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Should comics be political? Show more Show less

Since their creation in June of 1938, comic books have unified fans hoping to see super-powered good prevail over evil. Comics as a medium have lasted through numerous international conflicts, from World War II to the War on Terror. During each one of these conflicts, the question of politics' role in comic books has been posed. Political comics are those which try to comment on or influence how a country is governed. Should comics, which routinely explore the extraordinary, comment on the ordinary? Or, should comics concern themselves with fictional politics at most and no politics at the least?

No, comic books should not be political. Show more Show less

Comic books are a pastime, and as such they should be free from subjects that may be considered mundane and controversial, such as politics.
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Comic books are for kids

Comic books are usually targeted at children and read for fun, not for political opinions.
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Context

The Argument

While it may be impossible to write a comic book completely free of all political ideology, limiting the amount of politics in comics is best for both the industry and the fan base, which is predominantly young adults and children. Comic book sales have plummeted in the past couple of decades, partly due to a rise in the number of comic books with strong political undertones.[1] Taking politics out of comic books, as much as possible, would bring back business for the comic book companies, and allow fans to read for leisure. It is best to unify fans over their love of fictional characters rather than alienate them over political ideology. Further, because comic books are predominately targeted at children and young adults, keeping politics out of the medium would protect children and young adult's innocence. This idea is explored in depth in Fredric Wertham's book "Seduction of the Innocent."

Counter arguments

While comic book sales have plummeted in the last couple of decades, politics are not entirely at fault. All print media is hurting financially, comics are no exception. Limiting the amount of politics in comic books may bring back some of the readership, but it won't make a significant difference to the comic book publisher's profits. Further, comic book fans can still connect over their love of the characters and stories even if politics are present. They just have to ignore the politics. Wertham's book, "Seduction of the Innocent" has since been questioned by scholars who have debated the accuracy of the evidence presented.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Comic books are read typically for leisure. [P2] Political ideas in comics limit the extent to which they can be read for leisure. [P3] The amount of political ideas present in comic books can be limited. [P4] Limiting the amount of political ideas in comics would increase sales and protect the innocence of children.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Political ideas in comics do not limit the extent to which they can be read for leisure. [Rejecting P4] Limiting the amount of political ideas in comics would not increase sales to an extent that would be meaningful to comic book publishers.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://thefederalist.com/2017/04/12/forcing-political-correctness-employees-characters-killing-marvel-comics/

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This page was last edited on Friday, 15 May 2020 at 00:19 UTC