Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More reasons to hate Peter David

Poll! Vote!

Man, no one's saying anything interesting today. Well, there is some interesting percolation regarding the Friends of Lulu Empowerment Fund (good link roundup here), but I think I'll hold off on any commentary until things shake out a bit more. Honestly, I was worried that today would bring nothing worthy of prodding with a long stick, but then I read Newsarama's circulation of the Fantagraphics Defense Fund press release. Or, more accurately, the comments left in its wake. A few excerpts:

"We are living in an age where the term freedom of speech is very much dissected in many parts to be interpreted in an infinite ways. You can’t put an author’s name like Harlan in an article knowing that it is saying very much negative things. Your magazine is not a tabloid or an open forum to have another author to write this kind of stuff....Everyone in every entertainment field knows that if you don’t mess with Harlan Ellison then he won’t mess with you. Leave as that."


"Give money to help Gary Groth fight Ellison.

Yeah, lemme get right on that...

I like how he's now formed FOF (Friends of Fantagraphics) to bookend the EOE (Enemies of Ellison) he founded back in the 90's.

Go dig through Peter David's But I Digress archives to get a GLIMPSE of the massive feud between Groth and Ellison. Good readin'." [Fuck Peter David-DH]


" Y'know, guys, given 18,000 years, I'm pretty sure you could come up with the money yourselves..."


"Hey, thanks for telling us your own book about yourself isn't self-aggrandizing. Because a statement like that from a publisher documenting its own history is very reassuring. [Emoticon deleted as per this site's policy-DH] The suit is stupid, and Ellison should be ashamed of himself for filing it, but Fantagraphics should have known better than to court disaster by trying to get in a jab at Ellison on the cover of their interview collection. Sure would be nice if they'd finish growing up and concentrate just on publishing good material and not trying to impress people with how clever and daring they are."


"I'll always agree with the core concepts of freedom of expression, but once those ideas are expressed, the subjects of the more controversial 'expressions' are allowed to respond in a number of ways, including legal action. Both sides of this particular disagreement have pushed the civility envelope over time, so neither gets a lot of empathy from me."


"Harlan Ellison really no longer contributes anything but white noise and damage to the industry in the case of attacking Fantagraphics. This seems like a sad shout for attention from an aging starlet. Britney Spears only shaved her head; Harlan's trying to destroy one of the oldest independent comic publishers in the industry. Pathetic and exactly what you would expect from him at this point. I wish Fantagraphics the best and will continue to support their products."


"...Yeah, well, that's the problem. Li'l Harlie thinks he's the Church of Scametology now. Say anything about him, and he'll sue even if his case has no merit whatsoever, knowing full well that most people will simply settle just to rid themselves of him; the logic being that simply giving the rabid dog a bone will be cheaper than a lengthy court battle that'll cost more than it's worth, especially since Harlan couldn't pay claims won in a counter-suit if his life depended upon it(*). ...On a related note, here's one you kids might find interesting: Harlie's Wikipedia articles are watched over by a small group of "watchdog admins", who censor out any mention of bad behavior by Harlan even if it's based 100% on verifiable facts and contains nothing slanderous by any legal definition. The reason? They're not defending Harlan, they're protecting Wikipedia and the contributors from any legal harassment from Harlan on a tirade.

(*) And I doubt seriously Harlan could have a "fire sale" to help bolster his legal defense fund even if Sir Art Clarke endorsed it."

I'm convinced that most of the anti-Fantagraphics posters are either (a) whiny superhero fans who resent the implications of Fantagraphics' mission statement, or (b) Peter David sycophants. I can't empathize with the former--even when Todd McFarlane was my favorite artist, I was still interested in non-superhero comics of all types. But I guess noblesse oblige demands that I condescend to feigning sympathy. The latter are a plague on humanity, but thankfully they have all the influence they deserve.


Dan Coyle said...

Nobody's talking about anything today? What about Dorian Wright's "brother" "Andy"?

Dick Hyacinth said...

I read it, but I decided I didn't have anything very interesting to say about it. But if you insist:

First of all, everything that could be said about Civil War has been said a hundred times over.

Second, I don't think it was all that effective as satire, mostly because its target was a straw man. I've yet to read any extravagant praise for CW, with the exception of that which came from Millar's army of sycophants. Maybe people are saying these things in comics shops around the country, but I'm skeptical that this particular sentiment actually exists in the wild.

Third, if forced to discuss the issue of superhero civil rights, I must say that the blogosphere's preference for vigilante justice over a government-sancitoned and -regulated police force is baffling. I'd be willing to bet that these same bloggers favor gun control, were appalled by the Rodney King beating, etc. Their stance on this (ridiculous fictional) issue suggests an unhealthy adolescent attachment to the status quo of their beloved intellectual properties, leading to an inability to think critically about them. Which is not to say that critical thoughts about superheroes are an essential component of life. (I had written a post saying essentially these things, but instead I decided to go with the "Shut up about Civil War, already" post.

Dan Coyle said...

Well, I didn't insist, but thanks anyway. You know, you're right, it wasn't worth talking about at length. Sorry.

Dick Hyacinth said...

I can't tell if this is a rebuke for me or agreement that the Wright's post was basically unnecessary. I need validation, Dan.

Dan Coyle said...

Well, it's the latter.

Joe said...

How do I get a lot of money to Fantagraphics without my wife noticing . . .hmmmmmm . . .

Matt Brady said...

Forgive me for not knowing all the details, but what does Peter David have to do with the Fantagraphics/Ellison feud?

Dick Hyacinth said...

David is a noted "friend of Ellison," and has taken his side whenever the feud with Gary Groth comes up. More importantly, I think he's a lazy hack. Even more importantly, I don't like his fans and wanted to provoke them, but nobody took the bait. Sigh.

In all seriousness, like most popular writers (or, in his case, formerly popular writers), he has a cultish following who seem to hate Gary Groth for little reason other than David's grudge against him (which, in turn, stems from both the Ellison feud and Groth's comments about David's comments about the passing of Carol Kalish).

Matt Brady said...

Jeez, that's like a damn soap opera. I used to really like Peter David when I was a teenager. He was my favorite author of Star Trek books. He wrote the first Deep Space 9 book, where Odo fought an evil shapeshifter (long before evil shapeshifters were introduced on the show) and did stuff like turn himself into a chainsaw. It was so kewl! I never read his Hulk, but I got on board for Young Justice, which I thought was the funniest thing ever written. Man, my tastes have really gotten better since then. Nowadays, I wouldn't say i dislike him; it's more of a 'meh'. Does he really have that cultish of a following? I know people like his Hulk, and his X-Factor run (the old one) is pretty well-regarded (and maybe Supergirl, I dunno), but he never struck me as a John Byrne type, with legions of fans that will berate you if you dare to criticize him.

Dick Hyacinth said...

You're probably right about the magnitude of his following. I just think of him as one of those guys people always turn to as someone who could "fix" Marvel (or DC, though you hear that a little less often).

I turned against David when I saw some direct-to-video thing he scripted. I don't remember the name, but it was some sci-fi thing from c. 1993 and featured George Takei as a drunkard. I don't know if I finished it, but I do know the words PETER DAVID IS A CYNICAL HACK were forever burned on my brain from that point forward.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Peter D, but Fantagraphics is full of crap. Read this:

Dick Hyacinth said...

Clifford Meth, a friend of Harlan Ellison, has failed to convince me of shit. And he really shouldn't include a photo of himself with his columns, as it diminishes his credibility.

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