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Bendis Talks Race, Telepathic Outtings, and Civil War 2 in New CBR Interview

Written by Jude Terror on Wednesday, March 30 2016 and posted in News with Benefits

Bendis Talks Race, Telepathic Outtings, and Civil War 2 in New CBR Interview

We pulled as many quotes as we could get away with without getting an angry email about copyright infringement!

Source: CBR

"The Great One" Brian Bendis spoke with CBR founder and deceased Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Jonah Weiland at CBR's Tiki Bar at Wondercon over the weekend, and we've pulled some out of context snippets of that interview to siphon off some of their pageviews. Talking about whether he minds the reaction when he writes about controversial topics, Bendis said:

When you hit the main stage of mainstream media, no matter what it is, television, comics, whatnot, you are entering that world where no matter what you say about politics, religion, race, no matter what you say, by definition half the people will disagree with you. I learned it at the newspaper, any little joke you make you'll have people go "rrrrrrrr" because that's the nature of the game, which is fine.


To illustrate, Bendis bared his teeth at Weiland and waved his hands around like claws.

So I'm just like, "raawwwwrrr," and then they're like, "raaaarrrrr?" and then I say "rrrrrrrraaaaawwwwrrrrr" and they're like "rrrrrrrr." It's all very primal.


After rolling around on the floor and gnawing on Weiland's pant leg, Bendis revealed that he has friends of different ethnicities and shared his deep thoughts on race and gender in comics:

I was involved in a conversation with many of my friends of different ethnicities who were all expressing the double-edged sword of being a Black this or a Asian this or even a female this, the qualification was frustrating to some, who really took a lot of pride in their work. This is just an example, and again there is no universal truth to this. I was watching this conversation unfold and some said something about, "No one ever says you're the Jewish writer but if you were Black you'd be the Black Jewish writer."

I was like, "That is interesting. What is the qualification about?" And someone said, "It's even more weird when the qualification is in a positive. Like they like you more because of this, whatever it is." And again, there's no background, you could put in any background and someone goes, "Yay brown skin," or, "Yay feminism." Why can't the work just be the work and then I'll decide?"


Bendis also revealed that he thinks it's a "bummer" when people call his work racist online:

The one thing I can't control, the one frustration -- and here it comes in my pile of high-class problems -- is people will take one panel of a three-page discussion, post it online and go, "Racist." And then other people who've never seen the book or don't know the context go, "Oh, it must be this thing." That's a bummer.


Bendis also opened up to Weiland about how the longterm effects of concussions impact his writing:

There's clearly something wrong with me that I'm fine with it. I'll take a couple hits to the head but it's frustrating that there may be some long-term effects of people -- on a personal level, not corporate level -- playing it a little more safe because they don't want to deal with it.


Bendis is worried that, if people shut out his work, the world will miss out on his profound insights on topics like ice-themed mutant sexual orientation:

The non-psychic, mutant version was a friend of yours coming up and going, "Wait, you're gay right?" and then you're not ready to have that conversation and it just comes out at you. And that happens. I had some people go, "Boy, that happened. It's so nice to see that expressed in the sci-fi version." And then someone came up to me and goes, "That is exactlywhat happened to me and I really don't appreciate you putting that in your writing."

And I'm like, "Yeah, but you're not ever gonna convince me that that it's not worth writing about when it actually happened." It's a truth and that's where the idea of it came from, it was a truth that I had witnessed. If people are shutting down, again subconsciously, because they're worried about reaction, some from people who don't even read the material, we are going to miss out on some real original truths. That's what I'm worried about.


Bendis said that he doesn't like writing bullshit event comics designed to take advantage of a movie coming out:

We've never done giant events that wrapped around a movie. It's a weird road to go down. It's much better to let characters and story [lead].


And then he immediately began talking about Civil War 2, a bullshit event comic designed to take advantage of a movie coming out:

And what really got us excited, and where I think a lot of people are the most nervous, is the Marvel Universe is so much different than it was 10 years ago. "Civil War" was 10 years ago, to both of our shocks. Every single major player in the Marvel Universe has either had a life-altering thing that has changed their perspective or they're a different person completely. The person representing Captain America is a different person. Ms. Marvel isn't Captain Marvel. Iron Man has been through so much. And that got us so excited -- what's "Civil War" with these players.


Bendis explained that his work is best enjoyed while pooping:

"I've got twenty minutes in the bathroom, I'm going to sit here and read this. Blow my mind."


Finally, Bendis claimed that people actually like soulless gimmick-driven event comics:

As far as a lot of the other stuff people complain about, variant covers or whatever, the events, I don't -- the people who complain, either they go away or they're also replaced by people who really love the events because they, for what they cost, I want almost a promise that something's gonna happen. No matter how cynical you are, shit happens in these event comics. It might not be stuff you liked, you might have lost your favorite character, but somethin happened. You got your money's worth.


Of course, that becomes increasingly more difficult when Marvel keeps raising the price. Bendis has a solution to the $5.99 cover price of Civil War 2, however - come and see him in person, and he'll give you presents:

Jewish guilt -- what both of us have been raised with [Laughter -- pours over me on cover price. It always does, it just pours over me. People come up to me to sign a stack of books and I literally want to give them a present, I start looking for free stuff to give them.


Head over to CBR to read the full interview. Civil War 2 comes out sometime this summer, and will cost sixty-seven dollars per month to read in full.


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About the Author - Jude Terror

Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.

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