Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chuck Dixon Bemoans the Liberal Blacklist. And Tony Isabella.

Chuck Dixon
The writer Chuck Dixon, well known for his gritty comic book work, and someone I happen to like quite a lot, recently teamed up with writer Paul Rivoche for a Wall Street Journal piece entitled “How Liberalism Became Kryptonite for Superman: A graphic tale of modern comic books’ descent into moral relativism.” Among other things, their piece decries the treatment of conservative comics creators—a breed at least as endangered these days as Sumatran Tigers.

Is their outcry an attempt to get right-wing readers to purchase their recent adaptation of Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man? Sure. Why not? And if that’s the case, is their argument any less valid?

Tony Isabella thinks so.

“Chuck Dixon is being willfully dishonest in his attempt to plug his new book,” writes Isabella in a post entitled “Dishonest Dixon” over at Harlan Ellison’s website.

As people have pointed out elsewhere, there are a lot of reasons why comics’ writers (and artists) find themselves without work or as much work as they'd like or the kind of work they'd like.

If there were an overwhelming anti-conservative bias in comics, Bill Willingham and Ethan Van Scriver would not be two of the most sought-after creators in comics...and Dixon's liberal counterparts like myself and Mike W. Barr would have more work than they could handle.

A significant portion of Dixon's work on DC and Marvel heroes violates the very morality whose lack he decries in his whiny little essay. I don't put much stock in his claims. But, then, facts do have a well-known liberal bias.

For those of you unfamiliar with their accomplishments, Chuck Dixon was among the better Batman writers of the last quarter century (see his work on Detective Comics). Chuck and artist Graham Nolan co-created the villain Bane, too, while his Marvel work included long, impressive runs on The Punisher and Savage Sword of Conan.

Tony Isabella
Tony Isabella was an editor and writer at Marvel whose work in the 1970s included Ghost Rider, Captain America and Daredevil. He left Marvel to join DC in 1977 where he created and scripted Black Lightning and has generously contributed on more than one occasion to projects I’ve been involved in. And his frothing hatred of Republicans—at least as far as anyone perusing his daily Facebook posts would surmise—appears as limitless as Galactus’s hunger.

“Was Tony ever told he should not send in pitches because of his political beliefs?” Chuck responded in an email to me. “Were editors ever threatened with termination for putting his name on a proposal? Was he ever denied work because he refused to apologize to an editor over a political disagreement?

“My experience is my experience,” Chuck continues. “I cannot explain why Bill [Willingham] and Ethan [Van Scriver] continue to get work. I only know why I was denied work.”


George Ben Herman said...

something like the deconstruction of science-fiction into liberal platitudes. Any way you slice it - it's unreadable

Perry said...

Do you have the link to Isabella's article? I can't seem to find it anywhere on Ellison's site.

Unknown said...

I really like both Chuck and Tony. I'd love to see a Justice Society series co-plotted and co-written by Tony and Chuck.

Unknown said...

You know who's even better than Ethan Van Scriver? Ethan Van Sciver! That dude rocks!