Tag Archives: Avatar Press

Title Discrimination in Comics

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When it comes to censorship in comic books, I often question the criteria that comic retailers use when deciding what sits on the shelf, as opposed to what is kept behind the counter.  There is a countless number of comics for mature readers on the store shelves, so what exactly is the deciding factor for age-restricted material?

I asked a comic shop owner why are there certain books kept behind the counter, when a certain other book is allowed to sit on the shelf with the rest of the uncensored comic books.  The response to the latter was pretty vague.

That was not the first time that I have asked comic shop owners or employees why

Sex, published by Image Comics
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and

Sex Criminals, also published by Image Comics
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are marked as age-restricted material and kept behind the counter, but

Crossed, published by Avatar Press
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freely sits on the shelf.

It didn’t take but a minute for me to realize why Sex and Sex Criminals are being discriminated against.  It’s because of that three-letter word in their titles.

SEX.

That’s right, comic book titles are being censored.  I haven’t been told this by anyone, but it’s pretty obvious.  I don’t know about all comic shops, so I can only rant about the few I have visited since I started reading Sex Criminals.  These books are being treated as if they are pornography, which they are not.  Although I only read the first two issues of Sex, I am not embarrassed to say that Sex Criminals is on my pulls.

If Crossed can sit on the shelf, then why can’t the two comic books with sex in the title?  That is so unfair.

I don’t know what’s currently going on in Sex, but I know that Sex Criminals is nothing to be all hush-hush about.  It is not porn or a dirty joke book.  It’s a comedy about two people who can stop time while having an orgasm.  They decided to rob a bank to save a library.  They are eventually captured by the sex police.   And there aren’t that many panels showing nude body parts.

On the other hand, Crossed is a bizarre comic about a virus that caused a zombie-like apocalypse.  This is a story of sadism, torture, rape and incest.  When humans are infected, they immediately break-out in a red rash, in the shape of a cross, on their faces.  They develop a crazed grin, and the violence and bloodshed begins.

They also turn into horny lunatics, and will have sex (rape most of the time) with anyone and anything, including children and animals.

Although the graphics speak for itself, the book has no parental advisory warning on the covers.  This is a book that sits on the shelf with other uncensored comic books.  Severed limbs are usually on the cover.

Check out the cover for Crossed Annual 2014.
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A young girl holding a severed hand.

This book sits on a shelf, at a child’s EYE LEVEL.

Now that my ranting blog post is over, I feel so much better.  In fact, I’ve decided to follow my dream and write a comic book.

The comic is about a young female that seeks vengeance on those that have wronged her.  There will be ongoing torture, bloodbath and plenty of sex.  I don’t know if the covers will have a parental advisory warning just yet, but they will definitely be sexually explicit.

To make sure that my comic book make it on the shelf with other uncensored comics, the word sex  won’t be in the title.  It will be named after the leading female character, which will be something like Cupcake, Sunshine or Bubbles.

When I wrote my review of Crossed last year, I received a couple of nasty comments that I moderated and unapproved.  I’m sure I’ll probably get some for this blog post as well.

 

Rover Red Charlie #1 Review

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A zombie plague has consumed New York City.  The city is literally burning to the ground, and the feeders (humans) are either killing each other or committing suicide.  Rover Red Charlie is a new mini series by Avatar Press.  This heartfelt tale follows three dogs, Rover, Red and Charlie, as they struggle to survive what appears to be the end of the world.

Garth Ennis is the writer of this captivating series.  Rover Red Charlie is not your average comic.  The story is written from the canines’ points of view, and it’s about survival, friendship and loyalty among three different breeds.  Strong, emotional dialogue that will nearly tempt you to jump inside the comic, and rescue all three canines.  I especially like Charlie, a service dog with strong leadership skills, and the feeder that sacrificed his life for Charlie was heartbreaking.

Michael Dipascale provided the outstanding artwork.  The feeders have detailed facial expressions, but it’s the canines that truly stands out among everything else.  They are all realistic looking and perfectly drawn.

Knowing that I’m always looking for new comics to read, and that I have a comic blog, one of the owners at the comic shop recommended Rover Red Charlie.  I quickly said, “Oh no” when I saw that Avatar Press was the publisher.  When I saw Ennis’ name on the cover, I said, “Oh heck no.  No thank you.”  That’s because whenever I see either name, I immediately associate them with Crossed.  I know that Avatar Press publishes comics that are beyond bizarre, so I didn’t want anything to do with Rover Red Charlie.  Later that day I realized my comic blog is about my honest reviews.  I like to read comics and share my opinions for those looking for new comics to read, or for readers who are looking for a jump-on point.  There’s a comic to suit everyone’s tastes, so for me to not read and share Rover Red Charlie would be discriminating.  I called the comic shop, asked to have the book placed into my box, and purchased it the next day.

I believe that Crossed is the only story that I’ve ever read by Ennis.  I was amazed with his writing in this book, and have decided to read more of his work.  I searched and learned that he’s written comics about a couple of characters I really like, so I’ll be Ebaying and Amazoning it pretty soon to find the books.

Although I was hooked by its debut issue, this title doesn’t fit my current personal taste.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend other readers to give it a try.  It’s definitely worth reading.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this mini series, especially to readers that are dog lovers, and/or zombie fans.