Every now and then I’m inspired to be one of those reactionary bloggers.
I’ve seen this poster about campus for a few weeks and my initial reaction to it was disappointment. It’s not that I think Betty & Veronica are a fine example of western literature, nor do I hold anything against Tolstoy - it’s that tired old cliche of comic books being depicted as something-less-than-true-literacy.
In all honesty, I can’t stand up for the entire industry - I’ve read enough to know that a lot of comics (regardless of the time you live in) are not great samples of literature. Frederic Werthem’s 1950s crusade against comics led to comic book burnings and publishing standards that stripped what little maturity was being developed. It seems as though the taint of those years will never quite go away, regardless of how the industry’s intelligentsia may feel. The image above implies comic book readers should be ashamed of their choice of material.
I realize that this poster is meant to be a gentle joke, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an alternate version where, say, the first image depicts a child reading an R.L. Stine novel and the second depicts him reading Judenhass.