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AKA The All Purpose Dumpster Fire Thread.

 

So I figure a catch all is needed for industry stuff that isn't really publisher specific. I avoided the Gerard Jones story because that's an awful note to lead with, but this one is comparably awful so hey let's go I guess.

 

So the CBLDF has spoken up in support of Simon and Schuster publishing Milo Yannopolis' book and spoken against boycotting them, citing freedom of speech. This is weird because it's not a comic and by the CBLDF's own guidelines, boycotts don't count as censorship. 

 

It's just a real weird hill for them to die on given that even if they feel that way they could have said nothing because it doesn't relate to their charter. But now a growing number of comics creators are withdrawing support of the CBLDF and other horror stories about them are coming out, such as allegations their executive director groped a woman in a hot tub without consent in 06, so the whole thing is a total disaster.

 

Going to be super interesting if awful to see how this one plays out.

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On one hand, shitty. 

On the other, that is in no way comparably as awful

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For those too young to remember Gerard Jones was a fairly prominent comic book writer in the 80s and 90s.

He made his name on independent comics like "The Trouble With Girls" and "The Comic Book Heroes," a 1985 coffee table book that presented the history of Marvel and DC from the Silver Age to the Shooter Era.

He eventually became the writer of the post-Crisis "Green Lantern" and had a major hand in creating Malibu Comics' Ultra Verse line.

Along the way he developed a number of deep friendships with members of the comics industry: Mark Waid, Mike Grell, Mark Evanier, Chris Claremont all counted him as a friend.

It all fell apart in 1994, when he was fired off of Green Lantern for either refusing or being unable to kill off Hal Jordan and bring in Kyle Rayner.

As the 90s became more grim 'n' gritty, Jones became more and more disillusioned until finally in 1996, he released an updated version  of "The Comic Book Heroes" which was more a bitter, scathing indictment of the post-Dark Knight Returns, Image Era of comics then an updated history of the industry as a whole.

After that, Jones pretty much became persona non grata at both Marvel and DC. He tried his hand at webcomics, but in the pre-Patreon era, there was little demand for t-shirts of "Custard the Trumpet Playing Dog" and Jones ended up eking out a living writing "Ranma 1/2" before even that dried up in 2001.

Jones was friends with pretty much everyone who was involved in the comics industry in the 1980s, which is why everyone was on Twitter on Friday acting like he was framed, at least until reports of the actual evidence started leaking out on Saturday, then everyone suddenly got real quiet.

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I mean, I guess it's mostly human nature to think your friend is innocent and defend them, especially before you've seen any of the evidence, but yeah, this is just bad.

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Right after the news broke, I cancelled my preorder on the new Emerald Dawn collection on Amazon. I'm not positive I want to ever read his work again.

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I have somehow managed to never read a single thing - comics or otherwise - written by Gerard Jones.  Not sure how I managed that.  My pull list was 15 or more books a week during the late 80's and early 90's.

I've talked to a few people in the industry who knew Jones and he apparently was one of the last people you'd expect to have this sort of deep, dark secret.

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10 minutes ago, Horton Hears a Wooo!!! said:

I have somehow managed to never read a single thing - comics or otherwise - written by Gerard Jones.  Not sure how I managed that.  My pull list was 15 or more books a week during the late 80's and early 90's.

A week ago I'd have told you his GL is pretty decent and Prime isn't bad, and you should probably give Emerald Dawn, at least, a read. 

Today? I'm just kinda jealous

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The JLE story with Deconstructo was clever, as i remember. 

And the Comic Book Heroes book by Jones and Will Jacobs was one of the better books of its kind back in the 90s. 

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I don't think I ever read his Justice League, and back then the only indie comics I'd ever touched are TMNT and the original Crow

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Continuing the grim week, the editor of Attack on Titan has been arrested and charged with the murder of his wife back in August.

 

I feel terrible for the kids there. 

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Yes I was reading about that on ANN earlier. I saw in the comment someone mentioned that he might have been fired in the first place for being overly emotional and abusive towards the author.

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No shock, but DC cancelled Green Lantern Vol. 2 and the Justice League Breakdowns trade which would have collected Gerard Jones run on the title. 

 

As of yet it's unclear if they'll be altering Flash by Mark Waid Vol. 2 to remove the Jones GL crossover issues or not.

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I hope not. Always bothers me that previous Return of Barry Allen collections omit it.

But I certainly couldn't blame them if they do.

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So Comics Alliance is dead again.

 

There's something extra tasteless about shutting down the most trans inclusionary comics site on the trans day of visibility.

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Well fuck, they were just about the only site left that actually wrote interesting things about comics and comic related media.

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Yeah. There's no disguising that it sucks. The site will ostensibly remain active but basically just as a redirect to Screencrush. They laid off the whole staff on 2 days notice. Hoping they may all migrate somewhere to keep the spirit if not the name but who knows?

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Is this where we talk about Peter David's financial collapse?  Because that's such an insane story, but one I 100% believe after 6 years of doing customer service for the IRS.

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Man. That story is a great reminder as to why my wife and I keep totally seperate bank accounts.

 

Also jeez. Being slammed with a divorce out of nowhere sucks enough without being out nearly $90k to get there.

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In fairness, that's after late fees (which cap out at 50% of the principal) and nearly 20 years of interest.  The actual tax bill (and thus what he paid the lawyer) was probably more like $40-50k.

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Ahhhh I'm a Canadian so the US tax system isn't my forte.

 

This weekend is busy for industry news as Marvel delivered some amazingly tone deaf deflections of blame for their recent sales decline at ComicsPro, then when those responses hit news sites said it was out of context. 

 

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04/01/wrapping-retailer-summit-debacle-marvel-not-blaming-dc-industry-woes-theyre-just-saying-dcs-fault/

 

That has relevant links and summaries as well as the latest but the tl;dr is that the sales decline of Marvel Comics is due to everything but Marvel Comics and their refusal to adapt business practices or change strategies to remain competitive in the market. 

 

For all his faults, at least Dan DiDio knows when to accept fault and change course.

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My timeline is full of creators, mostly artists, annoyed with Alonso's statements. 

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I can't speak much about either returnability or the sales charts right now but I do know Marvel put forward a large number of fairly diverse comics that they gave a bunch of issues. Many of these comics were pretty well done. Most of them failed saleswise. Almost none of them felt "important" as in if you missed them, you'd miss some key element of the Marvel Universe. Half the audience is turned off by something like that. Half the audience only wants to read things like that. At the end of the day, everyone boos Roman Reigns but he's their biggest merch seller? I don't know.

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I have a feeling Marvel will end up getting shat on by both traditionalists who only want classic characters and those who want diversity and will say Marvel didnt do "enough" for them. 

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I mean, that's the tale of the industry right now right? The push between traditionalists who more or less just want status quo content which keeps characters as they like them vs. younger fans and new demographics trying to push the industry in new directions. But as neither offers enough sales strength alone to carry everything out there, there's a weird balancing act trying to balance the wants of both.

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