Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
“It seems that in today’s desperate-for-sales comic book market, nothing is sacred. In the midst of world-saving adventures, today’s modern heroine breast feeds her child with zero modesty. Talk about work-life balance! It hearkens back to those Enjoli fragrance TV ads of the ’70s — I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never, never let you forget you’re a man…” I’m just so impressed with this I-can-have-it-all super heroine. I had to wonder, did La Leche League (or as my wife took to calling them after she delivered our son, ‘The Breast Milk Mafia’) pay big-time sponsorship money for this cover? What a wholesome, family-friendly image!
I find this image offensive, not only for promotion of a comic book, but specifically for a comic that Brian clearly states that he would like to see today’s younger generation pick up and read as he did when he was kid. Rather than a family-friendly heroic saga, this promo art is telegraphing to the world that it’s a series I cannot share with my 7-year-old son. Is the comics industry really so dead that they have to stretch to these desperate, shock value measures to incur readers? Really?”
— artist David Dorman, attempting to explain “Why Dave Dorman Finds New Image Comic Saga Offensive,” but not exactly succeeding. While he has insisted on Twitter (three times now) that he isn’t offended by breastfeeding, nor it turns out by “boobs” — “I paint boobs on canvas for a living” — Dorman has yet to elaborate on what makes the above promotional image for Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ mature readers sci-fi/fantasy epic offensive, unwholesome, or emblematic of “desperate, shock value measures” used to rope in readers.
There’s nothing titillating about Staples’ image; for all its fantasy trappings, it’s incredibly understated … casual, even. To be honest, it didn’t even register with me that it depicted breastfeeding until I read Dorman’s rant. Heck, ram’s horns and gossamer wings aside, I’ve encountered virtually identical scenes in cafes, movie theaters and public parks — all with minimal offense.