Over the past month or so we have been getting inundated with controversial comics; subject matter that gets people all fired up!
In most cases it is all flash and no substance! In the latest issue of 'Earth 2', we have 10 pages of incredible story and action! Then we have 2 pages of 'fluff' that didn't do anything to push the story at all. It didn't matter if it was a gay, straight or alien couple... it was so forced and didn't fit the story at all.
A few years back Archie comics tackled a controversial subject! No, I'm not talking about the introduction of Kevin Keller, I'm talking about the relationship between Archie and Valerie from Josie and The Pussycats.
For most human beings, an inter racial relationship is no big deal. But for the ignorant and stupid, seeing two people that are a different color together is a no - no. What Archie Comics did was took this subject and just told a story that was not only entertaining, but incredibly moving. Writer Dan Parent made you want this relationship to not only start but thrive. This was a story that appealed to an old man like me and my then 15 year old daughter. When i read the books (starting in Archie # 606) I was remembering my days of innocence and my daughter was hoping her first serious relationship would be as magical as Archie and Valerie.
When i read the story arc i never thought of anything other than 'Wow! This was the best Archie story i ever read!' Why? Simple. The story was just told. It was never meant to stir up controversy or make a social statement. it was meant to tell a great story (penciled by Bill Galvan and inked by Rich Koslowski) and if it spoke to kids who find themselves in the same situation, then that is awesome.
So please creators and companies... look at this book for inspiration! Not only can you make a statement but you can also tell a great story, just do it organically! Don't hype it and get everyone all hoped up over some controversy, just tell a good story and let the press take care of itself.