A recent article in UK newspaper The Guardian titled "Kapow! The unstoppable rise of female comic readers" highlights an important and growing trend in the world of comic books. No, we're not talking about the increase in female readership, which is, of course, a wonderful thing. We're talking about the tired and idiotic need to preface any headline about comics with sound effects calling back to mainstream stereotypes about comics still haunting us from the 1960s Batman TV show. It seems that, no matter how much mainstream acceptance is garnered for comics due to superhero movies and TV shows, media outlets are simply incapable of writing about the subject without resorting to this lazy and way overused cliche.
Normally, The Outhouse would consult an expert in the field of Popular Journalism Trends as They Relate to Coverage of Graphic Mediums, such as noted academic, Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms. Unfortunately, Puffinbottoms was brutally murdered by our Editor in Chief, Bill Jemas, to spike pageviews, so instead we've decided to conduct some research of our own. We gathered fifty of the top journalists for mainstream publications, locked them in laboratory, hooked them up to machines that shock their genitals every time they use a stupid sound effect in a headline, and provided them with plenty of comic book related topics to write about. After weeks of rigorous testing, the results were less successful than we'd hoped.
"I'm no longer able to maintain an erection, and I pee a little every time I sit down," explained one of our anonymous test subjects, a columnist for the New York Daily News. Though this seemed like a promising development, when asked to write a story about the sales trends in comic books as related to the release of blockbuster movies based on the characters, the subject immediately proposed a headline beginning with "POW! BIFF! ZAP!" prompting 120 volts of electric current to be delivered directly to his testicles. Despite this negative reinforcement, the subject was unphased. The results were unanimous across all of our subjects, with not a single one capable of writing about comics without resorting to the convention.
One subject, a beat reporter for Entertainment Weekly, appeared to actually get worse, offering to write stories about comics with sound effect headlines completely unprompted. "I kind of like the feeling," the subject explained as enough voltage to cook a medium-sized chicken was delivered directly to his penis. "Mmmm." Another subject, a writer for the LA Times, appeared to show promise, claiming to have an idea for an article that did not include a headline using the words "BAM," "THOCK," or "BUDDABUDDABUDDA," but she soon revealed that the article would be titled "Comics! They're not Just for Kids Anymore!" which is basically just as fucking stupid, all things considered.
Without Puffinbottoms, The Outhouse was unable to draw any scientific conclusions from our tests, but we have to admit the whole experience was rather satisfying, and we're considering a follow-up experiment where we gather top bloggers from the Hollywood Gossip scene and repeatedly THWACK them over the head with rolled up newspapers every time they claim to have word from "a reliable source close to the production" that a movie studio has "narrowed down the short list" of actors or actresses to play a popular superhero role. If you're a Hollywood rumormonger and you'd like to participate in this study, come to our offices tomorrow at 9AM and bring your own newspaper - preferably, the Sunday Edition of the New York Times, because we want this to really hurt, and nobody really reads that thing anyway.