A Fox News report on how sexy, violent comics are corrupting our youth is ruffling some feathers today.
Relaunched Comics Using Sex and Violence To Sell: MyFoxDC.com
The piece originally aired on Fox’s Washington DC outlet and found reporter Sherri Ly tut tutting over RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1 and CATWOMAN #1 as if they just came out and were still on sale. JESUS, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST FIVE MONTHS?
You can watch above or read a transcript of the whole thing. Ly brings in a child psychologist who warns: “It’s sort of like a fictionalized Playboy for kids at its worst,” said Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., a child psychologist and author of “How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble.”
Ly then takes these T for teen rated (16+) comics down to a middle school and practically rubs the kids’ noses in Catwoman’s o-face. The result is incredibly awkward:
“There’s a lot of sexual activity,” Diego Meneses said immediately after looking at an edition of Catwoman.
It should be pointed out that this child appears to be about 12 or 13.
Another lad desperately tries not to look at the boobs while casting about for some design critique:
“It looks pretty awesome. It has a lot of colors … It’s pretty creepy to look at, but not too much,” he said.
The piece ends with some dire “you need to know what your children are doing” advice from the anchor, but our advice is to keep your children away from Fox 5 anchor Sherri Ly as she is going around showing them pictures of Catwoman having sex!
Metro DC comics chain Big Planet’s Jared Smith appears for the defense although he mostly seems to be saying that these comics aren’t for kids but that his store has a wholesome children’s section.
Fear of a new Wertham arising to take us back to the Stone Age has subsided in recent years — and the comments below various versions of this story are filled with people laughing at the idea that kids would be interested in DC comics rather than alarmed parents. However, you never know what people are going to get all het up about. Just in case, the CBLDF has spun aCBLDF » Retailer Advisory: How To Manage A Media Attack piece out of this, with very sound advice on what to do if a Fox anchor shows up in your store:
Know Your Rights. You control the media’s access to your store, not them. While media people can shoot common spaces not maintained by your store, such as public parking lots and walkways, they cannot enter your store and shoot without permission, and they cannot block access to your store.
Much more good advice in the piece. But again our advice is simple: Keep your kids away from Fox reporters!
I find it funny that after every tv news station made sure to show a blurry picture of US soldiers pissing on _real_ dead bodies, they suddenly want to point the finger at comics as the bad guy you gotta keep your kids safe from.
Those kids are totally into comics now.
“Sherri, for this story, find some kids who have read these comics, so we can show how scarred they are.”
“Sorry, boss. No luck. Couldn’t find any.”
“Hmm. Plan B…”
I’m more worried about how violent and sexy comics are destroying comics.
Oh look. Another DC Comics bashing. Using most of the imagery and comics and publisher that Comics Alliance railed on. Oh, and it’s a news station in Washington D.C. no less? So I’m sure it wasn’t Comics Alliance themselves that fed them the contents for this story. Nope. Not them at all.
Give me a freakin’ break. Every couple of years some TV producer dusts off this story to use again. “Oh look how awful those comic books are!” In the meantime they haven’t picked up a comic in 30 years and haven’t a clue about the market or who are it’s readers. Hey, Sherri, anyone up for a bonfire?! Idiot reporter!
“The piece originally aired on Fox’s Washington DC outlet and found reporter Sherri Ly tut tutting over Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 and Catwoman #1 as if they just came out and were still on sale. JESUS, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST FIVE MONTHS?”
Well, you can still find those issues at comic book stores…
While I’m not personally offended, you gotta admit that DC has ramped up the sex and especially the violence aspect in the recent New 52 titles. And lets not pretend some of these new DC titles could prossibly raise an eyebrow or two with some parents who actually care what their kids are reading.
Yes, Mikael, that’s it exactly. Comics Alliance (no doubt with an assist from history’s greatest monster, Marc Oliver Frisch) is going to use a local TV news affiliate to destroy DC so you can’t read your pornographically violent rape comics any more.
Well, I hope the pearl-clutchers who spilled so much virtual ink freaking out about the contents of the Catwoman and RH&tO comics will reconsider their positions upon discovering that Fox News is on their rhetorical ‘side’…
…but somehow I doubt it. If they had the necessary self-awareness and perspective to do so, they’d likely not wanked so much about it in the first place.
Bernie, I’d rather the media show nerds taking a leak on these comics!!! :-P
Ah yes, we’re well into the Silly Season, aren’t we? It’s an election year, when the Republicans traditionally run on social issues to rally their base, and their media mouthpieces follow suit (or sometimes even set their talking points for them). Best hunker down and get used to it!
Just to underscore: A news story from a Fox broadcasting LOCAL affiliate does NOT equal a “Fox News expose.” Fox affiliates (i.e., stations that run new episodes of The Simpsons, Fringe, Glee, etc.) have even less of a cooperative relationship with the Fox News Channel than the ABC, NBC, CBS affiliates do with their news nets.
Sex sells. Yes it does.
So does fear.
Bah, I’m always disappointed when I see a headline “Fox News does such and such” and find out it’s just some random Fox affiliate.
I wonder what would’ve happened if notorious rightwing nut Frank Miller would’ve made that Batman comic after all!
OMG…this is the greatest comment thread *ever*!!
I think I’m in love with the theory Comics Alliance worked some elaborate secret plan to get this story on the news in Washington D.C. That’s just so crazy, it’s awesome!! I badly want to read the same blogs *that* guy is reading!
Also, I’m really enjoying the idea that a local Fox affiliate is now equivalent to “Fox News,” the Republicans are behind this story to run on family issues, and anyone who has a similar opinion should feel bad. Next the station will do a report on “D.C.’s best chili dog” and whoever likes that hot dog will have to commit seppuku.
I gotta read the Comics Alliance conspiracy theory again…that needs to win an award for best comment ever.
Why did it take five months to get this story done? Because it took that long to find a child psychologist that would go along with the spin they are trying to do.
Err shock news just in Comics have changed since the inception of Archie, and even in the near 40 years since the Adam West starring Batman TV series of the 1960’s, wow who knew.
This is just poor journalism while i think the new DC line has upped the levels of sex and violence, and the over sexualisation of female characters has become a joke this alleged journalism was wrong it came at it not from is this damaging kids angle, but it is damaging kids pure judgmental angle.
Its like they’ve just discovered that someone would use sex and violence to sell a product. Also the assertion that the comics are reflecting the dark tone of comic book movies is backward & wrong, are they saying until Chris Nolan’s Batman came out the comics were all cartoon biff kerpow splatt & donk, clearly they not heard of Year One the long Halloween & other comic stories the Bat movies took inspiration from.
Their comparisons were ridiculous even before the reboot the comic version of Starfire was always an older more physically attractive women with a dental floss bikini costume so placing it against the cartoon network and that shows barely teen version of her was just stupid.
Poorly researched & put forward jumping on a five month old bandwagon first brought to attention by comic fans themselves. but this is a Fox news affiliate so it seems like shoddy journalism, poor research, and judgmental tones come prepackaged with them.
Produced by Fredric Wertham.
Oh we cartoonists dealt with worse, FOX go find someone with doctor in front of their name to helm your “crusade” and I guarantee you we will eat them alive in print and the web.
Eh, I’ll keep clutching my pearls. It’s a shitty piece of TV journalism (i.e. it IS TV journalism), but it’s not like they made up the contents of DC comics (although I don’t think it’s any worse POST-New 52 than PRE-New 52).
I think DC lucked out in that the TV affiliate noticed AFTER they instituted a rating system. Prior to that their whole line was implied to be all-ages by the fact that everything that wasn’t Vertigo WASN’T labeled “Mature Readers”…
Nawid A is right: If this type of story/journalism catches on, kids just might think comics are “cool” again.
What exactly did she prove (or hope to prove) by taking “these T for teen rated (16+) comics” and forcing kids well below the publishers recommended age to read them? As a parent who actually pays attention to what my children read and watch, I think I’d be somewhat miffed if she had done this to one of mine.
Since the article explicitly stated 16+, I’m betting these particular comics were actually rated “T+”, not “T”.
“and haven’t a clue about the market or who are it’s readers.”
Maybe they saw all those products with Batman logos, Superman logos, Spiderman logos, etc. on them marketed to children, and figured that the market for products with products with Batman logos, Superman logos, Spiderman logos, etc. on them?
Hint: if you want to market one product to toddlers and their parents and market a different product to adults only, don’t market them under the same brand with the age differences in much, much smaller print than the logos they have in common…
“What exactly did she prove (or hope to prove) by taking “these T for teen rated (16+) comics” and forcing kids well below the publishers recommended age to read them? As a parent who actually pays attention to what my children read and watch, I think I’d be somewhat miffed if she had done this to one of mine.”
Really, what DC and Marvel oughtta do is keep making the comics as adult as they wanna be and just stop marketing other stuff to children under those same brands.
The other day I saw a *toddler* wearing a Flash costume in the supermarket, and it didn’t look hand-sewn.
The Flash isn’t a comic for kids.
If DC wants to sell costumes for small children, why not make up some other comics series under different brands (not the same characters, not the same universes, not the same logos) and sell toddler-size costumes of those characters instead? Disney already doesn’t put the same brand names on adult movies (see Touchstone pictures) and toys for children, so DC and Marvel can too.
Oops, forgot that it’s *normal* companies that make up different brands to market to children instead of marketing their adults-only brands to children too.
So if comics people don;’t market their adults-only brands to children too, then they’ll be Normal which makes them Evil Normal Geek-Haters and they might as well try out for the football team.