Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unwritten - Vertigo Comics


This book has been one of my favorite reads since I first picked up issue number one for ninety-nine cents. It has proven consistently well written and woven a sophisticated and engrossing story. I couldn't have been more surprised and disappointed in the crass and vulgar tale that to all appearances seems to have been some sort of ill conceived attempt to set a record for the most times the F-bomb has ever been dropped in a mainstream comic book.

I'll let the book speak for itself.

1. Twenty-two pages of story, only seven of which do not contain the F-Bomb at least once. (One of the seven pages contains the word, shit.)

2. A full list of curse words includes: ass, bastard, bitch, bullshit, cunt, f**k, f**king and shit.

3. Some of the most sophisticated and well written lines of dialog include: "Seriously, Bitch, do not get in my way." "--if you know what's--CUNT!" "You hairless f**king retard." "You flea bitten f**k." "Hey you. Cunt whisker." "Jesus f**king wept." "F**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k." (Yes, it was seven straight times.) and more...

Seriously, this broadens the comic book base and encourages new readers to pick up and start reading comic books in what way? How many potential readers do you cost the industry for every potential reader you think you're attracting with this kind of content? Artistic integrity? Freedom of speech? At what cost to the vitality of the industry upon which your livelihood depends?

Mike Mignola is creating some of the most engrossing and sophisticated comic books in the marketplace today and you won't find him using such a list of profanity in his dialog. Mignola's stories do not suffer in the least because he makes a conscious choice to reach as many readers as possible without also offending as many of them at the same time.

Scott Allie when asked why he used symbols instead of expletives stated that he doesn't feel the need and that by not using them he isn't sending angry mothers racing down to their local comic book stores to rail at hapless clerks and store owners.

There is a time and a place for everything. Are mainstream comic books really the venue for the type of content some of these young writers are shoving down the throats of the American public? Since when did our only interest in comic books become to be shocked or outraged by every other page of content? Look, I'm a Liberal and an atheist, I believe in the importance and the need for a free press. I read periodicals including The Hightower Lowdown and Mother Jones. Why is it that the only place I'm being assailed by an avalanche of profanity is in the comic books I read? I read copious amounts of printed material including online articles and of all the reading I do on a daily basis only the comic book seems determined to shock and anger me. Why? To what possible benefit to me the consumer?

Telling me that if I don't like it, I'm free to walk away is not an answer that sells more comic books. Disregarding the opinions of others and aggressively alienating people have never been recommended sales tactics in any school of business theory I've ever studied. The industry is suffering because of the attitude of a group of writers who are far more concerned with their rights as individual creators than they are in fostering growth in the industry of which they are but a small part. These writers care about the opinions and interests of fewer and fewer people with every passing book and for all their best efforts they're killing the industry and blaming everything and everyone other than themselves and their childish infatuation with erotic and profanity riddled nonsense.

Its time to grow up and realize that being adult is more than liberal doses of breasts and curse words. Comic books don't need profanity to be sophisticated, hip or entertaining. This was an unnecessary exercise in profanity that wound up crapping all over what could have been a pretty good story. It was immature and childish and I expected better from what has up to this point been a mature and adult read.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello fanboys and girls.

Gotta a little love you'd like share? Go right on ahead and feel free to lay it on me. (Even if it's the tough kind.)

Just remember, the only place anonymous comments ever land, is on the cutting room floor...