Gerard Jones and Dealing with the Legacy of Predators In Comics

WARNING: This article discusses rape, sexual assault and child pornography.

Recently, Gerard Jones was sentenced to six years in prison for possession of child pornography; the author and comics writer, arrested in 2016, pleaded guilty in April. At his sentencing, the 60-year old Jones was ordered to pay $10,200, was additionally sentenced to five years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution to his victims and will begin serving his sentence on November 30 of this year.

The end of Jones' trial still probably comes as a shock to those who know him through either his comics work for Marvel, DC or Viz Media, or his nonfiction writing, like the Eisner Award-winning Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. While Jones was never really a superstar writer of his era, he has -- or had -- a generally well-regarded legacy in comics.

In the wake of his singularly horrific crimes, amidst the more pressing question of how his conviction provides justice and healing for his victims, there comes the (again much less important) quandary: What should happen to that body of work?

RELATED: Gerard Jones Sentenced To Six Years In Prison

The obvious parallels lie in television. In 2015, after the Charleston shooting and the outcries of displaying the Confederate flag in public that followed it, both TV Land and CMT quietly dropped reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard from their schedules.

In a more relevant, higher-profile example, when Bill Cosby's decades of rape and sexual assault of women came back into the public eye in 2014 (setting off a series of events that eventually led to Cosby's conviction for assault this past spring), several television networks pulled reruns of The Cosby Show and I Spy , while Netflix and NBC scrapped development deals with the fallen star.

Unlike with Dukes, there was some backlash towards this, given the pioneering role and stature that The Cosby Show holds in the history of both television and African American popular culture. Publications like Ebony weighed the pros and cons of shelving such a historically important, popular and beloved show considering its legacy was now forever tainted by its titular star.

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