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  1. #1
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    Default Separating the art from the artist

    What is your philosophy on this with regard to comics? Is there a line that you draw where the concept no longer applies?
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  2. #2
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    First thing that came to mind is Jason Aaron, because although I usually attempt to separate the art from the artist, that can be hard to do when Aaron uses the art... well, like this:



    Just thinking about the thought process behind this sort of writing comes off to me more as gross behavior, regardless of whatever point he's making, than anything else, even if no one else sees it.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    I'm still looking to complete my collection of DMZ, so obviously I'm capable of some separation.

    I can't listen to Gary Glitter any more, so I have my limits.

    I also watched Hacksaw Ridge - directed by Mel Gibson - but I'd struggle to watch something he's acting in.

  4. #4
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    It's up to the individual. I think with few small exceptions, we don't very have large pool of Roman Polanskis or HP Lovecrafts in the comics industry today. There are a number of folks who are a little more than willing to be jerks on social media, but I'm not sure some like Mark Waid is in the same class as a beloved actor who may have assaulted someone or has a habit of making anti-semetic statements.

  5. #5
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    It's up to the individual. I think with few small exceptions, we don't very have large pool of Roman Polanskis or HP Lovecrafts in the comics industry today. There are a number of folks who are a little more than willing to be jerks on social media, but I'm not sure some like Mark Waid is in the same class as a beloved actor who may have assaulted someone or has a habit of making anti-semetic statements.
    Gerard Jones is the first person I would think of when it comes to someone I’d have trouble supporting even though I know getting a back issue wouldn’t line his pocket whatsoever. It still feels wrong. To a lesser extent, there are also people in the comic industry who have made bigoted statements and others who I don’t have any evidence are bigots themselves, but have been working closely with really vile people.

    When we’re talking about the entertainment industry at large, Bill Cosby is the leading example I can think of because I really used to enjoy his show and his comedy.
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  6. #6
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    I don't support Neil Gaiman's books anymore. I used to be a big fan, but I find it odd that he writes so much about other people's beliefs, mythologies and religions, with so much frankness, yet he never writes about the belief system of his rich family--what gave him his fancy education and privilege to learn all the stuff he puts into his writing.

    I can see why he's afraid to do that--because it could hurt him and his kids--but he's given so much credit for being brave and honest in his writing, all the while being mysterious about the experiences that matter the most to him and shaped him as a writer. I just don't trust that what he's writing is actually what he thinks, because he's so opaque about his real life history.

    That's the only comic writer I can think of where I let his personal life affect my view of his art. But that's because it's too difficult to separate one from the other. If he was a different kind of writer, maybe I wouldn't care.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurtW95 View Post
    Gerard Jones is the first person I would think of when it comes to someone I’d have trouble supporting even though I know getting a back issue wouldn’t line his pocket whatsoever. It still feels wrong. To a lesser extent, there are also people in the comic industry who have made bigoted statements and others who I don’t have any evidence are bigots themselves, but have been working closely with really vile people.

    When we’re talking about the entertainment industry at large, Bill Cosby is the leading example I can think of because I really used to enjoy his show and his comedy.
    Jones is who I thought of too.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    I don't think you can take a different stance with regards to comics than with other forms of cultural expressions. What might be different is how emotionally close we are to the creators and the material.

    There was some discussion regarding this over in the Superman forum back in July, and there I wrote the below within quotes.

    If I were to add anything to this, is that one should be really careful about acting as an individual, as a publisher (eg DC), or as a curator. They are different roles and require slightly different thinking.

    This is neither the first nor the last such story to come out.

    I don't think there is any one-size-fits-all response to works created by creepy or sleazy artists. Any such response will depend on the reader, the artist, what they did, and the work itself. Myself, I'm unfamiliar with Landis or American Alien, so can't make any judgment there, but hearing this also means that I'm unlikely to ever pick it up. But I pick up or leave works for all sorts of reasons all the time, and I won't say how anyone else should act. All I can do is describe how I have act in similar situations.

    Suffice to say: trigger warning for child abuse and malicious conspiracy theories.

    spoilers:
    One such case is Marion Zimmer Bradley, who molested several children, including her own, together with her husband (and her husband even went to prison over it). She was a central figure within the evolution of feminism in fantasy, but at the same time there are some vaguely icky passages in her books—including The Mists of Avalon—that become really icky once you know that about her. There is a real connection between her actions and her art.

    Another is the case of Leslie Fish, a central figure in fandom and the filk movement, but she has developed into a full-blown conspiracy theorist, including being a Sandy Hook truther. But relatively few of her old songs—those that are important to the filk movement—include such references.
    end of spoilers

    So what can I do? MZB is long dead now. I still have two of her books in old editions in my bookshelf, because I might want to check some passage of them later on, and they are not hurting anyone. While if I gave them away they might hurt someone, and if I did I would be sure the recipient knew about her actions. On the other hand I recently had a presentation on filk, and included one of Leslie Fish's oldest songs there, with no mention of her current activities or opinions. That was because the content of the song has little connection with them.

    Do I mention such things about every such artist or person? No, I make a judgment call based on how they are presented by the other persons talking, my general relation to them, my own relation to the artists, or if mentioning this would derail any larger discussion.

    But I will never blame anyone who has a stronger reaction, or choose to trash all of their works that they owned.

    But I also believe that DC and other publishers will need to be really careful with how they employ creators guilty of harassment or are serial offenders. Not because of a boycott, but because they can turn on other employees or freelancers, or because any marketing campaign can become a nightmare not because they did something a year ago, but because they did something right here and now.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    I feel the explosion of social media has really exasperated this issue in recent years. In short we know too much about people’s personal lives nowadays. It’s become harder and harder to separate the work from the creator when the creator’s flaws and issues are being rubbed into your eyes 24/7. These days every image or piece of dialogue is filtered through what we know about the creator from social media. I generally believe that most technology is net neutral or net positive. Social media is one of the few technologies that make me wonder “was it worth it?”

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    I think blaming this on social media is rather premature. In a lot of ways, social media (which I view rather widely) has been a hugely democratising factor, but also one that could be hijacked by reactionary forces (and yes, I view libertarian free speech zealots as enablers for those forces). Rather, we are living through an extremely volatile period right now with regards to both democracy, social values, and what is allowed to talk about.

    The reassessment of e.g. Marion Zimmer Bradley has nothing to do with knowing more about her on social media, it has to do with her victims finally being ready to talk in public about her and that those they talk to listen, and even more give the victims a platform.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  11. #11
    Swollen Member GOLGO 13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    First thing that came to mind is Jason Aaron, because although I usually attempt to separate the art from the artist, that can be hard to do when Aaron uses the art... well, like this:



    Just thinking about the thought process behind this sort of writing comes off to me more as gross behavior, regardless of whatever point he's making, than anything else, even if no one else sees it.
    That's funny to me. Meh.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    In the past I feel creative fields were more about the work. Sometimes you barely knew anything about the creator. The internet age has flipped that. Now I feel it’s less about the work per-say and more about being able to sell yourself as an individual (personal brand).

  13. #13
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    I feel the explosion of social media has really exasperated this issue in recent years. In short we know too much about people’s personal lives nowadays. It’s become harder and harder to separate the work from the creator when the creator’s flaws and issues are being rubbed into your eyes 24/7. These days every image or piece of dialogue is filtered through what we know about the creator from social media. I generally believe that most technology is net neutral or net positive. Social media is one of the few technologies that make me wonder “was it worth it?”
    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I think blaming this on social media is rather premature. In a lot of ways, social media (which I view rather widely) has been a hugely democratising factor, but also one that could be hijacked by reactionary forces (and yes, I view libertarian free speech zealots as enablers for those forces). Rather, we are living through an extremely volatile period right now with regards to both democracy, social values, and what is allowed to talk about.

    The reassessment of e.g. Marion Zimmer Bradley has nothing to do with knowing more about her on social media, it has to do with her victims finally being ready to talk in public about her and that those they talk to listen, and even more give the victims a platform.
    Social media is so easily manipulated, I can't help feeling that any democratizing value it ever had has been completely eroded.

  14. #14
    Member Supreme Morsoth's Avatar
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    I have no issue separating the art from the artist. Mel Gibson is a jerk, but I love Braveheart - it's probably one of my top 10 movie.
    Known scandals are probably the top of the iceberg, I'm sure many bad things happened, made by many personalities/actors/artists, without us knowing about it, and most people do mistakes at various degrees of seriousness.

    Nowadays, I simply "watch a movie", "read a book" or "listen to music". I seriously couldn't care less about the people that made them. I don't read Gossip magazine about Hollywood scandals, etc.

    In short, I am a fan of stories, not a fan of the actors or artist. That's probably why I'll never get anything signed!

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    I cannot enjoy one of my favorite singers, Dee Dee Warwick, anymore since I find the accusations credible that she sexually abused Whitney Houston and her brother as children. She may have set in motion the entire chain reaction of mental illness and drug abuse that ended up killing both Whitney and her daughter.
    "How does the Green Goblin have anything to do with Herpes?" - The Dying Detective

    Hillary was right!

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