Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Is Our Protest

Some will say the following story should not be told... There will be those who argue that such events have no place in an entertainment magazine -- perhaps they are right! But we don't think so -- because we've seen these noble creatures, human beings, wrecked... Made less than animals... Plunged into hells of agonies! We've seen it -- we're angry... And this is our protest!
Green Lantern #85
by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams

I've mentioned before about how "funny books" deal with some serious subjects. Will Eisner used graphic literature to express his anger at God after his young daughter's death. Art Spiegelman told the story of his father's experiences during the Holocaust in the graphic medium. Here, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams utilized mainstream superhero comic books to address the drug problem in youth culture.

This 1971 story is rather famous, or maybe infamous, for revealing that Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy is addicted to heroin. I'll be honest, I started reading comics as a kid in the 90's. I'm not used to reading comics from the 70's. This story reads like a blatant 70's PSA about drugs. Actually, it reads like what I imagine a contemporary parody of a blatant 70's PSA about drugs would read. Still, it addresses a very serious subject.

So, once again, we have more precedent that the content of graphic literature is not limited to entertaining, childish fluff. The format is versatile and adept at tackling the unpleasantness of this world. Sounds like a ripe medium for theological discourse, doesn't it?

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