Politics has invaded comics, and I’m pissed.
What do G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and and Sean Hannity all have in common? They’re superheroes. We have a convicted felon, a man that should have gone to federal prison, and a Fox News blowhard. As superheroes! Ugh!
I consider myself a journalist first and and a comic reader second. I believe writing should be unbiased, factual, and without error, grammatical and otherwise. I am a supporter of the First Amendment and can recite it if asked. That was a requirement of many of my college journalism classes. If the situation ever arises, I will go to prison to protect an anonymous source. This article was not written by a journalist.
ACC Studios has announced that it will run an eight issue mini-series entitled Liberality for All. The public relations flack is calling this “the world’s first conservative comic book.” Conservative? Haven’t crime fighters always been for truth, justice and the American way? Doesn’t the Republican party like to consider itself tough on crime? World War Two era comics featured a propagandistic undertone. The heroes of the early days fought the Nazis, Japanese subs, and everything else the Axis powers could throw at the Man of Steel, Captain Marvel, and a number of others. The cover of a 1944 issue of Superman #17 featured the superhero with both Hitler and Tojo by the collar. Plus, there were always kids chained to bombs somewhere.
Liberality for All has infuriated me more than the poor quality of Dark Knight 2.(Which I would’ve used as toilet paper if I hadn’t paid so much for the trade paperbacks.) The nincompoops at ACC have decided to created futuristic look at the United States and its governmental policies. The mini series will be released in October, featuring this gruesome group fighting for the rights of conservatives everywhere. In these books, it’s 2021 Chelsea Clinton is President, Michael Moore is Vice President. Osama bin Laden is ambassador to Afghanistan, and has plans to nuke New York City. Jacques Chirac is the U.N. Secretary General and all media is filtered through this organization. The UN is also looked upon as the “one world government.” As libertarianism inhabits, or inhibits, all sectors of society, an underground group known as F.O.I.L (Freedom of Information League) emerges as a “covert conservative organization.” Hannity, Liddy, and North emerge as leaders of this team. Also thrown into the mix is Reagan McGee, born September 11, 2001 to a New York City firefighter, who grows up to be a product of the “ultra liberal education system.” The team tries to save New York from “liberal domination.”
Liberal has become one of the dirty words you can say on television. Merriam-Webster Online has six definitions of the word, which include “marked by generosity,” “of, favoring, or based upon the principles of Liberalism,” and “of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives.” Economic freedom and individual participation in government, exactly what’s so bad about that?
I did consider Liberality for All to be parody at first. Some smart ass’ answer to comic book superheroes. Early Mel Brooks movies are very well done parodies, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein are among some of the best. Then I remembered, parodies are funny. I do indeed possess a good sense of humor, albeit dry. I read the sample pages on offered on the ACC web site, and I wasn’t laughing.
Comics, for most fans, are an escape. A mutated teenager slings a web from building to building in New York City. A child terrified of bats turns his fear and rage over his parents’ murder onto the facet of society he so despises. A man from another planet bounces bullets off his chest and defies gravity by leaping tall buildings in a single bound. This is the stuff of fantasy. Comics can be about anything. Themes that consistently pop up include revenge, retribution, absolution, even love and romance. One of the first graphic novels I ever read dealt with all of those. When I read comics, I want the unreal world. Not the phony red state versus blue state politics that has surfaced since the 2000 election. There is enough division in America, comics should bring folks together, not separate.
The appearance of this unholy triumvirate of humanity is about as appealing as finding out a three year old dropped a deuce in pool that I just got out of. Why did the writers decide to make Hannity, Liddy, and North superheroes? It’s not that these three have done anything important for the United States. Why not some real brave men or women that actually make a difference in this world? Ones that have preformed some sort of public service, such as police officers, fire fighters, teachers, or Gulf War veterans? People that actually do something important. What did Hannity do? He’s a talk show host. What did Liddy do? Oh yeah, he was involved with the Watergate break-in that lead to Richard Nixon’s resignation and was sent to prison. What did North do? He was a chief coordinator of the illegal sale of weapons to through intermediaries to Iran, in turn, the profits went to fun the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. What is so redeeming about these guys that they are to be immortalized in comic book form? Why not me? I’ve always wanted teleportation or invisibility, I could never decide on either one.
The people that will buy this book are the same ones that stick magnetic yellow ribbons on their cars to “support our troops.” They complain about being fat, yet still eat fast food at least once a week and not exercise. They order freedom fries, not French fries. They believe a woman’s place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant with no education. They believe the answer to everything is aggression. They will visit a foreign country and scream, “You can’t do this to me, I’m an American!”They buy SUVs and complain about the high price of gas. They will also hate this article and think I’m some liberal nut job.
I’m sure some people will read this article and say, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.” They’re right, I won’t read it. Every single person I’ve ever spoke to about comics has been extraordinarily open-minded and enlightened to the world around them. I don’t think I can say the same for many at ACC. I hope this book bombs like a double feature of Howard the Duck and Ishtar.