“The Sexualization of Violence” and Comic-Con


There’s no easier way to recruit a legion of mortal enemies than to say something unflattering about the culture of comic books, but I’ve decided that I have nothing to lose today. Well, maybe I have something to lose, because I’m going to hide behind a quote from Tod Goldberg over at Jacket Copy. Goldberg is reporting from Comic-Con, the major national conference for “comics and related popular art forms.”

“The booth for “The Blood Factory” —  … which is to say, films with lots of sex and lots of knife wounds, often concurrently — featured two smiling and bloodied hotties wielding chainsaws who posed and vamped for children of all ages. The sexualization of violence was not something I was prepared for even knowing well how undead vampires have become romance heroes in print and film. Sex was certainly in play without violence too … and in a way it’s nothing new for these kinds of gatherings since even Renaissance fairs use women as objects, but usually those women aren’t covered in open wounds. I’m no prude per se, but it was nonetheless odd to see young boys getting their cheeks pecked by buxom undead women.”

Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →