Friday, September 23, 2011

Adult Entertainment?

After reading the first four chapters of Promethea, I began to realize that many comic books are really not suited for kids. Although Promethea is by far the worst out of all the comic books we read in class, most comic books contain characters with revealing costumes and dialog with crude language. This is surprising to me because before this class and before reading comic books I thought that comic books were geared towards kids and young teenagers. However, after reading comic books I would say that many of them are geared more towards older teenagers and adults.

Promethea especially contains much harsh language including "bitch" and "lesbo" and depicts many sexual scenes. I know that I would not like my children reading this comic book. The problem is that many parents probably do not know what is inside these comic books. Many parents think that all comic books are geared towards children like I at one point thought, and many parents would just buy any comic book thinking it was fine. However, with what these comic books contains, the target audience of many comic books is adult males.

It is interesting to me that many comic books are geared towards adults because before taking this class I always thought it was more of a young man's interest. Comic books have so much more to offer than I thought and comic books can stay with you all your life. Children interested in comic books are able to read them for years to come as the comic books mature with them. The comic book industry is truly fascinating and not just filled with childish stories but with much more complex material.


  1. I see what you are saying, I feel like these comics are promoting the behavior we see today, the disrespect towards women. I think that the type of language in comic books, which is very mature, allows kids to think it's right to refer to women as "bitches" and "lesbos". I feel like the writers think young teenagers are able to handle this language but what they're actually doing is creating more stereotypes and exposing them to vulgarity.

  2. Not all comics are intended for children, and this hasn't been the case since the 1980s with adult oriented titles such as The Dark Knight Rises, Watchmen, and others hitting the shelves. You have to realize that after years of mythmaking and entertaining children, comic book creators wanted to create something more substantial, and steering clear of "adult themes" was not on anyone's list of priorities. There are always going to be comics for children, but there are also comics that aspire to something greater, to tackle deeper issues, and to explore its topics in a way that negotiates the way actual people think and talk. In particular, the comics worth exploring in a college level class are the ones that are more likely to contain complex, graphic, and thematically rich content. Promethea is a "literary" comic, and certainly, children wouldn't understand that the use of "bitch" and "lesbo" are instances of playfullness and sarcasm and that the sexual scenes are neither gratuitous nor titillating for the sake of titillation.

    Again, I'm not sure where you are getting that Promethea was intended for children, except that I said in class that generally the audience for comic books is teenage boys, which is true for most comics, but it's pretty weird to think that this form of entertainment would be exclusively for children. In addition, any 13 year old picking up Promethea will not likely get through the first issue because its density and complexity would seem either boring or too "smart" for them, and move on to the latest issue of Teen Titans. And furthermore, if a child reads a comic book and immediately takes everything in it as gospel truth without consideration, then the parents made an epic fail when it came to teaching basic critical thinking.

  3. I understand completely what you are saying. All I was getting at was that before having more knowledge about comic books I thought that they were for young teenagers. However, after reading Promethea I realize that this is definitely not the case. After the first few weeks of this class I understand that many comics are actually more for adults. I enjoy reading these comic books and I agree that Promethea is a "literary" comic and some of the graphic content adds much to the story line. Many parents without prior comic knowledge, like me before this class, would probably buy their children any comic book, not thinking that it was for adult audiences. I am not saying that Promethea is intended for children. I am just saying that many people do not know that it is not intended for children until after reading or taking a glimpse through it.

  4. I see where Michele is coming from, because like her, I did not have much comic book experience before this class. Growing up, I along with friends, would occasionally pick up and archie comic, but I did not take up an interest in them the way some teenagers (primarily boys) do. There are many such industries I feel that have more adult content than is realized at an early age. Take Toy Story 3 for example. I was relatively shocked upon seeing that movie at the end of my junior year at some of the sexual and racist remarks that were made. However the 6 year old next to me did not pick up on it at all. This is also the case for looking back on many movies that I watched growing up. While I think that children would pick up on some of the inappropriateness of Promethea, I don't think they would understand it to the extent that we do.

  5. Just by reading a couple of the first pages I understood exactly what you meant. The language in the book is not suitable for people under a certain age or maturity.
    I haven't read many other graphic novels by Alan Moore but I read Watchmen and that too had the same issue. It was heavy and so seems to be the case with Promethea. He is also the author of V for Vendetta. I haven't read the book but I watched the movie. I don't know how much of it actually adheres to the book but I can definitely sense that is heavy for a young teenage audience. So I guess this is Alan Moore's style.


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