Ed West, an editor in the book publishing field, from Garden City, Michigan read Steve Bennett's recent column (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Welcome to the Conversation") and had this to say.
Mr. Bennett's recent comments reflect the continuing guesswork about comic book buying habits. With nothing to back up his words except personal assumptions, he then paints a picture based on a few examples. That was hardly worth wasting any space over. What he does focus on is the issue of homosexuals in comic books. There is no sense of alienation that I'm aware of regarding portrayals of people in comic books, but there are good reasons why people are offended by comic books promoting gay marriage and gay behavior. The fact is, same-sex marriage was voted down in every state where it was on the ballot. Ignoring that fact will not magically change it.
Mr. Bennett also ignores my repeated request for a survey of people in general about why they do or do not read comic books. In the meantime, he goes off topic about gays as marginalized and how some people are "uncomfortable" about gay characters being in comic books. I am certain he is aware that people generally do not go around with t-shirts or buttons that read "I'm gay" or "I'm straight." He then goes on a screed that essentially promotes what some correctly see as a media agenda to promote not gay people, but gay marriage. Once again, and I say this to Mr. Bennett, and the big two comic book publishers, keep your personal politics out of comic books. Since he brought it up, I was not uncomfortable working with gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Their personal lives remained personal. We did get along and society does get along with most everybody else, but a line has been crossed. I don't care about people's sex lives since that should appropriately be a private matter. It's when people get an agenda pushed into their faces that they will and should resist, and complain. The alternative, of course, is not buying the comic books in question.
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