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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:37pm | IP Logged | 1  

Ok, a customer of mine, and an all-around great guy, Vince Stone, sent me a link to a news article about a comic book series he used to work on as the artist called "Captain Confederacy." The comic was originally published by a small comic book publisher in the 1980s, and was later published by Marvel as part of the Epic line in the early 1990s.

It is the story about how the South won the Civil War and had their own superheroes. It is not a racist comic, but, in fact, a comic that deals with racism and how it is wrong, using an alternate reality to make its' point.

A mother bought the comic for her child and gave it to him for Christmas. The child, not understanding the comic, brought it to his mother's attention. She is now complaining that the comic is racist. Wanna bet she didn't actually read it? She obviously ignored the title when she bought it, after all.

Here's the article:

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060106 /NEWS01/601060320/1001'

Has anyone else read this series?

 

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:39pm | IP Logged | 2  

Oh, I forgot to mention (though it is mentioned in the article), Marvel declined comment but mentioned that they didn't produce the comic in-house. Nice way to stand by the series. But, then, the comic last came out in 1991, so nobody at Marvel has probably read it, or knows what it was really about.
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Leroy Douresseaux
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:43pm | IP Logged | 3  

I read the second issue (B&W) of the original series and liked it very much.  I'd heard that Marvel had published a color version, but I never found any.  I liked it and didn't find it to be racist, or at least not as racist as, say, Soul Plane.  I'd like to read it again if I can find the issues.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:44pm | IP Logged | 4  

The mother in question: "I'd actually like to see whoever is writing this to stop putting out this offensive material," Boswell, 55, said. "The way they're doing this, it can really warp some young minds."

No, I'd actually like to see a parent look through what they are going to purchase (you know, a character wearing the Confederate Flag on the cover of a comic called "Captain Confederacy") to determine if their child would be ready for an adult examination, a "What If...?" if you will, of history instead of blindly purchasing something because it's cheap, not looking through it for content, and using it as a stocking stuffer.  Wow! Novel concept, parenting.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:46pm | IP Logged | 5  

We live in a country in which someone can be called
a "racist" for using ("the N-word") to say it's a bad
word!

People are --- what's that term? FUCKING IDIOTS.
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John Mietus
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 6:57pm | IP Logged | 6  

[checks the color of his sweater. It's red.] Hey, I know
people, and I take offense at that statement!
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Rob Hewitt
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 7:08pm | IP Logged | 7  

Never read it or even heard of it

On the broader point the mother made, I do think there is some responsibility on behalf of companies in the product they put out-a sort of social or global responsibility-especially in superhero form.

On this comic, I would wonder why Captain Confederacy and the costume and all didn't raise a red flag to her-

to check the contents to see if (a) racist or (b) if not, if the point might be lost on her child, due to age and/or maturity.

She may have just grabbed a whole bunch of them for $1 or .50 cents or whatever.  But she didn;'t have to make a federal case of it

Man I should have contacted Bill O'Reilly about that Wolverine issue where the nazis are America. Sheesh! Oh well, never did find the issue

 

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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 8  

There is a movie coming out that goes with a similar approach. What if the south won the war.http://www.csathemovie.com/

As to the comic and the concerned mother. It must be nice in her little world if she has nothing else to complain about but a comic that is 15 years old. She obviously is fabulously wealthy and has everything a person would desire. The only other explanation is that she is an annoying crank. That couldn't be it, right?
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Fabrice Renault
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:21pm | IP Logged | 9  

Every day, more and more people want to complain about something, and the media are more than happy to make it national news.

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Bill Lukash
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:33pm | IP Logged | 10  

What was the term...niggardly?  From a few years ago.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 9:01pm | IP Logged | 11  

Bill, are you talking about the politician that got in trouble for using the word because too many ignorant people didn't know it isn't a racist term?
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John Price
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 9:20pm | IP Logged | 12  

I have the series, and it's not a racist comic. Heck, even as you can see by this cover the second Captain Confederacy was a black woman.                                                      
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John Price
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 13  

Okay I just looked at the link to Spike Lee's movie, first of all as a student of history and a born southerner I can tell you there is no way the Confederacy would have been all fifty states. The Confederate States were fighting to become a seperate nation from the Union, not to overthrow and conquer the United States. And slavery surviving into the present day no matter which side won is just ludicrous.

Edited by John Price on 11 January 2006 at 9:31pm
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Leroy Douresseaux
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 1:41am | IP Logged | 14  

I have not seen "C.S.A." but it is supposed to be a satire and quasi-documentary.  Written and directed by Kevin Willmot, It is not a Spike Lee film (although some people like to use his name as a code word) any more than "Hostel" is actually a Quentin Tarantino film.
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John Price
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 2:42am | IP Logged | 15  

Well I assumed it was Spike Lee because if you go to that link it says "Spike Lee Presents."
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 6:08am | IP Logged | 16  

When the Civil War began, most Northerners -- including Lincoln -- were firmly of the opinion that the institution of slavery was non-viable, and would soon collapse under its own antiquated weight. The most strident abolitionists usually stopped short of demanding that slavery be dismantled in those states where it was already practised, and were more concerned with keeping the practise from spreading into the new states that appeared as the Nation made its westard march.

If the South had won the war -- which is patently impossible, given economic considerations, but let's play that game -- even to the point of "conquoring" the North, slavery would not have lasted much longer anyway. It would not likely have spread back into the Northern states which had abolished it, as they had already shifted their economic structures too much. Slavery would have been useless, except on the most superficial levels (house slaves might have made a comeback, but it seems unlikely).

What is perhaps more important to consider is that the rest of what we now call the United States -- all that territory to the west -- would have taken on a very different shape. Most likely, the middle part of North America would still have ended up split into two parts, as it would have given a realistic outcome of the South "winning" the war, but that split would have been east/west instead of north/south.

It is most improbable, however, that there would be a Confederacy today, if the South had "won" and split from the Union permanently. The institution of slavery was rotted thru to its core, and would have crumbled soon, probably within a couple of decades. The Confederate states would have been reabsorbed by the Union, one by one or en masse, so that here in the 21st Century we would be looking at an America that probably most closely resembled this nation as it was about the time I was born.

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John Price
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 6:46am | IP Logged | 17  

I agree with JB on the slavery issue, morality aside slavery would never had survived the industrial revolution it would no longer have been practical or profitable. I also agree with Mr. Byrne that the Confederate States could not have won the war, unless England or France had come to the south's aid. There's a great alternate history novel called 'The other side of the mountain'  where the CSA won it's independence because England invaded the U.S. from Canada plunging the United States into a two-front war. And the Royal Navy ended the southern blockade. But as to the CSA rejoining the U.S. had they won? On that note I must disagree on two counts. First after a conflict that cost the south so many lives and so much destruction I can't see them just putting that aside to rejoin the Union. Secondly, as someone born and raised in the south I can say "Southern Pride" is a force unto itself  down here, even today 141 years later alot of people are proud of the fight the CSA put up for 4 years against a so much greater force to try to win it's independence.
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Dave Carr
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 6:52am | IP Logged | 18  

That C.S.A. movie is nothing more than a shining example of the groupthink that people from the Southern United States are a bunch of ignorant yokels who must be inherently evil.  It's more of the arrogant "Blue State vs Red State" nonsense.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 19  

But as to the CSA rejoining the U.S. had they won? On that note I must disagree on two counts. First after a conflict that cost the south so many lives and so much destruction I can't see them just putting that aside to rejoin the Union. Secondly, as someone born and raised in the south I can say "Southern Pride" is a force unto itself  down here, even today 141 years later alot of people are proud of the fight the CSA put up for 4 years against a so much greater force to try to win it's independence.

***

"Southern pride" may be blinding you to the economic realities. In the changing world of the late 19th Century, the slave holding Confederacy would have plunged deeper and deeper into economic decline. By the turn of that century, the CSA would have been a "third world" nation that would have made modern India look like an industrial paradise. The CSA would have been faced with some very harsh choices -- basically boiling down to rejoining the Union, or starving to death.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 7:42am | IP Logged | 20  

That C.S.A. movie is nothing more than a shining example of the groupthink that people from the Southern United States are a bunch of ignorant yokels who must be inherently evil.  It's more of the arrogant "Blue State vs Red State" nonsense.

****

Spike Lee thinks a minstrel show would be a huge success in a White market. What more do you need to know about his stance on these matters?

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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 21  

I don't know if anyone here has ever read books by Harry Turtledove, but you may want to give them a shot.  He offers some great alternative histories in terms of is the CSA won or if they had split from the Union completely.

Edited to add:  The American Empire trilogy (Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and The Victorious Opposition) is an excellent read.  It also follows dead on what JB was saying....



Edited by Kevin Brown on 12 January 2006 at 7:49am
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Dave Carr
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 7:47am | IP Logged | 22  

I can recommend Turtledove's "Guns of the South", but the other "series" books he has done left me cold.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 23  

"Southern pride" may be blinding you to the economic realities. In the changing world of the late 19th Century, the slave holding Confederacy would have plunged deeper and deeper into economic decline. By the turn of that century, the CSA would have been a "third world" nation that would have made modern India look like an industrial paradise. The CSA would have been faced with some very harsh choices -- basically boiling down to rejoining the Union, or starving to death.

********************************************

I used to think that if the South had won (defined, I suppose, by the South maintaining its indepedence) that it would have been easy pickings for another country -- England, even France. Do you see that as a possibility? Or if another country had tried to "take" the South, that the Union would have intervened?

************************

Spike Lee thinks a minstrel show would be a huge success in a White market. What more do you need to know about his stance on these matters?

**********************************

Well, there is the UPN.

Seriously, though, I think one of the greatest examples of how "diversity" can often equal divisiveness is that twenty years ago, the number on TV show in the U.S. (and none of the 18-49 stuff -- purely based on numbers) was Cosby, a show with a predominately black cast with a genuinely black POV (not oppressivly so, either). And everyone watched it.

Now, the viewing habits of blacks and whites (generically speaking) is really splintered. UPN is basically a programming ghetto. What changed?

Grey's Anatomy has an honest diversity that's refreshing and is fun to watch, though, but it's a rarity.

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Bill Lukash
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 8:40am | IP Logged | 24  

If you've read one Turtledove book, you've read them all, IMO.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 25  

Excellent recommendation, Kevin. I'm still anxiously awaiting the last 2 volumes in paperback.
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