Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--He Hates You and Wants You to Die

Column by Steve Bennett

Published: 03/28/2012 02:03am
Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett notices Adam Carolla's threats, ads in Looney Tunes, and surprises in two recent comics.

There are a couple of interesting things in Looney Tunes #205, but unfortunately they were the ads, not the comics.  I was particularly intrigued by one for a DC Comics website for kids, which for some reason I had no idea existed.  This looks all kinds of bad, considering I've been bugging comic book publishers to do this for years.  It's primarily a tool for promoting Cartoon Network's DC Nation block so there's video clips and games based on the shows but there are also online comics, mostly fairly recent DC Johnny titles (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, etc.) as well as Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo.

I wouldn't mind seeing some new material and, predictably, some vintage comic books represented as well. I mean, what better way for Time-Warner to test market characters like Sugar & Spike and Rex the Wonder Dog to today's kids than, you know, showing them to them.  But for the most part I can't argue with the current selection and before retailers can complain that this will poach their customers there's also an embedded search engine so kids can find their nearest comic book shop.

The other major discovery: Archie Comics has started advertising in DC Comics.  Along with an ad for volume two of their Mega Man title there's an ad for the Archie Comics app for iPads and iPhones.  I own neither device so I can't actually field test the item but I must admit that I am impressed probably more than I should by the fact that Archie Comics is letting kids know that they are out there.

I'm as surprised as anyone but I'm actively enjoying the New 52 Batman titles, Batman in particular, even if the current series can play pretty rough with the continuity I grew up with.  It's proof taking risks and actually making substantial changes in a character's mythology can pay creative dividends.  However, that being said, can somebody out there explain what this extreme close-up of a man nipple from Batman #7 is in aid of?

It's not what you'd call a guilty pleasure, exactly, but I must confess I've been quietly enjoying Marvel's Thunderbolts.  It's well written and beautifully drawn so, okay, I'm reading Thunderbolts #71 and I'm enjoying it, enjoying it, enjoying... then I turn a page and see... this. I mean, seriously, what the hell?

In a previous column (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--After the Con"), I confessed to listening to The Adam Carolla Show podcast.  Which is how I heard him bitterly complain about having to read comic books to his four year old son because, as we all know, they're unimaginative, homoerotic crap intended exclusively for morons.  I suppose the real confession is I kept listening to him after this (what can I say, I find him sporadically amusing) and over the course of a couple of months have learned that he really, really doesn't like "nerds."

If you're unfamiliar with his work Carolla tries to be (in his own words) "funny and provocative" and his entire 'act' involves him becoming inappropriately angry about just about everything (one of his standard 'bits' is called "What Can't Adam Complain About?").  He can easily do fifteen minutes about the evils of passion fruit ice tea or why the 1973 Sid and Marty Krofft show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters was literally a crime against humanity.  And along with nerds in general he doesn't care for comic books, comic book readers, superheroes and superhero movies either.

But on his podcast of 3/22/12 Carolla (as today's kids would say) lost his excrement when news reader Alison Rosen read a story about reaction in the fan community to the news that director Michael Bay has said that in his upcoming movie version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Turtles are "from an alien race" (see "Are the 'Turtles' Ninjas From Outer Space?").  "42-year-olds arguing over the Silver Surfer and Green Lantern," he fumed, "Somebody has got to take Comic-Con down... let some anthrax virus lose in the place, dynamite that place and put them out of their *expletive deleted* misery."  Guest actress Kate Flannery helpfully added "I was going to suggest sex therapy since most of them have never had sex" but, to be fair, she followed up on this outdated and inaccurate stereotype with a dead-on impersonation of Speed Racer's kid brother Sprittle.

I want to say that Carolla has said worse things, but, no, according to an Internet search this is actually the first time he has flat out called for the extermination of an entire group of people.  Kind of puts the whole "The Big Bang Theory is detrimental to nerd culture" thing in perspective, doesn't it?

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.