Tag Archives: Patton Oswalt

A quick one about the Aurora tragedy

20 Jul

by Mike Hansen

Batman Colorado memorialUPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

I didn’t learn about the shooting at the Aurora midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises until this afternoon. I’d just returned from my own day at the movies.

I don’t want to add much to all of the reporting and punditry, but I do want to mention a few quick things:

1. This had nothing to do with a Batman movie, and everything to do with a packed, darkened room with few escape routes.

2. This had nothing to do with comics, movies, videogames, or any other media that depict violence, and everything to do with a mentally deranged individual who had no business being allowed to have access to deadly weapons.

3. The news reporting on this tragedy MUST be handled differently to prevent future shooting incidents. Patton Oswalt posted this 3-year-old YouTube video that’s very relevant to today’s news – please watch it, especially after the 1:43 mark:

In other words, some of these are PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

4. As Bloomberg has reported,

Colorado doesn’t require gun registration and there is no specific waiting period to buy a gun.

I have no problem with personal gun ownership for self-defense (don’t get me started on hunting), but guns are more than an issue of freedom; they’re a public-safety issue. There’s a reason why we have drivers-license laws. Not having a few basic rules to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of the wrong people is simply insane to me. Again: SOME OF THESE ARE PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

There is no good reason for the lazy corporate news media to continue referring to this as a “Batman shooting.” We in comics must do everything in our power to prevent this poor train of thought from becoming fact in the minds of the uninformed. Otherwise, we will continue to see more attempts at unnecessary product labels, ratings systems, and censorship.

Finally, I received a mass email from Chuck Rozanski, owner of the Colorado-area Mile High Comics chain, in which he offers to contribute 10% of the net proceeds from his current 60%-off codeword sale to victims of the tragedy. While it’s admirable to create ways to help those affected, the fact that Rozanski is using his usual weekly 50-60%-off codeword email to drum up sales in the name of helping victims really rubs me the wrong way. The email even makes it clear that he is not losing money in any way from doing this.

Real charity involves personal sacrifice for the common good. I urge people to find what they believe in their hearts is the best way to provide immediate help and relief to the victims of this horrible incident.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

MUST-READ: John Hodgman on Comics and the New 52

15 Nov
John Hodgman at Barnes & Noble Union Square in...

(Image via Wikipedia)

by Mike Hansen

Another prominent comedian/nerd/celebrity has spoken out about the New 52 at Newsarama. Unlike Patton Oswalt’s complaints about DC’s customer survey, this time John “I’m a P.C.” Hodgman (The Daily Show) has some choice words for DC’s bizarre editorial choices on many of their superhero titles.

More importantly, he also talks about his love of Comics, and makes some great recommendations.

Some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

I am a great fan of the form, both in its corrupt fanboy nostalgia factor of pining for a time when I read superhero comics as a child, and also for its mature, challenging, artistic future.

The New 52 thing… my understanding of this relaunch of the line is that it was supposed to be giving new readers a chance to come in and experience these characters. And on those terms, I find many of the decisions in those comics to be really befuddling. Continue reading

Thank You, Mr. Oswalt

30 Sep

"I must use my powers for GOOD..." (Image by JASON ANFINSEN via Flickr)

Patton Oswalt appeared on Conan last night, and chose to talk about things that had nothing to do with his negative DC survey experience.

Of course, for all I know, he taped this segment before his meltdown at Meltdown.

But just to be safe, here’s a public “thank you” to Patton Oswalt for not letting the entire nation know about his bad comics experience.

(And yes, I’m aware of the irony of publicly talking about something I don’t want the public to talk about. I don’t believe THAT many people read this site yet…)


DC New 52: Be Vewwy Quiet, Before We All Start to Look Bad

29 Sep
Patton Oswalt @ Invite Them Up, Rififi - July ...

After Samuel L. Jackson, this is the last comics fan you want to mess with. (Image via Wikipedia)

DC Comics’ reader and retailer surveys are a fantastic outreach program – DC deserves major props for being serious about its audience. Have you taken it yet?

The timing couldn’t be better, with the many Many MANY negative reactions to some of DC’s new titles (Do I really need to link to any at this point? You’d have to be blind or in total denial to miss them…).

DC is going much further than it ever has before with its main lineup of titles. The complete renumbering of every series, the willingness to reinvent a huge number of popular characters, the courage to go day-and-date with digital comics, the outreach that’s reached millions of TV viewers with DC’s commercials, and now a partnership with Nielsen Media to do a national survey: it’s no wonder that so many people are excited enough about the New 52 to try many more DC titles this month than in the past. Has any other publisher had a line-wide sellout in a single month? (Granted, it’s easy to fudge those numbers when DC sets its print runs and has multiple retail channels that it can service and reallocate.)

But the Catwoman/Starfire (and now Voodoo) controversy has left a major black eye on the New 52. Despite having some good (and even great) new titles, the comics media has been talking non-stop about the unnecessarily ugly reinvention of some female characters. And I’ve been worried that it wouldn’t be long before the mainstream media would smell the blood in the water and pounce on this controversy during DC’s moment of triumph, leading to a non-comics-reading public looking at all Comics as trash and hurting the entire industry.

Well, unfortunately, in the last 24 hours DC has inched even closer to this scenario. Continue reading

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