Voltron and Thi'sl have readers dreaming of salvation, but Osama bin Laden coloring books stop them cold

Sep 15, 2011 at 4:00 am

Bravo, Beast King GoLion: Excellent article ["Form Blazing Sword!" Nicholas Phillips]. The most comprehensive story on the history of Voltron I've ever read. Thank you.
Dennis Paruch, via the Internet

Defender of the universe: I enjoyed your recent article on the kids' entertainment phenomenon Voltron. As one who played a modest role in the Voltron success, most especially in the global market, I want to share some additional thoughts about Peter Keefe, who truly was the dominant creative force behind Voltron. Peter genuinely believed that his tradecraft should generate benefits far beyond mere commercial success. Rather, he measured success by the joy and dreams that his work would bring to children.

There were many such moments in Peter's life when he came to appreciate that his work did indeed deliver both to kids around the world. During one of the many business trips Peter and I made to Europe in the early '90s, we came across a newspaper article. The article dealt with the impact of war upon young, innocent children. At that time, the Balkans were exploding in a brutal and nasty war. Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, was being shelled daily. When asked about living in such dreadful conditions in his home city, a ten-year-old Croatian boy said that he went to bed every night dreaming that Voltron would come to rescue him and his family and they would live in peace forever. That moment provided Peter with the kind of professional fulfillment that could not be calculated in financial terms.

Peter properly understood what was required to establish an entertainment brand in a fiercely competitive market increasingly dominated by multinational media conglomerates. Fresh creativity, sharp focus, deft skills, sheer determination, motivated teamwork and, ultimately, a larger-than-life vision are essential. Peter delivered the kind of strong leadership that helped to ensure that Voltron would entertain young children for many years to come.

Perhaps the only thing bigger than Voltron was Peter's heart.

Thanks for reminding me (and introducing some of your readers to) what a wonderful and rollicking ride Voltron was (and is) for all involved.
Brian Lacey, via the Internet

Travis Tyler's testimony: Gangsta ["The Righteous Path," Albert Samaha]! Brothers like this show me that God is real!
Dabridge16bars, via the Internet

No more thug life: I've been to prison five times. Money, mac and murder, you heard me? But Jesus done saved me. Thi'sl reaches the unreachables. Now I help brothers get out of prison and change their lives, and I use Thi'sl's music to reach these dudes. I tell 'em, " God got enough punks; He wants soldiers!" Amen?
Ron Teen, St. Louis

Sick stuff: This is just tasteless ["Coloring Book Teaches Kids Art of Killing Muslim Extremists," Chad Garrison]. Why would you give something like this to a very young child? It's like sitting a two-year-old in front of the Xbox to play some Grand Theft Auto. Or letting them hang out with a group of skinheads and KKK for quality time. Completely irresponsible.

I hate to tell everyone, but not all Muslims are bin Laden, just like all Christians are not Tim McVeigh. This is just another way someone is trying to profit off of a tragedy.
SMDrPepper, via the Internet

Too old to color: It's disturbing on so many levels. Wayne Bell was on FOX 2 stating that this is a PG coloring book, recommended for children in their early teens. I don't know about you, but I was interested in other types of controversial reading material when I was thirteen or fourteen, not coloring books.
Mike N., via the Internet