Daniel Kibblesmith drove home a point to me. Comics are the new White People Welfare.
That used to be book contracts, (actually it still is). There would be a family wastrel that needed to be propped up or there was a new face in town that everyone wanted on the cocktail circuit for whatever reason. And suddenly they had an agent and a six-digit advance. Now of course, you don’t have to be white to get on that gravy train. A famous recipient of WPW was the last president of the United States.
Obama had only been the president of the Harvard Law Review. Nothing else on his resume as a writer. And that job didn’t require extensive writing. Yet out of the blue, he was given a $100,000 advance for a book that he never actually delivered. Obama was not contracted for a memoir. Also he failed to turn it in for years and no one cared about it at all.
If any publishing house was willing to give me an advance for one of my books it would be $5000 and the check would only be cut because the book was already finished and in my agent’s hand. That’s how publishing works if you aren’t on WPW.
Now Daniel Kibblesmith is a prime example of WPW. He was born in the fairly ritzy suburb of Oak Park in Chicago. The man is rich. In fact he was a contestant on Millionaire Matchmaker about ten years ago. He’s straight by the way. Shocking I know. This is not a man who needs to work but does want status.
Since he comes from money, he had no trouble being an unpaid intern. None of the rich kids do.
He has specialized in careers that come with high visibility and not much of a paycheck. He was an editor on Buzzfeed and helped found the Clickhole. He (I can’t believe I have to write it like this) works in humor. He doesn’t seem to produce much of it. Nothing that is actually funny, he just writes for the humor industry. He puts words together that are meant to be humorous. He has worked for Colbert for years and you’d think that would mean he had actual talent in the funny business but think about it. Colbert monologues are ninety percent golf-clap material with any real laughs being the result of Colbert’s delivery.
It was only natural that a man with no need to get paid to produce anything of quality would eventually drift into comics. The pay in that field is close to non-existent. But it has high visibility for the author. And about ten years ago everybody on the purse-puppy-hire cocktail circuit decided it was time to forget about books and get into comics as the visibility was much better due to the success of Marvel. And they don’t have to have any background in comics at all. It really didn’t matter what they produced so long as the editors could pat themselves on the back for hiring someone so brave and fierce.
Sana Amanat created a typically bizarre character in Kamela Khan.
Muslim Ms. Marvel’s power was the ability to deform her arms. Her job was to fight racist pre-crime.
Whenever I write about Marvel Comics in the twenty-teens I keep having to use the words, “I’m not joking. This is real. This happened.”
It was only natural that a complete Gamma like Kibblesmith would get in on this action. It was all there for him. Visibility, a little increase in fame and best of all in Manhattan status gained from being a Social Justice Warrior. And with the kind of creativity you’d expect of a guy who wrote a children’s book about black gay Santa (I’m not joking. This is real. This happened), he set himself to work and produced the hilarious New New Warriors.
A not-so-much-a-hero team as they are a collection of memes the right-wing directs at the left. For the first time it became clear just how much effort we put into our memes. It’s totally unfair we have given them so much to work with and in return, the only thing they ever call us is Nazi, -ist and -phobe.
I can’t create a character named Nazistphobe, Unlike Daniel Kibblesmith, I have standards.
The other thing that became clear is just how is just how dependent people like Amanat and Kibblesmith are on right-wing derision. When new New Warriors dropped every right wing figure knew about it within an hour. I am reasonably certain that Kibblesmith was planning on basking in our “outrage” and then accept the praise and plaudits from the SJW echo chamber.
It didn’t work this time. The whole thing blew up in Marvel’s face. The queer-beat poetry, gender dysphoria crowd was absolutely pissed about the New Warriors. The complaints all came down to “I wanted representation and what I got is blatant pandering!”
The problem for Kibblesmith is that he has come to the party too late. He is a white, cishet male. You can’t write about the pan-gender obese, diverse kids of color these days unless you are one.