(Two short posts involving comics, it must be procrastination weekend!)
Out of the mouth of Erik “I think women’s issues with comics are all about the boobies” Larsen, we actually get some surprising insight on the difficulty of finding the right comic book for someone who doesn’t read comics. Sure, true to form, I found the tone of the article to be at times condescending to women and I rolled my eyes at his little quip about not wanting another “lecture” on why certain books will likely turn female readers off, which, of course, he oversimplifies the reason as being that the book is “loaded with sex and violence.” Yes, Mr. Larsen, it’s the “sex and violence” not, you know, the way that powerful women are often second fiddle to the men in their lives, or inappropriately sexualized and then killed off and forgotten when convenient, or anything like that.
Anyway, if you can get past his dismaying attitude towards women, I think his ongoing quest to get a “non-comic book reader” is pretty darn insightful:
I mean, I want to share. I really do. Comics have been such a delight to me over the years. They’ve kept me entertained and enthralled. They’ve lifted my spirits and broken my heart and touched my soul. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and all the rest. You know, you’ve read them. A good comic book is better than damned near anything but things are subjective, I realize. While I might get a charge out of “Devil Dinosaur” or “Jimmy Olsen” or the “Dingbats of Danger Street,” I realize that those books aren’t universally cherished.
Let me pull out that last important bit: I realize that those books aren’t universally cherished. Right there. That. What all those Girlfriend List articles don’t get: you can’t assume someone’s taste based off their gender, race, or any other part because we’re all individuals with our own likes and dislikes. The closest you’re gonna get is if there’s a theme that a person enjoys you might be able to interest them in comics of a similar theme. Period.
No, wait, there’s something else I want to focus on beyond the above. It’s where he says this: I mean, I want to share. I really do. Comics have been such a delight to me over the years. See that, kids? Mr. Larsen doesn’t want to get his (presumably) significant other into it as a way to shut her up when they’re not having sex, but because he enjoys it and wants to share that enjoyment with another human being. Novel!
By the way, thank you, Mr. Larsen, for recognizing that just because the person involved happens to be female, it’s not a “woman” thing, but rather a comic fan versus non-comic fan thing. Seriously, seeing that warmed my little, ice-cold heart.