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Thursday, May 14, 2020 

California school's idea for encouraging reading is by giving students copies of DC's Year of the Villain

The Orange County Register tells of a local school in the Fullerton district that's giving free comic copies to students along with their lunch, provided by a local retailer:
“Kids may not be aware of exactly what’s going on, but if they do, I’m trying to bring a little bit of entertainment into their lives,” Muñoz said. “Maybe they’ll forget about what’s going on because they’re reading about superheroes.”
Excuse me? That's not what the following suggests:
Teachers and staff at the district, which teaches 14,000 K-8 students, were busy one recent afternoon distributing about 2,500 comic books at the district’s 17 grab-and-go meal sites. Kids and parents smiled in their cars as they held up copies of DC Comics’ Year of the Villain #1, featuring Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom.
They say it's about superheroes and then it turns out the first official comic they're giving them is about villains? Where did logic get lost along the way? They certainly won't be aware of what's going on if this is how the paper puts it.
Muñoz’s donation isn’t just about providing entertainment for bored kids, he said. It’s also about inspiring creativity and getting kids to engage in reading, he said.
But why about villains, or even about darkness, seeing as a Batman comic is one of the items he gave to the school (no mention of any Superman comics), possibly because they weren't even selling well at the store? What's so creatively inspiring there?
District staff screened the comic books to make sure they were appropriate for the kids, just in case, Muñoz said.
Why do I get the bad feeling their "screenings" were only to see whether there was too much sex inside, while violence gets a free pass? If anything, their acceptance of a comic emphasizing villains is indicative of something wrong.
This week, Muñoz gave the district about 1,800 more comic books – Justice League #1, DC Nation #0 and a Batman book. Even as he’s preparing to reopen his store, Muñoz said he wants to donate more comic books to organizations that want them.
It looks like what he's giving them includes a lot of DC output that may not have sold well, and let's recall the no-return policies publishers have been going by for many years at the retailers' expense. If this is mostly back issue stock, that could suggest the retailer in question is simply trying to find a way to get rid of some of the excess baggage. If it's all modern stuff published under the now-ousted Dan DiDio, I sure wouldn't buy it. And it's not what schoolchildren should be encouraged to read either. Villainous emphasis has long gotten way out of hand.

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