Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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.


  1. I try to avoid her blog. Not because of the actual content, but because of the neon pink background her blog employs. I realize she is a girl and because of this she must use the official color most symbolized with girlie girl things.

    It just gives me a headache.

    Why is she asking for donations to support her site? It's a freebie blogspot blog. Its not like there is a lot of overhead with that type of blog. Unless blogspot charges money when a blog owner closes the comment section. In that case, the cost of running Occasional Superheroine would be quite substantial.

  2. Heh. No, I gather she asks for donations because she's trying to make her site into a paying gig. Maybe if enough people give her money as an expression of enjoying her work, she will look into making a full-fledged site.

    Or maybe the donation feature is supposed to be for Friends of Lulu and is just insufficiently marked.

  3. Ah, I never knew what the WGBGB stood for, lol.

    It seems to be getting pretty negative over there much more consistently, and pretty much always bashing DC characters/writers/fans in some way.

    Oh well, back to the ISB!

  4. I think this is a fairly mean-spirited post. Everyone has "open mouth, insert foot" moments. I've actually enjoyed a lot of her insights in the past.

  5. Respectfully, she's had a pattern of extreme foot-in-mouth-itis for the last few weeks. I don't think the arrogance involved with running a week of "Best Ofs" really helped to think of her as a more sympathetic character, either. ;)

  6. I'm not any great defender of Val's, I read her blog, never comment on it. But I just found this post very mean spirited as well. But your comment here are even worse. God forbid she should link back to some posts in her blog she found important while she's on vacation IN HER BLOG. She MUST be arrogant. You know, arrogant like a blogger who accuses another blogger of "descending into madness" or runs a series of posts accusing other bloggers of going bad and mocking them with glee. Do you realize that this could apply to you as well?

    neon pink background her blog employs. I realize she is a girl and because of this she must use the official color most symbolized with girlie girl things.

    Or maybe she likes pink and it has nothing to do with her gender! Heaven forbid!

  7. Isn't it wonderful that you're still allowed to go to some blogs and post a dissenting opinion that is diametrically opposed to the blog author's without it simply disappearing into the ether? That you're allowed to express yourself where the subject is being discussed?

    I'm sorry...but running a set of Best Ofs...which require you to show up and post anyway, defeating the concept of being away on, IMO, a bit arrogant.

    I think Rick is being a bit facetious about her use of pink. It is, however, not a very eye-friendly color for a background. You can argue that it makes her blog distinct and memorable, but it, also, likely turns off more than a few people that feel like their eyes are bleeding after reading her page for a few minutes.

    My comments about her dissent into madness are regarding her jumping to label and dismiss anyone who has a strong, opposite opinion to hers. She immediately starts suggesting they should go back to Newsarama (both insulting the poster and Newsarama, despite her claims to the contrary) or go engage in some other form of trolling when the poster hasn't yet been out of line. After she insults them, then their responses get terse...leading Valerie to feel justified. It is as if she's taking the effect of her words and making it, instead, the cause.

    She, also, seems to want to point to any criticism of her or her opinions as simply being due to her being a female with a strong opinion. That's ludicrous. Almost as bad as, say, suggesting someone who reported a person's PUBLIC words during their appearance as a PUBLIC FIGURE promoted their PUBLIC WORK is an invasion into their PRIVATE life. ;)

  8. So why pick on her?

    Why can't you let it go?

    This is why you aren't part of Newsarama and Shotgun. You have this ridiculous sense of moral superiority. You feel like you are staying true to your convictions. That is honorable, if it is about something IMPORTANT.

    You aren't a quitter if you let things go sometimes.

  9. Physician, heal thyself. know...explain why it is that you're still coming to this blog other than your unhealthy obsession with me? :)

    You keep trying to suggest I left Newsarama or Shotgun by anything other than my own choice, Frag. You've seen Troy Brownfield appear on this site to tell you that you're wrong on that...but you keep hitting that point for some reason.

    I'm not with either site because I chose to be able to say whatever I want without it being held against my friends and colleagues.

    Pick on her? She basically tries to make anyone who doesn't disagree with her a misogynist. Anyone who disagrees just can't take a strong woman with an opinion. She's basically said as much on her blog. She tries to bully readers into making sure not to disagree with her.

  10. I'm not suggesting anything. We all know why you aren't with them anymore. But you wouldn't have had to make the decision to leave if you had just let things go.

    And riddle me this Batman. Did you ever think that maybe you are taking her on because she's a woman? You have no other beefs with any other bloggers.

    Misogyny is a common trait among comic fans.

  11. Ugh. No, not actually the case, Frag. I had already made it clear to Matt Brady that I had no further intention of doing work there before the incident. My reasons for leaving Shotgun are more complicated than just being this incident and, instead, are about the idea that anything I might say (whether first response or "not being able to let something go" as you suggest) might negatively impact colleagues that are near and dear to my heart.

    That cleared up, no...I don't think I had a problem with her because she's a woman. If you paid attention (and gave any credibility to my words on this blog), I was a fan of her blog for some time. I didn't start showing up at her blog to attack her words. I go all the way back to when she did the anonymous thing to dish dirt about DC and posted supportive words when she talked about some of her troubles growing up.

    Things started going south when she started blaming everyone and her reader's mothers for her mistake in reviewing a JSA issue. Trivial little mistake, sure...but she started blaming Geoff Johns, the relatively bland and generic way ethnic characters are written, etc for her thinking that Black Lightning (in civilian identity) was Steel...despite being referred to by his secret identity three times in his brief appearance.

    She started treating her readers shabbily when they discussed the mistake with her. When all the negative attention from it started to die down, she wound up pointing to some of the criticism and tried to spin it as something that it wasn't (kinda not following your own advice of just letting it go).

    Since then, she's basically been the car wreck that you just can't turn away from. You apparently feel the same way about me. But, as you can see, I let you express your feelings about how I carry on.

    When you seem to be trying to insult me just for the sake of insulting me, I refer to you as a troll. When you try to make a cogent point, I usually respond without referring to you as a troll (like here). But I generally let your comments stand for all to judge on their own merits.

  12. Yes. So you left both sites because things you said would have a negative impact against people there. I get that. But look at your history (Guggenheim, Val, Ekstrom), you have a history of not letting things go.

    PART 2
    So you see? Maybe we aren't as different as you think?

  13. You're really trying to oversimplify why I left there. I just can't go into the specific detail necessary to clarify the point any further, though, Frag.

    Ekstrom now? I haven't talked about him in over a month. ;) But funny that you mention that...his little appearance on Val's blog might just lead to breaking that silence. I'm trying to fight it, though...might even fight it just that much harder FOR YOU. ;)

  14. Aww thanks!

    But I say go for it! I love a train wreck just as much as you.

  15. I don't know...after promising a friend that I'd hold off initially, I'm not feeling as much of a spark to do it. He's an example of someone who can't let stuff go, though.

    I don't'll see sometime tomorrow which way I go on this, Frag.


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