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Subj: Re: How "relevant" do you want your comics?
Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 at 06:09:27 pm EST (Viewed 73 times)
Reply Subj: How "relevant" do you want your comics?
Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 at 05:57:30 am EST (Viewed 119 times)
I really think the relevance thing is over blamed, for the problem, and not enough goes to the actual writers mucking it up.
2. Spousal abuse
3. Child abuse
4. Drug addiction
The thing is, every single one of these was already talked about in comics by 1960.
E.C. Comics tackled all of them in Shock Suspenstories, and ACTION COMICS #1 even dealt with spousal abuse.
Okay, not pornography. That was more of an 80s thing.
I think people block out the truth about comics out of nostalgia. There was never REALLY a time when they lacked social awareness of some kind, okay maybe the mid to late 50s when the Comic Code was new.
The difference is that they weren't so heavy handed. From simply a story telling standpoint, all of these things are potentially interesting to go off of, you just have to know what you are doing.
The fact is that there is no such thing a truly apolitical story. All fiction reflects the beliefs and values of the writer, and society if they become popular.
Even the widely agreed with statement that murder is wrong, which I agree with by the way, is still making a statement of belief. And when a protagonist is a hero fighting evil, it is impossible to be truly hidden, the writer defines what evil and good are in this context.
I will say however, I think that a difference between now and the past in comics, is that we as a society are being bombarded with political ideology from all sides and at all times, so it seems highlighted.
There is also something that happened in Hollywood in the 60s, where movies became less immersive and more designed for discussion and analyzing. This lead to Kubrick's rise.
This was because Baby Boomers were in college in larger numbers than any other generation before hand, so they were being trained to dissect story elements.
I think as pop culture becomes a bigger and bigger part of the American Way, more is torn apart and examined to levels that may or may not have been there. it also means writers feel a need to push harder and harder, because they have gone through a cycle that tells them that making a point is the most important thing.
I don't know if you ever read the book IT by Stephen King, but when they are fleshing out Bill Denbrough's past, this topic is covered in an interesting way.
Bill is struggling in a college class, because it is the 60s, and everyone is writing pretentious works, while he just wants to write pulpy stories about monsters and aliens.
He talks about how stories are more important than politics because politics always change, but stories never do. He is also the first to sell a story (much to his professors anger), a "pulpy crap" story.
However, he also makes the point that all stories have politics, because that is part of life, so there is no need to try so hard.
I think it comes down to an old journalism adage "people like reading about people." All those things effect people, but you have to write it that way... as people dealing with them, not as concepts to be addressed.
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