Late-night comedian Bill Maher is facing a wave of backlash from comic book creators and fans after he blamed late Marvel co-founder Stan Lee for playing a role in the dumbing down of America.
Mr. Maher wrote a blog post several days after Lee’s death mocking the people who were in “deep mourning” over a man who inspired millions to “I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.” He argued that comic books are for kids and that eventually kids need to move on to “big-boy books without the pictures.”
Mr. Maher lamented that “something happened” in the last twenty years when people stopped viewing comic books as for kids only and started pretending that they “were actually sophisticated literature.”
“And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer,” Mr. Maher wrote. “And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it ‘adulting,’ and act like it’s some giant struggle.
“The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff,” he concluded. “I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
Mr. Maher’s blog post enraged comic book fans and creators, including “Batman” artist Greg Capullo, “The Avengers” writer Kurt Busiek and “Ms. Marvel” writer G. Willow Wilson, who told the HBO host to stay in his lane.
I never speak on topics I know little or nothing about. Why? I never want to be the fool. In other words, I don’t wanna make a Bill Maher out of myself. 🤘✏️🤘
— Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo) November 17, 2018
Bill Maher’s an idiot, commenting out of ignorance and assuming that all comics are like the ones he read as a child and there’s noting to them but what he perceived as a child. But then, that’s what he often does. https://t.co/6QVGqpXO3r
— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) November 16, 2018
Bill Maher has done the impossible: gotten the entirety of comics fandom to agree on something
— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) November 17, 2018
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