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CHOCO
Dec 14th, 2002, 04:38 PM
http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/13/cf.opinion.rawhide.kid/vert.rawhide.jpg
"The Rawhide Kid"


http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/13/cf.opinion.rawhide.kid/story.stan.lee.jpg
Lee: "I didn't write this book ... but I think it's fine. Among us today, there are gay people. We have one gay hero. There's nothing wrong with that."


http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/13/cf.opinion.rawhide.kid/story.lafferty.jpg
Lafferty: "Homosexuality has invaded the childhood of so many kids. They've invaded Hollywood. They've invaded Disney. They've invaded Nickelodeon"




In the Crossfire

Marvel Comics unveils gay gunslinger
Friday, December 13, 2002 Posted: 2:42 PM EST (1942 GMT)


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Marvel Comics is breaking ground by introducing its first openly gay title character of a mainstream comic book, "The Rawhide Kid." Why are some critics crying foul over gay characters making their way into the comics?

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics and Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, join "Crossfire" hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala to square off on the issue.

CARLSON: Mr. Lee, thanks for joining us. You created the original "The Rawhide Kid," so I'm particularly interested to know what you make of the following panel from the new, gayer, Rawhide Kid. This is the Rawhide Kid responding to a question about the Lone Ranger.

Here's what he says, "I just want to meet him. I think that mask and powder blue outfit are fantastic. I can certainly see why that Indian follows him around."

So he's hitting on the Lone Ranger. What do you think about that?

LEE: It's really clever. And I think the readers are going to love it.

CARLSON: OK, well let me hit you with another panel. And this panel, when I read it, I thought of my own son, and what he would make of this.

This is the Rawhide Kid being asked about Wild Bill Hickok. And the Rawhide Kid said, quote, "He's a very nice man. Big, I mean bigger than life."

You get the joke and maybe 8-year-olds would get the joke. But that's vulgar. Should that be in a comic book?


Lee: "I didn't write this book ... but I think it's fine. Among us today, there are gay people. We have one gay hero. There's nothing wrong with that."



LEE: You want to know something? I saw that yesterday and I called the editor. I think that ought to be expunged and he agreed with me. I don't think it will appear in the finished book.

BEGALA: Well, there you go. In fact, Miss Shelton of Marvel Comics tells us that "The Rawhide Kid" will be published under their adult imprint Max, which clearly features a parental advisory label on the front of every book cover. This is for adults. What's wrong with that?

LAFFERTY: There is a warning on this but they're pitching this as a comic book for kids. You have to remember who's behind this.

BEGALA: They tell CNN that this is an adult comic book.

LAFFERTY: OK, but kids are going to get their hands on this. Kids have been reading these comics for a long time. But the point I want to make is that who's writing this stuff? The same guy who's bringing us Howard Stern. And parents need to be aware of that.

BEGALA: Well I'm a Don Imus man, not a Stern guy. So I can't defend Howard Stern.

LAFFERTY: I'm glad to hear that Mr. Lee says he doesn't support this. There's sexual innuendo after sexual innuendo in here. The point I want to make here, we are sexualizing our kids too soon.

LEE: Can I just mention that the writer of "The Rawhide Kid," may be doing things with Howard Stern, but he was also one of the early producers and writers of "Seventh Heaven," a show that's highly regarded by Christians and conservatives. At present he's working on developing something with Tim Allen.

I mean, we are not dealing with people who aren't really good writers and ethical people. The lady just said that it's aimed at kids. It's not. It's a comic book. Today comic books are read by everybody. Not just little kids.


Lafferty: "Homosexuality has invaded the childhood of so many kids. They've invaded Hollywood. They've invaded Disney. They've invaded Nickelodeon"



CARLSON: But Mr. Lee, I know for years in comic books, Carl Barks wrote about this before he died, the people who wrote comic books made some attempt to keep politics out of them and heavy-handed social statements out of them with the idea that children read them and you ought not to impose those views on kids.

LEE: This isn't political. Years ago, I did a book called "Sergeant Fury and His Howling Commandos." His platoon consisted of a Jewish fellow named Izzy Cohen, an Italian named Deno Minelli, a black named Gabriel Jones, and so forth.

Now, we weren't making a political statement, and nobody ran out after buying the book and decided "I'm going to become Jewish" or "I'm going to become Italian." People read it. They enjoyed it. That was it.

LAFFERTY: But you know what? Kids are going to read these comics. And now we've got...

LEE: We hope so.

LAFFERTY: You see, you hope so. There are a lot of parents that are concerned about their kids being sexualized at an early age. And the fact that this guy had been shy and now we know why he was shy, because he was gay.

There are a lot of men who are shy and aren't homosexual. We're sending real confusing and mixed messages to our kids. Again, homosexuality has invaded the childhood of so many kids. They've invaded Hollywood. They've invaded Disney. They've invaded Nickelodeon.

BEGALA: Invaded? Alexander the Great was an invader and he was gay. Actually, let me raise a more relevant hero, a real-life hero, Mark Bingham. I don't know if you know who Mark Bingham was but he was one of the heroes of Flight 93. He was one of the heroes who saved lives, maybe even our lives, particularly those who live in Washington, by helping to bring that plane down. He lost his own life to save others.

Isn't that the Christian ideal, greater love hath no man than to give up his life for his friends?

LAFFERTY: We're talking about -- let's bring it back to...

BEGALA: I want to honor a hero and this is a real one.

LEE: Even more than that...

LAFFERTY: Kids pass these comic books around. There's this rating on them. Kids pass them around like trading cards. It's a constant and continual pushing of the envelope. And to take this comic book, and to homosexualize it, I think parents are going to be upset about it.

LEE: Let me just mention that Marvel Comics, we are entertainers. And we do books for everybody. And the characters in our books represent everybody. In the "X Men," we have characters from all nationalities. We have both sexes. I didn't write this book. I only learned about it yesterday. But I think it's fine. Among us today, there are gay people. We have one gay hero. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm sure there are gay heroes who exist.

LAFFERTY: You're going to push the envelope with this to the point where there's a lot of...

LEE: We're not pushing anything.

LAFFERTY: There's a lot of sexual innuendo in here.

LEE: No there isn't.

LAFFERTY: Why can't kids be kids? Why do we have to push this on them? Why?

LEE: There is no sexual innuendo. I read the book.

LAFFERTY: Oh, there is. Talking about his big, ahem, whatever. Come on!

LEE: That will not be in the book. That will not be there.

LAFFERTY: But it's in there. And it shows the intention, the heart of the writers.

CARLSON: Mr. Lee, tell us now, you've obviously been in comics longer than almost anybody in America, are there any other super heroes we ought to wonder about? And can you tell us about Robin?

LEE: Well, I'm not going to get into that. But the book I mentioned years ago that I did, "Sergeant Fury," ... had a gay character. One member of the platoon was called, I think, Percy Pinkerton. He was gay. We didn't make a big issue of it. In this comic book that I read, the word gay wasn't even used. He's just a colorful character who follows his own different drummer. He follows a different beat. But we're not proselytizing for gayness.

Martian KC
Dec 14th, 2002, 06:12 PM
He's just a colorful character who follows his own different drummer. He follows a different beat. But we're not proselytizing for gayness.

LMAO!

LeonHart
Dec 14th, 2002, 06:15 PM
Why a gay hero?! LoL, com'on now, these r KIDS we're talkin about. They use GAY as insults. (as a remember)

King Satan
Dec 14th, 2002, 06:26 PM
LMFAO what the hell is someone gonna do with a gay superhero???

Scotso
Dec 14th, 2002, 10:00 PM
Homophobic pricks.

CHOCO
Dec 15th, 2002, 01:33 AM
As societies become more and more tolerant, there will be a demand for gay heroes. Why not?

Now far as children are concern, that may be a different story. However, I think gay parents should have that option for their children.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 15th, 2002, 05:19 AM
Good for Marvel Comics! :bounce:

Richie77
Dec 15th, 2002, 05:45 AM
http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/13/cf.opinion.rawhide.kid/story.lafferty.jpg
This lady is ridiculous.


LAFFERTY: OK, but kids are going to get their hands on this. Kids have been reading these comics for a long time. But the point I want to make is that who's writing this stuff? The same guy who's bringing us Howard Stern. And parents need to be aware of that.

Yes...just like kids have snuck into R-rated movies...just like kids buy the adult-stickered CDs...when I was 13-14, I very much remember turning on Cinemax on a Friday night, when most of the "romantic" <ahem> programs were on.

This is what is so wrong with our society in the U.S. We see people eating bugs and goat testicles on "Fear Factor"...we see dead bodies all over the place on "CSI"...we see arms being chopped off on "ER"...we see guns and explosions, and blood and guts and bones in movies...and nobody bats an eye. But bring in one gay comic book character, and all off a sudden everyone's in a complete tizzy. Violence is okay, but dealing with sex and intimacy in a mature way is not.

First of all, I don't think there's going to be any "sex" in that comic book...definitely not as much as Ms. Lafferty imagines there will be. Secondly, is it freaking some people out that maybe a gay man could possibly be :eek: MACHO?! Mark Bingham was 6-foot-5 (195.5 cm) and played in a bunch of sports. I'll also bet that Alexander the Great was a pretty tough guy.

I hope "The Rawhide Kid" continues to kick ass and take names for years to come! :bounce:

LeonHart
Dec 15th, 2002, 06:58 AM
I guess gay parents could let their children read that comic, or whatever. But i guarantee u its not gonna be popular. Kids in elementary school will be laughin their heads off at whoever brings it to school.

treufreund
Dec 15th, 2002, 09:12 AM
GO MARVEL!!!! Down with that silly fundamentalist homophobe. Gay kids need representation in ALL areas so if that constitutes "invasion" then so be it. It's only possible to invade when you have been SHUT OUT which we have been for far too long.

Messenger
Dec 15th, 2002, 12:48 PM
I agree treu. Maybe this will not be the most popular comic ever, but at least some people realise that homosexuality is just as appropriate as heterosexuality is for young audiences.

She says "Why can't kids be kids? Why do we have to push this on them? Why?", so does she believe that no gay people under the age of 18 exist?

Is it me or does this Lafferty woman seems to confuse sex with homosexuality when she talks about the comic's inappropriateness? That is a popular assumption made by conservative people, but they are two very different things.

CHOCO
Dec 15th, 2002, 02:56 PM
Blazing Saddles
Marvel Comics resurrects the Rawhide Kid, with one little twist.
by Victorino Matus
12/12/2002 12:00:00 AM

Victorino Matus, assistant managing editor


MARVEL COMICS IS ON A ROLL. First there was the blockbuster "X-Men" movie that generated almost $300 million worldwide. Then came "Spider-Man," which grossed more than $800 million. Coming in February, Ben Affleck will star in "Daredevil." In that same month, Marvel will be bringing back to comic book stores a cowboy hero known as the Rawhide Kid. From 1955 to 1979, Rawhide Kid battled the outlaws of the Wild West as part of a Western-themed series that included other heroes like the Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt. At the time, nobody ever asked if Rawhide Kid dated any girls, or why he seemed so shy around them--especially after bravely rescuing them from the hands of evildoers.

Twenty-three years later, the truth comes out. As Marvel will make clear in February, the Rawhide Kid is gay. He will be the first openly gay comic book hero, appearing in a six-issue miniseries called "Slap Leather." And his comments pretty much make clear his orientation. Regarding the Lone Ranger, he says, "I just want to meet him. I think that mask and powder-blue outfit are fantastic. I can certainly see why that Indian follows him around."

None of this should come as a surprise. After all, just check out the cover (thanks to Velouria) of this old "Rawhide Kid" issue, in which the hero must face-off against a gigantic totem pole. Or another issue where, as the caption on the cover reads, "It's the Kid's flashing pistols against a horde of Aztec spears" (italics mine).

To be fair, the new "Rawhide Kid" isn't supposed to be gay porn. Writer Ron Zimmerman told the "New York Post" that "it's a classic Western, like 'Shane,' but with a gay twist." One editor describes it as "a straight Western with comic undertones." And Marvel is marketing this under their "Max" line, meant for an older audience and not for kids. Still, the whole idea of a gay comic book has some folks worried. Says Peter Sprigg, senior director of culture studies at the Family Research Council: "I'm not interested in censorship. But I do have fears of how this will negatively impact our culture. My biggest concern is that this is a comic book--and while there is a segment of the adult population that enjoys reading comics, the genre appeals to children. And this is one more example of children being indoctrinated with pro-homosexual viewpoints by the popular media."

The Human Rights Campaign, meanwhile, disagrees. "Gay people are part of the fabric of America," says David Smith, HRC's communications director. "We are part of the popular culture, whether the Family Research Council likes it or not." Not that Smith is ready to embrace the Rawhide Kid. In fact, he worries that the series' depiction of gays as stereotypically flamboyant would hurt the gay community. And that writer Ron Zimmerman is involved makes him a little wary--Zimmerman is a writer for Howard Stern, whose show, according to Smith, "has been detrimental to gays and made fun of them. So it still remains to be seen how this will all pan out." Smith also downplays the hype, reminding me "to take a step back. After all, it's just a comic book."

Just don't say that to the comic book collectors. Speaking of which, how do those comic book aficionados feel? Donald D. Markstein manages the award-winning site Toonopedia.com, "a vast repository of toonological knowledge." I asked him what he thinks of the decision to out the Rawhide Kid. He wasn't impressed. "I don't think it takes much courage to alter a character that's scarcely been seen in 20 years, that nobody really cares very much about. And it certainly doesn't take much creativity to decide a half-forgotten old character is gay. Especially if, as early reports have it, they pack the thing solid with stereotypes."

There is one very important question raised by the Kid's coming out of the closet: Will Marvel (whose PR firm Bender/Helper Impact was unavailable for comment) or rival DC Comics take it up a notch and out anyone else? And if so, who?

Below is my own list of five comic book characters who may yet be outed (I mean this only in jest):

(1) Thor. This Norse god of thunder wielded his hammer all too well. His long, blond hair and muscular build make him too good to be true! There has to be a catch. In fact, he looks like he's having way too much fun posing for this particular illustration.

(2) Sinestro. Remember him? He was a full-fledged member of the Legion of Doom and Green Lantern's arch-nemesis. In the "Superfriends" television series, he was depicted as old, thin, and single. He appeared well-kempt and had slicked-back hair. He definitely used some sort of gel. And yes, he had that high voice.

(3) Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch. What else can I say? The guy was flaming.

(4) Wonder Woman. This might upset some readers (and their various S&M fantasies), but this "princess of the Amazons" always seemed a little too strong and powerful for my tastes. With all her running around and saving the world, what man could ever feel up to the task? And what about all those mysterious references to "Great Hera"? She's a wonder, Wonder Woman.

(5) Vision of the Avengers. He's divorced, wears a jewel in the middle of his forehead, has red skin, a green suit, yellow cape, and, well, you be the judge. (He's the guy hovering over Captain America. And check out Thor on the left. Once again, he's having way too much fun.)

Victorino Matus is an assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard.

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CHOCO
Dec 15th, 2002, 09:08 PM
:)

Barrie_Dude
Dec 15th, 2002, 09:10 PM
Saw the interview and it was a Hoot! Looking frward to reading it!

CHOCO
Dec 15th, 2002, 10:37 PM
I wish I would've seen it also. ;)

Barrie_Dude
Dec 15th, 2002, 10:45 PM
Well, we do like our CNN here!;)