Monday, June 04, 2007

Six of one, half a dozen of the other?

I don't usually respond to the few troll-attempts I receive but in a response today to this 9/22/2005 post about a teen-age Robin being propositioned by an adult, a commenter confirmed exactly why comic book publishers continue to pander to the baser instincts of fans.

Generation Y said...

That was pathetic.You mean when you were underage, you never thought about being about women over 18? How did you bring tentacle rape into this? Man you 40 yr old fans suck.You should have been drafted.

  • The concept the commenter doesn't seem to grasp, and I sincerely hope he does before he finds himself in a pair of handcuffs, is that sexual advances or sexual activity by a legal adult between someone who is not of the age of consent is wrong. I don't care what they do on Walton Mountain or in India or even back in the year 1625. An adult has a power over a younger person. It is predatory, illegal, immoral and unethical. Period.
  • Yes, of course when I was a teen-ager I often thought about the gender I had a preference for in sexual terms. But thinking about and actually being molested by a 21 year old, wiser and experienced adult if when 16 are very, very, very different acts. No, I have not been molested nor do I know anyone who has been. I'm not a super-hero with a tragic back story. I know the difference between right and wrong. By your statement you are equating fantasizing with doing. It is alarming that those two blend together in your mind.
  • The 'tentacle rape' comments in the post come from my referring to the trend in American comics to bring over to this industry concepts from popular Japanese strips that routinely depict sexual violence, rapes with foreign/alien/human objects and under-aged relationships. The recent Heroes for Hire cover being an example.
  • I don't understand the 'drafted' part. You mean, I should have been drafted into a war and possibly killed in combat? Drafted into a bizarre sex cult so I would have a different outlook on the concepts of right and wrong? Help me out here.
Comic book publishers appear pretty savvy about how best to depict their male and female characters to leverage sales and gain publicity. The critic's perception of comic books is that the percentage of the fan base that will buy a comic based solely on the rape and bondage elements of the cover is not great enough to support the book. I wonder if that is true. If Generation Y is a typical young fan then the art for H4H #13 makes a lot more sense. Publishers must feel confident that while the a vocal number of readers are turned off by exploitative scenes the purchasing power of those fans that embrace it, even as a small percentage, are enough to keep a title afloat long enough for their purposes, whatever that may be. It is possible that the mature reader who wants some depth to a comic book may not be much of an actual consideration as a target audience. It may be a case of "six of one, half a dozen of the other."



  1. I have to take issue with your "pretty savvy" comment. Joe Quesada clearly has no clue about the connotations of depicting bound women being menaced by tentacles.

    But then he also believes that anything drawn by a women is incapable of being sexist.

  2. I think he knows what he is doing. Speaking the company line while he is at the same time reading marketing reports of demographic study groups.

  3. You know, I had similar misgivings about the Buffy/Angel romance where she was explicitly turning 17 and he looked late 20s (actually early 200s, but who's counting?) the first time they had sex. Wasn't THAT statutory rape?

    It'd be a different world if Quesada would just SAY that some books are just pandering to boys. At least that way feminist readers (myself included) would know to avoid those titles. The way it is now is much more insulting, like he's saying "Here are the heroines you asked for, fangirls. Happy now?"

  4. I just wanted to make the distinction that statutory rape and aggravated rape.
    In prison rape happens all the time but it's something our society continues to look away from.
    Marvel tentacle-cover served it's purpose, to bring more interest to a failing book. It was dumb just like your comparison to a obscure batman comic from the sixties suggesting that Robin is being molested.

    You're doing exactly what Quesada and Marvel want you to, frickin free publicity. Pathetic. You should know better.

    That said, I do like your blog. More pretty art and less soapboxing.

  5. The Robin book in question was from 2005. And it isn't free publicity, it's education.

  6. Steven,
    Buffy had "just" turned 18 when she and Angel had pre-marital sex, the results of which is that Angel turned homicidal.

  7. "That said, I do like your blog. More pretty art and less soapboxing."

    Yes. Why don't I just post thematically themed homo erotic out of context panels and shut up?


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