Tasteless Promotion or Comic-Con Harbinger?

On Sunday morning, as I was running over to our hotel to get something for the booth, I saw this truck driving around the area near the convention center, clearly meant to promote the movie Joyride to the Comic-Con audience:

This really gave me pause. It had a decapitated head and various disembodied body parts hanging off the front, to promote a film that is obviously meant to be more about gore than plot.

Now I don’t believe in censorship, especially in artistic endevours, but most of the art venues I go to have the taste to let me opt out of things not for the faint-hearted, like the Holocaust exhibit at the British War Museum, or the photos-of-suffering-European-children exhibit at the Legion of Honor a few years ago. I can’t even read Steven King books without being disturbed, so I am grateful for the warning, and those who can stomach grittier images can see it.

On the other hand, there is ugliness in the world, and whether I like it or not, I will see it sometimes. On the other hand, I’d rather my children didn’t have horrifying images pushed on them. And I’m glad my children didn’t see (or at least notice) this truck.

So did it belong at Comic-Con? The show does have a lot less children (or at least a smaller percentage of children) attending than it used to. A fair percentage, if not the majority, of the audience is young adults, and some of those enjoy gory movies. But wouldn’t it be nice to have known that if my children were out on the streets of downtown San Diego on Sunday morning that they’d probably see a truck with blood and body parts all over it driving past them? Or should I really start putting Comic-Con in the category of an adults-only show?

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