If you needed proof that comic books are becoming a greater accepted medium of creativity and storytelling, one only need to look to the New York Post this weekend. A right-wing populist tabloid, it has tended to cover Black Lives Matters protests by focusing on acts of violence, whether real, imagined or exaggerated, as one might expect. But this weekend's coverage had the kind of headline that you just would never have seen a decade ago.
"Comic book writers' son arrested". Well, we are living in a different world. The news is actually that one 20-year-old Elliot Rucka, son of Greg Rucka and Jen Van Meter, was arrested in New York.
Reporter Jackie Salo of the New York Post is not specific on charges but managed to link the arrest to phrases such as "window-smashing rampage", "rioting and other charges" and of the "vandalized banks, Starbucks and Duane-Reades" while showing a photo of a boarded up, graffitied Starbucks. All without actually stating that Elliot Rucka was involved with any of this. They eventually state he was arrested on a "felony riot charge" but not what happened subsequently, or what justified the charge. Instead, they draw an accusatory line that Elliot is from an "elite" background as Greg Rucka wrote Old Guard and Stumptown, and both parents are Portland-based comic book creators. I don't think anyone has painted comic creators as the "elite" before.
The wording of the New York Post article also tries to imply that Elliot travelled from his parents home Portland to New York to engage in property damage. Rather, Elliot lives in New York and was involved in a peaceful protest which remained peaceful. He was arrested by police when leaving the protest, after the crowd had been asked to disperse.
Who knows, maybe they will have a follow-up to explain all this once it does – or doesn't – hit the court? Or maybe they just won't bother. Considering the death threats and more that have been directed at Elliot, Greg and Jen since the report, it might not be enough.