Monday, September 17, 2018

Vox Popoli: Marvel and the Swamp (Yes, the culture war is also waged via comics.)

A reader's email may explain why Ms. Marvel #1 mysteriously sits on top of Amazon's Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense category day after day, week after week, month after month, despite the fact that so few people appear to be buying it or otherwise paying any attention to it.
ComicsGate may not be up against just SJWs, but various third string proxies of the Swamp.

Sana Amanat, Marvel's Muslim VP of Content and Character Development and Ms. Marvel co-creator, is the cousin of Huma Abedin, Hilary Clinton's longtime aide. Two of Sana Amanat's brothers have been prosecuted by the DOJ. The Amanat family donated as much as $1.2 million dollars to various Clinton foundations and initiatives. In turn, perhaps due to their family connection to Huma, the Clinton State Department assisted two of Sana's brothers in accessing UN funds and partnerships, along with directly granting $1.35 million via the State Department for their non-profit groups. Sana herself was on the board of one of these non-profits, which received at least $100,000 from the State Department.

A non-profit Omar Amanat co-founded, Soliya, received a $1.25 million grant from the State Department. Soliya advocated for the (i) promotion of and (ii) provision of funding for positive portrayals of minorities, particularly Muslims in media, even if this meant funding commercially unsuccessful projects for a time, due to their enhancement of both minority self-perception and overall public inclusiveness. This business philosophy seems reflected in some of the publishing decisions made by Marvel.

Sana's brother Omar has been documented by various journalists as having made multiple generous bids at Richard Branson's past charity auctions. Sana Amanat began her career at Branson's newly created Virgin Comics, which only existed from 2006-2008 before being sold by Branson. Sana was employed at Virgin from 2007 to 2008, before she then joined Marvel in 2009.

Sana's aunt and Huma's mother is a noted, prominent Saudi Arabian member of the Muslim Sisterhood. Marvel has recently received favorable treatment from the Saudis, including recent screenings of Black Panther that ended a national 35 year cinema ban and co-operative involvement in Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 initiative.

Marvel has newly expanded Sana's role, though she remains a comic book editor, making her an executive producer on a forthcoming Marvel animated film, despite her complete lack of experience as a film producer.

Vox, I thank you for your entry and involvement in comics and more fully appreciate your efforts, especially as it becomes evident you will potentially be the only viable alternative to current corporate comics. Comicsgate can rarely sustain an effective offense against mere SJWs on social media; they have little chance of success against entrenched, organized and well-connected Swamp surrogates who are camouflaging themselves, finding allies, and then attempting to metastasize throughout the comics industry.

That sounds... deeply insidious. I have never heard about anything of the sort, beyond wondering a) why Ms Marvel #1 has continued to "sell" so well on Amazon despite not being one of the top 500 graphic novels and selling fewer than 205 print copies in July 2018, and, b) wondering why Marvel would select Saladin Ahmed to write a Spiderman title after the failure of his Black Bolt series. I just assumed Amanet and Ahmed were the usual token diversity hires. But if it is true that Marvel is being funded by political non-profits, this might explain some of their more seemingly inexplicable decisions in recent years.

I wonder what DC's excuse might be?

Now, I wasn't going to post this without at least confirming that the two Amanats were related, and I had some doubts about that after discovering there is virtually nothing that publicly links Omar Amanat to Sana Amanat. Neither of their Wikipedia entries even mention the other individual. But a little poking around strongly suggests that they are, in fact, brother and sister.

From Wikipedia: Omar Amanat is the co-founder of Peak Group Holdings which is the largest shareholder of The Twilight Saga studio Summit Entertainment, in which he holds a 20% ownership stake via Peak Group Holdings. Brent Lang of The Wrap called him "the most powerful person in Hollywood you've never heard of". He was convicted in December 2017 of fraud for his involvement in a scheme that involved a number of companies, including KIT Digital and Enable Invest. Business Insider reported that he was expected to spend a minimum of 10 years in jail after "a striking fall from power". Amanat grew up in Montville, New Jersey and was educated at Montville High School.

From InStyle: Alongside writer G. Willow Wilson, this Marvel Comics editor helped create Kamala Khan (of Ms. Marvel), the very first Muslim female South Asian superhero to have her own series. Through the comics, readers are introduced to a teen who is honing her shape-shifting superpower and embracing her faith. Since the first issue was released in 2014, Ms. Marvel has been nominated for numerous awards and listed on top-selling graphic novel charts....  As a kid growing up in New Jersey, Amanat’s world was filled with science fiction, thanks to her three older brothers. 

From the Morristown Daily Record: Montville High School will induct nine alumni, a faculty member, and a team into the Hall of Fame Friday night. 1) Sana Amanat. As Marvel’s Director of Content & Character Development, Sana Amanat oversees  efforts to expand its vast library of characters.

In other words, whether you like politics in your comics or not, there is no way you're going to be able to avoid them if the Swamp has decided to use them to wage cultural war against you.