ABC4 reported that In Layton, Utah, a ten year old boy (Sheldyn Conley) received a couple of comic books from what seems to be his mother for Easter. One of which is the comic you see to your right, The Spectre #9. Inside the pages, the young boy found two panels of a woman on a bed naked, and he handed the comic off to a grown-up. Said grown-up handed the comic back to Sheldyn's mother, Linda Hurst, and took the comic to ABC4. ABC4 had a call-to-arms and had all the comics removed from the local Dollar Tree, where Linda Hurst originally purchased them. Linda bought more than one of these packages of two books, which boasted on the cover:
All comic books inserted in the "Superhero Comic Book Spectacular" are family friendly and will bring hours of enjoyable reading.
The other package she purchased had no questionable material on the inside. Dollar Tree was appalled, when it was brought to their attention, and they removed ALL of the comics for sale.
As much as I want to get uppity, nerd-style, about the content of this book by just screaming out, "It's the Spectre! Of course there will be questionable material in it!" I won't. (Even though I just did) Let's find out who really is to blame in this situation: EVERYONE. This is almost turning into another episode of ComicVine Court.
== TEASER ==
The Company That Packaged The Comics:
Letting the consumer know that all the comics contained within the packaging is "family friendly" is false advertising. Obviously, this issue was not family friendly. This issue of The Spectre not only contains nudity, but I'm pretty sure this book is violent as well. How can you sell this if you don’t understand the contents? If they packaged the comics, the fault falls almost entirely on them.
That's right. It's the kid's fault too. A ten year old found a pair of boobs, and yet he runs off to show an adult. I thought nudity was something sacred to a ten year old boy. You find it, and you never tell anyone about it, except maybe your buddies. The fact this kid brought this book to an adult probably puts a collective facepalm on the faces of all the men reading this out there. It’s nudity, not pornography. These are two separate things. Best part was that he got angry about it.
“I seen the naked lady and I got mad.”
She took a drawing of a naked woman to the press. Really? It’s not only that, but you see the cover of this book. If you watch the video, you can see that quite a bit of this is covered up, except for the dark figure holding the scythe. Mrs. Hurst complained about the violence within this book, as well as the bare breasts. If you want to protect your kids from the cruel elements of humanity, that’s fine. You’re the parent, but if you’re buying a comic with what looks like the Grim Reaper on the cover, you should have enough common sense to know, “this is going to be violent.” If you’re worried about exposing your kid to violence and sex, don’t buy a comic with death on the cover.
This isn’t news. “Lady Finds Comic With Nudity.” Maybe it’s because we’re all within the world of comics, and we understand that there is a separation between comics for kids and comics for adults, while many outsiders don’t see the separation. They just think comics as “kiddie books.” But this simply isn’t worthwhile news. (Yet, I report on it) Are they going to report on covering up classic works of art next because a bare breast is showing in it? That’s what this is about: Art.
Who’s not to blame? Anyone involved in the making or publishing of this comic book. You can’t be mad with a comic that was created 22 years ago because you just discovered it. It’s not topical and the book comes from a different time and a different culture. If you don’t want to expose your kids to the “bad things” in this world, then monitor what they see. Go through the book yourself, and then make the judgment to whether or not the book is “ok” for your son or daughter. Don’t be lazy about it. Open that plastic bag and scan the book yourself.
And why is no one talking about the actual content, aside from the violence and nudity, in this book? The Spectre’s book makes this point over and over, “You will be punished for your sins.” Bad things happen to those who do bad. There’s a good lesson in there… and a breast or two. I’ll leave you with another quote from the original report from ABC4 that sums up this entire debacle. During the filming of the news segment, the mother, Linda Hurst, refused to be on camera:
She didn't feel comfortable being on camera but said, “It really embarrassed me because I’d given it to a 10 year old boy.”
Are you embarrassed because you bought a comic for your son and he saw a cartoon breast, or that this event was taken way too far?
~Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a teacher, comedian, comic book writer, comic store employee, and annoyed with the news"