Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Did you ever read comic books?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tuBass, Jun 30, 2003.


  1. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    When I was a kid (over 20 years ago), I used to faithfully read and collect a certain number of comic books, like X-men and Fantastic Four. I spent a ton of money without ever thinking about the collectors market, but I enjoyed the stories, the art, and the anticipation of looking forward to a resolution of a storyline in the next months issue.

    That brings us to today. My son, who is almost 7, loves the X-men from the movies and the animated TV show. I wouldn't have a problem if he wanted to start reading comic books, but the books today are filled with gore, violence, and sexual situations. I woudn't be a good parent if I let that stuff come into his brain, it's just not healthy for him. He's a very smart boy (advanced 2 grades in school but still getting straight A's and best reader awards) but I don't think anybody under the age of 13-15 has any business reading the modern comic.
    I watched a special on the history channel the other day about the history of comic books heroes, and the comic editors were at the same time bragging about how "adult" comics had become, but at the same time bemoaning the fall of readership. The best selling comic has a print cycle of just over 100,000 per month now, where 20 years ago it was over a million. What do you think is going to happen when you write a COMIC book that is too gross and violent for their parents to but for their kids? You will always have a few older teens and adults that will like them, but not enough to have the comic industry enter another golden age.
     
  2. Well Tubass, your assessment of the state of comics is pretty accurate unfortunately. I started reading them in the late 50's and loved them so much that I eventually tried to get into the industry in the late 80's. However by that time my drawing style(inspired by the artists who first inspired me) was considered old fashioned. I did some work on Felix the Cat and also spent nearly 10 years working on PS Magazine (a US Army Publication which used cartoons to pass on information on the preventive maintenance of the soldiers equipment). Due to the plethora of other types of entertainment availabe today comics have gotten more "adult" if you will in an attempt to compete for the entertainment dollar. Also the industry has tried (too hard IMO) to escape the definition as Kids stuff. This has led to your situation where you want to share a childhood joy with your son but there isn't any appropriate material. Catch 22, right. I'm guessing you don't have your childhood collection anymore to share with him so let me suggest a couple possibilities. You might be able to find some reprint collections of comics from your favorite era in a local comic shop (If one is in your area). Another thing he (and you!) might enjoy are the reprint collections of the Prince Valiant comic strip published by Fantagraphics Books. These are wonderful stories full of great drawing, action adventure in the classic vein, emphasizing the courage loyalty and honor of the Knights of the Round Table. Also availabe are reprints of the classic EC comics of the 50's (The ones that turned all those kids into juvenile delinquents)My recomendation of these are the war comics -Two fisted Tales-Frontline Combat-Aces High- These stories are considered high points in comics history which are well researched-drawn by industry greats and in no way glorify the violence inherent in war. Concentrating on human stories of valor and the hard choices men are faced with in war. On the humor side, nothing beats the Scrooge McDuck stories written and drawn by Carl Barks for Disney. These are great adventure stories besides being great characters. Gladstone Publishing(if I remember correctly) puts out both the Duck stories and EC reprints (I almost forgot the Sci-Fi books EC did-also classix-). A search on the web will probably straighten out who's actually publishing what reprints now. Any way that's my 2 cents. I hope this ramble is of some help to you. I still like reading comics at 51 and would hate to see a wonderful art form fail by forgetting that people who read comics as kids are the ones who will later want to read the so called "mature" books when they get older( and there are some wonderful creators doing very sophisticated books for adults-not just boobs & babes-though theres plenty of that too). So good luck in your quest (you're already lucky to have a smart kid who likes to read).
     
  3. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    What's this past tense "did" stuff?
     
  4. Johnny The Homicidal Maniac...good comic

    -Jon:oops:
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Bah.
    BAH I say.
     
  6. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Actually, I still have every one of them. He's read most of my x-men comics, but there are few few holes in my collection, plus if he reads all the way through to the point that I stopped collecting, I know he's going to want me to keep ading to collection, and I don't think I could afford to pay for the old back issues. It was considered the golden age of x-men, and those are the issues the demand high prices.

    Mark
     
  7. I recently got back into comics and admittedly read titles that most would consider "adult" even though I think that is a misued term.

    Mostly I think it instantly brings to mind a gratuitously sexual and violent tone that really, was always present in comics dating back to the golden age when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby labored under the spectre of the comic book codes.

    If you look back or read back those old stories there are some very "adult" issues and themes being dealt with. However like good writers or at the very least, writers able to work within very constricting boundaries... these things were presented in a different way with a simpler (and of course legendary) drawing and writing style so that the reader's mind was left to fill in the blanks.

    As a kid I never had any illusions about the villian's intentions towards the world. Just because the phrase "I am going to kill you!" is replaced with something like "I seek to destroy you." doesn't change the intention.

    That said, I completely understand why a book like Grendel is not appropriate for consumption by young readers due to the graphic and frank portrayal of the subject matter and would not for an instant suggest that young kids be handed it with reckless abandon. But let's not lump the current generation of comics into some garbage heap of literature (yes, that's what it is even with the pictures) that has outgrown it's readers.

    A quick look through the racks will net a wide variety of books geared towards a much larger variety of readers than ever before. As well, the ability for independant publishers to make their work available only adds to the wonderful diversity of content out there.

    Now, it is possible to take a dozen people with the broadest interests possible into a good comic store and find someone that each will enjoy. It really is a good time to be reading comic books!!!

    tuBass: I do understand and respect where you are coming from and applaud your efforts to aid your kid(s) as they take an interest in comics but please, don't confuse the fact that is a medium for all and not as you seem to insinuate some kind of "kid's medium".

    If I misread what you meant and was off-base in the above paragraph please accept my apologies since text is of course hard to grok completely. :)
     
  8. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Andrew, You had a very well written post, and I didn't feel like you missed the point at all.

    I didn't mean to say that it should be only a kids medium, but I wish it had more to offer for the kids.
    You are right, the violence and the sexuality has always been there, but it was up to the maturity of the reader to let his mind fill in the blanks. There were some sexy women in the comics, but more in a sexy PG way.

    Maybe somebody out there can answer this. Is the x-men monthly comic today the same level of graphic violence as the Graphic novels that they sell at the bookstore, or are the novels more graphic? I though the novels were just the comics in book form, but I could be wrong.

    I guess I need to take a solo trip to my local comic shop and do some solo investigating myself.
     
  9. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Preacher, Transmetropolitan, the Authority, Ennis/Dillion's Punisher, The Invisibles, Sandman, Watchmen, Hellboy (to a lesser extent), ect.

    All great stuff that kids might not want to read.

    Now of course, they will...
     
  10. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    wow, I only recognize one of those names... you can tell I've been out of it for a while.

    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
  12. What? you don't like Nny and Friends? :):meh:

    -Jon:oops:
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Please, don't get me started. It'd be painful. Suffice to say, no, no I'm not a fan.
     
  14. :meh: ...erm....ok?

    :cool:
     
  15. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    When I was like 5 or 6 I used to read Sonic the Hedgehog and other assorted readings (Knuckles, Tails) but the was only 10 years ago.

    I found my collection a couple days ago and flipped through them. At the begining it was kinda wholesome and cartoonie but towards the end of my stack they were violent and the drawings were all really darker.

    It was kinda sad. :(
     
  16. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    JTHM is okay...I used to really like it, when I was like 16, but then I guess I grew out of it, I mean, some of the stuff is pretty damn funny, but for the most part it's just all just the same type of "I know everything, and you don't...augh the angst!" humor....and that annoys me.


    I do like squee though, way toned down,basically hte same thing, a lot funnier.
     
  17. The best parts of Johnny is the details. It's not about the sheer violence of the character, but in everything he brings and the nuiances of his personality. Plus the little interludes are great.
     
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I used to read the Belgian comics lot, Tintin by Herge, Franquin's comics etc.
    Never really liked those superhero comics.

    Gaston is probably my favorite.
     
  19. I went through a comic book collection phase when I was like 10 that lasted for about a month or two. I got some X-men, spawn and spiderman comics in that time. But, I lost interest cuz the Power rangers came out, THE POWER RANGERS!