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Author Topic: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett  (Read 655 times)

CalHab

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Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« on: 02 September, 2021, 08:15:00 PM »
Al Ewing has released a pretty scathing statement about the artist on their recent Immortal Hulk run, Joe Bennett:
https://twitter.com/Al_Ewing/status/1433473008996397062

I haven’t seen the piece he refers to, but I do remember an anti-Semitic trope that Bennett put into Hulk, allegedly by accident.

All very disappointing. It’s hard to see what else Ewing can do, though.

Funt Solo

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #1 on: 02 September, 2021, 10:57:48 PM »
Ah - I saw it. It's as Al describes - very clearly anti-Semitic, fascist propaganda - like something from the 1930s Nazi regime. You could never in a million years call this an accident, which means that Joe Bennett's apology over the Hulk thing was clearly bullshit.
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Tjm86

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #2 on: 03 September, 2021, 08:29:55 AM »
The image appears on this thread here:

https://boards.fireden.net/co/thread/125488995/

It's similar to the mural that Corbyn got into trouble for commenting on.  The nature of the smaller figures is the reason it's being labelled as anti-semitic with standard tropes being used.  When you add it to the 'error' in the window display in IH #43 then, as Funt says, you really have to question how genuine Bennett is being.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #3 on: 03 September, 2021, 09:21:08 AM »
Bennett has form for anti-semitism with the 'Jewelery Shop' 'accident' and frankly that should have been enough to see him canned and Al should have said more then. The inclusion of the Star of David there was surely enough to underline his point was deliberate?

In this case I'm not convinced its anti-semitic. From what I've read (and not necessary from reliable sources so please correct me if I'm wrong here) the 'rats' being chased down by Bolsanaro are caricatures of his political opponents, none of whom are jewish (again according to what I've read, please correct) and the mouse/rat imagary is more to do with Bolsanaro getting them charged for criminal offenses alot of which were subsequently quashed.

This in no way excuses Bennett. In fact it worsens him as

1. Demonstable anti-semite (the Hulk image)
2. Political cartoonist supporting facist regimes with horrendous images
3. Coward for glorying in all this and then backtracking as soon as the heat is on!

IndigoPrime

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #4 on: 03 September, 2021, 10:12:02 AM »
Having been collecting the HCs, I’m already on the fence with this series. (It started wonderfully, but by vol. 3 is very… Marvel.) I wonder whether this is enough to have me stop. How much does Bennett do in the last third?

Barrington Boots

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #5 on: 03 September, 2021, 10:30:28 AM »
Been reading around this issue this morning: pretty awful stuff from Bennett, fascist style art supporting a facist regime - Colin sums it up really well tbh.
The question of an artists politics is a thorny one but I wouldn't support this artist going forward at all. I've also recently started on Immortal Hulk but wasn't sure about reading more: I don't think I will now.
Al Ewing is blameless in this, surely?
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #6 on: 03 September, 2021, 10:42:54 AM »
Al Ewing is blameless in this, surely?

I just wish there had been a stronger response to the original anti-semitic image from all parties involved and alas that includes Al who is a very strong voice behind this book and could have said more - well maybe I don't know where Al was at and I imagine this has all hit him quite hard.

A series that really broken him out. Has been a massive hit for him and raised his star up levels and then sonme. One you get get the impression he was immensely proud of... Now its book tarnished by all this horrible stuff. I feel sorry for him so need to be more understanding

BUT still that jewelry shop image should have had a stronger response. Though I too could have stopped getting the title at that point and chose not to so I guess that marks me as a bit of a hypocrite too. I need to think about this stuff more. It was easy for me to stop buying Dynamite stuff (for example), but I recently throw some money Dave Sim's way by buying a new edition of High Society and I did question whether I should do that!?! I need to try harder on this stuff and make better decisions where I spend my money*.

Indigo Prime Joe Bennett has been the main artist on the book up to the end. There has been a lot of fill in but still main artist up to the end - which is issue 50 the next issue.

*Which of course isn't so called 'cancel culture' how much do I hate that term. If we live in a capatalist society I get to choose who I throw money at and if I don't like what someone / an organisation represents its entirely right and proper for me to 'cancel them' ... or use my capitalist right to not give them my chuffin' money, time and attention!

Tjm86

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #7 on: 03 September, 2021, 10:47:34 AM »
In this case I'm not convinced its anti-semitic. From what I've read (and not necessary from reliable sources so please correct me if I'm wrong here) the 'rats' being chased down by Bolsanaro are caricatures of his political opponents, none of whom are jewish ...

I would agree that the Bolsonaro image is more concerning for its seeming support for a highly questionable politician.  The anti-semitic angle is less conspicuous but based on reading around this issue back when everyone was going nuts about anti-semitism in Labour I can see where that reading is coming into play.

This latest incident does, to my thinking, give credence to Ewing's interpretation.  The ambiguity in the Bolsanaro image almost comes across as gaslighting ...

Ewing seems to have done his level best to distance himself from this in no uncertain terms.  Presumably his scripting did not include the details that Bennett seems to have added.  Possibly his response has been muted to allow others who arguably should be responding more robustly to take responsibility. 

As for the question of whether boycotting is 'cancel culture' ... well, it has a long history (although disturbingly the government seems to want to make it an offence) and can be quite effective.  You'd be hard pressed to find many Sun supporters in Liverpool to this day by all accounts. 

Cancel culture is more about denying legitimate voices a chance to speak because you disagree with them really, isn't it?

Will Cooling

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #8 on: 03 September, 2021, 11:29:01 AM »
I don't really see the argument the image isn't anti-semitic, but it's especially laughable to say "the depicted enemies of a right-wing authotarian aren't actually Jewish so their portrayal can't be anti-semitic". I mean c'mon...this is such a common play by fascists to imply their opponents are secretly Jewish or Jewish controlled. The intent is clear.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #9 on: 03 September, 2021, 11:32:02 AM »
Cancel culture is more about denying legitimate voices a chance to speak because you disagree with them really, isn't it?

Yes. The term has been hijacked by the right, just like “social justice” and similar terms.

I’ll think about next steps for myself. Feels hypocritical to continue, and I was on the fence anyway—half looking forward to the complete run of five books, but half wondering whether the series would hit the highs of that first volume again. (For me, note. I realise others love it all the way through.)

I feel icky that I bought the final BPRD before I heard about all the Scott Allie stuff, but that was too late. (More’s the pity, really, because the entire Devil You Know HC is terrible. A really poor final arc to a frequently powerful long-running saga.)

Colin YNWA

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #10 on: 03 September, 2021, 12:01:12 PM »
I don't really see the argument the image isn't anti-semitic, but it's especially laughable to say "the depicted enemies of a right-wing authotarian aren't actually Jewish so their portrayal can't be anti-semitic". I mean c'mon...this is such a common play by fascists to imply their opponents are secretly Jewish or Jewish controlled. The intent is clear.

Rats as a trope in cartooning have been used for years to represent any group that the cartoonist wishes to marginalise or villainise. So yes there is defo the use of them in Nazi propaganda to represent jewish people, but its been used against all sorts of other marginalised groups. There was a case recently(ish) I remember about a Mail (no surprise) cartoon using rats to represents immigrants as a whole.

That's why to me its not immediately anti-semitic - though the counter is Bennett has form here so it very possible it is. The other symbols around the fleeing victims (the white star and flag) apparently all relate to left wing opponents and that's why I came to the conclusion that the rat trope was being used to marginalise / dehumanise left wing politics not specifically jewish people.

Of course there is nothing stopping it being used to represent / dehumanise both - which sadly is the most likely conclusion I guess.

Funt Solo

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Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« Reply #11 on: 03 September, 2021, 05:15:33 PM »
I think it's safe to label as antisemitic due to the repetition of core tropes. His enemies don't actually have to be Jewish in order for him to label them as such. If they're his enemies, and he's antisemitic, then he probably thinks they are Jewish.

I once got accused of being a Croat because the person who didn't like me really hated Croatians. It didn't make any sense unless you considered the entrenched bigotry of the accuser.
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