I’ve been seeing an increase of stories recently online & on social media about Marvel Comics and it’s continuing sales slump. Most of the articles bring up the hot topic of diversity, some say that Marvel’s record low sales of their comics books are simply because of rising cover prices & lack of fresh new ideas for their characters. Others say that it’s directly due to it’s attempt at diversifying it’s star characters by changing their race, gender & sexual orientation. Most of their popular character’s titles have had a bit of a revamp lately, for instance Wolverine is now female, so is Thor, so is Iron Man, Cap is black, the Hulk is now Korean-American etc. etc. You get the point. Could these changes really be the reason why sales are down? Do people just simply hate diversity in the Marvel Comics titles?
I really doubt that it’s really that simple, though rising cover prices and lack of fresh ideas definitely doesn’t help their low sales. What I see personally happening is a bit of a trend within Marvel Comics that feels a bit insincere. I honestly don’t really mind that the traditional characters have been replaced but I do feel Marvel’s move to make all these changes to their most popular titles feels as if they’ve been exploiting diversity to make a quick buck. What I’m saying is that it feels like Marvel is just trying way too hard to be current on these topics rather than crafting interesting stories. I don’t believe you can simply take all of your money maker superhero titles, simply change their identities and expect them all to suddenly bring you boatloads of cash because you finally decided to make them more diverse. It’s just not that simple folks. Continue reading
The Benefits of Gusbandry dropped it’s second episode yesterday online and the plot begins to thicken quite a bit! I really enjoyed the first episode which I was lucky enough to catch at the Portland Film Festival in September and I’ve been waiting for the second to really kickstart the whole “gusband” thing into gear. A “gusband” fyi is a gay husband but you won’t find much in the way of romance in the second episode, at least involving the main character Jackie. It’s no secret that she’s clearly crushed out on the wrong dude.
Just when she thinks she’s finally found her Mr. Right we get to watch it all awkwardly come tumbling down. That’s not say it doesn’t happen without some laughs. Still, I’m already hoping that somewhere in this series Jackie’s “Mr. Right” will eventually pop up, though I fear for her the journey won’t be an easy one! This episode really sets up the premise of the series and by the end of it you’ll be wondering where it’ll go next or should I say just how far it will go. It’s playing out so far a bit like Will & Grace if it would’ve been aired in 2015 on HBO and that’s a damn good thing. I’ve got a feeling things are bound to get pretty wild & crazy along the way. I’m curious to see where the wind blows our two main characters and if for some reason neither of them find the love they’ve always hoped for, well at least they’ve got each other…
if you missed the first episode here it is:
Even better now you can watch the second one right after:
This last Friday I attended the Portland Film Festival late night short film block and saw a ton of great lil’ flicks! One of my favorites of the batch was “The Benefits of Gusbandry” which made it’s premiere that very night. This short film is actually part of a much bigger series that launched today online several places. What you might ask exactly is gusbandry? Short and simple, combine two words “gay + husband” and voila and you got a gusband, but in this unique case it’s much more than that. I don’t wanna give away too much of first episode’s plot, so I’ll leave it at that for the moment.
The first episode though was shot right here in Portland, Oregon, directed and written by fellow Portlander Alicia Rose. She’s been responsible for some of the coolest music videos of the last decade for the likes of Bob Mould, MC Frontalot & The Corin Tucker Band to name a few. This project however will have a longer life of its own as we’ll get eight episodes – one each month and hopefully more to follow in a second season. You’ll not only get an awesome tour of typical Portland life in the series but it seems you’ll get it jam packed with some great offbeat comedy with a heart of gold. Check this cool new debut episode which is sure to teach us a few valuable lessons about getting older and trying to find your “Mr. Right” in a these confusing modern times…
I love those weird ass moments in comic book history that catch you by surprise (especially as a kid) and kinda make you chuckle! Today I wanted to add an odd moment from The Incredible Hulk #294, this was back when the Banner could “control” the Hulk and he dressed like banner and even combed his hair the same way. The most nerdy version of the green goliath off all time for sure. I love it. Well this Banner Hulk didn’t last long soon he would lose total control again only to be banished to a different dimension by Doctor Strange. But I digress, well in this issue they are doing some gamma tests on an injured dog and at first the testing appears to have some nice results. After Banner decides to take a nice hot shower, only problem is he’s been having some intense nightmares lately. The over tired Banner starts having a waking nightmare and well, in mid shower transforms into a very naked but squeaky clean Hulk!! Good thing for well placed shower steam! Right after this happens he squares off against Boomerang, a truly classic story line well worth revisiting and of course wonderfully drawn by perhaps the best Hulk artist of all time Sal Buscema!!
Am I the only one that remembers those Marvel Comics Swimsuit issues?! Yeah, these were as weird as they sounded it was basically Marvel’s version of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues except with all your favorite characters posing for sexy shots! These were put out by Marvel Annually from 1990 to 1995 and often had funny articles and fake advertisements. It was a strange idea but I’m gonna be honest there were quite a few characters I was kinda pumped to see posing 😉 These are definitely worth hunting down, they’re super funny and ultimately amusing. Anyway here’s a some pictures from those very issues as we look back to those Superhero bikini days!! Yeeeeeah!!
What the hell is up with this here? The Punisher met Archie way back in 1994? Yeah it’s true, this one shot 48 page epic featured The Punisher hunting down a drug dealer named “Red” whose hiding in Riverdale! Frank Castle goes undercover at Archie’s school as a Gym class teacher and mistakes Archie for the similarly looking villain. What a feat of comic book genius! Hunt this one down folks because this was long before Archie met KISS or came out in support of gay marriage! I don’t care what people say Archie was always a cutting edge dude! I’d rather see the Punisher team up with Archie rather than Eminem any damn day….
So of course we all know that DC usually follows the trends of Marvel Comics. They always have really, so it’s natural with Marvel getting all this media attention again (first in 1992) with their character Northstar and his recent gay marriage announcement that DC would have to jump on the bandwagon and reveal that a “major” character from their roster would be coming out of the closet. People began to wonder who?! Batman? Superman? Swamp Thing (now that would have been impressive!)? Robin? Green Lantern?!! Well it ended up being Green Lantern as you all know, which on the surface sounds impressive, wow Hal Jordan is GAY?!! DC wasn’t fuckin’ around!
Well that is the case unless you read the fine print, see this is the Original Green Lantern, Alan Scott from back in 1940, he hasn’t been a major character for quite sometime until now really. Let’s not forget this new gay version of Scott is a character in an alternate universe “Earth 2” who’s a reboot of the original much much less popular version of the Lantern. Plus there are like a thousand other Green Lanterns out there already the way it is. So are you still impressed? I have to say no.
One could easily argue that Marvel’s Northstar is not a major player, it’s not like Wolverine is getting hitched to Hank Mccoy or anything. However when John Byrne created Northstar he knew he was gay from the start, however it took Marvel all the way until 1992 to reveal.
If you read Alpha Flight from the beginning it’s pretty obvious that Northstar, one of Marvel’s biggest dick’s (no I don’t mean it that way), was clearly gay or at the very least not interested in women in the least.
Check out the full scoop on Northstar’s history of creation in this older post I did. So DC you managed to get people’s attention but next time let’s be just a little more daring!