The article Comics: Justice League Fights Real World Hunger by Andrew Smith of the Seattle Times informs us that DC Entertainment has started the “We Can be Heroes” campaign to help the hunger crisis in the horn of Africa. DC Entertainment announced that through the characters of the Justice League they are trying to raise a goal of $2 million dollars and they will match the donations 100% up to $1 million dollars. On their website they have quick interviews with people that have already donated, and they portray these people as “an unstoppable force for good… banding together.”
This is not the first time comics have been involved in public service projects. There have been anti-drug use promotions in the “Amazing Spider-Man,” and some comics encouraged children to grow victory gardens, recycle metal, etc during World War II. We talked in class about how comics often have an underlying meaning. Examples in class were the evils of the slave trade and the atomic bomb. We also talked about the stereotypes comic books encounter. I myself am guilty in judging comics to be all gory crime-fighting superhero thrillers. I also assumed them to be mainly for children. However, I was surprised in class to find how wrong I was.
We discussed in class how a lot of the comic books were a lot less child-like than we assumed. At the end of the Comics article above, Smith talks about how the accusations of too much violence and sex in these superhero comics for children have come back. However, the comics industry struggles with these accusations because they claim that most of their comics are not for children and clearly state for age 16 and above on their covers. The comics for children are clearly marked as well and do not contain the material that critics find unacceptable for children.
We also talked about how the comics were much more educational than we expected. Some of the comics taught about science and history. With this new campaign to stop hunger in Africa, comic readers and followers of the industry will be educated on the situation and given a chance to help.
Overall, there are much more to comic books than the stereotypes lead on. They can be educational, historical, charitable, etc. We must learn to not judge a graphic novel by the cover and give them the credit they deserve for building such a sustainable industry that is able to endure all of the knocks society throw their way.