DC’s Strategy to Raise Sales

From the online diary of a former DC Comics assistant editor (link no longer available), an explanation of the decision to base a superhero comic series, Identity Crisis, on Sue Dibny’s rape and murder:

My theoretical comic company, which, for the theoretical purposes of my theoretical memoir, I’ll call Gilgongo! Comix, was tired of being “pushed around” in the sales wars and in the court of fanboy opinion (such as it was). So with all the red-nosed gumption and determination of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” Gilgongo! Comix decided to go badass.

They needed a rape. Because there’s nothing quite so badass as rape, lets face it. And the victim couldn’t been from the usual suspects: “The Black Raven” (done that already plus ovaries ripped out), “Bondage Queen” (wasn’t she raped like every issue–at least mentally?), “Demon-Girl” (she was already paralyzed from the last pseudo-raping and that provided all sorts of logistical nightmares for the artist).

No, they had to find the most innocent, virginal, good-natured “nice” character they could find and ravage her not once but twice.

Theoretically, this character’s name was Vicki Victim.

A whole groundbreaking limited series would be built around Vicki Victim’s rape and murder. …

Vicki Victim’s fate was sealed in a Gilgongo! Comics confab in which we explored how we could change our comics to be more “badass.” It was decided that the reason we were trailing in sales was because we were “too good-natured and nice.” This would have to stop. Our books needed a grittier edge. We needed a grittier edge.

So our books changed. There was rape, and murder, torture, death, and mutiliation. Superheroes did amoral or outright evil things and the line between good and bad was blurred.

And you know what?

Our sales improved. And this is a fact.

This would be why I don’t bother reading most corporate superhero comics any more. Not because the property owners are so cynical that they think of strategies like that … but because the fans eat it up, and I don’t particularly want to be associated with them.

The length of the quote is because I want it on the record, and the source has already wiped her blog once. Not surprisingly, she’s leaving comics (link no longer available — since Valerie D’Orazio didn’t). After her story, no one should ever ask why, or wonder why corporate American comics are so unfriendly to women, both live and in print.

You put a bunch of immature men, many of whom were very sick as children or had absent fathers or both, and all of whom escaped into over-muscled power fantasies as a result, in charge of a publishing subgroup with no prestige and little money. Several of them have never worked anywhere else, or if they have, it was at one of the few similar companies in the same industry that behave the same way. They’re still geeks, mentally, with low self-esteem and no success with women, few of whom they actually know in person, but they’re power brokers within their little world, and there are thousands like them who desperately want to be them… and you wonder why it all ends up so twisted?

I spent less than a year inside the sausage factory, and I went in knowing I could leave any moment and get a job using the same skills that paid twice as much (which I did). The people I respected there, those who had a sense of the outside world and were considerate and good to work with, have all since left as well; several of them were forced out. Those left, the ones that come to mind when I bother to think of them, I’m mostly contemptuous of. Dealing with them was like dealing with argumentative, impulsive children who had to be constantly reassured of their power and value for fear they’d throw a tantrum.

It leads to a difficult question as a woman: how do you fix the system without engaging with it, but how do you stay in a system that will destroy you?

(My apologies in advance if I’m forgetting a good one still trying to work within that system. There were also people there I didn’t know, never worked with, and can’t comment on. Sadly, it’s the bad ones that stick with you and shape your attitudes.)


39 Responses to “DC’s Strategy to Raise Sales”

  1. Bill D. Says:

    Thanks for sharing the link with us, Johanna.

  2. John Says:

    Yes, thanks! That was very interesting, if not disturbing. Please allow me to point out that the problem also extends to all creative beings in the comics world.

    It is no fun, no fair, and just ‘unjust’ to deal with these “power brokers within their little world”, as you put it. They lord their power over you, threaten that you will get nowhere in this ‘business’ without their help, and then expect you to be grateful just for being in their presense.

    Lord help us all, but it is easier for a grown-up to walk away rather than waste time fighting a losing battle.

  3. Craig Says:

    I’d love to see a company called Sausage Factory Comics rise up, run entirely by everyone who’s ever been offended by this Lowest Common Denominator type of storytelling/behaviour. There’s enough of us now, isn’t there? The money has to be out there. Walking away is taking the higher road, but walking away to plan to come back and show how it SHOULD be done is taking that higher road and claiming it.

  4. James Schee Says:

    Not important I know, but I can equate Black Raven to Black Canary, and Bondage Queen to Wonder Woman. Demon-Girl I’m coming up empty on though, and I have a feeling its obvious.

    I can’t say I’m surprised that there were situations and talks like this.

    Having been to only a handful of conventions, at all of them I was really stunned by behavior from both pros and fans.

    From a fan exclaming to another at getting the urinate next to Kurt Busiek, to a ‘pro’ I overheard talking about who someone must have slept with to get a particular assignment.

    Not all, and not even most but there were instances where I just went “cripes…. why am I into this hobby?”

  5. Don MacPherson Says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, Johanna. I expect the coming week will bring conversations aplenty about this woman’s experiences, both public and private.

    She’s a talented writer. Her prose is compelling. She says a lot about the dysfunction of the industry and the psyche of the comics fan. But there’s a lot more to it. This is material that *everyone* should see, not just those of us interested in comics.

  6. Matthew Craig Says:

    Demon-Girl is Batgirl. The scene referred to is her shooting, undressing and subsequent photographing at the hands of The Joker in THE KILLING JOKE.

    //\Oo/\\

  7. Barry Says:

    The reasons behind Identity Crisis were not surprising and fairly transparent when first reading it, though it’s always gratifiying to see one’s suspicions confirmed.

    I was recently thinking about why most comic books and their writers and artists are so awful and came up with the same conclusions you did for why the industry is so unfriendly to women. Many (though not all) of the men working in the industry grew up on comics and don’t seem to know much else, while talent in other professions tend to have worked in a professional capacity in a variety of ways, whether it be in journalism, teaching or corporate copy writing or design. Very rarely is this the case with comics. Plus it being such an insular world, mediocre talents like Brian Michael Bendis or Frank Miller are considered the cream of the crop and receive award after award, whereas in any other profession, they might not even be able to earn a living.

    Anyway, an interesting and englightening post and as always, an interesting and enlightening discussion.

  8. Chris Galdieri Says:

    This is another thanks for the link — in this case, the thanks for yet another reaffirmation of my decision from a few years back to stop reading anything in DC’s main line of books. What a revolting look inside the belly of the beast.

    I’m struck by your comments about adults who escaped into comics as kids. Comics were one of my main sources of escape when I was younger, too, but I can’t help but feel the folks at the top of the Hypothetical Comics Company described in the link learned all of the wrong lessons. What about using your talents to help other people, doing the right thing, and trying to make the world — or at least your small corner of it — a better place?

  9. Journalista » Blog Archive » Nov. 20, 2006: Vicki Victim’s rape and murder Says:

    [...] “You put a bunch of immature men, many of whom were very sick as children or had absent fathers or both, and all of whom escaped into over-muscled power fantasies as a result, in charge of a publishing subgroup with no prestige and little money. Several of them have never worked anywhere else, or if they have, it was at one of the few similar companies in the same industry that behave the same way. They’re still geeks, mentally, with low self-esteem and no success with women, few of whom they actually know in person, but they’re power brokers within their little world, and there are thousands like them who desperately want to be them… and you wonder why it all ends up so twisted?” – Johanna Draper Carlson [...]

  10. David Oakes Says:

    Actually, I do wonder why it ends up so twisted. I was a sick and father-absent child who retreated into power fantasies, with all the prestige and money of a community college math teacher. And yet I got the whole “use your powers to help others” lesson right from the begining, and find it more and more relevant to my daily life with each passing year (or four). So what happened?

    Or to put it another way, Roy Thomas grew up on comics, then fulfilled his lifelong dream of working in comics. And while you might fault the quality of writing, you can’t fault the tone. Is it merely entropy in action, with each successive generation of creators turning further and further inside themselves? (On the other hand, that first Second Generation did give us the Punisher, Wolverine, and “street crime” heroes like Black Lightning. So maybe the seeds were already sown.) Or is there something else going on with today’s writers, something outside of the industry? (Are we a nation that accept waterboarding because we watched O’Neil’s or Miller’s Batman trample civil rights for justice? Or is Geoff Johns’ death porn an acurate reflection of the zietgeist? I can’t imagine that the sales increase from Vicki Victim’s murder and rape came entirely from “in house”. So where did the new fans come from?)

    I offer this not as an excuse, or even try to rationalize the actions of the industry. Even if snuff films sell, that’s not sufficient reason to produce them. But I do think the answer will also tell us how to “fix the system”. If this is merely a swing of the cultural pendulum, you might as wel stay inside and wait it out, to be in a position to take the reigns when it turns again. And if it is causal, then you are obliged to stay inside and try and change the system no matter how futile. Not to save yourself, but the untold generations who will have to live with the consequences.

  11. Mark Fossen Says:

    I’m trying to read this as a whole, Johanna. I’m trying to get past “had absent fathers” …

    … I’m not being very successful. As David Oakes points out, wrong is wrong … it doesn’t have a thing to do with what your father did or did not do. I resent the idea that it’s some sort of excuse or explanation for treating women badly – it’s most certainly not. Whatever the events of their childhoods, these are adult men making bad decisions.

  12. Ed Sizemore Says:

    David, I think your right to point to shifts in culture as part of the reason for the current state of comics. Comics are a visual form of entertainment and have to compete with films and television for audience. I think we can all agree that television and movies have gotten more violent, gritty and sexual in the last thirty years. It only seems natural that comics would begin to follow this trend. However, neither television or movies evidence the kind of misogyny that we see in comics. It seems that comics have because a subculture that revels in this writing.

    The question is why? It might be that since comics have been so long under the radar of the general American public that it was a great place for misogynists to gather and express themselves. Comics tend to feed male escapist fantasies. Perhaps the males who rejected/reject the break down of traditional gender roles in society found comics the place to express their anger and aggravation at the changes in society. They write stories where they take out all their frustrations on the women they do have under their control. Please note: this is all a very speculative opinion of what might be going on by someone with no professional training in psychology

  13. Joe S. Walker Says:

    Might get published for its promise of insider dirt and its appeal to those seeking a good vicarious wallow in victimhood. Sure as hell wouldn’t make it for quality of writing.

  14. Tom Spurgeon Says:

    Hey, Mark:

    Describing cause and providing justification are two different exercises, so I’d give Johanna the benefit of the doubt on that point unless she were to make it explicit she’s doing both.

  15. Johanna Says:

    Mark, I’m not excusing anything — I’m just pointing out an interesting similarity in a number of backgrounds. (The paragraph you refer to, I was afraid would seem too harsh; it never crossed my mind anyone would see it as any kind of excuse.) If it explains anything, I think it explains why some people might have been drawn to superheroes so devotedly, but nothing beyond that.

    And with Joe’s comment, I see that the “blame the victim” contingent has arrived.

  16. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    Joe, demonstrating how much easier it is to discredit the critic than to address the criticism. A job awaits in the Bush administration communications office.

  17. Scott Chantler Says:

    Thanks for the link, and for putting your finger so succinctly on what I find so distasteful about the cult of the superhero. I love the old heroes, but (other than Darwyn Cooke’s NEW FRONTIER) haven’t touched a superhero comic in years. It’s also why I haven’t bothered to pursue work at “the Big Two”…it’d be telling stories I have no interest in to an audience I have no interest in communicating to.

  18. Jones, one of the Jones boys Says:

    Johanna, I agree with most of the sentiment, but I also stumbled over the paragraph about sick children with absent fathers. Without inviting you into libel, may I ask (you or your posters) whether this is really a true description of “many” of those in power at D–I mean Gilgongo! Comics? As it stands, it looks like a bit of what Freud would have called “wild analysis” (i.e. pure speculation), mixed with some obvious social stereotypes. Such (apparent) innuendo mars what is otherwise a persuasive critique-cum-diagnosis of the “big” two.

  19. Alan Coil Says:

    “…”street crime” heroes like Black Lightning.”

    Black Lightning, created by Tony Isabella, was a school teacher who was trying to make his neighborhood safer. He was married, a Baptist, and a very moral person.

  20. Alan Coil Says:

    To finish my thoughts from my previous post, including Black Lightning with Punisher and Wolverine doesn’t work for me.
    ————————
    I had already been reading that blog and was shocked to see all the previous material removed from the site.

    I didn’t know if I should read the new material as real life or fiction, but after reading your comments, I guess it’s real life. As fiction, it would be powerful writing; as real life, it is a sad commentary, both on the comics industry and the insufferable p***k who accidentally injured her. This makes me sick to my stomach.

  21. Michael Rawdon Says:

    The problem with corporate-owned comics and characters (stop me if you’ve heard me rant about this before) is that they are slaves to the whims of the corporations, who – by their nature – are hard to hold accountable for what they publish. Things like Identity Crisis and Civil War are corporate comics at their worst, being published in a wholly cynical effort to attract attention through shock value.

    Then again, DC and Marvel do publish corporate-property comics which do feel – to me, at least – like they’re truly the voice of their creators, and although they may be edited somewhat they’re not really the voice of the corporation. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, James Robinson’s Starman, Busiek and Perez’ Avengers, Morrison’s JLA, all books of varying merit where a good creator was hired for a property and he produced good work in his own voice.

    The nice thing about such comics is that love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can pretty much hold the creator accountable for the merits or flaws of the title. And that’s a good thing, because an individual creator’s voice is almost always a far more interesting thing than a corporation’s voice.

    The pendulum right now is very far on the side of the corporation among the Big Two. I figure it will swing back around someday, but I think we’re going to have to find this generation’s James Robinsons and Kurt Busieks to do it.

  22. D.S. Ellis Says:

    Well said. Like those geeky power brokers, I grew up on comics. Unlike those geeky power brokers, I still prefer that my heroes act like heroes. When will comics stop trying to out-movie the movies, out-TV TV and out-video game the video games and get back to what it does best… comic books. Lately, Sam Raimi is the only one to actually get it, it seems, and he doesn’t work in comics! Hope somone at the big two is taking notes.

  23. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    I’m not sure I would hang these books on corporate amorality. The desire to increase sales through exploitation and sensationalism existed in comics long before they were published by corporations. As Gerard Jones details in Men of Tomorrow, DC/National evolved from a mob-connected company that sold some of the most salacious pulp magazines. A tendency toward the lurid, racist and sexist was present in many of the early comic books–the “jungle” titles, some of the hardcore crime books. It didn’t take a giant, faceless corporation to make Lev Gleason or Harry Donenfeld publish that stuff–mom and pop operations can recognize dollar signs when they see them too. The appalling editorial conversations about ID Crisis that Val describes, which read like black comedy, probably aren’t too far removed from conversations Donenfeld had 75 years ago about how much nipple he could get away with showing on this month’s mad rapist cover for Spicy Detective.

    If you’re close to my age (35) then you came upon comics somewhere around 1975-1985, when the effects of the Comics Code were still being felt. I think it’s hard for some of us to see that those kind of comics, the standard by which we measure the comics of today, were themselves an aberration. Dr. Light raping Sue Dibny on that satellite, in all its pathetic anti-glory, is a straight shot from those 1920s pulps with their naked white girls being ravished by rabid scientists and jungle cannibals; from Crime Does Not pay; from the “injury to eye” covers. “Mainstream” comics has always been a seedy industry with a seedy product (with the aforementioned exception of the Comics Code era, which corresponded with the collapse of sales and loss of widespread distribution) and a seedy heart beats beneath those corporate clothes.

    Right now many DC comics are, arguably, brighter and relatively less exploitative than the books of just a couple of years ago–DC has talked about deliberately lightening the tone post-Infinite Crisis. But as Michael calls it a pendulum, that metaphor is a reminder that these less gruesome, more “respectable” comics happily coexist with the Identity Crises in a single marketing strategy. The women in refrigerators on one side of the pendulum, and a cheery Busiek Superman story on the other, are all part of one big grandfather clock.

  24. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] I don’t want to beat the subject into the ground — either you accept the sexism in superhero comics, in which case you don’t need further convincing, or you don’t, and I’ve found from experience that those folks can rationalize away most anything — but I did have a further thought spun off from some of the many thoughtful comments left at that previous post. [...]

  25. Blog@Newsarama » More than occasionally super, perhaps. Says:

    [...] I first found the blog through Johanna Draper Carlson’s blog last weekend, where she initially posted about the section about the editorial thinking behind the creation of Identity Crisis: You put a bunch of immature men, many of whom were very sick as children or had absent fathers or both, and all of whom escaped into over-muscled power fantasies as a result, in charge of a publishing subgroup with no prestige and little money. Several of them have never worked anywhere else, or if they have, it was at one of the few similar companies in the same industry that behave the same way. They’re still geeks, mentally, with low self-esteem and no success with women, few of whom they actually know in person, but they’re power brokers within their little world, and there are thousands like them who desperately want to be them… and you wonder why it all ends up so twisted? [...]

  26. Steve Says:

    I’d like to know where Johanna got her PhD in Psychology that she can so incisively dissect the dark tortured emotional underpinnings that drive the creative decisions of male comic book writers and editors, and why she hasn’t channeled her talents into a more lucrative practice than blogging.

  27. Johanna Says:

    Oooh, look, I hit a fanboy nerve! Is somebody jealous that I worked with and knew these folks and they don’t?

    (Getting linked from the Newsarama blog is SUCH a mixed bag. Some very nice people pull their content together, but some of the readers…)

  28. Steve Says:

    Not jealous at all, Johanna. Just pointing out, as others before me had done in this thread, the specious and baseless and, frankly, sexist generalizations you made about the childhood experiences and psychology of men working in the mainstream comic book industry.

    If you don’t like your opinions challenged, then perhaps you shouldn’t publicize them.

    Frankly, given your pseudo-psychological method of analysis, it doesn’t suprise me that when I challenged your opinion, rather than address the content of my argument, or provide facts and evidence to back up your own, you again resorted to baseless assumptions about my personal motivations — in this case, assuming that I’m jealous of you.

    Why would I be jealous of you when your intellectual and reasoning skills leave so much to be desired. The Internet is a very mixed bag indeed as it apparently gives any blowhard with a blog a soapbox upon which to spew their ill-informed opinions.

  29. Johanna Says:

    Steve, sweetie, I’m not responding to your “argument” because there isn’t one. All you’re doing is jumping to conclusions and namecalling… oddly enough, the same things you think I’m doing and you’re so upset about. Confronted with such hypocrisy, all I can do is laugh at you.

  30. Thomas Gerhardt Says:

    Does it sound strange that — when I was a child and read superhero comics — I not once actually questioned the fact that Wonder Woman fought evil in a bathing suit? But then, I didn’t quite get the whole “Black Canary is fighting crime with fishnets” either. It was part of the rules that Zatanna was a magician in a magician’s outfit and that Batgirl could do a mean kick with high heels. Any sexual innuendo was completely lost on me, but I DID think that ALL female crimefighters somehow wore 7 inch heels and that Superman wore his red underpants on top of things.

    To me (I was eight at the time, and there wasn’t as much sexually charged stuff on TV back then, oh yes, it was the late 70s) it all was perfectly normal and I most certainly did not see them as sex objects.

    But the stuff that is out right now, it is somehow… unsavory. Am I the only one to think that Frank Miller’s depiction of Black Canary on that ASBR was the worst kind of porn image? And don’t get me wrong, I am all for porn (if it’s good…which it never is), but I somehow feel the stuff today is geared towards someone who’s a bit creepy, but not me.

  31. Thomas Gerhardt Says:

    Oh, and also: raping Sue Dibney just for the sake of being more “mature”… was one of the things that made me stop buying most of DC Comics, with the exception of All Star Superman.

    I do vote with my wallet.

  32. Evan Waters Says:

    I have to say, I’m not comfortable with blaming this on the fact that so many comics creators are geeks or haven’t had loads of success with women. I’m a geek myself. I don’t see that as a negative influence on my writing, it’s just who I am. (And it’s not like industries populated by the more popular kinds of guys don’t have problems with institutionalized sexism.)

    It’s not like we want comics to be written only by normal people, do we?

  33. Ampersand Says:

    I have to say, I’m not comfortable with blaming this on the fact that so many comics creators are geeks or haven’t had loads of success with women.

    To some extent, Johanna’s comment matches my own experience. I’m not (and she’s not) saying that 100% of geeky guys grow up to bitterly resent women. But it’s a common enough type so I’ve run into it many times. (Someone has to be buying all those Gor novels).

    It’s like comic book shops. Not all of them have the “boy’s clubhouse” thing in which any woman who walks in is treated like The Female Thing (there either for suspicious glares or for hitting on). But it’s a common enough problem so that most of my female comic-reading friends have run into it at one time or another. We shouldn’t let our (quite admirable) desire to avoid stereotyping geeky men prevent us from seeing patterns that actually exist.

    I have to agree with Steve that the whole “sick and/or missing father” thing is painting with too broad a brush. I’m sure Johanna wouldn’t have written that it if she hadn’t run into such men a bunch of times, but I’ve known some bitterly misogynistic male geeks who grew up healthy (if wimpy) and with fathers in the house. And I can think of at least a couple of lovely, not at all woman-hating geeky men I know whose fathers were absent in their childhoods.

    Of course, Johanna did say “many,” not “all.” And I hesitate to agree with Steve at all, because I don’t want to seem like I’m endorsing what a jerk he’s acting like in this discussion, both here and at newsarama. (Nothing personal, Steve, but regardless of what you actually feel, you write as if you’ve got a ginourmous chip on your shoulder. Criticism isn’t bad, but belligerence is.)

  34. Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Sexism Among Comic Book Geeks: “The Rape Pages Are In!” Says:

    [...] At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna — who also worked in the corporate comics industry — comments: You put a bunch of immature men, many of whom were very sick as children or had absent fathers or both,1 and all of whom escaped into over-muscled power fantasies as a result, in charge of a publishing subgroup with no prestige and little money. Several of them have never worked anywhere else, or if they have, it was at one of the few similar companies in the same industry that behave the same way. They’re still geeks, mentally, with low self-esteem and no success with women, few of whom they actually know in person, but they’re power brokers within their little world, and there are thousands like them who desperately want to be them… and you wonder why it all ends up so twisted? [...]

  35. Pat (RocketeerZ) Says:

    Hey, I’m not going to claim I know any insider info on the people you are all discussing. I don’t anyone high-up at DC or Marvel personally besides the occasional meeting at a Con or repsonse on a message board. I can see Joanna’s point and her experiances are real so none of us can dispute the validity of her comments. I do have to disagree that Steve is coming across as a jerk. I don’t feel he did it to be a jerk. It seemed to me his reaction was one more of astonished wonderment than belligerent pissed offish. His statement, whether or not you agree with the thought process behind it, wasn’t a totally unwarranted one. I didn’t feel it was offense at least, but hey, it wasn’t aimed at me either. I may not agree with him, but I do have to defend his right to question what he did.

    The entire thing is impossible to sum up easily. I grew up a comic geek with an abesnt father myself. I’ve self-published comics and have a new one coming out (not that I would consider myself a “professional” comic writer), but I do not consider myself with the wrong attitude or feelings towards woman in any way. I’m sure my wife would agree. It’s pretty difficult to point at the upbringing of people to determine why they are the way they are… Johanna could be right, and I’m sure in some cases particular people’s childhood is a cause for their current behavior and mindset… and keep in mind she did say “many” not all. I think it’s a streatch for ANY of us to determine we know why anyone does ANYTHING, but we all have the ability to speculate. In the absence of any real insider knowledge myself, I have to defer to others who have had a medicon of actual experiance with comic professionals such as Johanna or Valerie.

    There is no question in my mind that there is something wrong with the mindset of the people in charge of the big two. I honestly feel that the industry as a whole would benefit from the absence of Dan Didio and Joe Quesada from their positions of power. What I’m wondering is, does anyone feel that either (or both) of these gentlemen have an adverse effect towards woman in the industry?

    I can only imagine the toll that being a woman in the comics industry takes. I can’t begin to compare any experiances in my life, so I won’t try. I myself, tend to not care at all the gender (or race or sexually orintation) of any writer or artist in the business and only really care about what I think of their work (case in point, I LOVE Gail Simone’s writing but LOTHE Devin Graysons’)

    Ok, enough rambling. Thanks.

    – Rocket

  36. Johanna Says:

    The thing that a bunch of people missed is that I never said “this is a possible cause”. I simply said that the people I’d observed all strangely had that in common.

    For what it’s worth, I think absent fathers/childhood illness explains the love of superheroes, as I said above. I don’t think it’s necessarily related to their abhorrent treatment of women.

  37. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] My little rant on corporate comic sexism was the Quote of the Month in the letter column in Powers #22. I was disappointed that it’s presented without attribution or link, just my name, and also that Bendis didn’t comment or respond. It’s just plopped in there between a near-incoherent letter and an excerpt from Tina Fey talking to Howard Stern about how nasty Paris Hilton is. (Rather like the worst impressions of Usenet, that column is.) [...]

  38. Comics Worth Reading » Guest Essay: The Absent Father Says:

    [...] My friend David Oakes sent along these thoughts, taking off from an infamous comment I made previously. I found them thought-provoking, so he granted permission to share them with [...]

  39. On The Shelves: 11/22/06 | Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    [...] reading this, I was seriously tempted to drop everything DC publishes, but that’s the baby with the [...]

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