When going to the cinema (which is a huge challenge for any d/Deaf person), there is always a moment of trying to adjust and understand what the characters on-screen are saying. But it’s a completely different situation when it comes to comic book characters.
And that was I lesson I learnt the hard way, as I realised that it’s very difficult what the comic-book characters are saying…especially those which are wearing masks.
Check out the video below of the challenges of trying to understand what comic book characters are saying…and why it’s not possible to lip-read them, despite other people insisting that. 🙄
So recently, I wanted to go watch the new Avengers movie, and I thought, you know what? I’ll give it a shot, even though cinemas are tricky for me as someone who just can’t hear very well. I just thought, “I really wanna watch that movie, I will give it a shot”.
But of course, it’s not that simple. I came out not knowing anything, not knowing the storyline, I just watched the action and that’s it. Which is fine, but I had no idea what was the story all about, and that was kind of confusing for me.
But then it hit me, as well, is that comic book characters are not always the easiest to understand for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, because the thing is, some of ’em have their accent or voice and they just say it out loud like that.
Like for example, why does Batman say, “I’m Batman!”
What’s up with that? What’s up with that? You don’t need to talk like that. What happened there? Don’t know.
And then all the other characters as well. Bane, Bane is another one that I was like, what the hell is he saying? That thing in his mouth, and then wrap around, and I just never worked out what he was saying.
In the entire Batman movie when Bane was speaking, I had no idea what he said, and I still don’t. I just kind of need to watch it again and put the subtitles on.
But then, here’s the thing is, a lot of people say, well, why don’t you lip read? And I tell ’em, have you tried lip reading Bane? Have you tried lip reading Spider-Man? Have you tried lip reading Iron Man? Let me give it a shot, let me show you how that will look.
Alright, okay. Yeah, “I’m Spider-Man, yeah, I fly, ooh, what…” I mean. What are you lip reading right now? Can’t lip read anything.
And also, it’s a bit muffled, isn’t it? So it’s like….Ah! I don’t know. And here’s the thing. Here’s the thing as well, when Spider-Man is flying around the city and he’s just screaming whatever, what is he saying? I don’t know, but here’s the thing, it’s not that easy for deaf people. Think about it.
Let me show you another example. “Jarvis, Jarvis, oh” “Jarvis!” “Launch that thing and…fly there” “and fix my armour, and stuff like that.”
Again. It’s tricky. You can’t lip read Iron Man. Get that in your head, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense at all. So clearly for me, for deaf people, comic book characters are not that easy to understand and literally impossible to lip read.
So that means you just can’t really watch him in a cinema anymore, so that’s why I always campaign for subtitles or captions in a cinema. It just makes sense.
So. Iron Man and also Spider-Man and everyone else in the comic book section or anyone who is wearing a mask, it’s kind of tricky, so that’s why subtitles need to happen in a cinema.
Now of course, I don’t wanna dis the comic book characters. I think, you know, pretty awesome, pretty cool. But at the end of the day, we can’t enjoy it as well as other people. So let me know in the comment section down below.
Am I being crazy?
Am I being stupid?
Am I being too ambitious to wish for subtitles so I can enjoy watching The Avengers and Spider-Man and Batman and all the other characters?
Is that really too much to ask? Let me know in the section down below, ’cause I would like to hear from you.
And of course, as always, I’ll see you next time. Take care.
There are a couple of ways you can help to make things easier for myself and tens of thousands of other people by helping to make sure that going to the cinema is an inclusive experience.
Below are a couple of petitions that you could sign by simple adding an email address. If you could do that, that would be awesome:
- Cinemas to show more subtitled films at reasonable times – https://www.change.org/p/uk-cinema-association-cinemas-to-show-more-subtitled-films-at-reasonable-times
- All UK multiplex cinemas to dedicate one screen to subtitled screenings for deaf people – https://www.change.org/p/petition-uk-multiplex-cinemas-to-dedicate-one-screen-to-subtitled-screenings-for-deaf-people
Thank you for your help in this.