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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My (Hopefully) Respectful Disagreement with Mike Fontanelli

Looking through the blogs that I read constantly, I found a post by John K. about "The Phantom" by Lee Falk and an explanation about why he doesn't like modern superhero comic books. That didn't bother me; what did bother me was Mike Fontanelli's comments that struck me as a bit hypocritical.

Among his comments were and I quote:

Adult males who still read superhero comics are - I'm trying to be diplomatic here - retarded, and in more ways than one.

After a certain age - say, 12 or so - kids are supposed to stop reading comics, and start reading REAL books, WITHOUT staples. Then, hopefully, start dating girls...

Frank Miller made a fortune by cynically appealing to the most backward segment of an already socially and intellectually-retarded segment of American society: ADULT superhero comic book readers, (i.e: "morons")

For all you adult superhero fanboys out there, (are you listening, Colin?) - if you MUST insist on being a retard, at least don't be a retard with delusions of grandeur. Ask your mom to buy you a REAL book!

This strikes me as odd coming from a man who owns and collects childrens toys. Doesn't that send up a few red flags about one's mental maturity. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I believe that superhero comics can be for anybody. It's all up to the writer and artist to decide what they're product is for. Also, I believe there is no need for anybody to call anybody else a retard. Maybe Mr. Fontanelli should look up the Golden Rule.

However, Mr. Fontanelli does raise good points that comic book writers should look at.

By taking a preposterous concept and making it "darker", he only added a layer of pomposity. As if "moronic" wasn't bad enough, modern superhero comics strive to be moronic AND pretentious!

The old superhero comics didn't have any pretensions. They were fun, old-fashioned escapist entertainment for kids, and the young at heart.

I am finding that many superhero comics writers are trying to be the next Alan Moore or trying to create a new "Dark Knight Returns". The thing that Mr. Fontanelli was missing is that these stories were meant as exploring new territory for superheroes by looking at their sinister aspect, as there always is to any form of fantasy or escapism.

Mr. Fontanelli is always entitled to his opinion, but I just hope he chooses his words more carefully next time. I believe in free speech, but there is a difference between practicing free speech and just being rude.

Until Next Time


2 comments:

Emmett said...

I totally agree with that. Mike F. has his own opinions, and that's fine. I just hope he doesn't choose his friends based on whether or not they share his opinions. He comes from the Spumco world, where opinions are frighteningly definite.

Jon, Garaizar. superstar said...

i think theres is some good stuff going on in comics. and i think it's a little much to actully call people retarded.

now if any adult who reads comics is "retarded", then any adult who still watches cartoons is also retarded.