“You ain’t shit, and what you read ain’t shit….because garbage in, equals garbage out” is a quote from my drug addled, yet often wisdom rich father, as pertaining to the merits of reading graphic novels. While at first this may seem a harsh reality to espouse to a child of tender age, some experts and my father notwithstanding a degree in child development, hold this belief to be true. They contend that similar to an unstoppable virus, all across our great nation’s educational system can be found a most displeasing occurrence. Where once stood the proud literary canon of past centuries, now lurks “funny books” hiding behind the moniker of novel. Gone, or in danger of being forced into oblivion, are such great works as the “Iliad”, “The Old Testament”, and “Beyond Good and Evil”; while in their wake grow the menace of “funny books”. Similar to the free spirited Negro (of the sixties), many graphic novels are expert at perpetuating civil unrest and Anti-American sentiment; but ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns”, “The Wonder Woman Chronicles”, and “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”, accomplish their prescribed task by also espousing perversion and distorting the innocent child’s image of a hero. Instead of upper division English, and strong Christian morals, these graphic novels use crude pictures and non- kid friendly subject matter to usurp the greater good carried on by the literary greats. Simply Stated, graphic novels, which are violence and perversion laced, insidiously disguised, delinquent building comic books, are harmful to the youth of America; and should not be used as the new literary canon.
Just because one’s parents were tragically murdered in an alley, one does not have the right to violently assault other people. In fact, not even the presence of criminal activity, or perceived criminal intent, authorizes or condones violence towards another human being. Any number of graphic novels containing the character of Batman portrays scenes of assault which laugh in the face of the Christian moral code, as well as the actual law of the United States of America. Though some states have different definitions of minor assault, “Many states declare that a more serious or “aggravated” assault/battery occurs when one tries to or does cause severe injury to another, or causes injury through use of a deadly weapon” (Reuters). From batman’s debut criminal acts in “Detective Comic #27” (1939), the so called caped crusader has continuously provided a road map for severely breaking the rule of America Law. Under the guise of stopping crime, Batman can be seen every issue taking out his aggressions on other human beings by beating them senseless, and even in the case of the Joker, causing them to be permanently maimed. As depicted in “Detective Comics #168”(1951), Batman’s attempted assault upon the failed comedian once known as the Red Hood directly leads to said victim falling into a vat of dangerous chemicals; which causes a mental breakdown that culminates in the Red Hood’s dissension into the homicidal maniac known as the Joker (Finger 6). If this is the case, it can be argued that Batman is not only directly responsible for the destruction of one life, but for the indirect destruction of the lives of all the victims of the Joker. The consequences of violent actions are never seen to be weighing on the mind of the Batman character and he never truly accepts responsibility for his actions; or the fact that many young impressionable minds are absorbing the amoral behavior his cape and cowl have come to represent.
Although there can be a slight comedic nature to the idea of a grown male adult traipsing around Gotham City alleyways in scary pajamas, one must consider the insidious undertones of themes depicted in graphic novels. Slyly hidden, yet extremely harmful, themes of homosexuality litter the pages of “funny books”, and by default the minds of young readers. One such example of homosexual overtones is the relationship between Batman and his young male partner Robin, which Batman affectionately refers to as the “Boy Wonder”. Dr. Fredric Wertham, psychiatrist and 1950’s moral champion, in his book “Seduction of the Innocent”, explores the improper relationship between the dynamic duo by adroitly noticing “they live in sumptuous quarters, with beautiful flowers in large vases…they sit by a fireplace [and] the young boy sometimes worries about his partner” (Wertham 7:232). In an effort to further convey his message, Dr. Wertham also exposes Bruce Wayne’s feministic socialite lifestyle of dinner engagements, the wearing of “dressing gowns”, and what he refers to as the couples “wish dream of two homosexuals living together” (Wertham 7:232). Also, as a sad addition to the analysis of the Batman mythos, a reader utilizing keen critical thinking skills must come to the conclusion that these books and their homosexual undertones expressly seek to entrap, and lead toward perversion, young impressionable minds wrestling with the establishment of sexual identity. Dr. Wertham, in his chapter entitled, “I Want to be a Sex Maniac”, supports this obvious conclusion by stating “Many pre-adolescent boys pass through a phase of disdain for girls. Some comic books tend to fix that attitude and instill the idea that girls are only good for being banged around or used as decoys” (Wertham 7:229). With the ever growing presence of the “metro-sexual movement” and the evil united voice of deviant homosexual subculture’s attempt to desecrate the sanctity of the marriage oath, one can begin to see a parallel between the literature children are exposed to and the kind of anti-traditional lifestyles many adopt as adults.
Dr. Wertham, in his infinite wisdom, has much to say about the damaging themes lurking within texts meant for undeveloped minds, and in a stroke of genius, Dr. Wertham not only soundly defeats the so called caped crusaders; he exposes the sinister movement of female dominance found within the pages of Wonder Woman comics. Wonder Woman, who Dr. Wertham refers to as “a horror type [who] is physically very powerful, tortures men, has her own female following,[and]is the cruel, phallic woman”, specializes in leading young impressionable future mothers astray(Wertham 2:44). Dr. Wertham makes this astute declaration to alert parents of the female culture challenging subtext hidden within the pages Wonder Woman; which may exemplify her nature as “an undesirable ideal for girls, [and] the exact opposite of what girls are supposed to be” (Wertham 2:44). Women of worth should be dainty, well mannered, and schooled in culinary arts designed to please her husband and family. In stark contrast to those qualities, this not so wondrous woman can be found punching, kicking, and even speaking in disrespectful tones to men, who are clearly her betters. Wonder Woman, a so called Amazon, also carries on her person a sinister tool, in the form of a magic golden lasso, used for assaults on her unsuspecting male victims. As if born from the dreams of hardened lesbians, Wonder Woman is frequently depicted using her golden lasso restrain men, in an effort to force them to tell the truth. Though some may argue this act appears harmless, coupled with the knowledge that Wonder Woman creator Dr. William Moulton Marston admittedly confesses “give (men) an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to and they’ll be proud to become her willing slaves”; one can easily recognize the feminist agenda at work (Dolinova). By calling into question the inappropriate depiction of females in graphic novels, as well as exposing the attempted tainting of the young female psyche, Dr. Wertham and Dr. Marston’s self convicting words, have both done a great service for good Christian morals and the American way of life.
Many proud Americans agree that if a Mexican, under the cover of darkness, illegally sneaks across our great nation’s border, they (the offender) should be arrested and sent back to their country of origin. Despite this widely held belief and since 1939, American children have been forced to celebrate as a hero this sort of a person. Make no mistake about it, Superman is no hero; Superman is in fact an illegal alien. Ralph Benko, author and constitutional historian, supports this argument by stating “he [superman] illegally entered American airspace, then territory, and has taken up residence [with] no visa [and] no documents” (Benko). Are our children, as young morally malleable readers, then to believe that this refugee from a planet responsible for its own demise is somehow different from a Mexican illegally entering United States territory, simply because he (Superman) has super powers? It can be argued that the creators of Superman, Joe Shuster (Canadian born) and Jerry Siegel (the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants), purposefully glossed over Superman’s immigration status in an effort to seed the minds of young readers who may one day be called forth to support pro-immigration activism. Sadly, as a result of this insidious plan, President Barack Obama, an avid comic book reader since youth, “supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English”, and receive an opportunity to become a citizen (Obama).With an abundance of illegal unskilled workers, Obama’s plan reeks of disaster; but a mistake on such a grand scale can be easily predicted from someone under the influence of “funny books”.
“It’s a bird…it’s a plane”…it’s the death of morals as we know it (Chin 2377). Graphic novels threaten the very core principles our great nation were founded on. One can envision a time when those who were raised on the backbone of the proud literary canon and strong Christian morals are but a memory of better times. In their stead will stand parents, teachers, and even world leaders, who have suckled from the teat of violence, homosexuality, jezebel like nature, and the reality of encouraged illegal immigration. Woe be unto any society that underestimates the subversive nature of these youth conditioning texts. God-fearing librarians and morally intact parents, who are the real heroes, should join together in a common voice to put down the lowly graphic novel’s rebellion, which attempts to usurp its betters.
Benko, Ralph. “Ralph Benko makes case for Illegal Immigration reform using Superman analogy- Freedom News.” The Freedomist. The Freedomist, 05 October 2010. Web. 28 Nov 2010. <http://freedomist.com/2010/10/05/ralph-benko-makes-case-for-illegal-immigration-reform-using-superman-analogy-freedom-news/>.
Chin, • Gilbert J. “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Trouble .” Science 287.5468 (2000): 2377. Web. 29 Nov 2010. <http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2377.4.citation
Dolinova, Kamela. “Wonder Woman the Product of a Polyamorous Union with a Feminist Bent.” Examiner August 21, 2010: n. pag. Web. 28 Nov 2010. <http://www.examiner.com/open-relationships-in-boston/wonder-woman-the-product-of-a-polyamorous-union-with-a-feminist-bent>.
Finger, Bill. Detective Comics. 1st. vol 1 #27. New York, New York: National Comics Publications, Inc, 1939. Print.
Finger, Bill. Detective Comics. 1st. vol 1 #168. New York, New York: National Comics Publications, Inc, 1951. 6. Print.
Obama, Barak. United States. Immagration. Washington D.C.: WHITEHOUSE.GOV, 2009. Web. 28 Nov 2010. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration>.
Reuters, Thomas. “Assault/Battery..” FindLaw. Thomson Reuters Business, 2010. Web. 28 Nov 2010. <http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/assault_battery.html>.
Wertham, Dr. Federic. Seduction of the Innocent. 1st. 1. New York, New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc, 1954. 2:44,7:229,7:232. Print