<Hibernica>: I mean, for a considerable period of time My Little Pony was outselling most of Marvel and DC. Say what you will about MLP positive or negative, that’s kind of sad.
The various Archie digests routinely outsell Marvel and DC’s offerings and have done so for more than a decade. Thing is, Archie’s stuff goes through things like grocery stories and don’t get tracked with the Diamond sales numbers.
oh GOD. OH GOD!
Sad fact? There’s nothing stopping Marvel and DC from using the same format and going through the same distribution channels. Comics could come back if the people in charge were willing to take the steps to reach outside the fandoms and into the general populace.
Like, speaking as someone who noticed this at a young age, I’m still baffled as to why they don’t do the tactics of Archie.
Apparently there’s something about some company called Diamond that has a monopoly that’s keeping them from doing it, but I don’t know that much about why that’d be such an insurmountable obstacle.
Any of my more comics-savvy readers know?
Diamond is the primary comics distributor. Diamond more or less has a monopoly, and they more or less only deal with comic shops. They don’t seem to have exclusivity deals, since even Archie solicits through them, but Archie also distributes to grocery chains and the like, and probably follow a magazine distribution model.
Visit the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and you’ll find the usual stuff: rows of books, magazines, and computers. But walk up to the fourth floor and there’s something unexpected. It’s a “makerspace”—complete with a laser cutter, a zine lab for making paper publications, and a 3-D printer. There’s even a loom.
When it opened in spring 2013, the maker floor—formerly unused and filled with decrepit equipment—became a massive hit, and up to 1,200 patrons attended events there. “Normally you hold a library event and you get six people,” says Meg Backus, the systems administrator and chief maker for Chattanooga. But this new floor gives patrons access to new forms of literacy, ones they hunger after: design, programming, video editing, book writing, and website building. Consider it a glimpse into the future of libraries. They’re becoming places to not just imbibe knowledge but create it—physically. Many people don’t have access to classic hacker spaces, are intimidated by them, or can’t afford them. “But here all you need is a library card,” says CJ Lynce, who runs a similarly equipped space at the Cleveland Public Library.
Local followers: the Hunt Library at NC State University’s Centennial Campus has two 3-D Printers! When last I checked they could only be used by certain students for certain projects, but I’d heard rumors of plans to make them more accessible to the public.
I grew up seeing how Kirby and the people imitating him drew space, all surging nebula and bursts of energy and cloud-like formations and crackles and rifts. Then the Hubble showed that it was all out there.
That name, by the way, is going to be on a wall made up of immense statues of alien beings, some light-years tall.
So as you probably all know, the “gaming community” is at its own throat again over the issue of sexism. There are those that see the forces of equality as a threat to their hobby, and those that see machismo as an enemy to be eradicated. That’s a gross oversimplification of course, but in an issue as polarizing as sexism in gaming, there’s no room for the middle ground. It no longer matters who did what in response to who, both sides are behaving abominably.
The sexist assholes are more sexist asshole-y and the social justice warriors are taking a firm “you’re either with us or against us” stance. Harassment on both sides is awful. Police have become involved. But you know what the funny thing is?
None of that matters to the issue in debate.
No I’m serious, at the end of the day (as awful as it is) it’s just one side of the fandom warring with the other half. It has almost no bearing on the direction video games are going. Those decisions were made behind closed doors and you were not invited in. Those meetings where the direction video games were going to go was decided before Anita Sarkessian was a blip on the radar. And I’m going to tell you something: If you want more representation of woman in games, you are going to get your way.
In fact you’re already winning. You may have been too far up your own asses to notice, but the prevalence of female narrative in video games has exploded. Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Walking Dead Season 2, Mirror’s Edge, The Last of Us, and Remember Me are just the one that come to mind. Need I go on?
Argue all you want about how good the representation of women is in each of those, you would have to be a myopic ass spelunker not to see that the wind has shifted and will continue to shift. What I’m saying to those of you who consider yourself Social Justice Warriors: stop with the firm “you’re either with us or against us” crap. It’s not changing the way video games are made, in fact your angry ratings are not the harbingers of change. The studios decided, quite outside of your noise, to go in the more female inclusive route.
How do I know this? Because more woman now play video games, and every studio wants to be the first to carve out the biggest piece of that juicy new market. THAT’S why things are changing, the power of purchasing.
And yeah, I’m picking on the SJW side. The side whose motives I generally agree with, but whose tactics I absolutely abhor. Because as a male on your side, I get attacked by you way more than I do the sexist fuckheads on the other side. They are not asking me to choose a side, you are.
Does that seem unfair to ask you to both be good in your intentions and your actions? Well too bad, because guess what? The path of good is harder.
Every day I support a side that constantly interrogates me, questions if I am sufficiently loyal, and will not give me the benefit of the doubt because my gender matches that of the enemy. And yet I continue to believe in equality despite all the crap you people dish out.
I keep going because I really do think equality will create a better world. I would never put up with your bullshit otherwise.
“Another time, Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, ‘There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America’. To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.”—
Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (via nerdhapley)
It’s Jack Kirby’s birthday, so here’s that story of him being bad ass all of the time.
“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.”—Andrew Boyd (via purplebuddhaproject)
I remember the days when games were about worlds you could explore and about being good, and not about who's got representation and gender this and sexuality that. I miss those days.
Those days miss you, too. I recently found a yellowed letter under one of the floorboards, and it was addressed to you and signed by those days with a tear-stained kiss of lipstick.
Meanwhile, in the present, those of us who work in the industry and who are—amazingly—able to consider more than one idea at the same time, will continue to create good games about worlds you can explore AND occasionally talk about inclusivity.
If you are feeling compassion fatigue, I think it might be okay to sit out those discussions, at least until you get your strength back. While it will be tough not having you available for close consultation, somehow we will soldier on.