Marvel and Syaf

Marvel criticism spreads from Ardian Syaf debacle

April 14, 2017: Marvel Comics' is taking it in the teeth and kneecaps right now. Some articles from around the internet:

Seems like a fair description of the turmoil: 'My career is over now': Marvel terminates 'X-Men Gold' artist's contract amid controversy - LA Times

"Readers pointed out that it seemed Syaf, an Indonesian artist, had included some anti-Christian and anti-Semitic messaging within the pages of “X-Men Gold” No. 1."

If the guy wants to advertise his political leanings, shouldn't he just buy some advertising space instead of smuggling it into a Marvel comic book? Either that or hide it a lot better. Maybe he wanted to be caught.

Lack of self-awareness: “Marvel Is Owned By Disney. When Jews Are Offended, There Is No Mercy” – Ardian Syaf On His Dismissal From Marvel - Bleedingcool

"...However, in an interview with local Jakarta newspaper Jawa Pos published today and translated by Coconuts, Ardian stated that he had tried to explain his side to Marvel. “But Marvel is owned by Disney. When Jews are offended, there is no mercy.”

However, he then reiterated that he wasn't not anti-Semitic or anti-Christian because, if he was, he wouldn't have worked for a foreign publisher. You know, the one owned by Jewish people."

If Bob Iger, head of Disney, is personally after Syaf, that just seems like a strange waste of time for a guy running Disney and it's thousand various companies. On the other hand, if a Jewish manager doesn't defend Jews from being maligned by an employee, who exactly is going to do it?

The Post covers the story as if they're not sure what's going on is really going on: Marvel pulls X-Men comic that had a hidden Koranic message - Washingtonpost

"In ‘X-Men Gold,’ the first allusion to Indonesia’s turmoil is a scene featuring Kitty Pryde, one of the most prominent Jewish characters in the Marvel comic universe, telling a crowd she’s the newest leader of the X-Men, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Her head blocks the sign of a nearby jewelry store in such a way that the word “Jew” appears next to her. "

I miss the Washington Star.

What the hell? Captain America essentially becoming a Nazi isn’t a political statement, Marvel says - Polygon

"At the end of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, writer Nick Spencer revealed that Captain America had actually been an agent of Hydra, the fictional facist group in Marvel’s universe that rose in Germany in WWII and colluded with the Nazis, all along. Next month, Marvel will introduce a massive crossover event, called Secret Empire, that will explain how Steve Rogers hid his allegiance to Hydra so well throughout his time with the Avengers and bring his devious plans to the forefront of Marvel’s story."

If there's a story I'm eager to not read, it's Steve Rogers as a NAZI. I don't care how cleverly they turn the thing around in the end and Steve Rogers wakes up in a hospital bed and reveals the whole thing was from bad pizza or hypnosis or whatever get-out-of-jail-free card Marvel tries to play.

Conservative political attack: Forcing Political Correctness On Employees And Characters Is Killing Marvel Comics - Federalist

"A comic book retailer in the San Francisco Bay Area voiced his frustration, saying Marvel went from 48 percent to 25 percent of his sales."

Criticism at Federalist misses the boat on one thing that tops out all of the other explanations for sales decline, which is simply quality. Anyway, the writer does some canvasing of past talent (Chuck Dixon, for example) and offers a list of theories.

Or maybe Marvel hasn't gone far enough to political left, especially in hiring: Marvel, you're in denial if you think the decline of your comics is because of 'diversity' - UK Independent

"For decades now, sales of comic books have been in decline. What could be the cause? The proliferation of other forms of mass media? The drastic shift in distribution models since the 1970s, first with the creation of comic book stores, then with online vendors, then again with direct-to-consumer crowdfunding platforms? The rising prices of monthly issues, which now average about $4 for 20 pages? According to Marvel's Senior Vice President of Sales David Gabriel, it's none of these. The real culprit, he said at Marvel's recent Retailer Summit, is “diversity”.

...when these comics sell poorly, their deviation from the straight white male norm – not their quality – is blamed. What readers are rejecting is not diversity, but rather a failure of creativity and comprehension."

I don't buy the political explanations embedded into this article either, but emphasizing quality is certainly a better way to pinpoint the problem.

Greater Cleveland comic book stores persevere, even as sales of major titles drop

"...local industry insiders said the decline of Marvel and DC titles is more nuanced.

Individual comics have an average sticker price of around $4. Today, many popular titles hit shelves twice a month, making comics an expensive habit for fans interested in multiple titles.

Reader fatigue is another problem, store owners and managers said."

This article is not about the current "scandals" but about the general problem of dead sales in comicdom.

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Original page April 19, 2017

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