Arts & Life, A4
Marvel and DC promote gay characters; Movie review: ‘Rock of Ages’
Padres draft T.O.; Curtis Dennis leaves for Iona; Runner finishes 16th finishes at NCAA; Golfer wins Ontario tourney.
Independent Collegian IC The
Monday, June 18, 2012
Serving the University of Toledo since 1919
www.IndependentCollegian.com 93rd year Summer Issue 2
Proposed budget includes tuition hikes “
By Danielle Gamble News Editor
Tuition rates will increase 3.5 percent for undergraduates and graduate students if President Lloyd Jacobs’ recommended budget is accepted by the Board of Trustees today. This increase meets Ohio’s tuition cap, which mandates public colleges and universities cannot raise undergraduate tuition and mandatory
fees more than 3.5 percent. Tuition for those in PharmD, Medical Doctorate, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Law programs, as well as out-of-state surcharges for Law students, will increase 4 percent. Also, scholarships will be cut by about $69,000 due to a projected decline in enrollment. President Lloyd Jacobs said this was due to a $7.6 million decrease in state funding and
The cost of higher education has risen too high and too rapidly in our country.
Lloyd Jacobs President, University of Toledo
in order to adjust for inflation. Jacobs said while the university tried to reduce student bills by with projects like the restructuring of dining services, they must maintain a certain standard for students. “For those that would say this is unfair, I would agree with them, absolutely,” Jacobs said. “This is the product of a larger issue. The cost of higher education has risen too high and too
Possibly stubbed out
rapidly in our country.” According to the College Board’s 2011 report on the price of higher education, average tuition rates for a four-year college have risen at an average of 5.6 percent a year since 2001. Despite the price increase, Jacobs said UT is still “the best education bargain in the country.” — Tuition, Page A2
TPD offers advice after alleged robbery By Veralucia Mendoza IC Staff Writer
Vincent D. Scebbi/ IC
Gary Gorton, a senior majoring in music education, takes a drag of his cigarette in the designated tobacco use area near Dowd, Nash and White Halls. Gorton said he believes should a statewide smoking ban in public universities is implimented, less students would smoke.
Statewide smoking ban for public institutions to be proposed to Board of Regents By Danielle Gamble News Editor
The Ohio Board of Regents will vote on a resolution this month that would urge a ban on tobacco use at the state’s 23 community colleges and 14 universities. Supporters of the proposed
tobacco prohibition include Board of Regents Chancellor and former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro. President Lloyd Jacobs has remained neutral. Some smokers, like senior music education major Gary Gorton, are unfazed by the
idea of UT imposing a ban. Gorton, a pack-a-day smoker, said he agrees with the health-conscious attitude behind the resolution, but he believes lack of enforcement will continue to encourage policy-breaking. “I can say that this will serve
as a nuisance, but nothing more,” Gorton said. “I learned to like the atmosphere of a smoke-free restaurant, and I can learn to appreciate a smoke-free campus.” However, Gorton said equating a smoke-free environment with a clean one
might be an exaggeration. “The risks associated with secondhand smoke from a passing smoker while outside are insignificant compared to other air pollutants, especially in this area,” Gorton said. — Smoking ban, Page A2
Students to have more flexibility to customize degrees By Danielle Gamble News Editor
Administrators, deans and faculty are developing a new program structure to help students reach across colleges to personalize their degrees. These structures, called “schools,” ask colleges to collaborate and build programs that will “create new degrees to solve new problems,” according to Ben Pryor, vice provost of academic program development. Pryor said the best example of this structure is the School of Green Chemistry and Engineering, a program that formed last summer. “Green chemistry combines classes from engineering and
chemistry mixed with tools from the College of Business [and Innovation.] It teaches students how to work with cheaper materials and how to create less wasteful ways of production. If we can cut the waste of companies, we can help the environment.” Pryor said the SGCE is the most developed of all current schools and should be fully functional with catalogue offerings by fall of 2013. “Older degree programs don’t respond to some of the newer, more relevant issues we face now,” Pryor said. “New problems require new approaches to curriculum.” In relation to the current administrative layout, Pryor
describes the idea of schools as “orthogonal.” “In relation to colleges and departments, schools leap off the page, almost perpendicular to the system structure,” Pryor said. “Schools foster relationships between colleges, departments, and other schools.” Pryor said current plans predict the creation of 5 to 10 schools, but that amount is only limited by the creativity of students. “We want to let administrative structure support faculty and student collaboration rather than the other way around. Our goal is to respond in a sensible way with relevance to new problems
— we need to see what the world needs.” While cross-college deans and faculty will be the driving force behind school creations, Pryor said he will collaborate with the Office of the President to oversee the development of these projects. Other institutions like Arizona State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have similar programs in place, and Pryor said UT hopes to raise the bar of this new form of cooperation. “Schools are really a way of raising visibility of projects on an international scale.” Pryor said every school must have a business plan
that will keep the program sustainable, including ideas for grants or state contracts. While the university may give schools “start-up money,” or hire faculty for the school, Pryor said it is important that each school be able to support itself. Pryor said other ideas include a School of New Media Studies, School of Information Technology and even a School of Humanities. “Schools are bringing us together to do new things,” Pryor said. “People may think we’re replacing colleges or departments, but we’re really building on something. We’re leveraging our strengths.”
In the wake of a case in which a UT student was charged with robbing four fellow students in their Dorr Street apartment, the IC asked the Toledo Police Department for tips students can follow to stay safe. Police say two men, including Cassious Cook, 20, of Dayton allegedly entered the students’ apartment around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, through a back door that was left unlocked. Cook allegedly held the victims up at gunpoint and ordered them on the floor. After collecting several laptops, cell phones, wallets, a 40 inch LCD TV and a PlayStation 3 game console with controls and games, Cook allegedly ordered the victims into the bathroom and told them to turn off the lights, according to the police report. Cook was caught when the victims chased down his car and flagged down an Ottawa Hills patrol car to assist. He was arrested and later charged with aggravated burglary. There have been no updates on the other suspect. These are safety tips provided by Sgt. Joseph Heffernan of the Toledo Police Department. • Be watchful and careful of where you are, where you are going and who you are with. Heffernan said if students are more watchful of unlocked apartment and car doors, and of what time of night they are out, they can significantly reduce their chances of being attacked. Would-be criminals will target people and areas where the least amount of effort is required to commit a crime, he said. • If you are the victim of a robbery, Heffernan advises not fighting back and simply giving the person what they are asking for. “Personal belongings can be replaced and are not worth getting hurt over,” he said. • Although it’s stressful to be in that position, it’s important to focus on something that stands out about the perpetrator, Heffernan said. Look for hair styles, facial hair and clothing, and try to remember a detailed description of the person so they can be easily identified by the police. • If you are directly threatened with violence and need to fight back, Heffernan said biting the attacker will cause involuntary release of their grip. He advises women to scream and talk while they are fighting, in case someone overhears and comes to help. Also, talking helps with breathing which allows a person to be more alert. Finally, if these things do not work, he advises going limp and allowing the body to become deadweight because a relaxed body is harder to move.
Monday, June 18, 2012
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- in our opinion -
be a certain distance from any building. Students do not currently see the policies being enforced. If tickets are given out for ignoring these rules, they are not obvious. At best, smokers are generally scolded by other members of the UT community. Reiterating President Lloyd Jacobs’ point concerning public health and second-hand smoking, the strongest argument for a smoking ban is that it hinders the rights and endangers the health of non-smokers, thus choosing a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps change will occur and eventually the students and faculty will adjust. This regulation will possibly reduce the amount of smoking because of its inconveniences to go off campus in order to smoke. Smokers will smoke less and be healthier for it. The non-smokers will experience less second-hand smoke. While this is possible and would be lovely if probable, it is not likely. Instead of the students walking off campus, UT would simply have created another regulation which will not be followed by smokers and, based on the present situation, would not be enforced. If enforced, the current university guidelines concerning smoking will prevent a non-smoker from having to come into closeproximity with a smoker and the rights of smokers are preserved. To not allow smoking anywhere on campus, on public property, is to completely ignore the rights of the smoking population. This is an unnecessary step if there are alternative options, such as enforcing the current guidelines. We do not support a full ban, but an enforcement of the current one. Our recommendation is to enforce the current policy before considering a new policy. The past policy may have changed, but reality has not.
Tuition hikes are too hard to justify money on things that may seem extravagant yet necessary. Examples are the new parking system and bonuses keeping quality administrators at UT. These so-called “extravagances” are in order to continue the university’s mission of improving the human condition and becoming a top university. Additionally, inflation really does need to be taken into account. It is, in fact, important to continually improve the university physically and on our mission to be a top-tier institution and improve the human condition. However, students still do not wish to see their money wasted on extravagances when valuable resources are being lost. Lost resources are the cuts in Carlson Library in terms of books, journals and other resources in order to prevent the library from becoming what Vice Provost Ben Pryor called in an IC article, “a museum consisting of books people aren’t reading or checking out anymore.” Another example is the massive layoffs experienced by former UT employees in recent years. These cuts to valuable aspects of university academic life are in the face of extravagances like the new parking system which has proven ineffective and the six figure bonuses in the face of decreasing enrollment. With these in mind, it seems difficult to justify a tuition increase.
If approved by the Board of Trustees, tuition rates will increase for undergraduate students by 3.5 percent in accordance with President Lloyd Jacobs’ recommendations. For those in many graduate programs, tuition will increase by 4 percent. While an increase in tuition may be appropriate in order to support UT in tough financial times, it would be more acceptable if tuition were spent more wisely and not wasted on needless things. Tuition needs to remain affordable for the students of the city of Toledo and their money should not be wasted if tuition is going to be increased year after year. Part of an administration’s job is to raise funds for the university outside of simply raising tuition. Part of maintaining a position as a top university and simultaneously serving the Toledo community is ensuring that it is reasonably priced for the local students. UT administrators whose jobs consist in part of fundraising need to continue to allow the tuition to be affordable for students. Funding seems to be continuously wasted on frivolous things. Administrator six figure bonuses continue and enrollment is down as reflected by the cut in scholarships. The question remains, are the administrators earning their keep? In the administrators’ defense, UT spends
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Enforce what we have first A local lawyer proposed to the Ohio Board of Regents that it recommend the public universities of Ohio enforce a full smoking ban on campuses. This is an increase of policies already in place restricting smoking on university campuses. With a smoke-free campus, nobody wins. A complete smoking ban should not be enforced on UT’s campus. Instead, the middle ground — UT’s current policy — should be enforced. There are three main problems with UT enforcing a full ban on smoking on campus. It is an infringement on the rights of students, faculty and staff who are smokers. If enforced, the current regulations protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. For students living on campus, this regulation would prevent smokers from being able to smoke at their homes away from home. When discussing infringements on a nonsmokers’ rights, they are usually only thinking about the breach of their own rights. Often, protecting one’s rights involves the infringement of the rights of others. Thus, the advocates become the oppressors, which is the case here. If non-smokers wish to use the infringement argument against smokers, non-smokers only serve to violate their own rule. There are alternative options which could be chosen. A better solution would be to allow the students, faculty, and staff to decide on the issue on their own with a majority rule since the campus is shared by all. The deciding question on this issue is “what is the point of action if there is no result?” Obviously, based on the current situation, nobody would follow a full ban. Most smokers on campus violate the current regulations which involve “butt huts” and previous rules that required that smokers simply
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Home for rent: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 810 Underwood. Walking distance from campus. Spacious yard, owner maintains, pets negotiable. W/D, stove and refrigerator, large driveway. Call for details. 419-870-3654. Downstairs apartment: 2-bedroom, 1-bath, washer/ dryer in basement, garage. $700/month. Call 419-4960267. Close to campus.
Smoking ban From Page A1
policy isn’t weird because there’s a precedent for it. If we make that switch with smoking, people will get over it.” Regardless of their views on a ban, many students said the current policy of designated smoking areas is broken. “I’ve never used the butt huts,” Gorton said. “In the time it takes for me to walk to a butt hut, I could have already finished a cigarette, and since I’m usually trying to squeeze them in between classes when time is a constraint, it’s just not convenient.”
Other smokers like Kelli Ketring, a junior majoring in history, oppose any tobacco restrictions, including the ones already in place. “Once you’re in college, you’re an adult — this isn’t elementary school,” Ketring said. “Unless smoking becomes illegal, I don’t think they should restrict smoking outside.” Taylor Meek, a junior majoring in criminal justice, said he thinks a resolution from the Board of Regents about smoking is inappropriate. “While I don’t agree with people smoking, it’s not right to restrict someone from doing something that is their personal choice,” Meek said. For tobacco users who live in dorms, the problem of living on a campus could make their home-away-from-home Gary Gorton Senior, feel less comfortable. Music education Nathan Leroux, a sophomore majoring in religious Gorton said he will continstudies, said a smoking ban could make students who live ue to smoke on campus wherever he wants until he is in dorms feel less at home. “A complete ban on smok- issued a ticket. Meek is against the current ing really does dictate how some people live, and that UT policy, saying the designated smoking huts were “a isn’t right,” Leroux said. While Gorton is sympa- waste of money.” “It is just another way the inthetic, he doesn’t think the policy would hinder resi- stitutions are getting involved in peoples’ personal lives and dents too much. “One could say smoking is a decisions,” Meek said. Ashley Klein, a senior malegal thing, so let the dorm joring in music education residents do it,” Gorton said. “But at the same time, drink- and vocal performance, said ing is legal and I believe that most of the people she has even if you’re 21 years old seen adhering to the tobacco most dorms don’t allow you to policy are younger students drink in them. This [alcohol] who believe there are conse-
I can say that this will serve as a nuisance, but nothing more
Tuition From Page A1 “Higher education is still a good investment,” Jacobs said. “Hopefully our students can be comforted in knowing that this pain will not be for nothing.” Students like Taylor Meek, a junior majoring in criminal justice, are not comforted. Meek, who pays about $9,600 a year, said universities around the country are overcharging students, but UT could be more helpful. “It is the state’s fault because funding for higher education seems to be shrinking
and shrinking every year, which forces places like UT to raise tuition,” Meek said. “But, at the same time, instead of raising tuition on students that are already struggling to pay for their college education, UT could find other areas in the budget to cut from,” Meek said. Meek said investments like the digitized parking system are unnecessary, calling the last year’s parking project “a joke.” “UT paid $175,000 for a system that failed and is still not working perfectly,” Meek said. While some stress about fees, Student Government
quences to violating it. Currently, the university has no punishments for those who use tobacco outside designated areas. Klein, a nonsmoker, said while she saw fewer people smoking last year, she also saw countless students disregard the current campus tobacco policy. “I guess they do it because they’re lazy, or they think they’re above the rules,” Klein said. “I think if there were repercussions, that might deter people from smoking on campus. The system we have now would work better if people knew what happens if they violate it, and if something actually happened.” Klein said once more students discover the flexibility with the system, they will abuse it more frequently. Gorton said if there was a way to enforce a complete smoking ban, it would make a big difference. “I know I would smoke less if I had to leave campus every time I wanted a cigarette,” Gorton said. “Ultimately, I’d either smoke less or be on campus less, and the latter really isn’t feasible.” Gorton said tobacco-free campuses are becoming more acceptable. “The country’s kind of moving in that direction anyway, with the new laws against smoking in bars or restaurants,” he said. “I think these policies will get people to smoke less, but I don’t think it will get them to quit.” Vice President Chris Dykyj said reduced state funding and declining enrollment are unavoidable factors in UT’s tuition increase. Dykyj will not pay this year’s tuition due to his position in SG but he said a tuition bump is the price to pay for attending “one of the leading schools not only in Ohio, but the United States.” “With all the wonderful improvements the university has given us, and their best efforts to give us the most beautiful and modern campus possible, our tuition is going to increase,” Dykyj said.
He went with the APR rule that makes it awfully easy for a kid in his situation. That’s one of the flaws and problems with the APR concept.
Tod Kowalczyk UT head basketball coach
Monday, June 18, 2012
MORE ONLINE Detroit Red Wings look to reload this offseason. Read Jay Skebba’s column at IndependentCollegian.com.
Jay Skebba – Editor
Curtis Dennis leaving UT
By Jay Skebba Sports Editor
Junior quarterback Terrance Owens will remain at UT despite being drafted by the San Diego Padres.
Padres draft Owens, but he plans to stay By Nate Pentecost Managing Editor
The Padres have mustered just five playoff appearances and have failed to win a World Series title in 42 full seasons of play. Add 2010’s historic late-season collapse and this year’s second-worst record to date (23-42) — aided in no small way by a team ERA of 4.06 (18 of 30) and the league’s thirdworst team batting average (.230) — and it should come as no surprise that second-year general manager Josh Byrnes is seeking a new approach. But on June 6 when San Diego selected Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens in the 40th and final round of the draft (1,215 overall) more than a few heads turned. Owens’ included. “I got that call that said ‘Congratulations you’ve been drafted to the Padres,’ and I’ve been working out for football,” Owens said. “That was such a surprising thing.” The junior signal caller has not played baseball since his freshman year at Glenville High School in Cleveland, but with his exceptional arm strength and the premium placed on left-handed pitching in MLB, San Diego felt he was worthy of the gamble.
“I was really confused. It was just a random call for me while I was just sitting on the couch,” Owens said. “I played baseball when I was younger but for that call to be made, it was really random. I didn’t know how to react to it.” Owens confirmed the following day what many already suspected — the interest was not mutual. “I’m staying in Toledo,” he said. “I’m trying to stay focused on football and having a good season.” The southpaw was one of just two players from UT selected in the MLB Draft along with pitcher Mike Hamann who was chosen in the 16th round (494 overall) by the Cubs. Owens started 12 of 13 games last year for the MidAmerican Conference West Division Co-Champions, completing a Toledo record 72.2 percent of his passes for 2,022 yards and 18 touchdowns with three interceptions. He ranked first in the Mid-American Conference in passing efficiency and sixth nationally. Owens is expected once again to split time behind center with senior quarterback Austin Dantin when the season kicks off Sept. 1 at Arizona.
After coming on strong in the second half of 2011-12, senior-to-be Curtis Dennis was poised to become a star for the Toledo Rockets basketball squad. Dennis’ final season in college basketball could very well be his best, but it will no longer be with UT after the 6-5 guard elected Monday to transfer to Iona. “Over the last week or so, we knew that it was a possibility,” said UT head coach Tod Kowalczyk. “We think very highly of Curtis and wish he would have stayed. We certainly are disappointed.” Dennis is a native of the Bronx, New York, which is located about 10 minutes from the school. He expressed a desire to return closer to home after his aunt passed away and his grandmother became ill. “I can guarantee you this,” Kowalczyk explained, “he was perfectly happy at Toledo. He was happy with basketball, he loved it here.” The NCAA handed down a postseason ban for next year in March as a result of poor APR scores stemming from the two previous head coaches. Per NCAA rules, any players who will be seniors during a season in which a postseason ban exists can be recruited to other institutions without permission. “He went with the APR rule that makes it awfully easy for a kid in his situation,” Kowalczyk said. “That’s one of the flaws and problems with the APR concept.” Dennis averaged over 25 minutes, 11 points, and three rebounds a game last season, mostly as a reserve. After sitting out the first portion of the season after transferring from New Mexico, Dennis made an impact during Mid-American Conference play. At times, he was Toledo’s second-best scoring option behind Rian Pearson and gave UT a spark off the bench. Dennis was certainly in line for an increased role next year and was just three class-
Vincent D. Scebbi / IC
Curtis Dennis drives to the hoop in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The senior forward is transferring to Iona. es away from graduating. “He has a chance to go home and play in front of his family and has a chance to play in the postseason,” Kowalczyk said. Dennis’ departure leaves an obvious hole, especially from an offensive standpoint. Kowalczyk suggested A.J. Matthew and incoming freshman
Josh Lemons will both have an opportunity to log significant minutes. UT will still have a lot of talent left over from last year. “Let’s face it, we still have our starters back,” Kowalczyk said. “We still feel very good about next season and the future.” The NCAA will meet next
month to decide if the APR rules should be amended. There is a chance the Rockets could see their postseason restrictions lifted. “If [the NCAA] does the right thing and does the intelligent thing, they would use the most recent data to reward or penalize institutions,” Kowalczyk said.
Kertesz finishes 16th, wins honors in 10K
Golfer Lancaster wins Ontario men’s tourney
By Nate Pentecost Managing Editor
By IC Staff
Junior Emma Kertesz represented Toledo with a 16th place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Track and Field Championship on June 7 in Des Moines. Kertesz finished with a time of 33:54:99 to earn second-team All-American honors. She edged out Louisville’s Holly Knight who came in at 33:57:36 to grab the final All-American spot. “It was a great race. It went exactly as I was hoping it would go,” said Kertesz, Toledo’s eighth track AllAmerican in the past 11 years. “It came down to the last 3,000 meters with four of us battling for the 16th spot. I really had to kick in the last lap. It’s the hardest I’ve ever run in my life.” UT’s sole representative
at nationals stuck with the pack for the first 7,000 meters before beginning her push toward the front.
It’s the hardest I’ve ever run in my life.
“It was an incredibly fast race, so Emma really played it smart,” added UT head coach Kevin Hadsell. “The first 7,000 meters were tactical, hanging back and waiting for the right time to move. She then ran hard for the next 2,400 meters, picking off some of the runners who had tried to stay in the lead group. Then the last 600 meters was really an all
Courtesy of UT Athletics
Junior Emma Kertesz finished 16th in the 10,000-meter run at the MAC Track and Field Championship. out sprint. She really outkicked that last runner to get 16th place.” The Central Catholic graduate took 10th place in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA East Preliminary Championship meet in Jacksonville, FL on May 24 to qualify for the national meet. Two of Kertesz’s teammates
also ran in the 10k but were not among the top 12 runners, a requirement to advance. Senior Ari Fisher finished in 19th (35:11:13) while sophomore Megan Vogelsong came in 29th (36:13:43). Junior Katie Bollin competed in the long jump at the prelims, finishing in 44th place with a top leap of 18 feet, 1/2 inches.
Ontario’s best amateur golfToledo redshirt-freshman ers. The golfers must gain Mike Lancaster was victori- entry through one of six ous at the Ontario Men’s qualifying tournaments that Match Play Championship, are held earlier in the seaworking through six rounds son, or gain exemption into the event. of match play and Lancaster played registering 23 birdin seven events for ies with one eagle. the Rockets in the Lancaster won spring and had the the first five rounds fourth lowest stroke with a score of 5 average on the team and 4, 4 and 2, 3 and with 79. 1, 2 up, and 2 and 1, Lancaster is also respectively. the second Rocket to Lancaster battled win a championship Chris Hemmerich Lancaster this summer, as his through 18 holes in teammate freshman the final match of the championship. The 17th hole Chris Selfridge won the Irish saw Lancaster drain a 20-foot Amateur Close Championputt and gain a 1-up lead be- ship at Royal Portrush. In addition to winning the fore the final hole. On the 18th hole, Hemm- match play title, Lancaster erich placed his ball ten feet has also earned an exempfrom the hole, but Lancaster tion into the 2012 Ontario Championship was able to drop his inside of Amateur Hemmerich’s to set up the along with Hemmerich as the top two golfers in the title-winning birdie. The Ontario Men’s Match Match Play Championship Play Championship is held earn an exemption into the annually and features 64 of Amateur Championship.
Arts and Life
quote of The WEEK “If a June night could talk, it would probably boast that it invented romance.” – Bern Williams
Monday, June 18, 2012
Russell Axon – Editor
A new kind of hero Big hair, weak story Openly gay characters feature prominently in upcoming comic books from DC and Marvel
‘Rock of Ages’ sounds and looks great, but suffers from cliché storytelling and shallow characters By John Goodspeed For the IC
Photo courtesy of DC Comics
Green Lantern Alan Scott kisses his boyfriend in a panel from the second issue of “Earth 2” by James Robinson and Nicola Scott. Several comics are focusing on openly gay characters. By Russell Axon Arts and Life Editor
As Kory Kyler started reading his comic book stack last week, he saw action, costumes and villains trying to rule the world. He also saw two gay men kissing. The UT senior majoring in education was surprised by the intensity of the scene. “I thought that they did a good job, but they really emphasized it,” Kyler said. The book in question, the second issue of DC Comics’ “Earth 2” by James Robinson (writer) and Nicola Scott (artist), features a modern update of the character Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. As part of the update, Scott, who was originally heterosexual, is now in an openly gay relationship. Wednesday, Marvel Comics will also promote gay characters with the release of issue 51 of “Astonishing X-Men” by Marjorie Liu (writer) and Mike Perkins (artist). The issue features the marriage of Northstar, a member of the X-Men and Marvel’s first openly gay character, to his longtime boyfriend. Although openly gay characters have appeared in comics since the ’60s, most of them are featured in books from independent publishers, while major companies such as Marvel and DC have slowly given more focus to such characters. Both of these storylines come off the heels of several forward gay rights events, specifically the vote to ban gay marriage in North Carolina and President Obama’s endorsement for same-sex marriage. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, said in a statement that the idea came organically from those real world events. “When gay marriage became legal in New York State, it raised a question, since most of our heroes reside in that state,” he said. Robinson, who is known for prominently featuring gay characters in his work, said in an interview with the website Comic Book Resources that homosexuality is too common in the real world to be ignored in comic books. “It’s a realistic aspect of the cross section of diversity that exists in society,” he said. “That would exist on a team.”
Arts & Life is now on
Kyler said both stories are a great step for gay rights and for comics as a respected medium. “In comics nowadays, we really see a lot of fantasy but we like it to be in a hint of reality,” he said. “To just ignore the fact that there are homosexual people in the world isn’t very realistic.” Kyler said this focus on real world issues helps make the otherwise fantastical characters relatable. Paul Shiple, manager of The Game Room, a Toledo comics and games shop on Sylvania Avenue, said the increased exposure of gay characters has affected his store’s sales marginally. “[The response is] mostly apathetic. No one really seems to care,” he said. Shiple, however, said this general mood is a positive compared to the extreme responses
populating the Internet, citing conservative group One Million Mom’s call to boycott all DC and Marvel titles featuring gay characters. “It is my belief [that] true equality will be had in this society when instead of celebrating sexual lifestyle choices, we all shrug and say, ‘So?’” he said. Shiple said that while events and gimmicks can help to bring in readers, the quality of the storytelling is what determines true success. “If it’s a good story, people will start reading it. And if it isn’t, people won’t,” he said. “Astonishing X-Men” #51 goes on Wednesday, June 20. “Earth 2” #2 is already available. The Game Room is located at 3001 W. Slyvania Ave.
Photo courtesy of Marvel, LLC.
Northstar, a member of the X-Men and Marvel’s first openly gay character, will marry his longtime boyfriend in “Astonishing X-Men” #51 by Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins.
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When most people think of classic ’80s rock ‘n’ roll, they describe tight clothes, guitar solos and sex appeal. In the new musical “Rock of Ages,” moviegoers experience all of these as well as some late ’80s classic rock anthems. The story follows two young lovers, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), an aspiring singer ready to find fame on the Sunset Strip, and Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), also an aspiring singer and a barback at the Bourbon Room, the local mecca of rock ‘n’ roll in Hollywood. The club’s owner, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin), and his sidekick Lonny (Russell Brand) must deal with financial troubles, conservative mothers attempting to shut the bar down, and the unique persona of Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), the lead singer of the biggest rock band in the world. Additionally, the mayor’s domineering wife, Patricia Whitmore (Catherine ZetaJones), has pledged to rid the city of rock ‘n’ roll. Our heroes try to keep the bar alive and pursue their dreams of fame, while entertaining the audience with a medley of ’80s rock hits. This film was surprisingly entertaining, even for someone who may not enjoy ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll. This is a musical about a point in time when everything was very over-the-top, especially the music and musicians.
Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
Lonny (Russell Brand, left) and Dennis (Alec Baldwin) try to save their infamous club in the movie musical ‘Rock of Ages.’ Seeing Cruise with long hair and leather pants running around the stage without a shirt on would seem strange in a modern context but worked really well for this movie. This musical won’t be recognized for being a gutbusting comedy, but there were a few funny moments that really hit the mark. There were, however, many things about the film that could have been better. The actual story is cliché — boy meets girl, they fall in love, some miscommunication leads to a betrayal where they are separated, they grow as people, they resolve their issues, and everyone lives happily ever after. Although that may be the standard way of writing a musical, it’s very trite and lazy. Many of the character arcs were predictable, too. From the minute the antagonistic Patricia is introduced, it’s easy to guess the secret
motivations for her crusade against Jaxx. The comedy duo of Baldwin and Brand are severely underused. These two actors are amazing at improvising lines which are usually funnier than the original script, but here they seemed limited. They could have been replaced with lesser actors and no one would have noticed. The end of the movie felt incomplete. Important questions were left unanswered, and not everything was wrapped up with a nice little “happily ever after” bow. Overall, “Rock of Ages” was an entertaining film. Casual audiences may get lost in the style-over-substance approach, but it’s a great show for fans of musicals and ’80s rock. On a scale of “Wait to watch it on Netflix” to “Go to the midnight release,” this movie ranks as “Go on $5 Tuesday.”