Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:53 pm

That isn't actually meant to sound as dismissive as it probably does, but I've spent my Sunday afternoon relaxing with a pile of Silver age DC's, and after awhile you begin to be drawn into a very odd world indeed. Case in point: an issue of 'Giant Size Lois Lane' in which Superman's eternal hanger on is subjected to a succession of odd physical transformations for the most spurious of reasons. One memorable scene sees Lois, addressing a meeting of her fan club, zapped by a red Kryptonite based ray which causes her to start behaving in a quite monstrous manner; the next panel 'explains' this by the simple expedient of having a bloke in a white coat arrive, accompanied by the caption ' a nuclear scientist enters the room'. Why was this unnamed nuclear scientist conducting dangerous experiments in a room next door to Lois's fan club? Search me-we never actually get to that as he never appears again and the rest of the story is taken up with Lois periodically turning into a kind of Jekyll and Hyde character and committing horrific acts, to the mild bemusement of a nonplussed supporting cast before being zapped back to normal.

The point is, you might assume that these strips were aimed at a younger age group; you might even be right. But the letters columns of these books contain letter after letter of intelligent, analytical, deeply serious comment on these absurd tales from everyone from University students to professors of physics. Lois Lane and her insane misadventures, Batman's encounters with Bat-Mite, Superman turning into a giant insect for no readily apparent reason: these were the tales that some obviously reasonably intelligent adults were inclined not just to read but to dissect and critique in a manner more usually applied to the works of William Golding or CS Lewis. And while they are indeed immensely enjoyable, I have to ask-was this the height of escapist literature in 1959? And if so, how is it that the audience then could readily suspend their disbelief to such a level, when ten years later a seemingly younger generation of readers required considerably more depth of plot and a shedload of melodrama to keep their interest, and now, the new generation seems to demand something along the lines of The X-Files in print, with Captain America in the role of Fox Mulder facing labrynthine government conspiracies! Are the younger generation more sophisticated than we were, or just hopelessly jaded and cynical? Discuss...

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by GBF on Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:34 am

What??!!?? Crikey! You should be working ALL Sunday instead of reading your Silver Age DC's...I'll need to keep an eye on you, Ingram...

GBF

Posts : 426
Join date : 2009-12-25
Age : 61
Location : Iapetus

http://www.glennbfleming.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:36 am

GBF wrote:What??!!?? Crikey! You should be working ALL Sunday instead of reading your Silver Age DC's...I'll need to keep an eye on you, Ingram...
(Damn. I knew I should have disabled his board access) It-it was only an hour or so, honest...

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Hourglass on Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:36 pm

I like to think comics aged with us. Each generation have specific needs and tastes and I can see that in comics, from propaganda in comics during Vietnam to emotional issues in 1990 issues of Xmen.

Hourglass

Posts : 466
Join date : 2009-12-28

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by MR X on Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:40 pm

Comics have definately 'matured' but there is sadly a loss of innocence in the process. Any 'shock value' put out by VIZ is now long gone, and today it appears about as 'threatening' as a 1968 'BOBO BUNNY' magazine.


The danger, of course, is that contributers 'up the stakes' and put out increasingly tasteless material in a attempt to shock the 'seen-it-all' society we have today.


BEANO has also changed a lot since my time, with an emphasis on bodily fluids that was a definate no-no at one time.

MR X

Posts : 71
Join date : 2010-01-07
Location : c/o MR X's Gothic lair, somewhere in 1969.

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:42 pm

MR X wrote:Comics have definately 'matured' but there is sadly a loss of innocence in the process. Any 'shock value' put out by VIZ is now long gone, and today it appears about as 'threatening' as a 1968 'BOBO BUNNY' magazine.


The danger, of course, is that contributers 'up the stakes' and put out increasingly tasteless material in a attempt to shock the 'seen-it-all' society we have today.


BEANO has also changed a lot since my time, with an emphasis on bodily fluids that was a definate no-no at one time.
Yes, I've never really understood that. All rather crass, I think. But then, I could have done without farting aliens in Doctor Who, too. Maybe we're just getting old...

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Hourglass on Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:18 pm

Sorry I don't follow can you explain what has happened to the BEANO?

Hourglass

Posts : 466
Join date : 2009-12-28

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:31 pm

Hourglass wrote:Sorry I don't follow can you explain what has happened to the BEANO?
It has updated itself somewhat for a new generation of readers. As a result, certain characters have had a makeover which has left them noticeably different to the way they were, and there has been a marked increase in the level of 'toilet humour', which used to be strictly off limits. As I said, I think maybe we're just getting old...

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by MR X on Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:54 pm

Toilet Humour doesn't really offend me [I'm probably immune to this sort of comedy direction], but where do you go from there? Will it be the PORNO or RANDY next, as once memorably lampooned in the GOODIES ?

MR X

Posts : 71
Join date : 2010-01-07
Location : c/o MR X's Gothic lair, somewhere in 1969.

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:58 pm

MR X wrote:Toilet Humour doesn't really offend me [I'm probably immune to this sort of comedy direction], but where do you go from there? Will it be the PORNO or RANDY next, as once memorably lampooned in the GOODIES ?
I think Viz have already done that, in fact...

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Spektre on Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:11 am

They grew up. And not just comics.

Check out most TV from the era. It was likewise fluff for the most part.

Spektre

Posts : 51
Join date : 2012-06-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:19 am

Which era, precisely? The 70s? The 80s? And which TV? I don't know much about American TV beyond the imports we used to get (mostly crime dramas like The Rockford Files or Cagney & Lacey, or fantasy stuff like Wonder Woman or Buck Rogers) but I think a lot of British TV was far better and far less lightweight back then. Some of the shows made for children in the 70s stand up wll against a lot of adult drama today.

tony ingram
Admin

Posts : 5692
Join date : 2009-12-24
Age : 46
Location : The Wilds of Suffolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Sam_Vimes on Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:23 am

Well, speaking as a relatively young fellow I can truthfully say that the most fun I have with comics these days are in reading Showcase collections. I liked that they were content to be fun and didn't need to be all dark and edgy. I mean, I grew up reading comics where Batmans were getting broken in half and Green Lanterns were finding their girlfriends stuffed in the fridge! It's gotten to the point where it's unintentionally silly, which in my eyes is far less "grown up" than being INTENTIONALLY silly.

Comics haven't grown up, oh no. They've just hit puberty and are having "feelings" now.

Sam_Vimes

Posts : 414
Join date : 2012-02-23
Age : 30
Location : Utah

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:43 pm

Sam_Vimes wrote:It's gotten to the point where it's unintentionally silly, which in my eyes is far less "grown up" than being INTENTIONALLY silly.


Have you seen the Sin City movie? IMO, terrible. But, the part where Marv carves up Kevin was so ridiculous in its level of violence that I actually laughed. I normally do NOT laugh at violence but the idea that this was meant to be taken seriously was too idiotic.
Sam_Vimes wrote:Comics haven't grown up, oh no. They've just hit puberty and are having "feelings" now.

The problem here is that by "comics" we're meaning superhero stuff. There's a lot more to it, and those have always been more grown up, in some places. But, while superhero comics have changed I don't think you can say it's "growing up".

Mbast1

Posts : 1064
Join date : 2012-02-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Have Comics Grown Up, or Were We Just Easily Pleased?

Post by Sponsored content Today at 7:55 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum