Comics. What are they good for?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

Moderator: Moderator

Eric Martin
Banned
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 12:10 pm

Postby Eric Martin » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:35 pm

>You're a sick bastard, man.<

I'm a sick bastard because I diss reading comics? Fuck you, Rob. You don't know anything about anyone here, as you are so pre-occupied with your own ego and what you think you bring to the party, which is, creatively, dirt. You're just a zero, dude...you do nothing, you produce nothing...but boy you like to talk yourself up.

DVG
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby DVG » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:38 pm

Is there anyone on the board you like or respect, Mr. Martin? Not that this is necessary for posting, to be sure. But it would seem to have some bearing on participation. (I'm more likely to discuss things with people whose company in general I enjoy than with people for whom I have no esteem.)

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Postby robochrist » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:01 pm

Eric,

"I'm a sick bastard because I diss reading comics?"

Right. I guess that's what I must have meant. This was all about the comics.

I also forgot that IT people are also hopelessly dense.

As for being immature: I've always admitted to that one myself; hell, I've never tried to claim a premium on maturity. Which actually lands this as pretty much yer pot calling the kettle black...

Eric...please. Tell me when you yourself have been - um - "MATURE" anywhere on this board...at ANY time. Tell me if that last response of yours was what you could call "mature". Tell me if any summary I've posted about you was inaccurate. Every pathetic word you bleat out here makes my point.

You are clearly a recruitment from that very group you claim to be "finding solutions for".

Well, to help you along here, you dumb-ass-wannabe, my passages in this thread about you have nada to do wit' da comics. Are you capable of following that, at least?

Now let's get drunk and fool around.

User avatar
markabaddon
Posts: 1790
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:24 pm

Postby markabaddon » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:55 am

Jan, I am not sure I would qualify Zeus as a super hero because I am not sure he was the good guy in that battle against Cronos. Yes, Cronos did eat all of Zeus' siblings in an effort to keep power, but I do not believe Zeus, with all of his godlike arrogance could ever be a hero.

Demi-gods, such as Gilgamesh or Hercules, strike me as more plausible heroes as they are not all-powerful like Zeus, but have specific abilities that make them more powerful than mortals.

On a completely different note, I started reading J. Michael Stracynzski's (sp?) Rising Stars vol. 1 yesterday and holy crap is it good. The story deals with how society would really deal with super powered beings, what they might do with their powers, and how they could police themselves.

If the rest of the series is as good as Vol. 1, it may rank with Sandman as some of the best comic work done in the last 25 years. Has anybody read it?
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Postby Moderator » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:32 am

I also forgot that IT people are also hopelessly dense.


There's that huge brush splattering paint on innocent subjects again.

Then again, maybe I'm too dense to understand?
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Jan
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Köln

Postby Jan » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:47 am

That's alright, I thought you had forgotten about him. (Zeus doesn't strike me as a superhero either, although not for the reasons you gave. Was Zeus really all-powerful, or did he just happen to be the most powerful? He was considered a positive force and had specific powers by controlling thunder etc. You're right about his beginnings, I guess he was a bit of a nasty kid there.)

I guess our modern understanding is that heroes have to be basically human, so their predecessors must be simple warriors with specific skills that stimulated storytelling and served as positive role models for the young, with some of their traits exaggerated to arouse interest.

Tom C
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby Tom C » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:08 pm

markabaddon wrote:On a completely different note, I started reading J. Michael Stracynzski's (sp?) Rising Stars vol. 1 yesterday and holy crap is it good. The story deals with how society would really deal with super powered beings, what they might do with their powers, and how they could police themselves.



Mark, you might enjoy the Wild Card series of books by George R.R. Martin and others. They somewhat realistically deal with superpowered beings. Alas I'm not sure they're still in print.

User avatar
Duane
Posts: 1579
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Postby Duane » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:04 pm

I've found all sorts of out of print books on alibris.com. Most are in good condition and reasonably priced.

rich

Postby rich » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:06 am

Barber wrote:
I also forgot that IT people are also hopelessly dense.


There's that huge brush splattering paint on innocent subjects again.

Then again, maybe I'm too dense to understand?


Now you see, Steve, what Eric and I were talking about when the word "brainless" came up.

Damn, I'm getting tired of being right all the time.

User avatar
Rudiger Treehorn
Banned
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby Rudiger Treehorn » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:21 am

I find that I agree with John Byrne on long-established superhero titles: the doom of DC and Marvel came when the comics stopped being aimed at a general child/teen readership and moved instead towards 'adult' takes on things, obsessive continuity and an obsession with making superheroes somehow quasi-believable in the 'real' world.

Note that Stan Lee and Kirby or Ditko or Heck or whoever is not 'adult' comics in any way other than the way a Harry Potter novel is an 'adult' novel -- the FF and Spider-man can be enjoyably read by adults, but their characterization, dialogue and plots are obviously and productively aimed at the 8-15 set.

Superman, Hulk, Thor, Spider-man, Batman -- while it may be enjoyable for a 25-year-old fan to see these characters swear and have sex and be morally ambiguous or parodied in the characters' in-continuity comics, it obviously isn't interesting to the vast majority of comic fans. Or what used to be the vast majority of comics fans.

With sales of the mainstream superhero books at somewhere between a fifth and a tenth of what those sales were twenty years ago (and maybe a 20th of what they were in the mid-1940's), it seems obvious that people who want compelling psychological drama or sex-crazed cannibalism in an Incredible Hulk comic book are far outnumbered by people who like to see the Hulk smash things and do good deeds. The latter group, served by neither the comics nor the movies, has left, or turned to anime and manga, or watches the cartoons of the JLA or the X-Men or the Teen Titans, cartoons pitched at...an 8-15 year old audience that's larger by several orders of magnitude than the audience of readers for those characters in their adult-skewed comic adventures.

This doesn't invalidate Watchmen or Cerebus or Bone or any adult or late teen skewing original creation -- Rick Veitch's The One, for instance, is a perfectly enjoyable book that takes the piss out of superheroes. But taking the piss out of superheroes (or making them realistic) by marrying off Spider-man or making Batman into a psychopath is a dead end, or soon will be, as those superhero sales keep sliding further and further into Poetry Chapbook sales territory.

Love, Rudiger

User avatar
markabaddon
Posts: 1790
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:24 pm

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:59 am

Tom C, thanks for the recommendation. I may look for that series in the library or through Alibris once I finish with the Joe Haldeman book I just picked up.

Rudiger, I think you have a point on the movement of comics away from primarily being targeted towards kids, but there are still some great comics out there suitable for children. My 4 year old has shown a great interest in the comics on my nightstand and, since I do not want him reading Sandman or Infinite Crisis, I picked him up a couple of comics more appropriate for him.

While there were some very good choices, and I chose Batman Strikes and a Justice League graphic novel, the options were much fewer than for comics geared towards adults or teenagers.

I also notices that the demographics of people shopping in the store are much older. Granted, I usually stop in there over lunch, but even when I have gone in after work, I rarely see young kids in the store.

It does make me wonder where the next generation of comic book fans will come from, if comics keep focusing more and more on the adult population.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

DVG
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby DVG » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:01 am

I love comic books, but I feel that there's a division between the superhero genre (which I was never much interested in) and what, for want of better phrase, I suppose one might term the "talking animal" genre--Walt Kelly's brilliant "Pogo" and Carl Barks' work for Disney being two of my favorite examples. I remember an interesting essay that argued for "Thimble Theater"--the early strip version of "Popeye" as being a bridge between the heroic structure of the former and the satirical or antic value of the latter.

I don't recall who wrote the essay, but it was in a fascinating book titled "All in Color for a Dime"--which also contains an amusing essay by none other than Mr. Ellison himself.

Any thoughts on Lynda Barry or the "biographical" comic?

User avatar
markabaddon
Posts: 1790
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:24 pm

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:05 am

I have read a little of Pogo and enjoyed it. The level of adult humor contained within that strip rally surprised me.

I am not familiar with Lynda Barry nor the "biographical" comic. I have read some historical and literary based comics. Will Eisner's Fagin the Jew was a brilliant interpretation on one of my favorite characters from Dickens and Maus I and II is something everyone who has an interest in WWII or the Holocuast should read. Maus is a representation of Nazi Germany with the Nazis portrayed as cats and the Jews as mice.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

User avatar
Rudiger Treehorn
Banned
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby Rudiger Treehorn » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:07 am

I don't have All in Color at hand, DVG, but it sounds like a Bill Blackbeard piece which I think gets reprinted in one of the Fantagraphics Complete Thimble Theatre volumes.

User avatar
Rick Keeney
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

comics at age 45!! come ON!

Postby Rick Keeney » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:23 pm

i love comics, but i don't think i've read one that involves spandex or superpowers or superboobs since I flew through some lovely Grant Morrison ANIMAL MAN back issues immediately following my surgery, and I guess Neil Gaiman's contribution to SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER doesn't count as a superhero book either, as is not Neil's MURDER MYSTERIES. oh, wait, i read some DOOM PATROL last week--grant morrison style doom patrol--gotta love those smokedogs.

visual stimulants like these keep the ADD monster on his toes. Dopamine precursors is what they is, these comicbooks.

how'd the kid like the comic, Mark?


Rick


Return to “Pop Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest