Speaking of Newsarama, in last week’s Joe Fridays, there’s yet more about the Heroes for Hentai cover:
So to quickly follow-up on last week’s pot-stirring topic…
Despite your (Marvel’s) intentions or lack thereof in regards to the now infamous Heroes for Hire #13 cover, which last week you made clear was not or intended to suggest “tentacle rape” [groan], when something like this is created that some people can and obviously have interrupted it as suggesting or too close for comfort to something like that, do you ever consider making a change in acknowledgement of those who are upset by it, even if it wasn’t your intention?
Is that too slippery a slope to go down, to give in to public protest even when it wasn’t intended to be what they’re protesting?
JQ: That’s a great question. With regards to it becoming a slippery slope, well, the answer is simply yes it can become a slippery slope if you allow it to. But before I get into that, let me reiterate what I said last week and try to clarify it. While I understand how some can see what they see and while I do acknowledge the validity of what they’re seeing based on this Hentai stuff, in no way was this our intent or the artist’s. I certainly wasn’t aware of any small sub genre of Manga porn, but obviously there are folks much more verse in Manga than I’ll ever be and I can certainly see why they would see what they see, so to them I apologize if it struck a chord that it was completely unintended to strike.
You’ve got to admire both Matt Brady and Joe Quesada’s dedication to their new moonlighting careers in gravedigging here, whether it’s Brady’s performance as Ed McMahon or Quesada’s “While I understand how some can see what they see and while I do acknowledge the validity of what they’re seeing based on this Hentai stuff, in no way was this our intent or the artist’s.” While one can understand Quesada not being aware of the complete works of all of the artists working for Marvel, one look at Sana Takeda’s website shows that she’s very much aware of all KINDS of Japanese art traditions, and DRAIN shows she’s not afraid to be sexy, and anyone who thinks she wasn’t cognitively working within what she knew was a well-established genre is deluded.
Anyway you can read the whole thing for yourself — Quesada quickly spins off into the whole “All heroes are jeopardized!” thing which was never the point. IF ALL HEROES ARE JEOPARDIZED, why didn’t Takeda show more of Shang Chi than his arm? Maybe everyone really is just too busy editing giant crossovers to pay attention to the world of comics outside their doors. We ran into a few Marvel types on the street the other day, and they seemed to genuinely think that the cover wasn’t intended to be hentai. Maybe a lack of awareness is the answer.
Frankly, we’re more concerned by Matt Brady here. We don’t generally read any of the weekly interviews on Newsarama because we’re not that interested in Countdown or Civil War and so on. But Brady’s tone in this interview goes well beyond friendly questioning to near-syncophantic enabling. As someone who set the standard for comics journalism for a decade or so, it’s sad to see Brady sailing down his very own slippery slope.