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Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
In Reply To
Late Great Donald Blake

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,470
Subj: We agree on quite a few points in this one...
Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 at 06:30:40 am EST (Viewed 83 times)
Reply Subj: a double debunking! (actually not a debunking here, just an attempt at a thoughtful response)
Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 at 04:47:24 pm EST (Viewed 89 times)

    False analogy; you are assuming we have zero exposure to immortals when in comics terms we have 59 years of Thor material.

    In terms of overall comic book stories we have almost a century of exposure.

    In terms of storytelling itself we have millennia of exposure

    LGDB: yeah, well living in a house for an entire lifetime doesn't make you qualified to build one or even evaluate properly its construction, but of course you're perfectly qualified to say if you like it or not.

Telling a story is not as complex as building a house.

Personally I don't believe modern (American) comic storytellers have the same understanding of the medium as those from 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago.


    Well certainly that's a byproduct of social media. But anonymity doesn't necessarily mean individuals can't make valid criticisms


    LGDB: Agreed


    But you don't know that I am not a writer? You don't know if I have created a comic book or not. So even under your criteria (which is completely elitist) you don't know my credentials


    LGDB: That true. But to Norvell I said, if you are a writer let's see what you've written and we can compare. That would be an open invitation to anyone. Yourself included.

Absolutely - that would only be fair.

But either way that doesn't invalidate criticisms of Donny or Jason Aaron.

    And I think that could be really instructive. If someone's a really bad writer and they're criticizing a better one, it looks completely ludicrous, but when someone's not a writer whatsoever, we don't think that looks pompous. I find that pretty curious.


    And my criteria here isn't anymore elitist than saying medical professionals understand medical procedures far better than the general public, and that it's hard to become a doctor and be a doctor, and easy to watch Youtube clips online and espouse strong uninformed medical opinions. There are somethings that we believe require expertise (which is only meant to represent work and time spent) ; while other things we think by virtue of having an opinion we're an expert.

    Fooling ourselves that our preferences are grounded not in taste, but in authoritative understanding, which I think it's basically fraudulent. I'm saying that I think art criticism that is strong and definitive should have a high burden of proof, and critics on the internet want virtually no burden of proof. It seems unfair to me to have such a high standard for art, but to have such a low standard for people that contribute nothing to that art except the low price of admission and a lot of bluster.

    I'm saying while there are difference of course, writing expertise is way more like medical expertise than internet critics would have it. Does this mean, a person who isn't a medical professional can't be right about a medical issue. Of course not. Just like of course a person that's not a writer CAN be right about a piece of writing. What would help I think is for you to subtract from your idea that I'm trying to say you need credentials to criticize writing, because I'm not. I'm saying criticism should be held to a higher standard if it presents itself as authoritative and shouldn't present itself as more than mere preference when that's all it is.

It still sounds like you are trying to give yourself an avenue to dismiss critique if you so choose.

Are all media critics invalid?

Are you conflating medical treatments with the entertainment media? For that matter, do all medical experts have the best interests of their patients as their number one priority? ;\-\)


    LGDB: it's a round about way of saying what YOU'RE trying to say. It's a direct way of saying what I'm saying. You absolutely should criticize someone if you've got a criticism to offer. But that criticism I think should invite as much criticism in the public square as it doles out.


    How is that different from being a fan of Thor and seeing the character (in my eyes) systematically deconstructed (which is modern code for ruined).


    LGDB: Well for one your feeling like Thor isn't being written to your liking I think is pretty low on the priority list relative to people not having sufficient access to health care. But basically I think otherwise your analogy holds, which is to say that if you're not necessarily criticizing the writing so much as its effect on you that is similar to a political constituent complaining about the bad political effects (despite not necessarily understanding the political process.) So basically yes they're similar in principle, but what separates them is the nature and the severity of the consequences. Nature, as in you just not liking something versus it having an objectively or materially deleterious effect on your person or your life; and severity as in the relative severity of not liking a thing you read vs the pain of losing your home or losing a loved one.

The priority is not that it is being written to my liking (that's simply a by product of the deconstruction of the character) but that its being written completely differently to what has come before.

I would never have become a fan of this latest interpretation of (Disney comics) Thor.


    If someone grows up a fan of Star Wars, loving Luke Skywalker and then they see the hateful deconstruction of the character in the Last Jedi - then that fan is AFFECTED.


    LGDB: yeah I agree with this, or at least some of it. So I agree that fans have a right to hate something and not like it and bitch about it. And they are some what affected for sure. So perhaps surprisingly I don't think that fans have no right to complain about anything. And I actually find it annoying when writers suggest that fans are too attached to character; because ultimately the entire business runs on fans attachment to these characters.

    But many complaints, especially on this board still have to do with the personal feelings and preferences of a specific group of people, a group that doesn't necessarily speak for everyone else. So with Star Wars and lot of people like Star Wars, don't hate Luke, but still like what happened in the Last Jedi. ( wasn't one of them but what can you do?)

You can't be a fan of Luke Skywalker (from the original movies) and like what was done to the character in the Last Jedi. Its a polar opposite representation.

    Some people like deconstructions of characters,

Not if they were ever fans of the original. The deconstruction of a character is done to irreparably CHANGE the character from what went before.

    and I definitely disagree that a deconstruction of a character is meant as an attack or as a sign the writers hate the character.

...because when you like something, the first thing you want to do is completely change all aspects of it so it becomes unrecognizable to the original or worse, anathema to the original.

    Which is of course directly the point of activist writers.


    LGDB: Yeah I mean I definitely think you have a case to be mad. Basically relative to what you're saying here, my position is that writing can still not be objectively bad, but you can have a reason to not like it. The best example is that you can find some of the political content in it objectionable, while the execution of the writing is still basically sound. A lot of times fans don't like a change or a choice the company makes, and I think the fans distaste is totally warranted. And at any given time it's up for debate as to whether fans have a strong point and whether there's an actual organic fan backlash versus a loud minority of fans who have their own nonrepresentative axes to grind. Basically what I'm saying is that my position in this thread isn't that all fan criticism is without merit or in poor taste or bad faith.

Well at least we can agree on some things.

Although I would argue you can prove Cates writing to be objectively bad (in parts).

...but maybe that's 55% objectivity and 45% subjectivity.

    But I think what complicates this is there some plurality here. So I've been reading Thor for a long time too and I've spent a lot of money as well. And you and I feel very different about what the comics should be like. Is Marvel just supposed to at any given time just publish stories by referendum?

Why can Manga get it right but Marvel (and DC) can't?

I think activists have infiltrated American comics from top to bottom now and its on the downward spiral into oblivion.

The safety net for these activists is they are using established, popular brands/characters, because otherwise too few people would care about their stories. Whereas Manga has to create its own value.

    I suppose they do in some sense, which is to say they respond to the market, but as I've said, both Aaron's and Cates comics are good sellers, so more or less Marvel is just following the money.

Certainly Aaron was great at selling those controversial shock moments

    What I will say is that this writing, because of it's political undertones CAN be divisive, but I think that's just politics today.

Weirdly not present in Manga.

    this isn't something that's starting with the comics, it's just something that's captured the culture. Things are overwhelmingly tribal, and there's less and less of a center to occupy. So while I agree the comics can be divisive, almost anything the comics go with is going to be divisive in that it's going to piss off half of the country, or at least the angry vocal minority voices on either side.

So why doesn't Manga?

    And I don't think they're activist writers. I mean you're calling them that because they espouse politics you don't agree with. I usually don't agree with Aaron's politics either for the record. But that doesn't make him an activist. Not different at least than most writers and artists. I think this is similar to when people say they were people political, and this usually just means, political... in a way I don't like.

I might not necessarily call Donny an activist though he's certainly a sympathizer to the cause and given he openly says Aaron's run is his favourite Thor run then we can conclude he is certainly tainted by the same brush - whether that's to your tastes or not.


    When a writer stands for the complete opposite to the mantra of the character, yet still chooses to write that character (for the purposes of activism) and then deconstructs (ie. changes and ruins them) to the point that character is unrecognizable to the fan, then its hate.

    LGDB: Well what do you think Thor's mantra is and what do you think these writer's mantras are? I mean certainly whatever Thor stood for as a mythological figure, and then a figure in ambient Western culture that absorbed him into various literary forms, and then Stan Lee's idea of what the character's about, down through the decades of comics and on to now... clearly that's changed quite a bit over time. So from my perspective what Thor stands for has changed over time; the writers chose to write Thor (or were assigned to) for a number of reasons none of which do we have any direct evidence they wrote it intentionally bad for a political purpose; Thor's not unrecognizable to most fans though like all characters he's changed over time. And even if all that was true, it could still likely be just a questionable reinterpretation and not hate.

That's true; it could just be coincidence that Aaron (an atheist) made all gods unworthy and Aaron (a feminist) made Thor a woman.

    For instance who would have guessed an admitted feminist atheist (Aaron) would make Thor unworthy and give his power, possessions and NAME to an undeserving mortal woman (and by undeserving I am referring to the old story where Odin makes Jane an immortal and she is literally found unworthy)


    LGDB: Yeah, I do think you have a bit of a point here. Which is to say that much of Aaron's political and even cosmological perspective does have a tendency (especially in Thor) to seep into his storytelling. And if you're fundamentally opposed to those things I can definitely see not liking it it. You and I don't agree about those philosophical and political positions, but I agree if those are your commitments it's exceedingly difficult (I imagine) for you to enjoy his comics. I think that's totally legitimate.

I'm not against someone writing about or from a perspective of being a vocal atheist or a feminist.

However, you have to question the reasoning of why such a writer would be put on a comic about a strong alpha male god...which he then proceeded to completely change.

    But my contention in this larger thread is that those considerations track far more to the criticism of writers like Aaron and Cates than an objective evaluation of the writing, at least most of the time. I don't conflate being a bad writer with being a competent writer whose writing has a strong political point of view.

I think Jason Aaron is a decent writer, brilliant at selling shock moments. We both agree his politics impacted his writing of Thor.

I am not as convinced about Donny yet. My criticisms of Donny are more to do with his logic gaps, poor characterization and lacklustre action scenes.

You address Omnipotence...tread carefully.