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Ol’ Man Maher’s Rant on Comic Books

Sharmaine Mempin | Posted on March 14, 2019

Bill Maher tries to remind everyone he’s a big boy just because he doesn’t waste his time on comics.

In an airing of Real Time with Bill Maher, the comedian, political commentator, and TV host expressed his disdain for comic book fans in response to massive backlash after his remarks about the industry. His statements followed the recent death of one of Marvel’s legendary creators, Stan Lee.

“I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important,” jokes the 63-year-old comic.

After losing around 40,000 followers on twitter, here’s what he says:

In a condescending rant to comic book fandoms, Bill Maher’s only real accomplishment in this segment is showing how ignorant he is about the comic book industry. I don’t understand this concept of belittling the work of comic book creators merely on the idea that they’re “picture books”. He acts as though he is criticizing the fandom, but that criticism translates to the work of the artists. You can’t claim that you aren’t denigrating comic book creators, then proceed to bully their audience for liking the content created. That implies that the creators don’t think about who their audience is.

In a recent interview with Larry King, Bill Maher has openly admitted to not opening up a comic book himself, yet he feels he can accurately critique the fandom and the works of comic book writers. If he bothered to research comic books, instead just making half-a***d judgements (BASED ON THE VERY FEW MOVIES HE’S PROBABLY SEEN), he might notice that these comics come with complex characters, reflections on the state of society, or analogies of corrupt institutions. Many of these works contain very intense, tragic, or adult story lines, so it’s safe to say that comic books are not merely written for kids. He assumes comic book fans are incapable of appreciating the works of novelists like Toni Morrison or James Baldwin, which is just a horrendous generalization. I have seen a multitude of articles and video essays from these fans, that he so proudly talks down to, doing deep analyses of these stories and making countless historical/literary connections. Really? ALL of these fans NEVER picked up a book from Baldwin or Morrison? There’s no need for him to exert his superiority over comic book fans just because he read all the books on his AP Literature syllabus.

Bottom line: Comic book fans should not be shamed just because a pretentious, egotistical old man likes to bully people for liking this wonderful art form. There is a TON of thought and care that goes into the creation of these characters, their storylines, and their media portrayals. It doesn’t make you grown to throw your childhood likes away, and it doesn’t make you a child to find the beauty in them in your adulthood.

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves…When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C.S. Lewis

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