Friday, January 20, 2012

I agree with Sherri Ly of Fox News about DC Comics!



Sherri Ly of Fox News,



Thank you SO MUCH for speaking out the TRUTH about DC Comics!

WASHINGTON - Most people think of comic books for kids,

Kids of ALL ages! Why, Simba Information claims that one in four comic book readers are over 65!

but many of today's comics are anything but that. Turn the pages of DC Comics now and you will find plenty of blood, sex and violence.

It's a sign of the times, I'm afraid. Like you, Sherri, I miss the good old days when DC Comics would never have been sullied with

blood

sex

and violence.

It is part of an edgy makeover that has caused controversy among some comic fans.

And it takes so much to provoke controversy this famously placid fanbase, Sherri! Clearly, this is world's worse than when Speedball became Penance, when a Latin America wrestler broke Batman in half over his knee, and when Superman/Flash/Wonder Woman/Green Lantern killed Zod/Zoom/Max Lord/the entire Green Lantern Corps and then the entire universe. .

DC Comics' characters include the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman.

Ah, sorry, Sherri; otherwise I agree with you completely, but I must correct you on this one small point. There are no characters that are "the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman." Only Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are "the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman." I am surprised a comic book expert like you doesn't know that.

Today, some of these superheroes would make Archie and Veronica blush. "They more or less darkened the characters up. Today, they introduce a lot more reality into it like homosexuality, adultery, all that stuff. It's in the books now," said comic collector Joe Blackwell.

Oh, SO true! I weep that the home medium of Archie and Veronica is being sullied by

violent superheroes

homosexuality

and adultery.

He started reading comics when he was eight years old, but they didn't look like the ones in stores now.

Joe Blackwell? The one in the "Rap with Cap" letters column in Captain America Vol 1 #160 (April 1973)? He's about my age then!

There is Batman and Catwoman having sex on the rooftop,

Remember this one from our childhood, Joe?

a drunken Bruce Wayne,

or the Batman Year One adaptation?

and graphic images of blood-splattered battles with heads chopped off.

Can't they keep it tidy, as they did in the Golden Age?

Sigh; we all miss the Spectre.

"It's sort of like a fictionalized Playboy for kids at its worst,"

said Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., a child psychologist and author of "How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble."

Hm. That sounds way too much like a "Delinquency for Dummies" book; needs a punchier title!


Critics worry the once family friendly genre has gone too far. Psychologists point out the overexposure to sex and violence for young children can encourage aggression.

"I think too many kids would be put in harm's way or at risk," Bernstein said.

The female characters are more sexualized.

Totally with you on this point, Sherri. In my house, only MEN can be sexualized, like it should be.

One of the most noticeable transformations is Starfire. The character goes from a kids Cartoon Network superhero in a full-length jumpsuit to a scantily clad, voluptuous version in the comic Red Hood and the Outlaws. This Starfire is shown in a barely there bikini or the equivalent of pasties over her breasts and a thong. "Do you want to have sex?" she says propositioning her boyfriend's pal, and later says, "Love has nothing to do with it."

Oh, agreed! I don't know why they couldn't have just stuck her original portrayal:

I much preferred her as an unwilling sex-slave of sadistic slavering masters. This whole independent woman with an uppity "Down With Love" attitude approach? It sends the wrong message.

It is these kind of images and suggestive language that concern Bernstein.

"It's a misrepresentation of reality. It sends the wrong message," he said.

It's true, it is a misrepresentation of reality; few comic book readers are going to have voluptuous, scantily clad women asking them for one-night stands. Particularly alien princesses. I can honestly say it has never happened to me!

Relationships are portrayed as one night stands with rampant promiscuity. The treatment of women is more misogynistic.

"We want our kids to think sex is an act between two consenting mature individuals who care deeply for one another. That doesn't really come across and it's too easily to misconstrue things particularly for a kid," Bernstein said.

Sigh. We all miss Jim Corrigan.

The changes to DC comics appear to mirror the changes on the big screen. Remember the original Batman TV series? The superhero defeated the villains without a drop of blood shed. Fake punches came with a "Kapow" across the screen. Compare that to 2008’s Batman: The Dark Knight. In the comic world, that sells.

Indeed; any pre-New52 hero worth his salt knew how to do it tastefully:

snap their necks. Just as fatal as decapitation, but less blood. Saves on red ink, too. Kids need to know that being a criminal--and fighting them-- can be a clean and pleasant experience for everyone, including any bystanders watching.

"I think they're definitely trying to push the envelope, get people's attention with it," said Jared Smith, President of Big Planet Comics.

He sells hundred of titles at his Vienna, Va. comic book store, some for adults, some for kids. The re-launch of DC Comics he says drew a lot of attention. Sales surged for the new editions. A lot was driven by the hype, but sales he says have since leveled off. Many liked what they saw, but some turned off fans stopped buying.

"It made a lot of people unhappy with it or it was something they just didn't want to read," Smith said.

Important point, Sherri! I'm sure the reason that most of fans were unhappy was because Starfire was underclad, rather than, say, that DC invalidated most of the continuity they'd had spend the last thirty years patiently reading and paying for. Because, heaven knows, if it weren't for Starfire's overt sexuality ruining it, I'm sure I'd be an avid follower of Red Hood and the Outlaws.

These types of changes seem to be cyclical with comics to drive up sales. Smith says DC Comics had fallen behind its main rival Marvel and wanted to make a big change. In the last five years, he said DC Comics has gone from a more "lighthearted" comic that is "fun adventure for everyone" to one that is "much more violent, and in some cases, much more graphic in the violence."

I agree, Sherri, completely with your decision to point out that DC is only turning "darker" to keep up with Marvel, which is relentlessly grim with wife-beater Henry Pim, alcoholic man-whore Tony Stark, and obvious repressed-homosexual Dr Doom. But I also agree with your decision to focus only on DC's shortcomings and ignore Marvel's, whose big-budget movie success for 20th Century Fox are probably part of what is making Fox News criticism of DC Comics possible.

DC Comics was contacted for the story, but would not discuss its reasons for the re-launch or the content of its books. In a presentation, Smith says DC Comics "described what they were trying to do was to boost their sales, but they also wanted to bring back some old readers who may not read comics anymore, but also attract new people who have never read comics."

Based on his sales, Smith says the company was successful at getting lapsed readers to come back, but not necessarily bring in new comic fans.

DC Comics uses a voluntary rating system, like others in the industry. It serves as a guideline for buyers and there is no requirement that stores enforce it. The racier more graphic comics are rated teen (T) or teen plus (T+). That means they are not meant for young kids to read.

Middle schoolers who saw the comics had mixed reaction on the age appropriateness of the images. "There's a lot of sexual activity," Diego Meneses said immediately after looking at an edition of Catwoman. Under the guidelines, Catwoman's rating is T+. Meneses said you should be at least 16 years old to read it.

Look, I'm 100% on your side, Sherri; so, just one word to the wise: probably not a good idea to make a 12 year-old read something labelled by its publisher as "for ages 16 and up". Oh, and don't take little Diego to see "The Exorcist" or "Deep Throat".

Marguerita Garcia's jaw dropped when she took one look at the comics. "Scary," she said.

Garcia has an 11-year-old daughter who likes to read comics.

As in Archie & Veronica? Or as in Punisher War Journal? I think specifics will really help us make our case, Sherri!

She says parents need to be aware of what their kids are watching and reading. As for these comics, she said "I think it's too much even for 15."

I know! It's very disturbing and frustrating! If only publishers had a simple convenient labeling system for indicating that a book isn't for any 15 or younger!

Another 12-year-old didn't flinch at the images in Batman Detective Comics with the Joker's bloody head pinned to the wall.

Now, Sherri! Let's not overact, as that could undercut our case. That's not the Joker's head, just the skin peeled of from his face. As a comic book expert, you should be a little more particular about what qualifies as decapitation.

"It looks pretty awesome. It has a lot of colors … It's pretty creepy to look at, but not too much," he said.

Hm. One of those is gross. The other is terrifying. Your mileage may vary.

The content of the teen and teen plus rated comics seem contradictory to the audience targeted by the advertising inside. The images of bloodied bodies and sex scenes are accompanied by ads for Legos and milk.

I agrees; it's kind of sad really. Given the bloodied bodies and sex scenes, some ads like these would work much better:

"Why are we advertising for little kids in a comic book that's rated for mature teens? What's wrong with this?" asked Dr. Bernstein.

It's an interesting point! I just assume it's because in current society mature teens are the people most likely to have little kids.

At Big Planet Comics, Smith points parents who come looking to the kids section. The more mature DC Comics he tells them are not for young readers.

"There was definitely a shift on some of them towards a much more R-rated type of comic book," Smith said.

Don't expect that to change. DC comics is banking this is the future

Oh, and the past, too!

Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/special_report/relaunched-comics-using-sex-and-violence-to-sell-011812#ixzz1k0xz7l1z

Comments:
Yup. Nothing like pointing out that there IS a rating system, and then taking those books and showing them to younger kids anyway.

And...why didn't they actually USE the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman books? Those are all pretty fabulous.
 
Only Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are "the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.

Batwing? Wonder Girl? Superboy?

But no, seriously, cool post. I'll just be thankful we have the BBC over here in the UK.
 
First, let's stipulate that almost EVERY attempt to ban/regulate comics has come from the Left, not the Right, despite the "Fox News" inference. Sen Estes Kefauver was a Democrat. Fredric Wertham was a leftist social worker psychologist. It's always "for the children!" protective nannyism, which is actually the most insidious kind of government control.

Anyway, your argument fails. The past examples of violence show heroes acting justly, though violently, against blatantly evil characters. The evil characters get what is coming to them. Any "misogyny" is WELL within the accepted cultural norms depicted on radio, TV and movies of the time.

I agree that the over-the-top sex and gratuitous violence really started in the 80's. But people have been complaining about it since then, too. That Teen Titans page is foul. It would never have flown in the 70's or before.
 
That depends on what "argument" you think I'm making, Okdkin....
 
I think I understand where her crusade against the DC heroes is coming from...

Take a closer look at that picture of her. See what she's wearing? That's right- a Starro starfish right there on her chest. She's a Starro! Of course, SHE would deride Superman and his friends for their "excessive" violence, with their quicklime and shovels. Quick! Somebody blast her with a freeze gun before it's too late!

-Citizen Scribbler
 
Clearly you're saying that Fox is hysterical about things that have always existed in comics, and that comics in some cases used to be worse and more brutal and more sexist, so why be hysterical now?

The problem is your lack of context. Executing a murderer in the electric chair is not the same as murderering an innocent person with electricity. Even if you explicitly draw them the exact same way. One teaches that a bad end justly punishes bad people. The other just depicts depravity.

Your golden age examples generally teach the right lessons. Your modern examples are generally gratuitous, depraved and sexualized.

If you DID want to cite ONE good example from the Golden Age of truly warped thinking, it would be with examples of the worst of Marston's Wonder Woman "bondage and discipline are good and teach obedience" comics.
 
No, Odkin. that's no what I am "saying" at all. Just what are hearing.
 
Mr. Odkin, please take a deep breath and a tranquilizer, and you'll feel so much better.
 
The graphic violence and sexual suggestiveness in those Golden Age panels would not have been allowed in the Silver Age or early Bronze Age, either. Comics do have more sex and violence now and that is confusing to people who are not hard-core fans. A lot of people remember these characters from TV more than comics (Super Friends, the 1966 Batman show, the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman). Then they are naturally shocked when they see a graphic novel about Batman and Talia's illegitimate son, or Barbara Gordon getting raped, or whatever.
 
How did that whipping cover with Lois ever get past the Comics Code Authority? Sadomasochism, bondage, fetishism--it's all there. I'm not objecting to the cover elements, by the way; just curious how they could slip by the CCA, and yet the CCA wouldn't pass the Spider-Man drug cover a few years later.
 
Because she's "lashing a wooden puppet" and not a person.

But yeah, Superman tied up (twice) and Lois cracking a whip. It's all there, if you view it from that mindset. But the puppet gave DC the "Honi soit qui mal y pense" loophole.
 
"Don't look at me, Doc. You're the one showing all the dirty pictures."
 
I'm just getting the impression that if the exact same story had appeared on some other network, Scipio's (excellent) blogpost would have been 95% identical (minus the jab at 20th Marvel Fox) while Odkin's response would be (a) 95% less desk-thumpy or (b) nonexistent.
Is it just me?
Can't we all just ridicule the Werthamists in greater harmony?
 
I don't know--hasn't Scipio complained himself about DC comics getting more lurid in recent years? At least since the "Rolling Head of Pantha" days, and I believe longer than that.

Honestly, this reads to me like he's decided to reverse his own opinion just so he doesn't accidentally agree with Fox News on something.
 
Not that I endorse Mr. Odkin's take on the material presented, but I too thought Scipio was simply making fun of commentator Sherri's naive take on modern comics.

What am I missing?
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
OK, I'll be first to state the obvious:

When Dr. Wertham campaigned to keep anyone under 15 years old from reading comic books--

--that was nothing less than a restriction of the freedom of certain groups to read the fiction of their choosing. If you want to believe that such a measure was justified for a certain age-group, you're welcome to that belief. But there's no way Wertham comes off as anything but a curtailer of the liberties you attribute to "activists and politicians."
 
If only the government had kept Mystery in Space and Our Army at War and Detective Comics out of my hands when I was at an impressionable age, I might not have become the sick and greedy puppy that I am today. But reading stories like "The Lair of the Sea Fox" and "Attack of the Tentacle Planet" pushed me into an irreversible downward spiral. . . .
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Hey Scipio, I want to totally steal your line about even comics are just like boyfriends - even the bad ones are hugely entertaining. :) What was the exact line you crafted?
thnks!
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
So, anybody read any good comic books lately?
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Gosh, Comics are just so much fun!
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Whatever Guy Gardner would do...he would do it...magnificently.

Of course.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Accursed Interloper...I am about as conservative a person as you'll ever meet. I'm going to write in Ron Paul for president, for crying out loud. And I have to say, you're coming across as pedantic, and this isn't the place for it.

Also, wherefore art thou, Scipio? The arguing hasn't run you off, has it???
 
I remember when we used to have truly important arguments at the Absorbascon--on vital issues like who's better, Clint or Ollie. (It's Clint, by the way.) How the mighty have fallen. . . .
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
(Searching for a noose...)
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
"Mom, when is Scipio coming home?"
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I have returned.

My apologies for my absence and any difficulties here that arose as a result.

I had unplanned surgery and have been convalescing rather than tending to the garden here. Or perhaps "thicket" would be a better metaphor.

In any case, having finished a bit of weed removal,my only comment is:

"LOL, thanks, Anonymous, I actually don't remember saying 'comics are just like boyfriends - even the bad ones are hugely entertaining' But I probably said something like:

"Comics are just like boyfriends: even the bad ones can be entertaining when you look back on them."

Because that sounds like something I would say."
 
I do hope that you are feeling better Scipio! It got a little...weird while you were gone!
 
What she said.
 
Yes, I'm glad to hear you're feeling better- and sorry about the mess. :(

-Citizen Scribbler
 
Thank you; these things happen.
 
I just had a thought. A public figure attempts to discredit superheroes shortly after a universal reboot. This seems a bit familiar. And the Justice League's first battle was against Darkseid. All of this seems a bit ominous. Has anyone checked if Sherri Ly is... Apokoliptian?
 
Glad you're OK, Scipio. Have we discussed the pronunciation of Sherri's last name?
 
Wow, you guys may be on to something! Sherry Ly may in fact be that notorious Apokoliptan master manipulator...

GLOR-LIE ANNA!
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?