I really don’t think Marvel and DC are helping things by having gritty, R-rated versions of their superheroes in their main comics – what they sell as the “real” versions – while simultaneously selling those exact same characters in kids’ comics and plastering them all over lunchboxes and animated cartoons… Casual readership by kids, or by parents for their kids, is effectively impossible the way things are currently structured. And I think the waters are muddied too far now to claw that ground back. I think it’s insane that DC have spent 70 years making Superman as big as Mickey Mouse, and branding him to be understood by parents as being pretty much as kid-friendly as Mickey Mouse, only to piss that brand away in a decade. Nothing wrong with doing mature content in comics – in fact, it should be encouraged as often as possible – but doing it with characters who are on your kids’ lunchboxes is kind of moronic. Take a lesson from Watchmen and come up with new characters for that stuff. And then go back to Superman and Batman and put the same kind of love and effort and craft and intelligence you’ve been putting into all those rape scenes and body mutilations into something kids can read, and adults can also be proud to read because of all the love and effort and craft and intelligence you’ve put into it, and make those the “real” versions.
—Roger Langridge, writer of the kid-friendly Thor: Mighty Avenger, which recently fell victim to just the attitude he is decrying. While he is perhaps best known for his work on BOOM! Studios’ Muppet Show comics, Langridge does plenty of more mature comics, too, but he always keeps his brands separate. The whole interview is well worth a read, as it covers Langridge’s career from his early days in New Zealand through his current work, from Knuckles, the Malevolent Nun to a new kid-friendly title for BOOM!
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