Television host and political commentator Bill Maher has drawn the ire of the comic book world thanks to comments he made relating to the passing of Stan Lee, as well as the comics industry as a whole.
In a blog post, Maher was dismissive to the news of Lee's death, mocking those who are currently mourning the recently-departed industry legend, citing, "Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess."
Maher then insulted adults who still actively partake in reading comics, even going as far as to try and draw a connection between comic book readers and the election of President Donald Trump, saying, "I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important."
Many creators pointed out the ignorance and tactlessness of Maher's comments, such as artist Greg Capullo (Batman, Dark Nights: Metal), writer Kurt Busiek (The Avengers, Action Comics) and writer Gail Simone (Domino, Batgirl).
I never speak on topics I know little or nothing about. Why? I never want to be the fool. In other words, I don’t wanna make a Bill Maher out of myself. 🤘🏻✏️🤘🏻— Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo) November 17, 2018
Bill Maher’s an idiot, commenting out of ignorance and assuming that all comics are like the ones he read as a child and there’s noting to them but what he perceived as a child.— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) November 16, 2018
But then, that’s what he often does. https://t.co/6QVGqpXO3r
Here’s a thing, even if you don’t care about comics.@billmaher saw a mass of people grieving and thought, ‘Hey, how can I make this about me?’— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) November 17, 2018
Probably all anyone needs to know, really.
Other industry pros were more blunt in their response to Maher's comments, like writers Scott Snyder (Justice League, Dark Nights: Metal), Neil Gaiman (Black Orchid, The Sandman) and Frank Tieri (Harley Quinn, Jughead: The Hunger)
Lol. #billmaher Just upset because nobody will mourn him when he dies.— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) November 17, 2018
Maher’s just trolling, and lots of people are rising to the troll. (Julie Burchill did it better 30 years ago with her “There aren’t any adult comics because adults don’t read comics” line. ) More people cared about Stan Lee’s death than care about Bill Maher alive. https://t.co/yRzFCYQBzl— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 17, 2018
Really, people— who gives a shit what professional asshole #BillMaher has to say? Fuck him. I didn’t even know he still had a show— Frank Tieri (@FrankTieri) November 17, 2018
Oh and by the way... notice how he didn’t have too much trouble with comic books when he collected a check for Iron Man 3. Funny that. pic.twitter.com/p7pocq13n8
Meanwhile, other creators took a more comical approach to their thoughts on Maher, such as writers G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman) and Tom Taylor (X-Men Red, Injustice)
Bill Maher has done the impossible: gotten the entirety of comics fandom to agree on something— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) November 17, 2018
Bill Maher dismissed an entire storytelling medium?— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) November 17, 2018
Wow. He's so highbrow.
His brow is so high, there's probably less room for a mind.
Finally, writer Tom King (Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis) tied it all back to Stan Lee, comparing Lee's now-famous piece on harmful rhetoric to Maher's thoughts on the matter.
The common thread here, of course, is that comic book professionals have proven that condescending remarks towards them, their readers and one of the most prevalent icons in the industry are not something they are going to take lying down.
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