|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Saturday, February 11, 2006 |
( 2/11/2006 07:57:00 AM ) Bill S.
"IT'S QUITE NORMAL FOR AN AMERICAN MALE TO READ COMIC BOOKS!”"– Watched this week's ep of Bones last night : the easy-to-guess mystery revolved around the murder of a fourteen-year-old comic book nerd, so naturally I was curious as to how they'd handle it. I was expecting regular guy F.B.I. agent Booth (David Boreanaz) to make most of the wisecracks – given his propensity for ridiculing the "Squints" working at the Jeffersonian Institute – but the character was relatively restrained. He was handed one fairly lame put-down, however: confronted by a group of comic shop habitués, he makes a "bet none of you have ever seen a real girl before" joke, which doesn't really work because we can already see that one of the group is a real girl. Perhaps the director should've done a better job placing her out of camera sight.
In any event, the episode wasn't as condescending to comic shop culture as it could've been, but the results were still undeniably mixed. The dead young boy – who, of course, is creating his own comic book series (paging Seth Cohen!) with the comic shop owner – is treated sympathetically, but the group of gamers he hangs with is meant to be kinda creepy. ("Dark nerds," Booth calls 'em, making a ref to Columbine in the process.) Scripter Elizabeth Benjamin knows enough about modern comics to name-check Neil Gaiman (our young boy gives his entire Gaiman collection to a smitten girl geek – she thinks it's a romantic gesture; we learn there's more to the story), though all of the comics we're shown in close-up appear to be fabricated titles. When we see the cover to the first issue of Citizen 14, the comic created by the murder victim, a prominent cover blurb tells us it's the "Mind-Blowing First Issue!" Gotta admit, that small touch made me chuckle . . .