Category Archives: education

Storytelling Is Not Dead: An Open Letter To Bill Maher

Look, Bill…

I like you.  Seriously, I’m a fan.  And as a fan of yours, I realize that, like many of us, you say things that come out of your mouth without much of a thought.  We have heard you say things that are outlandish, some of which you have apologized for.

And like the firecracker that you are, you tend to spout off on topics that really grind your gears, and most of the time, your audience loves it!  To quote Dodgeball, “You’re their Fonzie!”  And mine too, at times.

But this weekend, not so much.  You came out swinging about a subject in which you are not versed.  You discounted a man whose life’s work shaped, and continues to shape generations of popular culture.

I do not have the strength to school you on the cultural significance of Lee’s work.  It’s vast, and anyone in the field of education that has used comics can speak to their success.  However, I will remind you that this past week in “New Rules,” you came out yelling at us to stop discussing politics in public, to keep our political views to ourselves.

Then you proceeded to produce a book: 14,000 things to be happy about.  And you encouraged us to emotionally and intellectually explore a bunch of normal every-day experiences instead of flexing politically.  I agree with you.  But then why hate on people that find value in the comics medium?  I’m sure some sort of form of comic is listed in the 14,000 things you’d rather have us discuss.

And if you do not want us to talk politics, why is all of your recommended reading political?

Look, Bill, the thing is, you smoke a lot of pot.  And I do not judge; more power to you, but I also believe it to be a little silly that you slam comics as not being “big boy books” while bragging about how much pot you smoke, as if you were a sophomore in high school.

Your blog was harsh, and based on its lack of examples, you don’t know the subject enough to bash it as harshly as you did, especially the work of a man that created a universe as dynamic as Marvel’s.  If you’d like some reading suggestions, I’d be happy to toss some out to you.

Furthermore! why the hell can’t people read “big boy books” AND comics??  In the blog, you yourself said that you do just that!

I will continue to enjoy your show.  And I am certain that we will both continue to flex on subjects that are a bit foreign to us, however, I hope in those times, we do not kick a dead-man that sculpted a legacy bigger then anything either of us could have ever created.

New Rule: Let people be happy about the shit that makes them happy.  And realize that there are plenty of adults doing just fine reading comics and graphic novels.  They don’t have to only be reading the latest political money-grab best-seller to be an adult.

Excelsior,

Eric