Comics creator Chuck Dixon demands more comics censorship

Chuck Dixon is a very conservative guy who has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t think there should be gay characters in comics.
He’s also a good comics writer who gave us Birds of Prey, a lot of good Robin stories (Tim Drake version) and the 1980s book Airboy. Unfortunately, in his recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (cowritten with Paul Rivoche) he’s channeling the right-wing side of himself.
Dixon’s points:
•Because he’s conservative, nobody will hire him. This, he says, started after he criticized “a frank storyline about AIDS” as unfit for a children’s medium.
•More generally, conservatives can’t get work because, political correctness!
•Children are reading comics which instead of offering heroes present morally flawed characters as the ideal.
•Things were better back in the 1950s when the Comics Code made clear black-and-white lines between good and bad. The moral corruption in comics didn’t happen until the Code went away.
Some of his claims are hard to evaluate. What constitutes a “frank storyline?” And what exactly did he saw about it? And was it anything to do with him—that is, was this a book he was working on, or did he just start complaining to the publisher about someone else’s storyline (because I can see that making someone less than popular).
Others are just balderdash. Frank Miller keeps working and he’s become extremely conservative. And the supposed political correctness hasn’t made comics a feminist utopia.
As for kids, comics are predominantly written for young adults. Like a lot of people, I wish there were more stuff that was guaranteed kid-friendly but the idea all comics should be written to be “safe” for kids is as unreasonable as saying any other medium should be G-rated (and IIRC, Dixon believes having gays in comics is in itself anti-kid).
Now, the Comics Code. As noted at the link, it wasn’t written to protect kids, it was written to stave off the risk of government censorship. And while a lot of characters have gotten morally greyer since the code was removed (and even before), a lot of them haven’t. And I have strong suspicion Dixon wouldn’t be happy if they were morally absolute in the wrong way (Superman blocking drone strikes, for instance).
And from what I’ve seen of his work, Dixon can usually keep his politics out of his writing. If he’s made himself unpopular with the powers that be, it’s unlikely they can’t find writers they like better who can confirm to the code ideals (no sympathy for criminals, no drug use, no inappropriate sexuality, no disrespect for authorities, no vampires or werewolves). It’s even more unlikely that the Code would be resurrected exactly as is. Nobody’s going to ban vampire or werewolf stories now, and I doubt the industry is going to suddenly erase gay characters from the comics verse. So Dixon’s basically bemoaning that we don’t have 1950s values any more.
Cry me a river on that one.
More at The Mary Sue and Comics Beat.


Filed under Comics, Politics

4 responses to “Comics creator Chuck Dixon demands more comics censorship

  1. Pingback: A comic-book historian Saladin Ahmed is not (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Following up: Rape apologists first, then homosexuality | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Chuck Dixon and Moral Relativity | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: Airboy, hero of the indie comics skies! | Fraser Sherman's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.