!

I'd like to know what side YOU're on.

Jim Steranko


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#475242 - 09/21/01 10:45 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
JohnEWIlliams Offline
Member

Registered: 08/04/99
Posts: 1337
Loc: Virginia, USA
Mr. Steranko, if you take a look around you may notice that there are plenty of non-exploitative, non-shitcrap comics, and there have been for years. Some of them are curently published by one of your ex-employees. Have you heard of (or read) SAFE AREA GORAZDE, for instance? (Real war stuff, not like Sgt. Fury.)

A lotta people out here are way ahead of ya.

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#475243 - 09/21/01 10:50 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Alias Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 1115
Loc: Las Vegas Nevada USA
I'm 45 years old and I've encountered a lot of people in my age group that have tales of what a positive impact comics had on thier character. As time has went by I have the nagging suspicion that the percentage of people who can say that has been dropping. Certainly there are comics being made today which will inspire similar beliefs, but I fear that percentagewise the numbers are dropping. I think this a topic worthy of discussion and I hope I'm not the only one.

Jim Brocius

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#475244 - 09/21/01 11:32 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
brent Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 11
Mr. Steranko,
If you really care about stopping these violent and perverse stories about "devil-worshipping" heroes, then the last thing you should be doing is promoting them.

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#475245 - 09/21/01 11:54 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
John Roberson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/98
Posts: 492
Loc: Chicago
Good ol' Jim. What a real man. What balls. It certainly takes guts to call for censorship in a medium in which you no longer have any stake.

Whatever respect I ever had for you is gone.

Well, gang, if you fancy yourselves as terrorists, there are those among us who'll treat you as terrorists.

Really? My. Eyeing Sikhs yet, Jim? [img]/resources/ubb/frown.gif[/img]



[This message has been edited by John Roberson (edited 09-22-2001).]
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Bottomless Studio
Creator of Vitriol, and the upcoming October Surprise, and FALLING SKY...

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#475246 - 09/22/01 12:35 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
savage Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/98
Posts: 1007
Loc: Minneapolis,MN USA
I'm just going to pull out the part I think was the primary thesis.

Quote:
I do believe we want well-developed characters, compelling dialogue, interesting plots, and our money's worth of solid entertainment--God forbid, something that suggests an atom of virtuosity or a new age of awareness.


I absolutely agree that these are the things comics should be striving for. And there are alot of them out there that are trying to get there. Unfortunately none of them are very popular. Maybe with the terrorism and real world problems surfacing people won't want to read the more nihilistic books as much. But honestly, what can you do to stop people from writing them? And would you really want to step all over their right to do so?

By the way, did Marvel ever settle up over the Nick Fury trades? I'd love a collection of those works, but I don't want it sitting on my shelf if you didn't get your cut.

[This message has been edited by savage (edited 09-22-2001).]
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President/Editor/Web-bozo
www.sabresedge.com

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#475247 - 09/22/01 12:52 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Chris Knowles Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 875
Loc: USA
Jim, you'll probably get a lot of crap from some of the nihilist know-nothings on this board, but ignore them. They have no agenda but sneering. They use sarcasm and snobbism as a shield to mask their own failures and shortcomings.There are a lot of great comics out there that don't follow the pattern you rail against, but we have to deal with the fact that fandom, the retailers and the publishers have entered into a slow, suicide pact and the fruits of this are all too apparent. It remains to be seen if the industry can last until next Easter. if our economy tanks, the business will probably be on the ropes by Christmas.

For people who really care about comics, the mission is to bypass the mentally diseased fanboy audience, with their hand me down counter-cultural attitudes, and take it directly to the public at large. People want to see comics, they just aren't interested in the nihilistic fantasies of the fetish crowd. Don't despair- there are still a lot of people who still really care about the medium and still believe in something but their own self-apparent intellectual superiority. I still believe in comics, I think cartoonists are America's historians, I just don't believe in the present state of the industry. Comics like they were in the old days will be reborn on the Web, where the eyes of the new generation are. Take heart.

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#475248 - 09/22/01 12:58 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
John Roberson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/98
Posts: 492
Loc: Chicago
I'm no fan of bad plotting or art, nor the books Jim is mentioning. But what Jim's attacking here is nothing else but subject matter. And any cry for censorship, in any event, is un-American in the deepest sense, regardless of its motivation. And spitting on the deaths of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of US soldiers who died to protect ALL sorts of liberties.

And the blustering threat is just pathetic.
_________________________
John Roberson
Bottomless Studio
Creator of Vitriol, and the upcoming October Surprise, and FALLING SKY...

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#475249 - 09/22/01 01:07 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Chris,

Is your favorite part the one where Big Jim thinks the Taliban has a good way of dealing with the "nihilists"?

Quote:
If there's enough of us, we can put the irresponsible bastards out of business and out of our lives with terminal efficiency--and if that doesn't work, I'll personally provide tickets to the caves of the Taliban.


great.

[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 09-22-2001).]
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The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

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#475250 - 09/22/01 01:12 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Mr. Steranko,

Don't have much to say, except thank you, and God bless...
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