Story.   IMO, a dumb thing for him to do. Even setting aside the politics of it, these kinds of things are always spotted by someone.

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I hadn’t heard about this until Cap mentioned it yesterday in response to a comment I made about the X-Men reboot. I hadn’t noticed it when I read it, but now that I was looking for it there it was.

This is the translation of the verse in question: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.”

Some people describe comic books as an escape from reality. I do not, but I do read them for their entertainment value. Creators should keep their own personal religion and politics (and their personal feuds) out of the comics, unless that’s the specific thrust of the story.

Some people will likely try to snatch up uncorrected copies for their “investment value.” Personally, I’d rather have a corrected copy. (Why would Colossus be wearing a tee shirt with a reference to a Quran verse anyway?) It’s too bad. I enjoyed X-Men Gold otherwise.

I'd have fired him, whatever the message, even if it's "Hi, mom." Slip a personal message into a newspaper sometime, and see how fast security is at your desk. Publishers have to have zero tolerance for this sort of thing.

Given the content, though, this is extra wrong. It's exclusionary and offensive to X number of readers, and whatever "X" is, it's too high. The correct number of readers who should be offended by your publication is "zero."

Outside of all that, I was amused at Syaf's response that the insertions were messages of "justice" and "love." The inquisition used love as an excuse for forced conversion to Christianity, as have many other religious movements. And one man's "justice" is another man's "oppression," so Syaf could use a little self-examination.



Captain Comics said:

Syaf could use a little self-examination.

Well, he'll have time for it, now.



I guess he's entitled to his views (however misguided or hate-filled they may be) but to try and sneak them in to a product that represents a company and other creators who don't share those views strikes me as somewhat weasel-like.

Eh, I'm all for innocuous secret messages in comics. They're fun little bits of trivia that reward rereading -- like the "Free Steve Chung" messages in Transmetropolitan, or Neal Adam's tribute to Steranko in Deadman. Those are all good fun, and unlike Syaf's coded messages I don't see them detracting from the comic's purpose in any way.

As for secret messages:

Years ago, I slipped a middle finger to one of the corporate monsters who was bigfooting the suburban paper I was working for. Our music listings section was called "Behind the Mic," and our Insect Overlord, Diane, wasn't happy with the name, demanding I change it. (She wanted it spelled 'mike,' and I wouldn't budge.) To fix the problem without giving in, I changed the listings section header to Rhythm Section, a name I actually liked better. But in that same issue -- in an interview with George Carlin, appropriately enough -- I led the story with "Behind the mic, George Carlin is a...." 

Didn't hear a peep -- which only goes to show Diane wasn't reading THAT closely. But it made me feel better, and there was no sign to the reader that I was doing anything but writing a story about George Carlin. 

AP style is "mic," which should be the end of the debate.

Yep. And yet... Insect Overlords.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Eh, I'm all for innocuous secret messages in comics. They're fun little bits of trivia that reward rereading -- like the "Free Steve Chung" messages in Transmetropolitan, or Neal Adam's tribute to Steranko in Deadman. Those are all good fun, and unlike Syaf's coded messages I don't see them detracting from the comic's purpose in any way.

When it's a cute inside joke -- like Terry Austin slipping in a Popeye image into stories he inks, such as on this page from Detective Comics #475 -- I don't mind it.

On the other hand, what this guy Ardian Syaf did was giving the middle finger to the readers.

Many years ago, before we got together, my wife was writing manuals for some procedures. The standard was to included a list of materials needed. She and her co-worker were tired and frustrated, so they added the item "a dime to call someone who cares." This was in the manual for YEARS and nobody caught it, proving that no one read it.



ClarkKent_DC said:

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Eh, I'm all for innocuous secret messages in comics. They're fun little bits of trivia that reward rereading -- like the "Free Steve Chung" messages in Transmetropolitan, or Neal Adam's tribute to Steranko in Deadman. Those are all good fun, and unlike Syaf's coded messages I don't see them detracting from the comic's purpose in any way.

When it's a cute inside joke -- like Terry Austin slipping in a Popeye image into stories he inks, such as on this page from Detective Comics #475 -- I don't mind it.

On the other hand, what this guy Ardian Syaf did was giving the middle finger to the readers.


Yes, I personally don't have a problem with little inside jokes and the like but what this guy did was to take advantage of an employer who was giving him an opportunity and a co worker who was trusting him to collaborate. And he used the opportunity to spread religious and political propaganda according to his own agenda. If he was doing that on my dime I'd be miffed.

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