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Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Making a More Acceptable World

Column by Steve Bennett

Published: 02/13/2013 02:35am
Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett gives us a potpourri, including comments on DC's latest moves, 2013 comics he's looking forward to, and a return to the Go Daddy Super Bowl ad.
 
I honestly prefer it when these things have some kind of theme but there are weeks when all I can manage to do is scrape together a handful of observations and staple on a couple of snide remarks.  Guess what kind of week it's been this week...
 
Johns Off Green Lantern
With the release of #20 in May, Geoff Johns' 100 issue reign/run on Green Lantern ends, to be followed by most of the other creative personnel on the other GL titles taking a walk (see "Geoff Johns Ankles 'Green Lantern'").  I've never been a particularly big fan of Johns' seemingly endless, increasingly sour space saga and its many revisions (the Guardians of the Galaxy are secretly just another bag of cosmic bastards and it turns out Hal's nemesis since the 60's Sinestro isn't so much a villain as that guy from your office you can't stand).  But credit where credit is due, thanks to Johns there’s an entire group of readers who don’t think of Hal as a mildly interesting science cop specializing in thwarting bank robbers in trick costumes.  But as to where the series goes from there is anyone's guess.
 
DC Cancels Six More Titles
For the record they are The Savage Hawkman, DCU Presents, Fury of Firestorm, The Ravages, Deathstroke, Sword of Sorcery and Team 7 (see "DC Cancels Six More Titles").  And with their cancellation it becomes clear that I understand less and less about the economics of publishing pamphlets.  It seems, and I stress "seems," DC is now publishing comics with the understanding each new title will most likely be dead by #7.  Which frankly makes more sense, to me anyway, than to desperately pretend otherwise.
 
The Green Team and the Movement
DC has announced that April will be branded as their "WTF" Month.  I'm not sure what that actually means in practical terms.  But I can't imagine anything more "WTF" than the unexpected return of the "Occupy Wall St." movement now that there's almost no chance of them offending anyone anymore (see "New 52 Adds Socially Conscious Titles").  Having complex issues of economics reduced to a GI Joe vs. Cobra-type paradigm admittedly doesn't overmuch interest me, but I am hoping that membership in The Movement will include Brother Power, The Geek.  If only because the idea of a braided, beaded, branded, hippy tribal superman has finally gone mainstream.
 
Happily, I'm discovering there are more and more comics I’m looking forward to this year.  They include…
 
Benny Breakiron from Peyo, creator of The Smurfs, from Papercutz.  It's a lesser known (as previously established, I like to think that I know something about French/Belgian comics and I've never heard of it) work by Peyo created in the early 60's.  It's the story of a nice little boy who has Superman-like powers whose over weakness is the common cold.  It's beautiful and utterly charming and anybody who wants to see a sample should check out the exclusive preview on The Beat website.
 
Jupiter
's Legacy, Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's new ten-part mini-series coming from Image Comics in April that's being pitched as a "Creator-Owner Superhero Event.I honestly haven't been all that crazy about the previous "Millarworld" comics (Super Crooks, Nemesis or Kick-Ass).  No matter how entertaining the initial premise or how strong the start they eventually descend into a spiral of self-indulgent decadence.  I honestly have no reason to believe that this one will be any different, but I love Quitely's work and like what Millar has been saying in interviews.
 
As quickly as it developed the story about the Super Bowl ad "Perfect Match" (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Nerd, Enough") deflated just that quickly.  But there was one interesting piece that appeared on the Forbes Website in a piece titled "The Woman (!) Behind Go Daddy's Tasteless, Effective Super Bowl Ads" by Jeff Bercovici that appeared on 2/06/2013.  It featured an interview with Barb Rechterman, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Go Daddy, and had this enlightening exchange:

Q:  A lot of the criticism of 'Perfect Match' accused it of reinforcing certain negative stereotypes. Did that bother you to hear?
 
A:  I'm not sure what negative stereotypes it reinforced.
 
Q:  I guess it was the idea that beautiful women are dumb and need men to help them, that beautiful, dumb women and rich, unattractive men go together.
 
A:  Interesting.  I had not thought of it that way.  But I can tell you the goal here was not to stereotype at all, but to make it about two things: to make it acceptable for a beautiful woman to kiss a nerdy guy who might have money, or to make it acceptable for a nerdy guy to kiss a beautiful woman.
 
Interesting is the automatic assumption some viewers had that Jesse Heiman, the commercial's nerd, was somehow "rich."  I mean, what other reason would there possibly be for an attractive woman to permit such goings on?  I'd like to believe that we are inching our way towards a world where it's acceptable for a beautiful woman to kiss a nerdy guy and the other way around.  But I'll take it as progress that super model Bar Rafaeli didn't do a post commercial interview with TMZ to complain about how disgusting all that kissing was.
 
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
 
 
Updated 'Dungeon!' Game
From WotC in June
Wizards of the Coast will release an updated version of the classic fantasy board game.