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Jacksonville comics stores react to possible comic, shooting connection

10:57 PM, Jul 21, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Saturday Jonathan Sanders ordered another set of Frank Miller's famous Batman: The Dark Knight Returns comic series.

He said the collection has always disappeared almost as quickly as Sanders can stock it at Universe of Superheroes, a comic store in Riverside. 

As popular as it has been, there is now a question whether the comic inspired the recent shooting at a Colorado screening of Dark Knight Rises. 

"It's really a shame you know, because a lot of people like to read comics to escape from reality and not to try and create it," said Sanders. 

In one scene of the comic series, a troubled young man goes on a shooting rampage inside a crowded theater. 

"These three movies that just came out... they are somewhat based on Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight [Returns.]  So, I mean, it could be, you know, pretty possible that he did read that book and decided to go into this movie," Sanders explained. 

But William Eubank the third, Co-owner of Sun Coast Comics on the Westside, disagrees. 

"Everybody is looking for an excuse and I don't think that comic books are the excuse," Eubank said. 

He points to reports that the suspected shooter, James Holmes, told investigators he was the Joker, not the smaller character behind the theater shooting in the 1980s comic series. 

"To single out a one, two, three page event and hold it accountable for this atrocity, is really reaching I think," concluded Eubank. 

Comic book fans themselves, both Eubank and Sanders hope this rumored link will not make people shy away from comics.

"Kids that read comic books, read," reasoned Eubank.  "For their existence, that has been the biggest benefit to comic books in this country is that it encourages children to read." 

"He wanted to get famous or do something like that anyways," said Sanders of the suspected shooter.  "He wanted to get caught, so if it wasn't Batman it would've been some other movie or event, you know?"

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