07 November 2011

YOU CAN'T DO THAT

You're not going to be able to see these images as they were intended in the December issue of Diamond's Previews, because images that include swastikas can't be shown in Germany. With the Glory image, it's just a case of removing the offending iconography, but with the Pigs cover, it's virtually impossible to do that, so the entire image had to be blurred...

This is nothing new. Swastika-laden images have been prohibited from appearing in publications sold in Germany for decades at this point. I'm not sure I understand what the point is, though. World War II did happen, and Nazis did exist. I understand not wanting to encourage modern day Neo-Nazi groups, but censorship isn't a particularly effective weapon against hate groups of any kind. Plus outlawing specific Nazi iconography seems strangely revisionist, as though it's best to just not acknowledge the impact that symbol had, or the evil associated with it.

Once upon a time, a well-known comic book writer told me that he was sick of Nazis being used at default bad guys in movies and comics all the time. Personally, I don't think they can be depicted as villains often enough, and I found it a little offensive that virtually all references to Hitler and the Third Reich were removed from Marvel's Captain America film earlier this year. When Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created Captain America, it was in direct response to current events, to World War II and the villainy of Hitler and the Nazis. The Red Skull was a nazi, not some member of some obscure science cult. The whole point was that the Nazis were the bad guys.

Ignoring the unspeakable acts in our past that make us uncomfortable doesn't accomplish anything but obscuring the hateful truth behind those acts.