I have a bone to pick with the U.S. Navy. And it’s not what you’d expect.
It all started with a comic book that I was reading about seven months ago. It felt remarkably solid, and didn’t have the usual flexibility of a comic book. When I went to flip the page (from the edge, so as not to contaminate the ink with the oil from my fingerprints), I found that I couldn’t, and had to physically grip the page between my thumb and forefinger to turn the page. I found the offender on the next page – a cardboard reply post paid slip, courtesy of the US Navy.
It was part of a recruitment drive, and it had a series of tick-boxes on it with suspicious-looking codes next to each choice. Presumably the idea was that comic book readers were a previously untapped demographic for the armed services. It only stands to reason, after all, that people who enjoy reading the likes of Checkmate, Suicide Squad, or the Secret Six would also like to participate in the joys of actually killing people and blowing things up in real life, right?
I don’t know. I was busy trying to figure out how on Earth this cardboard slip got in there, and how to best pull it out. Turns out it was folded along the staple-line and slipped in between the staples, so I had to pull it out through one side without uprooting said staples. It was only in a couple of comics, and I figured it out eventually, so no harm done, right? Wrong. The following week, the same damn slip appeared in EVERY SINGLE ONE of my comic books, and the week after that. As of today I have enough recruitment forms to have joined the Navy at least 28 times. To tell you the truth, I’ve been throwing them all around the floor and making snow angels with them, so I kind of lost count.
I understand the U.S. Navy’s need for new blood to patrol the open seas, but next time, how about just taking out a page ad with a hotline number like regular folk? This kind of advertising is just plain annoying and intrusive.
[Then again, ‘intrusive’ is probably more their style…]
Don’t they know that most comic book nerds are either a) overweight, b) overly weedy, or c) lefty scum? And then there was the fact that I’m an Australian, and I buy my comics from an Australian comic book shop. That’s one of the questions, though: “Are you a U.S. citizen?” So presumably they don’t care if you’re American or not either.
Who knows, maybe a Batman fan out there wants to strike fear into the hearts of terrorists the world over. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather leave that type of thing to Batman. Incidentally, there is a graphic novel in the works called Holy Terror, Batman! by Frank Miller, who else? I’m guessing it’s satirical, though, and therein lies the difference.
So let this be a warning to you, U.S. Navy. If you don’t stop infiltrating my comics, every pizza coupon I can find will be piggybacking its way back to HQ par avion. And thanks to your generosity, you’ll be footing the bill.