It's been a tradition for twenty years in the U.K. for Channel Four to get a celebrity or notable person to deliver a Christmas message, airing as an alternative to the annual royal Christmas message from the surviving members of the rock band Queen. Sometimes humorous and sometimes serious, the message has been delivered in past years by such luminaries as Jesse Jackson, Sharon Osbourne, and Borat. This year, NSA leaker Edward Snowden was chosen to give the message, and while most analysts expected the whistleblower, currently hiding out in Russia, to speak out against the Orwellian US government surveillance that he revealed to the world earlier this year (much to the chagrin of the one third of Americans that support the government tracking their every move because 'Murica), he instead chose to address an even more important concern: the proliferation of blockbuster event comics in the American comic book publishing industry.
Looking thin and wearing a black blazer over a pink shirt, Snowden spoke directly to the British people for two minutes. Here's the transcript:
Hi, and Merry Christmas. I'm honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year.
Recently, we learned that Marvel and DC, working in concert, have created a system of neverending crossovers, affecting every Big Two superhero book we read.
Great Britain's Rich Johnston warned us of the danger of this kind of constant bilking of fans. The types of gimmicks on his tabloid website -- twelve issue family book crossovers that occur in the regular titles over the course of a few months, limited series that take place without interrupting the regular stories in the ongoing -- are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have super-mega-crossover events that bleed into every comic in the line, and serve only to lead directly into yet another crossover.
Think about what this means for the reading habits of the average person. A child born today will grow up with no conception of a coherent, self-contained ongoing comic book at all. They'll never know what it means to simply read and enjoy a great comic book story -- one with a regular cover, that doesn't change the status quo of the Marvel or DC Universe forever. And that's a problem, because comic books matter. Comic books are what allow us to determine who we are and who we want to be when we dress up in our cosplay costumes at conventions.
The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the comic books around us and the giant multimedia conglomerates that publish them. Together, we can find a better balance. End bi-monthly Universe-wide blockbuster event comics. And remind the publishers that if they really want people to buy comics, try making them worth reading.
For everyone out there listening, thank you, and Merry Christmas.
In addition to needing to flee from the U.S. Government, because of his speech, Snowden has has also now been blacklisted by both DC and Marvel Comics, putting him in a class of criminals even worse than accused traitors: Outhousers. We applaud Edward Snowden for standing up for his beliefs and for the liberties of his fellow comic book fans. Bravo, sir.