Monday, April 11, 2011

Once more into the breach

I got a number of responses to my post about the comic book, Crossed, being displayed without any "mature audience" labels. I'm always thrilled when people post comments. But when they apparently don't READ the post before commenting, I feel compelled to reply.

Daniel M. said...

You're concerned about a kid reading an adult comic, but shouldn't you be more concerned that a kid is wondering around without adult supervision? It's wandering, not wondering. And if I was a parent, the one event I would assume my kid would be safe to wander would be a comicon.

The con was an all ages event that catered to everyone of all ages. (Redundant) Why should that prevent a publisher from selling their comic? Re-read my original post. Point out to me the part where I suggested that Avatar Press (or any other vendor) not be able to sell their books, 'cos I never said that.

There are people of age who want to buy it. You don't have to. What about Fantagraphics? A long-time local Seattle GN/comic book seller that caters to quirky, humorous, offbeat writers and comic artists such as Dan Clowes and Ellen Forney. Yeah, SO? I don't think I've ever seen a GN at their booth that I would describe as gratuitously violent (like Crossed) or over-the-top misogynistic (look that word up).

I don't like Crossed because it seems rather childish, base and nihilistic for the sake of it,
Okay ... why were you rushing to their defense again???

You seem to be pigeonholing comic cons as a certain type of event catering to certain types of people. (Again with the redundant comment.) Conventions are by definition events that cater or attract certain types of people. And this just in: the sky is blue.

I went to the con because I love the medium, not because I'm a "nerd." Now who's tossing insults? Where in my original post did I use the word "nerd"? And is that such a awful label? There's far worse out there. I too attended the convention because I love the medium, same reason I went to the last three. And I'll be going to more in the future. But the overt misogyny in Crossed offended me. And I'm still offended. I'm offended any time anyone takes a violent act and trivializes it because to some impressionable minds (10-year-old kids
) that makes it seem OKAY. And it's never okay.

I bought both of those comics from Fantagraphics there, some BPRD, an Adrian Tomine thing, and a great old mini series I've been looking for ages. Awesome. I'd rattle off the names of all the GNs I bought but it's a pretty big list and I still haven't read them all. I always look for names like Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan and Neil Gaiman as well as a half-dozen smaller obscure comic writers and illustrators. Why? Because I'm pretty sure none of these writers are misogynists. (Oops, there's that word again.)

The con was for everybody. Except for people who bring their kids and let them "wonder" alone and women who take offense at graphic depictions of rape, right???

To scrutinize what's being sold, I'm a film and book critic. Scrutinizing is what I do, baby.

As for being worried that adults buy the comic because they're numb from corporate media, that's some crock. Stories and images like that have been around for centuries. But never ever have they been presented so graphically, so realistically and so REPEATEDLY as they are now in mainstream media. Between television and film, the average American kid has seen violent images thousands of times by the age of five and a disproportionate percentage of those are simulated violent acts against females by male characters.

Do I consider comicon goers who buy Crossed "nerds"? No, I'm just really worried they also go to gun conventions. And buy 9 mms for their 10-year-old kids. And then the kid goes home and watches Daddy rape and beat the shit out of Mommy and this forms his world view.


nola b said...

But reading is hard.

Daniel M. said...

==> "And if I was a parent, the one event I would assume my kid would be safe to wander would be a comicon."

Well what about those hentai booths that are always there? The ones with lolicon? You know, the kind of drawings the supreme court ruled as child pornography in addition to the offender's actual child pornography he used to have. Those booths were there the last few years. Plus, there was a guy dressed as Pedobear. I even saw a kid pose for a picture with it on Saturday. Boy, if I was a parent, I wouldn't let my kids wander around unattended because I know that stuff is there. Who know's who will snatch them?!?! I would also know that stuff is not for me or my children, but that doesn't mean other people should be able to partake. I also don't think that drawings can be considered illegal and unavailable. Then again, Hans Christian Anderson liked to take nude pictures of little girls an Egon Schiele hired child prostitutes, so whatever.

==> "Re-read my original post. Point out to me the part where I suggested that Avatar Press (or any other vendor) not be able to sell their books, 'cos I never said that."

I should have put quotation marks around the first "all ages". The marketing term "all ages" means suitable for everyone to enjoy together, nothing offensive. As opposed to the real all ages meaning that there is something for every age to enjoy individually or possibly even together. There were Muppet comics, and there was steampunk paraphernalia, and there were vintage Hustlers, and there were cartoonists who draw zombie comics, and there were cartoonists who drew Toy Story comics, and there were cartoonists who like drawing cute little pixie lesbians. See? No quotes all ages fun.

True, you didn't write that Aavatar shouldn't be able to sell their comic. But, you didn't like it. You didn't like the idea of it being there and available. You clearly donn't like it and the idea of it existing. You don't like drawings of imaginary people imagining doing imaginary things to other imaginary people drawn by people who are probably misogynists (just like Vaughn or Whedon probably are not). You don't like them because the pictures might incite someone to go buy a gun and shoot and rape people. Then again, that's all imaginary.

But, what about prose books? Should those be labeled or prohibited? Should they not be available to children and teenagers, too? The guy who shot Lennon wanted to change his name to Holden Caulfield. That's a good reason right there. Maybe.

In any case, it's kind of funny that you would talk about misogyny and post a cover with a guy about to be eaten. Although, you seem to have no problem with people decapitating other people, even if they might be dead and because they were violently, graphically tearing apart and eating other people. That's real cool. It would also be real cool if you'd look (uh-huh) up the writer, you would have found out that David Lapham made one of David Lynch's favorite comics, "Stray Bullets." In it, he has created some of the strongest, most respected female protagonists in comics.

However, I might just be jumping to conclusions just like you did with those guys waiting in line for the "Crossed" guy. Who reads Fangoria? Not zombie fans evidently.