Friday, April 9, 2010

Comic Book Movies: Nerd Porn. . . Literally

Over the past decade, Hollywood has increasingly come to rely on comic books as a source of inspiration for their films. Indeed, many more recent films than you may realize come from the pages of comic books, especially in the action film genre. And I am finding myself increasingly turned off by these movies. It’s not that I’m opposed to the genre, but I find the experience getting creepier and creepier, as these movies are turning into nerd porn.

Now I am not a comic book aficionado, nor am I a reader of comic books, but I am well informed. I’ve spoken with collectors at length over the years, and I’ve seen the evolution of comic books and the movies made from them.

In the Golden Age of comic books, comic book heroes were created with the idea of inspiring children. Television shows like Superman and the Adam West Batman epitomized this generation. They were wholesome, patriotic, and not-controversial. They were written at a level that was both simplistic and accessible for idealistic youth.

But by the 1960s, this was changing. Like everyone else in the counter culture, comic book creators wanted to expand the “social conscience” of their readers by introducing social justice themes. This meant different moral questions and some “edgy” issues that dealt with things like racism, feminism, drugs, and poverty.

In the 1980s, comic books changed again, this time becoming darker and edgier. The most famous of these was the conversion of Batman into the Dark Knight. This was also the time the nerds started calling these comic books “graphic novels.” Yeah, sure. This change happened for two reasons primarily. First, the animators wanted to tell “more grown up stories” and they found the requirement that their heroes be wholesome to be too restricting. So they had to free them from their wholesome images and belief systems. Secondly, they wanted to reach an older (read “more affluent”) audience: angst-ridden teenagers. The world sucks man. Shut up kid.

By the 1990s, most comic book heroes had been killed off and resurrected as evil versions of themselves. . . dressed like whiny little emos. . . oh sorry, dressed in really cool, joy-resistant black body armor!

Then it started to go wrong(er). I don’t know which one was the first, but soon goofy capes and costumes were giving way to fetish gear. Tight black leather body suits, anatomically correct body armor (a Batsuit with nipples? are you serious? Holy codpiece, Batman!), whips, chains, and erotic tortures that reeked of fetish clubs all became normal.

And it wasn’t just the costumes that were changing. The role of women in comic books was changing. Gone were the supposedly docile women of the 1950s, the feminists of the 1960-1970s, and the working women of the 1980s. In their place came a whole generation of dominatrixes, women presented as strange creatures to be feared and ogled (interestingly, Hollywood actresses mistake these for “strong roles”). At the same time, comic book “love” was redefined as violence with sexual overtones and an unhealthy dose of bondage tossed in. And everything became sexual. . . everything. That’s right Dr. Freud, in comic book land, cigars are never just cigars.

Basically, comic books and the comic book movies that love them became monuments to the sexual dysfunction of their creators. It’s become like watching your Psyche 101 class on the big screen.

Comic book movies today seem to have become pervert theater. They’ve become fetish movies, combined with snuff films. Watching one with your brain in the “on” position is like listening to some creepy dude tell you about his obsession with the woman he saw in the Sears catalog as he rubs his crotch. Yuck!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m no prude. I don’t want to regulate anybody’s sex life. I’m not opposed to naked art or even films about sex. Heck, I’m not even opposed to porn -- I honestly couldn’t care less. BUT, I don’t want to know about your problems. If you can’t relate to the female of the species, that’s your problem, not mine. You are to blame. You are doing it wrong. Get help. Don’t try to pass your twisted fantasies off on me as a movie.

And that’s what’s bothering me.

You can disagree with me on this. . . but you’re wrong.


33 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

For a second there at the last of your article, I thought you were channeling Gutfield from RedEye. ;-)

Hey, nerds need sex too. Hehehehe.

ScottDS said...

I am typing this on my phone on a train. I will be busy all day but will chime in later tonight or tomorrow. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, No, not channeling anyone. I don't care what nerds do when they're alone. But they need to stop sharing it with the rest of us.

AndrewPrice said...

Ok, Scott. Train huh? Hey, how fast did your train leave New York? And if another train left Chicago ten minutes later and 60 mph, when will these two trains meet?

BevfromNYC said...

Well, I haven't gotten over Archie marrying Veronica and not Betty, so imagine what I think of "graphic novels"? It's not just the super heroes either. Do you remember the big brouhaha when WB was going to introduce a new darker more evil looking Bugs Bunny? (I can't find an example right now)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think I missed that one! LOL! An evil Bugs Bunny?! The Dark Rabbit. . .

clew said...

Hey there - I was just surfing by today - interesting post! I have to say I agree with you. A friend of mine from high school runs a webstrip now. The men look a lot like him and the women are so astronomically endowed that they couldn't possibly stand up if they were real human beings. It should be noted he never did well with the girls back in school. I imagine that hasn't changed much. ;)

Enjoyed my visit - have a great weekend!

AndrewPrice said...

Clew, I know exactly what you mean. I think exaggeration is all part of drawing cartoons, but it's getting kind of creepy in my opinion.

Thanks for dropping by, you're always welcome!

Writer X said...

LOL, Bev! The last comic books I read were THE ARCHIES.

Graphic novels (I hate that term but I'm convinced it's used to charge higher prices. Sounds more legitimate than "comic book.") are big business right now, though. A lot of young adult books (e.g. Twilight Saga) have been made into comic books. They're very dark and very edgy. Kids devour them. I tried to read a few pages of one and got a headache.

Regarding the comic book movies, I don't mind movies or stories that are "larger than life." But they've become too predictable. And you're right: For some reason they went from being a little cheesy to whips and chains.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I have no problems with the concept or the larger than life movies, though I agree they've become too predictable -- I'd also say shallow.

My beef is with the creep factor that's been added in.

P.S. I understand that comic books have grown as a market as well recently. I wonder if that will ultimately be a good thing for "reading" or a bad thing? I guess we'll see?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I gave up comic books when I was about ten, when I discovered a book could have a plot without pictures, and that what I could imagine was better than what they could draw. To this day, I'm an H. P. Lovecraft fan, and though I saw many "illustrations" of Cthulu over the years, none were as creepy or scary as what I could dream up in my head.

Graphic novels are often graphic, but rarely novel. More like so-so artists trying to out-weird each other while dancing to ludicrous story-lines. The movies that derive from them are even worse.

I enjoyed some of the Spiderman movies, along with Batman Begins. But the superhero themes of the much earlier comic books were gone. And then there's that porn element you talked about. Good versus evil is now "conflicted versus really conflicted," not to mention "sexually-dysfunctional."

And finally, there's the transition from patriotism to psychobabble and "social justice." Superman gets AIDS in the comic books, and on screen he fights for "truth, justice and 'all that stuff'." I shudder to think what they'll do with Captain America, which is apparently now in the works. He'll probably have S&M sex with Spiderman, then start tossing his shield around at all the evil opponents of Obamacare.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, LOL! Don't say that too loud or you know you'll see it on films soon!

I think your quote about: "what I could imagine was better than what they could draw" is very insightful. I like the occasional illustration, but nothing beats the richness of the imagination.

I also agree about the changing themes in comic books. And "conflicted" versus "really conflicted" is right too."

But to me, the huge issue is the creep factor. You shouldn't feel dirty leaving a comic book movie.

Ponderosa said...

As for the films, I'd include The Dark Knight (the movie) as very good. Though porn-y - "300" wasn't too bad.

OTOH, Sin City and Watchmen (especially) were vile.

Many are just not good.

Perhaps too broad a brush?

AndrewPrice said...

Ponderosa, Definitely broad-brushed and a bit unfair -- I admit that. There have certainly been some good ones in the crowd ("300" being a good example of that).

But I was in a bit of a rant/hyperbole mode because it's just becoming so pervasive. It seems like more and more of these are taking this path.

Kitty Kelly said...

Catwoman is my hero (but don't tell you know who). Tee hee, meow.

StanH said...

I’m with Kitty Kelly on Michele Pfeiffer as Catwoman, she’s the cats meow…but that’s beside the point.

With a few noted exceptions they are just plain dumb and predictable, and frankly are a further indicator of Hollywood’s lack of imagination.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I agree. Movies are becoming exceedingly predictable. Hollywood loves to blame us, claiming that they only provide what the audiences want, but I think they simply lack imagination and courage.

Interestingly, some of the most creative stuff has been coming on television in the past couple years, rather than at the movies.

rlaWTX said...

I didn't do comic books as a kid, but a nerdy guy friend had the Dark Knight books in one of our classes in HS and I loved 'em!! I guess I'm young enough to think that Archie was - well - dull. eeeevery once in a while funny, but dull.
But I haven't read any since then either... partially because they were weird and seemed to be the kingdom of odd guys. so I see your point there.
Loved The Dark Knight. Watchmen was -- peculiar. Didn't see 300.
But I'm one of those odd women who like the blow 'em up movies just cuz they do not require any thought!
Andrew, rant & hyperbolize away!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks rlaWTX, I'll keep on ranting whenever the mood strikes! ;-)

I like all kinds of movies, including the occasional "blow everything up for no apparent reason" movie now and then -- and I've known a good number of women who enjoy those kinds of movies as well (though not nearly in the percentages as men).

I did like the recent Dark Knight movie (though not enough to want to see it again). In many ways, I thought it was a step away from what has been happening in the comic book movie world. It was more about introducing horrific images and brutual violence rather than sexualized violence -- though there was some. In many ways, I think that's where comic books were headed in the 1980s until they took a detour at sexual dysfunction land.

Individualist said...

Well I guess I am the dissenter here although the examples you give The Dark Knight series, the Watchmen, Sin City I will not argue with. Mind you I have not consistently read any comics since the 1980's but I do pop down into the game shop every now and then to see where things are at.

The examples of comic book movies that I'd give as exceptions to the lable "nerd porn" would be Iron Man and the Spiderman series. I know people did not like III but they used the major thenes of the mags nicely. These were in my opinion very well done and did not rely on sesual fetishware.

Frank Castle's work Sin City is what it is because it is meant for an audience of people in prison (in my opinion). Which is why all the stories are showing ex cons as the antihero. It is not my fare.

To my mind two of the best Horror films I saw were inspired by comic books. Spawn and Demon Knight.

The graphic novel is essentially America's answer to Japanese Manga which in Japan covers practically every type of genre you can imagine and not just giant robots. Oddly enough some of the work in the graphic novels is much more palatable.

The problem with comic books today in my opinion is that they are being priced out of the market. The expensive art and print have jacked prices up to $4 a book which is beyong what the 11 year old can save from his lunch money. The reason I think they are getting more extreme is the same reason Lady Gaga made telephone. Whether we like it or not Sex sells and in a world of naked people to stand out the sexual theme has to get weirder.

In the end comics suffers from the stigma that somehow words and pictures combined are somehow less than either apart. There is a lot of potential in that medium that has yet to be explored. I have found great inspiration on this issue from Scott McCloud and the topics he discusses in his three books on comics. Understanding Comics, REinventing Comics and Making Comics.

In the end Sequential Art is just a medium for displaying the artists ideas. It is what is put into it that counts.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, I largely agree with much of what you say. . . but.

First, I have nothing against comic books in general (indeed, I'm a huge fan of cartoons), or even comic books that delve into different areas. Not a problem.

I also agree that Iron Man and Spider Man are probably two good examples that bucked what I'm talking about. But for every one of those, there are a dozen "sexy bloodbath" comic book movies made. They just don't do as well at the box office.

I also think that anime/manga has an influence in this, but keep in mind that much of what comes out of Japan is highly perverted -- school girl rape is very common in Japanese porn/cartoons.

I do not think comics are capable of attaining the level of seriousness that other mediums can achieve because of natural limitations in the art work styles, page lengths, and the need to write the stories in short snippets. It's just a handicap that will always keep it from becoming respectable.

In the end, to me, the problem with comics is not the art form itself, but the guys who are drawing much of it. I agree that sex sells, but this is beyond simple commercialization. These BDSM themes are so pervasive and so common, and the relationships so bizarre and shallow, that I can see this as nothing more than an expression of dysfunction. It reeks to me of guys who've never met a woman lashing out at their view of women as nasty, evil creatures.

Individualist said...

Andrew

The perverted themes in Manga can be found all throughout Japanese society including what we would refer to as high art.

Much of what is manga that gets translated to the English language is unfortunately the worst of this sort. However this is a small subset of what Mange is. The art form in Japan has had much more room to grow without being pigeon holed into narrow genre's. There are many magazines in Japan that are drawn for girls known as Shojo that are story oriented and nothing like what we see today. The one thing the JApanese do do right is an emphasis and more details in the pictures and realism using montages but then their format, a larger book has left space for that.

There are graphic novels out there that break tradition, Ray Bradbury[s Fareignheit 451 has been done as a graphic novel and it is quite stunning. The problem is that it is the lower artwork that gets noticed.

Make no mistake I understand where you are coming from and I find it ironic becuase in McCloud's books the one thing he tries to dispel the most are that comics have to be in these stereotypes.

Whether or not the medium can be as highbrow as any other (theater) for example. I say it can but I am biased and that is subjective anyways. I do think there is a great room for improvement. I think that with the advent of web comics there will be a great deal of experimentation and perhps McClould will see the medium grow.

There is one otherpoint about movies however that I would like to point out. A drawing of a women in a skimpy outfit has no where near the elevated effect of a woman dressed in that outfit. What is benign or a little risque on paper and ink becomes a striptease show when you use real people and autfits. Some of the movie directors fail to understand this and therefore don't modify the outfits appropriately. This is bad directing choices.

All in all great post.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, All good points.

As I noted in the comments above, I am definitely using a broad-brush in my criticism, which is always a bit unfair.

The problem with getting more specific in an article like this is that it becomes very cumbersome to write and the point gets lost.

I certainly agree that there is some good and interesting stuff out there, but the problem for me is that it's the "lower artwork" that tends to get noticed.

ScottDS said...

I hope my comment doesn't get lost in the shuffle. I was working as an extra on NBC's Mercy and needless to say, we went into overtime.

For starters, my eyes nearly rolled out of my head when I read your train question. :-)

Having said that, I was never a comic book reader. I'm the target demo, most of my friends (females included) like comics, I go to comic conventions, one of my film teachers co-owns a comic shop... you get the idea. But I never got into them, for whatever reason. So I don't have much experience with this stuff, only as a third party observer.

I personally don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to explore darker elements and themes (it's not all social justice; I imagine some writers just like to play around)... but I suppose there needs to be a shred of humanity and dignity leftover, something for the reader to root for. Even the Mirror Universe episodes of Star Trek had someone from "our" universe to point out what was right and wrong.

I love the old Batman show but I can see where some writers might come up against a wall. Maybe those writers are less creative but that goes back to the "let's explore x, y, and z" thing. I suppose there's only so much you can do with a perfect hero.

As for the S&M stuff... yeah, not really my scene but I know what you mean. And the nipples on the Batsuit... you can blame Joel Schumacher for that. I don't think anyone ever thought that was a good idea.

As for comic book movies, I haven't seen every one but since I'm not a comic reader, I can only judge them on their own merits. I enjoyed Spiderman 1 and 2, the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan Batman films, Richard Donner's Superman (still the best superhero film IMHO), and Iron Man.

On the other hand, I still haven't seen Watchmen and I found Sin City a dark, depressing, unsympathetic movie. I have no problem with any of those individual qualities and the film was great to look at (gotta love Carla Gugino!) but it was just... unpleasant. And everyone told me to avoid The Spirit like the plague.

Now that comic book movies are "in," the studios are just gonna turn every comic book - no matter how obscure - they can get their hands on into a movie until we get some Batman & Robin-sized POS which will cause the studios to retreat for another ten years until a Chris Nolan or Tim Burton revolutionizes the genre again.

To sum up, I really have no problem with comics and comic book movies that choose to explore darker elements (there isn't always a political angle at work) but, like anything else, we'll know the line has been crossed when we get there. And I think it's always important to retain at least some shred of a moral center.

Even the ideas I have for my own movies and TV shows, no matter how screwed up the main character is, I find it important to have a "resident good guy" on hand, just for those occasions where clarity is needed.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott,

I think we largely agree. I'm not condemning comic books or comic book movies in general, just the sudden proliferation of certain aspects. In particularly, it strikes me that many of these have turned into BDSM snuff films.

As I say somewhere above, I have no qualms with dark material -- some of the best movies, books, etc. have been about dark material -- though I agree that you need to maintain some human elements for people to relate. My problem with a lot of what I'm seeing in the comic book/comic book movie world is not that it's "dark" so much as it's just perverted. And I mean "perverted" in the sense of creepy sex and presenting a view of relationships that is truly twisted and sadistic -- like you might find it you thought Huslter magazine represented the true human condition.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Fascinating post and commentary, Andrew!

I also concur with what you're sayin', although I liked Sin City, but then again, I like noir in general if it's done well.

It should be noted that Sin City the comic book (or graphic novel) was not meant for children, nor were children targetted.

Some of the older noir flicks can be very dark, but I do think Sin City had elements that classic noir left to the imagination, and personally, that kinda took away from the movie a bit.

The vast majority of comic writers/artists/editors embrace leftist philosophy which is why we are seeing more relative morality, demonizing of conservatives and Christians, or at least our principles and values (I'm speakin in a broad brush here also).

Much like most of Hollywood, comic creative teams have followed suit.
But there is some conservatives in comics, Mike Baron bein' one (BTW, I enjoyed his work immensely when I did read comics. Very entertaining, funny, and with interesting plots to boot).

Frank miller I'm not sure about, but he does hate the Islamofascists, so it seems he has at least a conservative or libertarian streak, and his writing often reflects that without bein' preachy, unlike many leftist writers I have had the disfortune to read back in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's and there are more today.

I could name more, but not any that are still writing today, other than a few independents which we have seen at Big Hollywood and I hope their fan base grows.
I'm sure there are more that are in the closet, and I hope they will all get the opportunity to get popular enough to come out.

I can read a writer who is a leftist (to whatever degree) if they can manage to avoid bein' all preachy with globull warming, "social justice", class warfare, hatred of the military, depicting businesses as evil, and basically all the other crap that democrats and RINO's try to shove down our throats.

But when they can't help themselves and decide to throw that in, along with unlikable characters, moral ambiguity (everything is just a shade of gray to these guys) porn, anti-second Ammendment, PC=anti-First Ammendment, or any of that crap the donks and Hollywood are known for, then they not only lose readers like me, but they hurt the kids that read their garbage by bein' against liberty and in effect (again, I'm speakin' broadly here) against everything our Constitution stands for.

Off topic, but I got hooked on Drangonball and dragonball Z when my kids used to watch it, back before they set out on their own.
Hilarious and family friendly while managing to be interesting to both kids and adults along with some good art and good, character-driven stories.
That's some Japanese manga I highly endorse.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I have the same reaction with leftists. I have no problems with different views and I don't mind subtle messages, but when they go over the top and just start preaching, that turns me off immediately.

Interestingly, I just read an article on manga last night and the Japanese are starting to think about cracking down on those because of all the "school girl rape" stories they produce -- which against doesn't mean they all do that, but it's apparently a big problem.

Individualist said...

Andrew

I went to talk to an owner of a comic book store about this issue and interestingly enough his viewpoint about recent work was very different from yours. He states that he has never seen more varied scope and adult themed (not adult content) work than ever before.

I know you state you are using a broad brush but to equate all manga with child rape is essentially the same scope as equating all movies with Hustler porn videos. There is so much breadth in Manga in Japan from romanc stories, to historical novelletes etc. Manga in Japan is as varied as paperback novels are here in the states.

I apologize but beleive me I am not exagerating. The problem is that because of the stereotypes most people do not see or understand the truly good work that is out there.

To that end I have a recommendation in the hopes of expanding people's understanding.

It is a graphic novel by Jason Lutes called Berlin City of Stones. ISBN 1-896597-29-7

If you are looking for action and superheroes you will not find it. This is drawn in the european album style emphasizing detailed cityscape scenes and emersion of the characters in the environment.

It is the story of a newpaper journalist Severing and an art student Fraulein Mueller an art student in Berlin in 1928 and 1929 during the rise of the of the national socialists. It is a compelling work and it is a good example of what I am trying to say. There is a lot of this kind or work out there. Good drawings, good story base, great themes.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist,

The problem with the statement:

"to equate all manga with child rape is essentially the same scope as equating all movies with Hustler porn videos."

is that whereas Hustler accounts for probably nowhere near 1% of films, the same is not true with Manga. Here's a quote from the Asia Times Online in 2008 about the percentage of Manga that is about child pornography:

"It is estimated that 30-40% of manga contains sexual themes or content, much of it representing schoolgirls of elementary or junior high school age in themes including rape, sado-masochism and bondage. About half of the 2,000 pornographic animation titles distributed in Japan every year, including films and video games, feature schoolgirl characters."

If 30-40% of Hollywood films were like Huslter, I think films would be in trouble in this country.


As for the stereotype, the problem, i.e. the reason the stereotype continues and that people accept it, is because a significant portion of comic books continue to use these themes and images. Until that changes, the new stuff won't shake the image.

Individualist said...

Andrew

If they are stating that 30% of manga is this I have to wonder where these are. (I have not seen30% maybe I don't look hard enough nudity maybe - child rape ???).

One problem is that many people in the press assume this based on exagerations from religious groups. This by the way is what turns off the comic crowd to the right. They hear their favorite comic attacked and they know different because they've read it.

So whenever the subject of politics comes up anyone on the right voicing their opinion has to first answer for the last conservative that last said something about comics. It annoyed me a little to be the lone conservative geek in the comic store growing up.

Liberal comic geeks eat it up. They will take this statement and announce it. Then pull 10 mags off the shelf and declare show me the child rape there should be three. More than likely not one will have it.

They will then announce they are being unreasonably attacked by someone who can't be bothered to even read what they are criticizing. Maybe it is true and maybe it is not. But for them the debate will be over.

I think a better strategy would be to name names (Titles,Artists, Companies) than use a broad brush. If it is 30% then I'd assume they would not be hard to find. Either way the kid reading Fable that has no sex in it would not get up in arms. Plus you benefit the artists not making the bad product and maybe win some allies.

Honestly I went to the Comic shop this Saturday since it had been a couple of years at least. I saw maybe one or two mags marked mature content but I did not read them. They were not the majority.

Anyrate this hits a nerve with me because I recall the idiotic liberal things I had to listen to from some of this crowd and felt anemic to respond back.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, I know what you are talking about with religious groups -- I remember the flat out fraud in the 1980s regarding Dungeons and Dragons and then heavy metal. But this isn't that. These figures are being provided by non-religious Asian and international organizations. Moreover, this problem is well known enough that the Japanese government has been working on banning these things during the past few years -- and that recent polls in Japan show close to 90% support for regulaton of content in these books. That's not a fringe opinion.

As for "not being hard to find" -- they aren't. A quick search of the net finds them -- and I'm not talking about looking for "child rape". I'm talking about just plugging in Manga and taking a look around at what's on line. It doesn't take very long at all before you start running into massive numbers of the stuff.

Not only that, when I was in Japan, I found this precise material available in any corner convenience store -- a fact which various journalists have repeated.

As for naming names, that's not going to work. First, this is not a comic book blog and no one here would be interested in page long lists of bad comics. Secondly, I don't think it's necessary any more than it's necessary to call out individual AP reporters for their bias. It may not be fair to paint with a broad brush, but this is so common an issue for the industry that it becomes the burden of everone in it, i.e. if you don't want to be associated with Hustler, then you need to actively separate yourself from it. People within the industry may be splitting hairs and may claim not to see it, but that's no different than the MSM journalists who can see FOX's bias but somehow can't see any leftwing bias at the other networks. As far as the public is concerned, this is a general problem with comics. And if the industry can't see that and start separating itself from these issues, then nothing is going to change the public's mind.

And yes, I do believe this stuff makes up a significant percentage of comic book material because I've seen it, other people I know have seen it, journalists talk about, it shows up in cinema, etc. etc. The fact that not all of it isn't like that doesn't change the fact that so much of it is.

Individualist said...

Andrew

I apologize. To me what you are tlking about is not manga, it is Hentai. It was my understanding that HEntai was Anime. I have checked and realize that in Japan there are manga novels dedicated to it. It did not register because I have never seen it on the shelves in a comic book store. The law you describe as I understand it is about finally banning the ownership of child porn in Japan. The law is only banning distribution currently. Virtual porn having an exception that is being argued. So the actal issue is broader than comic books.

Comics is an unusual industry in that it is very inexpensive to get into but it is very hard to make any real money at it. There are a lot of cottage publishlers and if one wants to draw porn there is no way the industry as you describe it can stop them. I am not talking about D&D. There have been many ministers that find one of these mags and start a scare and then parents start showing up at comic stores. Where they find out that no one there has heard of the comic talked aobut. This is a favorite of Baptist minitsters in Jacksonville.

I judge the comic book industry by what shows up on the shelves for sale. To my mind no one has to worry on this account. I have known a lot of comic shop owners and I can say one thing untes them. They will not allow something that is "Porn" on their shelves for fear of not doing business. Any one who does make this kind of mag is not going to have any distribution, no further control needed. Perhaps the online market is changing that.

At any rate I do not consider Hentai to be Manga. It is comics however if it is sold as books and I hope they do ban children depicted in it.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, My mistake, sorry. I was led to believe it was all "Manga", I didn't know there was a distinction.

I know what you mean about the ministers by the way, because I've seen the same thing on several issues -- D&D, heavy metal, video games, Harry Potter, etc. It's asinine, it's a disgrace, and it truly disgusts me. I remember kids showing up at my junior high with pamphlets that talked about kids going into trances and killing themselves after seeing satanic images in various books and on various album covers, and it was all horse shit -- none of it ever happened and most of the supposed images didn't even exist. Yet people bought into because they thought they could trust their minister, who was lying through his teeth to them. I have no tolerance for that.

As I mention above, I have no desire to ban anything, and I'm not opposed to porn -- I truly don't care about it one way or the other. What's bothering me is that it seems to be creeping into so many comic book movies these days.

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