Thursday, January 12, 2012

WND suffers from a dangerous irony deficiency

It's no secret that WND is no fan of the gays and their marriage. And, like all good conservative rags, it considers part of its dedication to honest journalism to be exposing all the evil instances of the gay lobby pushing its agenda on innocent and wholesome American activities, be they school (how dare schools teach about gays!) sports (how dare the Chicago Cubs say they welcome all their fans!) or that most hallowed of American literature, the noble comic book.

Wait, say that last part again?

That's right, WND is up in arms because the "all-American" comic book Archie is having a gay wedding. Not only a gay wedding, a gay, interracial wedding. Also, one is an Iraq war vet. (Wait, how can WND not like this?)

ACLU has praised the Archie move, saying it reflects diversity and stuff. Conservatives are mad because, well, let's listen:

“It’s unfortunate that a comic book series usually seen as depicting innocent, all-American life is now being used to advance the sexual revolution,” Peter Spriggs of the Family Research Council told Fox News. “I think whatever boost in sales might come from the novelty or curiosity factors will be more than offset by the number of both kids and parents who will be turned off by this storyline and its obvious social and political agenda.”
There's no question there's an agenda here, but the reality is that most comics (or books, or movies, or TV shows) have an agenda. If you think Superman or Batman don't have agendas, you're not paying attention.

Also, while it's true that historically this comic tended to be pretty wholesome, I wonder if folks like Spriggs would be choosing it to be a rallying cry for how gays are ruining comics if they knew a little more about Archie's creator, Dan DeCarlo.

DeCarlo had, shall we say, a bit of a compartmentalized personality. Oh sure, he's most famous for Archie and his pals. But before that commercial success, he was known for a slightly different theme in his works...



Yes, before his breakthrough with the Riverdale gang, Dan DeCarlo wrote and drew such innocent all-American works as Millie the Model, Sherry the Showgirl, and "America's Darling Dim-wit" My Girl Pearl. He seemed to really have a thing for showing young ladies in various stages of undress.

If you look carefully, I'm sure Archie afficionados will recognize DeCarlo's signature faces at work in his early strips. Why look, this extremely perky nurse is a dead-ringer for that sadistic millionaire-ess, I mean, hardworking capitalist Veronica.

And this creepy slobbering kid is clearly Archie's evil identical cousin.

So yes, there may be a point here about the dicey issues of mucking around with an artist's characters after their death (I don't look forward to the inevitable day when Uncle $crooge competes in a break-dancing competition) , but don't act like a gay wedding in Archie is inappropriate because it somehow tarnishes DeCarlo's pure family-friendly vision. Considering that most present-day conservatives finding DeCarlo's old work from the '50s and '60s would want them banned if not burned, they should really just be happy that all the participants in this gay wedding are clothed.

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