Friday 12th of August 2022

not just the end of humanity as we know it...

coronaptonite...   If the coronavirus ends up killing off the comic book industry, it will be a grave they’ve dug themselves.
While their authors push politics and bad-mouth fans, independents like me can finally seize the day.


Comic books have long been a mainstay of entertainment, and over the last decade have given the inspiration to some of the biggest films of all time. However, the medium itself has had its issues. Between fan backlash towards blatant politicking and books like Captain America, Superman and Wonder Woman seeing constant declines in sales, the industry isn’t an entertainment powerhouse in its own right. Comic book shops in the United States had been closing left and right even without the pandemic. The history of the mainstream comics industry is treated like the barely beating heart of a dying god. It’s more of a legend with a small amount of followers than a giant to be in awe of.


Covid-19 has proverbially infected the ability to ship comics as well, with the biggest distributor in the industry, Diamond, stopping all shipments for the foreseeable future. There has been some attempt at adaptation in the industry, with DC comics looking to continue digital distribution, and joining other publications in making current shipments returnable. However, whether or not this will have much of a difference is debatable, considering the availability of digital comics hasn’t stopped sales from plateauing in the past. Smaller companies like Valiant and Dark Horse are ceasing digital distribution for the time being or production entirely.

Writers within the industry have started to clamor for another Marvel/DC crossover in this troubled time for when the pandemic passes, assuming that the loss of business isn’t catastrophic to the industry. The problem is that with there already being dwindling interest in some of the biggest heroes, on top of the question of whether or not the industry can recover, this comes across as begging for one final big payday before Disney and Warner Brothers could shutter the comic book divisions entirely. Even though previous Marvel and DC crossovers such as Marvel vs DC and JLA/Avengers found success, they were over a decade ago when the comic industry was in a better place. At this point, many people aren’t interested because the current industry can’t make seemingly immortal characters interesting any more.

Arrogant authors, political nonsense

Some would even argue that it is these writers that have caused the problem in the first place. Many tend to run block bots against customers, or are openly hostile to any sort of criticism. Writer Mags Vissagio openly threatened potential customers, saying to “get ready for a baseball bat to the teeth.” Venom writer Donny Cates is openly hostile to modern readers as well, saying “F*** every single one of you” while half-heartedly hoping people are healthy during the pandemic. This behavior doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in how focused someone is on their work, or whether or not this is the type of person you’d like to financially support. Beyond that, the current writer of Captain America is former Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is infamous for writing that 9/11 responders are “not human” to him. Not the type of person who should be writing a character draped in the American flag.



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Image at top and below from MAD magazine SS#116, published in 2000. It seems like yesterday... Face masks were essential already then...

mutating viruses...



More to come...

failure could set the world on fire...


The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.

Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.

The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.

The U.S. administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus’s spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans’ ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.

Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will—hopefully— be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.

Drawing lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains. First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.

Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.

The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides—in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.

We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.

Henry Kissinger


Wall Street Journal (United States)



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saved by marvel virtual twins...

With coronavirus panic sparking worldwide toilet paper shortages, Marvel has rolled out new superheroes to restore faith in humanity: ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Safespace’. Not really the heroes we need, but probably the ones we deserve.

Known for iconic characters such as Spider Man, the Hulk, and Captain America, Marvel has apparently decided that comic book fans need new, “post-ironic” (their words, not ours) heroes. The entertainment company unveiled in a new trailer that their ‘New Warriors’ line-up includes psychic twins named Snowflake and Safespace.

Snowflake is obviously non-binary and “goes by they/them,” Marvel noted. The gender-fluid twin vanquishes enemies with “snowflake-shaped projectiles.”

“The connotations of the word ‘snowflake’ in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp,” the comic book company helpfully explained.

Safespace, who identifies as male, is able to create a defensive force field – perhaps to shield people from being mis-gendered, for example.

The magical twins are “hyper aware of modern culture” and see their super powers as a “post-ironic meditation on using violence to combat bullying,” Marvel un-ironically wrote.

A trailer showcasing the pair seemed so unbelievable that many on social media thought at first that it was an elaborate hoax.

The twins are symptomatic of a larger problem: That the Left “never runs out of bad ideas,” actress and political commentator Mindy Robinson argued.

While the super-duo were widely trashed on Twitter, one commenter thanked Marvel for lightening the mood in these dark and uncertain times.

“Just when the world needed some levity, here comes 2020 Marvel Comics with their new heroes ...SAFESPACE and SNOWFLAKE. THANK YOU MARVEL YOU ARE SAVING LIVES.”

This isn’t the first time that Marvel has sought the much-coveted approval of ‘woke’ culture. In January, the company announced that it would introduce a trans hero “very soon.”


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Read from top.


cops in capes...

TIME magazine has urged the world to stop glorifying superheroes, arguing that they're basically straight white cops with capes – making them extremely problematic. This seems very reasonable, tweeted basically nobody in response.

Hollywood is finally being held accountable for romanticizing the police, TIME gleefully noted in its trailblazing takedown, but the campaign to reexamine the insidious 'good cop' narrative in entertainment should be extended to fictional vigilantes who often possess unfair super-privileges.

“What are superheroes except cops with capes who enact justice with their powers?” the magazine bravely (and rhetorically) asked.

TIME correctly pointed out that Batman sometimes ignores orders and “goes rogue,” which is deeply problematic since there's “no oversight committee to assess whether Bruce Wayne's biases influence who he brings to justice and how.” This is just one of many disturbing examples that shine a light on the dark underbelly of crime-fighting comic book characters, the TIME article argues.



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end of the experiment?...


Johnson ends “plan B” Covid restrictions in England
  • All mask mandates lifted
  • Vaccines certificates no longer required
  • work from home orders rescinded

UK Prime Minister has announced the end of all restrictions allegedly brought in to combat the spread of the “Omicron variant”.

This is just the latest in the series of back-pedalling moves on the pandemic narrative, which will be subject to an article of their own in the near future.

The plan B measures coming to an end include mask mandates in shops and on public transport, the need to show vaccine certificates to enter certain public spaces, and the requirement on working from home.

The announcement comes in a busy week in UK political theatre, as pressure mounts on Boris to resign from his post over “partygate”, with one Troy MP switching allegiance to Labour, and others allegedly preparing to submit letters of no confidence in his leadership.

This order applies to England only, as the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have final say on their own restrictions. However, it is still a remarkable turnaround, that sparks some very interesting questions moving forward:

  1. Why are the measures being dropped?
  2. Will the rest of the UK follow suit?
  3. Is Boris Johnson on the way out? If so, who’s up next?
  4. Is the end of Covid, or is it a set-up for another push later in the year?
  5. What will the public response be?
  6. Will people demand the restrictions be put back in place?
  7. Will some people still wear masks and social distance, even if they don’t have to?
  8. …is that part of the experiment?

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