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Topic: Whatever happened to the X-Men? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 128006
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 1  

The repetition was boring. They only had a couple formulas and didn't
vary the execution much. I dropped the Hardy Boys once I noticed their
formula too ("Chapter 18 Kidnapped sure seems a lot like Chapter 17
Captured! in the one I read yesterday.")

That's what kept me coming back to DC and Marvel. It wasn't the exact
same paint-by-numbers story telling from month to month.

••

In other words, the product was changing from what it was that drew you
to it in the first place. How long can this go on? When superhero comics
become exclusively about the things that appeal to their middle-aged
fans, where will the new readers come from? What 10 year old wants to
read about a 45 year old Peter Parker's problems meeting his mortgage
payments? And -- even more realistically -- what 45 year old is going to
start reading superhero comics if they never have before?

Dang, I wish I could see the forest, but all these f**king trees are in the
way.
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Brad Teschner
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 2  

Sesame Street is still being aimed at kids in that age group.  Are comics still targetting kids?

Sesame Street has a target audience...just as comic books have a target audience.  Comics (nor Sesame Street) shouldn't change to follow their target as their interests change.  Put out the product you set out to produce and the audience will come.  Try to follow the audience you have now and eventually they will die and then you have nothing...unless you scratch everything and start up again from square one.

edited to add:  or...what JB just said (damn you type fast, sir!).




Edited by Brad Teschner on 11 December 2007 at 11:43am
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John Wyatt
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 3  


 QUOTE:
This is the problem in a nutshell. Fans -- and by extrapolation, fans-turned-pro -- who insist on saying "This has become boring" instead of "I no longer find this interesting." What is the problem here? What is it about this strata of fandom that simply will not accept the fact that people change, they change, and that the fault lies not in the books and characters, but in the demands they, the fans, are making of those books and characters? It's like a 30 year old complaining because he's no longer allowed to play on his old Little League team. They need to learn from Shakespeare… The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.

 

I didn't demand anything from Archie and Harvey.  They did their thing, and I bought comics from companies that did things I enjoyed.  It worked out okay for Archie, but not for Harvey.

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:43am | IP Logged | 4  

It's unfortunate that comics can't mantain diversity and change without changing the very nature of the characters. Superman and Batman stories are distinctly different with each decade but the characters were still the same. I love that I can read the sci-fi heavy '60s era Superman or the more "down-to-earth" '40s era Superman.

It takes more talent, I think, to maintain an illusion of change than to effect actual change.

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John Wyatt
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 5  


 QUOTE:
The repetition was boring. They only had a couple formulas and didn't
vary the execution much. I dropped the Hardy Boys once I noticed their
formula too ("Chapter 18 Kidnapped sure seems a lot like Chapter 17
Captured! in the one I read yesterday.")

That's what kept me coming back to DC and Marvel. It wasn't the exact
same paint-by-numbers story telling from month to month.

••

In other words, the product was changing from what it was that drew you
to it in the first place. How long can this go on? When superhero comics
become exclusively about the things that appeal to their middle-aged
fans, where will the new readers come from? What 10 year old wants to
read about a 45 year old Peter Parker's problems meeting his mortgage
payments? And -- even more realistically -- what 45 year old is going to
start reading superhero comics if they never have before?

Dang, I wish I could see the forest, but all these f**king trees are in the
way.

 

The product didn't change that much from when I first met it.  Spider-Man #141 and Superboy and the Legion # 203 were the very first comics I was ever given , and both had story element about the death of characters (Gwen, Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid), so it's not even that different from today. 

It was later when I was buying everything on the spinner rack that I noticed that I didn't like everything on the rack.

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John Byrne
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Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 128006
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 6  

I return to what Hitchcock said about the difference between shock and suspense. Two men sitting at a table at a sidewalk cafe. Camera keeps cutting under the table to show a bomb ticking slowly toward the point of explosion. The men finish their conversation, get up, walk away, bomb explodes. Suspense. Bomb explodes while they are still at the table, shock.

There were several generations of comicbook writers, artists and editors who understood the difference. The current crop seems to be largely about shock. And if you set out to be shocking, you very soon run out of ways to do it. Ask Madonna.

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 7  

Are those the words of someone "defending (his) species"?

**********

Nothing irritates me more than the fact that Magneto was turned into a "justifiable" bigot. There was no shades of gray with him. He *was* a bigot. He was the neo-nazi who thinks that he's superior. In a way, it's the wrong analogy to view mutants as minorities. There are in a way a *true* master race (no real delusion) but who views their superiority as giving them a duty to those less fortunate than a right to oppress them. That's what superhero comics are about and what separates every superhero from a supervillain.

Magneto and Xavier are not Malcolm X and Martin Luthor King. They're Strom Thurmond and Atticus Finch (thought I'd choose a non-polarizing and thus fictional figure).

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 8  

I just don't understand how anyone thinks keeping a character exactly the
same for 45 years or so is going to keep comics interesting.

*************

Sherlock Holmes was the same character for almost a century. I consider superheros to be in the same camp. Yes, they are continously published but it's the audience that should change -- not the characters.

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man -- these belong to kids and should continue to be there generation after generation.

It seems so simple to me. I was lucky (and perhaps one of the last kids) to have these characters for me when I was growing up. I can't imagine advocating for the kids that come after me to not have them.

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Scott McKeeve
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Joined: 11 November 2007
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 9  

"In other words, the product was changing from what it was that drew you
to it in the first place. How long can this go on? When superhero comics
become exclusively about the things that appeal to their middle-aged
fans, where will the new readers come from? What 10 year old wants to
read about a 45 year old Peter Parker's problems meeting his mortgage
payments? And -- even more realistically -- what 45 year old is going to
start reading superhero comics if they never have before?"

I was in college in the early to mid-80's and I found that I naturally gravitated towards comics that I felt had more to say. I dropped many traditional titles and starting reading books like First Comics' Dreadstar, Nexus and Grimjack. These books all had long story arcs, almost operatic, where time passed and people changed as did circumstances. (This same thing happened to Star Trek, as well)

My favorite traditional books at that time were Roger Stern's Avengers and Dr. Strange, Miller's Daredevil and John Byrne's Fantastic Four.  I didn't read a lot of DC at the time because this was pre-Crisis and the books just weren't as good as the other titles I've listed.

I'm now over twenty years older and I find that I follow the artists and writers from title to title. I don't generally follow a title at all anymore. If someone I like goes to a new book, I'll try it out. If I like it after a few months, I stay. If not, I leave. If I hear of a "Hot" new run on a book, I'll give it a try and see if I like it.

The marketplace has changed and so have the fans. But the business end has held to one truth; this is a business and we need to put out a new issue of the FF, AMS, Action, Green Latern, etc., every month. Regardless if the book is of a certain standard or quality. This leads me to pick and choose. I find that I really enjoy miniseries like JBs Generations and I'm willing to wait months or years between issues and volumes.

Marvel grinds out the X-Books each month because they have to, not because the creators or publishers have anything interesting to say. But it is a business and like the great Tom Wolfe said "No bucks, No Buck rogers." 

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John Wyatt
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 10  


 QUOTE:

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man -- these belong to kids and should continue to be there generation after generation.

Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man (and their classic stories) aren't going anywhere.  In fact, today it's much easier to buy collections of their stories dating back to their creation (and almost any period since) than it was when I was young.

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Greg Woronchak
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 11  

Sherlock Holmes was the same character for almost a century.

My analogy would be James Bond (movie version). The character is basically the same as the years go on, simply reinterpreted as if things were 'current'.

 

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Scott McKeeve
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Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 12  

"All right, let's bring this into the real world. Those guys who crashed those planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th. In their minds, they were defending their people, their faith, their whole way of life. So -- they should not be viewed as "villains"?

Ditto for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and a few hundred history books full of others, all of whom believed the cause they fought and killed for was the right one. That they were justified in their actions. Not "villains", then?"

That's a facile argument, JB. Ask any Tasmanian. Oh, wait a minute. You can't because they were all killed off by the British. Complete and utter genocide. If the Tasmanians had blown up Parliament, they would have been viewed as villains by the British. But not by the Tasmanians, Mauri, Australian Natives, North American Natives, the Indians, etc.

And please let's not go into 9/11 because when you lay down that gauntlet and I pick it up, anything I say will be viewed as disloyal and I'll be a traitor. This is why so many people can't watch Fox news. Please stick to less contentious examples or then let's just move on.

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