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Jon Ansley of Lone Star Comics on DC's New 'Socially Conscious' Titles

'Drive People Away'

Published: 02/13/2013 02:58am
Jon Ansley of Lone Star Comics in Arlington, Texas comments on DC's announcement of two new "politically-charged" titles coming this May (see "'New 52' Adds Socially Conscious Titles").
 
For a genre that is supposed to be a competing with video games and big budget movies for the time, energy and money of children, and adults, it seems that DC and Marvel are both doing everything they can to drive people away.
 
Between a steady stream of "Events" from Marvel causing fatigue and an increase of apathy towards the titles, DC removing the fun light hearted feel of several of their characters in lieu of over-sexualized, overly violent, and the cancellation of their only kid friendly books, I have to ask what the long term plans for the companies are.
 
Now many of you are going to say, "But comic sales are up!"  Yes they are, but what happens when comics don't have any new readers because they become so dark and gritty that no parent wants to hand a copy of Superman to little Jimmy? 
 
When did super hero comics become the proper forum to battle for gay rights, or to push a political agenda?
 
What happened to the days of giant apes rampaging through the city for Superman to smash, Doctor Doom's odd-ball schemes to overthrow the government in which Captain America stops him in the nick of time, or villains getting together to make bets over who can pull off the most outlandish crime?
 
Now we have to hand children comics in which Joker has his face removed and gleefully murders dozens of people, Captain America is assassinated, Spider-man has the mind of a super villain and everyone is shacking up with everyone else.
 
If a writer wants to do this kind of writing, recent activity at Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Oni Press and others have shown that there are plenty of places creators can go to stretch their "Mature" muscles, instead of foisting upon the reader stories about why a certain political sect is wrong, or who Shatterstar spends his nights with. 
 
Do all Super Heroes have to be kid-appropriate?  No.  Should all mainstream DC and Marvel?  I think so.  Let's keep the sex, drugs, and Senate (Unless Gorilla Grodd or Red Skull are trying to blow it up) in MAX and Vertigo.
 
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
 
 
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