I begin most of my Thrift Store Finds posts with the following disclaimer:
(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)
I’ve made jokes in the past about how this effectively absolves me of any responsibility about accuracy… but obviously that’s a “tongue in cheek” statement and I do try to get the facts right whenever I can. Unfortunately, I’ve missed the mark on a post and I wanted to take a second to clear the air.
A few days ago I was contacted by Ms. Norma Martin, wife of famed MAD Magazine cartoonist Don Martin about some inaccuracies in my Thrift Store Find post on Don Martin Bounces Back... chiefly some of the legal wrangling surrounding Martin’s leaving MAD in the 1980′s for greener pastures. I’ve already posted Ms. Martin’s comments on that post, and I’m going back to that article this weekend and making the necessary corrections. I hope that my readers and Mrs. Martin will forgive my errors. My “sources” were a baker’s dozen of MAD fan sites and the guy who ran my town’s comic book store in the early Nineties… neither of which are the types of citations I’d want my students making on a research paper. I regret the error, especially as I hold Don Martin in such high esteem.
Once again, I HIGHLY recommend everyone go and by The Completely MAD Don Martin collection, which is still available at Barnes & Noble for a song. It’s the best investment you’ll make in your personal library this year.
I feel as though there’s been a lot of “tempest in a teapot” comic news in the past few days. I don’t normally care to mention this kind of thing, but one took me so off guard, I can’t help but say a few words. I was completely shocked by the reaction of some contingent of the online community to cartoonist Kate Beaton’s response to the common Internet comment “I love __________ comics so much, I want to marry ______ and have ____’s babies.”
I have to confess, it weirded me out how uncomfortable some folks became with the very reasonable request to refrain from using the phrase as a compliment. If, in your everyday life, a person you work with and liked asked you to refrain from saying something that made him or her feel uncomfortable… you’d just comply, right? Very simple… but since this IS the Internet, people found reasons to be outraged and complain. It seemed like the majority of complainers weren’t able to grasp the fact that, although intended as complimentary, it’s a very different compliment to receive if you are, in fact, someone who is capable of having babies.
I’ve always thought the “want to marry/have babies” comment was quite reductive of a person’s talents, but I should mention that aside from it being a little sexist, I also have a personal bias toward this particular “compliment” as someone I went to college with would use it ALL the time. As in, “These chicken finger subs are so delicious I want to marry them and have their babies.” This person thought it was the height of cute and really drove my friends and I up a wall with it incessantly.
Anyhow, I felt compelled to comment on it. I am sure my dozens of readers are happy to know my thoughts. I should also mention that Kate Beaton’s comics are FANTASTIC. As an English teacher and a lifetime book nerd, her occasional forays into literature are some of the best comics I’ve read in long time. She recently delved into Dracula, but I still love her take on The Great Gatsby the best.