-By Warner Todd Huston
Well, looks like this Captain America business is still rolling ever onward. I have been quite amazed at the wide reach this article of mine has found. When I hit the enter key to post my analysis of Captain America #602 I never imagined that I’d be on The Keith Oblermann show (even though few saw it as he only has about 20 viewers!), in the New York Times, the Washington Times, and a million webpages across this great land.
My piece was picked up by the whole of the U.S. Old Media and has forced Marvel Comics to apologize to the Tea Party movement and promise to delete the offending references in later editions.
Well, today’s development. Apparently Carla Hoffman, known in comics circles as a reviewer and commentator on the comics scene, has penned an “open letter” to me hosted on The Comic Book Resources website.
Little Miss Hoffman tried for a hip snarkiness in her open letter to me but her efforts led to failure because she violated the main journalist’s rule: at least TRY to contact your subject. She made the fatal assumption that I had no connection to comics, that I’d never read a single book in my life (perhaps excluding a child’s fascination with them).
In her letter, Hoffman “welcomed” me to the world of comics. Unfortunately for her prosaic assumptions, however, I was likely into comics before she was even born. I was collecting them before she could read and had more than she knew even existed at the height of my collecting.
Anyway, here is my reply to her. I post it here because I find it likely that her webpage will delete my reply as I posted it to her. So, here it is for prosperity:
I was amused at your ignorance of me, but, as you so prosaically said, “strong opinions” are very common on the Internet. I know this for a fact as I’ve been writing on those ol’ Internet tubuals since before the Towers fell in 2001. My small efforts have had me on radio from coast to coast (such as Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.) on CNN and in nearly every major news paper you can imagine. I was even mentioned in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine for my political writing in 2009, amusingly enough. So I know quite a lot about “strong opinion” on the Internet. It’s how I make a part of my living after all.
But your ignorance of my little writing career wasn’t what amused me. No, it was your rather foolish assumption that I’d never known anything about comics until this miraculous awakening thanks to Captain America #602. Anyone that has long known me will only shake their head and laugh at your ridiculous, uninformed assumption, one that could have easily been cleared up with but a short email to me.
But, I suppose your own “strong opinion” of me wouldn’t be deterred by just a tiny bit of actual journalistic effort, eh?
In reality, I had a long history with comics. I started buying them perhaps before you were even born, starting in the mid 1960s. Some of my first products were Marvel titles (Spidey, Fantastic 4, Hulk, the Avengers). For a long time I refused to even look at a DC book for the Super dog” and “Super horse” style of kiddie writing did not meet with my approval. But in the late 70s I began to drift toward Batman and later the return of the Teen Titans struck a chord. I remember buying five copies of the 1980s debut of the Titans on speculation. Glad I did too, because a few years later I sold them for pretty good money.
Speaking of that collection, at one time I had nearly 5,000 titles in my possession. I even had every issue of the Warren Magazine’s Vampirella all the way to issue #113. In fact, as a goofy kid I had two, count ‘em, TWO letters to the editor published in the Vampy letters pages. I also had the first 60 or so issues of the original Heavy Metal as well as the first 10 issues of the French precursor, Metal Hurlant.
And with that history related I address your idiotic first line:
I’m Carla and I’d like to welcome you to the world of comics!
Gosh, little lady. Thanks for the welcome. Now whut is this comix thingie all about again?
Now, let’s take on your assumptions that issue #602 was entirely benign. Certainly I understand that your bread is buttered by the comics industry and you don’t want to rock the boat. Surely we can all realize that you even want to be seen as a hero by your publisher overlords at Marvel central. That’s all granted. But, I think both you and Quesada doth protest too much.
First of all, I am hearing from one of the folks that actually worked on #602 that only some of the signs that later carried Tea Party styled slogans were left blank in the inking, coloring, and flating stages. So, for Quesada to claim that it was some great accident that they were filled in by an errant letterer at the last second seems a bit hard to believe. Seems like they were trying to hide something early on to me.
Still, even if we are to take for granted that the signs themselves were accidentally filled in with Tea Party allusions, it is painfully obvious that The Falcon and Cappy are referring to the tea party protestors as racists when looking down upon a tea party protest Falcon said he could not mix in with such “angry white folks.” The pair are looking down on a tea party protest and saying that blacks aren’t welcome there. What ELSE could that mean but that tea party folks are racists?
Still, I never asked for apologies, never talked of anyone removing things from the comic, nor did I say that Marvel couldn’t print whatever they wanted to print. It’s a free country and they most certainly have the right to print what they want and I wouldn’t say to the contrary. All I did was report what I saw. Marvel’s apology and announcement that they would remove the offensive parts of the book was their decision — likely one intelligently made at that.
In any case, young lady, I thank you for your “welcome” to the world of comics. I guess my reply to that would be “where have you been since 1967″? Oh, that’s right. Likely not yet born. (By the way, I see you are a Star Trek fan. Me too. I met Gene Roddenberry in 1976 or so when he did a national tour about Star Trek. What an interesting guy)
So, thanks for your open letter. But I have a little hint for you on writing. Next time you want to write about a real person as opposed to the fictional types you usually write about, pick up a phone or try to drop an email to your subject. It might make you look a tad less foolish.
Thanks and good luck
Warner Todd Huston
Also, read my full review of Watchmen, that seminal comic from 1986. I rip it up pretty good as the left-wing, hackneyed political screed it truly is.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com.
He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston
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