Marty Pasko Speaks Out About The Treatment Of Women In Comics… And Little Asian Fellows

PASKOPHOTOMartin or "Marty" Pasko is a writer best known for his decades of work for DC Comics, including Superman, Wonder Woman and Justice League of America and working as an editor at the publisher. He also worked on the cartoons and TV series such as Smallville and had a parallel career writing cartoons such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe and My Little Pony. He also created the current version of Doctor Fate.

So he's seen a lot. And, on Facebook over the weekend, he had a lot to say. With a number of replies.

Some sadness and deep disappointment today. The deplorable scandal about sexual harassment in our industry — re. Berganza, Lobdell, et. al. — has, apparently, been successfully swept under the rug. "Everyone" seems to be bored with it already, and willing to fuhgeddabowdit because it was, y'know, more than five minutes ago. Meaning, the Powers That Be have prevailed by simply stonewalling; by being so much "smarter" than their opponents in knowing that all they needed to do was outlast the limited attention-span of their critics. They can prevail or face the challenge and outrage they deserve. Now, that is YOUR choice. How do you choose?

I would gladly forego any royalty to which I'm legally entitled, in exchange for a credible assurance that DC Comics will clean up their act and become, once again, the company that Kahn and Levitz tried — sincerely if not always successfully — to make into the company I was once so proud to serve.

I think it's important to note that all of Warner Bros. — never mind little, pizzicacca, low-margin DC Whateveritsname-Is-This-Week — is not tradable as its own issue, but merely just another subsidiary often "lost" in T-W's quarterly report. Meaning, it's immune to any pressure from T-W stockholders who might demand its reform or greater profitability, because it simply needn't respond to any such demands. As a disgruntled stockholder hungry for dividends, I can only call for DCE's abolition, and its arguably incompetent management with it.

I'm the father of a daughter — for whom I hope my bias-out-of-deep-love can be forgiven — who has, IMO, much to add to whatever creative industry to which she might want to contribute. For her sake, and all her like, I'm indefatiguably committed to shattering any glass ceiling that may yet exist.

And while many would agree with the points Marty makes, his language and attitude towards others may leave a little something to be desired.

…what it really takes is just one SERIOUS LAWSUIT. And people like me who care enough about this kinda stuff to instigate a legal fund that will allow those who've been intimidated into silence by the far deeper pockets of their oppressors to BRING THEM DOWN. Stay tuned.

Meawhile … more deets to follow, ASAP. I'm confident I'll find hundreds of allies in my (possibly-obsessive) campaign to put these morally-reprehensible — and creatively bankrupt — assholes out of business. There's no hope that they'll clean up their act on the dozens of fronts on which their incompetence is an affront to T-W stockholders.

The performance of all of them, from Diane Whatsername and Geoff Suckup-to-Donner and Di-DiWhatsisname and that talentless little Asian fellow, and that team of Marvel Elephant's Graveyard leftovers who are only marking time till they become the scapegoats they've beeen set up to be — meaning, when they're expunged from this industry as IMO they deserve to be — all of it is a disgraceful black eye to the industry that people like me USED TO love and respect. Better that WB shut all this useless horseshit down than pump any more bad money into this hopeless, worthless cause, and stop picking the pocket of stockholders like me in the process.

I'm not sure if DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee has ever been called a "talentless little Asian fellow" before. There's nothing on Google for the phrase…

The Scott Lobdell mention surprised some. His commenters replied

John Trumbull Just did a Google search & found this: Scott Lobdell Outs Self as Comic Con Panel Sexual Harasser

Adriano Moraes That is rude and being an asshole but that is not necessarily a firing issue. To his credit he openly apologized at the time. He is also responsible for writing the story where Northstar assumed being gay for the first time in a mainstream comic book. Lobdell has his flaws but he can learn and improve. Berganza on the other side was literally grabbing women's ass and breasts without even any idea of consent in public events, still does, is unapologetic about it and DC keeps covering him up as they used to do for Julius Schwartz. Not so well since we here know about him and Julius.

With Marty acquiescing slightly,

As someone who never had much of an opinion about Lobdell as a writer, having never been motivated to read his stuff beyond an initial and quite annoying sampling that I dismissed as professionally incompetent, I have no personal animus here. He's merely irrelevant to my professional concerns. That said, all I can add further is that he's always reminded me of the old SEINFELD joke about the "close-talker" — as in, "Oh, hi, Scott. I'm sorry — I didn't recognize you without a wall against my back." Which is the only reason I might even be tempted to give credence to the allegations against him re. sexual harassment: whatever women who might've felt harrased by him may have been the victim of nothing more than a reality-deluded, narcissistic grandiosity, which is certainly negligible and unwortjhy of any serious contemplation. Whatever amusing conclusions we might derive from his alleged behavior are (and, IMO, deservedy-contemptuously) a VERY minor joke.




But Pasko wanted to refocus,

The larger, and I think most important issue that consistently gets obscured here in these discussions, is this: Why does female talent need to "prove itself" on any basis that is "competitive" with males'? Why should employability ever have to be competitive on a gender basis whatsoever, in the first place? Until we can free ourselves from such stupid, self-limiting, short-sighted assumptions, we, as an industry, have no right to consider ourselves progressive. And woe betide our daughters who would make their mark in the industry we love.

Lest I've "buried the lead" in my previous comments: Yeah, sure, I'm passionate about this issue because I'm so proud and supportive of my daughter, who's now sorting out whether she dares attempt to make a living as a Creative. But that is decidedly the least of my motivations for taking up this issue. Any culture that would reject or repudiate the cultural contributions of half its Creatives is a stupid and unworthy culture indeed.

Which is hard to disagree with.

The real point is, for anyone who cares about this issue as deeply as I do, that we need to get into a court of law, where the truth will supposedly come out. I have some thoughts about how to do that, for anyone who genuinely cares. Stay tuned if you do.

We do. Though one of his posters, saw a better future.

Jack Samson Things will be better when Superman is president

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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