First  |  Previous  |  Permalink  |  Next  |  Latest

#258: Parental Discretion Is the Better Part of Valor

July 21, 2008

Notes from the Manager

Although The Dark Knight's record-setting debut weekend has been making the most headlines, the film's level of violence has been getting a little attention, as well. (Note: there are a few spoilers in the linked article.)

I don't know how many parents I've got reading this juvenile little strip of mine, so I don't really know how much anybody else out there will particularly care about this subject, but the violence in The Dark Knight kind of bothered me. The film was absolutely spectacular, mind you, and, in some ways, it was refreshing to see the Joker be able to cut loose with an appropriate amount of fucked-up insanity for the character, unlike the candy-coated Nicholson version or the relatively family-friendly Batman: The Animated Series version.

The level of violence bothered me not in the context of the film, but in how the film was being marketed. Toys are a hard one to gauge ages for, because adults collect action figures. (I do think MacFarlane Toys' products — while often disturbing — are generally and plainly aimed at older collectors/hobbyists, not children.) But I saw children's picturebooks unquestionably aimed at grade school aged kids at a Borders the other day — not just generic Batman picture books, mind you, but Dark Knight-specific picture books, with a sanitized version of Heath Ledger's Joker — and my soul died a little.

Marketing a film like Dark Knight to kids that young is simply inappropriate. Even though it is (of course) the parents' responsibility to decide if their child is ready for a PG-13 or even R-rated movie, little-kid merchandise gives parents the impression that the movie is appropriate for younger kids, whether that is the case (as in Iron Man) or not (as in DK, in my opinion, anyway).

Of course, you could tell from just the trailers that the Joker was going to be one messed up puppy but you couldn't (SPOILERS) tell that he was going to shove a pencil into a guy's skull or how fucked up Two-Face was going to look… (END SPOILERS).

I don't think Dark Knight should have gotten an R; to say sixteen year olds shouldn't be able to go to Dark Knight without a parent is absurd. But I do think a non-superhero movie from a studio without Warner Brothers' leverage with the MPAA with the exact same level of violence would have been given an R without hesitation. (Most people who have seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated would suspect the same thing.)

But because the studios aren't doing parents any favors by marketing movies like Dark Knight towards kids, they need to be better prepared when they take younger children to the movies — even (shudder) at the expense of spoiling movies for themselves, and so to that end, Parent Previews and Kids in Mind are two of many options to read up on the content of the movies at your local multiplex. (Note: Both links take you to The Dark Knight page at each site, so be ready for spoilers. Very detailed ones.)

Neither of these sites' Dark Knight reviews are quite on the mark, in my opinion (Kids in Mind's rating system has Iron Man's violence/gore rating equal to Dark Knight's which is ridiculous), so I'm not necessarily endorsing them; I'm just saying that they exist, and that parents should find resources they trust to rely upon.


Share This Strip:   Twitter Facebook Google+ StumbleUpon

How much Multiplex can you handle?!

Multiplex is made possible by Andrew Hathaway at Can’t Stop the Movies and readers like you via Patreon, who contribute over $600 per month to keep Multiplex updating and ad-free.

In addition to the warm, soothing feeling of being a patron of the fine art of comic strippery, Patrons get access to free Multiplex eBooks, sneak previews of upcoming comics and other behind the scenes peeks, sketch giveaways, and more!

Become a Multiplex Patron today!

You can also support Multiplex by shopping at the Multiplex store — or at Amazon via these affiliate links: United States | United Kingdom | Canada

Deleted Scenes Blog

Bonus comics, drawings,
movie trailers and more

“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

Other Recent Posts

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE