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#1380 - 01/28/04 02:23 PM Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Scout99 Offline
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Registered: 05/22/01
Posts: 1223
The whole deal.

I don't fault the mother for being responsible, yet this incident makes me wonder if the comic book industry, in order to avoid fuck-ups like this, has to come up with a ratings system.

Oh yeah...fuck the Comics Code Authority. They're no help at all.

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#1381 - 01/28/04 05:39 PM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
jeaoure Offline
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Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 800
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Yeah, it's a shame, but a rating system might be the only answer. There's no way I'd put that sort of material in a child's hands.

How about an ESRB-type seal? It's a system that's seen great success in the video game market... it not only gives an easy-to-understand rating, it also goes into specifics about the nature of the content.
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#1382 - 01/28/04 05:46 PM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Shoegaze99 Offline
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 5325
Loc: Not Applicable, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by jeaoure:
How about an ESRB-type seal? It's a system that's seen great success in the video game market... it not only gives an easy-to-understand rating, it also goes into specifics about the nature of the content.

The ESRB system is pretty good and provides solid information by which consumers can make more informed choices, though I do think it would make sense to change the designations to the G, PG, etc. format used by the movie industry. Those terms have become shorthand to mean specific things, movies or no, and would better serve what the ESRB is trying to accomplish.

Obviously the self-regulation (and power) of the film industry has for the most part worked, and the video game industry's efforts have also been of help. I don't think it's absurd to suggest that comic industry folks at least explore if the same route is viable for comics.
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#1383 - 01/28/04 07:27 PM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Charles Knight Offline
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Registered: 05/09/02
Posts: 1164
Loc: UK
A rating system?

Do books have ratings on the front of them in the states?
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#1384 - 01/28/04 07:49 PM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Dan20 Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1217
Loc: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by cgknight1:
A rating system?

Do books have ratings on the front of them in the states?


No, but if you read the flap or the back cover, there's usually a pretty good description. Plus, they place books in different categories throughout the store: i.e., Young Adult, Kids, General Fiction, Horror, Sci-Fi, etc. So no ratings, but a generally helpful way of finding what's suitable for what age group.

I wish ratings and the like weren't necessary for comics, but let's face it. The average store groups all their books together, or at least all the mainstream titles. And just because they're mainstream, they're not all the same. So some sort of indication of content would probably be helpful to some parents. I don't want anything to be censored, but once it's ready for printing, it might not be a bad idea to stick some sort of rating on it just so people know what the gist of the book is and it's level.

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#1385 - 01/29/04 01:40 AM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Jayhawk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 168
ONE parent?

Oh, big fucking deal.

People need to stop bitching about stupid shit. It's not up to comic book retailers to determine what is or isn't appropriate for someone's kid.

Hell, when I was twelve my mother wouldn't have cared if I saw that comic book. She let me watch R-rated movies when I was six, so stuff like that isn't that big of a deal at all.

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#1386 - 01/29/04 08:39 AM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
cactusmaac Offline
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Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 1406
Loc: Undisclosed Location
Quote:
Originally posted by Shoegaze99:

The ESRB system is pretty good and provides solid information by which consumers can make more informed choices, though I do think it would make sense to change the designations to the G, PG, etc. format used by the movie industry. Those terms have become shorthand to mean specific things, movies or no, and would better serve what the ESRB is trying to accomplish.


Marvel tried using those but the MPAA slapped them down saying they were trademarked property.
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#1387 - 01/29/04 08:44 AM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
cactusmaac Offline
Member

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 1406
Loc: Undisclosed Location
Quote:
Originally posted by cgknight1:
A rating system?

Do books have ratings on the front of them in the states?


Different standards apply for visually-based content like comic books.
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#1388 - 01/29/04 08:55 AM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Shoegaze99 Offline
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 5325
Loc: Not Applicable, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Jayhawk:
It's not up to comic book retailers to determine what is or isn't appropriate for someone's kid.

Nobody said it was. Not the retailer. Nobody who posted here. Not even the mom, the sole quote from which is filtered through a third party, a quote which lays no blame, but rather simply says that she needed more information. Considering that the source the quote was filtered through was, shall we say, an "interested" source, we certainly could have expected something more harsh that that. But that's not what we got. Sounded like a “who knew? I wish I would have known” to me.

You know what? It's not a terrible idea for a consumer to be offered more information. Sounds rather reasonable to me. Even the retailer in question indicates that shopkeepers “need the info to make the decision.” While it’s not a retailer’s job to play mom and dad, it is a retailers job – or at least in their best interest no matter the product being sold – to have the ability to inform their customers about the purchases being made. When I make a big purchase, even after doing my own research I ask my salesman his thoughts. I damn well better get an informed opinion.

Like it or not, comic books remain a product “for children” in the eyes of the general public. That’s just what the reality is. Ignorant on the part of the mainstream public? Sure, maybe. “Deal with it” isn’t a valid response. Does the industry need to do a better job informing the world that comics are also for adults and can be quite mature? Damn straight. I’ve been saying that for a long time in a wholly different context – promoting comics as the viable art form they are.

If we acknowledge both of the above question/statements are true – I have a hard time imagining a reasonable argument against them – then doesn’t it stand to reason that maybe, just maybe, this “stupid shit” is indicative of a larger issue in the industry? And that it behooves the industry to tell the world its publications are also geared towards adults? And that maybe, just maybe, some clear indication of the general nature of the product would help address those issues, a measure that has greatly helped the video game industry, which the general public is increasingly realizing is no longer simply “kid’s fare?” The very idea that the video game industry public instituted a ratings system opened a number of eyes to the reality of how that form of entertainment has changed over the years.

Guess what? The public still thinks comics are for kids. Telling people who find out differently in unexpected and potentially offensive ways to screw off, shut up and deal with it is not exactly the most prudent course of action. In fact, it’s just plain stupid.

The issue brought up in this article, most specifically those addressed by the retailer, have great merit and deserve to be considered.

Incidentally, the movies your mom let you see when you were six are irrelevant to this discussion.
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#1389 - 01/29/04 09:02 AM Re: Mom Complains about Outsiders #8.
Shoegaze99 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 5325
Loc: Not Applicable, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by cactusmaac:
Marvel tried using those but the MPAA slapped them down saying they were trademarked property.

Is that accurate? I don't doubt you, it's just the first I've heard about it.

Too bad if that's the case. Certainly saying something is "R-rated material" or "G-rated fare" has connotations that all understand, movies or not. Those terms have become shorthand to mean certain things, to indicate certain content. If the MPAA is going to play legal games to hold tight to that, well, I say shame on them.

Interesting.

I wonder if comic industry types could talk to video game industry types in order to use the system used for video games? Not only would it offer some continuity between two entertainment means widely considered for kids, but it would be a great cross-promotional venue for comics, injecting them into the more widely adored world of video games. I’ve said here many times that comic publishers should be aggressively trying to get spinner racks in places like Babbage’s and Electronics Boutique. This would be akin to that. I think the benefits are self-evident.
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