Robot 6

Quote of the day #1 | Mark Waid on JMS leaving Superman, Wonder Woman

“I think we call that ‘Pulling a Palin.'”

–Writer, editor, and long-suffering Superman superfan Mark Waid, presumably comparing writer J. Michael Straczynski’s abrupt mid-storyline departure from his controversial Superman and Wonder Woman revamps to focus on the (previously announced) second volume in the Superman: Earth One series with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s departure from office to do…whatever it is Sarah Palin does now. I say “presumably” because as far as I know, Superman hasn’t yet walked far enough across America to be able to see Russia from his house.



Actually, Palin never said that (seeing Russia from her house) until after Tina Fey did that as a joke on SNL. Then, I think, Palin said it as a joke. Palin’s actual-and accurate-statement was “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”

Palin also resigned as Governor to spare the people and taxpayers of Alaska the expense of having to defend the untold number of investigations that reporters were doing in trying to find any kind of dirt on her they could.

Clearly, Superman can ALWAYS see Russia from his house, on account of how he is Superman, and whatnot.

And if you count the Fortress of Solitude as “Superman’s House” it might actually be on Russian land.

Hank, who’s this “Tina Fey” person? All I know is I totally saw Palin say that–it was in the same interview where she started making funny laser-beam “pew pew pew!” noises. I thought it was kinda weird, but I figured presidential campaigns are high-pressure environments.

Palin left office to pursue a career with (sadly) more power than a politician – she’s now a political pundit and reality star to be.

I’m not sure I get the JMS comparison to Palin’s botched VP run. But if it ends this awful Grounded arc, then I’m one happy Superman fan.

Sean, just admit you posted urban legend as fact and move on.

There’s nothing to admit. Sean didn’t write, “In the immortal words of Sarah Palin”; he simply linked Superman’s cross-country trek to the SNL send-up. It seems like a weird thing to get hung up on.

I love this. A+ work by Waid.

No, Kevin, Hank’s right–I CLEARLY had no idea that that’s an apocryphal quote from a Saturday Night Live routine, and lying about it after the fact only makes it worse. I wish there were a Rand Paul supporter around so I could have my faced stepped on like I so clearly deserve.

Cisco: I don’t think comparison is with the VP run, which she obviously completed, but with her term as governor, which she didn’t.

I haven’t read much of Supes in Action or Superman since Johns departed from the title…now JMS is moving on…so after taking a chance and waiting to see where he was going…poof. Finito Benito. Uhhhh…does anyone actually remember that Alaska used to be Russia…like, until the 1950’s?

Pullin’ a Palin…. Is that what ‘we’ call that? Or is that what Mark and his buds call it? I’m just curious, because I’m trying to remember the last time I heard someone (a) use the phrase or (b) make reference to Mrs. Palin’s resignation from the governor’s office.

Does it have the same staying power as ‘Where’s the beef?’

1860s, but who’s counting.

Wow, Sean, overreact much? Pointing out, reasonably politely, that you made a mistake of fact is hardly comparable on any level to stomping on someone’s head.


Hank, I think you’re confusing a joke (and knowing reference to the SNL skit) with a statement of fact.

I wouldn’t say JMS pulled a “Palin” since he plans on doing something productive after leaving halfway through. Palin just went from public office to public nuisance.

BTW, Sean, don’t give them any ideas. You’ll get stomped and they’ll be demanding an apology from you.

So when political supporters beat up those supporting the other side, can we call that “pulling a Waid?”

“the next person who opposes cap and trade is going to be eating their food through a goddamn straw!”

or how about when someone tells someone to go F*** themselves when their own words from 10 years ago in an interview are brought back in their face, can we call that pulling a Waid too?

Rich, if Sean’s comment was intended to be a reference to the SNL skit and not Palin herself, then Sean’s “joke” doesn’t work.

Waid’s joke (and Sean’s response) was supposedly about something Palin did. Waid’s joke actually worked because, in fact, Palin did quit midway through her term of office. After all, saying you “pulled a [fill in the blank]” is generally recognized as acting the ame way as [blank].

Therefore, for Sean’s joke to work, Palin had to have actually said it. Which she didn’t.

I can’t believe we’re having this debate with an anonymous man whose email address indicates he’s pretending to be the main character from King of the Hill.

While I think Waid’s comparion is unnecessarily baiting (not to mention derailing this thread), the sentiment behind it is true: Why would JMS commit to two 12-issue status quo-defying, heavily promoted runs on major characters, only to pull out barely halfway through either one of them to concentrate on something he already knew he was going to be doing — that is, the second chapter in his series of graphic novels? And he’s taking a sabbatical from ongoing series to boot? No wonder people complain he can’t finish what he started.

And DC is going to continue these arguably ill-conceived stories under other writers, when they were clearly JMS’ vision alone? I don’t know whether sales improved beyond the beginning of the arcs, but why can’t DC just sweep them under the rug and move on? Especially without the “marquee” writer behind them.

Unfortunately, more of the same for the shortsighted “new” DC. The real fault lies with them.

Now, we’re into ad hominem attacks over a screen name (on a comic book site, of all places)?
Seriously. I didn’t realize it was so easy to hit a nerve around here.

MrMGU, you raise a good point about the Palin reference derailing threads. Of course, if the editors don’t want people here talking about politics they could always not make political jokes in the first place.

I’m the one whose nerve got hit? Riiiiight.

Now Sean’s resorting to (in effect) “i know you are, but what am I”?

I know you are, but what am I?

“…why can’t DC just sweep them under the rug and move on? Especially without the “marquee” writer behind them. “

Agreed, though I was actually enjoying “Grounded.” I’d be very excited about Phil Hester on Wonder Woman if it was Phil Hester’s take.

Sarah Palin is writing Superman?

Somewhere, Mark Waid is giggling like a Frank Gorshin Riddler over this thread.

Irredeemable, indeed.

Hank, you’re the most ridiculous person who’s ever lived.

On topic: I agree with Waid in this instance. This is some shameful shit on JMS and DC’s part.

Superman’s a Tea Party supporter?

Wait, Sarah Palin is Superman?

So what’s Waid’s problem with JMS anyway? He’s done nothing but make catty remarks about him since JMS was announced as the ongoing writer of Superman and Wonder Woman?

Waid’s dream gig is writing a Superman ongoing, but a) he doesn’t get along with virtually any of the head honchos at DC, and b) I get the sense he didn’t think much of Grounded.

Way to take a joke, guys.

Ted: I think I’ve managed to accomplish a thing or two in the last six months other than make two jokes on Twitter. YMMV. Since you asked, I do think it’s poor form when you take on a project to do interviews dumping on previous creators only to turn around and leave half-an-hour later, but I admit my feelings may be colored by the fact that I’m friends with some of the dumpees.

Sean: Not that what you said is of any bearing, but as far as I know, I get along just fine with pretty much everyone at DC, unless there’s something they’re not telling me. I love DC and, the occasional joke aside, always wish them the best of success, as should be pretty much evident. I still do a ton of work for the company, just not as much obvious “out front” writing work for the actual comics. But thanks for playing our game!

Sean, I honestly think you’re breaking your blog’s own guidelines with your attacks on Hank. You are not making an attempt to be nice, only berating him because you disagree with the point he’s making. And publicly discussing information about his unpublished e-mail address (whether fake or not) is pretty much the crappiest thing you can do as a blog writer that I can think of.

And honestly, you were totally baiting comments of a political nature when you chose the description of the quote that you chose.

Mark, reading my comment over I definitely overstated the case, and I’m sorry. But I’m not alone in my use of hyperbole: When Bob Harras’s promotion was announced, didn’t you tweet something about being placed in that thing that all of Doctor Who’s enemies teamed up to trap him in?

Nick: I think “berating” is a little strong. But am I having some fun at the expense of “Hank” because he keeps insisting I either didn’t know “I can see Russia from my house” was an SNL gag rather than a Palin quote, or know but lied about it? Yes I am.

Sean, I don’t. I think you were being outright insulting to him. And exposing information about his entered email address, despite the fact that your blog response form clearly lists it will not be published, is downright nasty. It’s in no way being civil and I would say fits in to your own blog comment guidelines about “not being nasty”.

And it bothers me that you’re admitting to condoning a rather pointless attack on Palin by Waid with more mockery of your own. I don’t come to Robot 6 for political discussion, yet this seems to be the second outright political attack you’ve posted here in less than 2 weeks.

Sean: You’re kinda reaching. Not everything I post on Twitter is about whatever Newsarama (or whoever) just reported. Sorry to disappoint. The Pandorica comment was about something else, but I guess at this point in my career, I should be accustomed to the fact that comics pros can’t sneeze without the internet reading something into it. : ) (For the record, Bob and I have exchanged pleasant “bygones” correspondence about things that were said twelve years (!) ago and, as far as I know, he and I are fine. If you have other information, please feel free to share.)

Well, if the political disagreement is the reason you’re upset about my treatment of “Hank” (whose (fake) email address I didn’t publish), then I have a feeling nothing else I say will convince you otherwise. But with regards to politics on Robot 6, you’ll notice I’ve never ever posted anything about straight-up politics, like what Creator X has to say about who they voted or didn’t vote for–even though creators say things like that all the time, and usually in ways that line up with my own personal politics, which are liberal. I only ever go there if there’s an explicit comics angle, as there was with the playful comparison of Tea Partiers to cosplayers last week, or Mark’s comparison of JMS to Palin today. I think it’s a shame people get as humorless and worked up about this as they get, but I’m still going to treat comics-relevant posts that touch on politics the same way I’d treat anything else I blog about here.

Also, Sean, you missed the more obvious headline: “Mark Waid Attacks Tea Party Darling.”

Mark, thank you for patiently correcting what turned out to be nonsense from me! I’m really sorry to have mischaracterized the situation. As for me missing the headline, fortunately our commenters are here to pick up the slack!

Sean, you seem to ignore the fact that you’re again 1) commenting on information your posting system says will be confidential in your rather harsh criticisms of Hank, simply because you feel that his points about your “joke” were invalid and 2) that in your description of Mark’s quote, which from what I know of Mark’s politics is pretty much meant as another of his long line of attacks on Palin, you repeat a comment used repeatedly to mock and attack Sarah Palin. I am by no means a fan of Palin, but to pretend that either of the comments were just fun un-assuming humor and not politically charged in anyway is to treat Robot 6’s readers as fools.

And if you’re really truthful about political jokes that relate to comics being put on to this site, I would expect to see one of any number of Ethan Van Sciver’s facebook posts to pop up as a quote of a day. But strangely a search of this site finds nothing from Ethan here.

Bristol Palin is playing Wonder Woman in the live action series?

Nick, I’m not pretending the comments are apolitical. They’re certainly political. But they’re also relevant to comics first and foremost, and that’s why I posted them. They’re different than posting random political opinionation from creators, liberal or conservative. That said, the people who are complaining about Mark’s joke didn’t say anything when (say) I posted a link to Frank Miller drawing a dinosaur eating a suicide bomber or Krypto wearing a Nazi armband, which leads me to conclude that that it’s the specific politics being referenced that’s the real problem, not the referencing of politics at all–as is also clear from your remark about using quotes from Ethan, whom I presume is conservative, as some sort of equal-time barometer. But like I said, I’m not interested posting what comics creators say about politics–only when it touches on comics itself. Maybe Ethan makes comics-relevant political comments all the time, but by your tone I’m assuming they’re just straight up editorializing on the issues of the day, and that’s not what we do here.

That being said, you’re right, I was making fun of Sarah Palin once the opportunity presented itself in the context of Mark’s comment about JMS. She’ll live!

I don’t know what to say about the “Hank” email thing. The site says we won’t publish that info, and I didn’t publish that info. Moreover, since it was obviously bogus, there’s really nothing to publish! I couldn’t have violated “Hank”‘s confidentiality even if I’d wanted to, which I didn’t, no matter what he said about me or Mark or Palin or JMS or anyone.

Ethan Van Sciver

November 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Here’s a FB quote by me about this very situation:

“Waid is a political animal, and the quote attributed to him is pretty much dead on, if I understand the situation properly. Did JMS quit Superman and WW before his run was expected to be over, due to external pressures? Then bullseye.”

I don’t think this is a matter of politics, although I appreciate Nick’s desire to give my flippant FB comments wider audience. Sarah Palin is pop culture as much as politics. Fortunately or unfortunately.


But neither of your posts of Miller’s art are straight up political statements, unless you equate hatred of terrorism or hatred of Nazism as the realm of one political party. You seem to think that Frank’s art makes for “equal time” with your clearly one sided jokes here, when in my eye they are just straight up attacks on Islamic terrorism and Nazism, something I always thought everyone could get behind.

I brought up Ethan because he makes regular jokes about comics and politics from his own unique viewpoint, one that seems diametrically opposed to many of Waid’s views. I just want to point out that your quotes seem to have followed in the politically leanings that you attest to have twice in one week. Honestly I have much less problem with Waid’s quote than your own attempt to editorialize by dropping a joke at Palin’s expense. If you feel that comics and politics should be matched on this page, then you need to reach out of your regular twitter follow list and actually go in search of political humor and commentary from people you don’t always agree with. And if you can’t find any of it, maybe that should make you consider that the commentary is simply unnecessary.

I do appreciate that you don’t spew the outright hateful invectives that appear on some creator’s twitter accounts. At the same time, there was plenty of forum room already here on Robot 6 to discuss JMS’ departure without pushing Waid’s quote on here as well. It doesn’t seem it was even necessary as the quote of the day, as you decided to post two today.

Oh, and I’m not arguing that this blog needs to feature “equal time” for anyone. I just think you should maybe rethink the recourse of what posting quotes like this will do to this blog. I watched the last tea party quote get quickly filled with a lot of hateful speech, some of it spewed at other posters, which seems to be heavily in violation of your own sites’ commenting rules as found on the “About Robot 6″ page.

Whatever the case, I already feel I’ve put down my argument as thick as I can place it here. I honestly like a lot of what’s posted on this site, but the kind of dismissive attitude I see in the responses to this post and the previous tea party/nerd post really makes me question its editorial oversight.


November 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

This quote made me happy!

Though I do think it’s a good move for JMS to do, the lack of personal reflection of failings and issues in his statement about it left a lot to be desired.

I should be accustomed to the fact that comics pros can’t sneeze without the internet reading something into it.

And we the fans are becoming accustomed to creators blaming us when they give off an impression that isn’t the one they wanted to!

Nothing in this thread – but Mr. Waid, since leaving DC, you haven’t given the impression in interviews that you were or are terribly impressed with them – one doesn’t have to read too far!

It’s the joy of the internet – most interviews, though spoken, are read as text.
Unless it’s pointed out that something is a joke, or the creator didn’t seem that fussed when they said something, it can be very hard to tell.
Throw in that it’s very easy, even in person, to give off the wrong impression – that you dislike something when you don’t, that you like something you don’t – and it’s a recipe for disaster.
It’s just not anyone’s fault!

Nick, why should Sean “go in search of political humor and commentary from people you don’t always agree with”? This is a blog, not the New York Times. People are allowed to have points of view. Comics folks tend to be liberal, at least the ones I have talked politics with (admittedly, a small sample), so to some extent, Sean is playing to the room here.

Regardless, both this and the Tea Party post struck me as more cultural than political. Waid’s comment refers to Palin’s leaving office halfway through her first term, which has more to do with her temperament than her politics. I’d say the same about a Democrat who pulled something like that.

But I have noticed that whenever a blogger makes even an offhand comment about Palin, someone appears in the comments to with a heated defense. It’s odd. When someone makes a crack about Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet, I just laugh. I don’t get all bent out of shape about it. As the eminent Senator Claghorn used to say, “It’s a joke, son.”


I can’t believe the number of comments from one poster that seem to center around the idea that making generic allusions to the basis of a poster’s e-mail address is an invasion of the privacy of said poster. The form promises that the e-mail address won’t be published and it isn’t getting published.

As far as Waid’s tweet? LOVE IT. Just wish I had posted my blog headline that made the same basic joke when I came up with it on the phone with a friend Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning, so it wouldn’t seem like I’m piggybacking on his line.

Wow. I had no idea that JMS was bankrupting himself and DC Comics by writing the books, thanks to those who don’t like his writing style. Amazing, the things one can learn about the comics biz.


I think it’s worth remembering that while what Palin actually said about being able to see Russian territory from an island in Alaska was indeed accurate, it was still an incredibly stupid answer to a foreign policy question about what insight she had into Russian affairs, especially Russian military actions in Georgia. While it’s unfair to attribute Fey’s quote to Palin (and people have done that, though Sean did not), it’s understandable that Fey’s quote has become popular shorthand for Palin’s equally fatuous (but factually accurate!) answer.

I consider myself a conservative (probably more Libertarian) and I think Sean has a right to say what he wants to on his own blog. If he makes a snarky comment about Sarah Palin based on his political beliefs, it’s not going to hurt anyone. Plus anyone with any kind of political savvy knew what he was getting at.

oh snap

does this mean JMS is getting a reality TV show?

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