Gotham Central, “Half a Life”
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Michael Mark, co-created with Ed Brubaker
Quite possibly my favourite two pages in comics. One of the most successful portrayals of the complex intersection between race and queerness.
We’ve got the entire run of ruckawriter & Michael Lark’s incredible Gotham Central plus some other Gotham-Centric comics on sale for the next week!
Pockets are a must, for storing your necessaries. Knife, money, tobacco, frogs, string, marbles, bullets. Read your Twain for suggested pocket wares.
— Nick Offerman prescribes your everyday carry (via putthison)
Ladies and gentlemen, this is called a party hole. I designed this hole by myself. And then some people were like “David, why do you call it a party hole? It’s just you. There’s no guests. No one else can join you.”
This horseman is from the 1960 Jean Cocteau film Testament of Orpheus.
Also, bias is a noun and biased is an adjective. An author cannot be Bias unless he is the divine embodiment of pre-formed opinions like Eros is the embodiment of sexy love.
If you are lucky, you haven’t noticed that the internet has been throwing a shit fit over video games, and at least one of the results of that has been the horrible harassment of virtually all the female figures in the field.
Supposedly, beyond the ruining of women’s lives, this is a discussion about ethics and bias in games reporting.
Allow me to be generous and take people at their word. Doubtless, many people feel that way.
I don’t even doubt that many of these people do not endorse, or perhaps despise, harassment.
I’m frustrated because they are still wrong, but about how journalism and criticism work together, especially in discussions of an art form.
Let’s accept that video games are a kind of art. They are the collective creative endeavor of between 1 and 5000 people, and represent the fruits of their creativity and labor. Even if that goes to a bad game.
Arts reporting (like music, visual media, TV, and Movies) works in two different capacities. The first is straight reportage, like the financial numbers put forth by the Hollywood Reporter or Billboard. It also includes announcements about forthcoming projects and developments in the field. These might be played straight or with an editorial voice, such as the news updates on The AV Club. Whether or not you are looking at the AV Club, the choice of which things to highlight is an editorial choice and possibly a form of advocacy on behalf of the collective opinions of that venue. In music and movie reporting, this is considered entirely natural. Because even if the lead vocalist of a band is your cousin, the success of any given artist is a product of popular enthusiam, even if that enthusiasm is informed by critical consensus.
Beyond numbers reporting, and straight news announcements, every other iota of arts arts reporting is advocacy and opinion. Essays, reviews, features, all of it. The evolving nature of this discussion is what gives critical depth to a field of endeavor. You may like it, ignore it, disagree with it, or whatever, but the collective discursive enthusiasm around any given thing is a large part of what makes that thing vibrant and self-reflective. The critic’s job is not to be objective, but to discuss how the work struck them, and to discuss the technical merits of it. Though it may seem that the second criteria is objective, it is not. Weezer’s Pinkerton never stopped having emotional lyrics or having complex bass lines. Our attitudes about the quality thereof shifted over time.
Video game journalism is not ruined by opinion. It is not ruined by reporters and people in the field being friendly. It is not ruined by the introduction of critical language from feminist theory. It is not even ruined by an affection for your friend’s game
If there is direct evidence that a critic has been bribed by money, gifts, or other favors, that is bad, because they are failing to address their first responsibility to evaluate their response to the work. However, until evidence to this effect comes out, and even after, acting like you are Woodward and Bernstein because you have found evidence of human relationships comes across as weird to nearly everyone else. Running women out of your field (or allowing them to be run out) reduces the complexity and quality of that discussion, and makes you seem like a bunch of mean-spirited lunatics, even if you have a stance that seems to you to be deeply principled.
PS: This idea about how people misunderstand arts coverage has been stewing for a while now, but was actually set off by complaints about a review for the terrible looking Christian movie God’s Not Dead, which accused the author of being biased against Christianity or not being objective. Both of these ignore the fact that the pope could have hated the movie and found it technically inept, and still A. Be a good pope with a close relationship to his God and B. have been a good reviewer. As it turns out, the author had gone to church his entire life.
It is not the job of arts coverage to confirm your opinions, but to inform you that things exist and to offer up honest discussion around those things. If that discussion is dishonest, look elsewhere, and calm down.