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We Want Your Wait, What? Questions, Please

It’s been two long weeks – Well, maybe not that long, I mean the nights are drawing in and everything – but Jeff and I are going to record a new Wait, What? tomorrow and, for once, I’m remembering to not only ask for questions on Twitter, but here, as well. Non-Twitter users! What would you like Jeff and I to talk about? Leave your questions in the comment section and we’ll hopefully almost-definitely get around to them during tomorrow’s recording. New eps should begin appearing again on… Tuesday, I think? Next week, anyway. But ask questions!

60 Responses to “ We Want Your Wait, What? Questions, Please ”

  1. T. pretty well answered for me. Also I have never seen a message board poster say they wouldn’t read a gay writer. I have many times seen someone say they wouldn’t read a conservative writer, or lambaste a writer with “he’s a conservative” as the most negative, dismissive comment possible.

    I don’t see Steve D’s points as I’ve never seen anyone argue that bankers et.a.l. aren’t typically more conservative. But I don’t think editorial/creative (who actually make the entertainment products themselves) really considers them a valid viewpoint, even from the point of being an underserved audience that could be cultivated. Don’t you think there might be a country-music listening audience that would enjoy more Westerns or Christian-themed comics? Sure there is. Would a New York City-based editor push that idea in a Vertigo meeting? Only if they want to be on the next train to Hicksville.

    Crybabies? Well, maybe everyone wants to see some entertainment that doesn’t flagrantly disagree with them. Is that so much to ask for?

  2. In the interest of keeping gloves on and not taking cheap shots, I’m going to ignore some jibes from Steve D and say that I think the upshot of this conversation is more interesting than the comment which gave rise to it.

    The more I look at the names being tossed around as leftish, rightish, and just-plain-kooky, the more I’m beginning to think that comics is more dominated by hard-to-categorize folks with their own iconoclastic takes on things than anything else. For every quasi-leftish-but-mostly-kooky Grant Morrison or Alan Moore, there’s a quasi-rightish-but-mostly-kooky Frank Miller or Dave Sim. Interesting…

    Newsflash! People in comics are weird!

  3. “Thirdly: any thoughts on how a Simon Furman penned version of Flashpoint, or Fear Itself, might have turned out…”

    There would have been more transformers. They would have been the real (i.e. the Marvel UK versions) transformers. Life around the world would have been made instantly better because of this.

    If the real Transformers somehow didn’t show up then at the very least the action scenes would have had at least some coherence and impact to them. Though that may be down to an older style of comic writing than the relative skills of the authors.

  4. Didn’t Gail Simone talk about either Marvel or DC openly blackballing conservatives?

  5. @T.: “…a conservative can get work as a comic writer so long as he never or rarely injects right-wing viewpoints into his work.”

    And I would say it’s rare to ever see ANY coherent political viewpoints in mainstream comics work. Of any kind. Ever. Sure, there are cases where there are sometimes allegorical allusions to politics — CIVIL WAR’s divided nation, SECRET INVASION’s embedded alien terrorist crypto-Muslims. But they usually don’t add up to a coherent viewpoint because either (a) creative and/or editorial is bending over backwards to “balance the issue” or (b) the sheer absurdity of politics in a cosmic, spandex, radioactive-spider-bitten universe quickly stops having any meaningful connection with Reality-as-we-know-it.

    Yes, Jakita Wagner said some harsh things about the Margaret Thatcher era in an issue of PLANETARY, but it was more or less a footnote — the real “horror of the 80s” in that story was the “grim ‘n gritty” perversion of existing characters to suit the tastes of a jaded, cynical, disaffected generation — and Ellis’s script was primarily focused on critiquing and questioning the legacy of the (presumably leftist) “British invasion” writers of the ’80s. What other examples of overt politics do you have handy?

    c) “A lefty calling someone else a crybaby is like Charlie Sheen criticizing someone else for having sobriety issues.”

    Yeah, because it’s right and funny to portray leftists as namby-pamby crybabies — like the peacenik Skrull appeasers in SECRET INVASION, dumbly channeling the Bush-Cheney era mantra that “the liberals want the terrorists to win.” The scene goes virtually unnoticed outside of a few comics blogs. Meanwhile, a few Tea Partiers get portrayed waving signs in Bru’s CAPTAIN AMERICA and it turns into a national goddamn incident.

    But what can I say? You’ve drunk the Kool-Aid about the “Liberal Media.” All I can say, as an actual Liberal, is — WHAT liberal media?

    In the aftermath of the brutal police riot on the Occupy Oakland protesters, THE WASHINGTON POST’s coverage pictured a nice cop patting the head of an abandoned kitten in the camp’s wreckage with a snarky headline about how Occupiers are wearing out their welcome. Days later, they publish an editorial fretting about the dire need for Social Security reform, predicated on completely false and misleading misinformation based on right-wing talking points. THIS is my liberal media?

    Or the New York Times, which coddled Bush cheerleader Judith Miller, which relentlessly beat the drum of war for Iraq, and which threw Julian Assange under the bus at the earliest opportunity? THAT’s my liberal media?

    Or the cable news channels that largely ignored the Wisconsin demonstrations against Scott Walker, and ignored and ridiculed the Occupy movement until it became too big to ignore — while continuing to fawn over the Tea Party, and cover their events even when only 15 people bother to show up? (I’m not holding my breath until CNN lets Occupy host a Presidential debate, as they recently did with the Tea Party.) And what about that notorious left-wing channel MSNBC, which has serially booted Olbermann (for violating a campaign donation policy that didn’t even apply to him), Cenk Uygur (for being too mean to Republican guests), and frequent guest Kos (for being mean to Scarborough on Twitter)… all while keeping racism apologist Pat Buchanan on the air? Is THAT my liberal media?

  6. In the aftermath of the brutal police riot on the Occupy Oakland protesters, THE WASHINGTON POST’s coverage pictured a nice cop patting the head of an abandoned kitten in the camp’s wreckage with a snarky headline about how Occupiers are wearing out their welcome. Days later, they publish an editorial fretting about the dire need for Social Security reform, predicated on completely false and misleading misinformation based on right-wing talking points. THIS is my liberal media?

    Or the New York Times, which coddled Bush cheerleader Judith Miller, which relentlessly beat the drum of war for Iraq, and which threw Julian Assange under the bus at the earliest opportunity? THAT’s my liberal media?

    Or the cable news channels that largely ignored the Wisconsin demonstrations against Scott Walker, and ignored and ridiculed the Occupy movement until it became too big to ignore — while continuing to fawn over the Tea Party, and cover their events even when only 15 people bother to show up? (I’m not holding my breath until CNN lets Occupy host a Presidential debate, as they recently did with the Tea Party.) And what about that notorious left-wing channel MSNBC, which has serially booted Olbermann (for violating a campaign donation policy that didn’t even apply to him), Cenk Uygur (for being too mean to Republican guests), and frequent guest Kos (for being mean to Scarborough on Twitter)… all while keeping racism apologist Pat Buchanan on the air? Is THAT my liberal media?

    Yup, that’s your liberal media. Because those are all easily eclipsed by pro-liberal media items in just a single day.

  7. @Chris Brown: “The more I look at the names being tossed around as leftish, rightish, and just-plain-kooky, the more I’m beginning to think that comics is more dominated by hard-to-categorize folks with their own iconoclastic takes on things than anything else.”

    Exactly — interesting art tends to embody paradoxes. And work that gets preachy also tends to be extremely goddamn boring. And, for me at least, I usually think that whether I agree with the politics on display or not.

    @bad wolf: “I’ve never seen anyone argue that bankers et.a.l. aren’t typically more conservative…”

    Yeah, but nobody talks about it like it’s a goddamn conspiracy like “the liberal media.” Sure, creative people may be more likely to be liberal. People in law and finance may tend to be more conservative. These politics may influence their work in subtle ways.

    But if you don’t think it’s significant that bankers tend to be conservative, then you missed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that basically asserted that money basically IS speech.

    @Zory: If Gail said that, I’d love to see a link. I’m seeing a lot of sweeping generalities about the liberal bias in comics with basically no concrete examples to back it up.

    And — FINALLY — a real question for Graeme & Jeff: What about the politics of superheroing? How “liberal” can a story be when it’s set in a genre world that presumes that might is right?

    Are the inherent politics of the DCU different from Marvel?

    It’s always struck me that the core characters of the DCU are authority figures — royalty and such — with inherent, inborn power who operate, to some extent, out of noblesse oblige: alien Ubermensch, Amazonian princess, Atlantean prince, billionaire heir, etc.

    Meanwhile many core Marvel characters are outsiders, or have had their status undermined, and have obtained their powers through accidents: a nerdy, put-upon student (Peter Parker); a blinded kid from the wrong side of the tracks (Matt Murdock); a neurotic scientist, dominated by military leaders (Bruce Banner); a disgraced surgeon, undone by his own hubris and forced to reinvent himself (Stephen Strange).

  8. @T.: Yup, that’s your liberal media. Because those are all easily eclipsed by pro-liberal media items in just a single day.

    …aaaaand I’m still waiting for specific examples besides that one page in an issue of PLANETARY from 10 years back.

    In my experience, mainstream media tends to avoid politics or reinforce the status quo.

  9. @T.: “Leverage” creator John Rogers once blogged that people who complained about the liberal domination of Hollywood were the sorts who used partisanship to excuse their utter lack of talent and professional discipline. Because at the end of the day, what matters in the entertainment industry (of which the American comics industry is a small stepsister) is whether you can produce the work on time. Politics is not a consideration except in extreme cases (e.g. the Hollywood blacklist, which targeted left-leaning Hollywood personnel).

    For me, people who trot out the “liberal media” canard are not making a logical argument. They’re just expressing a dislike of any media expression challenging the viewpoint that conservatives walk on water and flowers instantly bloom at their feet.

  10. um, I have an actual question:

    “Brad Meltzer: Threat or menace”

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