§ You may note that the front page of The Beat looks different. I tinkered with the template in order to alleviate some of the strain on the database, so hopefully there won’t be any more crashes before we move to our new, updated look and server (which is coming, promise). In the course of doing this, I crashed the database worse than it ever had been before to the point where even after rebooting the server the errant process would immediately lock it up again. After a few reboots, I finally managed to turn off the offending script (which had to do with suddenly resizing the 14,000 or so images hosted on the site—sheesh) and heroically saved The Beat all by myself! All without really knowing what I was doing!

Oh yeah!§ I have taken down yesterday’s post on various PR gaffes regarding the death of Joe Kubert. First, it was detracting from remembering a very great artist and person. In the greater scheme of things, it was unnecessary. Second, the comments were truly moronic for the most part. Seriously, people. What is wrong with you? I’m putting in a new commenting system in the redesign and it’s going to be easier than ever to nuke the hagglers and eggers and trolls.

§ Speaking of trolls, another controversy over the reaction to Kubert’s death arose yesterday when a certain blogger went off on Kubert’s work on the controversial BEFORE WATCHMEN project and made comparisons so stupid that he later apologized for them. I’m not going to name or link because given the person’s past track record, it was all a ploy for attention. And it worked.

§ In this context however, it’s worth noting that Kubert had no problems with work for hire. His long, long career was generally controversy free, and—most importantly—Kubert was treated by publishers with tremendous respect throughout his career. It was respect he’d earned through his talent and his demeanor. DC probably could have done a BEFORE TOR if they wanted, although it would be pointless, because the work was so tied into Kubert’s style and viewpoint. I doubt Kubert would have made a public fuss, because that’s the kind of guy he was, and he grew up in the WFH system. (Guessing here, admittedly.) But that system treated him well. Many weren’t as lucky—or as talented—as Kubert. I think I’ve said all along that while I think BeWa is offensive on many levels, I don’t hold it against the artists who are working on it. High-paying jobs are few and far between and few people can afford to turn such a project down.

Anyway, this is a time for celebrating the many great things about Joe Kubert. Despite these kerfuffles, his work on a single ethically tarnished work is going to be nothing but a footnote in an amazing life.