The Boycott of Superman Comments - Mania.com



COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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joelr 2/22/2013 1:42:33 PM

@Shac I do appreciate you being civil about it, and you bring up a valid point. I will say, as evidenced by my Eagles analogy, I am in no way jumping on a bandwagon. Who the creators are that put out content I like has always been important to me. Bob asked if I would write about the Superman boycott, and I was more than happy to.

People seem to think if a person's views don't affect the story, then it shouldn't matter, but going back to the Eagles- I don't care how good of a quarterback Vick is, his representing my team is somthing that, to me, degrades the organization and the city. I don't care that he can help us win games, there are plenty of other talented players who could do the same, and carry themselves as good people who are a positive and intelligent influence on everything around them. If rooting for a guy who strangled dogs to death with his bare hands doesn't affect you, than great, enjoy the game. That's the crux of the article- how does it affect you?

I did not boycott Card's Ultimate Iron Man book as I was not really aware of his views and activities at the time, but it definitely made me think twice when I found out he was involved with the game "Shadow Complex", it gave me pause.

Also, everyone seems to think I am personally boycotting Adventures of Superman, or advocating doing so. I'm not and I don't. I think it's great that shop owners who disagree with it are taking action, and readers who it offends are steering clear of the book. If you buy Adventures of Superman, that's fine by me. My anecdote about Ender's Game and my attic is a personal one, yet many of you seems to have a problem separating that from the core question of the article.

And one more thing- As I said in the article, we are all entitled to our opnions and expressing them etc. But saying DC introducing a gay character and DC hiring Card are two sides of the same coin is a bit problematic. DC creating a gay character doesn't hurt anyone, if anything it's a progressive reflection of our society, and gives the gay community someone to identify with, which is something we all want. Card and NOM are trying to take something away from a group of people, and a lot of their fervor comes from religious beliefs, which are just that- nothing more than a belief, not something to be forced upon anyone, anywhere at any time.

dwinal 2/22/2013 1:45:25 PM

 The left and pro-gay folks here say the "hate" is on the other side. Calling something "hate" or "archaic" is an easy way to try to discredit those you disagree. It's not hateful to point out the large number of self-identified gays who claim they were sexually abused/raped when minors.

I wonder if those who see this as a civil rights issue are also willing to fight for the civil rights of people who want to have multiple wives or husbands? Why not let 4 or 5 people form a union and be recognized? Why should these consenting adults be descriminated against?

It's amazing to me to call the "traditional marriage" archaic, when the pro-gay position is one that dates back ot ancient Rome and Greece. 

jorson28 2/22/2013 1:46:54 PM

'You think this is bad.  Try being even a moderately conservative Christian and still being a comic book fan when it's clear that, if anything, the leaning of today's comic book writers - like their other entertainment industry counterparts - is not even remotely to or tolerating of the "right" (in parenthesis, as MrEt puts it).  It's interesting to me, though, considering that the Old Testament story of Moses is so clearly at least one influence on the origin and character of Superman, who was created by Jews, which might not always be politically conservative in America, but can be religious... something today's mainstream media also seems to frown upon (spirituality=good, religion=conformity, prejudice, dogma, intolerance, SELF-DISCIPLINE, CLEAR MORAL STANDARDS and all those other "bad" things).  There's also a tendency on the part of America's mainstream to sometimes paint anything Christian as being more dogmatic or intolerant even than other religions and faiths, but common knowledge about Islam (though it shares roots with Christianity) should be evidence that there's at least shared culpability.  At its heart, the entire mainstream entertainment industry is, in some way, against us - and from time to time, shows it in unabashed ways. In 2005, I found that the author of the STAR WARS EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH adaptation took it upon himself to directly parallel former President and Christian Conservative Ronald Reagan with Palpatine by adding a line that goes something like, "It's morning in the Empire."  Subtle, but there - and totally unnecessary from a storytelling perspective, even if Lucas may have roughly the same opinion. From what I've read, the whole plot of the movie BEAUTIFUL CREATURES involves a group of pagan witches, the "protagonists," having to deal with a small town of evangelical Christians - the "villains."  You guys seem to forget that intolerance goes both ways , and while you might have the convenient choice whether or not to read a single author's work in a comic book, law abiding, Conservative Christians have little or no choice but to support people and/or an industry that is in some way AGAINST them just by trying to enjoy a comic, graphic novel, movie or mainstream television show that isn't also and obviously made by other Christians.  Unfortunately, most of the media targeted to the "right" SUCKS - and not for reasons having directly to do with ideology.  

My question to Mr. Rickenbach is if you really respect everyone's right to buy or not buy this sort of thing, why did you spend so much time cleverly painting all this as somehow MORE controversial than anything that might offend Christians or conservatives?  You write, "'I'm not writing this to tell you what to think, just to give you something to think about.'"  Yet, at the end, you make clear your disillusionment with Mr. Card after already having cleverly insinuated that, yeah, it's our choice, but the RIGHT choice is to boycott this man with the WRONG OPINION.  The title of the article implies/implied (to me, at least) that the boycotting has already begun, but not only has/have the issue(s) not been relased yet, but nobody seems to even know what Card's storyline is going to be!  I'm not familiar with Card, so when you say "anti-gay," I'm wondering if he's really anti-homosexuals or just "anti-" the act of homosexual intercourse.  Unless you think all homosexuals are defined solely by their sexuality and sexual acts, there is a distinction.  I'm a straight man with normal desires and such and even I think it's in bad taste to be overly lascivous in public, on the streets.  I'm not stupid (newsflash, I'm sure...) - I know it's been going on for thousands of years and it's not likely to stop - but that's just my opinion, one which I hold, in part, because I think it potentially cheapens and takes something away from the value of the intimacy a couple, straight or gay, can and should share in private.   

I sincerely wish you had either posted this with your opinion in clear view, with no qualifiers or clever attempts to adhere to any sort of journalistic fairness or lack of bias, or not posted it at all.  I think your view is also the view of your employers - otherwise, why is this even news yet?  You're "discussing" the potential boycott of something that, again, hasn't even come out yet, and a boycott based solely on the author's personal viewpoints that he has every moral and Constitutional right to express and which may OR MAY NOT even factor into what he writes for DC.  I'm not convinced that simple discussion is your goal. If so, then to what end - except to promote a particular choice, which is going to be made one way or the other?  With all due respect, if you know your audience of fellow comic book fans as well as you say you do and want to preach to the choir, then preach to the choir.  Don't insult anyone that might happen to stumble upon this with an alternate viewpoint by feigning tolerance for their dissenting opinion and the illusion that you don't regard one viewpoint to be absolutely RIGHT and the other to be absolutely WRONG.  Either way, you said you wanted discussion, so this is my contribution to that discussion. Enjoy.

dwinal 2/22/2013 1:53:59 PM

 Well said, jorson28.

jorson28 2/22/2013 2:06:20 PM

PS: If you think it's so great for a company like DC to give more kinds of people characters to identify with, then where is the proudly straight, patriotic, Christian hero - one that ISN'T depicted as being a tongue-in-cheek joke?  Suddenly, we can have an openly gay and probably agnostic or atheist superhero, but from what I can tell, the only character to have clearly even tried to show overt patriotism and enter meaningful public service is Lex Luthor - A VILLAIN.  I've seen a whole slew of them that practice and believe in Eastern religions and spiritual beliefs - even a Muslim hero once or twice - but where are the Christians?  Or is that just not progressive enough?  Perhaps you think that the only true reflection of society is one that reflects the impending extinction of Christianity and related, American political conservatism, because despite your attestations of tolerance and embracing of "choice," that's probably where you want this and every other society to go. So much for inclusion - and I suppose tolerance should be applied to everyone BUT Conservative Christians because, well, they just all reap what they sow, right?  Again, if your real intention is to promote a specific agenda and viewpoint, then promote it.  Otherwise, anything and everything about choices, rights to opinions, tolerance and inclusion is disingenuous and borderline hypocritical. 

joelr 2/22/2013 2:09:17 PM

@jorson If you read my subsequent comments you will find answers to many of your questions. I don't have time to address everything you wrote at the moment, but here's a few things:

Nothing in all of this is "attacking" the "right", not me, not the overal boycott, nothing. I purposely did not go into religion in my article, because doing so invites a whole new level of fervor and pontificating that will cloud the point of the article. My question, AGAIN, is- how do you handle a creator's works, who you have a moral objection to as a person. Does it affect your purchasing and decision making? Hence my numerous Eagles analogies.

You admit you don't know Card and his views, please go do some reaseach and come back, otherwise you won't have a horse in this race. Maybe you will come out with a different opinion, maybe it will only strengthen what you already belive, either way- knowledge is power.

Also, many of you continue to miss the point- whether or not Card will put any anti-gay views in his Superman run is irrelivant, we're talking about the person, what he believes, and how does that affect you as a reader.

This article was an editorial, and in parts I expressed my personal opinion, and asked questions relevant to the situation. It's not thinley vieled propaganda, and if you think it is you might want to brush up on your reading.

shac2846 2/22/2013 2:11:00 PM

Joel, I see it as DC backed themselves into a corner going to the media and making a big deal of Alan Scott being gay. Why did they do that again? They had gay characters already Renee Monotoya, Obsidian, Batwoman, just to name a few. Again just one example is Bill Willingham taking over for JSA and people being worried because he's a republican that he might not handle obsidian well. No boycott was ever mentioned against the comic or Willinghams other highly succsessful series Fables. 

Also I think comparing Card to Michael Vic is problematic as well. I am going to take a big leap off the assumption tree and think that Card has likely run into gay fans during his book tours and convention appearances. I would also imaging he treated them very well and was civil and likely signed whatever they wanted book, or other merchandise and spent time and spoke with them. Again I'm assuming. His objection to gay marriage is nothing like a guy brutally killing animals. It's just not. When Card says let's lock up gays or worse wipe them off the planet, I will gladly tip my hat to you sir and say point made. Until then this article and the people who are uproaring over this are likely going to make him an uneccesary target on book tours and movie premieres now.  

SarcasticCaveman 2/22/2013 2:12:14 PM

 I fail to see what's wrong with the article.  A question is posed, followed by how the author personally feels about it, drawing parallels from his own experience to explain his position, and then asked for others' perspective.  His perspective isn't changing my mind, probably not your mind, and I doubt my perspective will change anybody's mind either.  I dont' really care, I'm in it for the discussion.  I don't read Superman anyway.  I think it's silly to boycott the work of an author you have enjoyed up till this point.  Mel Gibson's social fiasco doesn't stop me from enjoying his previous movies.  Same with Tom Cruise.  People need to separate the art from the artist.

 

SarcasticCaveman 2/22/2013 2:16:05 PM

 By the way, Jorson...where were you for "Kingdom Come"...very thought provoking story about the DC universe told from the perspective of a pastor who was losing his faith (*SPOILER ALERT* - he finds it again before the end), and the whole story parallels the book of Revelation.  Christian themed stories do occur.  I don't think it's a matter of Christian characters not being progressive enough, as you put it, but rather a matter of Christian morals and ideals having been the norm for so long, artists are simply trying to showcase other worldviews and ways of thinking.

SarcasticCaveman 2/22/2013 2:17:16 PM

 Or is it wrong to have a Muslim character who isn't trying to blow something up?

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