Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Nerdversity Discussion: Comics are NOT for everyone

Before we get into this discussion, it's not going to be a geeks vs. geek girls argument. Nope, this is based on a statement made during the "PG-13 Deadpool" argument. This discussion will be based solely on content and readers. 

This isn't the 1940s anymore. We don't have clean cut heroes with a sense of right anymore, There's no more of the "Truth, Justice and the American Way". Heroes are becoming more complex and there's more grey areas in comics these days than there were 40-50 years ago. What happened? well, during the 70s and 80s, as comics moved away from the restrictions from the Comics Code Authority, they became free to explore boundaries that they couldn't have otherwise explored with censorship. Throughout the 70s and 80s, more and more graphic and arthouse comics sprang up. Authors like Frank Miller, Mark Millar and Alan Moore had big name hits with the likes of Batman: The Dark Knight, Kick-Ass and Watchmen. 

So, are comics for everyone? certainly not. There are comics for all tastes and reader ages, but you wouldn't give a child a copy of Batman: A Death in The Family, as it features sexual assault and murder. Just like any TV show or Movie, there will be content that is NOT appropriate for all audiences be it for violence, sexual content, foul language, drugs or just horror content. 

Sure, some of these comics have been adapted over the years into various TV shows and movies, but most of the movies they have been based on have still retained their adult ratings. 

Last year, there was a big debate on comic book appropriateness, when a 20 year old student by the name of Tara Schulz who was attending college in California tried to get several adult rated comic graphic novels banned due to graphic content.  Her list included:
  • Marjane Schulz - Persepolis
  • Alison Bechdel - Fun Home
  • Brian K Vaughn - Y: The Last Man
  • Neil Gaiman - The Sandman: The Doll's House
Last I read, she failed in her mission to get these books banned from not only college campuses but also from the public as well. Even though you may disagree with content within a comic, there is no reason to censor it or try and get it removed from sale to prevent other fans from reading it. 

As a final note: We're not trying to be part of some exclusive club when we say "it's not for you", we're actually protecting people from content that they might find offensive or inappropriate, just like we do with video games or movies. There are plenty of appropriate comics for all audiences, it doesn't mean that ALL comics are for everyone.