Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Lothar Hex, Jul 26, 2017.
Hosehead is on the LL so you may get some form of this. Who knows!
Not gonna lie. I really dislike both anode and lug. They're both annoying characters and this was a poor issue overall. I've never been a fan of them replacing main, pivotal characters with second stringers and then
try to make those second stringers important in some way. Also, I'm concerned with Nauticas frame of mind. The poor thing seems to not be able to handle the grief of losing skids as well as could be. That little flashback
of her and Lotty was nice though. Overall, Lost Light has been a lackluster replacement to MTMTE. Again, this is purely my opinion. Im kind of upset that Megatron was written out (hopefully temporary) in the way he was.
I'm a mongrel, and I don't think there's ever been a fictional version that matches my identity. As for 'privilege', I would suggest we not broach that topic unless you want to discuss the concept of 'original sin' in turn.
It's surely not the end of Megatron's story, Mapatel.
I'm not into Anode or Lug (well, Lug hasn't done much, so it's really Anode)... mostly because I perceive them as taking away valuable space and time from the characters I do enjoy. Some seem pretty hung up on the transgender thing... I don't know. I happen to agree basically with Wilymech in regards to Transformers being "male" or "female," in my head, they look like bipeds and talk like humans (for the most part) because they've been exposed to them and other humanoid types. Maybe a female bipedal body type feels better to Spark A or B, much like we've learned that they would rent different, temporary alt. modes*. It's nothing to get hung about, but conversely, it's probably not something I'd hang stories on, either, unless the writer in question had a hell of an idea. The thing is, as human as they act, they aren't real people, and a repudiation of a fictional character or a fictional character's situation or depiction does not mean you feel the same way about real people. On the other hand, some people get really gross with the "ugh, gay robots" stuff.
In real life, if a robot in the story being transgender or female or gay makes you feel represented or better about your life, that's something incredibly valuable. On the other hand, you have to be a bit careful about how you present characters. Someone upthread mentioned Kamala Khan... I enjoy Ms. Marvel quite a bit, but I stayed away from it for quite awhile due to how the character was initially marketed. "OMG, she's a Muslim girl superhero you guise !!!11one. We (Marvel) are the only company to dare bring you these adventures!" Of course, it turns out that Kamala was a great character, and the book is a fun, low key romp thru the Marvel Universe about a character who happens to be Muslim. If the book had been marketed in that way, I would have given it a shot much, much sooner.
The only thing I take issue with (well, besides the gross, bigoted stuff) is the idea I see bandied about that girls couldn't get into Transformers without there being females involved. I think that's a silly thing. Girls liked G1, as well. We all like Transformers because it is one of the few toy properties that went out of it's way to inject the toys with a little bit more personalty than any others, and you can relate to all sorts of things. If female characters help as an entre to the property, great. The more, the merrier... but Transformers, a boy's toy line, still managed to attract girls and women despite it's origins.
* I personally find that kind of "political" statement with Transformers being essentially function shamed or forced to look at getting a more useful alt, along with the scorn of forged bots as opposed to built ones to be more interesting in an allegorical form than "whelp, we're girls now" but YMMV
What a fun issue. Learning a little more about KofC lore while getting into trouble on a weird merchant planet ("let me take your pain away" in a black word bubble - ) and topping it off with a big 'gasp!' reveal (Skids' brain). It's exactly everything I love about this book and what keeps me coming back. I personally think they will NOT bring Skids back, primarily because the narrative is really wanting us to think they WILL. But I'm fine either way. I liked Skids just fine and thought he had a great overall story arc, but he was never a favorite of mine so whether he comes back or not isn't going to excite me much.
I thought it was interesting that Agonizer looked as though the artist was glancing at a Sixshot toy for ideas.
How bad the book got when people don't even discuss the book in this thread or what happened in the story. When this is the main focus people got from that book. So sad. I'm currently not buying any Transformers books. I just started a new job last month and get my loan later than in my previous job so I have to save my money a little. But I think I will keep it this way for some time and see how it develops. Maybe I will buy the trade. Maybe I won't buy it at all in the future.
Thank you. Good post.
I disagree with this poster's assessment of the book, but I would never criticize HIM for his opinion. There are people in this thread, and others, that are being critical of the posters with dissenting opinions about the book. That's where I have a problem.
Still missing the point I feel.
It's really, really easy to say that if you're a person who is heavily represented in fiction, and it also means you lack context for what it's like to not be. Sure, your favorite characters may not look like you, but people who look like you are still there. You've got an array of options- you can pick someone like you or not like you, freely. Others? Their options are someone not like them or someone else not like them.
It's not like people are hanging their identity on this, but it is still something to have fiction say, "and there's something here for you this time."
And speaking for me personally, like I mentioned before, I just find a wider range of types of people more interesting. The world is a diverse place and fiction should be too, as that's what's part of what makes it interesting.
I would argue that it isn't bad though. It just isn't what a seeming majority of MTMTE fans want.
Sure there has, because being a 'mongrel' isn't the only aspect - or even necessarily a major defining aspect - of your identity. It depends on all kinds of things in your upbringing. If you always passed for white, then you would have less of a problem seeing yourself reflected in white characters.
But if, growing up, there was a part of you that you saw as centralising, as pivotal to your understanding of yourself, and you never saw any fiction go anywhere near that, never address the emotions associated with that situation, then you may well have felt that lack. Obviously, you didn't feel that lack, and so it's really not very gracious of you now to claim that this is because you never sought validation in fiction. Frankly, I'm of the opinion that all humans seek validation in fiction - that that's the reason we have so much of it - and the ones who think they don't are just so used to getting it that they're not aware of their own need for it. Stories are pretty much evolution's answer to our complex intelligence and need to figure out our place in the world - and that includes myth, fairy tales, urban legends, anecdotes and everything else.
Hmm, there's no way I can ask this question without sounding like a smartarse, but it's confusing the bum off me, so bugger it, might as well just ask...
Which of the 30 foot tall robots, specifically, is representative of me?
The one that isn't a try hard special snowflake who adds nothing.
I'm not missing the point, I am just in disagreement with it. I understand your world view, I just utterly reject it. It is part of a larger phenomena in Western society in which minorities profile themselves as victims in order to gain more social recognition. While I am not opposed to social recognition for minorities in the slightest, studies have shown that this particular method is not only bad for the minorities themselves (A study of minorities as victims, Moscovici & Pérez, 2007) but creates hostility between various minority groups as they come into conflict with each other (Competition over collective victimhood recognition: When perceived lack of recognition for past victimization is associated with negative attitudes towards another victimized group, De Guissmé & Licata, 2017)
The fact that you view the primary purpose of what Tolkien would label as Fairy Stories shows a very low opinion of such fiction in general. Again, if an author wishes to include some group or another into a story because they feel it will add to the world or story in some manner, more power to them. When this kind of inclusion becomes mandated, either through actual rules or social pressure, it destroys one of the major purposes of fairy stories, which is daring people to NOT define themselves by the materialistic limits around them. The purpose of this is not simply fleeting escapism, but to allow us to refresh our perceptions, and to view our world anew, as if it were the first time.
This sentence doesn't make sense. I mean, it's literally missing its subject. The fact that I view the primary purpose of what Tolkien would label as Fairy Stories ... as what? What am I viewing these as? What is it I'm viewing?
No, it doesn't. It doesn't destroy anything. This is melodramatic and silly. All fiction walks several lines at once, one of which is striking the balance between reflecting/commenting on the conditions of the real world, as known by the reader, and expanding on the imaginable possibilities - taking the reader out of themselves, but also reflecting some aspect of the reader in order to do so. It effectively says, "Hey, here's you, or someone very much like you, but what if they were also in *this* situation?"
Being inclusive of minorities doesn't hinder the ability of a writer to lead the reader away from themselves - in fact, it opens up that possibility to more readers. If some minority readers struggle to identify themselves in a work of fiction because fiction has never made an effort to reflect on key aspects of their identity, then they will not be able to follow the thread to step out of themselves either.
I make the same point again - that for you, it has always been so easy to identify with characters in fiction that you fail to recognise that you're doing it, that you're actively seeking it, and that against this backdrop it's much easier for you to step into the shoes of other characters.
So by your own argument about one of the key purposes of fiction, it's better that it's more broadly representative.
But even if that weren't the case, fiction also functions in the way I say it does. It's a multifaceted thing. One of its social functions is what you say it does for you, and another of its functions is what I say it does for everyone. All that's going on in the conversation is that you're refusing to value and account for the latter because you take it completely for granted, having never known what it's like to not see all the key aspects of yourself continually represented in stories.
To provide validation.
Dictating what must be included in any form of fiction is censorship, and naturally destructive to the creative process. If I choose to add characters of X minority because I want to, that's perfectly fine, but to be forced into it is completely wrong.
You know nothing about me. I can easily identify with all sorts of characters because I'm neither a self-absorbed narcissist, nor have I been taught that I must share something secondary in nature to relate to a character. Why is that apparently so uncommon? I don't know. Maybe it's because I grew up hearing about my great grand-parents whose families disowned them for marrying outside their race, or that my mom's best friend in school was an albino girl that every other group treated as an outcast. Maybe it's because I've had white friends discriminated against and mistreated on tribal grounds, tribal friends discriminated against and mistreated by white business owners, and friends from one tribe discriminated against and mistreated by other tribes. Maybe it was because I learned early on that every group has its bastards, but that everyone, including said bastards, are human and so deserve your empathy.
So no creative work of any worth was created before our current super-liberal era. Got it.
Except, no, you're being completely ridiculous. Fiction works within all sorts of tacit and explicit confines, all the time. The creative process is subject to impositions based on available markets, editorial policy, social codes of conduct and everything else.
I mean, you're so wrong about this it's almost impressive. We've got centuries of poetry and fiction sitting in front of us that was written according to various fashionable strictures at the time it was created, and entire industries churning out work right now at the behest of market demographics that say "This should be included". Pretty much every Hollywood action movie, for example, has to include a scene in China or Hong Kong because of the rising important of the Chinese market.
How much this stifles creativity is entirely down to the writer. Many would say that creativity is even more potent when working within certain formal boundaries and dictats. There's an entire school of 20th century poetry - Oulipo - dedicated to following insane arbitrary rules in order to create interesting work.
I mean, for goodness' sake, according to you a creative person can't even work to a remit given to them by a contractor without being 'censored'.
"Hey, artist, let me pay you to draw a cover for Spiderman."
"Does it have to have Spiderman on it?"
"No way, man, that's dictating what must be included - it's destructive to my creative process."
Because it's a bullshit explanation that fails the basic test of self-awareness. "Oh, me, I never needed stories or fiction to understand my place in the world. Not me, nu uh." You have no clue about the extent to which this affected your development. The idea that the stories and fiction in the ambient culture around you while your brain was developing had no effect on your self-perception is mind-bogglingly silly. You're not looking for validity in fiction now because it always gave you it for free. No one needs to 'teach' you to look for it - it's just always been there.
I mean, this is basically exactly analogous to discussions with people who insist they don't need society or any of the thing that taxes pay for to survive - that they're completely independent. You're essentially taking the person you are now and imagining that this is exactly who you always were and always would be, no matter how things were made easy for you in various ways.
Yeah, it isn't 'completely wrong'. Acting as if you can apply an objective stance to the realities of how societies actually operate is though.
No, but nice strawman?
Do you not understand the difference between limitations someone consents to and those that are forced upon them? There is a difference between what someone adds or changes for the purpose of gaining more consumption and being forced to against their will. A very, very large one. You are right in one thing, however, that such limitations can be impetus for creativity, as some of the ways creators have managed to subvert restrictions is often very ingenious.
Look, I'm not sure if you're just attempting to do another strawman argument, or if you are seriously unable to understand what I'm talking about. I never said that fiction and stories do not affect you, or that they cannot help you figure out your place in the world. I'm arguing against the idea that people must share secondary/physical characteristics to do so easily. My sister used to foster care, and one of her kids was a little guy named Miguel who loved Spiderman. He couldn't get enough of him, always played him and would talk your ears off about him. He also happened to be black, and this was years before Morales. Was this child somehow a sage for so strongly identifying with Spider-man? No. Does this mean I had a problem with Morales when he came around? Of course not. My point is that Miguel didn't need Morales to love and associate with Spiderman, and to insist otherwise is ridiculous.
I see no reason to ignore the literature on adverse psychological effects on minorities of only seeing themselves as villains--or not at all--in popular culture. Individual counterexamples don't argue against broad general effects.
But stepping out from that, I believe representation matters because I believe my friends when they tell me it matters to them.
Plus, there's the whole psychological effect of the mask Spider-Man and other superheroes wear creating a simplified face that is easier for an audience to project themselves onto. Spider-Man is especially good at this because he's entirely covered by his suit, allowing anyone to project themselves onto him no matter their skin tone.
Separate names with a comma.