Saturday, January 10, 2009

And Apple Pie

Am I getting this wrong …

In my run writing the Robin series (of Batman fame), I made sure both Batman and Robin were portrayed as good, steadfast heroes, with unshakable personal codes and a firm grasp of their mission. I even got to do a story where Robin parachuted into Afghanistan with a group of very patriotic military superheroes on a full-scale, C130 gunship-supported combat mission. And in my short run on the Shadowpact series I kept to the same standard (but with less success as several story details were editorially imposed).

[…] And if I am ever again privileged to be allowed to write Superman, you can bet your sweet bootie that he’ll find the opportunity to bring back “and the American way,” to his famous credo.

… or is Bill Willingham throwing a hissy fit because DC wouldn’t let him turn their comics into Rush Limbaugh’s wettest dreams?

I’m probably getting this wrong.

(Is Willingham still writing Justice Society of America?)


Anonymous said...

Your getting it wrong.

Jamee said...

I don't think you're getting it wrong. Willingham did not impress me with this. He has a right to his own views and to express them. But DC has a right to decide what views their characters have. If Willingham wants to write a character with an ultra-conservative viewpoint he should create his own.

Did you also read the comments section? I was shocked at the cheap jokes flying around.

Marc-Oliver Frisch said...

I'd love to read a good superhero series written from a conservative perspective, actually. But Chuck Dixon's stuff seems terribly generic most of the time, and whatever else comes along tends to be brainded flag-waving or borderline intellectual masturbation like the nonsense Willingham evidently gets off on.

Surely, there must be room for something in-between.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here? What does "written from a conservative perspective" mean?

If it means a comic deliberately written to express conservative views then I'm really not interested in reading it...since I find most of the views of US conservatives rather offensive.

If, on the other hand, the comic is "written by a conservative" who manages to tell an interesting and story that gives me something to think about, then I might be interested.

I haven't found anything written by either Willingham or Dixon that gives me any kind of intellectual challenge at all quite frankly.

In addition this US obsession with looking at everything in a strict liberal/conservative dichotomy is really quite limiting and rather tedious to those of non-US citizens who are on the outside "looking in".

John said...

I took Willingham's post to mean that he's fed up with heroes who don't strive to be better, to be role models for the masses. Honestly, I'm tired of the whole "grim & gritty" realism of comics these days. Reality is not just grim & gritty. Reality can be happy and fun or it could be boring and dull. So, that argument doesn't really hold any water for me.

The Avengers used to be the bastions for good in the Marvel Universe. Now we have 3 different sets of Avengers (one of them Dark), and none of them seem to hold to the ideals in which the Avengers were founded on.

Don't get me wrong - I don't want to go back to the simplistic stories of the Silver Age, but how about we move a bit more back toward that vein of storytelling while still keeping a modern sensibility?

Just my .02.

Marc-Oliver Frisch said...

"What does "written from a conservative perspective" mean?"

Well, if there's one thing where Willingham, Hudnall and Dixon have a point, it's that comics - like most entertainment industries - seems to be dominated by more left-leaning voices.

But, taking something like the neo-conservative plans for the Middle East, for instance ... I clearly don't agree with them by any stretch, but at the same time, I can acknowledge that some fairly intelligent people seem to think it's a good idea.

I'd love to read a smart superhero book incorporating those concepts which DOESN'T approach them from the perspective that they're wrong, for instance. Just for diversity's sake, you know?

Marc-Oliver Frisch said...


"I took Willingham's post to mean that he's fed up with heroes who don't strive to be better, to be role models for the masses."

That's fair enough, but then why turn it into a political discussion?

As much as they'd like us to think so, Willingham and friends aren't arguing for heroes who strive to be better, but for heroes who are more conservative.

Willingham conflates decadence with left-wing views and heroism with right-wing views, and he's doing it in a forum that has nothing to do with comics. His discussion isn't about aesthetics. It's about politics.