“I know I won’t.”

July 2nd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’m definitely a fan of Dwayne McDuffie. I’ve spoken at length about how disappointed I was that DC hamstrung his run on JLA, leading to an uneven pace, choppy character work, and a general feeling of unease. I was actually surprised when I saw this post on his website:

Here’s a preview of my final issue of Justice League of America, featuring the JLA teaming with Icon and Hardware in battle with Starbreaker. Don’t miss the secret of how the Milestone heroes ended up in DC Comics’ continuity.

I also suggest you take a look at some of the comments from your fellow comic book fans. Every once in awhile, I’m reminded how racially backwards a portion of our audience is and how important it is to… You know what? I’ll let them speak for themselves:

“…how many blacks did McDuffie manage to sneak onto the team this time–five? (I bet DC editorial gave him the same order as Burger King in that lawsuit–to “lighten things up around here.”)”

“Why don’t they call this the “Minority League”? ”

“I don’t think anyone will support an original black “mainstream” character. I know I won’t.”

“Couldn’t they get Static, Black Lightning, or one of his daughters instead of Dr. Light on the cover of BET League of America? Ha!”

“Maybe they should establish a separate league for all the negro superheroes. I’m not saying kick them ALL off. One would be okay. (Doesn’t Hollywood have some kind of law that says every movie has to have at least one black in it?) I just think they’re going overboard with all this diversity stuff. I mean, how many comics do minorities read anyway?”

Dwayne again. Welcome to my world. You know, the one where race doesn’t matter…

The comments come from Newsarama’s preview of JLA #34. It’s fair to say that I got a little pissed over it. I took a break, wrote a review, and decided to come back and write about it some, because I still think it’s ridiculous.

Newsarama is basically one of the three biggest comic sites on the internet. It’s only competitors are Comic Book Resources and IGN’s comics section. When people look for comics news, they go to CBR or Newsarama. It’s one of the outlets for mainstream comics.

So, why does it suck?

I like some of it. Jimmy Palmiotti’s column on Blog@, Brandon Thomas’s Ambidextrous, Chris Arrant, and Vaneta Rogers’s interviews are all great. I generally enjoy all of those. The rest of it, though, seems to be a pit of low standards and fluff pieces.

A bunch of smart people consider Newsarama’s forums among the lowest of the low. They’ve got a rep for being terrible. Honestly? It’s true. The boards are filled with mouth breathing bottom feeding neckbeard douchebags who have nothing better to do than put their illiteracy on display for every to see.

The comments I quoted above appear below a preview of Justice League of America, a book that has been consistently in the top 10 of comics sold and is written by a man who is the highest profile black writer in comics and a well-respected one in animation. This isn’t exactly Johnny Noname shopping around his Spawn ripoff. Many of the comments are clearly racist in nature, which is in direct violation of Imaginova’s TOS, but the commenters have yet to be banned or even have their comments deleted. A few of them are regulars. What am I missing?

Basically, judging by this, a lot of comic fans deserve the mouth-breathing manchild reputation that fanboys get. This sort of thing is pathetic, and for Newsarama to allow it on their servers, when they are one of the gatekeepers of comics news and culture, is ridiculous. It makes me not even want to interact with these people or read the same books they do, just so that I’m not guilty of being stupid by association.

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Summer of Love 01: Middle Tier Comics

June 4th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

One post a day for as long as I can manage it. Let’s get it in!

The first post is not even on my blog, and therefore means that I lost before I even started. JK Parkin of Blog@Newsarama asked me to do a guest blog for their I Heart Comics summer piece. I wrote I Heart The Middle Tier. It went live today. My partner-in-crime Matt Silady (of MattSilady.com, natch), did one last week. It is on the new Golden Age.

An excerpt from mine:

Can you imagine a Superman comic where Clark Kent hangs up the cape and simply decides to chill out on the farm in Smallville for a few months and do nothing? Or a Batman comic where Bruce Wayne pours his Batmobile budget into the Martha Wayne Foundation? What if Tony Stark hung up his armor and we got twelve issues of Tony Stark brokering business deals, picking out thousand dollar suits, and trying to appease his stockholders– how about that?

Those books would feel weird. We’re used to getting a certain kind of story out of the top tier comics. Superman’s gotta punch people, Batman’s gotta scare people, and Spidey’s gotta make bad jokes. The stories usually need to have some kind of attention paid to continuity or something to do with shake-ups or lasting changes. If you’re writing a character who doesn’t have these expectations, though, you can get away with a lot more.

Go check it out.

While I’m here, if you’re a video game fan, go visit SOCOM.com and see what part of my day job is like.

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Joe Questrawman

December 27th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

There is an interesting bit of discussion going on over at Blog@Newsarama over the very same comments Joe Q made that I linked a couple days ago. Click over and read it. The comments thread is more interesting than the Bendis Board reports, because a couple interesting tangents have popped up. I’m reproducing a response of my own here because, 1) just spent a long bloody time typing it up while sitting in bed, 2) I kind of like it, and 3) “Joe Questrawman” is positively inspired at this time of day night and I feel like patting myself on the back for thinking of it in my addled state.

I come in with my is-allnow-comics zen at comment 14. Read the rest of the thread, too, though. It’s got some long posts, but interesting ones. I try to present both sides equally because, even though I may give DC a lot of crap (some of it is even deserved), I still love a lot of their comics, you know? I may not have spent my time in elementary school thinking up awesome Batman stories like I did with Spidey, but a lot of the characters are near and dear to my heart.

(Spider-Man is still better, though :spidey:)

One day, I will write on this blog about things that aren’t superheroes, I promise. I think I’m still in Wally Sage/Flex Mentallo mode, though. Morrison’s good comics are like mental viruses.

Anyway, read. feel free to discuss below or over on Blog@. It’s a conversation I’m quite interested in.
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One Year of 4l! or Weapons of Mass Destruction + 112

November 29th, 2006 Posted by david brothers


Today marks the one year anniversary of 4thletter! Technically, we had a Blogger blog before then, but 4l! is what it is now, not what it was then. 365 days, 112 posts and 31,476 visitors later (as of this moment!) and we’re still here. We’ll be here for some time to come, if all goes well!

One year. It’s crazy, huh? One full year of completely questionable taste in comics, Gavok-style lists, brief appearances by the Spotted Wanderer, and hopefully bellies full of laughter. I was going to call 4l! Year Two “Questionable Taste In Comics Harder!” but focus groups decided that that was too clunky. Maybe “Where’s My Money, Honey?” U DECIDE.

Just FYI, 4l! Year One was “Is it time… or hypertime?” I don’t think I actually told anyone that, though, so don’t stress it. It won’t be on the test.

Muchas gracias to my blogmates Gavin and Thomas. The Big Gavoktus is consistently funnier than I am, but the site is named after me technically so it’s cool. We have spent enough time on IRC talking about A) What we would do if we had gigs at Marvel or DC and B) hilarious What If?/Elseworlds ideas that I am confident that if we ever did manage to con/blackmail our way into a position at Marvel or DC, the world would be a better and funnier place for it. Thomas brings a razor sharp critical analysis to the table and lets me bug him on AIM with ridiculous comics questions. He has a Tricky Brain, did you know that? He also has a sick mind for comics trivia, particularly in the X-Men and Spider-Man arenas.

Basically, though, we all love comics. Wait, scratch that. We all love good comics. Bad ones can go hang.

In the past year, I’ve learned that the comics blogospherohedron is kind of shockingly DC-slanted. (That may be just my inner Marvel Zombie speaking, though.) Tons of people have fond memories of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which I only recently got into with the Waid/Kitson reboot, and no one likes Identity Crisis. Feminism in comics is pretty big, too. A couple comics blogs have gone mainstream and ended up attached to Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, and I think that the comics media is better for it. I learned… you know what? This is slightly less profound than I expected. Let me cut to the chase.

I learned that a lot of cool cats like comics and want to talk about the effects of comics just as much as who would win in a fight, Big Barda or Wonder Woman (Big Barda, see below).

I would like to give a special shout-out to the people who let me blab on their blogs comment lines. The crew at Comics Should Be Good and Blog@Newsarma are all good people (and I really need to add B@N to my links there on the right). Kalinara @ Pretty Fizzy Paradise, Ragnell @ Written World, Johanna @ Comics Worth Reading, and Carla (I think?) @ Snap Judgements are all cool peoples. I should probably give special notice to my livejournalin’ buddies Lynxara and JLG. Fun times! Dwayne McDuffie’s forum is also a cool place to hang out, not to mention Batman’s Shameful Secret over at Something Awful’s forums. Best comics forum out, I will tell you what.

Also, my mom apparently reads the blog, so– Top of the world, ma!

One year down, hopefully many more to go. More questionable taste, more inexplicable love for ’90s comics, more stuff you never wanted to know about comics but now you do so you can’t un-know it, sucker!

I’m hoping to get some cool articles from all three of us up to celebrate the anniversary of this blah-blah-blog. Thanks for reading. Stick around, you might learn something!

As promised, here is why Big Barda trumps Wonder Woman:
jla1mpg10.jpg jla1mpg11.jpg jla1mpg19.jpg jla1mpg20.jpg
Yes, it’s future Wonder Woman, but you can’t argue with five tons per square inch. Big Barda is the truth.

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