Good morning! You know that phenomenon that started in gaming circles where assholes will call the cops on someone and report a crime so severe that the police will mobilize a SWAT team? If you don’t, it’s called “swatting.” Can we start referring to creators term-searching themselves on social media as “slotting?” No real reason, I guess, just an idea I had.
A pretty exciting thing: Syfy.com writer, webcomic creator, and Kickstarter success Stephanie Williams, known especially for her delightful fan comics about the relationships between Marvel’s leading women, is getting to do the real thing! She’ll be contributing on Marvel Voices: Legacy #1, due out in February of next year. The second release of Voices dropped last week, with a focus on indigenous voices, and it’s pretty cool to see that this idea will be continuing, although I’d still prefer it if those voices got ongoings.
In less exciting news, France is enshrining a new law that will allow them to deport immigrants who complain about being subjected to racism. France has been notable for its Islamophobic legislature before, having banned highly-visible displays of faith in schools in 2003 (to include Jewish kippas and larger Christian crosses, but primarily focused on hijabs) and for banning full-cover facial scarves (a.k.a. burqas) in 2011. Outside of the legislature, weekly satire paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked in January 2015 after posting racist, Islamophobic cartoons. The widely adopted defense at the time was that this was art and therefore speech that must be protected without consideration for its content, but as our own Claire Napier said, very succinctly, “Cartooning can be a racist act.” Now, those two threads appear to be entwining, as French legislature appears to be taking the wrong lesson entirely and managing to find a way to attack free speech in the name of protecting it. I don’t have to say that shooting up a newspaper office is a heinous and indefensible act, but I also shouldn’t have to say that people have the right to complain about racism directed at them! This is truly a despicable move on the part of Macron’s administration, and he and everyone else involved in this should be ashamed of themselves.
Finally, closer to home: As if a massively insensitively-written issue of Fantastic Four last week (not the first time, mind you) weren’t enough (and look for our coverage on that coming up soon), regular writer of that title Dan Slott also managed to draw attention for first going after one of our own for her criticism of that issue (not the first time he’s gone after trans women, either!), and then being an apparently legendarily bad coworker, managing to blow deadlines so badly that a) other writers were having to pick up his slack and b) letters and other creators were begging for scripts so that they could rush to get their portion of the job done a mere two days before the book has to go to press. When word of this came out via Disney Plus’ new Marvel 616 show, Slott and crew were apparently unprepared for just how bad this would make him look; after a day of taking licks and insisting that actually, it was cute and charming to be wildly and massively unprofessional, he and others changed tack, insisting that this whole thing was blown out of proportion, and it was just TV! Do I buy that a bit? Sure, maybe, but we also already know that Slott has a history of being way too focused on Twitter to hit his deadlines, a thing that was true before this episode pronounced it, and indeed that Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort has had to get on him to get back to work before. So, who am I to believe? Maybe not the guy who thinks having a few successes entitles him to be racist, transphobic, and simply wildly irresponsible in his professional life. How many passes does this guy get?