Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Wizard of Idiots

Saturday Leftover Day.

I just got the new Wizard of Id collection from Titan. Nice enough book, but as with their Beetle Bailey book I wonder why they chose 1971 for their first complete year instead of starting at the beginning. In Beetle's case it was 1966 rather than 1952 (the next year to be reprinted after the Checker book, which reprints the start of the strip). I guess in both cases they chose the first year of the strip's big succes. Art and gag-wise there was no reason not to take 1966 or any year between, since the Wizard was one strip that hit it's stride pretty early on.

Anyway, even more surprising and the reason for this post is that at first glance I saw that at least two of the years gags were dropped without any reason. I don't understand this. If you want to do a best of book, do a best of book. If you want to do a complete year, do a complete year or explain at least why you are dropping strips. And explain why you are starting six years into the run or at least give us a publishing plan for the series.

So I looked up the two strips and the reason they were dropped is obviousl. I guess the sales for Titan in China and Japan are big and we wouldn't want to scare away customes, huh. What's next, dropping all gags about smoking in case someone is offended? Or better still, why not drop all gags where women are treated sarcasticly and be left with less than half a year.

1 comment:

Daniel [] said...

This sort of thing is a persisting issue in America. When it comes to each group that was once targetted, we divide into three camps. One camp wants the evidence of targetting both suppressed and condemned (a somewhat self-contradictory pair of demands); one group wants the evidence left out there, but discussed; and one group insists that their was nothing wrong with the targetting in the first place.

The divisions are not constant as the formerly targetted group changes!

Publishers are fearful of boycotts. While Titan probably needn't have worried about sales in Japan, they would have been concerned about sales to Asian-Americans, and to those who would hop on the latest politically correct bandwagon. At the same time, they cannot always remove all potentially offensive material without quite gutting a work, so one often sees compromises that seem hypocritical or idiotic.