Russian Minister Calls Comic Book Readers "Morons"

Reading comics apparently isn't an activity for everybody; that's most certainly the case for [...]

Reading comics apparently isn't an activity for everybody; that's most certainly the case for Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky. During a recent appearance at the 32nd Moscow International Book Fair, the head of Russia's Ministry of Culture said those adults who read comics are morons.

"Comics are for those who can read poorly," Medinsky said at the event (via BBC's Moscow bureau). "I have a very bad attitude to comics. Comics are like chewing gum, as you say, this is not food. Comics should be for a child who is only learning to read, up to seven or eight years old. But an adult to read comics is to admit that 'I'm a moron, I read comics."

Medinsky then finished his comments by saying he thought "it's probably possible" for adults to collect comics, but not read them as they are. As one might expect, the comments soon blew up across Russian social media with Russian comic readers, shops, and publishers alike flocking to defend the medium.

"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," said Dmitry Yakovlev, an organizer of Boomfest, another publishing-related event. "Government money is allocated for this, books are bought. There are people who work in these centers. Probably Medinsky aware of this."

The Russian's comments seemingly echo those of shock jock Bill Maher from earlier this year. In January, Maher threw shade at those who claimed comics were a legitimate art form.

"Can we stop pretending that the writing in comic books is so good?" Maher said at the time. "Oh, please. Every superhero movie is the same thing — a person who doesn't have powers, gets them, has to figure out how they work, and then has to find a glory thing. Justice League, glowy thing. Iron Man, glowy thing. Spider-Man, glory thing. Captain America, glowy thing."

Photo by Lev Fedoseyev / Getty Images