Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling for December 22, 2016
THE ADVENTURES OF GOD-MAN At the god- man fan club, local 348.... Boy1: Guys look what I got! Boy2: Wow! God - mans earliest adventures! It looks so different! (comic book: what makes you think you can ignore the law!!) Gosh! Boy1: The old God- man is mean! Boy: Yeah a good guy wouldn't do that! God- man: ....hmmm...this city is evil! Black Boy: is God man really a bad guy? white boy: Of course not! its unclear from this picture whether any people were in that city. Black man: thats sounds smart.... white man: well, you have to analyze the narrative through the lens of the times in which they occurred. Guy: we're putting you in charge of interrupting old god man comics! White Boy: yes sir Black man: so this god man is good? I don't get it! white guy: you're not trying hard enough!
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If this confuses anyone: it’s common practice for comic-book blogs that reprint stuff from the ‘40s (and ’50s and ’60s and ’70s and…well, ANY time period, unfortunately) to add similar “through the lens of the time” disclaimers regarding the content—whether it’s Batman shooting someone in the head, revolting racist caricatures (only some of which was inspired by WWII), or grotesque sexism. Some blogs are sincere about such disclaimers, while others post them simply to avoid discussions that they can’t “win” or otherwise make excuses for the content. Personally, I enjoy these relatively primitive funnybooks immensely, and I do understand that “things were different then” but I’m not going to let them shape my perceptions of the modern world. Racism is racism, period—even if it was practiced decades ago during wartime by an artist whose work you otherwise like. You understand and move on, hoping that they changed their ways at some point. Hate the sin, not the sinner and all that.