It’s fucking horny and amazing
For today’s entry I want to look at Comicsgate.
Now for those who do not know what Comicsgate is I am not going to go through the whole sordid history. There are plenty of articles out there that do so and you should read them.
Another reason is that having spent 72 hours reviewing and engaging with this hashtag it seems to mean different things.
Although it appears predominantly their mission statement is that the current output of comics particularly from the Big 2 (Marvel & DC) is only looking to appeal to a certain demographic to the exclusion of others. Further, they wish for more professionalism and accountability of the creators when dealing with consumers.
Their answer is seemingly to be the exact opposite. The problem is they’re not.
In summary – it’s all a bit hypocritical.
The Comicsgate movement have repeatedly stated what they stand for and in doing so it becomes a standard to judge them by. Not my standard that I have imposed on them, their own standard.
So let’s take a look at some of those standards and see how they are doing.
Firstly, dealing with the output of comics. Let’s assume for a minute that they are right about the Big 2 alienating demographics for the sake of just one.
If they want to fill this apparent void then from what I have seen their answer is to make comics solely for their own demographic.
This appears simply to be having titles involving women with big tits, liberally use the word ‘slut’ and throw in the odd gang rape for good measure.
Whilst arguably there is nothing wrong with a group of people making comics they want to read, the arguments put forward by Comicsgate supporters go further – They are going to do right what Marvel and DC do wrong.
But if the charge against the Big 2 is they are excluding particular demographics then how does doing exactly the same make you any better?
Now I’m sure in response some Comicgators will say that I haven’t seen all the comics. I am happy to accept that and indeed would go further and say I actually saw some that looked pretty good and would be something I would buy.
But if the subpar regressive comics of some Comicsgators cannot be held to be representative of the movement as a whole then neither can the more mainstream ones.
In speaking with a few people that align themselves with Comicsgate they still read and enjoy the odd comic from the Big 2.
In short, if Comicsgate were a brand then their output to a wider demographic would be at best a few decent comics amongst a load of undesirable ones. How is that any different from the charge they throw at Marvel and DC?
Creators v Consumers
Turning to creators having better respect for the consumers.
Comicsgate has been fought out in the bubble of social media. The problem with social media is that you can get validation for any viewpoint.
Originally the unpleasantness of Comicsgate begin with some creators pushing back against criticism from people who identified with Comicsgate.
But it has since grown and non creators have got involved. People who love comic books but don’t like what is going on. Whatever their view they are consumers.
Outside the bubble of self validation there are a number of consumers criticising Comicsgate. The response by Comicsgators is to clap back and sometimes in offensive ways.
They have become so determined to push back at any criticism they have forgotten who they are talking to. They are no longer just throwing back insults to a creator who they do not respect, they are attacking the very people required to sustain a comic book market.
Yesterday I tweeted someone who is creating a comic and supports comicsgate. Despite our difference in views I felt his idea was interesting and it’s been on my radar to support it.
I expressed the view that I did not think it was very adult to knife a female comic character in the breasts (he incidentally was not doing that but was gleefully goading someone who was). Within a few tweets he suggested I had a mental illness.
Finally, I want to address another allegation that gets thrown about by Comicsgators. Blacklisting of creators because the Big 2 do not share that person’s views.
The reason I’ve spent 72 hours delving into Comicsgate is because a non-pro creator that I follow tweeted criticism of Comicsgate over the weekend.
Inevitably many who support Comicsgate came to give their view. Now I don’t have a problem with that. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to express it (providing they do it respectfully).
My problem with it was as a result he was quote tweeted with ‘Don’t buy this assholes work’, which was then subsequently retweeted.
For what reason? Simply because he held a different view to them.
This was not a decision by reading a sample of his work and saying ‘No not for me’. A number of Comicsgators flatly refused to buy solely based on his views yet in the next breath would complain that the Big 2 are doing exactly the same.
I do not know how all this will end. I certainly do not have all the answers.
I’ve expressed this opinion as a consumer of comics for many years. I love comic books that have been a huge part of my life.
And look I get there are issues with Marvel and DC. Believe me they are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
Often I have been left disappointed or bewildered by some of their output.
But it’s important not to conflate that frustration and believe that Comicsgate is the solution.
They arrive on their apparent mission with baggage and as I have shown above they are no different to what they perceive the Big 2 to be.
As the saying goes Beware of False Idols.
Thank you this has been my TED Talk.
Regular readers and followers on my Twitter will have noted that over the weekend I had an epiphany.
Previously I had lived my life assuming that comic books were for everyone. I had believed that has we evolve so do comics ensuring an inclusivity that means no-one, whatever their age, sexual orientation and race is left out of the magical medium of comic books.
Turns out that’s all bullshit and what people want is scantily clad women shooting stuff.
So this inspired me to start work on my own comic and although it’s only been 24 hours there have already been some changes.
My main focus has been to work on really cool names for the Group(s).
For the scantily clad women I have created the Secret Lady Ultimate Tactical Service (S.L.U.T.S)
The buff men who team up with them will be known as Dudes Into Covert Killing (D.I.C.K)
Now some of them were originally in a regional group of buff men called Very Angry Guys In North America (V.A.G.I.N.A)
There is a complex back story to all this and it can be summarised as follows;
D.I.C.K came from V.A.G.I.N.A. Although they now just prefer D.I.C.K but happy to be in S.L.U.T.S when it suits them. S.L.U.T.S can work with both D.I.C.K and V.A.G.I.N.A.
All clear? Good. I think this is shaping up very nicely, don’t you?
So earlier today I decided I was going to write a comic that takes inspiration from when comics were great. Apparently, they are really rubbish now.
I did some research about what people consider to be a great comic. Helpfully there is this guy on YouTube who does videos about what’s great and what’s rubbish.
So I think I will do a crowdfunded comic that really pays homage to the what was once great.
The working title is Scantily Clad Women Go On A Top Secret Mission With Buff Men.
However I am toying with the idea of calling it Super Tactical Slut Force.
Now I have zero writing experience in comics and so appreciate that you may be reluctant to part with money for a comic.
So below is an example scene which I think you agree is amazing.
Slutface reaching up to grab her TITS*
(* Tactical Intelligent Titanium Suit)
Hank : Hey sweetcheeks need a hand?
Slutface: I’m trying to get my TITS so I’m ready for the mission
Hank (grabbing at Slutface’s voluptuous breasts) : You mean these?
Slutface (giggling): Oh Hank. We don’t have time. An army of buff men are on their way to attack us. They will be here any minute.
Hank (grabbing her breasts tighter): We’ve got time.
Slutface: They will be here in five minutes and you are such an amazing lover and you know I can’t resist
Hank: I know. You’ll want it a second time
Slutface: And I can’t have my own desire for your buffness risk the base being destroyed.
Hank: The sacrifices you make for your country.
Slutface: I know. Now help with these TITS.
…… Haaaannnk – the other TITS
So there you go. I’m gonna make comics great again.
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means……New Comic Book Day!!!….. Unless you live in the UK then due to a rather pleasant Bank Holiday we get all our comics tomorrow.
I’ve never really understood why that it is but they appear to be the rules. Sometimes it can be beneficial, if there has been a particular ‘sleeper’ comic it does allow us Brits to be on alert for it. However, having to wait an extra day more often than not sucks.
So in to the Mule Picks
Pick Of The Week
Scooby Apocalypse #25
The Death of Fred? People don’t tend to stay dead for long in Comic Book land so I wouldn’t be surprised if the death of this beloved character doesn’t last.
However the Scooby Apocalypse series has been a fun read.
Also want to give an honourable mention to Batman : White Knight #8.
The conclusion to a wonderful ‘alternate reality’ Batman series from Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth.
Great variant cover to conclude the series.
Cover of The Week
Detective Comics #980 Variant by Rafael Albuquerque
Been loving Albuquerque’s Variants for Detective Comics and this is one of my favourites.
Indie Pick Of Week
Okay I checked my Pull List (or should that be Mule List and to my surprise couldn’t see any Indie/ Small Press comics on there this week.
So let me give a mention to a comic I picked up last week.
I love crazy post-apocalyptic stories and Ben Passmore has produced one by the bucket load.
Great fun. This may be difficult to track down but if you see it definitely pick it up.
Issue #2 will be out on 25th July.
That’s it for now Mule fans. Until next week
Well here is a first for my Needy Mule Comic Blog side of my website, I get to preview a comic book.
HEADLESS is written by Alex Banchitta with art by Robert Ahmad.
There is no date for release yet but this is certainly a comic you want to keep on your radar.
It’s a horror adventure set in a small town during the 1980s. A mysterious death prompts concerns that the demon Headless Horseman has returned.
The premise is certainly an interesting one and the first issue does well to set up the main players in this saga.
Perhaps at times the dialogue gets a bit heavy and in places could have done with it being more punchy. I can understand the need to cram as much into the first issue, especially for an independent publication that certainly needs the reader returning for that difficult second part.
And believe me the final panel will have you wanting more of this story.
Whilst I hate comparing stuff to established works, that does seem the way of the world for reviews nowadays. So, fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things or Image’s Paper Girls will definitely like the mood that develops throughout this issue.
The art is fantastic; the use of colours and stylised characters are very reminiscent of the late, great Darwyn Cooke; but you can also see influences from other artists such as Frank Miller and Cliff Chiang, which when mashed together has its own unique quality.
So, a strong first issue which sets up the rest of the story with the requisite amount of mystery and intrigue that bodes well for the rest of the series.
I would rate this 4 stars out of 5….Wait a star rating is so last year.
Ahem…. I rate this 6 Mules out of 7. That’s right, I have created a whole new system for assessing the quality of a comic book.
It’s my blog, I can do what I want!
Anyway keep a look out for Headless by Banchitta & Ahmad.
Until next time Mule fans.
It’s that time of the week again and the Mule is surprisingly still here to give it’s Picks of the Week.
Pick Of The Week
Death Or Glory #1 : Image Comics
Image and Marvel often seem engaged in a war for who can release the most first issues in a calendar year.
Not all of Image’s new titles are a hit but every now and then a few gems crop up. Recently it was the excellent Gideon Falls and now we have Rick Remender’s latest offering.
An interesting story following Glory who lives off the grid. When her father becomes ill she’ll have to take to the road and face assassins, ex-lovers and technology in her search for medical treatment.
This great story is backed up by fantastic art by Bengal.
Cover of the Week
DC Nation #0 Clay Mann Batman Incentive Cover
Maybe difficult to pick up for a reasonable price but it is an absolute beauty.
For a more reasonably priced Cover Of The Week then check out Batman #46 Cover B by Kaare Andrews
Indie Pick Of The Week
Alien Toilet Monsters #1 : Omnimorphic
When I’m not being the comic Mule I write (kind of). So for someone who created The Overlord Unicorned Squirrels From Mars this seems right up my street.
Fun Sci-Fi Horror….What’s not to love. Check out the Preview Here
Unlike other comic sites that may sound similar the Needy Mule isn’t all about click baity nonsense to promote the big publishers.
Nor do I intend to go all spoilery with Infinity War.
One of the Mule’s intentions with this little comic blog was to give a platform to independent comic artists and writers. You know the guys whose tables you walk right past at comic cons.
However you walk past, you miss out. Because this Mule knows that good quality comic art is not exclusive to the mainstream.
This preamble brings us nicely to John Tucker.
Here’s a few things you need to know about John. He’s an independent illustrator and publisher from Cardiff.
For my international followers who needs assistance with Geography, Cardiff is in Wales…No? Okay, it’s where Doctor Who is filmed…Better?
He has a Website
And I must say it’s a rather wonderful website.
On there you will find a number of illustrated short stories that are also available to purchase in print edition.
The stories are predominantly dark comedy with a beautiful touch of the macabre.
His latest offering is Bald
A humorous short about the baldest man alive. For the record this is not a story about my Dad but still hugely enjoyable.
To me this really does have a League Of Gentleman/Black Mirror vibe about it.
The pacing is brilliant and the devilishly dark pay off at the end a delight.
The pastel colours in Night Watch is so lush it’s as if Raymond Briggs got wired on Jägerbombs and chose to do a tale of a lighthouse keeper.
They also reminded me of the BBC animated series Monkey Dust and I can imagine the strange townfolk of Heron in all their animated glory.
Certainly I hope John tells more stories set in Heron.
I’m also interested to see how The Floating Hand pans out.
The story is set in New Mexico in 1925 and appeals to my love of B Movies as a father and daughter take on a new kind of cattle rustler.
Overall, there’s a lot of fun to be had over at John’s website so go pay it a visit. It’ll even help you win a Scarecrow contest….Not many other sites can offer you that insight.
And if you see John at the various comic cons selling his wares go say Hi…Tell him the Mule sent you.
It’s New Comic Book Day and the first Mule Pick post.
Each week the mule will pick its favourite release of the week along with the best cover…..Look I know loads of people do it but the Mule ain’t people!
Pick of the Week
The fantastic sixteen part epic No Surrender reaches it’s conclusion.
This series has been an awesome read and harks back to the great Marvel stories of old.
There is also a rather beautiful variant cover by Inhyuk Lee which is worth grabbing
Cover Of The Week
Rick & Morty #37 – Cover B Vasquez Variant
The mule loves homage covers and also its well known that they are big Rick & Morty fans.
This cover is a wonderful take on X-Men #141.
It seems each week someone is doing a homage cover and whilst I am not complaining I wonder if we will soon see a homage of a homage.
There is also an exclusive variant to this issue which is a homage to the classic cover of X-Men #100, which is certainly worth hunting down.
Devil In Disguise #2 (Garvey/Ahmad) on Comixology
If you like digital comics then this indie gem enjoys its digital release on Comixology.
A fantastic Superhero/horror story with great art.
You can read the first two issues HERE
Issue 2 is also a homage cover as well! (I’ve said homage way too much in this post)
That’s it for the week. Until next week (or whenever we next do this as the Mule can be quite unreliable)
And remember – Listen to the Mule!
We don’t talk about The Time Of The Scribes anymore.
They are now simply a footnote in our chaotic history; that is if we were allowed to write footnotes or indeed write anything. After the War the written word became virtually obsolete in these lands.
In the beginning there was just one Scribe who would every week produce parchments for the town folk to enjoy. Scriptures to amuse, to educate, to thrill. The people loved the offering from The Scribe.
Soon, there would be more Scribes and now the people of the town had a choice. Inevitably, such a choice would lead to division and subsequently it would end…..Well you know what happened next.
These Scribes became revered, worshipped. Everyone wanted to own those sacred parchments; they became the very symbol of status.
Yet there never were enough to go round. Despite the number of Scribes the demand for these sought after parchments were too great.
Every week on an oak table the offerings of The Scribes were laid out and the huge crowd that had gathered would rush to ensure they were able to get one. Invariably, a large number of the town would leave empty handed.
It hadn’t always been that way. When the First Scribe produced the original parchment it was seen as something of a curiosity. The people were happy to share and enjoy these texts together.
No one knows how these parchments became to be held in such high regard but when that happened, everything changed.
It begun in the local tavern where many folk would discuss the virtue of the latest offering from The Scribes.
Some would be quite vocal in preferring one Scribe over the other. Others would talk for hours about how one particular parchment is the most sacred of them all.
Night after night these heated discussions would occur upsetting the once harmonious balance of the town.
The conversations that took place in the tavern would spread across the town and soon people were on the hunt for the special, prized parchment.
Some would protect their prized parchment by encasing it in impenetrable material. Despite the cries of protest that no one will ever again be able to enjoy the sacred text ever again more and more people began to do it.
Others took a different approach. There were those in the town who did not care too much for The Scribes’ parchments. They would use the status that came with owning one to become rich.
It started with the odd sale at the Tavern but soon this market to buy pre owned parchments grew. Therefore, each week on the day after The Scribes had left their parchments, the people would make their way down to The Bay.
At The Bay, food and other precious commodities were exchanged for ownership of a precious parchment. The people of the town desperate to outbid each other in an attempt to increase their own status.
Whilst some would sell their prized parchment because they were poor and needed to feed their family others were more nefarious.
After The Scribes had been, those wishing to sell their parchment at the highest price possible would go to the Tavern and spread rumours that this week’s offering were the most sacred there had been.
As word spread large crowds would gather at The Bay desperate to own it. This would guarantee the owner a high return.
Indeed, such was the reward that people would scoop up as many parchments as they could to sell at The Bay.
Some argued that they just wanted to read the parchments, like everyone had done in the beginning, but their voices could not be heard over those who clambered to own a parchment with the sole intention of selling it at the highest price possible.
Others aware of the demand for these parchments would horde them away at their home; sometimes waiting for the right price or for that inevitable rainy day.
Attempts were made to resolve this problem. A kindly old gentleman would copy the parchments so that those who missed out could enjoy the text.
Initially, they were seen as a lesser parchment but soon those who now controlled The Bay were suggesting that even those reproductions had value due to being even more scarce. Soon no one could read them without paying a high price.
This continued for many years and every week more people would be unable to read the Scribes’ sacred parchments as initially intended. All the while, those who controlled The Bay got more powerful.
And then The Scribes stopped delivering parchments……….