The TCJ 2015 Year-in-Review Spectacufuck: Part IV


  • * Images from January 2015 included a tweet from Keith Gessen, one of the authors that signed a letter protesting the decision by PEN American Center to award Charlie Hebdo with a Freedom of Expression Courage Award after the murders. His explanation for his reasons for signing that letter is here, though I disagree with his reasoning. Here is Adam Gopnik writing from the other side about the PEN controversy.
  • * Images from February 2015 included an image from the comment section from the Uproxx article, "The Guardian Art Critic doesn't Understand why Comic Books Aren't Just Pretty Pictures”, by that article’s author, as well as a comment from Reddit. Images also included an unrelated tweet of Dan Slott tweeting at a random fan he’d found out on the internet-- the tweet was screen-captured by a pro-Gamergate blog prior to Slott deleting the tweet. You can read more about Slott deleting the tweet here. Finally, Tony Harris responding to a movie critic “spoiling” the life story of Alan Turing is from his Facebook page, and was found here. Here is the article in question by Dana Stevens -- uhhh, spoiler warnings? For human history?
  • * Images from March 2015 included a headline from Bleeding Cool about DC’s newsstand prices, and a tweet from Erik Larsen that was widely pilloried. I think a little unfairly-- other comic creators seemed to read a lot into Larsen’s initial tweets that I don’t think is there, in order to imply a “I want to have boners” component to what Larsen was saying. But Larsen’s tweets were hardly well-written either. Nor did they make particularly great points. And his subsequent efforts to defend himself ranged from dopey to intensely terrible (e.g. his interviews with pro-Gamergate websites).
  • * Images from April 2015 included the cover for Heroes for Hire #13 (Marvel’s statement at the time: “I think people are reading way too much into that cover than was ever intended… HFH is a book that features two strong, lead female protagonist who kick major ass; somehow folks have forgotten to focus on that”), and a panel from New Avengers #35 (about which the writer was quoted as saying, “There wasn’t anything sexual to it, except that her costume happens to be a bikini”). Photographs of men in masks wearing No Ma’am shirts, of course, comes from the television program Married... with Children. The photograph of Gamergate in action is courtesy of Twitter.
  • * Images from May 2015 included a headline from a French article about Le Twixgate, the title image of an Archie Comics Kickstarter that was cancelled after criticism (and which led to some Facebook drama between Waid and others); the Gerry Conway headline refers to an incident where Conway charged that DC had changed its payment policies in a way he described as “despicable.” Conway later apologized to DC.
  • * Images from June 2015 included tweets from John Byrne Says..., a Twitter account that reports things John Byrne says on a John Byrne message board (but is not John Byrne’s account, as, to his credit as a human being, he does not have a Twitter account). Two CBR headlines, one about Rob Liefeld, the other about Hercules. Stan Lee’s response to being told that Iceman is gay was, “Wow, I never knew that.” Michelle Rodriguez’s statements about white superheroes were made to TMZ. Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans had called Black Widow a slut. Evans issued an apology, Renner not so much.
  • * Images from July 2015 included a tweet from DC Comics and a photograph of Killer Mike at Busy Bee in Atlanta with Bernie Sanders. The other images seem self-explanatory.
  • * Images from August 2015: nothing to add there. All actual headlines.
  • * Images from the interview with Tim O’Neil included screenshots from blogs reblogging Tom Brevoort’s Tumblr (many of which I saw thanks to your pals at the Wait What podcast); a headline about the rape-y sounding DC Mad Max comic; a Cosmic Booknews headline about the FF; a Bleeding Cool headline about an “outrage” that arose about a comic where Nightwing got anally probed without warning, which upset some folks; a headline from GeekMom about an Aquaman comic where Aquaman gets tricked into sleeping with a shapeshifting female villain, which the authors found rape-y (which might remind some DC readers of one of the times things got rape-y in a similar way with Nightwing; though of course, the most famous time Batman’s ex-sidekick got sexually assaulted probably remains the time highlighted in this article). A screenshot of Cullen Bunn talking about DC rape comics he’d written was taken from CBR’s forums-- it’s discussed here. There’s another headline from 2016 about the FF from Newsarama. And the Lobo headline is from The Outhousers, though it is also discussed over at Women Write About Comics under the headline, “Yes, There’s Rape in Lobo #9”. The interview with Tim O’Neil was slightly truncated since this whole thing got a little long (kind of get away from us a little, this one), and we thank Tim again for his enormous patience. (I picked the images after the interview, so if you have any issues with any of the juxtapositions of image and text, that would be my fault).
  • * Images from September 2015 include an Associated Press headline about Yogi Bear dying which was taken from Cartoon Brew. The Patton Oswalt headline is from a right-wing site-- the tweets are also discussed over here. Oswalt would later delete his dumb-assed tweets and then pretend to be on some kind of “high road,” as part of a depressing self-sabotage campaign to have a lame internet persona destroy much of the goodwill he’d built for himself over years of effort. The whole Joss Whedon quitting Twitter story was something we didn’t have space to cover but watching people overreact to a C+ director quitting a D- social media platform (plus some odd stuff Whedon said when he explained his decision) was all very, very funny at the time, A+ me laughs. Oh, and the Todd Mcfarlane tweets are screenshots I took from the time he got hacked in October. Here was Mcfarlane’s response to the hack.
  • * Images from December include a panel from a recent DC comic Superman/Wonder Woman #2, written by Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne, that has gotten significant attention. According to The Independent, “DC Entertainment said they would not be commenting on the error.” All of the headlines are real, in case that somehow wasn’t clear.

Our thanks to the people reporting on comics this year, especially anyone who I linked to above or anywhere else in this mess, for covering the year’s events. That sometimes didn’t seem like such a fun gig, and a lot of it sure wasn’t fun to read, and nobody learned anything, but let’s do it again, soon, anyways. Because I heart you.

Finally, there were some stories in 2015 we simply did not have time to cover. We encourage you to find out more about 2015 in comics at your local library. But we close on a final quick roundup of those stories-- and we ask that when you read this, you imagine it being set to the music of Billy Joel’s "We Didn’t Start the Fire". (Or "Captain Jack". Or The Bosum Buddies theme song. Or the one where it’s like “heart attack ack ack ack” -- I don’t know what that’s called, but we’ll accept the “ack ack ack” song, sure. Really, any Billy Joel song will do, except "Uptown Girl" because even jokes have limits.)

So, without further ado (and this is not an exhaustive list):

  • * Arthur Suydam took up too many flea market tables at a comic convention, which made Jim Zub so mad he almost very nearly risked mentioning Suydam’s name in a tweet; Suydam's antics became a major thing for comics creators, who care a lot about their flea market tables, with Mark Waid, for example, tweetingBusy contacting every show I'm doing the rest of this year to warn them that if Sudyam pulls this shit there, I'll make it LOUD and UGLY.”-- insert joke here;
  • * Ted Rall accused the Los Angeles Times of being instructed by the LAPD to fire him, and of using a 2001 jaywalking incident as a pretext. This was all extremely tragic, just knowing that people who care about police corruption in LA had their misery compounded in 2015 by having to look at Ted Rall cartoons;
  • * Brian Churilla wrote a Tumblr post about the low pay of those working in comics;
  • * Ales Kot has a Twitter account -- hijinx ensued repeatedly;
  • * Comic people got angry at Bleeding Cool for announcing upcoming Marvel comics before Marvel could announce them;
  • * Hannah Means Shannon, a Bleeding Cool editor-in-chief who gave a softball interview to Scott Allie, insisted that Dark Horse had handled Allie internally, and was “overheard disparaging Asselin’s post at NYCC,” was then hired by Dark Horse, tainting Bleeding Cool’s reputation for journalism even more than that time they announced upcoming Marvel comics or that time they published literally anything else;
  • * Some people tried to talk about whether or not Red Wolf’s costume was stereotypical-- Marvel responded in usual fashion;
  • * an awful situation which we can not possibly comment upon;
  • * Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek fought with Gamergate animes after a Gamergate person was asked to leave a convention, or something;
  • * Wikileaks had tidbits interesting to comics fans including Ike Perlmutter disclosing why he didn’t want to see movies about female superheroes and a pitch to turn Spider-Man into a EDM fan that nerds overreacted to;
  • * Colleen Doran was banned from Facebook for posting a 90-year-old photo which featured a female nipple; and
  • * Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar upset moms.

We love you, Billy Joel! Thank you, Comics in 2015! You’ve been a beautiful audience! Especially the Ladies! Actually, especially the men — look at these handsome guys! Let’s hear a round of applause for the men, ladies! Good night!