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  • #46
    Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
    Except when people say things in interviews, which are expected to be honest, rather than something which is expected to be a story.



    Only once I have concluded that someone is lying. And nowhere has Robinson suggested he met Airboy--he's just said that a lot of his bad, self-destructive behavior in it has some level of truth in it. I see no reason to believe that when he says that, outside of a fictional context, he's lying to all of us.



    There's a big difference between a story and a lie.



    I might believe that he's sincere in believing in it; I might not. He could be honestly deluded, after all, and thus not lying, just wrong. (Or it might be true, for all I know; I haven't really read him.) But there is a big difference between someone claiming that they were abducted by aliens and someone saying they had a problem with sobriety during a really messed-up time in their life, and during/after which apparently their marriage broke up.



    Because someone's being accused of being a liar? And in addition to that, someone I respect is being accused of being a liar?



    Only if it's established that he was deliberately lying. That would be, you know, a really low and rotten thing to do just in general, and I think that's a pretty serious accusation.

    I never called Robinson a liar. That's what YOU insist I'm calling him. I'm not saying that whatever Robinson claims he drew his inspiration from never happened, either. All I'm saying is that the amount of factual truth contained in the fictional story he's written in AIRBOY is small enough by volume (by comparison to the fictional content) as to to be fairly undetectable to the reader, even when alerted to it. I'll also allow that Robinson may honestly view himself as something of a cartoon character, but I'm going to go with the more common-sense interpretation that his talent as a writer of entertainment trumped any attempts to record his life experiences in comic book form with any real degree of accuracy.

    You just can't have an intelligent discussion about this, because all you've read are Robinson's comments in interviews, not the comic book itself. Whatever you might be envisioning when he tosses words like "semi-autobiographical" around are not informed by the reading of the actual story, and if you got the tone of the thing, I think you'd see that Robinson is caricaturing himself and artist Greg Hinkle here as characters in this story. If what you're hoping to read here is an insight into the life of James Robinson, veteran professional comic book writer, you're going to be disappointed, because whatever factual details inform the characters of James Robinson and Greg Hinkle in the story are purely incidental. Robinson's wife, for example, barely even appears in issues 1 and 3 - and unless issue 2, which I couldn't find, is considerably different in tone and content, I doubt she's much of a presence in that one either. I sort of got the impression that issue #2 became an "instant collectible" when it set off a flurry of outrage from the LGBT community for portraying Airboy (unless I misread this part) receiving oral sex from a transvestite in a bar somewhere; thus explaining my inability to find a copy. So when a couple of dialogue balloons of Robinson's character reference the idea that "I really don't appreciate her enough" and "She deserves better than me", you don't get a bit of insight into what that's about, at least not in any scenes between the Robinson character and his wife. The main thing here is a work of pure entertainment, not some kind of exorcism of the artists' souls on the altar of naked honesty. This is more about running jokes like the reoccurring scenes orchestrated to allow Greg Hinkle to draw his enormous penis (and I suppose he's entitled to draw it as large as he wants to, for the purposes of this comic; hopefully that will pay off for Greg, somehow, in his life). So if Greg Hinkle draws his penis larger than it is in real life, or if James Robinson writes scenes in which he portrays himself ingesting ridiculously excessive quantities of narcotics, we don't expect our comic books to follow the same ethics of objectivity that we find in journalism; it's accepted that their primary function is to entertain.
    Last edited by pulphero; 08-27-2015, 03:28 PM.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by pulphero View Post
      I think you'd see that Robinson is caricaturing himself and artist Greg Hinkle here as characters in this story.
      See, that, I have no problem with at all. If he says it is based on his life in some ways, then thus far I see no reason to disbelieve him, but I'm not expecting at all that he means "take out Airboy and it's otherwise precisely a found-footage view of my life." (Which is good, because it sounds like a dreadful time in his life. I get the impression this is meant to sort of artistically process some of his negative experiences.) Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant, in which case all is well. It's semi-autobiographical, but precisely how much of that is "semi" I don't claim to know.

      The whole thing about Airboy and the oral sex in the bar (apparently with a transgender person, not a transvestite, which is a different matter) and the LGBT issues is explained here:

      http://www.glaad.org/blog/fans-anger...-comics-airboy

      With Robinson's explanation and apology here:

      http://www.glaad.org/blog/writer-jam...-comics-airboy

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      • #48
        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
        The whole thing about Airboy and the oral sex in the bar (apparently with a transgender person, not a transvestite, which is a different matter) and the LGBT issues is explained here:
        Sorry, I'm not hip to the lingo. When someone uses the word "trannny" I don't distinguish between "trans-"whatever and why there's a qualitative difference between one or the other, if it's being taken as a slur. The only thing I got out of that news squib is that the scene was perceived as intolerant and a form of "bashing". On the other hand, the people being offended here seem to me to be reading this scene out of context to the whole, which (as was my main point) is that the characters of Robinson and Hinkle in the comic book are caricatures of their real selves, so that whatever truth informs those characters is blurred on the dividing line of "fictionalized", and thus maintains a sort of plausible deniability as to how much (or how little) of the details about the characters and their actions portrayed in the comic book is based on fact.

        In these interviews Robinson has been promoting the comic book, which is to be expected, but someone who reads the interviews but has not read the comic book can easily form a completely innacurate idea of what Robinson means when he's using a word like "semi-autobiographical", because that word is encompassing a wide range of exactly what percentage of the characters in the comic is based on fact. That's the angle or the hook he's using to promote the comic, and while it doesn't amount to outright deception, it may amount to a completely different understanding on the part of what "semi-autobiographical" means to someone who has read the comic, compared to someone who hasn't. People like Julius Schwartz, Cary Bates, and Grant Morrison have appeared alongside fictional characters in comic books, and AIRBOY isn't exactly that. Chester Brown appears in his own graphic novel Paying For It, and AIRBOY isn't exactly that either.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          Sorry, I'm not hip to the lingo. When someone uses the word "trannny" I don't distinguish between "trans-"whatever and why there's a qualitative difference between one or the other, if it's being taken as a slur.
          Oh. Well, so you can in the future, a transvestite is someone who just dresses like someone of the opposite sex, sometimes in a specifically fetish context, whereas "transgender" means that the person's identity is rooted in a sex other than what they were assigned at birth. Here is more: http://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq

          Meanwhile, "tranny" is most often a slur: http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender

          Defamatory: "tranny," "she-male," "he/she," "it," "shim"
          These words dehumanize transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media. The criteria for using these derogatory terms should be the same as those applied to vulgar epithets used to target other groups: they should not be used except in a direct quote that reveals the bias of the person quoted. So that such words are not given credibility in the media, it is preferred that reporters say, "The person used a derogatory word for a transgender person." Please note that while some transgender people may use "tranny" to describe themselves, others find it profoundly offensive.
          The only thing I got out of that news squib is that the scene was perceived as intolerant and a form of "bashing". On the other hand, the people being offended here seem to me to be reading this scene out of context to the whole, which (as was my main point) is that the characters of Robinson and Hinkle in the comic book are caricatures of their real selves, so that whatever truth informs those characters is blurred on the dividing line of "fictionalized", and thus maintains a sort of plausible deniability as to how much (or how little) of the details about the characters and their actions portrayed in the comic book is based on fact.
          Robinson touched on this, but also took responsibility and I think handled it appropriately in his apology.

          In these interviews Robinson has been promoting the comic book, which is to be expected, but someone who reads the interviews but has not read the comic book can easily form a completely innacurate idea of what Robinson means when he's using a word like "semi-autobiographical", because that word is encompassing a wide range of exactly what percentage of the characters in the comic is based on fact. That's the angle or the hook he's using to promote the comic, and while it doesn't amount to outright deception, it may amount to a completely different understanding on the part of what "semi-autobiographical" means to someone who has read the comic, compared to someone who hasn't.
          I suppose it depends on how much people are going to assume "semi-autobiographical" comes closer to or further from the "semi" vs. the "autobiographical." Myself, I assume that what he (along with others) has said in interviews and elsewhere is accurate, but not the specific degree of effed-upness he depicts in the fictional Airboy comic. Again, if there was some confusion on this point, I am not saying that I expect that, when I read the book--when my budget can afford it--Airboy to be "Robinson's real life with Airboy added in" at all. But I do expect him to be truthful in interviews, just as I would expect any other human being to be until proven otherwise. So I am sure it will be exaggerated for dramatic, or perhaps even cathartic, effect, with at least the kernels of truth of lack of sobriety, the breakup of his marriage, frustration with DC, etc.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
            Oh. Well, so you can in the future, a transvestite is someone who just dresses like someone of the opposite sex, sometimes in a specifically fetish context, whereas "transgender" means that the person's identity is rooted in a sex other than what they were assigned at birth. Here is more: http://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq

            Meanwhile, "tranny" is most often a slur: http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender
            No, I get what the difference is between transgender and transvestite. What I don't get is how that would be be obvious in the comic book story (because I doubt they went into that level of detail, or went the full graphic route) and why it's a big deal whether the slur was directed against one or the other. A slur is still a slur. But it was all secondhand information to me, since I didn't get to read the actual comic.

            But the whole misunderstanding with the GLAAD people just points to my main point about Robinson promoting the book as "semi-autobiographical". Even though I didn't read the issue in question, my guess would be that the trans "character" (and I hesitate to call it that, since it sounds like a cameo scene, where the appearance functions strictly as a prop for the overall purpose of bolstering the caricatures of Robinson and Hinkle) is there in the story only to make the comic book version of R&H look like the seediest of lowlifes, morally bankrupt in every way. That much is apparent from the context of reading the surrounding issues of the comic. Yet someone from GLAAD who reads Robinson's interview quoting "semi-autobiographical" and then reads the trans character scene out of context to the whole, is confusing the words and actions of Robinson & Hinkle the caricatures with Robinson (I assume as the writer, the onus of blame falls directly on him) the real person. And that quite obvious contrast between the immoral character of Robinson in the comic book and the moral character of Robinson in real life (which is proven by his response to GLAAD) is why I say anyone looking to AIRBOY to gain some sort of biographical insight into James Robinson is either going to be disappointed or deceived by what they're reading. The whole brouhaha points to exactly why it seems to me a bad idea (although it must have seemed likely as a good "hook" to Robinson) to go around promoting the book as "semi-autobiographical". Technically not inaccurate according to a dictionary definition, but this whole incident just shows how it leads to people's confusion. Now Robinson did mention several times in the promotional interviews that in AIRBOY he "portrays himself in the worst possible light", but did GLAAD pay any attention to that when he said it? No, I think they focused on where he mentions "semi-autobiographical", and ignored the overall context of the story, which is to put the two caricatures into a satirical black comedy situation. All GLAAD cared about is that regardless of the context, as a writer he's promulgating a negative stereotype of transgenders as ambush predators. Since that seems to be okayed by the caricature Robinson and Hinkle in the story, and they're "semi-autobiographical" depictions of their real-life counterparts, it gets interpreted as an honest reflection of the REAL James Robinson... when the fact of the matter is that the context tells you the scene is there not to promote a negative stereotype of transgenders, it's there to promote a negative caricature of James Robinson and Greg Hinkle. So the question then becomes, "Well, when you say 'semi-autobiographical', apart from specific details, would you call this a more-or-less honest or accurate depiction of James Robinson?" My gut instinct is telling me no, but I guess that would be up to James Robinson to supply a definitive yes or no answer.
            Last edited by pulphero; 08-29-2015, 12:10 PM.

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            • #51
              Ah! Now I understand. Well, yes.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Scarlette View Post
                alice cooper vs chaos. fantastic - not content with defecating all over one group of characters i liked, they drag in another. and to rub salt in the wounds, it's written by the oh-so-"talented" seeley.

                and vampirella vs aliens? they really are scraping the barrel. have they no sensible long term plans for characters other then throwing them all together in the most idiotic crossovers they can think of?

                can't wait to see how high up the charts these little gems soar.
                "287 4.78 ALICE COOPER VS CHAOS #1 $3.99 DE 5,471"


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                • #53
                  Is that good or bad?

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Scarlette View Post
                    "287 4.78 ALICE COOPER VS CHAOS #1 $3.99 DE 5,471"
                    Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                    Is that good or bad?
                    With Dynamite, it's hard to say.

                    (Also, any idea if this title might do better digitally, or maybe have better sales outside of Diamond's territory?)

                    By the way, other Dynamite titles that made the Diamond Top 300 Comic Books list for September 2015:
                    133rd - Bob's Burgers #3 - 15,993 copies
                    170th - Aliens Vampirella #1 - 11,726 copies
                    185th - Red Sonja Conan #2 - 10,718 copies
                    193rd - Swords of Sorrow #5 - 9,998 copies
                    203rd - Red Sonja #18 - 9,376 copies
                    241st - Will Eisner's The Spirit #3 - 7,223 copies
                    272nd - Shadow Vol. 2 #2 - 6,116 copies
                    273rd - John Carter Warlord #11 - 6,097 copies
                    276th - Voltron From The Ashes #1 - 5,939 copies
                    277th - Vampirella Army of Darkness #3 - 5,900 copies
                    287th - Alice Cooper Vs Chaos #1 - 5,471 copies

                    http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomi...5/2015-09.html

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post

                      (Also, any idea if this title might do better digitally, or maybe have better sales outside of Diamond's territory?)
                      The Forbidden Planet (UK Middlesbrough) near me only stocks Sonja and John Carter titles from Dynamite, as no one bought their other lines, and they tend to now only get the other stuff in for subscribers.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
                        With Dynamite, it's hard to say.

                        (Also, any idea if this title might do better digitally, or maybe have better sales outside of Diamond's territory?)
                        What's outside of Diamond's territory? Where would that be, exactly? I'm not sure what you mean, apart from digital. What, like non-English translations through licensed arrangements?

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