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Pull list for February 3 2016; Angela and SJWs

February 2, 2016

It’s now February! And Saturday is my birthday. Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m off tomorrow, so reviews will be up.

I’ll go to the store for: A-Force #2, by G. Willow Wilson, Kelly Thompson, Jorge Molina and Laura Martin; Captain Marvel #2, by Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson; Mirror #1, by Emma Rios, Hwei Lim and I’m not sure who on colours; My Little Pony Friends Forever #25, by Barbara Kesel and Brenda Hickey; Pretty Deadly #8 (yay!) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles; Vision #4, by Tom King, Gabriel Walter and Jordie Bellaire.

I’ll also review: Deadpool & the Mercs For Money #1, by Gerry Duggan, Salva Espin and I’m not sure who on colours; Uncanny Avengers #5, by Gerry Duggan, Carlos Pacheco and (presumably) Richard Isanove; Uncanny X-Men #3, by Cullen Bunn, Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Nolan Woodard.

So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and a minimum of 3 reviews (probably more). Decent week.

I’m most excited for Pretty Deadly. Yes. Yes yes yes. Awesome early birthday present. Pretty Deadly is amazing and you should be reading it. I’m also excited for Mirror, Captain Marvel and Vision. I will buy anything Emma Rios does. I don’t buy Island because she’s only an editor on it, not a contributor, but anything she creates, I’ll buy. I love her art. Love it love it love it. Mirror won’t have her art. She’s the writer. But just the same, I’ll support it, because Emma Rios. Captain Marvel #1 got off to a great start, so I’m definitely eager to see how it develops. And Vision has been insanely good. Seriously, if you haven’t been reading Vision, you need to fix that and read Vision. I promise you, it is better than you think. You say you think it looks brilliant? It’s better than that.

My February Marvel pull list: A-Force #2, Captain Marvel #2, Vision #4, Hellcat #3, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #4, Silk #4 and 5, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5, Angela #5, ANAD Avengers #5 and 6, Spider-Man 2099 #6 and 7, New Avengers #6 and 7, Power Man and Iron Fist #1, Silver Surfer #2, Spider-Man/Deadpool #2, Weirdworld #3, Ms. Marvel #4, Ultimates #4. That’s going by Marvel’s release calendar for the month. So 21 titles. Getting heavy again.

I read Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland “Official” Graphic Novel, with art by Glenn Diddit. My review:

You already know if you want to read this. It’s a graphic novel adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s the complete story, though parts of it are paraphrased for brevity. This is my first time reading Alice In Wonderland. It’s OK. It’s fun, it’s whimsical, it’s silly. Parts of it do drag on, though. There are also parts of it that are tough to follow, not because they’re silly, but because they’re just awkwardly written. The art, however, is good throughout. I got the black-and-white version, and I found it fine. The art is expressive and comedic.

All in all, I found this enjoyable, but I also found it not really for me.

This was something I supported on Kickstarter. Speaking of Kickstarter! I have suggestions! I need to start mentioning the Kickstarter projects I back. OK, so, there’s Laura: A Slice of Life Graphic Novel, by Guillem March. This was March’s last project before he started doing work for DC (I haven’t seen any of his work, since I don’t read DC, but looking him up, he seems really talented), and it looks pretty good. It’s fully-funded, and then some, to the tune of ten times the goal, with over a week left to go. So 3 Euros – which is, I don’t know, $6? – gets you a PDF of it.

There’s Tuskegee Heirs, by Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams. It’s a take on the manga trope of kids piloting big-ass machines, but here, it’s a bunch of black kids, as an homage to the Tuskegee Airmen. It’s blown past its initial goal, but the real goal has yet to be reached. See, the initial goal was $10 000, to create the graphic novel. But the real goal is to reach $75 000, to fund an animated pilot. They want to turn Tuskegee Heirs into an animated series, and $75 000 will allow them to make the pilot as a pitch piece. They’ve still got over $30 000 to go for that, with less than 2 weeks, so they probably won’t reach it. But still, it looks like a great project, and something well worth backing.

There’s People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science-Fiction!, an anthology magazine of sci-fi stories by people of colour. It’s fully-funded, and is a cool idea, so throw it some more money. Fitting In: Tales of Supernatural Outsiders, which also seems neat. (The creator of that project, Jeremy Zimmerman, is the writer of the Kensei series of Young-Adult superhero fiction. I like his work.) There’s a Smut Peddler Double Header, featuring two books put out by Iron Circus Comics, the people behind the Smut Peddler anthologies of woman-made pornographic comics. (I’ve read the 2012 one, and it’s great. Very fun, very sexy, very positive and heartwarming. It’s good!) This double-header will be for My Monster Boyfriend, a new anthology of comics about, well, monster boyfriends, and Yes, Roya, by C. Spike Trotman and ghost green. My Monster Boyfriend’s list of full contributors has yet to be released, but it includes Trudy Cooper (of Oglaf, and if you haven’t read that webcomic, go read it now, it’s hilarious), Jess Fink, EK Weaver and, oh yeah, Gail frigging Simone. So you should definitely support that book.

And, finally, 1001 Knights, which is yet another anthology. Actually, that’s not accurate. It’s three goddamn anthologies. It’ll have over 250 artists, and 1001 characters. Here’s a list of the creators involved. Unfortunately, I have to confess to not knowing who any of them are, with just a couple exceptions. But nonetheless, I’m sure they’re all immensely talented, and I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic anthology.

So that’s what I’ve backed on Kickstarter lately.

So I’m sure you’ve heard about the controversy regarding the latest issue of Angela, and a specific set of panels. These ones:

Angela #4

But other than that, he seems like a pretty nice guy.

First, for those who don’t read the series, I should provide a little context. Angela and Sera are lovers. Sera died and went to Hel, so Angela’s storming Hel in order to free her. Sera – who is, as an aside, a trans woman of colour, and why the hell doesn’t Marvel talk about that? – is a bard and a sorceress, and has access to a lot of knowledge she’s not supposed to have access to. She’s also the narrator of the series. This is a book that mixes humour with epicness, and some of the humour comes in the form of dialogue that leans on the fourth wall. Sera is especially fond of doing that, and as she’s the narrator, an argument could be made that much of what we see is filtered through her perspective of events that already happened.

So that’s the context. So now let’s get to the above moment, and the controversy. There’s a couple different criticisms. Criticism #1: How would Bor even know what Israel is to have opinions on it? Some people dislike that level of anachronism. And that’s fair. I find it an amusing joke, but humour is incredibly subjective. I will never tell someone that they’re wrong for not liking a joke. (At least, I won’t say it with any seriousness, only as a joke itself.) The joke didn’t work for them, so that’s that. Not much room to debate there.

The more common criticism, though, is that it was “pandering to SJWs and the PC Tumblr brigade” and so forth. This criticism? Not valid. Because it includes bitching about “SJWs.” And that’s never a valid complaint. I look at the use of “SJWs” as a way of saying “ignore what I’m saying because it’s bullshit.” If you bitch about “SJWs,” then you’re a douche. That’s just science. I hate the term “SJW.” And the term “PC.” And, for that matter, I hate how people who use those terms use the term “pandering.” They try to act like people are trying to oppress them. Because going from 95% of characters representing them to only 80% of characters is so horrible. Straight White Males make up significantly less than 50% of the population, and yet, we still utterly dominate culture. And so many of us still feel threatened by Others making headway into that cultural domination.

These people don’t think of themselves as racists or misogynists. And yet, when they see something that calls out racism and misogyny, they get really mad about it. That says a lot, I think. The people bitching about the Angela scene also bitched about a scene from last week’s All-New Inhumans, where a couple of guys were talking about how hot Crystal was, and an Inhuman was disgusted. Why would this make people angry? Is it that maybe they identify with the guys talking about a woman purely as a sexual object? Because it feels like that’s what’s going on here. They don’t think of themselves as misogynists, but a lot of their opinions and behaviours get classed as misogyny, on account of actually being misogynistic. So when a comic calls out that sort of behaviour for the bullshit it is, they get pissy and whine about it being “pandering to SJWs.” They seem to think that either that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the Real World, or that comics shouldn’t address it, and both those ideas are frigging insane.

Back to the Angela scene. The scene posits that misogyny, Men’s Rights Activism and casual racism are Bad Things. And these people jump to criticize the scene, and in the process, act to defend the things the scene is criticizing. Because I don’t think these people actually do think those things are bad. I think they’re fine with misogyny, and even with casual racism. They think it’s fine to make misogynistic and racist comments, and if anyone objects, then they’re “PC police” trying to suppress free speech, because these assholes always fail to realize that free speech only means the government can’t punish someone for speech, not that anyone can say anything they want without any fear of consequences. If you use “free speech” to defend something you say, then you’re an asshole who just wants to be allowed to be an asshole. It’s that simple.

Also, these people shouldn’t be bitching about a book they’re clearly not buying. You can tell they’re not buying it, because they almost all say in their complaints that they didn’t think it was real, and that someone had photoshopped it. But of course they’re not buying Angela. It’s a comic about a female lead who’s in a lesbian relationship with a trans woman of colour. No shit the people who bitch about “pandering” aren’t going to read it.

I actually didn’t have much to say about the Angela scene. I mostly just used it as an excuse to call people who bitch about “SJWs” assholes. But I do have a few other things to say about it. A lot of people said the joke was lazy, others said it indicates a lack of cleverness on Bennett’s part. To those people, I say: Fuck off. How goddamn insulting are you? To accuse a professional writer, who writes several titles (all receiving plenty of critical praise), one of which is weekly, of being lazy? Yeah, no, that’s bullshit. Marguerite Bennett is not lazy. She’s very dedicated to her craft. She loves what she does, and she puts a lot of work into it. And not clever? Again, no. She’s very clever. You may not like some of her humour, but that doesn’t mean she’s not funny. She’s a writer who’s very well-respected within the industry. A lot of professional comic writers are fans of her. That’s not because she’s untalented. It’s because she’s damned good at what she does.

And not only is it insulting to Bennett, it’s also insulting to her readers. When you say the joke was lazy, you’re insulting the people who enjoyed it. You’re saying they have a poor sense of humour. That’s bullshit. The people who didn’t like to joke like to act superior about it. “I’m much too smart and clever to be amused by such a lazy joke! Anyone who did enjoy it is clearly less smart and clever than I!” Well, bite me. I liked the joke. That doesn’t mean my sense of humour is less refined than yours.

Anyway, that’s enough about all that.

My schedule for this week: 4-10 Sunday. Yeah, that’s my only shift this week. And I’m only working then because I took someone else’s shift. It’s ridiculous how few hours I’m getting these days. Anyway, posts every day except Sunday.

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