Saturday, January 25, 2014

Controversial 'Powerpuff Girls' Comic Book Cover Pulled By Cartoon Network

A swirl of controversy surrounds a Powerpuff Girls comic book variant cover that was set to ship in February from IDW Publishing. Cartoon Network chose to pull the plug after a series of complaints came to light. The cover was meant for the sixth issue.

One unhappy observer, a comic book retailer named Dennis Barger Jr., posted his complaints on Facebook:

Are we seriously sexualizing pre-teen girls like perverted writing fan fiction writers on the internet???? is that what this shit has gotten to? DISGUSTED

Dirk Wood, the vice president of marketing for IDW, responded to Barger with this message:

That was actually a Cartoon Network mandated cover, by an artist of their choosing. I think they were thinking of it more along the lines of 'female empowerment' than the kind of thing you guys are talking about, but certainly, we're sensitive to the issues here. We love making comics for kids, and always want them to be appropriate. For what it's worth, CN has been a great partner in that regardI know an 8 year old and 10 year old really well, and always look at these kinds of things through their eyesHalf of the employees have kids here, and we pride ourselves in making comics they'll enjoy and not give them a warped view of the world (except, you know, in a good way). Anyway, I certainly see your points, and we'll be sensitive to these things, as I think we mostly have been.

Cartoon Network moved to eliminate the fuss and minimize damage with this statement:

In conjunction with our licensing partners, Cartoon Network Enterprises from time to time works with the artist community to reimagine and reinterpret our brands using their talents and unique points of view. This particular variant cover for The Powerpuff Girls #6 from IDW was done in the artist's signature style and was intended to be released as a collectible item for comic book fans. We recognize some fans' reaction to the cover and, as such, will no longer be releasing it at comic book shops.

What do you guys think? Is this inappropriate, or is it simply an overreaction?

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