Marvel Comics Apologizes for ‘Tea Bag’ Insult Based on TWI Photo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Kerry Picket reports that Marvel Comics is partially apologizing for a storyline that portrays Captain America investigating white supremacists and observing a Tea Party protest for research. The source of the controversy: a photo I took for TWI at the first Tea Party protest on February 27, 2009.

In preparation for the infiltration, Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest. The scene shows crowds of people in city streets carrying signs that say, “stop the socialists,” “tea bag libs before they tea bag you,” and “no to new taxes.” Naturally, the people in these crowds are depicted as being filled with nothing but white folks.

“According to to Mr. Quesada,” writes Picket, “the book was ready to go to printer, but the panel in question had a group of protesters handling signs with no words on them, so the editor asked the letterer to ‘fudge in’ some quick believable slogans at the last minute. The letterer referred to this sign as a sample to work from.”

That sign was photographed by me, here.

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Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

Why apologize…MAKE MINE MARVEL! (only limited series though because they retcon WAY too much these days)

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

What a bunch of crybabies. For decades, the media stereotype for public demonstrations has been the dirty, longhaired, wild-eyed '60's anachronism; this derisive stereotype is extant in tv shows, comic books, feature films way too numerous to quantify.Puleese.
One stereotype about rightwingers has proven true time and again: they are thin-skinned and will reach for the 'victim' card at the drop of a hat

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

Why on earth did Marvel apologize for accurately reflecting reality?

And why are Tea Crusaders (it aint no party) complaining about about signs they actually carried and supported?

Captain Noble
Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

I think Marvel should have given you some sort of creative credit for that issue. Since they didn't, maybe they can make you a superhero or something in a future issue.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

Let's see… what other group is easily offended by cartoons? hmmm….

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

Rightwingers: more dangerous than Al Quaeda.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

But tea-party protests ARE filled with nothing but white folks.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

yup…..nothing but white folks:…

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

Which is why the cameras kept lingering on the same dozen or so black and Hispanic faces at the Republican National Convention in 2008, to avoid exposing the obvious fact that the vast majority of the attendees were middle aged white men.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

If I agree with you (I don't), you're saying that middle-aged white men cannot express their opinions? Free speech – even if you don't agree with it – is still free. I don't agree with everything I hear from the Tea Party movement ( or any movement or group, it's just the rebel in me.) What I do believe in is freedom – and the freedom to assemble and say whatever you want (except the fire in the crowded movie theatre thing). It is kind of an important part of America. I believe Marvel has every right to print anything they want in their comics, just like I believe we all have the right to gather and hold up signs about whatever we think is important. Fine. But is Captain AMERICA saying that the right to assemble and free speech is only okay if he or “everyone” agrees with it? Seems like he is, possibly. To me these panels are about restricting freedom, not the group depicted. My stance would be the same if the group depicted was left, right or center. Talking about that the tea party is only white guys (too easy) misses the point – it's a discussion about freedom (like most things in our country.)

So I don't agree that the Tea Party is only white guys – but if they are, they can go out and say whatever they want. Have fun! But Captain America and restricting freedom….yeah, that's not so good. Just my opinion as a white guy who hasn't reached 40 yet.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

…you're saying that middle-aged white men cannot express their opinions?

ellid said nothing that even approaches that!! Where on earth did you come up with that interpretation??? Or was your reply a premeditated attempt to shift the subject (i.e., 'move the goal posts', as they say), so you could then proceed to express fake outrage at something that wasn't even said?

Now, if you want to argue about how responsive/unrepresentative the Tea Party folks are of large swaths of U.S. citizenry, that would be more in line with ellid's comment. But what you did there in the first part of your reply – whether due to failure of reading comprehension, or by willful misrepresentation of ellid's comment – that's total crap.

P.S. I also read the post you linked – it doesn't shed any further light on the rationale for your response.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

I wasn't trying to do anything……comic books have rotted my mind, I suppose. (Oppps…I moved the goal posts again)

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

C'mon mepmep09, give poor JRF007 a break. She/he is just using one of the tools learned at the Wingnut Debating School as talked about by Atrios. That is,

The War on Analogy, which is one of my favorites, (is) when conservatives pick apart an analogy by bringing in utterly irrelevant details. For example, if I write “Iraq is, in many ways, like Vietnam,” a graduate of the wingnut debating school will respond with “You're wrong! Iraq is in the Middle East!” Or, if one points out to Andrew Sullivan the similarity between Jayson Blair and certain journalistic lapses under his own watch, he could respond with “They're nothing alike! Jayson Blair is lefthanded!”

Poor thing just doesn't know any better.

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

Also accurately stereotyped as largely white (skinned), gray (haired), and black (hearted).


Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

Jayson Blair is lefthanded? Wait…who is Jayson Blair?

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

The Republicans have a trick at their conventions that makes it seem that more black people are in attendence.. They position people of color near celebrities. So when the camera focuses on Bo Derek or Lee Greenwood, as of course it must, a “colored” person is conveniently stationed nearby to lend a sheen of diversity to the proceedings.
I guess it's easier than ending the Southern Strategy, and crafting policies that actually appeal to a broad range of people.

The Sailor
Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

Nice strawman, JRF007, now show your true patriotism and sign up for the military.
Sheesh, teabaggers, if you weren't such a few retards, would pi$$ me off because of your lack of knowledge about the problems facing this country were caused by 8 years of bush & co ignoring the constitution.

BTW, why is Sarah Palin refiusing to show Trig's birth certificate?

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

This is a common conservative tactic. If a conservative says something that is, for instance, stupid, and someone else points out that the conservative is a big, fat moron who couldn't find his ass with both hands and a GPS locator, then critic is denying the innocent and helpless conservative his sacred (ordained by Jesus) 1st Amendment rights to free speech.
Now the critic might point out that the 1st Amendment protects free speech from government interference, not private criticism, but if you're telling this to a conservative, he won't care because conservatives are always victims of evil libruls keeping wonderful conservative ideas from being heard by a grateful society.
Sarah Palin
Carrie Praejean

Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

Thank you. I appreciate the support.

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 7:34 am

Ah, yes, construction of a strawman is the more relevant term here, and the one I should have referred to, instead of goal post moving/shifting. The latter is certainly a common technique, and one used very effectively by trolls in the presence of inattentive forum participants (or troll baiters who just want to fight online). But yes, You're trying to censor the white man!!! – definitely a strawman.

Arts Roundup: I Am Already Too Multiplatform for Google Buzz Edition - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper
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[...] Marvel Comics has apologized for an issue of Captain America in which the patriotic superhero—well, OK, getting technical: [...]

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

I predict that, the day is close at hand, when Black Americans will turn on the DemocRats for using them and abusing them all these years.

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

I predict that the day your parents kick you out of the basement and make you get your GED is even closer.

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

There is a double-standard going on here. Why is it okay for the news media to insult the Tea Party by calling them “tea-baggers”, but not okay to call the democrats a bunch of tea-bagging f@gots ??? … especially since the democrat party is up to its arm pits in tea-bagging f@gs !

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

That's a funny statement considering the many, many closeted self-loathing gay people in the Republican party. It's been said that on Capitol Hill you can't open a closet door without encountering a gay Republican staffer pleasuring a gay Republican member of Congress.
Gay Democrats, on the other hand, are comfortable just being themselves. After all, being gay is not a choice but an inborn characteristic, like green eyes.

Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

As long as Republicans keep practicing the Southern Strategy, the Democratic Party doesn't have to worry about black voters going anywhere.

Comment posted February 15, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

Because it was someone from the Free Republic who first showed up with a sign telling the Congress to teabag itself, and not a Democrat?

Comment posted February 16, 2010 @ 4:45 am

Because it was someone from the Free Republic who first showed up with a sign telling the Congress to teabag itself, and not a Democrat?

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