Tri Con Supports First Amendment "for Readers, Shops and Reviewers" at Auction

by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Eric Watkins
Eric Watkins
Broken Icon photo

As films and video games endure fresh scrutiny following the mass killing by Elliot Rodger, Director Judd Apatow and actor Seth (“Neighbors”) Rogan criticized a Washington Post op-ed which blamed the shooting on “white Hollywood culture.” Critic Ann Hornaday criticized that films glorify escapist fantasies that revolve around “vigilantism and sexual wish fulfillment.”

“Neighbors” has been cited as an example. In a tweet, star Seth Rogen responded, “How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.  Apatow stated she used tragedy to promote “herself with idiotic thoughts,” adding “why is it always anything but mental illness? Because that doesn’t sell papers.”

Dr. Frederick Werham’s  “Seduction of the Innocent” (1954) blamed society’s ills on comic books.  Now, he German shrink’s research for the book has now been brought into ridicule. Examination of his “notes” have revealed that often his data had been mischaracterized.

The so-called “great comic book scare” led to the demise of stylish 50s horror and fantasy genre’s published by E.C. Comics. Later, comic publishers such as D.C. imposed a code of “self regulation” to prevent the government from mandating rules for censorship of graphic compositions.

Wertham  originally called the Blue Beetle (hero) ‘Kafka for the kiddies’ and branded Batman and Robin as “a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.”

Films distributed in the US were already subject to a “code” to receive distribution. That’s why certain films in the 20s  and 30s depict mature subject matter. To prevent further imposition of film restriction, the Motion Picture Association of America created the now famous rating system that determines a film’s suitability for a certain age group.  His newly published notes actually state that the two men fantasized about heroes like Tarzan or the Sub-Mariner.

Tricon co-founder, Eric Watkins explained that the Huntington, WV convention, has a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The auction promotes free expression and First Amendment issues.

“We love what they do and love to be able to help them fight the good fight,” Watkins said.  Born in Belpre, Ohio, he has written “Chosen,” “Forsaken” and “Night of the Living Trion” with coming entries like “The Man in the Kitty Coat”  and “Mars and the Cowboy’s Gauntlet” on the way. Incidentally, his favorite films are “Step Brothers,” “Zombieland” and any World War II production.

Specifically, Watkins cited a recent case “where a comic shop owner was sued over a kid picking up a book his parents didn’t like during a FCBD. They help people who have been sued or arrested for the types of comics and graphic novels they read,” such as readers, reviewers and shop owners. “

Referring to the blame games of art initiating violence, Watkins said, “I think people like to find someone to blame for violence. I’ve watched horror slasher movies, played obscene games , read and wrote some crazy awful stuff and I don’t want to re-enact any of it,” the Broken Icon Comic  director of operations  said.

“Some people just can’t control themselves and society wants something to blame. I don’t blame comics, movies, games or the internet. I blame people,” Watkins said.

For further details on Tricon, check these prior stories:


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