Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Zack Snyder said that he couldn’t get into “normal comics” when he was growing up because there was not enough “sex or killing.”
There is a popular meme going around with a purported quote from Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director, Zack Snyder, talking about his opinions about comic books when he was younger (I saw it shared by the very nice comic book site, youdon’treadcomics_.
In it, Snyder purportedly says about comics (while promoting his film adaptation of Watchmen):
I had a buddy who tried getting me into “normal” comic books, but I was all like, “No one is having sex or killing each other. This isn’t really doing it for me.” I was a little broken, that way. So when Watchmen came along, I was, “This is more my scene.”
So, is it a real quote?
Yes, it is a real quote from an interview Snyder did with Jeff Jensen for Entertainment Weekly.
Now, the quote is the quote, no doubt about it, but at the same time, when seen in the full context, it stands out a lot less. Here is Snyder talking about comics:
I came to comic books through my mother. I loved fantasy art — I love Frank Frazetta [the famed illustrator known for adult-oriented, sword-and-sorcery, and sci-fi imagery]. I went to boarding school. You weren’t allowed too many posters up, and everything I set up was slightly inappropriate. Frazetta’s naked girls, ripped up guys — the kids were like, ”What the hell?!” They had their Boy George posters up, I had crazy Frazetta. My mother saw I was into this comic called Heavy Metal magazine, so she got me a subscription. You could call it ”high-brow” comics, but to me, that comic book was just pretty sexy! I had a buddy who tried getting me into ”normal” comic books, but I was all like, ”No one is having sex or killing each other. This isn’t really doing it for me.” I was a little broken, that way. So when Watchmen came along, I was, ”This is more my scene.”
In other words, he is specifically comparing normal comics to Heavy Metal, so that’s the context of the line. I mean, he still said it, and that same interview with Jensen has the stunning statement:
Everyone says that about [Christopher Nolan’s] Batman Begins. “Batman’s dark.” I’m like, okay, “No, Batman’s cool.” He gets to go to a Tibetan monastery and be trained by ninjas. Okay? I want to do that. But he doesn’t, like, get raped in prison. That could happen in my movie. If you want to talk about dark, that’s how that would go.
So I’m not saying that Snyder doesn’t say some odd stuff in the interview, just that the quote in the meme makes a lot more sense in context.
Still, it IS a real quote, so the legend is…
Be sure to check out my archive of Movie Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of film.
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.