Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Once in the waiting room of the Clinic I saw a little boy crouched over a comic book, oblivious to everything around him. In passing I could see the title of the story he was reading. Big capitals spelled out T A R Z A N. Surely, I thought, the adventures of Tarzan are harmless enough for juveniles of any age. But I was misled, as many parents no doubt are. When I looked at this comic later I found on the inside cover the picture of a man tied up in an agonizing position—a man "found dead in a Dallas park, his hands tied behind him and two bullets in his worthless carcass"; another man shot in the back as he is thrown out of a car ("Get out, ya stinking rat!")—and more of the same. Tarzan was not the whole title of the story I had seen the boy in the waiting room reading. There was a subtitle "The Wyoming Killer" and two other headings, "From Police Files" and "A True Crime Story." The story was not about Tarzan, but about a hero who robbed a bank and shot five men to death.