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Topic: DELUXE Captain Marvel and the Monster Society of Evil. Cancelled Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 2:37pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Been out of town and out of the loop. I
put money down to preorder this.
Apparently it has been cancelled

Link


Not happy.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The reasoning I got was, the Asian
stereotype displayed in the book is
racist. I looked it up. Yep. That's the
reason.
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Drat! While I am primarily digital these days, this was something I wanted in hardback.
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 4:50pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

You can create your own document of this, as the original stories are available in the public domain through the digital comic museum.  I'm actually amazed that DC didn't put a renewed copyright on the material, but I guess no one cares (as Fawcett was the original owners of the material).

Can't help you with a hardback copy unless you want to download each chapter, print it with a color printer and bind it.  However, you can read all the stories online.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 4:50pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yep, this was discussed this past Summer: LINK.



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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 Phil Kreisel wrote:
... I'm actually amazed that DC didn't put a renewed copyright on the material...

As I understand it, DC would be able to put out a new collection and copyright THAT publication, and the trademarks (which are distinct from copyright) that both Marvel and DC have on the words "Captain Marvel" and "Shazam!," respectively, would make it hard for anyone else to legally market and distribute  a reprint, but DC can't renew a copyright that has expired and fallen into public domain. I mean, once something enters the public domain, I am pretty sure that can't be reversed.

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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

That's my basic understanding as well.  As such, someone can create their own version of the Captain Marvel and the Monsters of evil for their own pleasure, but would run into trouble if they were to try and produce and sell a copy.  I suppose you could do it under the radar and hope DC didn't care, but why would anyone bother.

I think I did my own Monster Society book, but it wasn't for anything beyond my own consumption.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 5:37pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm more upset at DC. I'm a believer that
those who ignore history are doomed to
repeat it. Hiding the parts of history
that are problematic is just going to make
any real issues worse.

I'm also a little bit insulted. DC
apparently doesn't believe thst I have the
ability to look at the work and take it in
the context of the time in which it was
created and say, "My, look how far we've
come." Why bow to the small minority that
can't.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 January 2019 at 9:50pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I mentioned this sort of thing last year in relation to vintage WONDER WOMAN reprints, Stephen. In that case, they modified certain stories to tone down racial stereotypes.

I’m not a fan of revisionist history. I understand why they feel a need to do it—just imagine some poor kid finding reprints containing such racist stereotypes at their local bookstore—, but I don’t like it.

History is important, context is important. 

Instead of flying off the rails and being offended by material from nearly a century ago, maybe people should accept the reality of what was, and push forward toward the reality of what is yet to come.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 1:12am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

A disclaimer at the front of the book should have been enough.  That could even have spurred intelligent discussion.  Brushing history under the rug doesn't help anything.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:20am | IP Logged | 11 post reply


 QUOTE:
As such, someone can create their own version of the Captain Marvel and the Monsters of evil for their own pleasure, but would run into trouble if they were to try and produce and sell a copy.  I suppose you could do it under the radar and hope DC didn't care, but why would anyone bother.

There are print-on-demand copies of the story on Amazon.


 QUOTE:
A disclaimer at the front of the book should have been enough.

In a year, Warner Bros is putting out a Captain Marvel/Shazam movie, I'd have to disagree. That disclaimer won't mean shit once some news story puts SHAZAM clips next to shots of a brand new book with panels showing Steamboat and the member from the Black Dragon Society of Murder. From a business perspective, I think DC made the right call.


 QUOTE:
I'm more upset at DC. I'm a believer that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Hiding the parts of history that are problematic is just going to make any real issues worse.

Sure, but there's a difference between presenting a racist history and celebrating it. It's the argument with Confederate statues. I'm on board with not erasing history. But I don't think that statues of people who fought to preserve slavery need to exist in places of honor like public parks and government buildings. Remember these people in books and museums where they can be discussed in the appropriate historical context, not as some monument where the intent of their display is confusing, at best.

I think there's a place for this story to be reprinted in a high-end, uncensored version, along with material placing it in the appropriate context. I'm just not sure that should be as tie-in merchandise from DC as they are hawking a movie.

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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 7:59am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

There was a hardback copy done 30(!) year ago by American Nostalgia Library.  I was fortunate enough to track down a copy for myself about 10 years ago.  It cost me $125 then.  Looking at the asking prices now on Amazon, it's $500 or more.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 8:15am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Sure, but there's a difference between presenting a racist history and celebrating it. It's the argument with Confederate statues. I'm on board with not erasing history. But I don't think that statues of people who fought to preserve slavery need to exist in places of honor like public parks and government buildings. Remember these people in books and museums where they can be discussed in the appropriate historical context, not as some monument where the intent of their display is confusing, at best.

•••

False equivalency.

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Larry Gil
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I found the earlier issues here ..LINK
In fact almost every comic is here...I use a macbook and other than occasional annoying pop-ups when searching , this site seems to work fine. I am actually surprised this site is even available.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 12:09pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Sure, but there's a difference between
presenting a racist history and
celebrating it. It's the argument with
Confederate statues. I'm on board with not
erasing history. But I don't think that
statues of people who fought to preserve
slavery need to exist in places of honor
like public parks and government
buildings. Remember these people in books
and museums where they can be discussed in
the appropriate historical context, not as
some monument where the intent of their
display is confusing, at best.
•••

False equivalency.
=====

Agreed. We are talking about a
stereotypical depiction of a character
that was perfectly fine for its time.
It would be different if Captain Marvel
started spouting off about white power and
such nonsense.

BTW, nobody has ever had a problem
reprinting old SPIRIT issues.Even without
having read the Captain Marvel story, I
can promise that the SPIRIT is closer to
being offensive than this.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I have the sneaking feeling that this might come down to DC not wanting the impending SHAZAM movie linked to anything potentially controversial or offensive. 
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:06pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Greg, I'm sure that's a huge part of it. I
just don't understand why it should be
controversial. If someone created those
stereotypes today, sure.

I can't wait till we once more live in a
time where people just get over things
instead of letting every little thing
offend them.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply


 QUOTE:
Sure, but there's a difference between presenting a racist history and celebrating it. It's the argument with Confederate statues. I'm on board with not erasing history. But I don't think that statues of people who fought to preserve slavery need to exist in places of honor 
like public parks and government buildings. Remember these people in books and museums where they can be discussed in the appropriate historical context, not as some monument where the intent of their 
display is confusing, at best.
•••

False equivalency.
=====

Agreed. We are talking about a stereotypical depiction of a character 
that was perfectly fine for its time. It would be different if Captain Marvel 
started spouting off about white power and such nonsense.

I was talking about the difference between preserving an artifact of a racist past, which we should most definitely do, and repackaging a story with racist art in a deluxe volume in order to profit from a movie tie-in. Whether the latter is the intent or not, it's a side-effect of putting the book out now.


 QUOTE:
BTW, nobody has ever had a problem reprinting old SPIRIT issues.Even without having read the Captain Marvel story, I can promise that the SPIRIT is closer to being offensive than this.

Aren't there reprints that just straight up skip any stories featuring Ebony or worse, attempt to recolor Ebony as Caucasian? I think it would be incorrect to say /nobody/ had a problem.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I agree, Stephen. 

Listen, I’ve been paying keen attention to what’s been happening in both mainstream and nerd culture, over the past few years. Madness is everywhere. People are going off the deep end over utter nonsense. No one can take a joke, and everything and everyone are lumped in on one extreme end of the spectrum or another. 

Consumer revolts of once-unkillable franchises are in full swing, thanks to the culture war between those who pander to the easily-offended, and those who demand quality storytelling. Fans are being labeled as racists and sexists and manbabies because they’re taking a stand for quality writing and faithful characterization. And because they’re actively calling out hypocrites, media shills, and those who become hyper-offended at the drop of a pin. Comics, movies, and TV are becoming more and more about a culture war than about the fun, escapist entertainment that they’re supposed to be.

You, Stephen, are suffering the unfortunate result of that. You want to read a classic Captain Marvel story, but are being blocked from doing so by people who fear the Offense Brigade. You have the wisdom and maturity to understand that the story is a product of its time, and that the negative stereotypes it contains are A) Bad; and B) A reminder of the past, and what parts of the past not to repeat. 


I am now totally convinced that we’re on the edge of a major nerd-culture paradigm shift. The important thing is to stay calm, use your brain, and embrace history and the lessons it provides. Stories and characters are what should be important, here. The sociopolitical context of decades-old stories should come second. 

On the flipside, the opportunity to be able to study the sociopolitical context of decades-old stories is something which modern audiences should not be denied. My first time reading the earliest Superman and Batman stories from the late 1930s was a very illuminating experience, and really transported me back into that era. It would not have been enlightening if those stories had been censored, or, worse, not made available for me to read in the first place.
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David Miller
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Posted: 09 January 2019 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Nobody is preventing Stephen from reading anything. As Larry pointed out, the stories are available for free online. (The site he linked to is full of illegal, up-to-the-minute bootlegs, but the public domain MONSTER SOCIETY stuff can be read free of guilt if not complicity.) 

Something I haven't seen touched on is the staff required to produce such a book. I think it's very likely there were objections at the production and editorial level -- and I can't blame anyone who doesn't want to spend hundreds of intensive hours restoring the likes of Steamboat, or have their name on it, and a company that ordered employees to engage with such imagery over voiced objections could face legal sanction for racial harassment. I would think a supervisor would hesitate to even broach the assignment. 
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 4:51am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

David, I appreciate what you're saying.
But I'm also a bit upset that I can't
support my LCS for this. A $50 hardcover
would put money in my shop's register. We
live in a world where comic store giants
Meltdown closed last year and Mile High
just closed a location. My town really
only has one shop. I'd like to keep it
healthy. Whatever store credit I'm getting
for my downpayment, is mibey I would've
still spent on top of rhis book.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Just for the record, Mile High is doing extremely well. That store closed as a result of the manager leaving after 20 years, a tiny parking lot, and Denver's insane rent prices of late. Five thousand dollars a month for a smallish, second-floor retail spot with little to no parking and no air conditioning made little sense, business-wise. Mile High's Mega-Store location, however, continues to boast record profits. 

Back in the day, the location that closed was part of a shopping complex built around a Denver attraction called the Celebrity Sports Center, a huge building with a bowling alley, arcades, and water slides. Once that went under, the complex was anchored with a Home Depot and a natural grocery store. Additional stores and restaurants have been put in since and the parking situation has been an ongoing disaster. Raising the rent to keep pace with Denver's breakneck gentrification was the last straw after Aaron, the manager, left recently. Enough was enough.

As for the Monster Society volume, the times today play very little part actually in the decision not to publish racist depictions of numerous characters, especially on the cusp on a motion picture debut for the franchise. You don't have to be especially thin-skinned to be offended by Steamboat's mammy and Nippo, the Japanese saboteur. Am I correct in assuming that we never met Ebony's mammy or had him involved in voodoo shenanigans? Because if I'm right, Golden Age Captain Marvel is, in fact, more offensive than the Spirit.

Historical context aside, DC would be publishing that volume in the present, and not as a curiosity from an earlier age. It is not kicking off some new line of educationally-relevant historical curios to tickle the fancy of race-study academics and golliwog collectors. It would be sold mass market for the enjoyment of everyone, and rubber-lipped mammies and inscrutable, murdering devil-people are no longer commercially viable properties. Nossuh, Mistah DC reader, suh. So solly. 

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David Miller
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I find the Spirit stories to be slightly harder to read because the Ebony is such a prominent and developed character in an otherwise adult milieu. Despite pleading ignorance and innocence in later life, Will Eisner devoted several Spirit stories to justifying Ebony's portrayal, including arguing that it represented realistic physical characteristics and dialect. I get the feeling CC Back and Otto Binder put a lot less thought into their  offensive stereotypes. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Historical context aside, DC would be publishing that volume in the present, and not as a curiosity from an earlier age. It is not kicking off some new line of educationally-relevant historical curios to tickle the fancy of race-study academics and golliwog collectors. It would be sold mass market for the enjoyment of everyone, and rubber-lipped mammies and inscrutable, murdering devil-people are no longer commercially viable properties. Nossuh, Mistah DC reader, suh. So solly. 
+++++++++

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, Brian, but where is that line drawn? After all, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is available both as literary educational material in schools, AND as entertainment for sale in bookstores.

Yeah, the Captain Marvel book isn’t being taught in schools, but both books come from a century not our own, and both contain product-of-their-time racism which modern society sees as unacceptable. Both originally had the same target audience of kids, too.

So, I ask—legitimately, not because I actually have an “answer” and am therefore trying to offer a rebuttal to your statement—where is that line drawn? What makes some product-of-their-time books okay to keep in publication, and others not? Granted, Golden Age comics may not be at quite the same literary level as Mark Twain, but...
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Andrew W. Farago
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 1:12pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

It's like Disney's The Song of the South, really. Historically important work, something that scholars and diehard fans have been wanting on their shelves for ages, but every time it gets even close to happening, the parent company decides that the potential headaches aren't going to offset the potential profits. They manage to upset people and get enough headlines for unintentionally offensive material, so they're always going to balk at the stuff that they know is going to offend people.

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