Not wanting Brazilian officials to have all the stupid fun this weekend, Vladimir Medinsky, the Russian Minister of Culture, sparked international outcry at the 32nd Moscow International Book Fair when he said that adult comic book readers are "morons." Medinsky admitted that comics were good for children up to age seven or eight, but not for adults. He did admit that collecting them could be "fun," but that they should never be read.
Via Google translate, here's what Medinsky had to say, according to BBC.
Comics – this is for those who can read poorly. I have a very bad attitude to comics. Comics are like chewing gum, as you say, this is not food. Comics – this orientation should be for a child who is only learning to read, up to seven – Eight years. But an adult to read comics is to admit that "I'm a moron, I read comics." It's probably possible to collect them, it's fun, but not read.
In response to Medinsky's comments, Dmitry Yakovlev, director of Russian comic book publisher Bumkniga, said:
It was strange for me to hear this statement when comic centers or some corners of comics are organized in government offices and libraries across the country, government money is allocated for this, books are bought. There are people who work in these centers. Probably Medinsky aware of this.
While Moscow comic shop owner Ivan Chernyavsky revealed that some Russian officials may be afraid of comics because they presume they're some kind of Moose and Squirrel operation.
They're afraid that it means something propaganda, American, necessarily corrupting. There is a stereotype that comics are something alien to the Russian mentality, something that degrades. At the household level, we regularly encounter these stereotypes when random passers-by visit our store. There are people who come to the store with children and say: you'd better read something normal.
And comic book fans have been speaking out on social media under the hashtag #ячитаюкомиксы, or "read comics."
#ячитаюкомиксы уже почти 20 лет. И так получилось, что я не собираюсь останавливаться. Почему-то ничьи слова бросить это дело меня не заставят. Почему? Потому что слишком много они дали. Слишком многому научили. Слишком многое показали. И я не #дебил, чтобы от этого отрекаться. pic.twitter.com/eUuNHgh96j
— Хубиев Руслан (@RuslanKhubiev) September 4, 2019
Я трижды дебил – читаю комиксы, пишу о них и даже рисую. В очередной раз говорят они, а стыдно нам
— Geek chick (@Igorina) September 4, 2019
Readers also sent Medinsky lists of comics he should read.
Medinsky, however, appears to be a book purist, also positioning those who read regular prose books as superior to people who watch television, according to DP.
We still love books, we still love to read. And no offense to television people, as we know, those who read books – I always say this to our students, in every lecture – those who read, always run those who watch TV. Read books!
But at least he didn't call them morons!
What do you think, dear readers? Was Medinsky correct? Are you idiots? Or do you disagree? Let us know in the comments, if you're able to string a few words together, of course.