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The Cipher 04/27/11: “Lees and shell toes like it’s Black History Month”

April 27th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , ,

picture me, lampin’ in the company car

created: blahhhhh

-New milestone: I did a piece for Publishers Weekly on First Second’s digital strategy. I don’t do much actual journalism type stuff, so this was pretty neat.

-I liked Wilfred Santiago’s biography of Roberto Clemente. 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is cheap on Amazon, just about fifteen bucks. I liked it quite a bit, so check out that review.

-You can read Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Afrodisiac for free.99. You absolutely should. Big fan.

Moebius is your favorite artist’s favorite artist. True.

Here go five digital comics you need to get up on. Comic Book Comics, Dwayne McDuffie’s run on Fantastic Four, Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits, Catwoman: Dark End of the Street, and Marineman.

-Here’s video of the iFanboy vs ComicsAlliance panel at Wondercon:


rims like tibetan prayer wheels

consumed: Today sucks like days haven’t sucked in forever, so I’m going to keep this short. Longer next week, I promise.

-Music… I’ve been spinning this mix of David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Saul Williams’s The Inevitable Rise and Liberation Of Niggy Tardust. Is it a yin/yang thing? I dunno. The transition from “Rock’n’Roll Suicide” to “Black History Month” (ain’t on youtube, look elsewhere) is pretty crucial. On Twitter, I said “the transition from David Bowie’s Rock’n’Roll Suicide to Saul Williams’s Black History Month is like dying and waking up in the apocalypse.” I dunno. I wish I could set up like a 15 seconds crossfade from one song to the other in iTunes, but not between songs on both albums.

-Black Avengers–Graeme pulled out some quotes from a Brevoort piece on CBR that made some waves on Twitter. I don’t care, but I don’t care in that way that I get mad that other people care.

-It reminds me of the chromatic casting meme from last year (year before?). It’s begging for scraps off the table instead of demanding a seat at the table. I don’t want to buy Black Avengers. If I had to choose, I want to buy some fresh new comics with black characters. I don’t need the Avengers to validate my race or the characters I like.

-Screw the Avengers.

-This sort of thing tends to pop up once or twice a year–somebody gets it into their head that in order to be EQUAL black people need to be the same thing as white people. We need a Black Spider-Man! That’s diversity, right?!

-Black Spider-Man can get deez nutz. I don’t want him at all.

-The worst part about Black Avengers, and I’m using Black Avengers as a term to stand in for the thing I’m talking about, is that it’s so unbelievably short-sighted. It just ends up propping up the old, clumsy, ugly, poisonous, and rotten paradigm that everyone claims they want to get out from under. Let them people have the Avengers. Make something better.

-Oh, you want rock’n’roll? That’s cool, ’cause we’ve got rap.

-Sometimes I seriously hate corporate comics.

-And I said this would be short, but that was a lie, because I wanted to get that poison out of me. I’m not mad about the Black Avengers. I just think it’s a stupid idea (and, like all stupid ideas, one that would work under a talented team) and hate that it became, however briefly, a talking point with regards to race and capes.

-Think it through in both directions, front to back–where did it come from? Where will it lead? What does it mean? Black Avengers thinking is poisonous.

-Crap, what do I like so this isn’t completely composed of me blacking out on dumb ideas…

-JTabon on Twitter made the mistake of Twitting this: “Did a watercolor sketch of Jubilee in a hoodie as a warmup today. @hermanos puts terrible ideas in my head.”

-I think I’d twittered something about girls in fur-lined hoodies, but I don’t feel like looking.

-I called his bluff and told him to post it. Look:

-Dude is dope. Follow him on Twitter if you twit, and if you don’t, check out his website. The top post right now is a really interesting inking practice thing.

I liked this Tim Callahan piece on comics media.

Blu dropped some predictably cryptic liner notes for his new album, in addition to the track list. Really looking forward to No York over here.

-I saw Hanna. I liked it. Too frustrated to write about it right now, though.

It Ain’t No More To It is an attempt to better my writing. I give myself a time limit (15 or 30 minutes) and I don’t allow myself to edit. Once a paragraph is finished, it’s locked in stone, typos and all, and I move on. I barely even edit once I finish a sentence, barring deletion. It’s the raw unfiltered. My sword needs to be sharper, and this seems like an effective way to do it. Think faster, think better.

-Oh yeah, the African Batman has a few pages in Batman Inc 5. His name is David and he has a jetpack. I approve.

-I hope Donald Trump gets punched in the stomach on live TV. How unbelievably disappointing.


nigga, what, i’m a star

David: Power Man and Iron Fist 4, Xombi 2
Esther: Oui: Action Comics 900, Batman Incorporated 5 Peut-être: Xombi 2, Detective Comics 876
Gavin: Batman Inc. 5, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors 9, Justice League: Generation Lost 24, Avengers 12.1, Captain America 617, Deadpool 36, FF 2, Incredible Hulk 627, Namor: The First Mutant 9, Power Man and Iron Fist 4, Secret Avengers 12, Secret Avengers 12.1, Venom 2, Incorruptible 17

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13 comments to “The Cipher 04/27/11: “Lees and shell toes like it’s Black History Month””

  1. I agree with a hell of a lot of what you’re saying re: Black Avengers- I agreed with it when you were saying it on twitter too- but this: “Oh, you want rock’n’roll? That’s cool, ’cause we’ve got rap.” SO many problems with this. Can’t we all have both? I know I’m probably being a bit over-picky- you’re listening to Bowie, after all- but there’s a divisive undercurrent in that line that bothers me.

    But anyway, sharing the Saul Williams love. And hey, List Of Demands is one hell of a rock’n’roll song.


  2. @David Wynne: Yeah, that one got completely out from under me, and I agree 100% with you. Hyperbole is dangerous.

    I know there’s not a clear break from rock to rap (cause in between was funk and soul and on and on), not to mention that the “rap came about because white people stole rock” narrative isn’t really accurate at all. Feeling punchy today, is all, and fell back on bad habits. My fault.

    edit–my intro to Saul was “Ohm” off Lyricist Lounge Volume 1. Such a great song.


  3. Was the actual title of the book going to be “Black Avengers” or was it simply an Avengers book with an all black team?


  4. @Roland: I’m speaking about it like a concept, but I linked to the specifics in the post.


  5. Oh man, I totally expected you to tear me a new one for that comment. Should have remembered, you are nothing if not a sharp minded man.


  6. @David Wynne: Nah man–when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I appreciate you pointing it out.


  7. Well damn, this was unexpected. Thanks for taking the time and spreading the love, I really appreciate it.

    “I hope Donald Trump gets punched in the stomach on live TV. How unbelievably disappointing.” Put him and Cosby on stage at the same time again, and it just might happen…

    Ridiculous concept or not, I have to thank Brevoort for this; Blood Syndicate just made the top of my shopping list next time I’m digging through back issues. A team book with diversity? Got mine already, thanks.


  8. @JTabon: I’m trying to think of who I’d trust to try and do a new Blood Syndicate from DC right now. I mean Xombi has been great these last two issues, but I can’t think of anything else Milestone half-assed relaunch that hasn’t been a disappointment…


  9. Saw this on twitter via Matt Digges: http://twitpic.com/4qe14g

    Apparently the top image comes from “The Batman Nobody Knows”, which had the same premise as that B:TAS episode with the Dark Knight Returns and Batman ’66 homages. You know the one.


  10. “Black Avengers” would be dumb, because it is crass tokenism. It’s otherizing any superhero who happens to be black, and throwing people who want to see more diversity a bone that can be quickly canceled at any time.

    I do agree with the sentiment, that a group who proclaim to be “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” should include more characters who aren’t white Americans. However, I would love to see this done more naturally. More great original characters who just happen to come from a wide array of backgrounds, created by talented individuals with the intent of making them last, who make their mark on the universe and are put on the Avengers for the same reason that any other character is – because they are cool and people like reading about them.

    Yes, Blood Syndicate is a great book and a good tonic to the cloying “whiteness” of the Big Two, and by no means am I insulting it or saying that it’s not good enough, but titles like the Avengers and JLA are iconic as hell and should be for absolutely everyone. People of all races, genders, ethnicities, creeds, walks of life, sexual orientations, religions, and other personal identifiers read comics. Just because dudes with screen names like GreenLantern2535 pour out their hangups with people who aren’t like them all over the place, things should cater to them? Screw that. A handful of morons boycotting your products is worth the trade off in inclusiveness.

    Yeah Breevort, things labeled “The Blackvengers” don’t sell because nobody likes to be pandered to.

    Keep in mind that I say all this as a dude who owns probably every issue of the Avengers. I’m a HUGE fan. I want to see my favourite superhero team be better.


  11. Oh, and these books and characters should be pushed and have the company’s full support behind them (naturally not in a cloying “Hey Kids! Blacks!” way)

    The Crew was brought up and a team book by the dude who did Black Panther and Quantum & Woody? I don’t care who’s on it or what it’s about, sign me up! Unfortunately, by the time I was aware of it (this being in the days when I got my comic news from I dunno, Newsarama) it was gone. Of course, this ties into the on-going problem of Marvel and DC not really supporting anything that’s not tied into a huge event…


  12. Just for once, can I be Rage and look at this and give a collected middle finger to Marvel? Seriously, between Hickman 4 weeks ago and now this… I truly feel like the old black man from the old Green Lantern issue… :mad:


  13. Actually, you know what I want? I got it already in Astro City’s Dark Age Books 1 and 2… A look at heroes and their differences through the eyes of 2 brothers… Takes those 70’s “sensibilities” and 80’s “grittiness” and truly filters them out.

    How about this: give me good stories within your universes which are “colorless”? Make them so I could think anyone could be a part of them yet make them unique to the hero(es) spotlighted. I don’t need indie stuff.. I don’t need manga stuff… I don’t need pandering… I don’t need mind-blowing b.s…. I just need good stories within the universes I care about for a decent price.

    Sorry David… between this and the Superman stupidity… (Hello outraged “fans”, he has said this all before written by this dude called Morrison in a book called JLA. I didn’t hear the outcry then!)… it enough to drive a dude nuts. I promise to be calmer next article… *Steps off podium*