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Imagine if the average monthly superhero comic book artist came home from the studio one day, opened the door, and found his family had been brutally murdered. (It’s a “he” because DC Comics employs 1% women.) Imagine his wife had been cut open and spread around the room, his children tortured before being allowed to die, the objects that held his most cherished memories of them smashed and torn and burnt up in the fireplace, and very very much et cetera. Imagine it emerged after the subsequent police investigation that it had been his boss the editor, or the publisher, or the art director, who committed the crime. The boss goes to jail, the artist quits the company and probably never works in the medium again. But his art can and will continue to be published by the house that he worked for, and money from it will continue to pay the salaries of the editor, the publisher, the art director.

I’m aware of how completely ridiculous that paragraph is, and of the fact that comics isn’t the only industry in which that’s true. But comics, superhero comics, is the one that makes me think of things like that. Maybe it’s because superhero comics are dark things, corporate advertisements built on the stolen creations of angry ghosts.

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