Writing takes up a lot of my time these days, as it should. When earning a living depends on turning in a blog post every week, or delivering a new book every few months, you do have to
take the time to actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Yes, it is work. Now I've done harder work. Digging ditches under a hot summer sun comes to mind as a hard job. Yet, when digging a
ditch your goals are easily defined. Start the ditch here and dig until you get over there. Easy to say,
harder to do.
When writing a blog, your goals are less defined. Most folks assume I sit down at the keyboard and write about any subject I like. This isn't so when I want to get paid for my writing. I have to
decide what my audience wants to read about and compose the tale accordingly. Now most of the
comics crowd used to be pretty well defined. Give us a hero, put him into dire straits via an evil
super villain and work out a plausible happy ending. That worked out well for many years.
Wait Wiley, you made the hero a "him" isn't that sexist? No. It was concise use of the language to define one situation. I didn't use "him or her" so I could keep the sentence short and to the point.
Super females have a history in comics, so please don't use the "sexist" card today. Just keep reading.
I personally like stories with a happy ending. I know life isn't like that. Believe me, I know. Dark
things happen in this life. Vile, detestably evil events happen every day. Comics to me were a way to
escape from such things if only for the few minutes it took to read through the latest Superman or
Batman comic. It was good to know that the good guys would win in the end.
Many of today's comics are way too dark for my taste. The good guys aren't all that good. Bad guys and gals are only evil because society failed them or some other such psychobabble crap. Knocking the bad guy out with a single punch isn't enough. Now the "hero" needs to beat the bad guys senseless and set them on fire, making love to the rescued female amid the smell of burning
flesh. I didn't make that one up, it was from a Batman/Black Canary story I'm told. I didn't bother
to read it.
Writers do have to take responsibility for the images and thoughts we put out there into the world.
A few times, I've had some really good new ways for the bad guys to wreak havoc, upping the scale of death and destruction to levels not seen before. Then, I pause to think, what if some nutjob terrorist
were to actually use my plot to kill people? It is better for me and the world that I skip those ideas.
While dark images of sex and violence do sell comics, the writers and artists should feel a duty to
rise above pandering to mankind's darkest instincts. Use a little imagination. Sell some hope.