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NPR vs. GoD: Public Radio’s DC Comics Bias Forces Report-Off Challenge
Tom Cheredar   |  

NPR vs. GoDNPR recently did a feature story classifying geeks by the way they read their comic books. And while the article was worth every penny donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, there were some discrepancies with their logic demanding immediate attention.

For instance, all comics-purchasing geeks and geekettes can be divided and classified into two possible sub-species according to author Glen Weldon –  (1) Grazers – who simply work their way through their stack of weekly titles in whatever random order the shop rang them up, or (2) Stackers, who have a ritual of carefully sorting through their selections prior to reading.

After working at a comic book shop for four years, I can honestly say I’ve never once heard my fanboy brethren classified as either a grazer or a stacker. This leads me to believe he bullshitted the entire thing, which doesn’t really matter. The article isn’t inaccurate, but it’s also not necessarily reality. It was an entertaining read and usually that’s enough for me to close the browser tab and move on. Instead, I’m going to make an example of Weldon and the blatantly Detective Comics-biased organization known as National Public Radio.

Weldon is unapologetic is his justification of DC Comics bias, as he’s quoted here saying:

“Let’s start with the most basic split in the trunk of the comic book fan’s taxonomic tree. And it’s got nothing to do with DC vs. Marvel. No, this classification is even more fundamental, and it’s bound up in one’s essential character. Which is to say: It’s not what you read, it’s how you read.”

How do I read? Well, I happen to use my eyes. You know who else does that? Marvel, yeah… when they’re making comics… real ones that deserve getting plugged (pwnd). Weldon is so far into his DC agenda that he didn’t even make mention of a classic Marvel age hero. No Captain America, no Fantastic Four, not a single X-Men. Just a brief shout out to Spider-Girl … really?

If Jack Kirby’s ghost was able to visit the corporeal world, he’d smack the bejesus out of you.

This has nothing to do with DC vs. Marvel? First of all, why isn’t it Marvel vs. DC? I’m not nitpicking on this detail either. Weldon, a self-professed Stacker who saves his favorites for last, didn’t add a single Marvel title to his list of recommended books. Where, I ask, is the objectivity?

That list should have at least included three Avengers titles, Ultimate Spider-Man, and a 2-year future prediction of Marvel’s next big event: House-of-Secret-Battlestar-Illuminati-Reign-Invasion (1 of 6). All written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Because Weldon is not forthcoming with his radical DC ideology, I’m forced to challenge him to a report-off. That’s right, NPR vs GoD in a competition to see which of us can get the best oddball feature story about their favorite publisher. If you don’t show up by the non-existent monkey bars, then Kirby’s ghost will ensure Blue Beetle never gets an ongoing ever again. (Ok, not really.) But really it means the geeks of the world will miss out on stellar reporting, and no one wants that.

So how about it Mr. Weldon, will you accept my challenge?


  1. Love it! Geek brothers unite!

    Comment by NJ — January 6, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

  2. Oh, it is ON.

    As the kids say.

    Um, said.


    And let me here state categorically that I happen to loves me some Marvel; I can point to no better testament to said love than the fact that at one point I even attempted to get the NPR totebags-n’-Tevas demo on board with Marvel Frickin’ Apes, of all things.

    Not proud of that. Just reading it into the record.

    Anyway, and despite the essential wobbliness of its premise: Challenge accepted. As Stan Lee would say: SAN SALVADOR!

    ….Er, wait.

    Comment by Weldon — January 7, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  3. Did not read this persons article you speak of, but I just want to say this: anything a person recomends, whether it be books, movies etc is down to their own personal opinion, so if he didn’t mention a comic in his recomendations it probably means he doesn’t like them :P

    Each to their own on that, personally I like me a bit of DC, a bit of marvel, a bit of dark horse etc…

    It’s not publishers that intrest me, its the characters in that perticular comic. Batman being my all time fave. And lets face it, batman is the only good thing DC has hehe. Not that I am bias in any direction at all, as in my personal opinion, batman out shines anything marvel has to offer. :P

    Comment by JustinSane — January 7, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

  4. “it’s how you read”

    give me a break, ugh

    Comment by Derek — January 9, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  5. It’s always interesting to me how DC centric academia seems to be. I mean, half of DC’s characters were semi-stolen through questionable business/legal actions & I don’t think that’s cool or publicized & at least as important as the creations of Superman & Batman (because the vast majority of the remaining big characters of DC’s cast were acquired this way).

    I think if you want to get to where a division between comic readers really is that doesn’t involve publishers & does involve reading styles, why not discuss people who wait to read complete story arcs (or trade paperbacks for that matter) over reading stuff as soon as it comes out.

    Comment by Brian John Mitchell — February 10, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

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