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Jumbie
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http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/12/09/rawh....gay/index.html

 

What's wierd is that I first read Rawhide kid when marvel tried to bring him back in the eighties. There was a great scene where the kid is hanging of the top of a train. I recommended the book to IC and often thought that If I got to be a comics writer I'd bring the Kid back.

 

But this is way different from what I ever imagined.

 

Tha article has a point about the changing the character though. I understand the original Rawhide kid was a carefree Robin Hood type (which might fit the new campy style) but the Kid I read was a bout an older cynical gunfighter.

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Sounds like a decent idea, but they better not make it a gimmick. A gay title character would be great as long as they don't advertise it as "look, this hero is gay! Come see what innuendo is gonna be in this episode! Forget plot, or a realistically developed character! He's gay, so that'll sell!" And, oh yeah, "The Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather"?!

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Unfortunately any character that allready comes out to the media before hitting the press as gay is allready sold out to publicity. The ARE shooting for the gay market to promote this comic as part of a hook to try to widen the audience. Its a decent attempt to increase an otherwise shrinking public. If the actual comic is any good though, then it will perhaps stay more than a year or two....

 

i wonder what happend to that quality book i used to collect... Stone.

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Dammit Yahven, defend Spawn if you must, but why defile my wee forum with Stone?!

 

Yeah, Jumbie recommended Blaze of Glory a while back i recall, turned out really good. The sequel, Apache Skies was great too, i really took to Ostelander's art - it's stunning work.

This could go either way (*snicker*). If it keeps with the quality of the recent series & Marvel's recentn handling of such issues, it wont be a gimmick. Everyone thought Captain America: The Truth would be a black gimmick, but it dont seem that way so far. Its just that Marvel's in a really good time now: great writers & artists and for once great editors who are letting they try anything they want.

We'll see. I'm hoping this one follows the cap series and Origin as one of those really interestin ideas Marvel put out there while they had the chance and not, as some fear, a gimmick book.

Id like to point out that most of the folks who've commented so far dont read comics these days, and prolly wont even see this one. If youre really interested, check back here in a few months after me or Gundam (Alex) give it a go, we'll be happy to let ya know if the trade's worth picking up.

Meantime, thanks Jumbie - I swear ill post more in this precious corner soon, hopefully next week.

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Id like to point out that most of the folks who've commented so far dont read comics these days, and prolly wont even see this one.

 

Hey now, granted I don't pony up the cash for too many but I've got a membership at the Irish Comic book depository. I plan on making a good few checkouts soon as I finish the harry potter and Lord of the rings books.

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Heh...would do, but I still've yet to finish the original Gaiman mini-series - fucking great from what i read.

Id explain to TD how Harry Potter's a dimestore knockoff of Tim Hunter, but he still thinks comics are picturebooks at best, its a lost argument.

Just felt like commenting since Yahven had so much to say on a book that's not even out from a series he hasnt read; im glad to see posting here but random speculation doesnt do a whole helluva lot. Everybody and their mother had preconceived notions about Captain America: The Truth but its lookin pretty good so far, gotta actually give these things a go to know.

Seriously, between the Ultimate books and other recent greats like X-Statix, Hulk, Soldier-X, New X-Men etc Marvel's doing some amazing shit these days. I wish I was still able to have Yahven & them read more of em.

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Ok, now for some actual insight on the topic, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.com...

 

I have to hand it to Marvel; they’re paying attention to those WWE tips on media manipulation. A few months back, the WWE (formerly the WWF, or World Wrestling Federation, for those who haven’t been paying attention; they were sued out of their acronym by the World Wildlife Fund) drummed up tons of coverage by teasing an on-air marriage between two male wrestlers. The excruciating seriousness this was given by news organizations, not to mention self-appointed anti-gay cultural watchdog groups, was laughable, and only pointed up their ignorance of various American subcultures. As any wrestling fan could’ve predicted in a hot New York minute, Billy and Chuck not only never got married, but “came out of the closet" and announced during the ceremony they were both straight; it continues to amuse me that those who insist wrestling fans are all morons be “believe it’s real" are the ones most likely to treat wrestling as though it’s real. Wrestling fans, particularly these days, know it’s a big con game (with, hopefully, exciting action) that they play along with. (As I’ve mentioned in other columns, even subcultures don’t pay attention to, or try to understand the ground rules of, other subcultures. Gay activist group GLADD praised the “positive" efforts of the WWE without comprehending that the marrying wrestlers were heels and wrestling storylines are built on The Swerve, so it was even funnier, when the smoke cleared, to hear GLADD complain they’d been misled and used. Well, duh!: it’s wrestling!)

 

For a couple weeks, the WWE milked this for all the publicity it was worth. Didn’t do them any good in the long run, but, hey, as long as they spell your name right, right? (Which, in the WWF... er... E’s case, they often didn’t.) Taking a tip from the Vince McMahon playbook, Marvel recently let it “slip" that in their forthcoming western, RAWHIDE KID: SLAP LEATHER, the Rawhide Kid will turn out to be gay. (I believe this to actually be a Village People homage, but that’s just me.)

 

The logical response to this, of course, would be “oh, that’s nice" or “who gives a $#!+?" The press, of course, and “cultural watchdogs" went bananas.

 

It was a canny ploy on Marvel’s part. They could make pretty any bold claim – for instance, that The Rawhide Kid is the first major gay character in comics (he isn’t, and not even the first one to have his own title; one could even argue he isn’t a major character, though you wouldn’t know that watching the news) – and no news group, or even cultural watchdog, in the country would challenge it because a) none of them knows a damn thing about comic books and b )  they were too busy fixating on the gay part.

 

CNN’s backbiting political brouhaha show, CROSSFIRE, trotted out “both sides" of the issue, bringing in Andrea Lafferty of the ultraright Traditional Values Coalition to condemn the book, and, incongruously, Stan Lee to defend it. (Apparently no one told CNN that Stan really has nothing to do with Marvel anymore.) Typically, the show described The Rawhide Kid as “a gay superhero," perpetuating the myth that all comics are superhero comics. The “discussion" pretty much breaks down from there, with Lafferty basically saying “how can you justify corrupting children" (as if children – and highly impressionable children at that – are the modern audience for comics, and as if THE RAWHIDE KID targets them) and Stan basically trying to laugh the whole thing off, flinching long enough to say he has already told Marvel to remove an element Lafferty found particularly offensive. (Apparently no one told Stan he really has nothing to do with Marvel anymore.)

 

What I always wonder about these situations is this: since everyone knows no news show or critic actually bothers to research comics before pronouncing on them, why don’t any of comics’ “defenders" get aggressive and use that to our advantage? Let’s face it: they think they can get up there and say any damn thing to put us on the defensive. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Just ignore them and say whatever you want. They don’t acknowledge our questions? Fine. We don’t have to acknowledge theirs. The only thing anyone has to say to an Andrea Lafferty – the only thing – is “When was the last time you read a comic book?" Followed by “When was the last time you studied the comic book market?" Push them on it enough, and they’ll have to admit never, or only slightly less. Because these people don’t do research. (I’m talking about news organizations as well as watchdogs; news organizations will research the per capita income of Baghdad but they won’t bother to check out the readership demographics of BATMAN.) They’ll try to poo-poo the significance of their ignorance, but once they’ve admitted it, you shrug your shoulders and say, matter of factly, without accusation or triumph, “Then you don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?" No matter what they say past that point, you just reiterate that. Clean. Simple.

 

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t get “our" point of view across. But these shows aren’t for expressing points of view. They’re for publicity. Period. They exist to drive up ratings by giving Americans a panic attack of the days. They’re game shows, and if you’re going to be on them, you might as well play them to win.

 

If media thinks they get to manipulate us, we get to manipulate them. And I congratulate Marvel for understanding that.

 

Some interestin stuff...any thoughts?

 

rawhidekid1.jpg

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Interesting article. Figures some hack waiting in line to kiss Alex Ross' ass would jump on the bandwagon of judging this comic before reading it.

As for Supes, I'm only readin an issue of his stuff next month 'cause its gonna be solicited for 10 cents. Think about that: franchise character youve all heard of, and I aint paying more than a dime to read about it.

I say, even if this whole thing is a ploy to get attention to Marvel comics - one can hardly accuse CEO Joe Quesada of not trying this many times recently - then if it works, good. Let people know that comics are evolving and they should check them out.

Again, while only 2 issues into it, Captain America: The Truth is already shaping up to be a hell of a mini-series, while many newspapers were quick to attack it as simply a racially-motivated attempt at controversy. Again, I cant help but wonder how many of these journalists have actually read a graphic novel, much less followed up on the ones they've dedicated articles to before their release.

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