Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer

by Dennis Leary, guest columnist

Jeez, I don't know where to begin. I read this whole "How to Save the Comic Book Industry" column this Hutch geek wrote up, and the guy's got it all wrong.

You think kids don't have the money for comic books? Sheez, these kids have money coming out the freaking wazzoo. They've got money for these Gap baggy pants and the fancy underwear that is sticking out five inches above the baggy pants and the beepers and the cell phones hanging from their pants. These thirteen, fourteen year old kids hang around the mall in hundred dollar shoes, buying $50 Playstation games like "Conker's Bad Fur Day" and CDs and DVDs and videotapes and MP3 players and stereos and more cell phones and pagers and cell phones just for calling the pagers and Palm Pilots and Wireless Internet crap.

Money's no object with these kids. Parents just hand over the wallet and say, "Take it. Take all my hard-earned money. Just please don't shoot up your school." These modern parents just plop their kids in front of South Park and Beavis and frickin' Butthead and hope for the best.

Comic books are $2.50 now? So what. These kids spend way more on Maxim and Entertainment Weekly and anything with Leonardo DiCaprio or a Backstreet Boy on it. Automatically, this tells us that they have money to burn and no discernable taste. How hard can it be to get some cash out of these kids?

Lots of money, and no taste. In fact, the more tasteless, the better. Maybe that's the problem, huh?

Y'ever notice how comic books were selling like copies of "Goodbye England's Rose" back in the days when ol' Doc Wertham said Batman and Robin were gay, Wonder Woman was all about bondage and horror comics were filled with gruesome carnage? Kids bought them by the truckload! Kids may like comics, but they love anything that parents hate. Back then, millions of parents worried that comic books would cause kids to be violent, over-sexed illiterates...and that just made kids want to read comics. (Of course, today's kids are violent, over-sexed illiterates, but let's try to keep quiet about that, okay?)

I say, let's use that.

All these fools thinking that they can get comics accepted as respectable folks need to stop. And not just because a dose of reality would be good for ya. You need to stop because, I don't know if you noticed this, but nobody reads respectable literature. You don't want comics to be as respected...and "Tale of Two Cities", do you?

Here's the plan. Next school shooting, DC Comics editors sneak into the shooter's bedroom and plant a big stack of "Birds of Prey", "Young Justice" and "Impulse" comics.

Then the media will start in. "A-ha! We know what was going through their little minds. See all this action, with Black Canary looking all sexy? That got their blood pumping, see? And Young Justice, where these teens band together and use violence? And can you ask for a clearer message than Impulse, which tells kids to not think, just follow their emotions?! It's the comic books, folks! We need to ban these comics."

In the next few days, comic shops would get more business than ever. Parents would flood in wanting to investigate the dangerous literature. The reporters would all need copies to examine. And kids would all be clamoring to look at what was so dangerous it led some kids to kill.

Faster than you could say, "South Park", the Zero Tolerance fascists at elementary schools would ban Birds of Prey t-shirts, not knowing that there aren't any. This would prompt DC Comics to suddenly invent Birds of Prey t-shirts to meet the sudden demand.

All these comic shops that won't even carry Birds of Prey if a loyal reader begs and pleads? Suddenly it's a first amendment issue. "With God and the First Amendment on my side, I swear I won't stop carrying Birds of Prey!" they'll shout, with row upon row of Birds of Prey spilling off the shelves.

I tell ya, nothing could help comics more than making them a banned item.

If DC feels like going for broke, they could sell ad space to David Horowitz and then sell the comics at politically correct bastions like Berkeley where outraged students would be buying them by the hundreds just to burn them.

In fact, that may be the answer to the whole "What do we do with the comics that don't sell?" problem. Just put some inflammatory advertisement on the back of the comic...something like "Mumia Shot The Cop. Accept It Already." or "Bring Back The Glass Ceiling!" or "To be honest, veggie burgers ain't so hot"...and then sell them to campus radicals who want to burn them. This way, the comic companies make money off the remainders...and they raise the scarcity level for collectors!

Don't tell me that wouldn't work. We live in a world where Pauly Shore was the box office draw for six movies!

(I should hope it's obvious, this being the April Fool's issue...but for legal reasons, we should make it clear that Dennis Leary did not write this.)

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