Joe Quesada Responds To Teabagging Allegations

Posted by February 10, 2010 One Comment

I love running a headline like that one.

Earlier this morning, I ran a piece on the most recent issue of Captain America causing some concern amongst those associated with the Tea Party movement, believing themselves to be portrayed as racist buffoons.

Naturally Fox News got involved, targeting writer Ed Brubaker over the signage used in the comic, which he insisted he didn’t write.

And now Joe Quesada has responsed to the furore in a long interview on his Cup’O’Joe column. He writes;

There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.

And yes, what Ed said is absolutely true, he does shy away from labeling things and did exactly that in this instance. In Ed’s story, there was no connection to the Tea Party movement, that’s a screw up that happened after the fact and exactly what some people are getting upset about.

As for the tea bagging sign that does label things rather specifically, Joe blames it completely on a production error combined with tight deadlines, and goes for a complete mea culpa;

Where Mr. Houston is correct is in our accidently identifying in one of the held up signs, the group as being a part of the Tea Party instead of a generic protest group. That’s something that we need to apologize for and own up to, because it’s just one of those stupid mistakes that happened through a series of stupid incidents.

The book was getting ready to go to the printer, it was on fire already from a deadline standpoint, but the editor on the book noticed that there was a small art correct that needed to get done. On the first page featuring the protestors, the artist on the book drew slogans into the protest signs to give them a sense of reality and to set up the scene. On the following page featuring the protestors again, there were signs, but nothing written in them. From a continuity standpoint, this omission stood out like a sore thumb, but was easily fixable. So, just before the book went to the printer, the editor asked the letterer on the book to just fudge in some quick signs. The letterer in his rush to get the book out of the door but wanting to keep the signs believable, looked on the net and started pulling slogans from actual signs. That’s when he came upon this one.

And used it in the scene and off it went to the printer. Unfortunately, to make the deadline, the work wasn’t double-checked thoroughly, and it was printed as is, which is where we as an editorial group screwed up. We spoke to the letterer, and he was mortified at his mistake and was truly sorry as he had no political agenda. He was just trying to do his job, but ultimately the onus falls on me as E-i-C. All that said, we caught the mistake two weeks ago, after it was printed and removed the sign from the art files so that it no longer appears in future reprints of the title or collections.

As for Falcon stating that the crowd are racists, Quesada denies that and states;

this is a four-issue series. So to really get a full picture of why he feels the way he does and what conclusions he comes to at the end of the story, you really need to read the whole thing and not just judge a story and its intent on the first issue. What we do at Marvel is provide our readers with the unexpected and many times what is on the surface is not what is really going on.

Which does beg a question. This is considerably sized interview that must have taken time to prepare.  But Fox News say they repeatedly contacted Marvel regarding the story, but got no response. 

So why only address it with Cup O Joe on a comics-focussed site, rather than in the Fox News article itself? To keep control, avoid further awkward questions?

Because such a tactic only raises even more of them.

Neverless this will be $10 book by the weekend, betcha.

(Last Updated February 10, 2010 12:34 pm )

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