Column

DC Yanks CBR Column After Controversy

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They should have known it would end in a PR disaster, and now it seems it has. A column that DC Comics’ Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase co-authored for Comic Book Resources called B&B has been suddenly cancelled, and the reason may be that the fans who submitted questions to the column were getting a little too impertinent.

The source of the controversy over the column may have been another controversy, the hiring of writer Orson Scott Card to pen the online adventures of Superman. Chris Sprouse, a regular DC artist tasked to draw Card’s Superman story, removed himself from the project when fans began to protest Card’s appointment to the project on the basis of, shall we say, his strong views on gay marriage. Here’s the question a fan asked B&B about Card:

Finally, LGBT_Fan asks, “As a gay man, I was disappointed that you decided to work with Orson Scott Card on the upcoming Adventures of Superman. The man has called for the overthrow of the government if marriage equality legislation is passed in the U.S. and serves on the board of the National Organization of Marriage. How do you justify this hiring along with your attempts at reaching out to the LGBT community (e.g. writing LGBT characters in stories like Alan Scott and Batwoman)?”

The answer read as follows:

Note: A DC spokesperson referred CBR back to their previous statement on that question.

Perhaps unwilling to be caught off-guard like this again, the plug has been pulled on B&B with the following statement from CBR:

With regret, CBR News has to inform our readers today that there will no longer be a “B&B” column on the site after only four short months.

When CBR proposed the idea of a regular column with DC’s executive staff, our stated intent was for the feature to be a place to connect the decision makers at the publisher with the wider comics community. Aside from product and story information, discussing the industry news and debates of the day was something we always planned to focus on both in the regular interviews with Harras and Chase and the monthly fan Q&A. However, the DC team has made it clear to CBR that discussing some of the more controversial debates surrounding the company and the comics community is not something they feel comfortable doing in this format, and ultimately they decided to no longer participate in this feature.

Specifically, Harras and Chase declined to comment on questions about DC exclusive talent Jerry Ordway in regards to his statements about his work with the publisher. (Though it should be noted that DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee did discuss the matter in a recent CBR TV interview)

After ensuing discussions on the matter, CBR regrets that DC has decided not to continue what we consider a valuable discussion for readers, retailers and creators. We will however continue to cover the company’s comics, editorial moves and broader impact on comics to the best of our ability – including future interviews with DC executives and editorial staff as they are willing and available.

Well, it was a unique idea while it lasted. Still, The Mary Sue points out that the comic industry is one of the view entertainment media that makes its top people available to fans vis-a-vis convention Q&As and columns like B&B. Could you see the executives of Walt Disney or NBC sitting down with a fan site and doing a monthly article where they answer questions from fans? I hardly think so.

What do you Bastards think? The cancellation of B&B: the coward’s way out, or inevitable result of dealing with combative fans.

Source: The Mary Sue

This edition of Crowdfund Confidential features an exclusive interview with James Deen, the producer of Cowboys and Engines and the star of Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader‘s The Canyons… aka, that Lindsay Lohan film from the now notorious New York Times profile.

We did ask Deen about The Canyons, his career in porn, and whether he worries about Lohan’s infamy, but this article is really about Cowboys and Engines, a sci-fi/steampunk project that Deen is trying to get funded through Kickstarter. After all, that’s what Crowdfund Confidential is all about — introducing that you to a project creator that is trying to get funding for a comic, film, or other like creative endeavor that is both independent and interesting.

Here’s James Deen… (more…)

It’s been 5 weeks since the very first edition of Words Good! Read Now! and it seems clear that the existence of this column has prevented a nuclear holocaust/zombie apocalypse. Do not question my assertions for they are drum tight and above inquiry! Just look at the evidence and then send a basket full of gratitude muffins.

Alright last week was unofficially “Interview Week” and this week is the raunchy, gratuitous T&A edition of the column*. That’s right, we’re showing you articles about throwing electronics (in competition, not anger), worthless tomatoes, and the sexy sexy sexy Alan Rickman slow jamming while he tea bags. Aw yeah. Before we get this kinky party started though, it’s time for the Words Good! Read Now! Oath:

We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

*= Yeah, the whole T&A thing is bullshit, but now I’ve got you in my clutches so enjoy the ride.

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Landon Palmer‘s Culture Warrior column on Film School Rejects takes a look at Rotten Tomatoes, and how stripping film criticism down to it’s simplest roots may not be a good thing. I rate this article as fresh, and it can be read here. In all seriousness, this is one of those times that I’m bringing you an article that I don’t entirely agree with because it is just so damn good. Read it and tell the author how you feel in the FSR comments section.

Speaking of movie critics, the once-a-decade Sight and Sound poll set off a firestorm (or the internet equivalent of a firestorm that only swirls among movie critics and film snobs) when they dethroned Citizen Kane from the top spot. Now though, we get to look at some of the unbelievable films that also sat on some critics’ top ten lists. Check out a few of them here in Matt Singer‘s IndieWire article.

If you read this column (Hi Mom!) then you know that there are certain sites that are almost always going to be on this list — AV Club, IO9, Film School Rejects, and for the third time now, Mental Floss. This time, Julia Davis covers the Mobile Phone Throwing championships. You read that right. Check out the article here.

Alan Rickman drinking tea in slow motion. The article is by Lauren Davis on IO9, go read it here.

Okay, that is all until next time — go read!

 

Words Good! Read Now!: Volume 4

Welcome to the fourth Words Good! Read Now! aka the least read column on the internet. Last time we saw a video of Mark Twain, heard from Howard Chaykin, and  went over the best of Mystery Science Theater 3,000 all from the comfort of our couches with the help of some fantastic writers. This time we’re checking out 100 odd, mind blowing movies whose corpses litter the floor of development hell, an interview with the legendary William Friedkin, and an interview with Neil Brennan (Chappelle’s Show). Before we jump on the magic carpet or hang glide off a Reading Rainbow, let’s put our hands over our arc reactors and repeat the Words Good! Read Now! oath:

We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

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Mel Valentin speaks with director William Friedkin on the bent shape of Hollywood, the worthlessness of politicians, and getting the most out of Gina Gershon and Mathew McConaughey on Killer Joe. The article appears on VeryAware.com (Full Disclosure: I write there as well) and it can be read here in all of it’s amazingness.

Phil Deyess-Nugent looks back at how The Honeymooners changed TV and reveals 10 groundbreaking episodes of the classic series for The AV Club. Wondering how this falls into the Nerd/Geek spectrum? Ever watch Big Bang, Community, Spaced, or any other nerdy sitcom? Well, respect the elders that helped birth the form. Here’s the article.

Speaking of ground breaking comedies, Neal Brennan co-created The Chappelle Show, and then that went away and he was left to sink or swim. Brennan opted for another tact though, and threw himself into stand-up comedy while also doing Hollywood on the side — which is a bit of a reversal. In this interview with Phil Davidson and Splitsider, Brennan talks about the future of sketch comedy and why he values stand-up over the possibility of mainstream movie success. Click here for the article.

I saved the best for last, but this is a long one. Charlie Jane Anders over at IO9 went and collected tales from 100 movies that almost happened but never quite made it. Everybody who reads this will take something else away from this, but for me the biggest shocker is this part: “Ivan Reitman was going to film it at one point, but he thought the answer the question of Life, the Universe and Everything being 42 was “too anticlimactic.” Click here for the article.

Alright, go read!

 

 

Words Good! Read Now!: Volume 3

Welcome to the third edition of Words Good! Read Now! — the ultimate travel show for internet shut-ins. Last week we explored the lost Indiana Jones script and an LCD Soundsystem farewell concert. What mental adventures are we about to go on this time? Fuck if I know I just pull these things out of a hat. So, excited? Man are you easy, but before we get on with this week’s suggestions I must type out the the Word Corps Oath:

In brightest day, in dar… We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

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You absolutely cannot be a smarmy internet motherfucker if you didn’t grow up worshiping Mystery Science Theater and Erik Adams over at AV Club made Jesus Magic when his fingers had coitus with the keyboard while writing this list of 10 essential episodes of MST3K. Read the article here.

American Flagg! creator Howard Chaykin talks with Dutch journalist Marc Oliver-Frisch for ComicGate.de. It’s the interview of the week and yes it is in English, check it out here. Hat tip to Bleeding Cool for getting the word out about the interview.

Lauren Davis from IO9 takes a look at the dilapidated facilities left over from the Athens Olympics. Sad to say, but the use of public moneys on sport’s palaces for both professional teams and events like the Olympics often wind up being a bad deal for tax payers. Couple that with the state of the Greek economy and this is just sad. It really doesn’t have much to do with nerdism but fuck it — the Olympics are everywhere. Read the article here.

Andrew Richdale at GQ says goodbye to Chick-fil-A in another article that isn’t really nerdy (in case you couldn’t tell, I’m making up the rules to this as I go along) but it is damn clever and a little sad. Check it out here.

Dan Seitz from GammaSquad takes us on a tour of The Dark Knight Rises supposed plot holes here.

To close it out, lets just all go to Robert T. Gonzalez’ article IO9 and watch a video featuring Mark Twain. Who shot the only moving image of the masterful writer? Some guy named Thomas Edison. Astonishing. Check it out here.

Till next time: put down the cat videos and read some words.

Words Good! Read Now!: Volume 2

Welcome back to this thing that is on the internet. In week one of the Words Good! Read Now! micro-revolution I told you about some truly wonderful articles that touched on a 3D printer that could make prescription drugs (incidentally, now they’re making guns with them, so fuck utopia apparently) a look into a legendary recording studio, and the origin story for Nickelodeon Slime. This week there is more brilliance that I have found, more magical stories I wish to share with you — you lucky people!

As always though (and also for the second time ever), we begin with a sexy sexy declarative statement: We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

First up, Rob Lammle tells us about an Indiana Jones movie that would have made Crystal Skull look profound — that’s right, Indiana Jones and the Monkey King. Check out the article on Mental Floss here.

Two articles from Film School Rejects make the cut this week, the first from James Broderick, the author of Now a Terrifying Motion Picture!: Twenty-Five Classic Works of Horror Adapted From Book to Film,” Mr. Broderick takes an excerpt from his book and tells us all about the origins of the classic horror film, Freaks. If you’re a horror fan or a cult movie fan you must read this article.

The second FSR article comes from David Christopher Bell and it reflects on 7 movies that have had to be altered in response to a tragedy. You can read it here.

While we’re here, I want to recommend this article, written by AJ Focht. AJ was in theater 9 in Aurora and he has been personally touched by this tragedy. This is the first of a 3 part series of articles that Mr. Focht is writing about the media, political, and societal response to the Aurora Tragedy with an on-the-ground perspective. In this article, Mr. Focht takes the  press to task and what he reveals about their conduct will infuriate and disgust. This is an important story written with uncompromising truth and clarity in the midst of personal duress — this is the pick of the week. Click here to read the article on the Suicide Girls Blog.

Bryan Whitefield does a splendid write up detailing the rock-doc Shut Up and Play the Hits, which was produced by Adam Yauch (aka MCA from the Beastie Boys, and I really hope you already knew that). The doc details LCD Soundsystems final show at Madison Square Garden. A doc about a concert should feel like a grainy xerox and an article about the doc that is about the concert should be almost indecipherable from the original, but Mr. Whitefield pays tribute to the film and paints a portrait so vivid that you think you are actually watching the film. Check that out on Prefix Magazine’s website.

 

Words Good! Read Now!: Volume One

Hello kindly reader, how are you? Shh shh, let’s keep the mystery alive. Right now you are reading the first installment of a new column here on NerdBastards.com called Words Good! Read Now! Our goal: Deliver unto you a collection of high quality, thought provoking, and entertaining articles from all across the interweb. Why am I taking time out of my hectic and majestic life to write about other people’s words and suggest them to you? Quite simply, I love writers and I love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. What, you thought I’d end with some kind of dramatic flourish? Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

Nick Offerman tells Sean O’Neal (The AV Club) about what it’s like to be a normal, easy going guy in Hollywood, not caring about the Emmy Awards, and how his massive (fake) penis got him work in the early days.  Click here for the article.

You are familiar with Nickelodeon’s green slime, yes? Check out the origin story of that slime with Matt Soniak’s report on Mental Floss. Click here for the article.

I’m a big fan of Rock-Docs, The Foo Fighters, and Rock and Roll history. I also like gourmet cupcakes. Dave Grohl’s directorial debut, Sound City, checks off three of those boxes and Jon Blistien — a reporter for the upstart indie music magazine Rolling Stone — reports on the progress of the doc that explores the history of the historic Sound City recording studio where Tom Petty, Nirvana, and several other legendary groups recorded some of the greatest albums of all time. Here is the link to this article, and here is a link to an article that will explain to you what an “album” is.

Lauren Davis (IO9) writes about the possibility of 3-D printers gaining the ability to “print” out prescription drugs. It’s a far off concept but it could change the world and save millions of lives by giving them faster access to pharmaceuticals. Read the article here.

Hannah Shaw-Williams from Bleeding Cool takes us on a tour of some of the most outstanding and imaginative crowd-funded films. Click here for the article.

Two (actually three) sad stories conclude this first installment of the column. Tom Davis was a comic legend. Working on SNL in it’s early days, Davis and his writing partner (now Senator) Al Franken created several legendary characters and helped establish and shape the show when it was in its infancy. Crix Lee wrote a wonderful piece about Davis’ career for GeekNation, (which you can read here) but Davis himself wrote a funny, easy going, and soulful estimation of his life amidst the dying. You can read that here, and it is the best thing I read this week.

The second (actually third) sad article is about the Aurora tragedy. Many writers rose in this horrible moment to deliver heartfelt and poetic articles. I don’t know how many of these have been written, and I don’t know how many more need to be, but Rich Johnston from Bleeding Cool summed things up about as well as anyone could. You can read his article — “Remember Denver, But Not the Killer” — here.

This concludes this week’s edition of Words Good! Read Now! If you have suggestions throughout the week, please feel free to email me at jasont@nerdbastards.com. If you have mean things to say, email Luke. 

 

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