Micah Curtis never holds back on the current comics scene. And some of his critiques leave a mark.
Micah Curtis admits he can be brash when it comes to both politics and nerd culture.
It’s why he stepped away from established media outlets and set up his own YouTube base camp. So far, so good. Even if he leaves a few viewers scorched along the way.
This self-described “sweet talkin’ son of a preacher man” once contributed to Blistered Thumbs, Techraptor, SuperNerdLand and TruthRevolt. Now, he channels his energies into his thriving YouTube page with more than 500 original videos. The clips can be long, feisty and full of informed takes on the latest comic book news. Many draw thousands of views in a fairly short span of time.
People are paying attention. Curtis’ YouTube page serves more than 13,000 subscribers.
He never holds back in his commentaries, particularly when it comes to how political correctness is crushing comic storytelling.
It’s a trend that hits him on a gut level.
He grew up on Marvel Comics, remembering his very first issue: “The Amazing Spider-Man No. 361.”
“Marvel has never had a problem with having a diverse roster of characters,” he says. The big diversity push, he says, began around 2011. President Barack Obama was still in the Oval Office. The media began a collective quest for diversity that, a few years later, bled into the comics realm.
That’s where the problems began.
“When you’re writing a character and your focus is more on diversity and what makes that character quote-unquote ‘diverse’ you run into the problem of making a token character,” he says.
Case in point:
Curtis’s withering takedown of Marvel’s “America,” the company’s lesbian Latina superhero.
“I have no positive impressions of her [after reading] four issues,” he says. “She’s boorish and egotistical. She’d be a better villain than a superhero.”
Is it any wonder Marvel sales are flagging?
“Comics that are of this diversity movement aren’t selling. Marvel’s VP even admitted that,” he says. “The audience is rejecting these ideas.”
He points to sales figures for Marvel’s “Venom” title, which restored the character to its original vision recently. The title’s sales numbers were huge, he says.
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Curtis is a content creator for our digital age, and he doesn’t have to answer to any superiors as a result. He tried that before. It wasn’t a perfect fit. His editors preferred he stay quiet on some issues or align better with their content directions.
That’s how the system works. He preferred another option.
“The more you feel like you can stretch out and be yourself, the better your work usually is,” says Curtis, who also hosts the “Micah and the Hatman” podcast. “If you have too many restrictions you‘re always second-guessing yourself.”
Those restrictions sometimes got political. Curtis leans to the right, which made him an outsider of sorts at some of his former outlets.
Fellow conservatives get a similar feeling reading some Marvel titles these days. In recent months the Red Skull, one of Marvel’s most evil characters, has been giving speeches with echoes of a certain Commander in Chief.
And let’s not forget the new Captain America fighting on behalf of illegal immigration, he adds.
If you have too many restrictions you‘re always second-guessing yourself.Click To Tweet
Curtis indulges in nerd culture in a way that wasn’t possible before the web. That isn’t the only cultural difference, though.
“I grew up in the ‘90s. Being a nerd was a huge negative,” he says, adding that started to change around 2008. That year saw the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Iron Man” along with “The Dark Knight’s” release. Popular streaming services followed, allowing geek-friendly fare like “Doctor Who” to widen their audience.
“It made it so much easier to get a hold of this kind of entertainment, and more people began to see the appeal of it,” he says. His growing subscribe base attests to that.
Curtis hopes to build a “proper studio” for his broadcasting needs in the months to come. He also wants to connect with other conservatives who love entertainment as much as he does.
“That’s an area where conservatism has ignored for too long,” he says.
Photo credit: Foter.com