A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

More on Journalists in Comics

Ah, broadcasters winning Pulitzer Prizes.

This is the same mistake Greg Rucka made when he brought back Vesper Fairchild into the Batman mythos, just before the Murderer/Fugitive arc.

Though it was one of many.

First, Vesper had been altered from late night talk show host to print investigative reporter. That's like turning Larry King into Kolchak.

Second, Vesper apparently is tremendously talented at this print journalism thing because she won the coveted Pulitzer in about six months.

Third, Vesper's methods of investigation as a reporter are laughable in Rucka's arc on DETECTIVE. She talks to a clearly questionable witness and sets up a camera on a random building, hoping to get a photo of the Dark Knight. (Who then obliges her by showing up but that's another story. We're talking her stupidity here, not his.)

Also, the use of the camera makes Vesper even more multi-talented, as she's gone from talk show house to hard-news print investigator to photojournalist. All these disciplines are so different, that there are separate majors for them at journalism school.

Though despite all this wonderful talent, Vesper's stupidity seems to trump all and she gets brutally beaten and killed as a result.

Probably by some reporter angry that she stole his Pulitzer.

To give Rucka some credit, the reporter currently running around in the Rucka/Brubaker book, "Gotham Central," is very realistic and very human. He's willing to cut the cops some slack and sit on a story because he trusts them and wants to build a relationship but then he's appropriately angry when things don't work out and he ends up at the top of his editor's shit list.
One writer who did get the difference between journalists and photojournalists correct is Darwyn Cooke in "DC: New Frontier." Lois does the copy aka the words, at all times.

Jimmy always has his camera and he's the one getting the photo credit. Not once do you see Lois try to mess with it. And Jimmy's skill with his chosen profession is very clear. He can't do Lois' job but she can't do his either.