Michael Davis: Does The Comics Industry Have A Soul?
Faster than a speeding police pursuit! More powerful than a community organizer! Able to leap tall GOP bullshit in a single bound!
Look, up in the White House! It’s an African! It’s a Muslim! It’s Black-Man!
Yes, it’s Black-Man! Strange visitor not from Hawaii but Kenya if you believe Fox News, who came to Washington with promise and abilities far above those of Herman Cain.
Who can change the discourse of any discussion; kill Grandma with his bare hands! And who, disguised as a Socialist, mild mannered President for the 99% leads a never-ending battle for truth, justice all to prove he’s an American and deny he’s gay!
Yes! This column is about comics.
Unless I’ve missed my deadline, today is Election Day. Since I’m on the west coast and my column goes up in the afternoon east coast time the polls should be closing within a few hours.
So in a matter of hours we will either have a new President or Wednesday morning we will wake to a Donald Trump news conference where he demands Obama prove he did not kidnap and kill the Lindbergh baby.
Absolutely, I’m an Obama supporter but no, this article is not about why I hate Romney and I’m voting again for Obama. Yes, I worked hard to get that last sentence in. That said, this article is about the comics industry and who or what we are or we are not.
Remember four years ago the zillion comic books featuring Obama? There were books just about him or about his wife or kids or books where he was hanging out with everyone from Spider-Man to the Savage Dragon.
Remember that super bad ass Alex Ross painting and tee shirt?
Love him or hate him, the comic book community overwhelmingly backed Obama. I came late to the party, having been a Clinton supporter, but eventually I was taken in by the Obama enthusiasm within the industry.
It was something palpable about the industry support for Obama. As an example, the San Diego Comic Con the summer before the election was brimming with Obama fever and those Alex Ross tee shirts were everywhere.
At my annual SDCC party, Samuel L. Jackson almost jacked Art Tebbel of MDW Pop Art fame for his Alex Ross Obama shirt. Yeah, that Sam Jackson and that Art Tebbel.
It seemed everyone in comics was on the Obama love train during the last election but four years later that train has long left the station. Yes, I’m fully aware that everyone in the industry does not back Obama; people I like and respect (Batton Lash and Billy Tucci high among those people) differ greatly with Obama, which is their right.
I don’t want to give the impression that everyone in the industry was an Obama fan, they were not. To me however, it sure seemed the majority of the comic book world was firmly in Obama’s corner.
Whatever Obama Kool-Aid the country was drinking last time is gone. The wave of freshness and optimism, now, as compared to the last election, is laughable.
The comic industry portrayed Obama as a superhero now his opponents portray him as a Muslim (as if that’s evil) who is not even really a citizen. The industry that was damn near universally behind him has shut up like a Ho whose pimp just caught her stealing money. The best thing that Ho can do is just shut up because nothing she’s says can help her but it could make things worse. The comic book realm deserted Obama like Alpo would abandon Michael Vick is he were their spokesman.
That got me thinking (the non existent peep this year about anything political after the craziness of the last election got me thinking, not the Ho) what, if anything, has ever seen that kind of comic book industry support?
Was the industry just getting on the band wagon to sell some books or was the Obama movement really something that energized the business and if so, are we a bunch of pussies that withdraw that support because it was only fun while it lasted?
Look, I’d be writing this column if Hillary won instead of Obama. If she generated the kind of support industry wide that Obama did, yes this piece would be about her. Would I be writing this if a Republican won and generated the excitement that Obama did?
Yes, but come on! What Republican (with the exception of Lincoln after he was capped in the head) ever generated that type of excitement?
Consequently, I’d really like to know, regarding comics, what kind of industry are we?
What, if anything, do we stand for?
What’s our purpose except selling superheroes with an occasional Road to Perdition and Maus thrown in to give us a reason to say at parties “Comics are far more than just silly superheroes. Have you seen Road to Perdition? Well, that’s from a comic book or more appropriately, an graphic novel!”
Are we political outside of what’s cool and fresh?
Do we pride ourselves on the artistic merits of the business?
I’m not talking about big name individuals who do all of the above, as evidenced by any Alan Moore interview or the occasional rant by Frank Miller putting something or someone in the industry on blast.
I’m talking about the comic book industry as an entity as a whole, are we anything more than collection of people who draw funny books?
Does, for lack of a better term, the comic book industry have any redeeming value?
Does the industry have a soul?
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