The Smell of Desperation

The Smell of Desperation

NOTE: My colleague Jon Del Arroz wrote about this already but there was a development today.

Yeah, we would never have guessed.

They say that the prospect of being hanged focuses the mind.  

They never said it would be focused on anything good.

American comic books are doomed.  This is actually nothing new. They’ve been failing for a while but COVID put a brick on the accelerator of a car that was already out of control and hurtling off a cliff.

Consequently, those few survivors of the DC Red Wedding are completely dialed-in on the tasks that are immediately in front of them and not looking at the big picture.  That is because there is nothing at all they can do about the big picture.  It’s kind of a targeted panic.

At the center of this focus of effort, is the all-important drive to attract SJW Tumblrinas as their new and vastly preferred readership.  Forget about fat middle-aged men with ponytails and penetrating body odor who hasn’t let anything come between them and their comics pull-list since 1986.  They want skinny guys in straight leg jeans with purple man-buns and non-binary things that look like that blob on the cover.  They don’t want people who buy comics but WILL cheer for this garbage.  Let me stress, they will NEVER buy I Am Not Starfire, but they will talk about how fierce and brave it is on Twitter and the Mary Sue.

This is the active courting of a non-paying audience. 

Loyal Reader: How do you know they aren’t buying, oh, Herald of the Dark?

The six-figure sales rank on Amazon is kind of a give-away.

The truth is that the YA market was the market to try and get into ten years ago.  Now it’s incredibly over-saturated. But the bigger problem is, who the hell would want to read this thing?

Here’s the blurb:

“Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn’t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she’s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you’re sure of is what you’re not?”

I’ll just wait right here in case you have to go splash whiskey in your eyes after reading that.

Okay, moving on.

Mandy reeks of self-indulgence.  Almost as if she is a less than attractive author’s self-insert.

Hmmm… Lets take a quick look at Mariko Tamaki. 

I don’t know what could have made me think that.

Starfire is basically a Dejah Thoris, which I like on general principle.  She is also Dick Grayson’s love interest or at least she was last I checked.  She may be another DC lesbian by now, I have no to tell that won’t involve me looking at modern DC comics.

The thing is that Mandy’s father isn’t mentioned at all in this blurb. Which makes me think that Starfire and Nightwing had a huge blowup about her too close of a friendship with Penguin after Mandy reached a certain age.

Yeah but whose?!?!?

In summary: This book is about some fat Goth goblin with tons of Mommy issues. It does not appeal to comic book readers, young adults or anyone else.  And has a very low sales rank for such a high-profile work.

DC’s reaction?

Today they have hired Mariko Tamaki to write Batman for them.

I shit you not.  That really happened.

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Comments (13)

  • Corey Ashcraft Reply


    I don’t understand. Unless this lady is secretly at 3rd degree MMA Martial Artist how will she write Batman. Does she know combat tactics and strategy? Doesn’t look like it. How about Detective thought processess? I mean this is the world’s greatest Detective. Seems to me all she knows of Batman is “Where does he get those Wonderful Toys!” The Gadgets are nice but they do not make Bruce Wayne Batman.

    I’ll reserve judgement but it looks like I dropped Detective and Batman comic books from my pull list just in time.

    December 8, 2020 at 10:27 pm
  • MandingoSlayer Reply

    “Today they have hired Mariko Tamaki to write Batman for them.

    I shit you not. That really happened.”

    Holyshit almost spit out my oatmeal!

    December 8, 2020 at 10:42 pm
  • Zeedub85 Reply

    There was an entire graphic novel series about fat goth goblins 10-15 years ago. We had it in the comic book store I was working at, can’t remember its name though. Nobody bought it, not even the chubby goths who did come in. They were the more cheerful type of fat girl nerds and bought superhero comics like everybody else.

    The Hawt Chyx always went straight to the horror section. Every time.

    December 8, 2020 at 11:04 pm
  • overgrownhobbit Reply

    Poor artist. It looks as if he could have made a really pretty StarFire middle school novel about Mary Grayson, 12 years old with braces and bad hair, trying to find her own place in the shadow of her famous parents.

    Then a her new science partner Mariko introduces her to the ninja club. At first it just seems like a game until they stumble across links to the Yakuza! Is Mariko really a friend or just a user? Friendship, adventure and superhero parents (plus just a hint of romance with a hot yakuza boy)-!

    They really do not get it.

    December 9, 2020 at 12:33 am
    • Ingot9455 Reply

      Yes, there are a thousand ways to do this right. Good, fun, beautiful and true.
      This is intentionally doing it wrong.

      December 9, 2020 at 2:31 am
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    i have an easier and more straightforward explanation for Mariko failing ever upwards.
    Tamaki is ((( Canadian ))).

    December 9, 2020 at 12:48 am
  • douglas Whiddon Reply

    I have no words for this.

    December 9, 2020 at 2:42 am
  • Siminov Reply

    Never doubt Clown World…

    December 9, 2020 at 6:33 am
  • Patrick McNally Reply

    Is the story meant to have lesbian overtones? The part about “Mandy likes Claire” seemed to ring that way but without saying it openly.

    December 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
    • The Dark Herald Reply

      There are no undertones about it. Mandy is totally a lesbian.

      December 9, 2020 at 1:42 pm
    • Ivan Poland Reply

      Critical Drinker has a great video on this: Why do we need heros?

      December 9, 2020 at 4:51 pm
  • Patrick McNally Reply

    By the way. Dejah Thoris was bastardized by Disney in 2012 when they recast her as a scientist. Nothing wrong with a female scientist character. but rewriting old characters is cheesy.

    December 9, 2020 at 9:19 am
  • Bonesaw Reply

    D.C. had one last chance to try to save some small slither of their once great publishing empire. Then they used it to hire a fat talentless goth lesbian-looking lump to write probably their most iconic character and respected.
    They keep proving why they deserve to burn.

    Meanwhile, Arkhaven is set to have a fantastic year coming up 🙂

    December 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm

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