Civil War and Batwoman are far from the first comics to deal with social issues, according to the Daily Record in Morris County, N.J. In an article this weekend, they talked to John Ostrander, writer of Batman: The Seduction of a Gun, about how the former governor of Virginia used the book to push a gun-rationing law:
Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder used the graphic novel “Batman: The Seduction of a Gun,” to push a gun-rationing law in the state Legislature.
The story was based on research conducted by writer John Ostrander of Roxbury, who discovered that Virginia had become a gun-buying destination for street gangs from New York and other states.
Ostrander said one of Wilder’s aides pointed out the story to the then-governor, who sent copies of the novel to other legislators, saying, “Look, even Batman is saying it.”
Ostrander said he was pleasantly surprised, and that the novel had achieved its purpose.
“In that case, we were writing something to express concern about the proliferation of handguns, and you like to think your writing has some significance,”Ostrander said.
The former governor was also quoted on the comics medium:
“Yes, topical issues can be expressed meaningfully in comic strips because the wholeness of the thought can be put in simplified terms so it can be understood,” Wilder said through his press secretary, Linwood Norman, on Wednesday.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the seriousness of the matter simply because it’s being expressed in comics, because it can be expressed very clearly.”