Does the Word "Blacklist" Make Anyone Else Uncomfortable?

Via Brandon Graham, I came across this post from Frank Santoro, which I've quoted in its entirety below:

Before Watchmen blacklist
Here’s a handy list of all the comics makers who participated in Before Watchmen. I refuse to buy or read anything by these folks: Neal Adams, Rafael Albuquerque, Michael Allred, Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Jordi Bernet, Tim Bradstreet, Massimo Carnevale, Cliff Chiang, Michael Cho, Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, David Finch, Gary Frank, Richard Friend, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Michael Golden, John Higgins, Adam Hughes, Phil Jimenez, Jock,  J.G. Jones, Dave Johnson, Michael Kaluta, Chip Kidd, Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert, Jae Lee, Jim Lee, John Paul Leon, Joshua Middleton, Phil Noto, Kevin Nowlan, Olly Moss, Joe Prado, Paul Pope, Ivan Reis, Eduardo Risso, P. Craig Russell, Steve Rude, Chris Samnee,  Bill Sienkiewicz, Ryan Sook, Brian Stelfreeze, Jim Steranko, J. Michael Straczynski, Jill Thompson, Bruce Timm, Ethan Van Sciver, Len Wein——————————————————————————————————————————————-for context please read this article by David Brothers
And... I don't know. I understand the impulse, certainly-- although I think it's better manifested simply by not buying any of Before Watchmen-- and its possible that I'm resisting because I like Allred, Azzarello, Chiang, Cooke, Pope, Risso, Rude, Samnee, Steranko, etc. and don't really want to have a moral hangup over buying and enjoying their work. Still, this strikes me as a little extreme, and I'm not quite sure I understand the moral principle behind it: is blacklisting creators really something that we want to get involved with, particularly with our "handy" list by our side? The blacklist is absolute, after all, and I wonder where it ends-- should we boycott any shops that sold Before Watchmen? I bought Minutemen #1 because, frankly, I was curious -- should people be boycotting me and my blog? Or, to put a finer point on it: if you expand this principle just a little, we should blacklist Jonathan Hickman, because he's worked on the Avengers, and Fraction, because he worked on the Fantastic Four. And so on. Very, very quickly, you've boxed out a lot of people, people who like comics and people who are just trying to make a living.

Look: the comics industry is sick. Very sick. Maybe even more sick than most industries, although I doubt it. The abuses that Moore and Kirby suffered collectively represent a very serious moral breach. Comics' wizard and its king have made some extraordinary work, and it seems unlikely that anybody quite like them will ever come around again, even though people have been aping them for decades. But focusing on them obscures the problem: nobody should be treated like that, and comics'll do it to anybody. As consumers, it may very well be that it is our responsibility to work against that, but a blacklist is too easy, and too righteous. And it never does anyone any good.

1 comment: