Irritated Again


Oh, comics industry, do you have to do all these things to disappoint the polar bear? Do you really?

So first, there’s this bit of news that’s had the comics news sites roiling over the past few days: Geoff Johns will no longer be writing “Green Lantern.” This is considered so earth-shatteringly important that you can see multiple articles devoted to Johns and GL on all the big sites.

The thing is, this isn’t important. The only reason anyone cares is because Geoff Johns is one of the people running DC Comics (into the ground, he added venomously), and because his devotion to Green Lantern is so overblown that he’s got the company publishing four different GL comics — the same number as the Superman-related comics. We can pretty well be guaranteed that Johns will eventually pick up some new character obsession, if he doesn’t just insist that DC start publishing a dozen “Aquaman” comics.

What else does DC think is important for the comics world? Well, they’re going to let bigoted has-been douche Orson Scott Card, still coasting on the positive reputation he got from writing “Ender’s Game” in ’85, and now better known for being a homophobic freak, write some Superman stories in a digital comic.

Now that’s a real WTF moment, DC.

And you know that DC was probably entirely expecting this, if not actively excited about it. Card’s background and reputation isn’t a secret. You mention his name in nerd circles, and you’re stone guaranteed to get as many people who hate him for being a gay-bashing scumbag as there are who love him for being the author of one of science fiction’s most beloved books. Heck, you can find people who love “Ender’s Game” but still hate Card for being a gay-bashing scumbag. His reputation is inextricably tied to the fact that he really, really hates gay people.

And DC, a company that has more and more often marketed its comics by trolling and insulting comics readers, decided this sounded like a public relations triumph. They knew it’d be controversial, they knew it’d really get the outrage pumping — and courting controversy and outrage is all DC really knows how to do these days. They certainly don’t care about quality stories, because Card hasn’t written anything more impressive than his homophobic screeds in at least a decade.

But really, you know what bugged me the most today? More than the foofaraw about Geoff Johns quitting one of his bland superhero comics? More than one of the Big Two embracing a bigot for the sake of cheap publicity and easy HuffPo hits? How about Don Rosa, the chronicler of Disney’s duck comics for several decades and a man second only to Carl Barks himself as one of the Scrooge McDuck creators, quitting comics completely, partly because he’s getting old and his eyesight is fading, but also because Disney can reprint his work any time they want to, put his name on the cover as a selling point, and not pay him a single dime. Yeah, not even a lucky one.

Seriously, comic book fans, this is way more important than one of DC’s bigwigs flouncing off and paying the comics news sites to freak out about it.

This is a depressingly familiar story. The comics publishers have never shown much interest in supporting the geniuses who’ve made them rich, and it’s absolutely ridiculous that Disney markets their Scrooge McDuck collections with Rosa’s name but won’t pay him any royalties or anything else in compensation. That’s infuriating and just sad.

Don Rosa deserves better. And we all deserve a better, less noxious comic book industry.


  1. Buryak Said,

    February 14, 2013 @ 4:29 am

    I hate Geoff Johns. He is a terrible writer. Sure he can write human drama and all that, but he`s stolen pretty much all his ideas. He watches a movie and then thinks, `This would be great for my Green Lantern comic!` Case in point: Larfleeze is Gollum. The Red Lanterns are 28 Days Later. He made the Manhunters more into Terminators than galactic sleeper agents. Indigo Lanterns have an odd likeness to Avatar. I stopped reading his stuff, pretty much after the appearance of the Red Lanterns, so I`m unsure if he`s stolen any other movie ideas, but these are prominent to me. His stolen stuff aside, his heavy reliance on death too shows a lack of ingenuity (maturity) to develop a decent villain or to progress a story. Identity Crisis, the whole Siniestro Corps. arc or any of his arcs, for that matter, on Green Lantern is heavy on the body count. Not just named characters, but tally up all the civilians death he uses to illustrate just how “bad” someone is ridiculous. Captain Cold, The Shark, the reintro of the Manhunters, the fishmen in 52’s Aquaman… anyone he introduces in his stories have killed civilians without a second thought. Johns sucks. Gay-basher Card sucks. And Disney sucks. The comic industry sure knows how to piss people off.

  2. scottslemmons Said,

    February 14, 2013 @ 5:48 am

    I think Johns used to be better. Back when he was writing JSA, before he became the Hottest Writer in the Biz, I felt like he was writing stuff that was a lot more fun. At some point, though, I think he started drifting into hackwork…