MIKE GOLD: Death to Floppy!

Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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11 Responses

  1. Alan Coil says:

    When monthly comics go away, so do I. I can sample a series by buying an issue or two, costing me $3 or $6. I am not going to sample too many trades at $15, $20, or $25.

  2. Russ Rogers says:

    Wow, the Original Johnson sure is inconsistent! The writing in this issue is B-A-D, bad.We've had pages and pages of build up to the meeting of Jack Johnson and Steve Brodie. Young Jack Johnson has stated that it's his LIFE'S GOAL. And this story now says that we'll never know what was said between the two of them! This is historical FICTION! Make it up! How did they meet? What did they say? Was young Jack inspired or disappointed? It matters because you've said it matters. If you were going to skip over the scene, skip over the build up. Find some other reason for Jack to go the big city like, "I wanna see Noo Yawk!" This was an unnecessary disappointment.You certainly don't know what sexual positions the thirteen year old Jack Johnson used with his string of whores, and yet you are willing to graphically display those on pages 40 and 41. I have a problem with kiddie porn. There are plenty of ways to say that a thirteen year old is having sex with hookers without being SO graphic. In my opinion, the first and second panels on page 41 get that point across without being overly graphic. And those panels are not subtle at all. But THREE panels showing GRAPHIC sex with a minor? Even if I was adapting Lolita, I doubt that I would show something so graphic! This is a MINOR you're depicting. What are you folks thinking? So much for trying to get this book placed in High School Libraries. Common sense seems to be missing. What role are the editors playing in this, just making sure there are no mistakes in the coloring and the pages come in on time?And the gross characterizations on pages 43 and 44, who are these people? Who is Oppressive Whitey Uncle Sam? We've seen him before (on page 5). Why doesn't he have a name? Are we supposed to believe he is representative of ALL white people? Where does he fit into the plot? Did Jack see this scene? I thought this story was being told from Jack Johnson's point of view. Or is this just general background material again? You showed two pages or Jack having sex with white women, and it's been 10 pages since we've talked about racial oppression, so there is a need to DRIVE the point home again. This writing is a subtle as a Jack Hammer to the base of the skull.No four year old who is asking, "What're niggers, Pa?," is going to be taken to a lynching. If the kid doesn't know, if he hadn't already been taught to hate, he would be screaming and crying at the sight of a tree hanging with dead people. Where is the fear or disgust on tiny Charlie Lou Who's face? It's just blue-eyed wonder, "Edjucate them?" And once again, Von Eeden tries to pass off sloganeering as dialog. Nobody ever talked like this to a four year old, not even racist, genocidal maniacs a hundred years ago.

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      Re: Pacing on this book — we knew this was a potential problem in displaying the book this way, as it's trying to find breaks in what is around 240 page narrative. I think it all hangs together, but I've actually read all the pages, so I have the bias of having looked at the work as a whole.As for families and picnics at lynchings– yes, it happened; if anything, Trevor toned it down a bit, when there were examples like Henry Smith to be had. Here's the New York Times article of the lynching, including the parade float.If you're in Chicago, you might want to visit the DuSable Museum of African American History, where they're running an exhibit entitled "The Citizens' Picnic: Lynching in America From 1865 to the Present" until the end of the year. You might want to avoid eating first.

      • Dave says:

        Well, since it's all done, I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks to see if it does "hang all together" for me.I do appreciate ComicMix showing these stories online as opposed to seeing the story for the first time as a book I had to pay money for. This way if I like it I can look forward to the collection and if I don't like it I'm not out anything.I really liked this story and art when it started, but lately it has become harder to follow as it is not chronological and is therefore difficult to put the pieces together in the right order. This segment was the hardest for me as the three events didn't seem to have a connection.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I'm not saying that evil fathers didn't take their children to lynchings. I'm sure that happened and worse. I'm just saying that any child who was being taken to a lynching wouldn't be asking the question, "What're niggers?" My point is, the kid either knows what "niggers" are already or the kid would be screaming and crying. The boys question is silly and just an opening for Trevor to spew more sloganeering. The scene didn't ring true. Not with the action or the dialog. I'm not saying it didn't happen. Just NO four year old ever asked that question at a lynching or got that overly long, stupid, racist monologue for an answer. It doesn't read like a story; it reads like somebody standing on a soap-box, yelling at the crowd.And if we have more scenes of children having sex, I won't be sticking around for the other 200 pages. I was offended and I will tell you why. I think this is an important story. I think that Trevor Von Eedon has chosen a compelling way to tell it. It's a shame that a few pages showing a MINOR in GRAPHIC SEX scenes is going to keep this book away from schools. Because that will. Glenn, that's not a problem with pacing. Those are specific images that will keep this work out of the hands of kids who might otherwise benefit from knowing more about American History. That's shamefully myopic on the part of Von Eeden, you and Mike Gold. You titillate the reader with some boobs and corny jokes and automatically cut the book off from an important demographic.If ComicMix doesn't have a policy against graphically portraying MINORS having sex, they should. That's not censorship. That's common sense.

        • Glenn Hauman says:

          Sex alone will keep the book out of some schools. And there will be more sex– considering who Johnson was, it would be difficult to keep it out and not do justice to the man.

          • Dave says:

            I agree with Russ. Sex as an adult is one thing. Even mentioning he had sex as a minor would probably be okay, but graphic sex at that age is inappropriate.Of course, showing his mother beating the crap out of him isn't really cool either.The man had a brutal life – both to him and from him. Showing that is important to the story, but the line should be drawn somewhere and teen sex is a good place to do so. Von Eedon showed the lynching scene with minimal graphic detail, so he's shown he can tell the story with events happening "off screen". Perhaps he felt the need to be so graphic with the sex to counter balance the brutality of the violence in the story.As the story has already been completed, much of this discussion is moot as none of the story can be changed. I do feel a bit of an outsider as the discussion seems to be a private one between Russ and Glenn. However, I think it's important to share opinions of stories. I do think Trevor Von Endon has done some very strong work here. It just may be too strong for me.

          • Russ Rogers says:

            Dave, I appreciate your comments here. And I don't want you to feel like an outsider. I really don't know Glenn other than my commenting on ComicMix fairly regularly for about 9 months. Sometimes I feel very strange being the ONLY one making comments on the ComicMix comics, and that happens too often. So, welcome to the party!I don't what to sanitize Jack Johnson's story. Like you say, Johnson lived a brutal life, during far more brutal times than our own. Yeah, the adult sex scenes taht need to be in this story would probably keep this book out of most High School Libraries anyway. But, I'll wager the scenes graphically showing sex with a child will now keep this book out of many Public Libraries now too! That's a shame. Because I think with some minor edits, the same story could be told and reach a far wider audience.How young does a child have to be before depicting a graphic sex scene with them is just tasteless? 3? 5? 8? 13? As the number gets higher my stomach churns less and less. But, for me, I draw the line at graphic depictions of sex with minors (children under the age of consent). In my head, that's 16, MAYBE 15. Even then, I have some qualms. Some might say that I'm splitting hairs. But I think you have to draw the line SOMEWHERE. And for me, I found a graphic sex scenes with a 13 year old child very disturbing. I found it even more disturbing that these sex scenes were played for laughs. ["Arriba Baby!" and "He had a knack for expressing himself in many different tongues…" Yes, Jack Johnson was a cunning linguist.]

  3. Dave says:

    The writing is becoming more disjointed in every segment, but at leaset I've been able to follow the story – albiet fragmented – each week.What happened in this segment? How do the three parts fit together?I've been enjoying The Original Johnson up until now, but if it continues to jump around in this haphazard manner (which is becoming worse with each segment) without any real story to tie it all together it will be The Final Johnson to me – meaning it will have lost a reader and potential buyer should it ever be collected in print.

  4. russ carreiro says:

    I think you guys are reading too much into the small segments that make up these web comics. Its hard for me to judge the writing over a 4 page section. Its one of the huge flaws in the web comics and is the main reason why I still do not care for them very much. I think it has a lot of potential, but reading comics in very small sections over the course of months is not how I think it should be done. I recently read the Grimjack trade paperback and it reads so much better as a complete tale. The segments in this comic are the same, they just are always part of a bigger tale and some are good and some are going to be bad but its more pronounced because of the wait for the next episode.As for the sex scenes, I think for the period its fine. 13 year olds were getting married and I imagine it was all legal. This is also an exception. Johnson's prowess and exploits with women are an enormous part of his legend. Exploring his early exploits is valid. It may be too graphic for some, thats valid, but I think some of the comments are a bit too harsh.

    • Lord Snooty says:

      I'm with you on this one Mr Carreiro, I find making a comment of the whole story is the best way ! but think its great everyone can comment at anytime !