Story Followups

Matt Brady at Newsarama posts an analysis piece on the Soma/Brownstein story. Of all those involved, the most blame is placed at the feet of the columnist who made inaccurate statements that cast suspicion at innocent, uninvolved men. (The Newsarama vultures promptly lay into Brady for writing the piece at all, since he’s friends with Brownstein, a connection he revealed.)

Elin Winkler seconds Lea Hernandez’s anger at the lack of female San Diego guests. One of her commentators asks about the Guerilla Girls, an effort I’d love to see applied to comics, because the numbers are simply appalling.

Lyle at Crocodile Caucus (link no longer available) follows up on two previous posts of mine: one on why people go to cons (he points out the joy of discovering new talents) and one on the comic format debate.

Due to various developments in the industry, following periodical comics has become increasingly inconvenient. With smaller overprint runs at DC and Marvel’s no-overprint policy, it’s easier to miss out on an issue. Worse, with Diamond giving retailers deteriorating service, it’s hard to tell if a comic has sold out (meaning that I should check out other shops in the area, if I want a copy badly enough) or if it simply didn’t arrive in my retailer’s shipment (meaning I should give them a week to correct Diamond’s error). That increases the chances of missing an issue. These factors also make it harder to catch up on an overlooked title that has good word of mouth… Keeping up with most periodical comics involves too much making of lists, checking them off and following-up on the remainders. To be blunt, I just don’t enjoy most DC or Marvel comics enough to do all that work, not when I finding the manga titles I enjoy is so easy that I have narrow down my purchases.

Publishers should make things easier for their readers, not harder.


8 Responses to “Story Followups”

  1. John Jakala Says:

    I’m certainly not going to join the Newsarama message boards to pile on Matt Brady, but I did get an uneasy feeling reading that piece, especially when I got to Matt’s disclosure at the end. I think it would have been better if he’d just disclosed his relationship with Brownstein and left it at that rather than clumsily trying to argue that the friendship somehow elevated his attempt at impartial (?) analysis.

    But I do agree that the biggest blame should be directed at the Buzzscope columnist(s) who handled this whole matter so ineptly.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I think the fact that so many comic people have worked with Brownstein is a significant factor in this case. There’s a big difference between hearing one side of the story and getting outraged at some unnamed guy, and hearing someone name someone you know, especially given the other discrepancies that have arisen. It changes the calculation of the benefit of the doubt.

  3. ~chris Says:

    I hope you aren’t saying that Bourgeois is more to blame than Brownstein…? It would appear from his statement that his actions were not as horrible as originally thought, they were still inexcusably wrong.

    I fear that this is going to hurt both CBLDF and FoL. :-(

  4. Johanna Says:

    I wonder if Dave Sim is still paying attention, since he once tried to set FOL and the CBLDF against each other way back when?

    Sorry, black humor. I’m saying that putting a name to both sides of the situation made a lot of people reconsider some knee-jerking that was going on. And I’m saying that I think, whatever happened, Brownstein has presented himself better than Bourgeois has. She made factually incorrect statements that riled up a lot of people and directly hurt the uninvolved. I haven’t yet seen an acknowledgement of that or an apology from her for that irresponsibility. (If I’ve missed it, please let me know.) If Brownstein should lose his job, should she continue in hers?

  5. Ed Cunard Says:

    I hope you aren’t saying that Bourgeois is more to blame than Brownstein…? It would appear from his statement that his actions were not as horrible as originally thought, they were still inexcusably wrong.

    It depends on what people are “more to blame” for. We don’t know enough about what happened at Mid Ohio to make an informed decision (not that that stops anyone, of course, myself included). What we can, I think, be comfortable in putting blame on is how the issue has been discussed, and the tone for that has been set by Bourgeois, for better or for worse.

    I think both Buzzscope and FoL would be better off without Bourgeois as a spokesperson, but it’s not my place to say that she should be removed from either position. Throughout this all, she and others accused some who have criticised her columns or the FoL fund of being heartless or of having some kind of agenda (and, honestly, in a few cases, that’s probably not too far off the mark). While I don’t doubt for a minute that she thought she was doing the right thing and handling everything perfectly well, “the road to hell” and all of that.

  6. ~chris Says:

    I’m saying that putting a name to both sides of the situation made a lot of people reconsider some knee-jerking that was going on.

    I agree. Here are comments I made on April 12; let me know if you find them to be knee-jerky. One admission of knee-jerkiness: I did assume that Taki Soma was telling the truth as she saw it.

    I am now making a second assumption that Charles Brownstein is telling the truth as he sees it. In his statement, he says “I feigned to lift up her shirt.” That alone is inexcusably wrong; can anyone sitting comfortably at their computer honestly tell Taki Soma that she should have interpreted his actions as only feigning?

    And I’m saying that I think, whatever happened, Brownstein has presented himself better than Bourgeois has. She made factually incorrect statements that riled up a lot of people and directly hurt the uninvolved.

    Since Brownstein’s “stupid, drunken prank” (his words), where he directly hurt another person, yes (I’m again assuming his statement is truthful) he seems to have presented himself well.

    I disagreed with John’s statement that “the biggest blame should be directed at [Bourgeois],” if his thinking included Brownstein’s initial act.

    Complaints can be made about Bourgeois without comparing her actions, in total, to Brownstein’s, in total.

    I haven’t yet seen an acknowledgement of that or an apology from her for that irresponsibility.

    For the indirect harm done to an innocent man, I’d like to see an apology as well.

    If Brownstein should lose his job, should she continue in hers?

    I believe Brownstein should face some measure of punishment or penance (does he disagree?). I didn’t say he should lose his job, nor that he shouldn’t. If he and Soma cannot agree on such punishment, then it is for the law to decide. CBLDF was correct to conduct a third-party investigation.

    If Bourgeois is to be penalized for mistakes made, it should be based on what she did, not in comparison to any penalty given to Brownstein.

    As I said, I fear that this is going to hurt both CBLDF and FoL. It already has good people arguing with each other. :-(
    I hope I’ve been able to clarify my position. I don’t think you and I are in much disagreement, Johanna.

  7. ~chris Says:

    Follow-up: it has been suggested that an apology from Bourgeois could be a bad idea from a legal standpoint. (Just read the post after the one linked to in my last comment.)

  8. ~chris Says:

    Follow-up #2: Further thought from me after a night to think things over here.

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