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  1. #181
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    So yeah, comics creators do have a uniquely bad deal. And any attempts to use "whataboutism" becomes a sleazy exercise where you justify one status-quo by using other industries which exploit stuff to make things better. If IT businesses exploit people shouldn't the debate go, "why don't people in the IT sector get huffed up about exploitation there the way comics fans are"?
    No, they really don’t have a “uniquely bad deal”...they have a worse deal than a few privileged groups in Western society that you have chosen to compare them them to.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with your point that looking at the wider context (or “whataboutism” as I knew you you would typecast it) should be motivated by moving best practice into other areas.
    Last edited by JackDaw; 06-01-2021 at 07:29 AM.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    No, they really don’t have a “uniquely bad deal”...they have a worse deal than a few privileged groups in Western society that you have chosen to compare them them to.
    Well, yeah.

    That's how comparison works. You put things in relative context to shed light on the situation.

    Not sure what you are trying to get at by making light of something so obviously rational.

  3. #183
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Walt Disney is closer to Martin Goodman-Ike Perlmutter-David Maisel-Kevin Feige combined. Imagine a businessman who personally oversaw 20s animation becoming an empire with themepark rides, feature films, and more or less the form in which Disney exists today, and you have Disney. Disney was corrupt yes and certainly didn't individually create the cartoons and characters but Disney was an entrepreneur and businessman in a way Stan Lee wasn't.
    The comparison wasn't about his creative input, it was about the notion of someone's misdeeds overshadowing their legacy and how decades of mythmaking essentially made that irrelevant to most of the population even when the info was right there in the open.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    The comparison wasn't about his creative input, it was about the notion of someone's misdeeds overshadowing their legacy...
    Ah okay. That makes sense.

    ...and how decades of mythmaking essentially made that irrelevant to most of the population even when the info was right there in the open.
    The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the big lie that the Civil War wasn't about slavery lasted for some 150 years ensuring that virtually every fictional portrayal about the Civil War in mainstream media until as recently as Spielberg's Lincoln, upheld the idea that the Civil War was about stuff like "states' rights" or that Yankee soldiers were somehow more dishonorable and less noble than Southern Gentleman and all that kind of sentimental hogwash. An even longer period of time, saw Jewish people demonized wrongly as second-class citizens, as villains and so on and so forth. And a comparable time demonizing non-white people or saying that European colonialism was a good thing.

    But hey as you said that because mythmaking was so dominant that meant nobody should have wasted time protesting that, even if information was right there in the open. Obviously people were idiots and fools for trying to set the record straight.

    Now you might well object to me using this kind of loaded comparison to make my point since obviously the scale of this kind of denial isn't the same as the (relatively) meager legacies of Walt Disney and Stan Lee. And I concede that objection, but the point is propaganda or myths or false beliefs and ideas can and do have long shelf-lives, and that makes protesting and correcting the record more relevant and not less.

  5. #185
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    I never said it's not worth protesting or fighting to change, please don't put words in my mouth. I said I'm not optimistic the perception of Lee and the relative obscurity of the people he screwed over (excepting Jack Kirby, undoubtedly the best known of the early Marvel artists) would change, not that people shouldn't fight for it. That was the point of using the comparison to Disney, Nike sneakers and Apple products. At the end of the day, the average consumer just doesn't care to think about the bad shit happening behind the things they love. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on this if it ever occurs while I'm still alive, but I'm not holding my breath.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    That was the point of using the comparison to Disney, Nike sneakers and Apple products. At the end of the day, the average consumer just doesn't care to think about the bad shit happening behind the things they love.
    I don't really see this as relevant.

    I'd be happy to be proven wrong on this if it ever occurs while I'm still alive, but I'm not holding my breath.
    Here's the thing, it's a false idea that consumers and others are implicated in acts of corporate malfeasance or crime. It's the equivalent of polluting companies sponsoring hypocritical ads about "crying Indians" to blame the consumers when they aren't doing anything meaningful to reduce the carbon footprint. Corporate malefactors always pass the buck and in the comics business, companies/editors/writers like to implicate the fans as accomplices or as part of their alibi.

    You are only implicated if after hearing the information about Stan Lee and other goings-on, you decide to once again uncritically buy and accept the idea of Stan Lee as a visionary and so on. It's this weird thing where people get the information, look at it, accept its fair and then go back to acting as if they never got the information.

  7. #187
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Ah okay. That makes sense.



    The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the big lie that the Civil War wasn't about slavery lasted for some 150 years ensuring that virtually every fictional portrayal about the Civil War in mainstream media until as recently as Spielberg's Lincoln, upheld the idea that the Civil War was about stuff like "states' rights" or that Yankee soldiers were somehow more dishonorable and less noble than Southern Gentleman and all that kind of sentimental hogwash. An even longer period of time, saw Jewish people demonized wrongly as second-class citizens, as villains and so on and so forth. And a comparable time demonizing non-white people or saying that European colonialism was a good thing.

    But hey as you said that because mythmaking was so dominant that meant nobody should have wasted time protesting that, even if information was right there in the open. Obviously people were idiots and fools for trying to set the record straight.

    Now you might well object to me using this kind of loaded comparison to make my point since obviously the scale of this kind of denial isn't the same as the (relatively) meager legacies of Walt Disney and Stan Lee. And I concede that objection, but the point is propaganda or myths or false beliefs and ideas can and do have long shelf-lives, and that makes protesting and correcting the record more relevant and not less.
    A side note on the Civil War. I agree with you partly. All I can say is in the school system I attended some time ago (not going to say HOW long ) both states rights and slavery were covered as the main issues of the Civil War. I can't recall if one was given emphasis over the other but it wasn't just states rights. Our schools were integrated both in staff and students. But I can see where many schools systems didn't. It would help if one could look over the relevant chapters in history text books schools purchased by school systems in the past (1960s onward) and what companies published them.

    IMO the media is more to blame and to this day I can't understand why Gone With the Wind is as revered as it is, both the book and film. TCM became more sensitive about this in the past year and they now have geared their intro segments to address this in the intro to their films.

  8. #188
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I don't really see this as relevant.
    I do.


    Here's the thing, it's a false idea that consumers and others are implicated in acts of corporate malfeasance or crime. It's the equivalent of polluting companies sponsoring hypocritical ads about "crying Indians" to blame the consumers when they aren't doing anything meaningful to reduce the carbon footprint. Corporate malefactors always pass the buck and in the comics business, companies/editors/writers like to implicate the fans as accomplices or as part of their alibi.

    You are only implicated if after hearing the information about Stan Lee and other goings-on, you decide to once again uncritically buy and accept the idea of Stan Lee as a visionary and so on. It's this weird thing where people get the information, look at it, accept its fair and then go back to acting as if they never got the information.
    You may think so, but when the argument here being made is that Stan's legacy should be only as a liar and a thief and not as the smiling grandfather who created the Marvel Universe. I don't see how that happens if your average person doesn't care about what he did, if they're aware of it at all. Again, Riesman isn't even the first one to do a book detailing the evidence against Lee and his shitty treatment of his employees.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    You may think so, but when the argument here being made is that Stan's legacy should be only as a liar and a thief and not as the smiling grandfather who created the Marvel Universe. I don't see how that happens if your average person doesn't care about what he did, if they're aware of it at all.
    The average person doesn't care about comics, doesn't read comics, and they know Stan Lee from the cameos in the movies and so on.

    And ultimately that's just a generation.

    Remember ultimately the first point of contact between consumer and Marvel isn't the movies, the cartoons, the games, the comics. It's toys, it's merchandise. Babies see and come to know Spider-Man from pictures on their pajamas, crib decorations, lunchbox stickers, toys and so on long before they know Spider-Man is Peter, or what age he is and so on. By the time these toddlers become old enough to see the movies there will be Marvel movies or TV shows without Stan Lee cameos and so on.

    There will be people who assuming they are into superheroes (it's entirely possible that the next generation mounts a backlash against superheroes after all), won't know or have the same interest in Lee as the current generation does.

    Again, Riesman isn't even the first one to do a book detailing the evidence against Lee and his shitty treatment of his employees.
    Actually Riesman is the first mainstream biography of Stan Lee to make the case. The case against Stan Lee was made in comics' press like The Comics Journal, or specialty websites, but it never attracted wider attention. Tom Spurgeon, a comics editor wrote a critical biography of Stan Lee and that's the only one on shelf until Riesman came along.

    Riesman's book has attracted more press and sold more than Danny Fingeroth's biography.

    So I wouldn't underrate or downplay the significance of Riesman's biography. I wouldn't it overplay it either of course.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    A side note on the Civil War. I agree with you partly. All I can say is in the school system I attended some time ago (not going to say HOW long ) both states rights and slavery were covered as the main issues of the Civil War. I can't recall if one was given emphasis over the other but it wasn't just states rights. Our schools were integrated both in staff and students. But I can see where many schools systems didn't. It would help if one could look over the relevant chapters in history text books schools purchased by school systems in the past (1960s onward) and what companies published them.
    A lot of the US textbooks are controlled by Texas aka Fortress GOP and they are active and obsessed over a "war over history" as you can see with the kvetching over "the 1619 Project".

    IMO the media is more to blame and to this day I can't understand why Gone With the Wind is as revered as it is, both the book and film. TCM became more sensitive about this in the past year and they now have geared their intro segments to address this in the intro to their films.
    GWTW used to be an immovable part of American culture, now it's a total embarrassment. So don't tell me Stan Lee's reputation is forever or that nothing can be done about it.

  11. #191
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The average person doesn't care about comics, doesn't read comics, and they know Stan Lee from the cameos in the movies and so on.

    And ultimately that's just a generation.

    Remember ultimately the first point of contact between consumer and Marvel isn't the movies, the cartoons, the games, the comics. It's toys, it's merchandise. Babies see and come to know Spider-Man from pictures on their pajamas, crib decorations, lunchbox stickers, toys and so on long before they know Spider-Man is Peter, or what age he is and so on. By the time these toddlers become old enough to see the movies there will be Marvel movies or TV shows without Stan Lee cameos and so on.

    There will be people who assuming they are into superheroes (it's entirely possible that the next generation mounts a backlash against superheroes after all), won't know or have the same interest in Lee as the current generation does.
    That's true. What I'm skeptical of is the notion that the script on Lee would flip for future generations either. Especially if, as you raise the possibility, superheroes fall out of favor and something else takes over as the dominant pop culture force.

    Actually Riesman is the first mainstream biography of Stan Lee to make the case. The case against Stan Lee was made in comics' press like The Comics Journal, or specialty websites, but it never attracted wider attention. Tom Spurgeon, a comics editor wrote a critical biography of Stan Lee and that's the only one on shelf until Riesman came along.

    Riesman's book has attracted more press and sold more than Danny Fingeroth's biography.

    So I wouldn't underrate or downplay the significance of Riesman's biography. I wouldn't it overplay it either of course.
    It's the first Stan Lee biography to deal with it, perhaps, but as I said previously there have been other works that discussed it. I read both Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and Slugfest last year, and they both delved into Stan's publicity hogging, his claiming credit for others' ideas and the price fixing incident that led to Roy Thomas resigning. One of them (I can't remember which) also went pretty heavily into how Stan didn't really give much of a shit about comics and was more interested in trying to get that toy and movie money from the 70s onward.

    I'm not saying Riesman's book is nothing new, but the stories about Stan's true nature and underhanded practice have been out there for a while. So I guess the question is if people who weren't already invested in the subject are gonna be influenced or even made aware of the book and if that will have any impact on Stan's public image. I'm skeptical of that. Again, happy to be proven wrong if that happens.

  12. #192
    Spectacular Member Voices From the Eyrie's Avatar
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    Personally, I've found this to be one of the most fascinating threads I've read on CBR in ages.

    Revolunary Jack, I've tried to PM you but it says your inbox is full.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    It's the first Stan Lee biography to deal with it, perhaps, but as I said previously there have been other works that discussed it. I read both Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and Slugfest last year, and they both delved into Stan's publicity hogging, his claiming credit for others' ideas and the price fixing incident that led to Roy Thomas resigning. One of them (I can't remember which) also went pretty heavily into how Stan didn't really give much of a shit about comics and was more interested in trying to get that toy and movie money from the 70s onward.

    I'm not saying Riesman's book is nothing new, but the stories about Stan's true nature and underhanded practice have been out there for a while. So I guess the question is if people who weren't already invested in the subject are gonna be influenced or even made aware of the book and if that will have any impact on Stan's public image. I'm skeptical of that. Again, happy to be proven wrong if that happens.
    I think a possible difference is that the biography and its publicity are more aimed at the general audience that doesn't read comics. Probably many more people have heard of Stan Lee than have read a Marvel comic book, plus of course he made all those cameos in the Marvel movies, which many more people have seen. So a biography of Stan Lee may have a wider audience than a book about comics.

    Not all that many people will read the book, of course, and Stan's public image will undoubtedly stay mostly the same, just like Walt Disney's public image is still mostly the avuncular dad from the Disney TV shows (Disney was a more creative person than Lee, but they have some things in common when it comes to creating a public persona). But the book may create a bigger minority of people who know some of the truth that the image concealed.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    That's true. What I'm skeptical of is the notion that the script on Lee would flip for future generations either. Especially if, as you raise the possibility, superheroes fall out of favor and something else takes over as the dominant pop culture force.
    Name me one person who predicted at the start of 2020 that a) we would have a pandemic and b) shape the world the way it did.

    The future is essentially unknowable.

    It's the first Stan Lee biography to deal with it, perhaps, but as I said previously there have been other works that discussed it. I read both Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and Slugfest last year, and they both delved into Stan's publicity hogging, his claiming credit for others' ideas and the price fixing incident that led to Roy Thomas resigning. One of them (I can't remember which) also went pretty heavily into how Stan didn't really give much of a shit about comics and was more interested in trying to get that toy and movie money from the 70s onward.
    Marvel Comics the Untold Story is more an industry book, and those tend to not do as well as individual personal biographies. Stan Lee was the most famous name in the comics. Ask someone to think of a real person from comics and Stan usually crops up.

    I'm not saying Riesman's book is nothing new, but the stories about Stan's true nature and underhanded practice have been out there for a while.
    The stories of Lee being underhanded were always framed as "great men have feet of clay" or it's the industry what you are gonna do, it's never been framed from the perspective of personal agency and culpability on Lee's part. And in any case, it's wrong to look at this from the perspective of one special gotcha book will change things. It takes one book, then another, and so on and so forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    I think a possible difference is that the biography and its publicity are more aimed at the general audience that doesn't read comics.
    Exactly.

    But the book may create a bigger minority of people who know some of the truth that the image concealed.
    That's how things start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voices From the Eyrie View Post
    Personally, I've found this to be one of the most fascinating threads I've read on CBR in ages.

    Revolunary Jack, I've tried to PM you but it says your inbox is full.
    I freed up space, you can send it now I think.

  15. #195
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Name me one person who predicted at the start of 2020 that a) we would have a pandemic and b) shape the world the way it did.

    The future is essentially unknowable.
    I've said multiple times now that if it happens then I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong. But I don't expect it based on what I've noticed of similar figures in the past and the general ignorance and acceptance fans and mass audiences generally have for such shitty things. Especially since I strongly suspect Marvel and Disney will continue to push the mythic status of Lee even after his death.



    Marvel Comics the Untold Story is more an industry book, and those tend to not do as well as individual personal biographies. Stan Lee was the most famous name in the comics. Ask someone to think of a real person from comics and Stan usually crops up.

    The stories of Lee being underhanded were always framed as "great men have feet of clay" or it's the industry what you are gonna do, it's never been framed from the perspective of personal agency and culpability on Lee's part. And in any case, it's wrong to look at this from the perspective of one special gotcha book will change things. It takes one book, then another, and so on and so forth.
    That's the thing. I'm not convinced the needle will be moved on that. At best, I'd expect the exact "He was a great man with some personal failings" narrative that most famously problematic creatives get.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post

    Not all that many people will read the book, of course, and Stan's public image will undoubtedly stay mostly the same, just like Walt Disney's public image is still mostly the avuncular dad from the Disney TV shows (Disney was a more creative person than Lee, but they have some things in common when it comes to creating a public persona). But the book may create a bigger minority of people who know some of the truth that the image concealed.
    That's pretty much what I'm expecting at most.

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