Bill Maher Slams Comic Book Culture Again, Calls It Dumb


Bill Maher received heavy backlash over the weekend for an incendiary blog piece disparaging the legacy of the late Stan Lee, along with comic book culture in general, and in his recent appearance on Larry King Now, the comedian and political commentator remained characteristically unrepentant.

For those who’ve been keeping track of this ongoing dispute, Maher’s controversial article used the writer’s death as the starting point for a blanket criticism of the comic book genre, arguing that comics represent an unimportant and juvenile art form that doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. In his subsequent interview with King, the frequent provocateur acknowledged that he doesn’t know much about Lee or his medium of choice, but claimed that the outraged provoked by his post proved his point.

“But talk about making my point for me: Yeah, I don’t know very much about Stan Lee and it certainly wasn’t a swipe at Stan Lee. Yeah, fine. I am agnostic on Stan Lee,” Maher said. “I don’t read comic books. I didn’t even read them when I was a child. What I was saying is, a culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb f**king culture. And for people to get mad at that just proves my point.”

Speaking of proving points, the fact that Maher’s latest comments see the man standing by his claims that comic books can’t be profound even after admitting to his own ignorance about the medium certainly lends credence to popular response that he’s just looking for attention. When a commentator is this unapologetic about how uninformed they are on a subject, chances are that thoughtful discourse isn’t what they’re hoping bring to the table.

The Real Time host isn’t the only famous figure to draw condemnation in the wake of Lee’s passing, of course, with actor Armie Hammer recently criticizing his fellow celebrities for remembering the man’s death by sharing photos of themselves with the writer. Since then, however, the Call Me by Your Name star has apologized for his comments, admitting that he still needs to work on his “Twitter impulse control.”

By contrast, Maher seems all too happy to prolong the backlash to his Stan Lee remarks, but while the controversy over a button-pushing article can only last so long, it’s clear that the late legend’s legacy is here to stay.