Tag Archives: donald trump

Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar Returns to take on Trump… we mean Plunddo Tram

Dreadstar Returns

Legendary creator Jim Starlin has found inspiration for his next villain in the current one in the White House. King Plunddo Tram will appear in Starlin’s Dreadstar Returns. Plunddo Tram is an anagram of Donald Trump. The crowdfunded Dreadstar Returns is Starlin’s return to world of Dreadstar for the first time in 30 years.

The further failure of Trump to do anything about COVID-19 had Starlin revisting and rewriting the script to his new series. Plunddo Tram wasn’t as despicable as he wanted him to be so he made him worse.

The comic series is sure to piss some off as it includes a drawing of King Plunddo Tram’s head on a pike, similar to Kathy Griffin’s 2017 photoshoot that caused controversy. But, 2020 is a different moment than 2017.

Dreadstar Returns was funded on Kickstarter raising over $135,000 from 1,696 backers. Orders are still open through Backerkit.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Bomb Queen Must Stop Donald Trump in Bomb Queen: Trump Card

Fan-favorite series Bomb Queen returns, after eight years, with a brand-new four-issue miniseries in Bomb Queen: Trump Card by Jimmie Robinson. The explosive satire will launch this August from Image Comics and Shadowline. Bomb Queen is rated as VERY MATURE!

Set in the year 2024, Bomb Queen: Trump Card follows supervillain Bomb Queen on her quest to stop Donald Trump from becoming president for life. Her plan: campaign against Trump, steal his voter base, and lay bare America’s dark underbelly in the process.

This new chapter in the series promises the kind of irreverent, twisted fun longtime fans of the character have come to expect—in other words, it’s pretty much guaranteed to offend everyone!

In the announcement, Robinson said:

I returned to Bomb Queen to get a few things off my chest. From social politics to the state of the comic industry, nothing is safe from the Queen of obscene. Sometimes the best medicine is bitter and hard to swallow, and considering the current state of things, it seemed the perfect time for her to return to add to the chaos!

Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 (Diamond Code JUN200030) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 26.

Jim Starlin Responds to Trump’s Campaign Use of Thanos

Jim Starlin, the creator of Thanos, has responded to the Trump campaign’s use of the character in an ad:

Seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer.

The scene, used from Avengers: Endgame, has President Trump as Thanos “snapping out” Democrats declaring himself inevitable. In the movie, he does this before being defeated by the good guys.

Starlin, who created the character in 1973 was not happy with the use of the character.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Starlin said:

After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer. How sick is that? These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately, all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.

Last month, Marvel sent a cease and desist letter to NYC Council Member Ben Kallos for his use of Marvel characters in a fundraising email. The company’s Deputy Chief Counsel asked that Marvel’s “character not be used for political purposes or to support political campaigns.” It’s unknown if the company will send a similar letter to the Trump reelection campaign. Marvel’s head Isaac Perlmutter is one of Trump’s largest donors and is a shadow advisor for the administration. We’ve asked the company for comment and will follow up with any updates.

Thanos

Trump Campaign Thinks He’s Thanos

The Trump re-election campaign posted a video of Donald Trump as Thanos snapping out Democrats.

The campaign seems to overlook one key thing…

Thanos was the bad guy.

But, like Thanos, Trump:

  • Has a weird relationship with his daughter
  • Think he’s god
  • Loses to the good guys after causing massive amounts of chaos and harm

So, guess they’re pretty on point with this one?

Trump’s Tariff War with China is Already Impacting Comic Creators

shipping container boat

We spoke about Trump’s trade war with China and the raising of tariffs to 25% of items from the country in our second episode of Graphic Policy Weekly. Tariffs are a way to “even out” the cost of foreign goods so they’re on par with domestic goods.

While President Trump claims that the foreign government pays the tariff, that’s incorrect. In reality the importer does and that cost is passed along to the consumer in the retail cost of the goods. It’s a tax on consumers.

Much of the comic, game, and toy industry’s production is in foreign countries, especially China, and thus this policy is directly impacting our hobbies.

John Fleskes has spoken out about the impact of the tariff on his company, Flesk Publications. Flesk Publications is a high end art book publisher of which many art books highlight the talents of comic artists. You can read his full post below.

As he points out, this policy also include Hong Kong where his books are printed. He has checked on working conditions, which he describes as “stellar,” and has verified that the paper and materials have been sourced in an environmentally and sustainable way. The facility is “clean” and a “professional environment.” This directly disputes the narrative of “slave labor” producing our goods.

As he describes in his post, this policy decision directly impacts his company making it go from a “good year” to a possible “negative year” and that hiring a new employee won’t happen and bonuses provided to employees won’t happen. Prices up books will also go up while production will be on hold for future books.

Read his full post below while another good read about the reality of book production can be found here.

We have been notified by our shipper today that by the end of June there will be an implementation of the 25% duty tax that will effect books manufactured and imported from China. This includes Hong Kong (where we have our printing done).
At the moment, we have Ballpoint Beauties by Frank Cho, the new Terry Dodson sketchbook, Bombs Away, and the new Art of Gary Gianni for George R.R. Martin’s Seven Kingdoms in transit with an arrival date in the US port at the end of June. If our books arrived a week or two earlier, we would have avoided the duty tax. (Update: This is up in the air at the moment.)
As a small publisher, this is how a sudden duty tax will affect us.
We plan our book releases anywhere form 8-12 months in advance. At that time, we set our cover prices, then promote and advertise the book, as well as list it with our distributor. We sign contracts with the printer so that we can secure a quote, then they order the paper and place us into their production schedule. Unlike just about every other item you find in a store, the cover price is printed on books. So, if a publisher is hit with a sudden tax or unexpected expense, we can not adjust the cover price to compensate. The discounts with the distributor have already been negotiated. I cannot charge the distributors more to compensate. The duty tax comes straight out of our narrow profit margin.
In essence, because of this duty tax, I am preparing for the following. Due to the direct loss to our profits:
1. We will not be able to hire the new employee that we planned in securing this summer.
2. We already signed our printer contract and set the pricing for Spectrum 26. Due to the duty tax, our profits for this book will be greatly reduced. Our 6 months of work on this title will break even, at most.
3. We will not be able to provide the bonuses that we normally provide to our employees.
4. Any funds that we planned on saving for the future are greatly compromised.
5. All of our plans for growth are on standby since we have no idea how this duty tax will be implemented.
6. All books in development are currently being produced, but are on hold as we learn how this will impact us further.
7. All book prices will go up to make up for the duty taxes. How much? We can’t tell yet.
We are going from having a good year, to having a possible negative year due the trade wars.
We need a full year notice if new duty taxes are going to be implemented. That would give us time to plan and make changes. Unfortunately, using printers in the US is not an option. They charge upwards of three times the costs, even after shipping, than China or Hong Kong printers do. Also, the facilities and printers who can print deluxe hardbound books simply do not exist in the US. It would take years for someone to invest in the creation of a premium US art book printer, and it would be a risk since if the duty tax was to be removed in the future it would put them out of business. Creating incentives for US companies to grow manufacturing here, instead of penalizing us for going outside of the US for manufacturing, would make more sense in my opinion. The infrastructure simply does not exist in the US for us to print here. We have no choice but to go overseas.
This will be a tough year for us. We’ll get through it. We’re strong, yet we wish we didn’t have to be.
I’m saddened though. Saddened that I can not take care of my family and employees like I had hoped this year. I’m saddened that much of the slim profits that we make will be taken away from us by a trade war. Publishing is my passion. Making books is my great love. Not even a duty tax will stop us, as much as it may try. But it will be one hell of a speed bump to drive over.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day today! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan getting? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for the shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Fairlady #1

ComicBook – Warner Bros. Reportedly Filing Copyright Claim After Donald Trump Video Uses ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Score – Awesome.

CBLDF – Free Webinars for Educators and Librarians Center Around Comics – This is pretty cool.

Kotaku – Real-Life Politician Removed From In-Game Office In EVE Online – Huh.

Reviews

Comic Attack – Bronze Age Boogie #1
Comics Bulletin –
Fairlady #1

Veterans Affairs Stonewalls Congress Protecting Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter

Officials at Veterans Affairs are declining to give members of Congress documents related to the influence Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has over the agency.

The issue is the influence that Perlmutter, primary care specialist Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, and attorney Marc Sherman have over veterans policy decisions by the Trump administration. None of the men hold government positions. All three are confidants of Trump and members of his Mar-a-Lago resort.

ProPublica ran a report in August that showed frequent contact between the men and top VA officials that included policy matters and personal favors.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has told lawmakers he met with the trio only once during a courtesy trip and they have had no role in crafting department policy. However, when House Democrats requested correspondence between the men and the VA in August, Wilkie refused. He cited “ongoing litigation alleging violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act” making them “not appropriate for release at this time.”

That has to do with a lawsuit filed by VoteVets to block the trio from further contact with VA leadership concerning official matters.

Top ranking Democrat on the veterans’ House panel, Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz said Wilkie’s excuse was “unacceptable” and without legal merit.

Walz said:

We have received nothing from VA except excuses. The reports of corruption and cronyism are serious and we cannot allow VA to sweep this under the rug. This issue will remain a top concern of the committee until all our questions have been answered.

Walz has demanded that the documents are turned over by the end of the month.

Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Offers $100K for Trump to Be Weighed

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has entered the “Girther Movement” and offered to donate $100,00 to President Trump’s charity of choice if the President steps on an “accurate” scale and weighs himself.

Gunn Tweeted:

I will give 100 thousand dollars to Trump’s favorite charity if he will step on an accurate scale with an impartial medical professional, okayed by both of us. For real.

On Tuesday, President Trump’s first physical exam results were released by the White House. They claimed the President is 75 inches tall (6’3″) and 239 pounds. Also his “overall health is excellent.”

The listing of his height and weight spawned memes and jokes, the “Girther Movement” doubting the President’s weight and mocking his belief and fueling of the “Birther Movement” which questioned President Obama’s birth certificate.

The Post: Movie Review

the-post-posterGovernment power run amok. Journalistic ethics facing overwhelming odds. Corporate interests and politics fighting to hold back the truth. Meryl Streep. Steven Spielberg. Tom HanksThe Post seems like it was grown in a lab designed to win awards.

And it’s a really good movie. The story of how The Washington Post fought to publish The Pentagon Papers, thousands of pages of secret government documents about US involvement in Vietnam, is incredibly important, especially where we are in 2018.

As I sit here in my hotel room in Washington DC, watching cable news listening to the President of the United States saying he wants to make it easier to sue for libel, a chill runs up my spine. A similar chill happens each and every time President Nixon appears on screen in the film.

Spielberg smartly uses Nixon’s own words, taken directly from the infamous tapes, showing a silhouette in the Oval Office as we hear the president in his own voice talking about how they need to shut down the New York Times and Washington Post. It’s similar to how Good Night and Good Luck used actual footage of Joe McCarthy, and the effect is equally as good.

Hanks and Streep are also at the top of their games. It’s unfortunate that any Streep performance feels like an obligatory Oscar-nomination, because in this case it’s deserved. However, in trying to give trailblazing Post publisher Katharine Graham a cinematic character arc, they sort of gut her. She begins the film as a sort of wilting flower, a socialite running the paper but maybe over her head when butting heads with lawyers and bankers. She overcomes sexism and self-doubt to make these historic decisions. . . and it’s just simply unbelievable (and not really based in reality). But as a film and a performance, it works incredibly well.

Hanks is also great, though perhaps not as good as his last collaboration with Spielberg in Bridge of Spies. In that film, Hanks played the relatively anonymous James Donovan. But as The Post‘s legendary editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee, you can’t help compare him to other on screen depictions of him. Specifically, you draw an immediate comparison to Jason Robards in All the President’s Men. 

ben bradlee kay graham

The real Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee, from the Smithsonian’s Portrait Gallery

Perhaps the biggest complaint I have with the film is that as much as I enjoyed it, I spent more than half of my time wishing I was watching Errol Morris’s The Fog of War or All the President’s Men. I also felt like I was watching a sort of strange prequel to All the President’s Men, as this film ends [Spoiler Alert?] the same way that film begins– a security guard at the Watergate noticing duct tape on a door and a break-in at Democratic Party Headquarters. Perhaps because this particular moment in history has been so well covered already, it adds to the feeling that we’ve sort of “been there, done that” with this subject matter. However, because we seem to have failed to learn from the mistakes if forty years ago, we are doomed to repeat them now.

What is different and refreshing, though, is how this particular story is told. Spielberg’s choice of casting here is fascinating, filling the supporting cast with actors best known for their comedic backgrounds: Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (wha?!?) along with Zach Woods never get to be funny, but they also show off their dramatic side. In another strange bit of casting coincidence, Jesse Plemons also shows up as the Washington Post‘s chief counsel. This again just feels odd and takes me out of the movie, as I keep thinking about Breaking Bad and Mr. Show crossovers rather than what’s happening on screen.

But perhaps the best piece of casting is Bradley Whitford, who should probably be remembered as this last year’s greatest on-screen villain for his performances here and in Get Out. As a smarmy banker, complete with bow tie and slick hair, Whitford is the on-screen personification of mansplaining and the evil face of capitalism. It is exquisite and he and Streep play off one another so well that they enhance each others’ performances.

But the most important piece of this film is its message. While it perhaps over-romanticizes the press (one loving montage of the paper being printed and going to press was enough, but sure, we’ll take more?), the message of how important a free press is could not be more important. While this isn’t the best movie currently in theaters, it is perhaps the most important.

3.75 out of 5

 

Legends of Tomorrow Commemorates Trump’s Pussy Grabbing Remark with a Plaque

Donald Trump hasn’t even been President for a year and he’s already getting plaques commemorating him. A small metal plaque has been posted at the studio where the now President commented to Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

The plaque was posted by producers of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which airs on The CW. The comments which was recorded by Access Hollywood occurred on the same lot for the show.

The hot-mic recording happened in 2005 when the then Apprentice host bragged to show host Billy Bush about kissing and fondling women without their consent, assault.

The plaque reads:

On this spot in September 2005, Donald J. Trump bragged about committing sexual assault. In November 2016, he was elected President of the United States.

The plaque was taken down 15 minutes after it was put up. Now, the Legends team just needs to work this into their show…

(via The Hill)

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