Arguing with Ben
I have this buddy Ben who is one on the more prolific webcomicer out there;
He also happens to be an interesting guy to argue with. Ben is very passionate about what he believes and will have knock down drag out fights about it. But he never does it in malice. He is the type of guy who you can say “Ben you ignorant slut” to and take it in good humor. Just keep in mind he will call you an ignorant slut back so you have to have the same sort of take no prisoners but hold no grudges attitude that if you plan on entering the debate arena with him.
Why am I telling you this? Well last night I had a little debate with him over the DC comics relaunch, the potrayal of Starfire and the Dave Willis cartoon on the subject. It was a fun debate and something you should check out.
Now the title of the episode is “Dave Willis is an idiot” and yet again this is because of the way Ben debates. Later Ben posted a retraction apologizing for the strength of his disagreement which is something you got to respect. A noble man is not someone who always does the right thing but someone who admits when he is wrong. And you guys know I have been in the been there done that catagory of loosing my seam and then having to retract it later so I can respect Ben for this.
This whole controversy is over the almost comically stupid execution of the DC comics reboot. The stated purpose of the reboot was to gain new readers by streamlining continuity to make the stories more accessible. The strange part of all this is right after stating that DC comics seems to have gone out of it way to offend this new audience they were trying to get.
Lets face it once the internet came along most of us stopped buying comic books for their pornography value. A 12 year old now can go online and see any character having sex with any other character in graphic detail. He doesn’t have to pay 3-4 buck for a comic book to get a glimpse of a silhouetted boob. Same goes for 42 year old men with a mentality of 12 year olds. And yet all this is the new lot of comics from DC has to offer is censored soft core pornography.
Seriously the stories are dreadful and cleched. The characterization is about as deep as a single molecular layer of graphine. And the books are about as innovative and groundbreaking as discovering fire is hot. The core comic book audience will put up with this because frankly they are either buying out of nostalgia for their childhood or because they are dreamers who make up their own stories in their head based off the archetypes in the books. The general public on the other hand in no where near as loyal as the core comic audience and will not put up with this crap. Changing continuity will not make up for the fact that most of the books are just plain bad.
And then there is women. My God, DC seems to understand less about women that immortal genderless aliens from a barren wasteland planet in a galaxy with out any form of life reproduces in a dimension where “No girls allows ’cause they have cooties” is written into the fundemental laws of the universe that defines the very existance of time and space. At every turn they seem to go out of their way to let women know they are not welcome and will not be listened to. Starfire is just the most recent insult in a long line of slights to those dreaded carrier of the cootie infestation. Here is a general hint for those of you are genderless aliens, women do not buy things from people who treat them like garbage. Yeah I know it’s weird it’s almost like women are rational human beings who will make informed decisions on where they choose to spend there money.
Ultimately David Willis is wrong in the facts of his argument. It’s not the slutty Starfire that is going to kill DC it’s all the other things:
- The stories are too decompressed and juvenile.
- There is no diversity of product. It’s retelling of stories and using icon/imagery from the 50’s
- The price is way too high for a single comic .
- There is no investment in new products or searching for new talent.
- The direct market is a sinking ship that DC is clinging to with all it’s might.
- There is no women writing comics or in decision making positions.
- DC thinks the general public are like comic books fans and will still buy their product after being publicly insulted.
A slutty Starfire is the least of DC’s problems, its the systemic and culturally idocys of the company that are the gushing chest wounds bleeding the company to death.