Stop Cyber Martial Law

My wife compiled some links regarding the Cyber Crime Law while we did research on the subject. Might be helpful for people who want the information all in one place. Links to sources provided.

Read Republic Act No. 10175, also known as the Cyber Crime Prevention Law:

http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/?fb_action_ids=4350506956930&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Black Tuesday: The event that encouraged protesters to rally outside Supreme Court while the bill was supposed to be deliberated, and asked Facebook supporters and websites to black out their profiles:

https://www.facebook.com/events/178101128993797/

NO TRO FROM SC: Efforts to delay the law becoming real failed as the Supreme Court issued no Temporary Restraining Order.

Despite the seven different and separate complaints against it, the implementation of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 will still push through as scheduled.
 
This was after the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided not to take a vote on whether to grant several petitioners request to issue a temporary restraining order against Republic Act 10175 because a number of justices skipped the regular weekly en banc session.
 
“The SC did not issue a TRO in the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 petitions which are up for further study,” said SC spokesperspn Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra in a statement sent to media in the afternoon.
 

The en banc decided to take up the matter in next week’s full court session instead.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276460/scitech/technology/no-tro-from-sc-vs-cybercrime-law-for-now

LIBEL CLAUSE: New Law has a generic but potentially stifling libel clause

10 Terrifying Things About the Cybercrime Prevention Law

1. It only wants to hear nice things. “Your tweet about the barangay captain who loves San Miguel more than his job? That could be classified as libel

2. It champions the dead by asking the living to shut up.“You would also be committing a crime if you “blacken the memory of one who is dead.” So, what happens if the person who died was a criminal who molested kids, backed a law that resulted in thousands of people being tortured, or killed journalists

3. It’s so “special” that it hurts. “So, even if you’re kidding around by using somebody’s name as a verb or noun to signify not-too-admirable acts (Noynoying, Sottomy, etc), you could get arrested.

4. It’s a time traveler. “So, that scathing post about your ex that you put up way back in 2004? You could end up going to jail for that.”

5. It’s outdated.“The Philippines’ libel law, enacted during the American colonial period and intended mainly to stifle dissent, continues to consider the offense a criminal act. Media organizations contend the law on libel has most often been used by people in power to harass journalists and muzzle critical reportage.”

6. It won’t like you liking what it doesn’t like.“Those who play a part in unwittingly or willfully encouraging the spread of libelous content shall be charged for abetting libel. That means the act of clicking the “Like” button of Facebook or retweeting posts on Twitter may be tagged as unlawful as well.

7. It’s prudish.The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.” However, what if cybersex is done by two consenting adults? If a woman sends a picture of herself eating ice cream in a suggestive manner to her boyfriend, will she be sent to jail if someone rats her out?

8. It shits on wit. “You don’t have to directly call someone a liar and a thief to get sued for libel. It’s enough to suggest it or state it sarcastically—as long as you do so in a public manner like posting on the Internet.”

9. It won’t play fair.“No court intervention is needed, the DOJ can go right ahead and compel you to stop publishing your posts.

10. It’s got killer penalties. (read entire article and what those 10 things mean here)

“Senator Tito Sotto proudly owned up to the fact that he was responsible for inserting the libel clause into the law. Senator Chiz Escudero called the insertion a “mistake” and has said that he’ll move to have the law repealed. Meanwhile, Senator TG Guingona (along with the other senators who didn’t back the law) continues to be against the law. For its part, Malacañang said President Noynoy Aquino thoroughly reviewed the law before he affixed his signature to it—a fact which strikes some people as strange.

For the record, the following senators voted to pass the law:

  1. Sen. Tito Sotto
  2. Sen. Bong Revilla
  3. Sen. Manny Villar
  4. Sen. Lito Lapid
  5. Sen. Koko Pimentel
  6. Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
  7. Sen. Loren Legarda
  8. Sen. Chiz Escudero
  9. Sen. Ping Lacson
  10. Sen. Gringo Honasan
  11. Sen. Pia Cayetano
  12. Sen. Bongbong Marcos
  13. Sen. Ralph Recto

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276434/scitech/socialmedia/digital-martial-law-10-scary-things-about-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-of-2012

NEW SITES TO PRESSURE LAWMAKERS: Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance and The New Media came out with another site: Internet Freedom (www.internetfreedom.ph).

Digital marketing professional and blogger Carlo Ople said in an online interview, “We want to pressure Senators to amend/repeal the Cybercrime Law.”
 
The site is an interactive portal of senators for and against the Cybercrime Law. The webpage shows photos of Senators who voted for the Cybercrime Act to be passed. It also shows who among them publicly announced their support for the campaigns to amend or repeal the law.
 
Ople, also editor-in-chief of The New Media, said that they will update the site once a senator said that he or she would support the campaign. As of posting, Senators TG Guingona, Francis Escudero and Pia Cayetano have already expressed their support toward these actions.
 
Each photo of the senators is linked either to the Facebook or Twitter account of the official, “(S)o people can tweet or message them on Facebook so that they can rethink their positions,” said Ople.

Internet Backlash:

‘Anonymous Philippines’ on a hacking spree

Anonymous Philippines’ message to Cybercrime Law Supporters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFBaapdoKrY

Transcript:
Hello Philippines, we are anonymous.
The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 poses serious threats to Internet freedom, the right to privacy and other essential civil liberties including the freedom of speech, expression, and the press.
As you can see, the worst thing you can do about the country is being blind to its own diseases. Are you trying to console yourself in thinking that we a good government with no flaws? No.
For too long corporations and the government believe they have the right over people, as though we were pieces of property and information to be handled for profit.
The government dont know anything about the internet. Did they really think they can control the internet with just this? Discipline the internet? Really? Did they think everyone in the internet are within their jurisdiction? Not everyone in the internet is a Filipino citizen that they can “punish”. The internet is way bigger than what they believe it is.
People from around the world will just look down on us Filipinos because of this sort of ignorance. I am so embarrassed to be under this government right now.
You want to see Anonymous rise up?
Try to shut down the message.
Try to squash the message.
Try to chill our speech.
Then you will see what Anonymous can do.
If speaking up against idiocy in government and unconstitutional amendments is a crime, then we are proud to be a cyber criminal.
We are anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect Us.

Plagiarists could shoot themselves in the foot:

De Lima stressed plagiarism also becomes a criminal act when “committed in the form of online piracy by using the Internet or other telecommunications networks and the same act constitutes copyright infringement.”

She said these provisions in the two special penal laws are covered in the new cybercrime law.

De Lima, however, clarified they do not apply to copying of news items or any work of the government.

Apart from identifying the laws that may apply in plagiarism acts, she also gave guidelines on how to avoid criminal prosecution for plagiarism.

De Lima said the public should just avoid copying the works of others, cultivate the habit of attribution, always be vigilant in detecting cases of plagiarism and encourage institutions to adopt anti-plagiarism measures.

The advisory, De Lima added, is part of the DOJ’s “thrust to take a proactive stance and a dynamic approach in criminal justice concerns.”

De Lima issued the legal opinion over a month after Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III was accused of plagiarizing a blog entry in his speech against the Reproductive Health bill.

Sotto had already admitted he was one of the two lawmakers who inserted the libel clause in RA 10175.

While she did not directly point to Sotto, De Lima has, however, criticized certain provisions in cybercrime law that impose higher penalty for libel and give the DOJ authority to order searches and seizures similar to that of a judge.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=855364&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Offenses Punishable Under New Cyber Crime Law:

Offenses punishable under Cybercrime Prevention Act are:

Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems :
Illegal access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right
llegal interception of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, within a computer system
Data interference such as alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of data without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses
System (computer or computer network) interference
Cyber-squatting or the acquisition of a domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same
Misuse of devices

Computer-related offenses :
Computer-related forgery (input, alteration, or deletion of data) without right resulting in inauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic
Computer-related fraud (input, alteration, or deletion of data or interference in the functioning of a computer system) causing damage
Computer-related Identity theft or the acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of the identifying information of another person

Content-related offenses :
Cybersex or the engagement, maintenance, control, or operation of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system
Child pornography or the unlawful acts as defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system
Unsolicited commercial communications which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services
Libel or unlawful acts as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code

Others :
Aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime
Attempt in the commission of the cybercrime

http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Cybercrime_Prevention_Act_of_2012#Punishable_acts

Added/Updated Oct 3: International Criticism from Forbes

The Philippines Passes a Cybercrime Prevention Act that Makes SOPA Look Reasonable

The dark days of SOPA and PIPA are behind the US, at least temporarily as copyright tycoons reground and restrategize, attempting to come up with measures that don’t cause the entire internet to shut down in protest.

But one country has already moved ahead with similar legislation. The government of the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which on the surface, as usual, sounds perfectly well-intentioned. But when you read the actual contents of what’s been deemed “cybercrime,” SOPA’s proposed censorship sounds downright lax by comparison.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/10/02/the-philippines-passes-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-that-makes-sopa-look-reasonable/

The Ten Things

Sorry about the lack of updates on here lately.  June of 2012 turned out to be a meat grinder, and I’m only now curling my toes around the foot holds on what I still call my “schedule” — not by any means the least help has been a small disciplinary exercise I came up with and have been observing for the past month.

If you’re anything like me, a creature of ritual, you have a fixed set of things you like to do before you actually start drawing, writing, or whatever it is you do.  The attendant “sup” with the Skype buddies.  The near-Pavlovian Facebook Like.  The snarky midday Tweet.  In the midst of all this, I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a .txt file on my desktop titled “Ten Things.”  If you hate lists, you might as well stop reading now.

What it is, is an enumeration of all the work-related things I accomplish over a work week, as they are accomplished.  But as a play on my OC-ness, it starts out as a blank list already numbered one to ten.  This way, I am always aware of how much I still haven’t gotten done.  A partially complete list exhudes a sort of cognizant want to finish it, or as close to ten as you can get.  The mechanism is simple but surprisingly effective.

Comic pages.  A set of layouts.  A character design. These are all aspects of my job that I can accomplish over the course of the week. Seeing the list build up mid-week not only gives you an idea of how much further there is to go, but also gives you a better sense of accomplishment.  So you did five pages?  Great, that’s five items on the list.  Snuck in a character design or two?  Even better.

There are of course some caveats. One will ask “What about blog updates? Those are work related.”  Sure.  But unless this is what you get paid to do, for all you role-players, This effect does not stack.  So you posted ten blog updates?  That’s one item on the list.  Same goes for personal art.  One item.

It didn’t seem to have a point at first, especially because all it did was make me feel bad about not always reaching my number ten.  And I won’t lie, most of the time you won’t.  But what you learn very quickly is that it’s not hitting that number that’s important, but trying to.  And when all is said and done, it’s still art, right?  Hopefully most of it succeeds, but some of it always fails.  The important thing is that you tried.  And y’know what?  there’s always next week’s list.

 

Backgrounds, A Love-Hate Relationship

My wife and I have recently gotten into The Legend of Korra cartoon.  For those of you unfamiliar or living in a foxhole, it’s the sequel to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Nickelodeon.  I bring this up because a pet peeve of ours when watching animated shows is seemingly rushed or “lifeless” backgrounds, which the Avatar cartoons are never guilty of having.

Confession time.  I hate drawing backgrounds.  I think every artist finds himself at a point where he does too.  The thinking behind it is I got into comics to draw dudes punching each other and hot babes swooning as the hero walks away from an explosion —  I get that.  I really do.  Who gets into comics to draw a park bench?  A window is a boring-ass detail to put on paper, and then you go and multiply that by… I dunno… New York.  Backgrounds are of the devil, right?  Right.  At least I used to think so.

From The Legend of Korra; Nickelodeon

I’ve given thought to this, probably longer than I should have, but it’s really not about detail as much as it is about something I like to call Perceived Production Value.  I have no idea if that is already a working term that professionals use, but for the sake of my point I’m going to run with it.

Frankly speaking, there is no need for a special effects budget for comics.  You can have literally anything you can dream up appear on the page.  It’s just a matter of how far your head can go, as well as how much time you’re willing to put into it.  So why not take advantage of this and make scenes look as expensive as you can make them?  Build a city.  Hire a ton of extras.  If it’s a nature shot, “spend” a ton of “cash” to “travel” to the most remote locales you can find.  The imagined production behind the shot results in a realistic element within the context of the story, and that adds value.  If you pull it off, and give it just the right amount of heart your story deserves, 9 times out of 10, you will have created something special.

From Conan the Barbarian; Dark Horse Comics

Perceived production value.  If you can make characters live in a place rather than just be in it, you know you’ve succeeded.  If you can create a scene immersive and believable and REAL enough, that’s when you know you’ve done your job right.

Backgrounds probably won’t ever stop being a challenge for me, but that only speaks to it’s importance, I think.  Nothing important ever came easy, after all.

Comics and Basic Intentions

When I published the previous entry entitled “Podcasting and the Value of Intent” just over a month ago, I felt a sort of gut catharsis that I got enough of my thoughts on the matter to be coherent enough to actually make sense.  But later on I realized that I had only tackled half of the matter, making this thematic “sequel” necessary.  And by necessary I don’t mean all will be right in the universe once I hit ‘post’, it just means my OC-ness can take a breather or two.  So… onward with the talking very  seriously about very silly things.

When Reading Comics (!), sure it’s all well and good to be mindful of the creator’s intent when you’re reading his product, but the other more important half of the equation is what you yourself intend to get out of it.  What are your intentions every time you pick up a comic book to read it?  Simply put, what do you expect to get out of the experience?

To backtrack a little bit, the idea of this blog post was actually sparked when I saw a comic fan absolutely panning a graphic novel on his website, almost to the point that you thought it was personal.  If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that whoever made that book had snuck into that gentleman’s house in the dead of night and farted in his pillow while he was asleep.  And nobody likes that (I checked).  But the point in its totality clarified itself to me when this vitriolic pedant did nothing but sing high praises for the likes of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.  Now that is all well and good, and I agree that those two are quite talented, but (and spoiler alert) not everyone can be Moore and Morrison.

 

And that brings me back to asking you what you expect to get from a comic.  Coz look… if you buy a stack every week, sit down on your comfiest chair and sip on your loveliest beverage, and expect to read Watchmen every time you open a book, you’re going to be disappointed every. single. time.

Are you after closure? Maybe you shouldn’t be reading Spider-Man then.  Are you after realism?  Are you after grit?  Understand that a comic can tell you a story along that line the best way it knows how, but also understand that a comic book may also not necessarily be the best place to decisively deal with something like hunger in Africa.

Set your expectations.  Or better yet, learn not to have any and just let the comic do its job and tell you a story.  Do not, and this is something I myself am guilty of sometimes, try to think ahead of the story.  That can be fun and engaging, but depending on what kind of person you are it affects its own set of annoyances and grievances I’d rather not get into in this post.

To know what you want is to know your place.  Enjoy the Ride and Quit being a bitch.

All told.

 

Podcasting and the Value of Intent

I’ve been hosting and editing most of the episodes of a little something called the Tres Komikeros podcast since late 2008 — cutting out stutters, non-PC comments, and the occasional five minutes of nonsensical rambling.  It’s a tough job.  It’s an often thankless job, but looking at how far the show has come and the friends we’ve made, I can honestly say it’s all been well worth it.

Last month, TK hit a noteworthy 100 episodes.  Over the span of four years, we’ve grown from a small crew of just me, a kind and bright-eyed artist from Cebu; Alex Cipriano, a relentless comics and gaming fan and one of my closest friends, and EJ Afzelius; a writer/model double-agent based in Manila — to a man-sized serving that includes Miguel Santos, a hotel manager from Davao; and finally Nick Santos (no relation), a film school graduate also based in Cebu.  We are by no means the only comics-related podcast in the Philippines, but I can say with a stout heart that we are certainly the most prolific (for the lowest price consistent with quality).  From reviews to interviews to topic discussions and the like, the podcast has come a long way and, surprisingly, taught me a lot about art.  Specifically, the appreciation of it.

See… when you’re reviewing stacks of comics every week, the temptation to just compare them to each other or to something that came before is certainly present.  And while that can sometimes count as a valid review, it isn’t always a fair one.  All art is subjective after all, and are products of unique individuals with unique weaknesses and strengths.  Thus the act of compare and contrast to “review” their work is in itself a flawed practice.  Doing so not only opens you up to bias, because we all have our favorites, but it also has the potential to hurt feelings.  That may sound like a non-issue to most, but when you’re lucky enough (as we on the show are) to know some of these creators personally, the ice on Critic’s Creek can get surprisingly thin.

So the solution, though it may not come naturally to most, is to critique a piece of work according to what you feel the artist intended to do.  The focus on intent helps get you to the heart of the matter.  What is this story trying to tell you?  Are the characters, setting, dialogue and other elements contributing to a perceived tone?  Does the art do its job?  Does the story get communicated?  Is there even a story there, or is the artist just intending to have fun?  And the line of questioning goes on, because suddenly you’re judging a book on its sole merits rather than the cavalcade of books that came before.

Being mindful of intent helps one grow as both a reviewer and a creator.  And I find it’s helping me focus on the task at hand, which at the end of the day, is attempting to show people something they’ve never seen before.  Less historians, more pioneers.

Let’s all go read some comics.

 

Friends You Keep

It’s funny how things turn out.   I don’t much fancy myself the kind of person  who makes friends easily, much less keeps a ton of them.  It’s interesting how, over  the course of your life, you can become quite well acquainted with your heroes, only to feel disappointed and quite honestly lost at the end of the day.  If your idols aren’t the kind of people you’d like yourself to be, what does that say about you? Conversely, an old and withered part of you gets tickled when you find yourself relating a lot better to a face at the opposite bank of a bridge long burnt.

So no… it’s not the friends you make, it’s the friends you keep.

So my band’s gotten back together… though Sean’s still in North Carolina, and Jan and I live in separate towns here in the Philippines.  So we’re pretty much a virtual band at the moment, and that’s probably how it’s gonna play out all told.  The wife’s happy just to see me make music again, I’m just glad to find out the boys and I still get along even without alchohol involved.

Work has been work, and March is looking to be a month of new things and old commitments.  I’m pretty sure it’ll be my busiest month of this year, with a coupla things probably bleeding into April and May.  But you know what?  I sit at a desk all day and rub a stick on a clump of flat fiber.  On a tough day, I’ll break a sweat — one pathetic bland little excuse for a bead of salty effort.  And then I’ll take a break.

Christ.

I really shouldn’t even be allowed , legally, to complain.  Quit being a whiny bitch, John.

I find that It’s important to have a good idea of who your friends are when the usual order of every day has a session of self-loathing pencilled in.

Misconceptions

Creating art as a profession teaches you things.  There’s a big difference between drawing for yourself, for fun, for art’s sake… and drawing to pay the rent, to feed yourself, and to keep the lights on.  It’s a job.  And while this distinction is clear to a precious few whom I love and respect immensely, I figured it’d be peachy to lay down a grocery list of the most common misconceptions that most people have about artists.

#1 Artists are proud of everything they create. Nope.  More often that not, we are painfully aware of how a piece could have been better, even when our peers compliment us or at least gently bend us over.  We know we can be better.  And while most of us can take constructive criticism like normal people, also keep in mind that no one sits at a desk, whips out his art equipment, and intentionally tries to suck.

#2 Artists are insulted by reference material. No way.  There may be a handful of artists who scoff at drawing from reference, but the majority appreciate it and tend to consider it a genuine effort to make our job easier, may you be a collaborating writer or even just a fan commissioning a piece.  Nah.  Whatever helps us make the finished piece better is usually appreciated.

#3 We like flowery scripts. This is a weird one.  Some writers tend to fashion scripts thinking of their collaborators as the audience.  Though there may be a bit of merit to that, nine times out of ten, an artist will prefer that you just say an alley is dark rather than “oppressed by the shadows of the adjacent concrete monoliths.”  While yes, it serves to help the imagery, keep in mind that you don’t need to sell us on the story.  We are already working with you.

#4 We don’t need praise. We do.  Admit it, artists.  The biggest reason you’re still on Deviant Art is the ego stroking.  Take me for example, after a day’s work, I’d like to hear more than “ooh, that’s nice.”  What’s the matter?  Am I a puppy?  Did you pass out because my page is so awesome and that’s why you can’t say anything more?  All I’m saying is… If you’re a writer receiving pages and you like them, tell your artist you do.  Don’t just ask for the next one.  Show the love.

#5 We’re always in the mood to draw. This is probably the most common misconception, and understandably so.  When comic fans see us at cons, it’s at artist alley.  When writers hit us up, it’s within the context that you are a collaborator whose job it is to illustrate a story.  But of course, just like every OB-GYN gets sick of staring at vaginas every now and then, sometimes we just want to sit at our desk and NOT be holding a pencil.

So that’s it.  Five common misconceptions about artists.  I’m pretty sure I’m wrong about a couple of them and very right about others, but this is all from experience, so bear with me.  Now back to work…

Guhhh

Not until illness renders you physically unable to work do you truly appreciate the work that you have in front of you.  It’s June in the Philippines, and with the change of season comes a drastic change in my constitution. I’ve been stuck in bed for the better part of this past week, sucking on air while my wife took care of me and made sure our home didn’t go to shit.  I’ve been stricken by a bad case of the flu, which has been threatening to wake my asthma up something fierce.  We’ve missed X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern, but I might be at 100% just in time for us to catch one of them.

Been toying with the idea of aiming for two pages a day lately, but Jad says I should ease it into five pages a week while I’m still recuperating.  She knows my limits a lot better than I do these days.

:::     :::     :::                    :::     :::     :::

The Tres Komikeros podcast has been on hold for half of June, no small thanks to me being a sorry pile of ache… but we’ll probably be back in full swing this coming Friday.  Alex has been itching for comic conversation, which is hard to come across in his all-work-oriented Singaporean Surroundings.

I’ve been catching up on some random things on my own though, while stuck in bed:

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

A much better anthology than Gotham Knight was, mainly due to the strong through-line anchoring the little tales.  Art direction was very Dragonball in a lot of the fights, but that actually made it work a lot better than Jad and I expected.  A great primer for the film, even though it isn’t Hal centric.

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The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

For some bizarre reason I’d really rather not think about, my buddy Migs procured an entire season of this show and promptly recommended it to me.  Granted, I wasn’t under heavy medication when he did, but seeing this now makes me think this is probably how Charlie Sheen feels… all the time.

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Warlord of Mars (Dynamite)

I loved the original Burroughs books.  I love the Frazetta paintings.  This series is respectful to both, and though the text can be cumbersome at times, I feel there is a very real effort to capture the soul of Barsoom, making this a sometimes-steep read that is well worth the climb.  This could use a PG tag on the cover though.  No sex is depicted, but thinly veiled nudity (though tasteful) should still be filtered.

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So yeah.  Space Cop.  Weird Cabin Boy.  And Barbaric Nudists.

Never let it be said my tastes don’t vary.

Someone Else’s Toys

A fresh page scanned, a new podcast posted.  I am sitting here at my desk on a cold Thursday morning, staring at the teaser image for Johns’ and Lee’s new Justice League, which is to debut in three months.  The day was filled with the internet din of rumor mongering and shocking confirmations of DC resetting their entire universe and launching fifty-two first issues from September onward.

They’re starting from scratch.

Will this stick?  Or is this yet another Heroes Reborn event Jim Lee is involved with?  I don’t know.  But this all reminds me of something Skottie Young said on a podcast, during one of his more lucid moments:  “Ten years, pussies.  That’s it.  And you’re done.”  He was referring to the number of “good” years one comic fan can really call his own.  A decade.  After that, it becomes clear how cyclical the industry is, and how convoluted histories need to be reset in order for new readers to jump on board.  And then you make a subconscious choice between continuing or ending your fandom, knowing this nature of comics.

Having been exposed to comics by my older brother, I’ve been in love with the art form since I was four years old.  Comics taught me how to read.  Comics taught me how to draw.  And probably most importantly, comics taught me how to be passionate about telling stories.  And in spite of being held at the mercy of retcons and reboots for almost thirty years now, with Skottie’s logic in mind, I have enjoyed comics enough for three fans’ lives.

And here we are again.  Another jumping-on point for some, a potential jumping-off point for others.

But you know what?  Just because heroes and characters we’ve loved for so long need to start from scratch, doesn’t mean the adventures we enjoyed as children are undone.  No one’s taking them away.  What this means is that it’s time for new children to enjoy these stories, and for these characters to be someone else’s toys.  And if that means comics can be enjoyed for more decades to come, then I’m all for it.