Yes. More.
January 9th, 2012

Yes. More.

So last week an article hit Bleeding Cool about how Liberalism is hurting comics sales.

Yeah, I mean, Superman wanting to save an oil rig is definitely turning people off as opposed to, oh, I don’t know, high prices, poor quality, a general sense of contempt for some fans, spotty editorial work, Diamond, shitty retail experiences, etc., etc.

It’s the liberalism, definitely.

-cof

^ 34 Comments...

  1. SGD

    You know they followed it with how Conservatism is hurting comic sales, right?

    [Reply]

    WizarDru Reply:

    Yeah, and that one’s not much better, but is toothless in addition. The ‘conservative’ one only references comics from 25 years ago as good examples. The ‘liberalism’ one’s only point is that they don’t like reading comics that don’t reflect their views…and that somehow THAT is the reason that sales are down. Except that they aren’t currently.

    [Reply]

  2. Sally

    “a general sense of contempt for some fans”

    Oh, so it’s not just me, then.

    [Reply]

  3. Mnk

    That article used such weird examples of liberalism… apparently oil spills are an important part of being conservative? And of course Superman wouldn’t be a fan of big malls, he was raised in rural Kansas, he would be all about small mom and pop stores. Which isn’t especially liberal.

    [Reply]

    SeanNOLA Reply:

    If Superman was raised in Rural Kansas, he would have made pilgrimages to the Great Mall of the Great Plains – the Biggest outlet mall in the country -and he would have loved it. It’s gospel up there.

    [Reply]

  4. Brett Williams

    I was raised in rural Tennessee and my family fucking loves huge malls. I don’t think being rural negates one from wanting to drink Starbucks or shop at TJ Maxx. In some cases I think it even heightens that desire.

    [Reply]

  5. Relique

    Conservative Batman would SHOOT THE JOKER DEAD because he realizes that rehabilitation is a libral scheme aimed at giving the prison guard union more money, and he would realize that sending the Joker to a mental institution will not solve any problems and will instead be more costly to the citizens of Gotham then a slug to the head and a quick burial.

    [Reply]

  6. Estinto

    Well, I agree with you guys that it’s stupid to pretend that the sole reason for the current state of comics is the liberalism of the creators bleeding through the pages, but the guy does have a point in that, indeed, conservationism is underrepresented (or badly represented).
    Of course, I don’t see why comic books should strive to represent both sides of the political coin but it is true that conservative characters are mostly used as straw men or just portrayed as clowns. I can see how gratuitous political commentary can get old.

    [Reply]

  7. JoeAconite

    Alfred sheds a tear when he sees the massive donation Bruce made to the NRA each year.

    Judging by the general population in the Marvel Universe, they have plenty of conservatives.

    [Reply]

  8. SeanNOLA

    I don’t think that liberalism or conservativism are what hurt comics so much as the inclusion of real-world politics in comicbook fantasy worlds. I don’t care if I agree with his view or not, I don’t want Captain America telling me who to vote for while he’s punching a werewolf in the larynx. I read these books to ESCAPE our bullshit political nightmare world, not to form my opinions on the occupy movement.

    As far as the “comics need more conservative characters” argument goes, the vast majority of writers and artists in that industry skew left. It’s a fact. If you tell them to write a conservative hero, they’ll come up with an ignorant, bigoted caricature, like USAgent. They can’t write about what they don’t understand, and if they understood one another, then there wouldn’t be a need for political labels and we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the fist place.

    [Reply]

    Rae Reply:

    Cap’s a fundamentally political character, as, arguably, is Superman (fun fact: in his first appearance ever, Superman goes after a union-busting lobbyist). You can’t create or promote a character who’s supposed to represent a nation or its ideology with one hand and argue against the politicization of comics with the other.

    [Reply]

  9. Timothy

    I think the article on Bleeding Cool, and the recent “Parallel Universes” post are traffic generators. Or in other words, flame bait.

    [Reply]

  10. thenoirguy

    I love your cartoonization of Santorum. It is just perfect.

    [Reply]

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  12. Rob

    I totally agree with SeanNOLA. I’m a right-winger, and the left-wing politics are really annoying in the dumb comments of characters. But to me what’s especially irritating is how left-wing writers just force characters to adopt their own views, even when it makes no sense — Cap, who represents idealized 50′s American standards, sleeps around now! Because that makes sense! And Spider-Man has casual sex now, because someone whose entire deal is a crushing sense of responsibility for everything he does would totally do something that could get someone pregnant, thus completely altering their life forever due to his action!

    But when the stories are good, I can deal with it. I just wish I didn’t have to choke down so much stuff to enjoy a comic book. If they could just leave the political garbage out of the books, it would be a lot more enjoyable for everyone. It can’t be that exciting to find out the Green Lantern agrees with your politics, but it sure is annoying to hear him trash them.

    [Reply]

    Brian Reply:

    Um, dude, you can sleep around AND be responsible. See, they made these things called condoms…

    [Reply]

    Jesse Reply:

    Oddly enough, I’m a liberal and I agree with you about Cap and Spidey. Not for political reasons exactly, but Captain America is a pretty old-fashioned guy in the best possible sense, so I figure he’s too much a romantic to just sleep around. Spider-Man, yeah, when I hear about him having drunken hookups in his book, it just baffles me and seems wholly out of character. Now Tony Stark, on the other hand, him sleeping around makes sense.

    [Reply]

  13. Rob

    @Brian: That’s not 100%, and it doesn’t necessarily prevent STD transmission. Do you think a guy who feels like he killed someone because his best attempts to save her didn’t succeed, and feels responsible for a death because he didn’t trip a guy when he could’ve, wouldn’t feel responsible if he got someone pregnant or passed along a disease to her solely because he selfishly wanted to sleep with her? Have you read a Spider-Man comic?

    I guess my example about the comics industry being heavily liberal would be Occupy Wall Street. The majority of the public finds them to be a nuisance (literally, 51% in a January poll), but tons of comic creators (who work for a corporation which sells stock on Wall Street) came out in support. And when one comics creator came out against it, ComicsAlliance ran what, about 8 articles trashing him? And talking about how he suddenly wasn’t really that great even at his best?

    I’m not saying you can’t disagree with him, or think Miller went too far. But that doesn’t explain how the OWS coverage on CA and statements by comics creators were 100% positive except for Miller, and as soon as he disagreed he was attacked by just about everyone. If things were 50/50 or even close, you’d have had a bunch of comics creators agreeing with the Tea Party too, rather than having Captain America fight them.

    [Reply]

    Joseph Brian Scott Reply:

    Good point about Spider-Man’s sense of responsibility, but once again, condom use does represent responsible sexual activity; proper use prevents pregnancy more than 80% of the time, and reduces the risk of transmitting STDs by 85-90%. Those are REALLY GOOD ODDS, especially if the alternative is denying yourself a physically intimate relationship with someone you really care about.

    I have to be honest and note that I haven’t followed Spider-Man consistently in awhile, so I can’t really characterize his recent sexual encounters; they may be very casual and transient, and if so, you have an even stronger point about them being out of character for Peter Parker, but that ethos of responsibility doesn’t mandate celibacy until marriage. And not everyone who gets married wants to have children, or have children immediately, so many couples use some form of contraception, including condoms, as they also do in light of the fact that a wedding ring is no barrier against STDs.

    [Reply]

  14. Llama

    I don’t agree with this strip politically, but I find it humorous nonetheless.

    And that, my friends, is how politically disagreeing individuals should act.

    [Reply]

  15. Rizz Rustbolt

    Bat-Liberalism.

    [Reply]

  16. Rob

    @Llama: Agreed.

    I don’t think the article is saying that all or even most of the problems with sales have to do with politics. But it’s not helping. It also would make sense, if you linked comics’ sales decline with the decline of movie ticket sales, since movies have also become increasingly liberal and hostile to conservative audience members.

    But of course in both cases there are tons of other factors. It’s probably not helping either medium, but it’s far from the only problem they both face, and they’re different enough that the link is a bit tenuous.

    [Reply]

  17. DynaMike

    Wouldn’t Conservative-Superman deport himself for being an illegal alien?

    [Reply]

  18. Joe

    Isn’t Spider-man’s so called casualy sex with steady girlfriends? I don’t think I’ve come across a scene where he spikes his hair, puts some Axe on, pops his collar and goes clubbing

    [Reply]

  19. UncannyJay

    The words “article on Bleeding Cool” are really all one needs in this situation.

    [Reply]

  20. Juddernaught

    Why does it matter if the comic book industry rights towards the left or the right. It is their purgative to exclude or pander to whomever they so choose. Nowhere in business does it say they have to fairly represent the audience of the comics political opinions. Do you think Alan Moore was upset that neo-nazis would probably not like V for Vendetta. Fuck no. He doesn’t care because that’s not what he is writing about or who he chose to write for. So I’m sorry if comics don’t meet your standards and it may kill the industry but it is the comic creators and editors decision not yours so stop whining.

    [Reply]

  21. somedudeguyman

    >diamond
    So I’m not the only person who realizes they’re killing the goddamn industry. Thank goodness.

    [Reply]

  22. Brian

    I have read Spider-Man comics recently, but since you want to go the super-guilt-trip route with your characters, I’ll do you one better.

    DAREDEVIL.

    Wolverine has called him a giant manwhore (which is something, coming from Wolverine, the Marvel Universe’s biggest manwhore). Being in his life has put his wife in an insane asylum, drove Karen Page to start drugs, go into porn, sell him out to Kingpin, go back on drugs, get AIDS, and die by Bullseye’s hands – and then you’ve got Electra, who was flat-out stabbed by Bullseye. There are a few others I’m missing off-hand, I know it, but that’s the tip of the iceberg, and that’s already two dead, one mentally shattered for life.

    Oh yeah – and he’s Catholic. Which puts him into pretty thorny territory on the premarital sex part. (he married Millia after Karen Page and Elektra, and Black Widow, and… christ, I can’t think of any more off the top of my head)

    Not only should he NOT be sleeping around out of sheer religious guilt, but if the whole responsibility thing was an absolute boundary on his part, he should be CELIBATE. Spidey hasn’t driven women to drugs and porn. Spidey made a bad call regarding physics. Tragic, yes, but not slow-degradation-of-Karen Page tragic. He doesn’t have shit on Daredevil when it comes to ruining lives.

    Also, when used properly, condoms have an effectiveness rate of 85-98% in terms of avoiding pregnancy. Combined with the pill (which is already pretty damn effective), you lower the chances of pregnancy to nil, in addition to minimizing STD exposure.

    (I’m not touching the Frank Miller thing out of respect to his awesome work on Born Again and Daredevil in general. But he’s totally crazy.)

    [Reply]

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  25. Tex

    Conservative charity is meant to be private not state sponsored, so those characters would still be free to- and indeed encourage- good works. If anything, they’d condemn more private citizens for not taking up government slack on good works.

    [Reply]

  26. Dan

    This strip clearly concerns itself with the economic/social aspects of conservatism, and yet a good portion of the comments deal with the question of sexual morality in comics. This could be considered a microcosm for how ridiculous America’s political atmosphere has become. I’m going to go on record as saying that the privatization of superheroes has very little to do with their sex-lives (well, yeah, more money equals more bitches, but other than that).

    [Reply]

  27. LiC

    According to politicians on both sides, everyone and everything is hurting everyone and everything. I honestly expect someone to just go on Fox news screaming that to the camera.

    [Reply]

  28. Nate Winchester

    Or maybe we could just keep politics out of comics and just let them be ESCAPISM?

    If we can’t agree that Superman, Batman and Spider-man (etc) are awesome, what can we possibly agree on? (I think Superman fighting a giant monkey crosses all political boundaries)

    [Reply]

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