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Monday, March 12, 2007
The Stupid, It Burns
I've been entertained by the weekend debate over whether or not Marvel dropped the ball with giving retailers enough advance information on the contents of Captain America #25 to set adequate order numbers. And by "entertained" I mean "amused by the folly of man."
The general response from retailers (and you can read many thoughts on the subject here, as well as at Mike's site), has been that Marvel's solicitation and promotion information was not adequate, and that orders would have been much higher if Marvel had chosen to share the contents of the issue with retailers instead of, say, Wizard, CNN and the New York Daily News. The dissenting opinion has largely boiled down to "nuh uh!" One particular "internet personality" (and really, how pathetic is that tier of fame?) keeps insisting that Marvel gave retailers more than enough information to anticipate the slow news day driven demand for the issue from people who never bothered to buy issue 24 of the magazine nor have any intention of buying issue 26, and furthermore, if retailers had read his sleazy online column at a second tier PR republishing comic news site, in which he never actually said that Marvel planned on killing off Captain America nor had a multi-media news onslaught prepped for the day the issue went on sale, they would have known to order more copies. Because, of course, internet gossip and innuendo are better predictors of sales than cycle sheets and regular customers. This is, again, despite scores of retailers saying no, actually, the information we were given was insufficient to set orders on non-returnable product correctly.
Hmmm...whose opinion do I find more credible? People who order comics for a living, and have done so for years...or a self-aggrandizing publicity-whore?
Of course, that decision is made ever easier by the fact that fine folks like "DanteHicks1972" are taking the bold stand that Marvel is incapable of doing wrong: It seems like any time something doesn't go the retailers way the crying begins. Sometimes it's justified others like this seems like sour grapes. With all the rumors, innuendo etc if Marvel said it was going to be big it's their fault for blowing tem off. The fact that Wizard speculated correctly and made a few extra $$$ more power to them. I'm jus t glad my local retailer held alot of issues back for subscribers who don't normall pull Cap.
Okay, two things deserve comment here. One, by naming yourself after a character in a Kevin Smith film, you pretty much waive all right to having your opinion taken seriously. And two, learn to be friends with the English language and it will be friends with you.
I liked this article about 300 by Francois Peneaud and Joe Palmer for being fair-minded while acknowledging the problematic aspects of the way the original comic dealt with homosexuality. It still doesn't make me want to see the film because, as I've said before, I thought the original comic was pretty dreadful, and nothing about the film version gives me reason to reassess my opinion. I am fairly intrigued, however, by the ways in which people have been projecting highly contradictory meanings onto the film. It's homophobic. No, it's homoerotic. It celebrates fascism. No, it's an indictment of imperialism. It's racist. No, it's misogynistic. No, it's racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
It seems to me that if the film is this open to so many mutually exclusive interpretations it's probably a muddled mess with no strong central theme. And really, I can't imagine my reaction would be substantially different from Tim O'Neil's.
There was apparently a game developers conference in the Bay area this past weekend, and GayGamer has the best write up I've seen on a panel that was held about gay and lesbian gamers and gay and lesbian themes in games. This particular panel was interesting because it's the first example I've come across of gays and lesbians in the game industry talking about the industry being open to gay themes in games, as opposed to the usual straight white men talking about how open the game industry is to gay themes.
Of course, I'm touched by their naivete in thinking that gay themes would be welcome in more games, given that most of the responses in this thread can best be summarized as "faggots are disgusting and I wouldn't buy a game with gay characters."