Category Archives: Politics

Captain Manhattan: Comics & Running for Office with City Councilman Ben Kallos

NY City Councilman Ben Kallos grew up collecting comics, watching anime and reading science fiction as a Manhattan kid. While most of his time is now spent passing progressive reform legislation, getting trashcans installed across his Upper East Side district or taking care of his daughter, he still loves comics and scifi for the powerful stories they tell about the world around us.

Discussed:

  • What’s it like running for office as a geek?
  • How an issue of Punisher 2099 changed his life
  • That Marvel Cease and Desist Letter. 
  • Being named an official Planeteer and working with Extinction Rebellion to declare a Climate Emergency
  • Do not dress up as Deadpool in any professional context
  • Speaking at AnimeNYC Con– “Comics are comics and animation is animation regardless of whether it’s in Japanese” 
  • Gundum Politics

https://benkallos.com/

DC Reportedly Pulls Batman Image Over Chinese Backlash

DC Comics has been teasing the upcoming The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child the latest chapter in Frank Miller‘s take on Batman. One image has apparently caused some issues.

Artwork by Rafael Grampá features Carrie Kelly as Batwoman throwing a Molotov cocktail with the text “The Future is Young.”

That imagery was seen as support to the Hong Kong protestors by some. Those angry took to the Chinese social media Weibo to voice their displeasure.

DC has deleted their posts featuring the image. This is the latest example of the “China” problem where major corporations bend to the will of the authoritarian nation. The NBA, Marvel Studios, and more have had to censure staff who have spoken out about in support of Hong Kong or in the case of Marvel Studios, change characters and add scenes.

Batman the Golden Child Future is Young

(via Variety)

Marvel Sends Cease and Desist Letter to NYC Council Member Ben Kallos

Earlier today we brought you the story of the Captain America and superhero-inspired political email by New York City Council Member Ben Kallos who is running for Manhattan Borough President.

Marvel didn’t take too kindly to the political email and sent him an email telling him to stop using Marvel’s “intellectual property” in campaign material. Kallos Tweeted the letter saying he got a “kick out of it.”

In the letter, Deputy Chief Counsel Eli Bard asked that Marvel’s characters “not be used for political purposes or to support political campaigns.”

The move by the corporation is an odd one as they have no problem profiting off of the likeness of politicians (see President Obama on the multiple sell-out Amazing Spider-Man cover) or their head Isaac Perlmutter being one of the biggest fundraisers for President Trump or being a shadow advisor for the Veteran Affairs Administration which is being investigated. They also seemed to have no issue with a San Jose Republican being sworn in with Captain America’s shield. The biggest offense Marvel seems to have no issue with is the pervasive use of the Punisher’s symbol to support “Blue Lives Matter” and abusive police. Items featuring that logo can be found for sale, for profit, by businesses, across the internet. Other publishers aren’t the fun police thankfully.

Tip to Marvel, probably not a good idea to piss off the people that can regulate you/impact your company.

You can read the full letter below.

Marvel cease and desist to Ben Kallos

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Sends Out a “Superhero Alert” Stating “He Can Do This All Day!”

New York City Upper East Side Democratic City Council Member Ben Kallos is an admitted geek. Back in 2013, he built a website for a Battlestar Galactica themed Passover seder.

"I can do this all day" gif

Today, his campaign for Manhattan Borough President sent out an email “Superhero Alert.” The fundraising pitch has a Captain America theme even quoting the iconic superhero stating “he can do this all day!” in the subject line. The quote comes from Captain America (or Steve Rogers) standing up to “bullies” numerous times in the film showing he’s a fighter no matter the odds.

It’s always fun to see politicians weave in comic culture into their campaign and fantastic to see many more wearing their fandom on their sleeves.

Check out the full email below (with email addresses removed):

From: Superhero Alert via Team Kallos
Date: November 15, 2019 at 8:35:27 AM EST
To: 
Subject: he can do this all day!
Reply-To: Superhero Alert via Team Kallos

Team,

Yeah, sure, we could have said “not all heroes wear capes” but we thought it was important to get straight to the point.

In all seriousness, while Captain America was pretty busy fighting Hydra, sleeper agents, Loki, Ultron, and Thanos, Ben’s been fighting for everyday New Yorkers.

He’s taken on corruption by forcing politicians to give up outside income, won campaign finance reforms, and stood up to billionaires building supertalls for other billionaires that would leave the rest of us in their shadow. He’s been fighting for New Yorkers, making sure that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed all while opening more school seats and affordable housing, and improving commutes.

But he doesn’t have the Hulk to help him—he has you! And now, Ben’s hoping to continue to fight the good fight as Manhattan Borough President—so before our next big fundraising goal on November 30th, can you make a contribution so our campaign is ready for whatever comes our way?

And while the real Captain America has super strength, Ben’s power comes from us.

This campaign won’t be funded by real-estate developers or corporations. That’s why we’re hoping we can count on you (and a few hundred boots on the ground!) so we have what it takes to shield him from whatever comes his way.

And like Captain America, he can do this all day, but we’ve got to make sure he’s got the resources to keep fighting.

{{FirstName or ‘Please’}}, make a contribution today.

Thanks, True Believers!

Team Kallos

Get Out and Vote Today!

Today, Tuesday, November 5 is the US election and we’re encouraging everyone to get out and vote if you haven’t done so already. There’s numerous state races, local races, ballot initiatives, bonds, and more to vote on. Every elected position impacts you and this is your chance to voice your opinion and have a say as to who represents you.

If you need to find your polling place or what’s on your local ballot Vote 411 can help.

Most importantly, get out and vote this Tuesday!

Rep. Katie Porter Goes as Batgirl for Halloween

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) decided to dress up for Halloween today going as Batgirl.

The Representative wore the outfit during a Financial Services Committee Session though changed into her civilian clothes for today’s House vote on the impeachment resolution.

Republicans fumed at an elected official having some fun incorrectly identifying her costume as Batman as they Tweeted their anger.

Porter corrected reporters when asked:

“Batgirl,” she told Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis. “It’s not Batman. It’s Batgirl.”

(via TPM)

NYCC 2019: Tiananmen 1989 Explores Shattered Hope

Tiananmen 1989

At New York Comic Con, IDW Publishing revealed Tiananmen 1989 from first-hand witness Lun Zhang, French journalist and Asia specialist Adrien Gombeaud, and artist Ameziane.

Slated for release in July 2020, Tiananmen 1989 is Zhang’s first-hand account of the June Fourth Incident, also known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Tens of thousands of Chinese citizens took to the streets demanding political reform not knowing what to expect. Chinese authorities fired on protestors and bystanders shattering the hopes of a generation. The announcement comes as protestors in Hong Kong raise their voices and head to the streets against the same authoritarian government and also are facing a brutal response.

Many voices and viewpoints are covered, not just Zhang’s. From Western journalists to Chinese administrators, they tell what happened and a key moment in modern China’s history.

Art Spiegelman’s Essay Too Political for Marvel

Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 was to feature Art Spiegelman's essay

Marvel has refused to publish Art Spiegelman‘s essay due to a dig within it at President Trump where he calls him “Orange Skull Trump.”

Spiegelman, the creator of the graphic novel Maus, says he was asked to remove a dig at President Trump from an upcoming book by Marvel and Folio Society. Spiegelman was asked to write the introduction to Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 which is out in September and was announced this past week.

Spiegelman’s essay touched upon how the young Jewish creators of the first superheroes created mythic, godlike, secular saviors to address the issues of the time such as the Great Depression and World War II. Spiegelman ended the essay with:

In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.

That was too much for Marvel who said they were trying to stay “apolitical,” and “is not allowing its publications to take a political stance.”

Spiegelman says he was asked to remove the sentence about the Red Skull or the essay would not be published. He chose to pull the essay. Marvel editor Roy Thomas will instead be writing the introduction.

Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac (Ike) Perlmutter is a longtime friend of Donald Trump, one of the largest donors to his Presidential campaign, and an advisor to the President on Veteran’s affairs.

(via The Guardian)

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