Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Damn Dirty Shame

When I got a note from Jude Terror at The Outhouse that he linked to some of my republished blogs yesterday, I found out that folks were deleting archives of what occurred during the time that Sims was one-way-feuding with D'Orazio.

What the fuck, people?

The clear implication is that more folks than Sims did the trimming. I can understand if he did it, for reasons good and bad. But the rest of the folks out there?

  1. An accurate record of history is a good thing, regardless of whether it helps or hurts a person's cause.
  2. This is the internet, people: NOTHING IS EVER COMPLETELY GONE FROM IT. You've made it more difficult to find it. But it can be found. So all you accomplish is being guilty of trying to hide the truth. 
  3. If the posts made Sims look uglier, D'Orazio potentially suffers for the removal from all the folks that doubt the validity of her claims and cast aspersions on her. If the posts make D'Orazio's claims look exaggerated, Sims potentially suffers for the removal from all the folks that imagine much harsher offenses. 

It feels, to me, like actions taken to help some corporate entities get the whole thing to blow over sooner. And, if that is the case, I hope someone makes good use of to find those posts and let the historical record stand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Bad Look

I've been told that, by republishing the blogs earlier today, I'm going to come out looking pretty shitty.

Well...when I wrote those blogs, I was being pretty shitty. And petty. Definitely petty.

Back then, I RSVP'd to every argument I was invited to. And I mean EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I had friends that would reach out to me to make sure I received the invite that was waiting out on the internet for me.

One of the most frequent "calls" I got was to see the latest example of Valerie trashing me or Newsarama. Because they knew I'd want to read it and I'd feel like I had to respond. I'm not blaming them, because I wanted to be told. At the time, I gave nothing but positive reinforcement to someone who brought stuff like that to my attention. And I think I often felt even more inclined to join the argument when she was slighting someone I respected.

I've been a big fan of and over the years, due to their approaches to discussing comics. While so many of the more cerebral presences on the comics 'net eschew four color spandex stories, those folks consistently and proudly discussed the genre without checking their intellects at the door.

So, when I saw her slamming Pedro (of FBB) for not letting her pin her clear mistake in a review on anyone but herself, it bugged me. And then I paid attention (far too much attention) and noticed how often that happened. And I wasn't the only one.

A good, 100% mentally healthy person offers a comment about the problem, sees there is not to be any productive result and stops wasting everyone's time. But I've never been 100% mentally healthy in dealing with disagreements. Even now, I try to decline invitations to many arguments offered to me, but, when I do attend, I still stick around long after the rest of the folks want me to move my car so they can get out of the driveway and go home.

(Sidenote: of course, the irony is that FBB & 4L pretty much brushed it all off their shoulders and went back to doing their thing...with the only time they'd engage the subject was generally to encourage myself and others to do the same.)

So, when I stupidly brought up Devin Grayson's relationship with Mark Waid as a counter to Valerie's contentions that Grayson got a raw deal with her most recent (at the time) DC work coming to a close and had Valerie take it (understandably) in the worst possible direction, while deleting all attempts to clarify, I locked myself into making sure that everyone knew just how hypocritical, disingenuous and manipulative Valerie tended to be at that time.

I can't remember how much time passed between that period and my deciding to just stop. I know I dropped it around the time of someone live-tweeting the Eisners, but I can't swear if that was 2008 (which would seem a much shorter period of obsessing over her mistakes and the way she trashed me) or 2009 (which seems a bit too long, but could fit my grudge lying mostly dormant for a time). But I decided to admire how she and David Gallaher were pursuing their dreams together (which was surely one dream realized), recognize the glass house I lived in needed repair and just move on.

But my problems with Valerie had nothing to do with anatomy and everything to do with personality. And that was the case with a good many folks. It wasn't just Chris Sims and the suggested sycophants that had problems with Valerie during that period of time and the presence of a Y chromosome in her genetic code wouldn't have changed anything for many of them.

No doubt, much of the behavior that rubbed folks the wrong way could very well have been a byproduct of the harassment she was receiving from other sources. To flip a saying, when you're being treated like a nail, you'd have to be afraid that everyone might be a hammer.

So, if the treatment she was getting from others led her to be combative and caustic with folks she was afraid were just more of the same, it doesn't make them evil for fighting fire with fire. Just makes them Valerie.

Valerie D'Orazio Vs Chris Sims

I republished some blogs I composed when I had a run in with Valerie that I reacted to by calling out every problem I had with anything she said or did. It wasn't healthy of me to let anything that initially upset me lead me to watch for more things to get upset about.

I have long since let that go. I expressed a sincere interest in seeing Valerie (and her husband, David Gallaher) succeed in the industry. Even expressed joy and wonder at seeing a couple that could share the same dreams and goals like they do.

Valerie is a good person. But she's a human being. She's flawed like all of us. I fully believe that she was being harassed and cyberbullied by a great number of folks. There are unhealthy folks out there obsessed at defending their favorite publisher that probably sent her threats the second her GOODBYE TO COMICS put DC in a bad light. That's the world we live in, unfortunately.

But a good deal of the public negativity thrown her way wasn't from being an innocent victim. For whatever reason, she earned a lot of the animus. She wound up in clashes with other professed feminists blogging about comics. She would let simple mistakes (confusing two bald, black male DC characters, despite being name checked thrice on the page) become unwieldy, ridiculous tangents about the publisher having problems with race and the writer having problems handling his cast of characters, all to avoid owning a simple mistake.

Now, a lot of her behavior could have been borne out of harassment that wasn't in the public eye. When she accused commenters of just being out to get her, rather than actually having a problem with a mistake she made, it might have come from private examples of OTHERS doing just that.

But the problem here is that, while that transference or biased reading is all-too-human of her, her responses and behavior were directly at these folks, who now had a legitimate issue with her and weren't necessarily misogynists.

I don't know what led Chris Sims to dislike Valerie and/or her work. I can't speak to the content of his character, as I do not know him. I do know from personal experience and observation of her interactions with others that one can have issues with her without gender coming into play.

Just To Set The Record Straight...

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

Originally ran on 3/23/2008.

Dan Slott appeared over on a Blog@Newsarama comment thread. A few comments said that the Val vs. Huxford vs. Slott thing was distracting from the actual topic...and I agree. That's why we're here, ladies and gents.

On that thread, he tries to twist a few things that I've done or said in relation to what some have called a cold war between myself and Valerie D'Orazio. I'm going to endeavor to make this blog a place where I can counter his imagination with reality.

  1. Valerie had started taking thinly-veiled shots at me before I ever ran a negative blog about her. She was dismissing everyone she found to be a troll by telling them to go argue with a creator on Newsarama, which more than a few friends pointed out to me as a perceived dig. I do believe she's a card-carrying F.O.S. (Friend Of Slott), but I can't confirm since I've been banned from the Bendis Boards due to my off-board conflict with Slott. I think that's where they keep the list.
  2. My first blog criticizing her was done about a blog where she was not only making illogical arguments, but irrationally shut it down in a declaration that everyone disagreeing was just a bunch of rabble rousers. If she had left things open for discussion, I'd have gladly posted my opinion there. But when one acts like a child that is taking their ball and going home because the other children don't agree with is going to take a lumping.
  3. When I did attempt to post on her blog, prior to the joke involving the nearly-decade-old Grayson rumor, she would only respond with snarky dismissal.
  4. In hindsight, I have posted many times that I regret making the joke the way I did. But I regret more that Valerie decided to spin what I said into something worse by her deleting all of my attempts to clarify and post a reaction that made it look worse.
  5. Though it might seem like splitting hairs to some, I think there is a world of difference between saying someone got a job because of who they were sleeping with versus saying that their pitches had a better chance to be looked at via their boyfriend-as-networking-contact.
  6. As far as taking time off from Newsarama, I closed my account there because I had stopped officially working for them awhile ago, but still wound up associated directly with them when that wasn't the case. With my account closed there, that seemed like a pretty good step to get the point across that I don't work for them.
  7. When it was clear that my reporting Guggenheim might cause Newsarama problems, I told Matt I was willing to do whatever necessary to distance myself from the site so that my actions wouldn't be attributed to them improperly.
  8. At no time was I told by anyone at Newsarama that I'd no longer be welcome there in any way.
  9. Blog@Newsarama has long been treated as a completely different animal than the mothership. This is a point I tried to make to Dan Slott when he was expecting Graeme to do fact checking and run things past legal before he did A LINK BLOG OF ALL THINGS!!
  10. Over in my WGBGB: Support For My Valerie Situation comments, I have a very slotty anonymous commenter that assails the veracity of the idea that dating Waid might have helped pitches get seen, leading me put up a fairly accurate timeline that shows Grayson was getting uncommon help from editors and appeared to start dating Waid before she made it in the industry. I did this less because I care HOW she got in the industry than because I care when people try to tell me something is factually impossible when it isn't.
  11. I didn't make "sexual comments" about Valerie D'Orazio. When she decided to hold her little blog bashfest with me as the person to be bashed, she accused me of having had an argument with Slott and Guggenheim in order to make myself famous. I responded to deny that and then point out the irony of her accusation, given that she made her name by anonymously dishing dirt on DC Comics editorial (without naming names, so many innocents might be presumed guilty) and talking about her ripped vagina. That's being unfair to her? She made a three parter called THE BROKEN VAGINA MONOLOGUES. She has a label called Broken Hoohah that doesn't even link to every single time she drops a reference to the broken vag. I don't think pointing out that she played up her ripped vagina for fame is a cheap shot. It certainly isn't a SEXUAL comment, regardless of the fact that it involves a sex organ.
  12. Dan Slott still has way too much time on his hands to go chasing me around, creating aliases, and sending unsolicited e-mails to those who don't agree with him.
There...much better. ;)

WGBGB: Val's House Has No Mirrors?

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

Wow. Now this is ridiculous. OK, it passed that point long ago. Now that Val has put all comments into moderation, she's actually going on a crusade against me.

She used my CIVIL DISCUSSION with Marc Guggenheim (one that he didn't express having a problem with at all) where I reported him to the WGA and equates it to the possibility of comic fans stalking and/or physically harming comic book professionals.

You know...taking Guggenheim's own public words on the same message board we were having the conversation on and then debate him on it...that's just like a stalker.

When called on it, here are the examples she gave in order to try to justify the extreme she was taking it to:

Example 1:

I find the fact that Kevin Huxford got involved with the personal life of a comic book professional absolutely chilling.

This is the same person who wrote on my blog alleged personal details of another freelancer's life. Ugly stuff, and rather sexist.

There seems to be a pattern, here.

These are things that are scary and cross the line. It is the job of moderators on boards and blogs to monitor this behavior.

These are the things that make me research security options for conventions and libel laws governing the Internet, and I feel 100% comfortable doing so.

The fact that I had to even say the previous sentence pretty much sums it all up.

Sub-topic closed.
By the way: she doesn't allow any comments from me on her page, while she continues (from the Devin Grayson thing) to try to smear my name through the mud.

Example 2:

Juan, say you run into somebody in your community and you two have a discussion about community policy or recycling or whatever. The other person violently disagrees with you, and insists that you admit he is right.

When you do not admit that he is right, he secretly follows you home and goes through your garbage to see if you were recycling properly or if your lawn adhered to the community codes. When he found something to pin on you, he goes to the sanitation department or the community board and reports you.

Now, the worst that could happen in this instance is that you would pay a fine. Certainly not on the level of "Taxi Driver," right?

But who does something like that to a stranger who happened to not share the same views as himself? What is the mental process behind a such a decision?

I've disagreed with you on this board before, Juan, but I do not go online looking for dirt on you to get you in some sort of trouble as the result of our online disagreement. It would never occur to me as something that people do.

And when things go from "conversation about comics" to "contacting the IRS or employer or WGA or whatever," when the fan in question is now an element in this freelancer's personal life -- there is a serious problem.

And in that case, the moderator of the board should have stepped in as soon as those things were mentioned.
Oh, now she's continuing the slamming of Newsarama that she claims she's not doing. For the record, people did step up as soon as they were aware of it (the reporting to WGA). That's part of how I realized my actions were causing problems for others and then decided to now PUBLICLY leave Newsarama (as I had already cut ties before that) and ShotgunReviews.

Example 3:

And I must say, this moderation feature is awesome!
Oh...I personally take that as her glee in deleting my one attempted post to call her on the twist and any others she might have deleted.

Example 4:


A fan contacting someplace related to a freelancer's job or other related personal life issues -- no matter what the circumstances -- is crossing the line.

It's not motivated by a positive impulse. It seems to be more motivated from wanting to make an impact on this public figure's life -- and, in that way, becoming a public figure himself.

And it worked, didn't it?
And now we get to what she really thinks is going on, eh?

I didn't do this to create a name for myself. When I quit Newsarama and Shotgun, I had no idea what else I was going to do. I had just recently started blogging more at Shotgun (a site I miss being a part of). I knew I'd continue reviewing books on my own, because I believed a majority of the views I received on YouTube were still going to be there. I didn't expect any kind of bump from what happened...not positive, anyway. When Rich covered it, I was just glad that there'd be enough attention to insure that no one blamed Matt Brady or Troy Brownfield for anything I said or did.

I haven't actually become much of a public figure. I have a blog. A BLOG. Do THAT many people know my name? Please.

The accusation is extremely ironic, given that it is coming from you, the woman who made herself a public figure by savaging DC Comics due to what she perceived as misogyny with their books and stories of a ripped vagina. If only you had worked at Marvel Comics when it was a boys club (as Gail Simone described it), your fame would be due to savaging Marvel...and your ripped vagina.

You do understand that telling the world about what you perceive to be an environment that encouraged misogyny is impacting the personal lives of multiple people there? Just because you see a faceless target of a corporation doesn't mean that there are no faces behind it to be impacted. And when you keep it anonymous, you cause rampant speculation where even the innocent are thought to be guilty.

That ignores the point that it seems more likely that your difficulties at DC were caused by your incompetency, when you, an ex-DC assistant editor, couldn't tell the difference between Jefferson Pierce and John Henry Irons, despite the book referring to the character by name several times.

There's the additional irony that you deciding to try to drag me through the mud with your exaggerations is just serving to extend what ever 15 minutes of fame I might have gotten from having that talk with Guggenheim.

And to think...when you didn't agree with my comments on Devin Grayson (which weren't nearly as bad as you tried to make them out to be), you cautioned me to fear legal repercussions. I guess that's because she's a public figure and I'm not a...wait a minute. ;)

Sometimes A Woman In A Refrigerator Is Just That

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

It seems that misogyny in comic books has often been a matter for discussion over the last few years. So much so, that I think people are hyper-aware of anything that can appear to be woman-hating or sexist in comic books. That's not to say that there aren't just as many "what the hell were they thinking" moments that still happen during these hyper-aware times.

I think that, during these times, certain stories and actions are attributed to misogyny or sexism when there is a much simpler explanation.

Let's take, as an example, my dust up with Valerie D'Orazio over my joke regarding Devin Grayson having gained some sort of professional benefit by the fact that she was dating Mark Waid.

Now, it was implied that I was talking about Devin sleeping her way to the top. I never made such a statement and don't believe that Ms. Grayson slept her way to the top. What I do believe is that every person you get to know in the industry is an advantage that makes it easier for you to get your pitch seen by the right editor.

Everyone knows that it is nearly impossible, as a writer, to get your work looked at by editors because they have too little time and too many concerns about people suing their employer because they think their ideas were used without compensation. Being friends or the significant other of a hot comic book writer helps you cut through those obstacles.

If I remember correctly, Joe Casey had a bit of a "right place/right time" that led to James Robinson befriending him and his path into comics becoming that much easier for it. I don't doubt that his work demonstrated great talent at the time at all, just as I don't doubt the merits of Grayson's work being the ultimate reason why it was published. But both writers had an advantage getting their projects looked at early on because of who they knew.

Now, mind you, I made a really stupid joke that, with Devin being a female in a largely male-dominated industry, she had the chance to break in by dating a creator where most aspiring male writers don't have that as an option. That was why certain people could take it and run with it into a much more inflammatory statement.

They made it about sexism and misogyny when, if anything, it is about jealousy. That's often what a lot of bitter comments made about those who have opportunities you don't or get the promotion you wanted are fueled by. Just like, if anything, the women in refrigerators are about easy/lazy/corporate writing more so than they are expressions of deep-seated sexism or misogyny. Corporate run comic book stories can often become as simple as paint-by-numbers when done by an unmotivated writer or an editorial staff adverse to risk taking.

Can't kill Batman, Robin, Nightwing, et let's kill Spoiler in a way that really makes a statement (albeit the wrong one). Can't kill a major supporting character or there are so few to pick from, so let's have Major Force stuff his girlfriend in a fridge. Now, I'm not saying those examples are lazy...but I'm saying the creative process probably involved a lot less resentment of women and a lot more of working with the options afforded to a writer in corporate comics. Established characters rarely can die. The status quo can only get changed so much, because this is a franchise property that needs to be "evergreen". There's a movie coming out; see if you can trim away some of the characters that aren't going to be in the movie. All of the non-creative concerns that limit the ability of the writer to build to a killer moment. They're not left with much.

That's why a cigar is often just a cigar and a woman in a fridge is simply a woman in a fridge.

WGBGB: Running From The Truth

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.

For the record, this exchange makes me look worse than it does Val, because I was thoughtless in how I initially expressed my point.)

Originally ran on 2/25/2008.

I was going to blog about how Valerie was being so selective about her approach to minority characters (black characters that are, in some ways, copies of white characters is bad, but Batwoman being a copy of a straight character with no defining characteristics but rich and gay is great) or the flaw in her assuming that Devin Grayson's aborted Batwoman series got killed because it was just too edgy and scared DC rather than any more realistic option (including the possibility that it just wasn't good).

But then I said the following on her blog (since deleted):

"I don't think it was because Grayson was a poor writer. If I had to take a guess, it was probably too real, too powerful, too original, too controversial, too sensual, and it scared the shit out of DC."

Ugh. Really. Ugh. All this unfounded crap about a writer that the best you could say earlier was "dependable mainstay" and included her in a group of writers with "a varying degree of talent". Talk about damning with faint praise.

Was there a switch in editorial? Could it have something to do with the timing with the movie? Was there possibly a plan to launch her with a Rucka/Williams mini or start off arc and that crumbled?

Fan reaction to Devin on Nightwing was terrible. If I remember correctly, she was losing paid readers, too. The "too sensual" comment? I don't know that sensual is what DC'd want to go for consistently in any DC Universe book. So, if Devin forgot her market, that'd be a valid reason for jettisoning her work.

For all the cries of inequality in the industry, aspiring female creators have the option of sleeping with ex-editors/current hot writers, assuring their pitches get read by someone. What? Someone acknowledge it. If we're going to boo-hoo her losing a gig, her beginnings put it in perspective.
Valerie's responses?

"For all the cries of inequality in the industry, aspiring female creators have the option of sleeping with ex-editors/current hot writers, assuring their pitches get read by someone. What? Someone acknowledge it. If we're going to boo-hoo her losing a gig, her beginnings put it in perspective."

you are an asshole.
Further, I don't tolerate such personal accusations like that against other freelancers, or posters, or anyone, on this blog. That sort of misogynistic tripe has no place here. Kevin, go take your readership elsewhere.
It is a fact that Devin was involved with Waid when she broke in. I'm not saying that she got involved with him IN ORDER TO BREAK IN...but that such a relationship certainly helps her pitches get read and her phone calls taken. To suggest it doesn't is stupid.

I do acknowledge, though, that my initial statement could be misconstrued as to suggest that she was using a writer to break in. So I tried to clarify with the following:
Accusation? I'm not saying she got involved with the person BECAUSE she wanted her pitches seen...but who she was dating certainly helped her get looked at by editorial. As does any kind of networking. New writers don't break in cold to DC or Marvel without knowing someone personally. That just happens to be the person she knew...and it just so happened to be in the Biblical sense.

By the way, it isn't misogynistic to point out that having a relationship with an ex-editor and current hot writer at DC certainly helped Devin break in.
Her response?
we don't discuss the private lives of freelancers here.
Which is hilarious given:

You're kidding, right? The blog site where you talked about your ripped vagina can't allow a comment that acknowledges a contention that has dogged Devin around since she broke in?
And then I say:
You know what, Val? If you're going to delete my comments that clarify my original statement, you should just go and delete the original statement...instead of trying to leave it up to contend that it is something other than it really was.
Kevin, please stay off this blog. You're saying things that can eventually get you sued for libel. Stop.
Me, again:
Val, I'm not saying anything libelous. It is ridiculous that you delete my comments and then post things to make it appear that I'm saying things I'm not.
As I said, I make no suggestion that she got involved with someone IN ORDER TO BREAK IN, but that it benefited her. I'd like to live in your world where having such close relationships with popular creators DOESN'T assure that your pitch gets read, but I'm stuck here in the real world.
Further ridiculous comments:

Kevin, trust me, you do not want a legal notice from Grayson. Drop it.
And the end from me:

Yeah, have my greater good at the top of your thoughts. That's why you're allowing the original post (which can be misunderstood) to stay up but not the follow-up posts that clarify that I'm not saying her boyfriend was a means to an end but that a relationship like that just happens to be a networking godsend.
Deleting my original comment, since you're obviously just trying to spin this into something it wasn't. You're just so professional. :)
That was, unfortunately, followed up with Val, again, trying to spin it into something else:
who Devin Grayson dates is of no concern to this discussion. I find your persistence in this extremely disturbing. please go find another blog or forum.
Yeah...ignore that most arguments involve persistence, regardless of subject matter. Never mind that, when someone tries to paint you as being misogynist for something that is simply a misunderstanding, you'll generally try to persist to set the record straight. I'm just disturbing. :)

WGBGB: Occasionally Super Mistaken?

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

Valerie D'Orazio is at it, again.

She decided to shoot back at the bloggers who took issue with her stance on minority characters, which she only seemed to introduce in order to avoid admitting an error in her JSA #12 review.

What does she do this time? Opens mouth and inserts foot.

She spends a whole blog responding to one of her critics' responses to a completely different blogger. That's right...if she spent the time she saved NOT paying attention in JSA #12 to actually read the blog she was responding to (rather than skimming)...she'd have avoided another embarrassing mistake.

She claims she is willing to have an actual discussion about minority characters in DC and Marvel comics, but so far she has demonstrated an unwillingness to read and digest the arguments being posed to her and an eagerness to hastily snipe at her adversaries without getting her facts straight first.

I think I found out part of her problem: there's only photographic evidence that she reads the solicits in previews. Maybe that's how she manages to get stuff wrong? Anything longer than some ad text triggers her ADD? :)

Do Comic Creators Need Security? Sure...Not From Me, Though

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

I know I've already dealt with what Valerie is doing in her column that was largely a vehicle to label me a scary stalker.

But some of the people over there are being just as nonsensical.

I can get the idea that it might be smart to have more security around comic book creators. For instance, at panels where everyone attending knows where a creator is going to be ahead of time, I've never seen any security at NYCC or Wizard World Chicago. If lucky, there's a sound guy at the back of the room to record the event for posterity, which could involve physical harm coming to the creator for all that's worth.

But the idea that anyone expressing dissatisfaction with a creator for any reason is a potential violent stalker is ridiculous. Faur points to someone by the name of kelvingreen commenting on Paul O'Brien's blog, indicating that he doubts that Bendis planned out the Secret Invasion stuff as long ago as he says (he's wrong, of course) and is annoying in his attempt to be cute by calling the New Avengers the NOT Avengers (get it? because they're...never mind).

But nothing I've read there ever boils over into anger or hate, even. He seems to just think that Bendis is an over-rated hack, to some extent. While I might not agree with that, I don't think it is cause for a restraining order, either.

There are FAAAAAAAAAAAAR better examples of why creators might need or desire security. I get why Val didn't use any...because she just wants to find a way to attack me without making it crystal clear that it's a response to all my criticism of her blog. But others?

Does no one remember the few extreme members of H.E.A.T. that allegedly sent death threats to Ron Marz and Kevin Dooley? Did no one pick up on any of the threatening statements made about Quesada after One More Day? People were saying that they wished acid was used in the dunk tank he participated in instead of water.

There are plenty of decent examples to use in making a pro-security argument. None involve reporting a potential violation or thinking less of a creator you like.

Update: WGBGB: Val's Decline Into Madness

(Editor's note: this is republished from 2008. I had taken it offline as a draft, but put it live again because I think there's some revisionist history going on with the D'Orazio/Sims thing. I might try to restore the proper date if I can track it down.)

Update: I think Val might be addressing her fluff piece on the Ayre Force comic book due to a friend writing it, even when the company producing it is as diametrically opposed to feminism as you can get. I'm sure her friend did as good as one can expect with a vanity concept, but somehow I doubt her opinion would have been as positive if anyone else did it (like maybe Geoff Johns). Anyway...I wonder if any of the moderated comments she doesn't approve brought to her attention that Calvin Ayre uses scantily clad women, in addition to his gambling site, to make his money? :)
I now return you to the original column, already in progress.

I start off, first, with an explanation of the whole idea of WHEN GOOD BLOGGERS GO BAD.

Before I started this feature, I actually liked and respected Valerie D'Orazio. I indicated as much on several posts to her blog during my infrequent trips to it.

When I started this feature, it was with the thought that she'd be in the barrel just the once or only occasionally, not become the focus of the feature every single time.

But she's become fodder for this column because of the clear bias she exhibits on a regular basis, inability to behave rationally, and habit of completely trying to spin the counter arguments of others into something they are not (all while their actual words are still completely visible in the comments section, with the notable exception of my dust-up with her).

The latest?

Lisa Fortuner provides guidelines for writers of international characters, courtesy of "The Mainstream Comics Industry":
"However, the Mainstream Comics Industry advises against researching another culture and creating a well-rounded original character based on actual facts, because this could result in your readers thinking of foreign nations as places with a rich history and culture populated by a variety of individual thinkers who are worthy of respect as human beings. This leads to the audience raising their standards and refusing to pay for books that don’t adhere to that standard. "

But Lisa, if you just think of those characters as Legacy Heroes, and give them a chance instead of tearing them down because of supposed inaccuracies and "uninspired characterization" (my God, as if there really is such a thing), maybe they can blossom.


Which reminds me...

Remember Faith from JLA?

What the hell happened to her?

See, when I worked on JLA, Faith was created to "kill two birds with one stone" by virtue of her Latin-American heritage. So you got a Woman (big W, trademarked) and an International Character.

Ask Morrison if he's going to use Faith in Final Crisis. Maybe she can be in one of those epic George Perez-like crowd scenes that get turned into a poster with a numbered identification index. She could be right behind Fire's shoulder. Boy, that Fire, I'll tell ya -- she's one hot Brazilian. Get it?

She goes on in the comments section (which is now closed) to lambaste Fire as a stereotype, ignoring posters pointing out that she's been rehabilitated over the years. It seems the extent of Val's using Fire as an example is going back to her creation as the Green Flame...which was born out of the Superfriends comic book in, I believe, the late 70s or early 80s. She would seem, despite having worked at DC, to not have any more modern examples of her behavior (missing the work Rucka has done on her, even though you'd think she would pay attention to the work of the guy who created Renee Montoya's persona and Batwoman).

She shamelessly tries to spin this:
"I think the South American/Latin American "spitfire" cliche for women has been pretty prevalent throughout pop culture, but you know none of my Latina/South American female friends or relatives fit that profile."

But Val, she has character development that explains her "spitfire" personality within Checkmate. I believe a character can be reappropriated. Once a sterotype doesn't mean always a sterotype.

And Val, just because your Latina females and relatives are not hot headed doesn't mean that none can be. My sister and a few of the girls I dated were hot-headed. It's a normal human emotion. As long as it's not her only characteristic, why is there anything wrong with that?

Greg Rucka goes forward and adds reasons to turn her into more than her stereotype. The way the character is right now, how is faith a better character for it?
I hate this idea that all minority characters have to be a stand in for their race. No one does this to white characters at all. No one goes and says that the Joker represents all whiteness. It infuriates me to hear this. Is it because whiteness is normal?
Into her response of:

I have to admit, every time I hear these arguments that there are no stereotyped characters in comics and no token characters in comics, I am fascinated.

Many posters call her out on the straw argument, which she just answers with insults and inanity. When people ask her for a serious answer instead of just spitting out unrelated garbage, she goes on some hissy fit rant that sees her rapidly descend into insanity.


So why is a character that fits a stereotype, even though she has plenty of character development and is well-rounded, disqualified by default?

"So why is a character that fits a stereotype, even though she has plenty of character development and is well-rounded, disqualified by default?"

Matt, I ask myself this question about Witchblade everyday. I just don't understand why they just won't give Sara Pezzini a chance.Probably the bare ass with the cyber-webbing.
Yes we know Witchblade sucks, but considering we're talking about Fire here I don't see your point.

Mind actually answering the question or are you still just throwing out "controversial" comments that you'll never back up in an endless quest for page views?
"Mind actually answering the question or are you still just throwing out "controversial" comments that you'll never back up in an endless quest for page views?"

You set up articles in Wikipedia for "imminent deletion" in your spare time just for kicks, don't you? Just to feel that rush. It's like your version of being in the jet in Top Gun. You engage in petty little arguments on the internet and smoke a cigarette after.

My God, really *is* that important to you.

God, I didn't know...

Well, you're right, Matt: there is no overly-sexualized history of Fire in the JLA. There are no Latin stereotypes in popular culture. And I don't want to be quoted saying the thing about some stereotypes being justified, but if you did feel that way, I wouldn't rain on your parade.

You are right, Matt.

Matt Is Right.

It's going to be okay. You are Somebody. You are The Master Of This Comments Page, the Master of Post ID #2585950957379771360.

Enjoy it.

And it just gets worse from there (or better, if you're simply looking for the mesmerizing entertainment that can be provided by people who have completely lost touch with reality).

Oh...and she seems to have completely sold out her principles for an exclusive about a vanity press piece. Yeah...the proceeds are going to charity. But it is a vanity piece to fluff up Calvin Ayre's know him, the guy behind BoDog Poker and the BoDog Girls. Yeah...good ol' Calvin makes a portion of his loot parading women around as sex objects. Not that there's anything wrong with that, unless you're a rabid's an insult to feminists...unless you're an insane person who claims to be a feminist.

Good ol' Valerie is closing down comments sections left and right, going to moderated comments now. Why? Because she can't handle open debate. She wants to throw out controversial, inflammatory accusations without having to back them up. Check the comments section I linked to above and tell me she intelligently or rationally responds to a single commenter. Now there will be no evidence of her unwillingness to back up her off-the-wall assertions with something resembling facts.