Comics Lowdown: Spiegelman withdraws essay after Marvel wanted to remove Trump reference

Plus: Hector Gonzalez Rodriguez III on the El Paso shooting, thieves caught selling comics to their actual owner; and more!

Marvel asked legendary comic creator Art Spiegelman to remove a line from his introduction for a new golden age comic collection for being too political. The essay refers to current president of the Unites States Donald Trump as an “Orange Skull.”

“In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America”

The graphic novelist decided to withdraw his entire essay meant for a Folio Society deluxe collection and published it online at the Guardian, fully intact, and added a few paragraphs at the end about his experience with Marvel, being edited, about how CEO of Marvel Entertainment, Ike Perlmutter, donated $360,000, the maximum amount allowed, to the “Trump Victory Joint Fundraising Committee”.

Politics: Speaking of Ike Perlmutter, the Comics Journal (you’ve been warned), RJ Casey makes the argument for boycotting Marvel because of the political activities of Ike Perlmutter, Trump supporter, friend, and in fact part of his shadow government. The readers make the counterargument in the comments section.

Hometown Hero: Hector Gonzalez Rodriguez III, creator of the Latino superhero El Peso Hero, reflects on the El Paso shooting and why he does what he does.

“I wanted to create someone like Luke Cage in Harlem,” said Rodriguez, a comic book creator of Mexican-American descent, “but living in between southwest Texas and north Mexico, who fights cartels, and defends unaccompanied minors and families crossing the perilous border.”

Crime: A woman entered Apotheosis Comics & Lounge to sell a newly acquired comic collection. Martin Casas, owner of the St. Louis comic shop, looked over the comics and PLOT TWIST! It was . Police were called and the woman and her boyfriend were apprehended. The police have recovered the remaining comics.

The Biz: The Jewish Exponent profiles Josh O’Neill and his publishing house, Locust Moon, which publishes a handful of high-quality books, many supported by Kickstarter. His Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, which paid homage to the classic comic strip with work by 140 creators, won two Eisner Awards.

Youth Literacy: Pairing known young fiction writers with DC Comics characters is a win to encourage youth literacy. Middle Grade readership is up 26%. Meg Cabot, Ridley Pearson, Michael Northrop, Kirk Scroggs, and others will bring Swamp Thing, Black Canary and more to kids this fall.

Cosplay: The world’s largest queer comic convention, Flame Con, happened last weekend in Manhattan, and Wired Magazine featured a handful of the thousands of cosplays on display at the show, noting that cosplay has always been inherently  queer with gender-bending and same-sex shipping.

Comics Lowdown: Remembering Stan ‘The Man’ Lee

Plus: ‘The Brotherhood’ writer revealed! Transformers’ growing female fan base! Plus Art Spiegelman, Stan Webb and the scariest comic panel in ages!

Following the death of Marvel legend Stan Lee on Monday, many outlets covered not only his death, but turned the focus on his wide-reaching life and legacy. Some of the mainstream coverage included:

  • The New York Times not only wrote a thorough obituary of “The Man,” but also featured a comic by Brian Michael Bendis, Bill Walko and Howie Noel.
  • Peter David, freelance comics writer and a former Marvel employee, wrote a remembrance of Lee for Vulture. “Still, there was a time where Stan became the incarnation of that line from The Dark Knight: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. In the ’80s and ’90s, it became increasingly stylish to bash Stan, to accuse him of hogging attention for his creations from the artists. But the fact is that before Marvel Comics, comics writers and artists were anonymous. It was Stan who made the artists the centerpieces of the work, giving them snappy nicknames like ‘Stainless’ Steve Ditko, ‘Genial’ Gene Colan, ‘Larrupin’’ Larry Lieber (no, even his brother wasn’t immune), and many others. We would come to know the artists (and other writers) as well as, if not better than, members of our only families. DC editors were so disdainful of this practice that they referred to him as ‘Stan Brag,’ before eventually following suit and crediting people.”
  • Roy Thomas, a legendary comics writer in his own right, shares the memory of his last Saturday spent with Lee at the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Marvel dedicated a special section of their website to Lee, with a tribute video.

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