After beloved comic book creator Stan Lee died, fans took to Twitter to express their sympathies and gratitude. But comedian Bill Maher took the opportunity to make fun of comic book fans, saying, among other things, “I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
Comics fandom being what it is, the backlash was massive.
But what’s interesting to me is that Maher has made a career out of attacking things that I and millions of others value, such as traditional values and religious belief. It was fascinating to watch many presumably left-leaning comic book fans suddenly experiencing something the rest of us have endured for years: A famous and influential media mouthpiece mocking something we care about deeply, and in such a low-information way.