Showing 1 - 10 of 38 posts found matching keyword: seduction of the innocent
Thursday 22 July 2021
Every Batman fan worth his salt knows "The Joker's Comedy of Errors!", better known as "The Joker's Boner" story. Originally presented in Batman #66, Aug/Sep 1951, it can be summed up in one panel:
This is but one of 6 "boner" newspaper headlines in this story.
If you haven't read the story or you struggle with context clues, you might find it helpful to know that my trusty 1977 Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged defines "boner" thusly:
bōn´ẽr, n. a stupid or silly blunder. [Slang.]
As Batman #66 proves, newspaper editors love boners. Which brings us to the point of today's post.
In order to fill column space As a public service, The Newnan Times-Herald newspaper reprints food inspection reports from county restaurants. It's usually a lot of repeated warnings that store managers aren't checking the mold levels in their ice machines. (Come on, guys! It's right there in the Georgia Department of Public Health Rules and Regulations, Chapter 511-6-1-.05-7-b-5-iv-II!)
This month, in honor of Independence Day, the paper rewarded loyal readers by giving our local hot dog stand a boner of its own:
Oysters really are an aphrodisiac!
For the record, the restaurant calls itself "The Half Shell Oyster Bar & Hot Dog Shop." Rumor has it their menu was selected because the city wouldn't let them install an oven in their original location downtown, so they chose items they could cook with steam. (Welcome to Newnan!)
I've never had the oysters, but the chili dogs *are* pretty exciting.
Tuesday 8 September 2020
The following strip is as on-the-nose today as it was when the fantastically talented Coleen Coover created it in 2010 — because Batman is timeless.
Sunday 26 July 2020
The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man™* #1 (1983)
Cherry-flavored armpits. Oh, yeah.
Thursday 7 November 2019
Lessons comics taught me:
Wonder Woman #178 (1968)
How *not* to pick up women.
Tuesday 3 September 2019
The Super Dictionary has a well-deserved reputation for, shall we say, unusual definitions of words, but the above is not really a page in the Super Dictionary. It's a poster by artist Marco D'Alfonso currently for sale on m7781.storeenvy.com.
I still have my original Super Dictionary on the shelf right in front of me, and I'm sure that its actual definition for "happy" is much less warped.
Never mind. Super Dictionary, you win again!
Wednesday 19 September 2018
In promoting his new DC comic book series Martian Manhunter, self-professed DC Comics fan and professional comic book writer Steve Orlando recently told the Hollywood Reporter:
One of the reasons people have not connected to [Martian Manhunter] is that he was a perfect upright cop on Mars, and yes, his family died but it was no fault of his own, and then he came to Earth and he was perfect. Our favorite characters, that's not them, you know? Spider-Man let the burglar go. Bruce Wayne was too afraid to save his family.
He what now? I don't know Steve Orlando from Clark Kent, but may I suggest to DC that anyone with such a poor grasp of Batman's origin story probably shouldn't be writing your comics.
For reference, this is how Batman's origin story looked when it appeared for the first time in "The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom" in Detective Comics #33 (1939). If it looks familiar to you, that's because it hasn't changed AT ALL in the intervening 79 years.
Somehow, according to comics historian Steve Orlando, that tragedy is all young Bruce Wayne's fault. What boy wouldn't jump in front of the bullets aimed at his parents? Coward! He deserves to be an orphan.
Orlando is correct to say that Martian Manhunter has always been kind of a bland character through "no fault of his own." That's no doubt due in part to his first appearance dating to 1955, the year after Frederick Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent called the relationship between Batman and Robin "a wish dream of two homosexuals living together." Yikes. You were wise to steer clear of that controversy, Manhunter!
However, trying to correct for over a half century of blandness by injecting entirely new and tragic elements to Manhunter's origin is a story I don't need. I happen to like Martian Manhunter just the way he is, a noble, rational, and compassionate champion for justice.
Unlike that crazy piece of shit, Bruce Wayne.
Friday 17 August 2018
Chapter seven of child psychologist Fredric Wertham's infamous 1953 book Seduction of the Innocent is titled "I Want To Be a Sex Maniac: Comic Books and the Psycho Sexual Development of Children." Can you guess what it's about?
At the close of that chapter, after explaining how Batman and Robin "help fixate homoerotic tendencies" in young boys, he warns that young girls have similar examples.
The Lesbian counterpart of Batman may be found in the stories of Wonder Woman and Black Cat. The homosexual connotation of the Wonder Woman type of story is psychologically unmistakable. (pg 192)
To drive home his point, Wertham specifically calls out this panel from "Mr. Zero and the Juvenile Delinquent" in Black Cat #27, 1951:
If I squint hard enough, I guess I can see where he was coming from. What girl would want to sleep with child abusing premature ejaculators named "Crowface"?
Wertham goes on to complain about another page in the same issue headlined "Black Cat Shows You How To Do Judo Tricks," a step-by-step guide to self-defense tips in the unusually specific case when "a gunman should surprise you from the rear and you don't feel the gun muzzle against you." Look out, girls! If you act in self-defense against gunmen, you might be a lesbian!
Even if I was inclined to believe that reading stories about Batman hanging out in a cave with his young ward encouraged little boys to love Dick — that's a Robin joke! — I remain unconvinced that empowering young girls to fight back against gangsters is the first step on the slippery slope towards tribadism.
I'm not going to say that Wertham was wrong about everything. He makes a good case that American superhero comics books were (and still are) incredibly, perhaps irredeemably, violent. However, in hindsight, it's hard to take anyone's word that comics are destroying society when he's overlooking panels like this, also from "Mr. Zero and the Juvenile Delinquent":
Clearly, in Wertham's 1953 America, homosexuality was bad but racism was just fine. The more things change....
Wednesday 1 August 2018
from Brave and the Bold #36 (1961)
I knew marriage was a trap!
Is it any wonder that when you let little boys read comic book stories like this they grow up to be lifelong bachelors? (That's not a rhetorical question. I'm asking for a friend.)
For the record, Mavis' determination that Hawkman should leave his wife and marry her instead would one day lead her to be incinerated by aliens. I guess there's a moral in that. Somewhere.
Tuesday 6 March 2018
Another advertisement also spotted in the March 1, 1918 edition of The Newnan Herald:
Pay close attention to that last part:
"THESE CALENDARS WILL NOT BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN."
Why not? Kids love cola. Kids need to know the days of the week.
What "special pose" could sweet, dear Hollywood darling Ruth Roland, star of The Matrimonial Martyr, The Devil's Bait, and The Neglected Wife, be showing that's so inappropriate for the little tykes of Newnan?
Well, I never! Get that thing out of your mouth, you floozy! Scandalous!
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Friday 22 September 2017
DC Comics has declared tomorrow, September 23, 2017, to be Batman Day 2017. (In 2016, Batman Day was September 17. In 2015, it was September 26. Seriously, DC, can we settle on one date already?)
This year, DC is cross promoting the event with Harley Quinn, a character celebrating her 25th anniversary. Harley was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 as a comedic Joker henchwoman with romantic delusions. These days, she appears in comics and movies (but not television) as a psychopathic mass murderer who dresses like a stripper. Hooray for progress? (Thanks, feminism!)
It's probably not a coincidence that DC is combining the celebration of these two characters now considering that the company released a direct-to-video movie titled Batman & Harley Quinn late last month. Despite being made by the same people responsible for the all-ages Batman: The Animated Series, B&HQ is adults-only material. At one point, after mistaking him for a homosexual, Harley seduces Batman's adopted sidekick,
Robin Nightwing. Personally, I don't need that much sex in my cartoons. That's why I have the Internet.
Anyway, if you go to your Local Comic Shop tomorrow, you can get your own free copy of Batman Day 2017 Special Edition #1. It's mostly reprints, but a free comic is a free comic.
And if that's not enough Bat-fun for you, you can download the official Batman Day Kit (including mazes, games, and sweet, sweet Terry Dodson and Jose Garcia-Lopez coloring pages) from dccomics.com. At least there's no creepy hero-on-villain sex in there. I promise.