Tuesday, June 01, 2021

A so-called comics historian sides against Lois Lane's Jewish creators

Tim Hanley is a Canadian comics historian of a most left-wing leaning who's written books about Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and other such comic women, but apparently out of some kind of male feminist belief system. And guess who's side he chose to take at a time when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Israeli/Jewish brethren around the world are suffering horror stories at a time when antisemitism arose during the Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, and Islamic riots in cities like Lod? It wasn't Siegel/Shuster's ethnic relatives: He's dedicating his work on a Betty & Veronica history book to a cause going against any and all of comicdom's Jewish creators? Well...this is certainly telling. Some gratitude he shows there alright, after all the problems comicdom's Jews went through, and tried to address in their time. Now, some charlatan desecrates their memory by taking a position that's hurtful to their Israeli brethren. Even Archie had their share of Jewish contributors decades before, and these repellent promotional posts are a slap in the face to their memory as well. He even posted the following: So he buys into this transsexuality propaganda too, and what next, will he throw his full support behind allowing men claiming to be the opposite sex into bathrooms reserved for the ladies? This is why Israeli-American columnist Ruthie Blum once lamented the failure of schools to teach boys to defend a woman's honor and dignity these days.

I've taken a look at a few other subjects on Mr. Hanley's own site, and he sure does offer a lot of telling clues what's wrong with his thinking. His site, with entries spanning at least a decade, is a stunning goldmine of absurd social justice propaganda. Here's an early entry, where he blabbers about underrepresentation of women in the industry:
Women account for half of all human beings on the planet, but in terms of making comic books they are seriously under-represented. This shouldn’t be a shocking piece of information to anyone… we all know that comics are a male-dominated industry. But we know this anecdotally, not with solid numbers behind it or breakdowns of what women are doing where. Thus, this women in comics statistics project.

Comic books come out every Wednesday, and for all of 2011 I will examine the comics released each week by the industry’s two biggest companies, Marvel and DC Comics, and chart the credits along gender lines. [...]
And movies and music aren't male-dominated in any way? Let's put it this way. It's not like the industry never did anything wrong. I've commented on their most greivous errors for over 15 years now. But the problem with his arguments is that, despite any attempts to persuade to the contrary, he largely refuses to consider talent and merit important factors for hiring, and past lady contributors like Marie Severin and Ann Nocenti don't seem to mean anything to him. Yet what does is the Big Two:
Why Marvel and DC: Ideally, I’d look at every comic from every company, but a) that’s a TON of comics, and b) full credits are really hard to find for smaller companies (but if you are a non-Marvel or non-DC company that would like to send me all their credits pages each week, I would gladly chart them up!!). Plus, together Marvel and DC account for nearly 70% of the comics sold in a given month, along with well over 80% of the top 300 comics sold. So yes, there’s going to be a mainstream, superhero bias to these stats… but the vast majority of the comic books people are buying will be accounted for.
He fails to understand a]not many women may want to work for them even now because of the shoddiest examples they published at the time Quesada/DiDio were in charge, where a number of items they put out were full of reprehensible mistreatment of women through violence and such, b]they may feel there's no creative freedom, and the universe wide crossovers are no improvement, and c]in addition, the job just doesn't pay much money any more than animation studios do. Yet I can't say that in what I've read, I've seen him arguing women should get into the gigs for the glory more than the money either. So his statistics for ladies' employment over the past decade are meaningless if he's going to be so fluff-coated. He also said:
So there you have it. I think this will be very interesting… I’m not trying to call out publishers, or suggest they go start hiring women just to look better or anything. I’m just trying to provide numbers for something that we all know is anecdotally true. Frankly, comic books have been aimed at males for decades now, and most of the people working on them today were the boys to which they were marketed. The industry hasn’t created an environment where one should expect a fair number of female creators… it’s very much a boy’s club. And gender isn’t the only divide; it’s very much a white boy’s club too. But charts are fun, and I am curious as to what the current status of women in comic book industry actually is, not just anecdotally. Ultimately, perhaps seeing how the data breaks down will lead us to think about why the numbers are the way they are.
My my, this is also telling. If we take the Big Two's superhero output as an example, what's so wrong with Stan Lee for one forming a boys' club? Besides, if anybody wants to form a publisher that can promote a girls' club, they're quite welcome, yet socialist mentality's dictated that established franchises must be exploited almost entirely to push the shoddy agenda Mr. Hanley has for over a decade now. Big problem: from what I've checked on his site, I've never seen him complain why Joe Quesada and Dan DiDio should be fired from the publishers, as the latter was last year. And that's one of the reasons why they were able to hold onto their positions as long as they did, or still are: nobody's willing to stand up and boldly say why those truly accountable must be giving the pink slip. Here's another post he wrote that's quite insulting, where he implied something was wrong with "60-year old white guys" like the late Len Wein being hired to script miniseries for DC 6 years back:
I fail to see how a group of men with an average age of 62.3 years old are, to quote DiDio, “the best writers for these characters” when the task is to freshen up and contemporize them. All of these men are certainly talented writers and I respect their work and, for several of them, their legacies, but the last thing the superhero world needs more of is old, white guys reintroducing characters and trying to make them relevant and interesting. That rarely goes well. Especially when so many of them have such close ties to past incarnations of the characters. This is where you introduce new voices and new talent, find the NEW Marv Wolfman and the NEW Len Wein, not bring back the same old creators. This would be a KILLER lineup in 1987, but it’s not 1987 anymore.
It's not a time of sanity anymore either, and Hanley was only precipitating a terrible situation where whites, no matter their age or sex, are discriminated against. Would he have said this about veteran black writers like Christopher Priest? I doubt he'd be that stupid, but then, why is it okay to say Wein and Marv Wolfman are obsolete because of their age, merely because they're white (and Jewish)? Again, I can't say I've noticed much criticism leveled by Hanley against DiDio for more valid reasons, like the obnoxious misogyny he injected into comics during the mid-2000s, and however he was handling the DC output around this later time, it was no improvement, artistically or otherwise. Hanley got some pushback about this post, and he attempted to minimize the damage with the following:
I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that guys like Wein, Wolfman, et al. shouldn’t be getting work. They’re legends. However, a line written primarily by white men who’ve been in comics for decades sends, intentionally or not, a bad message about diversity.

I understand that comics is a rough industry for older creators, and my problem isn’t with them for doing the gigs. But it’s also a tough industry for women and POC who have been rarely afforded the opportunity to break into the Big Two in the first place.

My issue is with DC for not putting together a more diverse and representative line. Hire some old white guys, sure, but ALSO hire woefully underrepresented folks getting their first shot at superheroes. Doing just the former doesn’t send a great message.

And for everyone going “But DC’s June #DCYou books!” Yes, ONE TIME DC put together a slightly more diverse lineup. SLIGHTLY. That doesn’t mean they can stop doing that now, or that it’s cool to even things out with these new minis.
Gee, he sure was pretty frantic to offer an alleged apology. Since when hasn't the industry been hiring "underrepresented folks" like Blacks/Asians/Latinos? I've written before about Matt Baker, the guy most famous for illustrating Phantom Lady of the Freedom Fighters. And DC practically has a man of Asian descent, Jim Lee, in a prominent executive role, even if his politics are sadly reprehensible. Also, considering how bad the Big Two became artistically and in terms of creative freedom, what's the use of working there at this time anyway? Nobody creative will benefit, no matter their racial background. And turning back to Hanley, a big problem with his argument is that, despite any attempts to sound otherwise, he's putting diversity entirely above artistic talent and merit. If such are lacking, what's the use of hiring a particular writer/artist at all? Here's some examples of the replies he got on the page proper, including:
Ageist Bigot
And then:
I get that you’re trying to take a “progressive” look and stance to modern comics, you just seem a little misguided here. Not to mention that focussing so much on the age of the writers involved makes you look completely ageist. A balance needs to be found between modernisation and classic, and judging by their current line up of monthlies and these new minis announced, DC look to be doing a great job in the regard. As I said, DC You is for everyone, not just young new readers.
The line was a failure regardless, and Hanley's "progressive" ideology is exactly what's wrong with him. It practically led him to take the PLO's side at the expense of Siegel/Shuster's Jewish brethren. Another reply:
That was an absurdly ageist take on this.
Ageist racist bigot.
And then, better still:
You are incredibly racist. How many more times could you mention “white guys”? How did this medium start out? Oh yeah, white guys. I’m tired of the white male being singled out. Do there need to be more women and people of other colors in comics? YES. Do the people who have established themselves need to be kicked to the side like leftover meatloaf? NO. Stop usurping the past and trying to replace current writers/artists and the heroes they created. Bring in fresh talent of all colors shapes and sizes. Create new characters. Enough with the whining and wimpering. You are not entitled to erase the past. Create your future.
Sadly, we're 6 years past this moment and Mr. Hanley's still plying his loathsome, petty ideologies at the expense of classic creations. Here's another good one:
“Old white guys.” Because there’s nothing fresh and contemporary to be found in the works of 60-year-old white guys. Wait, how old was Steve Jobs again?

As a Hispanic 30something man, I am sick and tired of the “White old men” boogeyman.

I am sorry, Wolfman -created- Raven. Made the Titans THE best selling book in DC during the 80s. If someone deserves to write a mini on Raven, it’s going to be goddamned Marv Wolfman, especially since Pfeiffer and Lobdell have made such a terrible spectacle of the Teen Titans.

You know, I understand that you are trying to advocate for diversity, but I thought that diversity meant inclusiveness, and that means *everybody*- not simply brown people like me and people with a strict cutoff at the age of 30something, brandishing a “Go Away” sign being waved in the face of any pale old dude.

As much as I respect your very insightful book on Wonder Woman, I am going to have to call you out and say- no, Tim, you are acting like a total ass right here, right now. Part of being actually diverse and individualistic includes listening to people who are often discarded and disregarded, people whom idiots and fools consider not worth anyone’s time because they assume they have nothing of worth.

Like “old” people. You assume they cannot create anything fresh, you assume they cannot find new angles, you assume they cannot tell new stories, that they cannot possibly have anything into which they can pour their considerable experience that could possibly fascinate anyone

Because old people are only good for sitting back on their laurels and do nothing except ushering in the next generation gracefully, while tending to their gardens, kittens and tea kettles. Old me-


What is that?

Over there- yes, I do believe it is the shadow of Sir Terry Pratchett, Tim.

He’s staring at you with such a look.

I cannot fathom what words he would say to you, but I imagine they are the kinds of words that would leave very strong scorch marks in the air.

You are a disappointment, Tim Hanley. For someone who allegedly admires Wonder Woman for her message of compassion and acceptance, you have demonstrated a very ugly side of yourself.
On that, I fully agree. Hanley's a hypocritical leftist who even goes out of his way to support the wrong sides of an issue, and whether he's uninformed, it's still no excuse. Mainly because well before this, he was already pandering to Islamophilia, and gushing over some of G. Willow Wilson's worst propaganda, here being Alif the Unseen:
I also really liked that not only is the strongest and bravest character in the book a woman, but Dina’s a woman who’s chosen to wear the niqab, the black veil. Lately debates have raged about veiling and whether or not it should be outlawed, and most of these conversations seemed to ignore the issue of choice for a woman herself. The decision to veil or not became her father or husband forcing her to wear it OR the state forcing her not to. Now, of course many women are forced to wear a veil who don’t want to, but there are also women who DO want to. Dina chooses to wear the niqab even against the wishes of her family because it means something to her, and she’s no weak-willed wallflower. Being devout to Islamic law and being a strong woman aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, and Dina was a great character who walked that line.

SIDENOTE: Veiling is a super complex issue, even if you agree that it should be a matter of choice for the woman. For example, sure a woman might choose to wear a veil, but is the religion and culture that encourages veiling so inherently patriarchal and oppressive to women that choosing to wear the veil is actually just participating in your own subjugation? And even if it is, I suppose you should have the freedom to so subjugate yourself, right? I don’t have any answers… I just very much appreciated how Wilson addressed the issue in the novel and made it Dina’s choice.
As somebody who finds the Haredi/ultra-Orthodox lifestyle demeaning to women, even if it's not going as far as Islam's belief a woman should be veiled (although there are some clans who made use of it, and even a cult called Lev Tahor made use of similar outfits), I find it repellent Mr. Hanley would take such a lenient position on the whole notion such self-isolation from society is acceptable, and his ostensible admittance there's women forced against their will to wear such denigrating outfits does nothing to alleviate concerns. It goes without saying I cannot accept such outfits in any religion, not even Catholicism's concept of the nun's wimple dress, because it all makes women's sexuality and beauty out to look like the worst thing that could happen, and is insulting a woman's body. Or, put another way, it's insulting God by extension, since God gave women their physical attributes, and now, look where things have wound up by extension in an era where the left is denigrating both women and men, and indoctrinating them into sex-change operations that can do serious harm, along with encouraging rejection of the opposite sex for the sake of homosexuality. That Mr. Hanley lacks a clear answer on whether women should be encouraged to accept the degrading idea of veiling themselves is another serious problem with his approach. It's no better than an inability to express a clear opinion on whether punk lifestyles like mohawks and noserings are healthy for the mind and body, let alone cocaine abuse. Mr. Hanley is shameful. He doesn't even consider apostates from Islam who find that abandoning the Religion of Peace gives them a much better perspective on life.

Here's also something he said about Frank Cho:
This weekend, artist Frank Cho announced on his Facebook page that he’ll be drawing variant covers for Wonder Woman when the series relaunches this June as part of DC’s “Rebirth” line. Several sites are reporting that he’ll be on the book for a year, and since it’s shipping bi-monthly that means 24 covers. Cho is an artist best known for doing sexy pin-ups and while his work isn’t really my jam, he’s certainly very good at what he does. He’s also drawn some cool, non-hypersexualized stuff when reined it, and hopefully he brings some of that restraint to Wonder Woman. Cho’s got definite skills. However, he’s also a real twit.

It all started a while back when Marvel inexplicably decided that it would be a fun idea to hire famed erotica artist Milo Manara to draw variant covers starring their female characters. He did a Spider-Woman cover that had the character bizarrely positioned with her butt poised high in the air, and the cover drew a lot of criticism. It was poorly drawn, and the sexualized pose wasn’t a good reflection of the contents of the new Spider-Woman series. Marvel eventually decided not to release the cover.
Umm, they did release it, but with a large Spider-Woman logo over the supposedly offending part, whose only mistake was that it just wasn't very appealing artistically. By the way, is that good manners to call somebody a "twit", just like that? For somebody who'd surely consider himself a public figure, Hanley's setting a pretty poor example.
For some reason, Frank Cho decided that this was the hill he wanted to die on. He did a commission of Spider-Gwen on a blank sketch cover, mimicking the Manara pose. When folks were all, “Come on, man,” Cho blasted the “small group of angry and humorless people ranting against my DRAWING of a pretty woman,” telling them that they should “just grow a sense of humor and relax.” He then doubled down on the pose, drawing Harley Quinn in the same position. Over the past year, he’s done several of these pieces, reveling in the controversy he’s causing and proudly posting them on the internet like he’s some sort of brave rebel (he’s not).

The reaction to Cho’s pieces have brought him some vocal defenders, many of whom are the sort of men (they’re all men) who use the term “social justice warrior” unironically. They see Cho as a defender of free speech, a valiant hero saving the comic book industry from the scourge of evil feminists who are ruining their funny books. Cho tried to capitalize on the support of these dopes by following the posting of one of his sketches with a campaign where he sold “Friends of Cho” t-shirts. The ad for the shirts asked, “Are you outraged by the outrage?” and offered his fans the opportunity to stand with him (he only sold 21 one of them online).
So what he's saying is every artist of Cho's caliber has no female fans? I'm think that's disputable too. Does this also mean Hanley believes Spider-Man, for instance, isn't their funnybook? I guess that sums it up. It's too bad that since this was written, Cho had to go and attack Comicsgate using the F-word, and alienated a lot of people when he could've avoided causing trouble. But speaking of Comicsgate, look what Hanley said the other year about Blake Northcott:
...Elsewhere, Blake Northcott is co-writing Catwoman this month, which I am less excited about. She’s been ComicsGate adjacent for a while now, and I’m not terribly thrilled when anyone associated with that hate group lands a mainstream gig.
Strange, aside from her being a leftist, I don't think she ever said she supported the campaign. I guess her refusal to actually come out against it is why he decided she was. But look at that - when ideological divides come into the picture, suddenly, a man who writes sugarcoated takes on many items related to lady writers decides he's against her. In any case, she's largely disappeared from comics over the past year, possibly because now, she's working on films and TV.

Here's more on Hanley's predictable gushing over the Muslim Ms. Marvel book:
While Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez are set to relaunch Captain Marvel this March, a new character is taking over Carol Danvers’ old identity of Ms. Marvel in February. Kamala Khan is an American teen girl of Pakistani origin, and when she discovers she has super powers, including the ability to change shapes, she takes the mantle of her hero Ms. Marvel.

The book is written by G. Willow Wilson, who has done some fantastic comic work including the Vertigo graphic novel Cairo and the recent CrossGen/Marvel mini-series Mystic. Her novel Alif the Unseen is also absolutely fantastic. Kamala is Muslim, and Wilson is a convert to Islam, giving her a unique perspective for writing the character. The art is by Adrian Alphona, best known for his great work on Runaways. He’s also Canadian, which makes him extra cool. The cover above is by Sara Pichelli, who I hope is the regular cover artist for the series because she’s super good.

This book sounds interesting, boasts a stellar creative team, and is a new and original direction for a superhero title. It’s also exactly what Marvel needs given some recent unfortunate trends at the company.
And by that, he means "too sexy" for his political/ideological beliefs, right? This guy is truly disgusting with his leftism, and of course, his automatic support was a precursor for his recent pro-Hamas, anti-Israeli propaganda, that, interestingly enough, ignores what another famous woman, Golda Meir, said regarding "palestine".

Now, another item prior to release of the first Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot, where he attacks Fox News for all the wrong reasons:
First, they got upset about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume because it didn’t have the halter top and short shorts that they liked, or the patriot markings of the classic outfit. Then, somewhat bizarrely, they also took issue with the dark colour scheme and the fact that Wonder Woman has to share her movie debut with Superman and Batman, which was an odd moment for me to say the least. Hearing people on Fox News say things I actually agreed with made me re-evaluate my entire life and every decision I’ve ever made, but after that life crisis I continued on with the video and things got ridiculous again.
Nowhere near as ridiculous as Hanley's politics. And at the end, he let slip what's really wrong with his visions:
Anyway, that was some great work by Fox News, getting outraged about a comic story from four years ago in the most offensive and sexist ways possible. I don’t understand why these people have a network. Why do you let them talk, America? I mean, I understand free speech and all, but they’re just so goddamn dumb.
Gee, if you don't like their alleged rightist leanings, don't watch them! I'm not fooled by Hanley's supposed insistence he "understands" free speech values either, and his accusations of sexism are pathetically cheap. If I were an artist and created a rabbi's daughter wearing a bikini, and he made accusations of sexism, I'd be furious. He's giving a very bad impression of a Canadian leftist, that's for sure. But, he sure does reveal quite a bit more what he thinks of men who love women in the following review of a WW comic by Wilson from 2019:
I’m very much enjoying this identity crisis of the gods. First, we have Ares wanting to give up war for justice. That’s gone quite poorly so far, of course, due to his engrained toxic masculinity more than anything else, but it’s been a very interesting turn for the character. And now, Aphrodite wants to separate herself from love. She doesn’t seem to have a plan of where to go from there, what new cause to champion, if any. She’s just tired of being’s love representative.
It sounds like we have quite a double whammy here. On the one hand, Ares embodies that atrocious anti-heterosexual propaganda called "toxic masculinity". On the other hand, Aphrodite doesn't want to represent the concept of love anymore? But then, it's long been apparent many far-leftists are thrilled to stuff as much propaganda into their stories as possible.

I'm glad I don't own any of Hanley's history books. Disgraceful people like him with such loathsome politics tend to be the least reliable on these pop culture subjects anyway. If they could spout all this reprehensible tommyrot, why should we expect them to be the most accurate on any subject since their ideology could play into their approach? Why should we even believe they supposedly don't approve of Fredric Wertham, who had similar positions? If this is how men like Hanley intend to ply their trade, nobody with common sense should waste their money on his publications. Again, let's be clear, he's desecrated the Jewish originators of the industry, including, but not limited to, Siegel, Shuster, Lee, Kirby and even Wein, among others. Why, now that I think of it, the worst part of Mr. Hanley's propaganda is that he's engaged in otherizing the people who made superhero comics possible in the first place.

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