JOHN OSTRANDER: Hurling stones

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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6 Responses

  1. Mike Gold says:

    I noted my "First Amendment absolutist" position as a means of defining where I'm coming from. However, the Imus story most certainly IS a First Amendment issue when Al Sharpton and others petition the FCC to get him removed from the airwaves. The FCC has absolutely no business regulating content – it's a government agency and the government is not supposed to censor, post or prior. The First Amendment says so.However, there's the crack of the whip here. If the FCC imposes a fine on CBS radio over Imus's comments and they were to impose that concept even-handedly, there will be a lot of underemployed rap artists out there. Not to mention Rush "Obama's a Halfrican-American" Limbaugh and a slew of other venom spewers. And a lot of innocents as well.As for shouting fire in a crowded theater, Brother John I'm afraid you've got the quote wrong. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic." The phrases "falsely" and "causing a panic" are extremely important. Imus's inanities did not cause a panic, they caused outrage. And a very healthy outrage at that.

  2. Martha Thomases says:

    As someone on the news said last night (David Gregory on Hardball?), the Imus thing is different from rap. If you want to listen to a rap song about bitches and ho's, you have to go out and buy it. Imus uses the public airwaves.Now, if we want to discuss why the radio plays some rap artists (mostly ones who sing about bitches and ho's) and not others (the ones talking about Katrina, healthcare, and other, momre serious issues), that's a fine discussion. But there's nothng intrinsic in rap that demands it use certain words or maintain a certain point of view.

  3. Mike Gold says:

    Then Mr. Gregory hasn't listened to all that many radio stations. Nor has he watched the television shows relevant to his point. Whereas most (and now, probably, all) of those shows are on cable, let's remember that Imus's television show was on MSNBC, a cable outlet. They tried to make it sound as though he was fired from NBC News; he wasn't exactly covering the White House for Brian Williams. NBC News controls MSNBC, but it also controls the Today Show and other entertainment programs.I completely agree with your point about how the more, ahhh, up-content rap music receives little airplay. Some, but not much. Heaven forbid the broadcast industry should appeal to something above the lowest common denominator.The good news is, it's quite unlikely Joe Lieberman will be appearing with Don Imus any more. At least, not in public.

  4. Michael Davis says:

    Imus is NOT funny. That's why I don't listen to him. All that aside-what he said was REALLY Stupid and he should be reprimanded but to lose his almost 40 year career over this? When he has been saying stuff like this for almost 40 years! Or let me put it another way-the woman that falsely accused the Duke players really is a 'Nappy Headed Ho' and by that I mean she is a convicted prostitute with messed up hair. She ruined 3 lives with her lies-WHY IS SHE NOT IN JAIL?? This is a double standard and political correctness run amok.

  5. Russ Rogers says:

    I just read Book 1: Mortal Enemy. Good stuff. Run! Buy it before they are all gone!Both books have an interesting way of telling this story. There are VAST sections of story that get covered in two page spreads. Here, months pass and Modi and a new army cross continents! There are tons of stories in Modi's journey that get glossed over and only barely alluded to here. I think this is part of the MYTHIC structure of the story and adds to the mythic nature of the character. Details are intentionally left undetailed.Here's another HotG web comic! These are the kinds of smaller fights, the bits of detail that are being intentionall left out of this story.… Great job. I'm really enjoying this so far.This is the stuff of myth and song. Here's a song from the perspective of someone in Modi's army: Modi with appologies to John Fogerty and CCR Just about a year ago, I set out on the road,Seeking fame and fortune, looking for a pot of gold.Things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you will know the tune.Odin! I'm stuck with Modi again.Rode in on a Grey Horse, Ill be walking out if I go.I was just passing through, must be seven months or more.Ran out of time and the Valkyries, looks like they took my friends.Odin! I'm stuck with Modi again.The Lady from the Valhalla said I was on my way.Somewhere I lost connections, ran out of giants to slay.I came into town, for a one night stand, looks like my plans fell through.Odin! I'm stuck with Modi again.Mmmm…If I only had a penny, for every tale that I've sung.And every village I've had to pillage while the Gods just sat there drunk.You know, I'd catch the next caravan back to where I live.Odin! I'm stuck with Modi again.Odin! I'm stuck with Modi again.

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      I like the lyrics! And they fit. When Mike and I were developing the whole HAMMER idea we agreed that the VIKINGS of our story were essentially mythic good-ole-boys. And I've taken my approach to the dialog from that assumption.