Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Warner Todd Huston's terrorist attack on Comic Books.

This post is going to be a little different than I what I normally post here. It still pertains to comic books but in a different way. The industry, specifically Marvel Comics, Captain America and fans like myself, have been attacked and lied about recently.

There's this guy, an evil villain called Warner Todd Huston. He claims to be a writer, he has a blog like mine...but UNLIKE mine he doesn't write about things he knows.
Recently, Captain America (#602) was tracking down a terrorist group called The Watchdogs. He and Falcon came across a group of people protesting something. It APPEARS they are protesting taxes and government spending. This happens all the time.
What Warner Todd Huston FAILS to realize is you actually need to read a full issue of a comic book to understand what's going on. You can't just look at one page, find something you THINK is happening then pretend to be offended about it.

I'm planning a series of posts on this topic and this man because there is no way to fully explain the impact this man's inaccurate and rude words have had on comics. This is almost like the 1950's all over again. The only difference being I wasn't around then to defend my hobby.

So, let's begin, shall we?
Warner Todd Huston wrote what he claims is a 'critical analysis' of CAPTAIN AMERICA #602 when in fact all it was was a slander piece filled with half truths and a full display of his ignorance about comics.
He begins: "In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
In preparation for the infiltration, Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest. The scene shows crowds of people in city streets carrying signs that say, “stop the socialists,” “tea bag libs before they tea bag you,” and “no to new taxes.” Naturally, the people in these crowds are depicted as being filled with nothing but white folks.
The black character asks the out of costume Captain, “What the hell is this?” And follows that with, “looks like some kind of anti-tax protest.” The Falcon character then snidely tells his partner the Captain, “So I guess this whole ‘hate the government’ vibe around here isn’t limited to the Watchdogs.”

Okay, now I'm going to overlook the whole pointing out Falcon being black thing. It just shows his ignorance. We've known Falcon was black for decades but I guess since he knows nothing about comics it might shock him to see a black character being a main character. Where he falters here is "Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest." I suppose if you really feel the need to label such things but are the Tea Party Protests the ONLY ones that oppose taxes? This may be shocking to hear but...no, they aren't. People have been protesting taxes for decades now, it's nothing new. This just shows Warner Todd Huston grabbing for straws...or shows how thin his skin is.
He continues, "The black character asks the out of costume Captain, “What the hell is this?” And follows that with, “looks like some kind of anti-tax protest.” The Falcon character then snidely tells his partner the Captain, “So I guess this whole ‘hate the government’ vibe around here isn’t limited to the Watchdogs.” Again with the color thing...get over it. Also, this shows more of his ignorance. Falcon is a liberal character, this isn't new to anyone who knows what they're talking about. We've had very liberal characters in comics for years. Green Arrow comes to mind. He's so liberal I can't stand him, personally.
But we have Conservative characters too. Green Lantern, for example. Captain America can be considered a traditional conservative due to his love of country and not political party but for the most part, Cap has generally been above left/right politics. He does what he feels is best for his country regardless which party is running it.

So, Cap suggests Falcon try and infiltrate the group. Warner Todd Huston has a problem with this. Now, I don't know if it's because Falcon is black and Warner Todd Huston feels a black character shouldn't be a lead for any reason or not, but he claims the move only shows the protest group is a racist group because they are shown to be mostly white.
This is a stretch, much like making remarks of Warner Todd Huston being racist...well, I've seen other things he's written so it may not be THAT much of a stretch but be that as it may, he IMPLIES Marvel is making a statement about the Tea Party people, he claims Marvel is saying they are all white and all racist.
You think that's a stretch too? Here is Warner Todd Huston's OWN WORDS: "So, there you have it, America. Tea Party protesters just “hate the government,” they are racists, they are all white folks, they are angry, and they associate with secretive white supremacist groups that want to over throw the U.S. government." Every bit of this statement is not true. No where on that page do you see proof that the protesters 'hate government' that is only what Falcon thinks. One characters opinion. There is NOTHING to suggest those people are racist. Falcon mentions they are white. When I see the Tea Party Protests on FOX News I see white people more than I see Americans of other color. It's not that big of a deal. Angry? Okay I'll grant him this ONE. Who isn't angry about being taxed? The last part though...NO, there is not even a remote suggestion that this group is associated with the Watchdogs. What IS suggested is there may be a way to locate one group by infiltrating the other. It happens in the real world. One group sees the passion of another and they use that passion to further their goals, Cap probably thinks the Watchdogs would do something like that. They have America and they might be able to get more members by lying to the protesters about who they are. It makes sense.

Now, in the interest of fairness, something Warner Todd Huston knows NOTHING about, I am going to now show you the pages in question. Read them. Look at them closely and tell me if you see the same thing Warner Todd Huston sees. I've looked at these pages many times and I don't see it. Of course, UNLIKE Warner Todd Huston, I know how to read a comic book.
...to be continued


ClarkWGrizwold said...

I hate to say it but I CAN see where he may have drawn this conclusion. Look at the fact that the crowd IS all white and that Falcon DOES mention it. Not only that, the signs do mirror many of the things Tea Party protests are about (taxes, no socialism) and they even show the sign with the Tea Bag comments on it. That is pretty clear what they intended by that.

You have to remember, comic writers are not above puting their own politicial views into the comices. There are a ton of stories that are clearly based on political issues.

Lastly, it is easy for a conservative to see this as a political statement...especially from the company that so boldy featured Obama is Spider-Man.

ClarkWGrizwold said...

That last part should say "Obama IN Spider-Man"

Skott said...

Here's the thing...the protest was never called a Tea Party one. I MIGHT have resembled one but all protests against the government and it's stupidity look the same.
Also, Falcon's remark is true IF we're talking about the Tea Parties. If you look at footage of them on FOX you are hard pressed to find someone of color. It's a sea of angry white folk. That's isn't a bad thing but it's true.

Something about the sign, though...yes ONE sign was similar to one seen at a protest early last year. Does that make this a Tea Part protest? No, not really. It's still a stretch and more likely some jerk with a blog wanting to make something out of nothing.

Yes, writers tend to put their personal politics in their stories. It does happen. But I really don't think this was the situation here. According to Marvel the writer just made the scene a protest. That's it. The signs were blank when sent to the printers where the words were finally put in. According to Marvel they had no intention of using any specific sign and have apologized for it.
I don't agree with them apologizing for it as I really don't see how this makes the Tea Party look bad in any way.

But now that this Warner Todd Huston has attacked this he's decided to attack the industry in general and the readers. We're all leftist and liberals who hate this country and we're also stupid. Comics are childish and not legitimate art or literature. We both know this is not true. Also, because of this guy, people are trashing Marvel, people who have never read a comic book think we are all liberals who hate this country and think the tea party folks are hateful racists. This isn't true. That's where I come in to defend this.

ClarkWGrizwold said...

I agree that his attack on everyone that reads comics due to the issue here is stupid.

However, we both know the horrible amount of adoration given to Obama by media in general. It is pathetic and disgusting.

From someone on the outside looking in, you see the Spidey-Obama issue, and a number of other Obama appearances that all help to glorify him. Then you see a scene that seems to show the opposition to Obama and is painted in a negative light. It is easy for someone who is on the outside lookin in to mistake this for an OVERALL political statement by the publisher.

I may be wrong, but I don't recall as much Obama love in DC Comics.

All in all, we have to agree that this is someone who probably normally agrees with us 90% of the time politically. However, he is frustrated by the celebrity fawning of so many for Obama and when he sees something like this, he jumped to the wrong conclusion.

To attack all comic book fans is a stretch that he should not have made the mistake of doing.

However, there are far more destructive people out there to focus your frustration on. To be honest, Huston does not know what he is talking about, he is arguing like a liberal (take one small example and stretch it to be an all inclusive example of something) and he is wrong. Plain and simple. As they often say online, don't feed the troll. Ignore him and move on.

Remember my friend, this is the year you want to celebrate comics....I am right there with you, don't let this fool ruin the party!

Skott said...

I was one of the few that was very verbal about the industry sucking up to Obama after the 2008 Election. It was disgusting which I said then and I say now.

My point with this guy is he is speaking about something he knows nothing about and he's created this anti-Marvel/anti-Comics movement online and I"M not going to let it go unchallenged.

Yes, this is my year to celebrate comics, I'm celebrating 20 years collecting these things. Part of my celebration is sharing some of the knowledge I've learned over the years which goes hand in hand with educating this twit about exactly where he's wrong on this and why.
Fact is, this jerk has given me an idea of how to share the information I've learned. He's the focal point because he represents this anti-comic mentality we now have in this country.
Back in the 1940's Fredrick Wertham tried to stop comics from being published. He was shunned and ignored.
He came back in the 1950's and his efforts almost destroyed the entire comics industry. Because he was ignored. Now, I'm not saying this moron has the know-how to do anything close to that but he caters to the FAR right and just like the FAR left, they tend to get heard more than the rest of us because they are louder and more vicious in getting their POV seen by all. I'm not really willing to let it happen again. It likely won't but why take the chance?

Besides, Deadpool wouldn't let it go, he'd make a total joke of this guy. You can't argue with Deadpool...can you?

ClarkWGrizwold said...

Well, I guess if you really wanted to make some kind of impact with him, then you would need to do so in a professional manner.

Just puffing out your chest, getting indignant and calling him names will only fuel his belief that comics fans are childish idiots.

However, if you engage him in well spoken dialog, then he would be more open to what you have to say.

Seriously, I think you are wasting your time on him. He is less well known than Senator Lieberman who took on video games, comics and tv and failed to make any difference.

I frankly am done with this whole thing. I am going to enjoy comics, but I am not going to let some know-nothing full of hot air spoil my enjoyment of this industry. I don't have time to go on a crusade that really means nothing because the guy, again will not cause any lasting change (or change at all)

As I said before, he is just grasping at straws, he has no leg to stand on and will make virtually no difference in the grand scheme of things. Comics will continue to come out and will continue to be enjoyed by the fans.

I personally think you should just let him go on spouting and ignore him. Most others will and he will have to move on. The more you engage him, the more you spark continued debate. To me he is like a child mis-behaving to try to get attention...the best way to stop it is not to feed it and ignore it.

Just my opinion. As I said, I am completely done with this. Back to the enjoyment of comics!