Mike Gold, Disturbed


The most disturbing thing that happened to me in comics – non-violent, that is – occurred more than 30 years ago during the early days of the real First Comics. In fact, it didn’t even happen to me directly. It happened to then-associate editor Rick Oliver. That’s how disturbing it was to me.

We had published a story, damned if I remember what it was, about evil robots doing what evil robots do – murdering humans and generally raising a ruckus. That’s been a popular theme over the years, and if you think about it that’s just what Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates were talking about last August when they were talking about the dangers of artificial intelligence. As an aside, any time that kind of brain trust agrees on anything, I pay attention. But I digress.

A gentleman called us quite perturbed that we published such a story. Actually, perturbed isn’t quite the right phrase. Hysterical would be more accurate. He went apeshit because we did a story that violated (actually, ignored) Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. In case you’re not up on such things, those laws go exactly like this:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

An admirable plot device, and Dr. Asimov held to it consistently for decades… in his fiction. Fiction. He never said it was science fact. Actually, he did say he wasn’t the guy who came up with it, that it was something writer/editor John C. Campbell said to him in December of 1940. On the other hand, Editor Campbell claimed that Author Asimov already had the Three Laws in his mind. But I digress. Again.

If this were an in-person conversation at a comic book or a science fiction convention, the caller would have been arrested and taken to a mental ward for observation. Seriously; he was that upset. When Rick told me about the call, I had newfound gratitude for Alexander Graham Bell.

Most of us understand that there are whack jobs out there (I’m sorry I don’t recall the politically correct phrase for “whack jobs”), and we’ve all seen more than a few hanging out around our Great Comic Book Donut Shop. This gentleman didn’t recognize that the Three Laws were merely a good idea and a great fictional plot device. Hell, he didn’t even recognize we had yet to create robots that are useful enough to need the Three Laws. Today, even drones have human controllers.

He desperately needed to get a life… and probably some lithium. But he represents a danger that we see in all of us who are passionate about our hobbies. You see this sort of thing at media conventions all the time – fans who are disappointed that actors aren’t as familiar with their work as they are. Plenty of times I’ve heard fans say that one actor or another was stupid (or worse) because he/she/it didn’t remember some minutia from a teevee series from many years past.

So. Why am I reminded about this now?

Simple. The fourth Republican debate was on teevee last night.

Tweeks: Fangirl Termonology Guide #1: Shipping

Editor’s Note: The Tweeks went on a lovely vacation this week and were unable to have a video ready. So, rather than let them off the hook and fully enjoy their vacay, I asked them to write a little something. And boy am I glad I did! ~Adriane Nash

day_3__amy_and_rory_by_thecarmibug-d5ut937Sometimes it’s hard to explain to your parents or other assorted adults what exactly you are FanGirl-ing/FanBoy-ing on about if they don’t understand the language. We found that out first hand when our dad thought “Shipping” had something to do with space ships.  Oh no, Dad.  Really?  This week we hope to start bridging the generation gap by sailing our Ships over it.

Shipping is when you take two characters from a fandom who you think would work well together and put them together.  Shipping is basically “relationshipping,” but the characters you ship don’t have to be an actual couple (cannon) and can be made up of any combination of genders.   Some older people call same-sex ships Slash Shipping, but there’s no need to label.  All you need is chemistry between any two people in a fandom. 

Fandom is short for “fanatic domain” – a collection of fans for a certain series, book, movie, pop culture, actor, basically anything a person could obsess about, which creates a giant ocean of possibilities.  

However, self-insertion is frowned upon, so as much as Anya would like to ship herself with Flynn Ryder, FlynAnya is not a thing.

Chances are that anyone with a fandom has shipped before without even realizing it.  The term “shippers” came from an old TV show called The X-Files referring to the fans who wanted the characters Mulder and Scully to be romantically involved.  But before the term was even coined, fans pulled for other pop culture couples.   Did you ship Archie and Betty or Archie and Veronica?   Did you ship Buffy and Angel or Buffy and Spike?   You could have even have shipped both, but deep down you’d have your OTP.

If all your fandom ships were a big navy, the OTP (One True Pairing) would be the head of the fleet.  For example on Doctor Who, Maddy ships Ten and Rose, while Anya ships Eleven and River, but our OTP is Rory and Amy (Ramy).  This is very important – you can have as many ships in a fandom as you can create.  But you can only have one OTP. 

Fans like to ship and OTP a lot of ridiculous things.  When you cannot stand by and support a ship it’s called a NOtp.  For example, JK Rowling feels Hermione and Malfoy (Dramione) are a NOtp.  We think brothers are always a NOtp because it’s icky and gross and wrong.  So obviously, we NOtp Thorki and Sam/Dean. 

  So let’s say in the Hunger Games fandom someone is Team Gale (like half of our English class).  They have every right to (wrongly) ship Kale (Katniss and Gale), but since our OTP is Katniss and Peeta (Katpee, Peenis, Keeta – they are so amazing they have 3 Ship Names!) we will likely engage in a Ship War when the topic comes up.  Ship Wars can be violent and intense.  Fangirling is fueled by lots of drama.    

Shipping and OTPs are not supposed to be platonic, but if you can’t help squeeing over a couple you want to declare the best BFFs forever, then that is brOTP or broshipping.  Our Marvel brOTP is Grocket (Groot and Rocket Raccoon).  Maddy broships  Percy Jackson and Nico di Angelo (Pernico).  Anya broships Jarchie (Jughead and Archie).  Other popular brOTPs are Spirk (Spock and Kirk), Destiel (Dean and Castiel), Stony (Steve Rogers and Tony Stark), and Johnlock (Watson and Sherlock) though these are all way more popular OTPs out in fandom land.

Tweeks Top 5  OTPs



1 – Cecilos (Cecil & Carlos  – Welcome To Nightvale )



2- Keeta (Katniss & Peeta – Hungergames)




3 – Captain Swan (Captain Hook & Emma Swan – Once Upon a Time)




4- Hagustus (Hazel & Augustus – Fault In Our Stars)


5 –Fourtris (Four & Tris – Divergent)divergent_tumblr_n0whvlMafO1rqj38xo1_1280


The Point – February 2nd, 2009

The Point – February 2nd, 2009

It may be Groundhog Day but we won’t be repeating anything here. There’s a new Guest Of Honor headed to NY ComicCon, Five Cool Things waiting in the comic shop this week and just enough time for the director of FANBOYS to tell you more reasons why you have to see this film. 


And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!