Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Archie-Valerie romance rekindled; cartoonist resigns

Archie #631

Creators | Dan Parent discusses an upcoming Archie storyline that will bring Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats to Riverdale, causing sparks to once again fly: “The fans can expect the next step in what I think is the most romantic story in Archie history. The chemistry between Archie and Valerie was hot the first time they got together, and now you’ve really got to see it simmer, all the way from the rekindling of their romance to getting much more serious than we’ve seen before.” [USA Today]

Editorial cartoons | Cartoonist Jeff Stahler has resigned from The Columbus Dispatch following accusations that he lifted ideas from other cartoons, including one that ran in The New Yorker. [Poynter]

Creators | Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter responds to a video that highlights the strange and disturbing events of Avengers #200, in which Ms. Marvel was raped and then gave birth to her rapist: “I take full responsibility. I screwed up. My judgment failed, or maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. Sorry. Avengers #200 is a travesty.” [Jim Shooter]

Batman: Noel

Sales | ICv2 and John Jackson Miller offer additional analysis on the November and year-to-date sales charts. [ICv2, Comichron]

Retailing | Patrick Rosenkranz checks in with retailers in Chicago, Hollywood, Brooklyn and Portland, Oregon, for a “seasonal snapshot” of the current comics retail climate. [The Comics Journal]

Publishing | AnnaMaria White, director of marketing and public relations for IDW Publishing, is leaving to start her own marketing company. [The Beat]

Creators | Paul Gravett interviews Shaun Tan, the award-winning creator of the wordless graphic novel The Arrival. [Paul Gravett]

Creators | Atomic Robo creator Scott Wegener guests on the latest Comic Book Diner podcast. [Comic Book Diner]

Creators | Archie Comics writer and PR guy Alex Segura talks about the Archie Meets Kiss arc in the latest War Rocket Ajax podcast. [Comics Alliance]

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1

Manga | Deb Aoki picks 25 manga she’s really looking forward to in 2012. []

Exhibits | A new show at the Kyoto Manga Museum in Japan showcases the art of three Americans who work in the manga style: Takeshi Miyazawa, Felipe Smith and Svetlana Chmakova. [Anime News Network]

Publishing | Mark Millar’s hint that some sort of big change is about to rock the industry has Rich Johnston speculating on five possible big events, aside from the domination of digital, that could change comics forever in 2012. Here’s a fun idea: Set a reminder on your calendar for December 31, 2012, to go back and check how he did. [Bleeding Cool]

Design | French designers Thomas Blanc and Florian Amoneau have kicked off the Comic Sans Project, which “tries to re-imagine the much-maligned font by posing a simple aesthetic question: What if the world’s most recognizable logos used Comic Sans?” I don’t think the redesigned logos, which include Star Wars, Microsoft, Playstation and McDonald’s, really make their case. [Mashable]

Reviews | Rob McMonigal reviews Zahra’s Paradise, First Second’s webcomic-turned-graphic-novel about a protester who disappears during the Iranian elections. [Panel Patter]

Comics | When historians, academics and other nobs gather at NATO headquarters in Brussels to celebrate the 30th anniversary of martial law in Poland, comics will be there, too: Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia will do a presentation and signing of their graphic novel Marzi, the story of a girl living in Poland at the end of the Communist era. The comic was published in the U.S. by Vertigo. [Forbidden Planet Blog]

History | Mike Lynch presents a gallery of old photos and caricatures of the late Jerry Robinson from National Cartoonists Society events of years gone by. [Mike Lynch Cartoons]



Deceptive headline. Seems to imply that the Archie artist is resigning over having to draw an interracial relationship.

The “Comic Sans Project” would have a slightly more convincing website if the text on the whole website was also in Comic Sans font…start the revolution in your own domain dudes.

Um, those weren’t predictions. Odds are none of them will happen. Apart from the Bryan Hitch thing, that was what Mark seemed to be setting up…

Huh…”simmer” is not the first word that comes to mind when I think “Archie.”

Shooter’s on a slippery slope with that apology.

First off, there has to be a statute of limitations when it comes to these things. If there ever was a time for Shooter to apologize, it was 30 years ago. Today? Why bother? Clearly, we wouldn’t ask DC of today to apologize for the anti-Japanese cover of 1943’s Action Comics #58. The issue was a product of its time and a decidedly different “in the moment” mindset.

Imagine if Sophocles descendants were expected to apologize for the incest and patricide of Oedipus Rex. Surely, there must’ve been at least one person in an uproar over that story. Perhaps we should get their descendants together with Sophocles’ to make them pay. At a certain point, you just have to let it go. It’s ridiculous. It’s been 30+ years since Avengers #200. Get over it.

Second, I have no problem if Shooter were to say that he’d write it differently today. That’s fine. Every artist has a moment of clarity when they wish they could approach something from a vastly different angle. However, to outright apologize? Where do you draw the line? Should a writer or artist ever apologize? I’m not so sure. It undermines the creators and the process. It also gives too much more power to the kooks and nutjobs. Pretty soon, we’ll be covering up Michelangelo’s David because his junk offends people. Oh. Wait. People are already doing that. The world has gone insane.

You don’t have to agree with what Shooter wrote or how he wrote it, but you should at least defend his right to do so and in the manner in which he did. Asking a creator to apologize is tantamount to asking him to relinquish his First Amendment right.

Look. Do I think that Shooter approached the rape in the right way? No. It WAS weird. It DID romanticize it too. I won’t disagree with any of that. However, in hindsight, do you think that Carol Danvers would have developed the same way without that issue? Very likely not. If nothing else, it wouldn’t have precipitated Claremont’s writing of Avengers Annual #10. That profoundly changed the character forever and introduced Rogue, who would herself be affected for years to come.

In hindsight, the whole brainwash, kidnap, seduce, & impregnate thing was weird. Too weird even for comics? Not sure. Other works of fiction have done far worse and in far weirder of a manner. Could Avengers #200 have been written differently? Sure. I think that the essence of the story and even some of the weirder elements could’ve been preserved while balancing it out with a more realistic set of reactions.

Again, lines have to be drawn. Comic writing was different 30 years ago. Today’s writers could’ve taken a different (read: less “offensive”) approach and kept the story fundamentally the same. That’s the benefit of creative and stylistic evolution though. If this Carol whatsherface is getting her panties in a twist over a 30 year old comic then she just needs to grow up. GROW UP! There are bigger and much more relevant battles for feminists to fight.

Avengers #200 wasn’t so much of an ill conceived story as it was poorly implemented one, at least in the final analysis of the overall characterization and representation of the events. That’s it.

To be honest, I don’t hate Avengers #200. It’s nicely drawn. The story pretty high concept, especially for the 80s. The dialog isn’t atrocious either. It’s the over-simplification and lack of balance that’s most disturbing. Other works of fiction have done pretty much the same story and far better.

Shooter should’ve simply said that he could’ve done it better or differently. Apologizing was a mistake.

Let me amend my post a little bit. If you go through Shooter’s apology, you notice that he only really apologizes for the small points, but not really the larger story. Smart of him not to backpedal in the story itself though. The only thing that the industry sites will remember is that he apologized, but not for what.

I still maintain that it could’ve been written more maturely, but the story itself wasn’t bad per se. That Carol Stickland person is just reaching. Still kinda stupid and unnecessary for Shooter to apologize for 30 year old lapses on logic like the laser torch moment. Might as well apologize for the 80s in general. Draw a line. Recognize that the whole medium is pretty goofy.

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