February 20, 2007

Super Speed, And A Smooth Flavor Too!

A Grand Internet Debate has been raging for a while now about Marvel Comics' ban on smoking within their comics. I'm sure you can suss out the arguments without even reading the posts, but it's not a bad argument, as far as dumb internet arguments go.

That said, it did lead me to this link, which shows the shocking origin story of Jay Garrick, the first Flash!


Unknown said...

I would just like to say that as a recent ex-smoker, I totally support any and all efforts to reduce the incidence of smoking in popular culture. You don't realize just how ubiquitous smoking is until you find yourself channel surfing while desperately trying not to think about smoking.

But I'm not sure an all out ban is entirely appropriate. If I were in charge, I would say that there would be no casual depictions of smoking. If a writer or artist wanted to include smoking, I would require a specific reason before I would approve it.

MosBen said...

Yes, in reality it's a ban with exceptions on a case by case basis. Recently a character in a Marvel book was shown smoking "his last" cigarette including some discussion of his fear of the consequences for his health. People do occassionally smoke in the Marvel Universe, but never because it's cool or ubiquitous. Joe Quessada had an interesting point on the subject, saying that on top of the moral aspect, smoking was also being used as a visual crutch by the artists. In scenes where two characters were just talking, not fighting or doing other things comic book characters do that's exciting, artists were throwing in smoking to give the characters some actions and to make the smoke give the scene some movement.

It will be really interesting to see if this policy is still in place whenever Marvel gets another EiC. Marvel's selling more books than ever, but you wouldn't believe the number of people who think cigars are A) totally different than cigarettes; and B) completely intrinsic to the characters of Wolverine and Nick Fury.