Stern is the writer/creator of the alien comic-book hero, Zen Intergalactic Ninja. "After ten years of publication, the Zen live-action movie is finally slated to begin production in early '97," Stern said. "With more alien hate-fests on the horizon, including Men in Black and Starship Troopers, it's imperative that movies start to present a positive image of aliens."
He says that the concept that aliens are evil is a not-so-subtle form of discrimination.
"Starting in the 50's, sci-fi flicks like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers projected our fear of communism onto aliens. Now that communism is no longer a threat, this alien paranoia is clearly working on a deeper level. Read: if it looks different from me, it has to be evil."
He points out that the original comic-book alien -- Superman -- is depicted as human. "Even though he came from the planet Krypton, Superman's creators choose to make him look like an Earthling. Perhaps they felt that readers -- especially younger ones -- would have been uncomfortable with an alien-looking hero."
Zen, on the other hand, is blue-skinned, and his only facial feature is a set of large, dark eyes. "We need to become accustomed to 'lifeforms' that look different from us," Stern said, "and to accept the idea that they can be just as good and heroic as we are.
"E.T. the Extraterrestrial was a case in point, and indicates that we are willing to take aliens literally to heart -- but there hasn't been a similar alien icon for decades. I hope that Zen can help fill that void."
SOURCE Zen Comics Publishing
Original file name: CNI - ETs Discriminated Against
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