Superman Wouldn’t Approve . . .

of Scott Lobdell.  DC Entertainment MIGHT, but that’s yet to be seen.  DCE has a problem.  This time BAD publicity/behavior is not going to be good for them.  If Superman wouldn’t approve, would his fans with the cash to buy his comic books approve?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about go and read this article regarding Scott Lobdell’s behavior at Long Beach Comic Con panel.  MariNaomi, the writer and artist, who sat beside him did not identify him.   But then Lobdell outs himself with this article the next day.  Apparently peeps were researching the panels MariNaomi was on to figure out who the culprit was.

Recently I have seen blogs/articles about the sexual harassment and lewd behavior by not only fanboys but of the editors and creators of comic books.  The mentality that this kind of behavior is acceptable because it’s at a comic con or within some kind of comic industry function/workplace is terrifying and horrific.  Caretakers of icons who represent truth, justice, hope, and the immigration of peoples to America should never behave this way . . . if they don’t realize it on a personal level then the companies they work for should know THIS IS BAD FOR BUSINESS.  Especially when it is displayed at a public forum such as a comic panel.

The cat is out of the bag!  And it involves a writer of the most true blue, beloved comics icon ever created.

Some history regarding Scott Lobdell.  His editor at Marvel was Bob Harras (1995-2000), who is now Editor-In-Chief at DC.  Harras went to work for Wildstorm Comics under Jim Lee, who is now Co-Publisher of DCE.   If you’ll recall, Harras was made EIC weeks before the editor’s retreat in October, 2010 which created the new 52 reboot.   Some of his ‘stable’ of writers have left DCE, and not always too quietly.

So it takes a brave female to come out and tell what has happened to them by a member of the boys’ club machine.  Some people may poo-poo that last phrase, but it’s definitely what any female creator (whether they want a job with the boys’ clubhouse or not) have been exposed to more than once and for more than a decade.

Scott Lobdell is always reminding everyone that he was/is a standup comedian.  I don’t think he was too successful since he’s been writing comic books for a couple of decades now.  But maybe he thinks he IS a standup comedian & that he’s very funny – even in places that stand up comedians wouldn’t do their schtick.

More than a few blogposts have been written about this incident.  And it is not the only one of its kind involving Lobdell, apparently.   Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject:

As a writer, did he feel the need to verbally spell out the word ‘gay’ to a person on a queer panel?

When he found out, MariNaomi was bi, did he think “Oh, she likes dick.  I can be a big dick then.”

Did everyone at the panel have to know red lipstick drives him to distraction to the point he can’t articulate?  (This is Scott Lobell we’re talking about!  The man never runs out of words while talking about himself, which is constantly.)

Touching someone you’ve just met and using as a brunt of ‘your sense of humor’ is just inappropriate and boorish.

Couldn’t the male homosexuals on the panel had stimulated the flacid microphone?  Why was a bisexual female singled out?

Asking about another person’s orgasms and then questioning their sexuality in a public forum is  . . .  not being funny, but being a total dick and an ass.  This was a comic panel, not a mock court.

MariNaomi brings up the subject of her husband and after the panel, introduces him to Lobdell.  The current writer of Superman then proceeds to apologize to her husband (who also has a dick but probably isn’t a dick) for his behavior.  Because Lobdell realized the husband was sitting directly in front of them.  Doesn’t apologize to MariNaomi.  But to her husband.  Some kind of territorial retreat ritual, I guess.  Maybe the boys who hired this guy can explain it to me.

So after apparently exhausting all his sexual innuendo cards, he pulls out the trump card in a game he is totally losing.  This was the rancid icing on the wormy cake he had baked.  While taking after-panel photos, MariNaomi who has to stand by her aggressor, remarks she doesn’t know how much longer she can fake smile.  To which Mister Life of His Own Party replies:  ‘Not to worry.  Because of your squinty Asian eyes, it looks like you’re smiling anyway.’  BAM!  Dude, needs some charm school or therapy!

AHHH, but it gets WORSE!

Lobdell outs himself via a friend’s website.  Not a direct apology to MariNaomi herself.  Heidi MacDonald showed it to MariNaomi first before publishing it on her blog.   She also featured, Kiss & Tell, MariNaomi’s book.  Heidi also included this information:

I will say I respect Scott for getting out in front of this and apologizing once he became aware of the ramifications of his actions. I don’t think what happened on the panel was okay just because a friend of mine did it. I’ve discussed it privately with Scott. I hope, as his apology suggests, he has learned something about appropriate behavior.

Again, my thoughts on the ‘apology’:

He apologizes for ‘offending’ a fellow comic book creator.  As if she were the only one offended.  This switches the ‘blame’ onto the ‘victim’ and not the assailant.  Does he think no one else was offended by his behavior?

I am also sorry because if I had realized my failed attempt at humor had offended MariNaomi or her husband in the moment that I made those statements, I would have certainly apologized in then and not have left her to feel victimized in the hours and days that followed.  

But he DID apologize to her husband after the panel when Lobdell realized he had trespassed the territorial dick line.  Face it, Scott, you’re not funny.  This is not a standup gig.  Don’t be an attention whore while undermining the credibility of a female creator with sexual innuendo and judgements about her sexual preferences.   He did leave her ‘victimized’ because he didn’t apologize to HER at the time, but felt the need to apologize to her husband.  What kind of man is this?

He was saddened because he was blown away by her work which really was an expose on her life.  As someone who only writes superhero stories, he marvels her courage.   Don’t worry, Scott, you’ve turned Clark Kent into a superdouche just like you.  No fears.   Guess Superman order numbers will continue to plummet, but then you’re writing that book.   Wake up, DCE!

Then he’s sorry his presence caused her experience to be anything other than a celebration.   Uh, dude.  If you had just kept your standup comedian persona tied up and acted like a professional writer of SUPERHERO stories, then everyone in that room would have had a better experience.   Superheros are supposed to be better than us, and their writers should not display inappropriate behavior in front of their audience.  These days, the audience is more than just the people in the room, it’s worldwide at any given second.

It appears Ms. McDonald shut down the comments section after 5 hours (judging by time stamps of 1st comment to her closing comment).  Here is that last comment:

Okay, I took some time off to have a glass of wine and play Candy Crush Saga and I think everyone has had their say. Thanks for playing.

I’m not sure what this means with the short time frame of comments and MacDonald’s last comment.  Was she somewhat perturbed Scott brought this to her to publish on her website?   This opened up another can of worms which she may not have wanted on her territory.   And to use the term ‘playing’.  I’ll let you ruminate on that one.

Lobdell is supposed to be a writer.  Yea, okay, ‘supposed’ is the most important word in that sentence.  So if he is ‘clearly’ stating his apologies, then he has somewhat missed the mark.  And in so doing so, doesn’t really show an inclination to reform.  Even Ms. MacDonald stated she HOPED he has seen the error of his ways.

I am of the belief that in the act of writing, a writer also bares something of themselves.  In my commentaries regarding the new 52 Superman, I have acknowledged Clark’s boorish behavior to Lois Lane, who is supposed to be his best friend because we are TOLD he is.  Clark Kent has always been a mannerly kind of guy.  It’s what makes him appealing.  I know that having manners is passe’ in this current world.  Although we need them more than ever.  The Golden Rule of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” seems to have disappeared – but a character such as Superman should inspire us to be more mindful of our actions and how they affect others.   He should inspire us to aspire.  To better ourselves, our condition and dare to dream of a better world.

But how can Superman ever do that when his writer behaves like this?

If there was ever an example of DCE trying to damage Superman, this would be one of them.  Dwayne McDuffie once said that these characters could not be destroyed.  I think DCE is trying to prove the late Mr. McDuffie wrong.   And won’t that be the saddest day of all when it happens.

PS:  For those of you who wonder why I mention Bob Harras at all, here’s an Bleeding Cool article from September, 2010 (when he became EIC at DCE).  See what Mark Waid has to say about him 10 years before.  Some of the things noted will still ring true today with Harras’ involvement with the new 52 reboot and its books.

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December 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman.

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