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‘If You Don’t Like It, Make Your Own’ Is a Terrible Argument, But A Great Idea

Make your own.
Make your own.

As someone who makes a living writing and editing for the internet, I've gathered quite a collection of terrible arguments from online commentators, ranging from the perennially awful, 'I don't care about this so you shouldn't either,' to the specifically ignorant, 'How would you feel if they made Black Panther white?' But there's one common argument that combines dull wit with frothy anger to such exhausting effect that it deserves special attention; 'If you don't like it, make your own.'

I write about comics, so I'm especially aware of how often the argument is made in response to comics criticism. But I know that it's also used in all other creative fields, from film-making to video game design, and it's an argument without merit in any field. There is the kernel of a good idea behind it; the comic form is open to anyone who wants to make a contribution. But that doesn't mean you have to make comics rather than criticize. If you don't like what you see, there are several good reasons to say so.

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All About ‘You’: Diversity is DC’s Brightest Future, If It Has the Patience to Get There

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Last week there was a rumor going around that DC might pull the plug on its new 'DCYou' initiative before it had even had a chance to take root. DCYou aims to provide more diversity in content, characters, and creators, in an effort to reach new readers in a shifting market. The initiative stands in sharp contrast with the homogeneity of DC's last major relaunch, the traditional and conservative New 52, targeted squarely at long-time readers.

Of course, the New 52 performed very well for the publisher, and in some months it even pushed DC ahead of industry leader Marvel. The relaunch never achieved its major objective of permanently toppling Marvel, but it did provide strong numbers in direct market comic store sales. Compare those numbers to the sales for DCYou, and one can see a clear argument for going back to the old model. But that argument is grounded in a narrow understanding of the industry.

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All For the Wookiee: The Star-Warsiest Moments In Last Month’s Star Wars Comics

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Welcome back to All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments. It's another jam-packed installment, with two-fers for Star Wars, Kanan and Lando, alongside Darth Vader issue #8. We'll take a look at the highs, the lows, the in-betweens and rate the Star Wars-iness of each moment.

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Earning the Hindsight Badge: On Jo from ‘Lumberjanes’ #17

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This week, in Boom Studios' Lumberjanes #17 by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, and Brooke A. Allen, fans got a very pleasant confirmation of a long-rumored background detail on the character of Jo. Spoilers ahead if you're not caught up.

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Keep Living the Stories: ‘Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection’ Celebrates Being Aboriginal

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In 2014, Toronto publisher Alternate History Comics launched a Kickstarter for an anthology of indigenous comics, with the goal of “showcasing the rich heritage and identity of indigenous storytelling.” The resulting anthology, Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1, is now available, and it presents a unique and much needed look into aboriginal storytelling in multiple aspects.

It’s easy, as an indigenous person, to slip into what sounds like hyperbole when discussing a project like this. This is one of the most important comics of the year! But it’s easy for the same reasons that make it hard for any statement to actually be that hyperbolic; the blunt reality of comics as a business and popular medium is that there really aren’t that many aboriginal stories being told, and what few aboriginal characters there are usually employ crude stereotypes. These stereotypes aren’t continued out of any real sense of hatred, but out of the almost complete lack of aboriginal people involved in the telling of these stories.

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Ask Chris #255: In Defense Of Snapper Carr

Ask Chris #255, background art by Rags Morales

Q: Why does Jimmy Olsen work so well as Superman's Pal when Snapper Carr doesn't work as the Justice League's? -- @luckyrevenant

A: I honestly hadn't considered it until I saw this question, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that you're right. Snapper Carr, the finger-snapping teenage mascot of the Justice League from back when it actually wasn't that unusual for the Justice League to have things like teenage mascots, really is the direct descendant of Jimmy Olsen --- at least from a character standpoint. They fill that same role, the kid who gets to hang out with all your favorite superheroes so that you too can imagine yourself hanging with Batman and Superman. And yet, while Jimmy ranks at #3 in my illustrious and immutable list of the greatest comic book characters of all time, Snapper is one of the most ignored and forgotten characters of the entire Silver Age.

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Bow to the Queen: Why Can’t the ‘X-Men’ Movies Capture the Majesty of Storm?

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Goddess. Windrider. Queen. Leader. Storm has worn multiple hats during her existence; roles that have aided in her evolution as one of comics’ most significant and abiding heroes. Yet although Storm’s pop cultural significance is great, her characterization has seen glaring inconsistencies from comic book to screen. Fans of the '90s cartoons remember a majestic leader whose long winded monologues became part of her appeal, but fans of the films were subjected to an unimposing and rather useless version of the character.

But what was lost in translation? What is it about Storm that the movies' writers and producers failed to understand?

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Thumbnail: In Praise of the Superheroic Male Miniskirt

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There are many things you can point to in superhero comics as examples of sexism and gender essentialism. Today we will ignore those. Today, we come not to bury comics and their handling of gender issues, but to praise them. Today we salute those brave men who stare down a world of gender-coded clothing choices and say, "No. Not on my watch. Not around my waist."

We speak, of course, of the male miniskirt.

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Comics Alliance Presents ‘Kate or Die’ in ‘It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! (Sometimes)’

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ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate has some advice for people starting out in comics, on being aware of the ways that people might try to take advantage of you, and on the importance of building a support network.

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‘Ms. Marvel’ Wins at Hugo Awards Dogged by Political Manipulations

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The 2015 Hugo Awards took place at the 73rd annual Worldcon in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday, recognizing achievements in science fiction and fantasy storytelling. Administered by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are considered the most prestigious in their field, and many of this year's winners reflected the progressive edge of the genre --- a trend perhaps exemplified by the winner for Best Graphic Story (aka the comics category); Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, published by Marvel.

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