§ Craig Thompson (Blankets) talks about his…..Grammy nomination???

§ The power of superheroes comes to rescue errant brands, says AdAge:

It sounds like the plot of a superhero story. On the hunt for an elusive target — young male consumers — media buyer Sharon Enright struggled to find the right ad venue for her client, Honda. A wrong move could mean money ill-spent. As it happens, Ms. Enright discovered a place largely untapped by the auto industry: comic books.

§ The New York Post (which is owned by Rupert Murdoch) reviews the anti-war GN SHOOTING WAR…and doesn’t like it!

But formally appropriate or not, a reader versed in classic comic book cartooning will be apt to find it distractingly ugly. The style often gets in the way of the simple storytelling virtues that cartooning is best for. It’s sometimes difficult to tell from panel to panel exactly what’s going on. The graphic novel’s look, created as the book flap says with “a combination of photography, vector illustration, and digital painting” is very now – the sort of “now” that will almost certainly look dated and oh-so-2007 soon enough.

In the book’s afterword, the authors identify this as a “work of political satire” that strives to “get you thinking about some big questions concerning the media, the war in Iraq and American foreign policy.” That was all-too-obvious in this heavy-handed, though successfully gripping, work. They add that, “We also hope it makes you chuckle.” Unless, say, the suitcase-nuking of Bangalore is a knee-slapper, they misunderstand their own work’s tone.


  1. I assume that the Brian Doherty who wrote that piece for the New York Post as opposed to it being a product of their editorial board is the same Brian Doherty who writes about comics occasionally and attends the San Diego Con. That Brian Doherty has, as far as I know, a stellar reputation as a fair and honest journalist.

    As much as you’ve whined in the past about being tarred with the suggestion of bias because of the people you’re writing for, I’m surprised that you would lob something that nasty in Brian’s direction, even in a joking fashion.

    If it’s a different Brian Doherty, my apologies.

  2. Tom, speaking as someone who actually has written for the New York Post (ooooo, there goes my liberal cred) and knows other people who write for the Post, it is quite heavily edited. It could still be the same Brian Doherty and I would still not owe him an apology.

    Anyway I didn’t say anything about “reviewer’s bias.” It’s more like “outlet bias.” I just thought it was interesting that it got reviewed at all, given the bias of the book. When I saw it was a negative review, I wasn’t surprised. I’m sure it is all just a coincidence, however.

  3. Okay, then let’s try to figure this out.

    I was tweaking the Post for its very well known right wing slant.

    How does that insult Brian Doherty?

  4. The piece was hardly edited, if at all—I know the word limit the Post needs and craft what I write for them carefully to that word limit.

    My attitude about the war in Iraq is 100 percent different from the standard vision of what the Murdoch empire’s is (and there is a long, long set of articles and essays and blog entries by me dating back til 2003 to prove this, not that Ms. MacDonald had any reason to know this or know who I am, though we have technically been introduced at least once at past ComicCons).
    From what I can deduce from the work itself, my attitude about the war is similar to Lappe’s and Goldman’s. I actually said nice things about SHOOTING WAR in the parts of the review not quoted here. I just find the art style ugly and the author’s belief that their tone came across as satirical and amusing, as opposed to successfully harrowing and nightmarish, misguided.
    No one owes me an apology for not liking the review, though.
    In fact, here is a no-charge pre-selected totally positive blurb for the paperback, all derived from that review: “Successfully gripping….a bracing take on bad-case scenarios for near-future Iraq. It should interest comics fans looking for a different direction for their form, and all fans of contemporary political thrillers”

  5. Okay, I’m really busy these days, and only just now remembered it, but I think that by saying that the Post reviewed the work instead of phrasing it as running a review of the work and that the fact they didn’t like it was worthy of humor, the clear implication is that the Post drove the coverage instead of the writer, whether or not you intended it that way. If I wrote “Reed’s Publishers Weekly wrote a review of New York Anime Festival… and guess what: they liked it!” I can’t imagine you would like that, either.

    As it turns out, it also looks like Brian’s text wasn’t heavily edited as you claim nor was the piece negative, especially not in the way you insinuated.

  6. I didn’t “claim” it was heavily edited, I said it was a possibility.

    “§ The New York Post (which is owned by Rupert Murdoch) reviews the anti-war GN SHOOTING WAR…and doesn’t like it!”

    Thus, Tom claims, I have impugned Brian Doherty as a bad journalist or a right winger, or WORSE, something called “Heidi Logic.”

    As someone who scans hundreds of mainstream reviews of comics a month, it’s unusual to see one in a daily newspaper that’s this critical. Like I said above, it’s probably just a coincidence. As someone who scans the NY Post daily, I’m used to all the little peccadillos and biases that all THREE NYC dailys have. It was that more than any scheme against Brian Doherty’s integrity that impelled my 21-word essay.

  7. I’m sorry, but you’re being ridiculous. “it is quite heavily edited” is not you saying it was a possibility. It’s a sweeping claim. In fact, you were so certain of this, you took making an apology off the table!

    One typical result of Heidi Logic is to conflate all criticism into personal attacks from everyone in the vicinity, regardless of whether or not someone has made them. Like this: I’ve said nothing about your impugning Brian as a right-winger. I don’t know Brian’s politics and in fact, I would consider an analysis or characterization of a writer’s politics more than fair game. I’m saying that suggesting that the NY Post’s pecadilloes and biases drove the review is a shot at a journalist, a shot that’s beneath you, a shot that’s ironic considering your past complaints.

    In fact, if the writer himself coming on here and saying there’s nothing to it can only move you so far as to saying it’s “probably” a coincidence, it seems to me pretty clear that you still have it in mind.

    Brian Doherty’s a big boy with an established career, but I wanted to point this out because he didn’t deserve the characterization. I still think he didn’t.

  8. I guess in Tom Logic “could still” is “a claim.”

    I take things personally when they are personal.

    >>>”As much as you’ve whined in the past about being tarred with the suggestion of bias because of the people you’re writing for, I’m surprised that you would lob something that nasty in Brian’s direction, even in a joking fashion.”

    Is that somehow NOT personally about me? As opposed to, say, the arguments now going on in the Writer’s Strike thread, which are clearly NOT about me? “Whined” and “nasty” are fairly leading words.

    Anyway, it is fun for the kids to watch Ma and Pa Kettle-blog fighting, but after your next salvo, I’m moving on.

  9. Anyway, it is fun for the kids to watch Ma and Pa Kettle-blog fighting, but after your next salvo, I’m moving on.

    Let’s not be hasty. There IS a writer’s strike on. Entertainment is as entertainment does! And we kids will take it where we can get it.

  10. Good Lord, Heidi. By saying that you have a tendency to see ALL attacks as personal, that doesn’t mean I believe that NONE of the descriptions or statements have a personal element. I mean, no shit. Many of the criticisms are directed at you, including the overall one that you were unfair to Brian. Hint: In the phrase “Heidi logic” — that Heidi is you!

    What I’m talking about is your tendency to stuff just about EVERYTHING into this construction, your tendency to see these as attacks on your core person as opposed to a criticism of a specific piece of writing or circumstances relevant to a specific piece of writing, and your way of conflating things to the point, this time, of MAKING UP arguments I clearly never came close to making. I pointed out a clear example, and you’ve promptly ignored it. But it’s still there.

    I have no idea how “could still” is a softer alternative to any of the uses of “claimed” in the entire thread. The claim doesn’t come in the part of the
    sentence where we’re wondering about which Brian Doherty it is, your claim comes when you talk with great certainty how everything is edited at the Post and how this dismissed any need for an apology.

    But hey, you can play word lawyer all you want. You’re not very good at it, but this is your house and you’re going to enjoy a lot of support and maybe some of what you’ve written makes greater sense to some of your more regular readers. I’m also certain that you didn’t mean this as an egregious personal attack on Brian. You wouldn’t do that. But I’m surprised you would let a joke or a snarky comment like that fly, given your own expressed distaste for such comments, and I’m surprised that you’ve decided to string it out and argue words and meanings and all that stuff instead of simply seeing how it was unfair and apologizing to Brian for it.

    Brian didn’t deserve to have it implied, joke or not, 11 words or 1100, that a Fox publication’s peccadilloes and biases drove the content of a review with his name on it.

  11. Is it me or was all Heidi trying to say was that it’s not that surprising that the New York Post ran a negative review of a book considered to have a political viewpoint opposing the right wing ideology that is often pushed by the Post? I’m not sure that’s all that controversial a statement. In fact, if a right wing paper like the Post (an objective fact I think no one is disputing) never ran articles critical of liberals it wouldn’t have a slant and wouldn’t be useful to Rupert Murdoch. But that doesn’t mean every writer or every article is a Neo Con hit piece on liberals, but many are and so you expect the AVERAGE article to represent that viewpoint even if the individual writer or article doesn’t. So, yes, it’s not surprising the NY POST ran a piece critical of a”liberal, anti war” book even if the particular piece isn’t necessarily a Neo Con screed.

  12. I just couldn’t let things rest. I’m sorry. I tried. I’m weak AND a solipsist. I wanted to apologize to Brian Doherty for whatever it is I did to him, and assure everyone that we’re all anti-Word War here at Stately Beat Manor. And I think the record shows that I was anti Word War from the beginning, and we can all wait with bated breath for the Lappé/Goldman sequel SHOOTING WORD WAR.

    Maybe it will include an essay from on the proper usage of “imply” and “infer.”

  13. I’m accusing you of implying. The old imply/infer crack only gets used when a person uses one term when they mean the other, not if the person disagrees she implied anything. We both clearly understand the usage.

    Joe, if Heidi wanted to say that, she should have said that. She didn’t use the word “ran” or any construction meaning same; she used the word “wrote” and actually defended this construction throughout the mess above by doing things like claiming she knew how Brian’s article was processed. Heidi is a professional writer; she can be criticized for the words she uses and the arguments she uses to support her words.

    Heidi, nice sullen 14-year-old’s apology. I’m sure you know what is being discussed: I believe, very simply and strongly, that in snarking on the Post you unfairly took a shot at a writer who didn’t deserve it in an exact way you’ve found personally dismaying, and I was surprised that you would do so.

    It’s not a big deal. You didn’t do anything egregious to Brian Doherty. I’m guessing Brian doesn’t care a whole lot and except for the wonderful, peculiar only-on-the-Internet argumentation that followed when I expected a “Whoops; I didn’t intend that! That’s not fair, and apologies to the writer involved!” or something equivalent, even *I* don’t care except to post that initial objection.

    If you don’t want to apologize, and I’m inferring from the above that your tortuous defenses and refusal to take Brian’s statement except to admit a “possibility” the article wasn’t skewed from his exact intentions are more your thinking on the issue than the final, fake-bewildered capitulation, don’t apologize.

    And so, even though I would suggest the proper analogy is Ma and Nephew Kettle, I too am out of here. Have a Merry Christmas, I hope none of this was personally upsetting to anyone, especially you, Heidi.

  14. I had something that was keeping on here originally but I have thought better of it. It is the holidays and we all have better things to do, and better things to think about. I wish everyone — especially Tom and Brian — a Happy Holiday.

  15. Hey all – interesting discussion. I harbor no ill will towards the reviewer. All’s fair in love and reviews – and as he himself has pointed out, there is a great pull-quote at the end. I did, though, have two problems w/ it. I find the insinuation that we claim a nuclear attack on India was funny was slightly disingenuous. In the author’s note, I am obviously saying that while there are serious themes in the book, there is also humor – albeit dark humor. That’s totally cool if the reviewer didn’t seem to appreciate the jokes – but I thought it was kind of lame to make it sound like I was saying the nuke attack specifically was supposed to make you laugh. More importantly, I thought it was strange that the reviewer didn’t mention that two News Corp holdings, The New York Post and Fox News Channel, are targets of satire in the book by name. In addition, while Global News is not meant to be a stand-in for Fox News, most readers seem to think so. Those references should have been noted in the review. That’s just journalism 101. If a reviewer or their employer are depicted in an unflattering light in a work that reviewer is reviewing the reader should know, so they can take that into account when reading the review. It’s commonly called full disclosure.

    The irony is my favorite reviews so far (we’ve had probably 20) have been in the Financial Times and on Forbes.com!