A Podcast with Kelly and Ross and Nick #123 - When You Don't Agree

A Podcast with Ross and Nick

It's been one month since the last A Podcast with Ross and Nick. To make up for our absence, we're giving you a double-sized brain cruncher!

Kelly Thompson joins Ross and Nick to discuss a complex conundrum: Where do you draw the line and how do you feel about reading or watching or listening to a creator's work when you don't agree with the creator as an individual?

We start out by discussing Woody Allen, Brett Ratner, Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, Joss Whedon, David Lynch, and Emma Thompson.

That leads to a conversation about creative success vs. commercial success, with Gary Friedrich, Jack Kirby, and Marvel's creative legacy at the center of it. Then Kelly relates her own creative vs. commercial conflicts, leading to speculation about perceptions of social constructs vs. what individuals really want to see.

ALSO: Kelly loses it, Frank Miller, the Ross and Nick guro episode, the moral ambiguity of pornography, and phone sex vs. guro art.

PLUS: An in depth talk about Psylocke's thong. Is there a way to make it work?

AND MORE: Why did Ross hate The Garbage Pail Kids Movie so much? And what was the deal with Rogue after the X-Men went through the Siege Perilous?

Tell us what you think! Email nick@audioshocker.com or call our automated comment line at 412-567-7606 and we'll play what you say on the podcast.

NEXT: We're back in one week (that's right... only seven days!) with the long-awaited Mac and Me episode featuring Kaylie.

43 Responses to “A Podcast with Kelly and Ross and Nick #123 - When You Don't Agree”


  1. 1 nick marino

    I'm listening to the episode...

    and I wanna apologize for being really confusing and meandering. I can barely follow any of my own logic in this episode!!!

    My Frank Miller rant? TOTALLY NONSENSICAL TO ME NOW!

  2. 2 Andrew Kilian

    Geez, too much great stuff to comment on. First glad to see the Podcast back in full force.

    On the subject of Frank Miller; I'm so glad that Nick feels the same way about FM. There was something wrong with 300 (I wasn't self aware enough to pick up on it beforehand) and I couldn't put my finger on it. I never knew what it was until Miller had his meltdown and revealed that he was a batshit authoritarian type. Quick aside; love how Batman Year One is pro-99% and Miller at present is Pro-1%.

    I really enjoy Polanski's films and think the reason I can enjoy them is because I can divorce the work from the man. Probably because it happened before I was an adult. I think an offense has to take place in your self-aware lifetime or be egregious enough to activate retroactively. I also heard the argument that Polanski was screwed up from the Tate murders. I'm not excusing it, but it helps me understand. For some reason damaged people get leeway with me, but not off the hook. There's tons of damaged people who don't prey on children.

    I actually liked Mel Gibson a LOT before the Smashin' of the Christ and like you say my perceptions are so colored now especially after his meltdown. I don't know that I can enjoy any of his work now, because it highlights something warped I can't put a fine point on.

    I feel dumb for reducing it to something moronically simple, but that thing that off puts me is when it's something systemically wrong with their personality. Racist, authoritarian, misogynistic. On the Guro subject for some reason I can compartmentalize that work from his other work and I don't know why that is. This might be a stretch, but artists can have different voices and explore different genres and mediums. I dunno, maybe because I've seen Geiger, horror movies and related works my mind files it in there instead of misogyny.

    On a tangent from the Guro conversation... I know this might be saying too much, but I just saw a flick called the Whistleblower on human trafficking in slavery and prostitution. After I saw it I felt really upset about consuming porn because it often is exploitative. Glad to hear Kelly talking about the soul thinning of the porn industry. We're human beings and we just get biologically aroused despite our better angels. We're evolved to get aroused at sex despite the morally ambiguous nature of it. Especially when the tragic or heartbreaking elements of it aren't in frame. "If it isn't in frame it doesn't exist."

  3. 3 Andrew Kilian

    I like Kelly's pointing out how Psylocke goes from this English Lady to an Asian Thing model. I felt similar to Shatterstar who was never gay then Marvel realized they could cash in on the Gay market by arbitrarily declaring, "Oh he's gay now. He was always gay he just was in denial." Some people are happy with it because of the politics and I get that, but if the shoe was on the other foot and you arbitrarily switched a gay character to straight the internet flames would melt your face off. I'm all for the Alan Moore thing of reexamining a character ex; Swamp Thing is a plant who thinks he's a man. If it somehow fits and works I'm good with it, but crass editorial decisions that sort of hand the character it's marching orders irrespective of it's personal history hammering a square peg in a round hole.

  4. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  5. 4 Kelly

    Really? I thought the cast was great. Took me forever to get through, but I think we all did really well in talking about pretty complicated and loaded subject matter. Gold stars for everyone! :)

  6. 5 ross

    @Kelly: do you actually listen to the whole podcast?? i could never do it, i hate listening to my voice! and i agree, i thought this one was great just judging from when we were recording it. i was thinking more about how professional you are, and i think it rubs off whenever you come back and do the podcast. when you're a guest we always produce our most professional, in-depth episodes!

  7. 6 nick marino

    yeah, i agree with Ross. thx, Kelly!!!

    BTW, we had great timing talking about Psylocke, Rogue, and the Siege Perilous. i was just at the comic shop and Essential X-Men #10 came out today... reprinting all of the issues we discussed. how convenient!!!

    also, there was this other comic out today. Glory #24 or something like that. dunno if you heard about it before.

  8. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  9. 7 Fawn

    One of my favourite bands when I ws kid was Metallica. But they'd been putting out crap a while so I didn't feel devasatd when they jerk'd it up by sueing their fans for 'stealing their chord'. I probably would have been pretty bummed if I hadn't moved on already.

    My list involves Voltaire, Crispin Glover, and Davd Lynch.
    And you guys. Don't fuck it up ;)

    Ross and Kelly's giggle-fest was gold. Made my day much brigher.
    Also the zipper part.
    Also, I never noticed before, but Nick sounds like Crispin Glover.

    Don't wait so long before you make another!

  10. 8 nick marino

    @Kilian: The Shatterstar thing was pretty misrepresented on the internet. The reality of the characterization and PAD's storytelling is much more complex and actually very well developed. Plus, it's been hinted at since the 90s. Here's a bit more about it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shatterstar#Sexual_orientation

    @Fawn: I bet I've already fucked it up and you don't even know it.

  11. 9 Fawn

    @Nick
    As long as you don't take a dump on my just-hit-by-a-car pet or something, we're good.

  12. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  13. 10 Kelly Thompson

    @Nick and Ross: I'M BLUSHING. :)

    @Ross: I do try to listen. And I did listen to this one, even though it was super long...mostly to see if Nick left in my laughing fit (not really). I feel kind of absurdly proud of this one...like I feel like we tackled really tough stuff and didn't come off as complete morons.

    @Killian: I have to agree with Nick on the Shatterstar thing, I also think that because gay people are so drastically under-represented in comics it's not really the same thing as changing a gay person straight (which would be a much bigger travesty and I agree would cause an uproar).

    Ironically I think the Psylocke thing and the Shatterstar thing because while the Psylocke thing are pretty good/similar comparisons on lot of levels (even though the Psylocke thing is obviously problematic - namely that she's mostly technically a white woman even if she's in a Japanese woman's body) - but both changes technically add to diversity...which in general is a good thing.

    I know it can hit hard with fans when it happens to a character that they're very attached to - I get that and understand and can even respect why they don't/can't come along (see ultimate Peter Parker becoming ultimate Miles Morales) but in general, more diversity and the change that comes with that is a good thing I think...even when it's hard.

    @Fawn: Thanks! :)

    @All: I thought of a HUGE one for me after we got off the cast. I would be DESTROYED if something horrible came out about Jon Stewart. DEVASTATED, JUST DEVASTATED.

  14. 11 Kelly Thompson

    Apparently it's too late for me to be typing the above should read:

    Ironically I think the Psylocke thing and the Shatterstar thing are pretty good/similar comparisons on lot of levels (even though the Psylocke thing is obviously problematic - namely that she's mostly technically a white woman even if she's in a Japanese woman's body)

  15. 12 Kelly Thompson

    OMG.

    I feel so bad! I blamed Iman for throwing the cell phone - it was crazy Naomi Campbell!

    I'm a jerk! :/

  16. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  17. 13 ross

    @Kelly: YOU'RE THE BEST GUEST! :D i feel pretty proud of this episode too, i agree, i felt really satisfied when it was done. i like Jon Stewart but i'm not a huge fan or anything, mostly because i don't get any TV channels, but i'd be pretty sad if he blundered, too, he seems like such a stand-up dude in a sea of scumbags. i've been trying to think of other people and i can't believe i forgot one of the biggest ones, CARL WEATHERS!!!! some other ones are Naomi Watts, O'so Krispie (a kind of obscure singer/rapper), Frank Quitely (did i already say him on the 'cast?), Erasure (English synth pop duo), and of course Bella Morte but i'm acquainted with them and they've always been great guys so i'm not sure they count, it would be like me putting Becky Cloonan or you on this list, doesn't really seem to fit with the others because it goes into friend/acquaintance territory. artist HR Giger is another big one, i'd be pretty heartbroken if he did anything awful. and maybe Dolph Lundgren.

    @Fawn: how do you feel about Lynch signing that Polanski petition? were you like me where it wasn't quiiiiiiiiiiiite enough and i was able to rationalize it away or whatever?

    @Andrew: i'm not familiar with the Shatterstar thing and it can be problematic switching a character's sexuality in the same way Kelly says switching Psylocke's race is problematic, but on the other hand wasn't Shatterstar supposed to be sexually ambiguous to begin with anyway (edit: i just read on wikipedia Peter David says Shatterstar is bi)? and it's perfectly plausible to me that an ostensibly straight character could realize they're gay or bi or whatever, that happens all the time in real life, but even in a totally fictional sense why not recontextualize characters like that with how fluid these nebulously-defined superhero characters are, being written and drawn by tons of people, they're cobbled together from tons of people's input. i think it's kind of shitty of you to think that any attempt at bringing some queerness to existing characters is some kind of cash-grab, especially since i doubt making Shatterstar gay would bring Marvel tons of extra money (are we talking about the same comics industry here?). plus, making a straight character gay and a gay character straight are not really comparable on the same level. they should be, they ought to be functionally the same, but in the current state of things they're not. they only will be when we live in Star Trek! XD

    @Kelly again: weird, even though it was Naomi Campbell and not Iman that still doesn't explain how i got her confused with Russell Crowe. all that celebrity scandal shit blurs together in my head, i guess.

  18. 14 Andrew Kilian

    Ha! I just remembered that my friends and I had a Facebook debate about the General Lee. It wasn't allowed at a car show or something because it had the confederate flag on it. We all get that the Rebel Flag represents Slavery and the colors of an enemy government, but we all concluded that the Dukes of Hazard had nothing to do with it and goofy 80's nostalgia overrode any political correctness.

  19. 15 Andrew Kilian

    Ah! Read the replies and had to post again.

    Agree with the Metallica comment. When Dave Mustane backed Santorum I was really disappointed, but that doesn't make Rust in Peace any less great. Agree with the John Stewart comment, that'd be a heart breaker. I'd put Henry Rollins up there, but he's kind of become boring and overly politically correct. He used to be rebellious and subversive and now he's in the liberal orthodoxy, swung too far the other way and turned into Debbie Downer.

    I feel like I'm being called out by Ross so let me put my foot in it. It's possible that I'm speaking from a place of privilege and I would hope that I wasn't. I get that increasing diversity is important in comics and that gay characters are underrepresented, I recognize the merit and necessity of doing so. I've already admitted that I do enjoy recontextualization especially when it's done well. I'm a big fan of Peter David's work on the Hulk where he did a lot of that and well. Swapping Shatterstar's gender actually gives him some depth and makes him interesting from a writing standpoint. It humanizes him where previously he was a throwaway cipher swordsman derivative of Longshot. There's a ton of good reasons to be for it. Yes, people come to terms and accept their gayness later in life and that makes for interesting character development.

    I understand that work for hire means Rob Liefeld can make a character and a couple years down the road Peter David can swoop in and make him gay, it's work for hire and dem's da breaks. Someone can ride on in and revise it as long as it meets with editor approval. That's sort of what Ross's doing with Glory after all except I imagine they have to run it by Rob first (this characters creator as well).

    I guess the reason I take issue with it despite all the many reasons to be for it is when I talk to gays about Cog Neuro and we get into where sexuality is biologically located I always say it's ultimately in the brain and a tumor or brain injury could fundamentally change their personality. Theists have become atheists. Potentially gays could become straight and vice versa. This always pisses them off and they're right to be pissed off. They've been harassed all their lives first hand and by hatemongers saying you can pray the gay away etc. I know what's it's like to be the alien. I get their pain. That being said why is it only a one way insult? Why is it only problematic to make a proper British lady a thonged up Asian sex object and it's not to arbitrarily make a straight man gay?

    Why is it okay to take a previously established character who at some point did have a female soulmate and just act like that didn't happen. Sure, probably nobody read that comic and you could get away with it. And sure, I'm probably taking this position because I have a nostalgia for the character, but deep down I think there's something wrong about it. Just like my gay friends who thing it's insulting to suggest that a head injury could make them straight I feel that way about one of my beloved characters. Finally Ross said it was pretty shitty to suggest Marvel would do something for a crass reason. Really? You just went on at length about how the Ghostrider guy was being made an example of and they were going to arbitrarily revoke the privilege of drawing marvel characters and punish everyone in artist alley to make a point and you don't think they'd do a topical revamp of a familiar character to increase sales? Really? It's not being shitty it's called bitter cynicism, no offense. And don't get me wrong Peter David has spotlighted gay characters in the past and done it well. The Rick Jones/Marlo wedding issue had Northstar and one of the secondary characters hitting it off at the bar and one of the other ones getting read the riot act for trying to break it up. I thought that was great! Now that I think on it, the Midnighter and Apollo, Batwoman, Maggie Sawyer of the GCPD, Renee Montoya, Quicksilver these are all off the top of my head btw. Are they really that underrepresented? Wasn't there a full page gay kiss on the first page in a Savage Dragon around 2000? I think that's why I can say this isn't right. When I was reading those comics I thought this is so cool, Superman and Batman Are gay lovers! It makes sense. But they didn't make Superman and Batman gay, they make derivatives who are actually more interesting (at least when Warren Ellis was writing Authority).

    I guess I take umbrage because I feel like it was decided for the character and for the fans. If there were hints and it was pretty obvious if we knew all along I wouldn't care. I'd be for it. It just feels like a backhanded compliment, it's the right thing to do done in the wrong way. It's machiavellian and insincere. The funny thing is, isn't Rictor gay now too? Rictor was always hornily chasing the girls on the New Mutants, think he dated a couple. What's the explanation for two established straight characters in adolescence now both overwriting their sexuality. One person waking up and realizing their living a lie okay, but two? That's when I'm done with it.

    In any case best podcast since the last time Kelly was on. I think she should be a permanent fixture if at all possible.

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  21. 16 Andrew Kilian

    http://queersupe.com/a-z-lbgt-comic-book-character-superlist/

    Okay, maybe not That underrepresented.

  22. 17 Kirk

    @Ross: You need to do your homework on porn in Japanese culture. There are vending machines with porn comics, used girl's underwear, etc. on the streets, and it's believed that having those readily accessible to the public contributes largely to Japan having the lowest sex crimes on pretty much the entire planet. Also, Samura probably does that stuff on the side for extra money. I mean, they practically make manga in a sweatshop as it is.

  23. 18 Paul

    Such an engaging episode--lots of stuff to comment on.

    When creative people do bad things, I kind of put them into different categories. There are bad things that are just a result of being human. Stuff like being a jerk, having anger problems, even having prejudices; these are all common failings, and if you're going to write off everyone with these kinds of problems, you're going to eventually write off 99.9% of humanity. Often these problems get better as people get a little wiser, or just mellow with age. H.P. Lovecraft had a lot of racist ideas, which I think he inherited/absorbed from the world he grew up in. But as he got older and met a wider variety of real people, he gradually let go of those ideas. Holding his earlier faults against him would mean disregarding the maturity he later achieved, and the capacity for compassion that allowed him to look past the ideas he'd internalized and see "others" as real people.

    And how do we know that the latest celebrity to have a public meltdown, or have a skeleton fall out of their closet, doesn't also do a lot of charity work, or care for an ailing family member, or is a great parent, or loads of other good, but non-newsworthy things? I don't want to let bad deeds count more than good deeds, because then it feels like evil wins.

    Then there are things like violence, racism or misogyny that never lets up, things that lean more towards pathological or sociopathic behavior than normal moral failings. When I know someone is acting that way, it's not so much that I want to un-support them, but I just don't want to be reminded of the hateful, negative junk that they've come to represent.

    I try to focus on supporting stuff that I like. Boycotting Marvel or the Avengers movie over creators' rights isn't likely to change anything. But buying creator-owned comics helps in a very direct way.

    I do think people should be more aware of the choices they make as consumers. Like how slavery plays into our economy, the benefits of doing business with local people, etc. But again I think it works better when the focus is on supporting the beneficial rather than punishing the bad guys. I guess I've lost faith in punishment. It so rarely gets distributed in a fair, just or effective way, it effectively has no value.

    I try not to judge or assume anything based on someone's political associations. So many people don't choose their party based on any kind of rational assessment of the policies and what effects they have. They just stick with what they grew up with, or they buy into the simple slogans like "this party fights for the little guy" or "this party sticks up for traditional values". Just because someone identifies as Party X doesn't mean they embrace the worst ideology of that party, or even the moderate elements of it. Maybe they do, but more often they just have some vague notion that they're the Good Guys, or that the Other Guys are so scary, Their Guys are the only sane choice.

    I know what you mean about "living in fear" that your favorite creator will be outed as some kind of terrible person, but over the years I think I've given up on having creative heroes. I'll admire what someone does in their creative work, but I try not to ascribe any kind of personal virtues because of it. Like, I love the way Becky Cloonan draws, and the way that Brian Wood structures a story and focuses on characters, but I try to just admire what they do and not imagine that they're some kind of superior people because they make art that resonates with me. That keeps me from being too disappointed if it ever turns out that they're secretly horrible people, but it's also just more realistic. However exceptional they may be in their art, they're still just people, with all the good and bad that we all embody.

    Sorry this is so long, but one more thing. I think that art can have a beauty and a meaning that is independent of its creator. When I go to an art gallery and see a painting or sculpture, the only real thing, from my perspective, is the experience I have taking in that work of art. If I see a painting and it means something beautiful to me, then I find out the painter is a horrible person and I let that taint the artwork, it's like a bit of beauty has died for no good reason. Again, it feels like evil wins. Rejecting the painting isn't going to change the painter, it's just going to remove some beauty from my world. I'd rather accept the paradox that a bad person (or, more realistically, a messed-up person) can produce something good and beautiful. That makes me feel like there's hope.

  24. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  25. 19 Kelly

    @Andrew: I would argue that that's a drastically short list when compared with the entire scope of comics.

    @Kirk: This is common knowledge, Ross doesn't need to "do his homework" but you're making an argument that assumes causality - i.e. The Japanese people handle porn in X way therefore there is only X amount of sexual crimes, etc. Yes, they COULD be related but there's no proof that they ARE. There are so many factors involved as to why Japan would have a lower rate of sex crimes than other nations, you can't just sum it up with "they're open with their porn".

    And as a side note, sexual harassment in Japan, from what I've read, is actually a really big problem. So...yeah, you see where I'm going with that.

    Also, I'm sure Samura DOES make money from this stuff on the side. What does that change? Nothing as far as I'm concerned.

  26. 20 Smars

    i have a hard time when i find out about someone i admire being something i'm apposed to in their regular life. i usually walk away from any future works, with the older stuff i'm able to disassociate them from that person so that i can continue to enjoy it.
    i'm sure it's back there in my mind, but it's pretty suppressed.

    also, integrity is always a weird internal/external debate when we talk about creative success versus commercial success. you almost have to make two versions of yourself, or live two lives. but the things that are successful in either way is just a dice roll. or so it looks.
    that social perception of things is strong. it acts like a wave that crosses over cultures and generations and neighborhoods and so on.
    it's like tv and how it warps peoples ideas about class, culture, and society in general. stereo types persist because of the belief structure that subconsciously influences people. it's weird. but i can't keep building on this text wall.

  27. 21 Paul

    On commercial/creative I'm really suspicious about what that means. It's not like every creative product has an equal opportunity to succeed. Some get better promotion, better reviews, etc. An editor might "know" that X type of story sells better than Y type of story, but is that because the editor promotes X harder than Y? Did the editor make their reputation with a successful X story, so now they're wedded to it? Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy? And with comics it gets weird, with people buying comics that they *do not like* just to keep a collection complete, and ignoring stuff that they might love just because it doesn't have a familiar or "important" character in it, or it's not from a "big" publisher, etc.

    Social perceptions: It's weird how we give so much weight to media images compared to real life. Go to the mall, or the park, a concert or a movie theater, and you'll see all kinds of "imperfect", unfashionable people who are apparently quite happy with each other. They're having fun, they're out on dates, they've been married for years, they have friends, all the good stuff, but for some reason we don't think that counts as much as a dumbass media image that *we know is fake*?

  28. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

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  29. 22 ross

    @Paul: i like all your standpoints! i agree with how you approach this stuff but for me it's more a gut instinct thing, like even though i KNOW artists are just people who have facets i don't personally like or who make mistakes or who have their own personalities and issues, i realize that, but it doesn't help me get rid of the bad taste in my mouth. sometimes it's a logic/rational thing, like "i don't agree with Creator X and they support Bad Thing X so i don't want to financially support them, etc." is one thing, that's easy to quantify, but sometimes it's more nebulous where i just don't feel good about somebody or something anymore and i can't rationalize it away because it's emotional and something no longer feels "right" to me. i'm not saying you're wrong, everybody just deals with it differently. :)

    @Andrew: i didn't say it wasn't problematic to make a straight character gay, it is, it's just way less problematic than making a gay character straight. ;) they're both problematic on an individual basis, but they aren't equally problematic on a larger cultural level. for some people their sexuality is fluid or undetermined or they're questioning all their lives, but switching it up in fiction all the time does kind of reinforce the "pray the gay away" idea that being not-straight is a choice, so yeah, i think they're both problematic just in different ways because culturally-/socially-speaking heterosexuality has all the power.

    haha, fair point on the Marvel cynicism. XD. i do sound pretty stupid and naive now when you put it that way, hehheh. i don't know if i concede that one, though!! because i'd like to think (and i could be wrong) that Peter David came up with the Shatterstar/Rictor stuff himself and it wasn't a corporate mandate handed down to him. it feels possibly ambiguous enough to me, that maybe somebody at Marvel is interested in a broader range of characters, i want to believe there's some sincerity there, you know?? but with the Gary Friedrich and Jack Kirby stuff there's no room for possible benevolence, it's just corporate bullshit through and through. :\

    @Kirk: yeah, like Kelly said i'm not gonna get into the correlation of sex crime and porn or whatever, nobody can ever know that. Japan does have a big issue with sexual harassment, though, even though their rape rates are low. who can tell.

  30. 23 Andrew Kilian

    @ Kelly Not to be reductive, but Gays are 1% of the population. Considering how the companies are spotlighting gay characters, particularly couples Wiccan & Hulkling, Shattersar & Rictor, Midnighter & Apollo also the teen gay superheroes Bunker and they even have a Gay character in Archie comics now. Forgive my crassness, but proportionally speaking we might be good. There seems to be a major industry push.

    @ Ross yeah, Peter David probably did this for the right reasons.

    Something occurred to me I know there are a lot of gay creators in comics, but proportionally a smaller amount of women creators. Is that why positive depictions of gay characters are represented more so than positive depictions of female characters?

  31. 24 Fawn

    @Ross
    Yeah, I was like you on it. I was also thinking its just like him to do something so bizarre that would shock his fans. So I'm never sure if it was a shocker or if he meant it.

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  33. 25 Kelly

    @Andrew: I don't know where you're getting 1%, but that sounds drastically low to me.

    Even Wikipedia lists the range from as low as 1% to as high as 20% of the population.

    Given that homosexuality is still a charged issue and many people don't feel comfortable coming out or even accepting their sexuality, and/or would lie about it when asked (even by a survey) I suspect it's the higher end of that range, if not above it.

    All that to say that I absolutely stand by the idea that what we're seeing now is not nearly enough representation.

    Also, naming off three couples and two single characters (bizarrely all male) is not exactly a compelling argument.

  34. 26 nick marino

    @Fawn: I'm pretty sure that was your dog and/or cat that I pooped on last night. Sorry. Here's a sorta-related song about pooping. NSFW. (FYI, hitting play opens it in another window because it's stupid MySpace.)

    Poop on Your Floor

    @Kelly: I'm proud of it too!!! I just think I was confusing. And I didn't cut a single second out of your laughing fit. I would never do such a thing.

    @Ross: Russell Crowe throws phones a lot:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Crowe#Altercations_and_controversies

    @Kilian: YOU GOTTA READ THE WIKIPEDIA THING I LINKED TO IN MY PREVIOUS RESPONSE TO YOU!!! The whole reason I linked to it was to say that this wasn't some overnight change by PAD... this was something that was hinted at in the past between Shatterstar and Rictor. Granted, I haven't read those 90s issues and I'm only going by what Wikipedia says, but still... check it out and lemme know what you think. And did you mean 10% of the population are gay, not 1%? I ask because I based upon the people I've met in my life, 1% sounds like an huge underestimation. Also, there are lots of gay creators in comics??????

    @Smars: Great points about perception, and especially how TV perpetuates unhealthy cultural perceptions.

    @Paul: More great points about perception!!!! I think what you're saying is part of the reason why reality TV (regardless of how exploitation it is sometimes) has been so successful -- people get tired of seeing fake media bullshit and they just want to see some (semi) normal people that remind them of themselves or their family and friends.

  35. 27 ross

    @Kelly: thanks for jumping in, Kelly! :)

    @Nick: oh damn! i was right, it WAS Russell Crowe!!!

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  37. 28 Andrew Kilian

    @ Kelly I get what you're saying. Also, I posted this link above listing all the LGBT related characters and it's more than just what I quoted off the top of my head. though a couple seem suspect to me. There's more than you'd think.
    http://queersupe.com/a-z-lbgt-comic-book-character-superlist/

    It seems I was mistaken about the 1% thing, but not by much. Kinsey said it was 10% and the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau found that homosexual couples constitute less than 1% of American households. The Family Research Report says "around 2-3% of men, and 2% of women, are homosexual or bisexual." The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates three to eight percent of both sexes. The 20% figure comes up when people were asked to 'guess' what percentage of the public is gay. I'll go with NGLTF on the high end of it being 1-8%.
    Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/6961/what-percentage-population-gay.aspx

    Whatever the number is, don't fundamentally alter an established character and certainly don't do it for a quota system. The ends do not justify the means. Make characters gay to begin with, don't jerk the fans around.

    @ Nick
    The Wiki entry asserts that they've had a romance for years, but if you look at the dates it was only since David took over. Loeb said he was thinking about it so the only writer who actually explored the topic was David. No writer prior to David hinted at it and Louise Simonson said Rictor being gay was certainly not canon. So it begins and ends with David who only took over scripting for these characters a couple years ago and they've been around since '91 and '87 respectively and Rictor was dating women up until 2007. So it still boils down to David which validates my point. Also he cleared it with Quesada who may have decided on it for other than meritorious reasons.

    I get that this is sort of how it goes one writer can swoop in and add or subtract from canon and it's not always good or goes the distance. This probably will because reversing it would be even worse.

    I remember reading the Top Ten story about the Forty-Niners and the whole b-story revolved around the romance between Sky-lad and Wulf. I remember reading it and being impressed that a love story could be written revolving around gay characters and it was just as touching as if it was about straight characters. The only off things was Sky-lad may have been underage. Nonetheless I thought, wow! You wouldn't have seen this ten years ago. It's surreal to then be on the other side of the fence decrying Shatterstar's gayness.

    To me it isn't even about the gay subject, it's about fundamentally changing a character when there's no precedent for it. Like when Wonder Woman indiscriminately killed Max Lord overturning her whole compassionate life revering outlook, or when they said Ben Reilly was the real Spiderman or Hal Jordan just going nuts and nuking Coast City and then DC tapping out and blaming it on Parallax when having Hal live with the guilt could have been interesting.

  38. 29 Kelly

    Apparently Russell Crowe and Naomi Campbell are MADE FOR EACH OTHER!

    @Paul: Some great points about what succeeds and why - and I agree with you. My feeling on my own book (and we may never know) is that it's exactly the aspects that the publishers are so afraid of (because they're risky) are what make the book feel more honest and real to readers and would thus be the very things they'd respond to...and the things that might make it a hit...or at least a cult hit.

    But because the publishers are the guys that have to outlay the money...they just don't want to take those risks. I understand, but I do think it's a mistake, and one that doesn't serve readers getting a better more interesting product (and I'm speaking about so much more than just my book obviously).

    And in fairness, there were people (high up, amazing people) who DID want to take those risks with my book...people that saw what I saw in it and had that same vision...but they too had a hard time convincing the people that hold the money that it was a risk likely to pay off. It's a tough thing.

  39. 30 Paul

    I talked up Glory #24 in the weekly review thread on my LCS' website: http://www.acmecomics.com/boards/index.php?topic=2769.new

  40. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Dinogeddon webcomics


  41. 31 Kelly

    @Andrew:

    "it's about fundamentally changing a character when there's no precedent for it. Like when Wonder Woman indiscriminately killed Max Lord overturning her whole compassionate life revering outlook."

    Another thing we disagree on! :)

  42. 32 nick marino

    @Kelly: THAT'S WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD SELF-PUBLISH! You can leave in all of that stuff that'll ring true with readers, and do away with the changes you never thought should have been made. Plus, you have an active follower base now, which equates to a decent number of early customers. Amiright? Iamright!!!

    @Kilian: Like I said, I'm no expert on the old relationship, but it seems to me like those X-Force issues were certainly hinting towards the current status quo for both characters. Here's something PAD said about the past relationship:

    http://www.afterelton.com/other/2009/12/rictor-met-shatterstar-peter-david-interview?page=1,1

  43. 33 Kelly

    @Nick: And I'm considering it. There are days where I get all excited and I'm all "I'M GONNA DO IT!" and then I remember how much work it is to do it right (the way I'd want to do it), and how strongly the odds are against any "real success" and I decide to wait.

    Again, it's still on the table, but I'm waiting to see what happens with this second book (which I hope to know by the summer).

    Also, while I have built up a small platform, it's still pretty small in the scope of things, and I've seen a decided drop off when I talk about things that aren't very specifically comics - so I have to consider that when thinking/assuming how big "my audience" is. Yes, my book has superpowers in it, so there's some crossover, but it's just not as direct of cross marketing as I'd like it to be.

    Regardless - thanks for the support. Some of the stuff you sent me on self publishing when we talked about it before, really kind of got me excited about it.

  44. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Gello Apocalypse webcomics


  45. 34 ross

    @Kelly: i totally agree on the self-publishing, too!! i'm not too familiar with self-publishing prose other than i know there are services that'll turn your book into a real bound book and stuff like that, but i think putting it online would be great. do you think if you did self-publish that that would sour publishers on possibly picking up the book in the future? or is it like comics where you can self-publish your book, put it online for free in its entirety, and publishers will still want to publish it?

    @Andrew: i don't know, i think sudden character changes can be done well. you keep bringing up real life statistics for some reason so if we're going with real-ness why can't characters change like real people do? i've had pretty sudden changes myself and seen them in friends, sometimes you just wake up and decide to do something different or you feel different or have an epiphany or you're faced with a situation you've never been in before so you're forced to behave in a way you've never behaved, and since in comics we're not privy to a character's every thought, i think it can definitely be written in a way that's sincere. especially since so many of these characters have like at most 2 personality traits, they're so broadly- and nebulously-defined you could practically go in any direction with them and write it so it works. sometimes it's crappy, yeah, like Kirk's sudden seething Klingon hatred in Star Trek 6 is kind of awkward, but there are plenty of other examples where stuff like that works pretty well, especially in an exquisite corpse-like field like superhero comics. :)

    i don't get all this statistics stuff, though, how does that have anything to do with this? one, the statistics are largely approximations, and two, it all depends on what kind of group of people you survey and what type of fictional group the story is about. we keep talking about sincerity and cynicism, but approaching characters' sexuality (or whatever other characteristics) in terms of somehow matching real life statistics so you can have the "right" amount of a type of character is not sincere, it's calculated tokenism.

    @Nick: i'm looking at an Audioshocker shout-out ad for Gello Apocalypse but "apocalypse" is spelled "apocalpyse." just a heads up. ;)

  46. 35 Kelly

    @ross: Thanks :)

    I would probably do a thing where I released a chapter a week on my blog up until a certain point (probably the first 75 pages as that's the first section before the big break). You know, try to o get some social media momentum on it, some people interested in the actual book. Build a website, all that good stuff, and then do a print version (via Lulu or CreateSpace?) and a digital version which would be available via Amazon and a few other places (as I understand it).

    I also thought about doing a kickstarter to raise some of the funding so that I have to go less into my pocket (which kind of doesn't exist) and so I can pay for things like a professional/semi-professional cover, additional editing services, etc...but I'm not sure. I'd probably have to lean on some very talented friends (ahem!) and beg them to give me some free artwork/services/etc. in order to get any significant movement on a kickstarter. I don't know.

    As I understand it, publishers WILL buy a book, even if you've technically burned your first rights by self-publishing, but you have to move a HUGE amount of books in order for that to happen.

    This is a pretty good article:
    http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/06/self-published-ebook-authors-earn-living/

    But my hope is that if my second book does get picked up in the next few months, while I wait for the dinosaur that is traditional publishing to get my book out there, in the meantime I could be building traction and some sales on that first book, and then if the second book hits...maybe the 1st one gets a new life....?

    I don't know it's all very unknown.

    My biggest problem right now (well, one of them) is that you know me...I'm a recluse...it's very hard for me to hustle for my book in the real world. Online? NO PROBLEM. Real World? PROBLEM. So I think I've got to get over that if I really want to make a go of this thing.

    Thanks for the support though. You know I'll be hitting you up for "Bonnie & Lola get ice-cream and everyone lives happily ever after" art if I go the Kickstarter route. :)

  47. 36 nick marino

    @Ross: Whoops! I shoulda caught that before I approved Shawn's ad!!! Actually, if I remember correctly, I took a screenshot of the header from Shawn's site to make that one. And the site is still wrong, so I'll wait till he fixes it :)

    @Kelly: Great points about everything it takes to do it right. I think you're in an interesting situation with this stuff because you've been working within the traditional system for so long that it's almost worth it to just see things pan out in that capacity. If you were 25 and writing your first book and not sure what to do, I'd tell you to self-publish right away with no compunctions, even if it meant making a lot of mistakes along the way. But you've already got two books under your belt and you've been working with an agent for years, so I can see why you've stuck with the path you're on. I know it'll work out soon!!!

  48. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Wet Moon comics


  49. 37 ross

    @Kelly: i think your self-publishing plan sounds great, and yeah, maybe when the new book hits it'll get the bigwigs to give the first one a second look. that article you linked is super encouraging, too, almost makes me want to tell you screw the big companies but then i think i also agree with Nick that you've been at this for so long, so it makes me feel like maybe this new book is the one that's gonna hit and then retroactively make the first book hit. what sort of real world hustling would you have to do though? do books have conventions like comics do?!?

    @Nick: does Shawn know the title is misspelled...?

  50. 38 ross

    @Paul: oh shit, i missed your link at first! i just saw it. thanks so much!!!

  51. 39 nick marino

    @Ross: he knows now that you said something about it! he changed it over the weekend.

    there are book conventions... remember that indie book show i was trying to get into last year (and that video i wanted people to vote for)? sometimes they're called author conventions and other times they're called indie book fairs or even just book fairs with non-indie stuff there. but most of the big publisher stuff happens at trade shows and conferences, especially for librarians. did i get that right, Kelly?

  52. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    VACANT webcomics


  53. 40 Chad

    So this episode is really, really awesome and really, really long and I’m loving it, but I’ve been listening to it for days now ( I listen to it on my way to and from work) and there have been roughly 400 billion points where I’ve wanted to comment. Tonight I was gonna listen to the rest of it but I just finished listening to the Siege Perilous conversation and I’m nerding to an almost ridiculous degree so I stopped to post this. Here’s my take:

    The Siege Perilous is named after a piece of Arthurian legend. The Siege Perilous was the empty seat at Arthur’s round table that was reserved for the knight who would find the Holy Grail. Anyone else who sat in it would die. Claremont’s a huge King Arthur nerd, so he created a mystical doohickey and called it the Siege Perilous.

    When you pass through the Siege Perilous you are measured and judged by unnamed cosmic entities (like always happens, ya know) and are judged and returned to Earth. Where you end up, and what happens to you, are the results of your judging.

    Psylocke was returned to Earth in a situation that played off what Claremont had been hinting at about the character for a while. He had been playing up that genteel Betsy actually really wanted to be a warrior. Alan Moore had shown that when he was writing Captain Britain. Besty took over the mantel of Captain Britain and got her eyes gouged out as a reward. Claremont played off of that and showed her getting deeper and deeper into that. But because she’d been defeated in a pretty gruesome manner the first time out she was determined to be harder and colder and not risk getting hurt again. He showed her as a cold, metal warrior in one of the annuals, she adopted the armor that Wolverine got from Landau, Luckman and Lake, she was judgemental and aloof, and a bit arrogant. So the Siege drops her in a situation where she becomes that warrior she secretly wanted to be. Jim Lee decided she wanted to be a warrior in a thong. Because, really, straight guys are weird that way.

    So she gets the magic Body Shoppe reboot into a new body. That’s where your non-Asian body thing comes in. She was actually rebuilt into the body she has. (Or at least that’s how it went before the Kwannon retcon in the post-Claremont years.) She wasn’t really concerned about the issues about her race or the changes because they were exactly what she wanted and she just didn’t care what people thought.

    The Kwannon stuff actually invalidates all of the post Siege perilous stuff. Retcons suck. Thongs also suck. Or at least so I’ve been told.

    My take on Rogue is just as long and confusing.

    Rogue absorbed all of Carol Danvers’s memories and personality. It was a permanent absorption and left her with an entire second person in her head- as well as all the shadows of the people she’d temporarily absorbed. Over the course of the series Carol’s memories and personality repeatedly emerged and took more and more control over Rogue. They were literally two people living in one head. Two people who didn’t exactly like one another.

    When Rogue went through the Siege she and Carol were split apart. The two personas were free of one another and, because the Siege is a magical doohickey, they each have their own body. The downside being that there really isn’t enough body and soul for two people. So only one of them could survive. And Magneto- through the magic of plot device- has the technology to make the bodies whole and allow one persona to survive. And of course he’d pick Rogue. He’s Magneto. Why have Carol Danvers- who was a fully functional adult with a lot of experience and knowledge of the world- as a possible future enemy when you can have Rogue- who is a train wreck ?

    In slightly less nerdishness: David Lynch signing the petition to free Polanski doesn’t change how I feel about him. I feel like Lynch thought about it and decided that the balance of Polanski’s life justifies his, Lynch’s, signature. I don’t know that I agree with that, but I also know that David Lynch isn’t advocating statutory rape.

    Looking this over I am realizing that the Siege Perilous stuff is kinda Lynchian in its close-to-making-sense-but-then-there-are-bunnies kinda way.

  54. 41 nick marino

    Hi Chad! I dig your interpretations of Psylocke and Rogue. In particular, I like your view on Psylocke.

    I think the era in which warrior Psylocke was born is a really interesting time for the X-Men. From my outsider perspective on the situation, it was the beginning of the end for Claremont's first run on the title. And in some ways, Psylocke is almost the very thing that sealed his fate on the book. Changing the character had a huge effect on her popularity, and that showed Bob Harras that Jim Lee had a lot of artist star power.

    I could go on and on about my interpretation of the history behind it, but basically to sum it up, I'm just saying that I find the whole progression of events fascinating -- Claremont's more moderate and mature voice pushed out by the high-selling and edgy style of Lee (exemplified by thong-clad Psylocke and bad-boy Gambit... both Claremont creations made "cool" by Lee), which in turn implodes the new direction of the relaunch and ends with both Claremont and Lee leaving the X-Men.

  55. 42 Kelly

    Sorry for the delay on getting back here.

    First I have to say...

    @Chad - that is EXACTLY my take on both Psylocke and Rogue...if I had had my wits (and memory?) about me that's what I would have liked to express - like exactly. Thanks for the amazing summary.

    I blame Nick for confusing me! ;)

    @Ross/Nick: Big news! I have actually decided to self-publish The Girl Who Would Be King. Seeing Hunger Games this past weekend made me realize that TGWWBK is NEVER going to be published as YA unless it's already got some huge following - it's just too violent and not "YA enough"...so yeah, since I'm not willing to make the changes it needs to become "reasonable" I'm going to try the self-publish option. I'll be doing a kickstarter I think to cover the printing/editing/cover costs and hopefully getting some good pre-orders/word of mouth. Hoping to start that May 1st. There are lots of moving pieces to this, but I'll also be releasing a big chunk of it (every day? every M/W/F?) for free on my blog.

    SO ANYWAY...thanks for all the support, encouragement, etc. I really appreciate it. More soon I hope!

  56. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    VACANT webcomics


  57. 43 nick marino

    @Kelly: I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just read an article in the LA Times earlier today about the YA novel feeding frenzy going on in Hollywood and I thought to myself "Kelly needs to hurry up and publish so she can option her book an get rich!"

  1. 1 The Comics Podcast Network » A Podcast with Ross and Nick #123
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