Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 18, 2007

The Comics Controversies You May Not Have Heard All That Much About… Yet

The overall end-times sexiness of cartoon-sponsored violence and political turmoil brought on by comics controversies having to do with the Prophet Muhammed has pushed two perfectly serviceable instances of cartoon furor and a battery of shrill, angry people working just as hard as any other controversy's regular group of shrill, angry people right off the front pages.

* international reaction to a Michael Ramirez cartoon depicting extremists as cockroaches spilling out and over the Middle East has resulted in more analysis abroad than in the country of its origin. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on the affair as it's developed thus far. It fails to mention that the Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani was held in one of the worst prisons on Earth before escaping to the West when he without even meaning to compared a group of people in Iran to that insect, so it's obviously a visual signifier that holds some power in that part of the world.

* a cartoon accusing the New York Times of malfeasance represents the first time I can recall that controversial cartoonist Sean Delonas has received notoriety for something other than accusations he's saying shitty things about gay people. At issue seems to be whether or not the cartoon was run after the story was debunked, perhaps in an effort to generate air time for a discredited but politically useful idea under the auspices of it being "talked about." All stories like this usually make me want to do is devoted my life to hitting strident political people in the head with golf clubs, but I find the idea of what constitutes a story and how cartoons contribute to that worth musing over.
posted 10:14 pm PST | Permalink

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