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  #31  
Old 07-09-2013, 03:17 PM
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JMS just posted a surprise variant cover of TEN GRAND #4. This will be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

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Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

Surprise! We're doing a San Diego Comic Con exclusive variant for Ten Grand #4 three weeks early! Here's the cover! Pre-order now.
Jan
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  #32  
Old 07-25-2013, 08:46 PM
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(Bringing an interesting conversation down here.

In the Interesting JMS Posts thread, I posted JMS' response to a Tweeter who didn't care for the way women were being portrayed in the first couple of issues of 'Ten Grand'.)

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Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post
Well the main complaint was about "women fridged" - the Bechdel thing was an aside at the end of the tweet.
Which, as JMS said, entirely ignored context. Whateverthefrak 'women fridged' is supposed to mean, presumably killed, there wouldn't be a story if not for the fact of that death in issue one.

Numerically speaking, button men/enforcers are men and if they're going to change their ways for love, it's going to be love for a woman and if their love is gonna get killed, it's still gonna be a woman. Sure, I suppose JMS could have switched the genders but that would change the dynamics and might not be the story he wanted to tell.

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I dunno; while I do think litmus testing art is silly on the surface, I did notice last time watching B5 that women interacting happened more often in scripts penned by the other writers. The woman in distress thing happens in B5 too, but I think he answered that nicely when Na'Toth was the one who rescued G'Kar, and having Marcus die when we thought Ivanova was going to go was a nice flip too.
I'd love to look at some examples you noticed from the other writers. Do you recall some? Presumably that "woman in distress thing" is what the original Tweeter would call 'damseled', as in damsel in distress. I'd submit that it tended to happen pretty often with the men in B5 needing rescue, too - as when Delenn brought the cavalry over the hill. Whether it'll happen in 'Ten Grand' or not, it's early days.

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However I think it's a blind spot in his writing that does exist a little bit - quite good at writing well-defined women characters; not so good at getting them to interact with each other. I haven't totally examined this in his other writings, just something that popped in my head recently.
I don't know that it's something that would have been important to the story in B5 (a key requirement IMO) but one particularly good female-to-female interaction that I liked a lot was a conversation between Erin and Theo in 'Jeremiah' where Theo talks about the world she wants for her baby. Which is important to the story as that conversation seems to lead Theo to her championing Markus.

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I haven't read 10 Grand yet but I did buy the first three issues.
I got issue four at SDCC and we learned more about Laura and I like her more now. I'd been confused about what she really knew about Joe and it makes more sense now.

Jan
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  #33  
Old 07-26-2013, 05:25 AM
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Haven't read Ten Grand yet, but should point out that all this terminology (fridged women, damseling, etc.) comes from the "social justice" crowd, i.e. a type of postmodern feminism based strongly around identity politics, the proponents of which spend most of their time getting frothing-at-the-mouth angry on Twitter and Tumblr about how everyone is secretly a bigot. It's very much like a cult, and attempting to argue with such people from a reality-based perspective (i.e. from the assumption that one can use arguments that refer to some sort of objective truth) is usually quite futile, especially since they love to suddenly declare that someone they used to admire is actually the most terrible person ever. JMS responded quite well.

Interestingly enough, the academic/philosophical origins of this way of thinking are explored quite a bit in Babylon 5 (for example in "Intersections in Real Time").
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  #34  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:08 AM
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Maybe they should sit down and read an issue of Lady Death or Tarot?!

Then they might have something to froth at the mouth about. Joe does not seem like a good target to me. If anything B5 had strong female characters. I canÆt comment on Ten Grand since IÆve only read the first issue, but none of it struck me as overtly degrading to women.
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  #35  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
Haven't read Ten Grand yet, but should point out that all this terminology (fridged women, damseling, etc.) comes from the "social justice" crowd, i.e. a type of postmodern feminism based strongly around identity politics, the proponents of which spend most of their time getting frothing-at-the-mouth angry on Twitter and Tumblr about how everyone is secretly a bigot. It's very much like a cult, and attempting to argue with such people from a reality-based perspective (i.e. from the assumption that one can use arguments that refer to some sort of objective truth) is usually quite futile, especially since they love to suddenly declare that someone they used to admire is actually the most terrible person ever. JMS responded quite well.
Thanks, Jonas. Guess I've been lucky enough to miss them...sorta. I was recently accused of not being a feminist because I wouldn't condemn A) Claudia Christian for posing for Playboy and/or B) fans from posting those photos and enjoying them and/or C) not considering photo mags like Playboy to be pornography. Probably all of the above. Whatever. You're right about arguing with that sort. The poster simply refused to accept the evidence of Claudia's own memoir and actions that, rather than being demeaned, Claudia was proud and happy to do the Playboy shoot.

Which isn't to say that I don't think there are many and varied issues that women face, I just despise the current tendency to slap labels on things and people and thereby file them under strict good and evil categories.

Jan
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  #36  
Old 07-26-2013, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Which isn't to say that I don't think there are many and varied issues that women face, I just despise the current tendency to slap labels on things and people and thereby file them under strict good and evil categories.
Jan
This is precisely what our current prime minister / government is trying to do in the UK! Hopefully this doesn’t seem too off topic as it does relate to what you've been talking about. I don't know if it made the news in the USA (unlikely), but David Cameron (our PM) is trying pass legislation which would block access to adult material on the net at ISP level, forcing people to 'opt in' if they want to view pornography.

The proposed legislation targets the more extreme end of porn, BDSM, ‘rape play’, basically the morally questionable stuff (which when all is said and done still ISN’T REAL, and would clearly be horrific if it was). I can’t morally defend some of that material, but the legislation is being put forward on the grounds that pornography is 'harming our children' and encourages ‘violence towards women’. This is of course up for debate, but I believe Cameron's logic is deeply flawed, as is the paper submitted to him by the women’s rights organisation that spearheaded the new law. The proposed filters would not be specific enough to target just that material, and may as well extend to any Hollywood film that dabbles in sexual deviance. But, more than anything, such a move is an awful infringement of our personal freedoms.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm all for women’s’ rights, but I don’t buy the ‘won’t someone save our children from the evils of the internet!?!’ argument for one minute. Parents can, and should, install web sense software, and most browsers do come equipped with it as standard. Any good parent should be monitoring what their children do on the web. We don’t need the state to filter what we can and can’t see, or label us as sub-human because we might want to watch some kinky sex. I have plenty of female friends who openly admit to enjoying porn, some of them like some pretty extreme stuff too, and are surprisingly well adjusted, productive members of society.

As adults, we understand that porn is just fantasy… made by adults for adults, and the vast majority of us implicitly understand the difference between fantasy and reality. As far as I can discern, there’s no empirically proven connection between watching porn and rape. Just the same way that listening to heavy metal or playing video games, doesn’t turn you into a homicidal serial killer.

Sorry for the rant, but when these agendas are hijacked for politicians to score points with conservative England, my blood boils. Cameron’s intentions are likely good, but he’s simply not tackling the root cause of the issue (i.e. ingrained misogyny in our culture). He’d be far better off campaigning for equality awareness, women’s rights in general and educating parents how to ensure their children surf the web safely. It’s the usual 'lowest common denominator' scaremongering that seeks to erode our personal freedoms! It's been a total media frenzy in the tabloid press, which is exactly what Cameron wanted.

There, I’m done. Sorry… I don’t normally touch on politics here, but this one really got my back up!
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Last edited by Ubik; 07-26-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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  #37  
Old 07-26-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
getting frothing-at-the-mouth angry on Twitter and Tumblr about how everyone is secretly a bigot. It's very much like a cult, and attempting to argue with such people from a reality-based perspective
I think that's an unfair dismissal of sometimes valid points. Perhaps this person on twitter doesn't really know what they are talking about, but that's not a reason to think everyone who raises the conversation is worthy of ignoring.
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  #38  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post
I think that's an unfair dismissal of sometimes valid points. Perhaps this person on twitter doesn't really know what they are talking about, but that's not a reason to think everyone who raises the conversation is worthy of ignoring.
Oh, I agree that there are many serious issues to be addressed. It's just that - in my experience, which is sadly somewhat extensive, but in no way covers everything and everyone - people who subscribe to this particular ideological strand are almost impossible to talk to, since what they want is a confession of sins and a grovelling apology rather than a conversation (and they have an entire arsenal of terms to dismiss the very concept of conversation as the result of white, privileged heterosexual cis men who lack empathy and are trying to silence the minorities that they secretly look down upon).

So: I think there are many legitimate points to be raised about the portrayal of women in fiction, but I think that this particular terminology is usually a sign of a specific ideology which is closely associated with "call-out culture" and identity politics, which reject things like arguments and dialogue in favour of outrage. Especially on Twitter and Tumblr.

Quote:
I was recently accused of not being a feminist because I wouldn't condemn A) Claudia Christian for posing for Playboy and/or B) fans from posting those photos and enjoying them and/or C) not considering photo mags like Playboy to be pornography. Probably all of the above. Whatever. You're right about arguing with that sort. The poster simply refused to accept the evidence of Claudia's own memoir and actions that, rather than being demeaned, Claudia was proud and happy to do the Playboy shoot.
Ah, the age-old debate between sex-positive feminism and sex-negative feminism... and the women who really don't care about either side, which I think is most of them. It's the subject of a lot of very angry fights, from academia to Twitter. Claudia's own opinions wouldn't count because she's just a brainwashed victim of patriarchy and doesn't know it.

(Sorry, didn't mean to derail this. Mainly I wanted to point out that this is, like, a thing on Twitter - challenging people, calling them out, making them 'check their privilege' etc. It's not isolated and Joe's response was very good.)
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Last edited by Jonas; 07-26-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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  #39  
Old 07-26-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
The proposed legislation targets the more extreme end of porn, BDSM, ærape playÆ, basically the morally questionable stuff (which when all is said and done still ISNÆT REAL, and would clearly be horrific if it was). I canÆt morally defend some of that material, but the legislation is being put forward on the grounds that pornography is 'harming our children' and encourages æviolence towards womenÆ.
I've seen the headlines but didn't read any of the articles because I automatically get upset at any and all censorship.

And I do understand where many of the people who are against porn are coming from. There's simply no denying that many of the actors in lower forms of porn are addicts or slaves or both and may well not be doing it as voluntarily as one would like. But painting all porn or erotica with the same brush is as bad as most other generalities.


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I think that's an unfair dismissal of sometimes valid points. Perhaps this person on twitter doesn't really know what they are talking about, but that's not a reason to think everyone who raises the conversation is worthy of ignoring.
No, not everyone. Only those who value keeping score over experiencing a creative product.

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Ah, the age-old debate between sex-positive feminism and sex-negative feminism... and the women who really don't care about either side, which I think is most of them. It's the subject of a lot of very angry fights, from academia to Twitter. Claudia's own opinions wouldn't count because she's just a brainwashed victim of patriarchy and doesn't know it.
I suppose I'm in the 'don't care' column. My brand of feminism is wanting to ensure that everybody has the freedom to do whatever they choose to - and everybody else mind their own business. Personism? Humanism? Peopleism? Whateverism.

Jan
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  #40  
Old 07-26-2013, 03:30 PM
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I've seen the headlines but didn't read any of the articles because I automatically get upset at any and all censorship.

And I do understand where many of the people who are against porn are coming from. There's simply no denying that many of the actors in lower forms of porn are addicts or slaves or both and may well not be doing it as voluntarily as one would like. But painting all porn or erotica with the same brush is as bad as most other generalities.
Yes, agreed. There's dark side to porn and it shouldn't be ignored. However, as you say, blanket value judgements (as in this case) don't work and aren't useful. More to the point, they do nothing to improve the situation for those who are harmed. It's all political point scoring, holier-that-thou type rhetoric.
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  #41  
Old 07-29-2013, 07:29 PM
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JMS posted six preview pages for Ten Grand #4 coming out Aug. 7:

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/...9402959&type=1

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  #42  
Old 07-30-2013, 07:41 AM
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So, I just finished Ten Grand Issue #3 (the comic shop is fifty miles from my house and yesterday was the first time I've been able to get over there since the release day.) I am coming around to the artwork. Looking at it enough attaches it to the story, so now it is a part of how I am engaged with the story.
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  #43  
Old 09-04-2013, 07:41 PM
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Looks like there's an artist change on Ten Grand.

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Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
We have a pair of announcements regarding Ten Grand....

As I’ve stated many times in the past, I’m a massive fan of Ben Templesmith’s work. He’s one of the truly unique voices working in comics today, and we’ve been blessed to have him on board for the launch of our flagship title.

When we reignited the Joe’s Comics imprint, we took a blood oath that our books would come out on time, no matter what. We owe no less than that to both the retailers and the readers. So each title launched with a buffer. As I write this, with issue two of Sidekick coming next week, Tom Mandrake is about to roll into the script for issue 4, and Gordon Purcell is finishing up issue two of Protectors Inc. which won’t officially debut until November, and all of Protectors is already written in its entirety. We lost a little time on all of the titles here and there, due to illness and other factors, but that’s what the buffers were for, so we continued pressing forward to keep the books coming out on time.

With Ten Grand, once the script went out to Ben, we would often hear nothing back, despite repeated requests for updates. Most recently, we gave Ben a full script on July 26th. It is now September 4th, and we have still not heard anything back from him, despite repeated emails asking where things were, nor have we gotten any pages. I even tweeted him on August 25th just to make sure he was okay, and though we still didn’t hear back from him, we did hear through others that he’s all right, which is the important thing.

From time to time, every artist and writer falls behind or runs into trouble with the work; I am not only marching in that parade, I am carrying a banner. But there still has to be some level of communication so that all parties can plan out publishing schedules and make adjustments where needed.

So on August 27th, I emailed Ben to say that if we didn’t hear something back by the end of that week, even just a text to say he was underwater, that we would have to find another artist. I wanted to give him every possible opportunity to come back and make this work. No reply. Finally, and with tremendous reluctance, I sent him a note on the 31st saying that we were moving on. Our obligation to our readers and the retailers has to come first.

To be clear: we are and remain big fans of Ben’s work, and wish him every best. His art was magnificent and a perfect fit for the storytelling. If we were doing a graphic novel we’d hire him again in a heartbeat.

So that’s the unfortunate news.

The good news...the great news, really...is that we’re pleased to announce that CP Smith has come onto the book as our regular artist. He is of the strongest and most dynamic voices in the field, and his most recent work on Wolverine Noir has been rightly hailed by reviewers as spectacular. His dynamic, visually compelling style is totally consistent with the Ten Grand universe, and we are lucky to have him on board. Quoting CP: “ I am honored and thrilled to be working with JM Straczynski on this ground breaking independent book. Expect Awesomeness."

CP is diving in immediately to catch up and will move heaven and earth to bring the book back into a regular schedule as quickly as possible. For retailers who are taking orders now for the trade paperback of issues 1-6, we will ship that book as soon as we get all the pieces needed to make that happen.
ETA: In answer to a poster who dislikes when artist changes mean major style changes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
I think one always has to have options in mind...but I also like to listen to fan input, which is why I posted a rather vague note the other day or so about artists whose work falls into a certain style. What's great about CP is that his work is already somewhat consistent with what we had on Ten Grand, it has that gritty, textured, noir feel to it. So the comments helped to firm up what we were considering internally.
ETA Again: In answer to a question as to whether this decision had anything to do with JMS' inquiry about artist who have a style like Ribic Esad the other day:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
That's the one. There was a shortlist of people we were considering: CP, Esad, and two others, all kind of with similar or overlapping sensibilities. Thought I'd see what folks thought. Obviously any of those would be ridiculously great choices.
and
[QUOTE=Fans of J. Michael Straczynski Ben's an amazing talent, and on the few occasions when we met, seemed like just a genuinely nice guy. The work he does, and which he did for Ten Grand, was just beautiful. This was an incredibly difficult and painful call.[/QUOTE]


Jan
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Last edited by Jan; 09-04-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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  #44  
Old 09-05-2013, 01:03 AM
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Saw this on FB this morning. A real shame Ben won't be continuing. I do wonder what the circumstances were on Ben's side, he's not exaclty known for being unreliable. He does seem to have largely disappeared from social media though, so perhaps that's an indiaction something is up.

That's comics though, you have a schedule to keep, so I can understand the need for the change.

Hope all is well with Ben.
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Last edited by Ubik; 09-05-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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  #45  
Old 09-05-2013, 11:08 AM
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That is terrible news. I won't pretend I loved his work, but I certainly hope he is alright.
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