Guardian Publishes Art Spiegelman’s Full Essay That Marvel Rejected Over Politics

Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported that Art Spiegelman had his introduction to the upcoming Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 published by Folio Editions removed over a small reference of Donald Trump in its inclusion.

In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.

Guardian Publishes Art Spiegelman's Full Essay That Marvel Rejected Over Politics

Today, the Guardian has run his introduction in full, modified to include the changes demands of him from Marvel that he remove a line about an ‘Orange Skull’

While the content of comic books has hijacked our cinema, the form of comics – cleverly disguised as graphic novels – has infiltrated what’s left of our literary culture. When the Folio Society, venerable publisher of luxurious illustrated books since 1947, decided to plunge in with a deluxe compilation of golden age Marvel comics, they invited me, as a graphic novelist and comic book scholar, to write an introduction to the book. Perhaps they misguidedly figured that I might lend the endeavour a fig leaf of respectability.

I turned the essay in at the end of June, substantially the same as what appears here. A regretful Folio Society editor told me that Marvel Comics (evidently the co-publisher of the book) is trying to now stay “apolitical”, and is not allowing its publications to take a political stance. I was asked to alter or remove the sentence that refers to the Red Skull or the intro could not be published. I didn’t think of myself as especially political compared with some of my fellow travellers, but when asked to kill a relatively anodyne reference to an Orange Skull I realised that perhaps it had been irresponsible to be playful about the dire existential threat we now live with, and I withdrew my introduction.

Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 now carries an introduction by former Marvel editor and current Conan writer Roy Thomas, is published in September.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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