Followup to “Why I Hate Comics”

Please also read the original topic if you haven’t already. The same rules apply, only now this video is required viewing. (The original topic is now closed, but all discussions started there can continue here).

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22 thoughts on “Followup to “Why I Hate Comics”

  1. First of all; yes, comics DO take inspiration from other mediums. Of course they do. Frank Miller’s classic Daredevil and later Sin City was heavily inspired by film noir. Mark Miller’s Ultimates were inspired by big screen action pieces, and imitated them through the use of panel arrangements and layouts – his other comics, like his run on The Authority, were quite infamous for that, as a matter of fact. Comics have always been influenced by outside media, and I have no idea who told you differently, because they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried.

    And no, pointless death and violence in a comic that otherwise is meant for younger readers has NEVER been “okay.” Hence why comic book readers vehemently complained about that scene involving Wonderdog, and the guy who wrote it was let go shortly afterward. And no, it wasn’t a Superfriends revival (it was an issue of Teen Titans) and Marvin did not have any drug abuse problems.

    And as for the MLP scene; the purpose of that scene was to showcase the villain.The CMC were talking about how the evil Queen’s plan to break up the main characters had failed. Chrysalis responded that that had been only a minor amusement, and proceeded to outline her real evil plan, and the reason behind it. The Cutie Mark Crusaders shot back that the love and friendship the mane 6 had for each other would defeat her no problem, just as it had before. Queen Chrysalis responded by chiding them for such childish sentiments, and then used a kitten (complete with a heart that says “love conquerors all) to showcase exactly what she thought of the power of love. It revealed the true plan of the main villain, demonstrated her total disdain for love and friendship that both the cartoon and the comic hold so dear, and showed the depths she would sink to squelch it. It was NOT pointless violence for pointless violence’s sake.

    And again, you’re overgeneralizing the “no kill” problem (and many would argue that no, it isn’t a problem). There are plenty of comics where the despicable villain who makes the heroes miserable DOES, in fact, die in the end, often by the heroes hand. In fact, the only time it becomes a problem is in the more mainstream ‘verses, where the problem isn’t that the writers “don’t get it,” it’s because the villains are too popular and too profitable to permanently kill off. You can write a story about the Joker being killed, but the legions of fans that would instantly start demanding his return, his status as a pop culture icon, and the millions that he makes every year would guarantee that the death would never stick. So they make do with having him beaten bloody, or thwarted at his own game and carted off to jail in disgrace, or fall off a ledge into a Disney death. It’s has nothing to do with “existing in a vacuum” and it’s not something that affects ALL comics, like your argument seems to say.

    Also, I have no problems with kicking someone out. It’s your blog. If you think they’re being inappropriate, you have every right to ask them to leave.

    • Thank you. THIS is the kind of response I like to hear–thoughtful, understands the original thesis and provides a counter-argument that meets it on its own terms.

      Thank you so much.

      While I suppose the dead kitten makes sense when explained like that, I still feel its going a bit too far for the subject matter. They could’ve accomplished the same thing without it.

      (Responding to your post from the previous topic)

      I do a mix of shopping online and going to stores. Online has a disadvantage in that I pretty much only see things I already know exist, whereas at a store its just… whatever is on the shelf. I might see something new.

      You’re gonna have to throw webcomics at me. Same visibility issue. I used to read Gunnerkrigg Court and 8-bit Theater, but only discovered them due to recommends.

      As for the comic suggestions… believe me, I’ve tried a lot of comics. There actually is a comic I like–an obscure series called Thundermace, by Robert A. Kraus. But for the most part, printed comics tend to either

      A) meet one criteria I’m looking for, but not any other
      or
      B) swing too far to the opposite extreme. Like one work is too cynical, but then another is too happy. One hero won’t kill at all, the other will kill everyone. One has too many dark themes, the other avoids even the slightest hint of darkness… Basically, when its a choice between one extreme or the other, its just not appealing.

      At the risk of sounding like a weeaboo, I’m gonna just point out that this is a problem I generally don’t have with anime and manga, which is why I often prefer them.

      I’d love to read an American comic that is comparable to Ranma 1/2, Hikaru no Go, or Cardcaptor Sakura. Most of the time when I ask for something comparable though, what I get is something that merely has a superficially similar premise. Which isn’t really what I want.

      But… to be honest, its really hard to explain what it is that makes those three in particular stand out. It’s hard to make sense of it. Even if I say something like “great character development,” that feels like I’m just resorting to an empty slogan. I don’t know what to say.

      And now I’m just rambling, so I’m gonna click “post comment” now and take a break.

    • I woudn’t say that’s the purpose.

      Pardon my critique, but I think you may have made up the “Well that shows how EVIL she is” when it serves little other point. Before that we were already introduced to the idea that she was an evil villain, ala the CMC mentioning how bad she is.

      • We are TOLD that she was was evil. In this scene, we are actually SHOWN it. Those are two entirely different things. The main characters can say how bad a person is all they want – if we the readers never see any proof of this, then it’s just poor story-telling.

    • First, I re-enabled auto-approve.

      Now, first I want to get back to a point that’s been bugging me from the previous comic book post.

      The whole “crushing children’s dreams” things.

      No offense, but you seem to think that because a work has the occasional dark or depressing bit, that it makes the entire work dark or depressing. I can’t say I fully agree with that.

      Context isn’t an excuse… its storytelling 101. Sailor Moon died because yes, its a shock to the audience… and it makes them ELATED when she comes back to life and suddenly kicks ass. Spock died specifically to underscore Kirk’s victory and render it bittersweet. After all, no one knew there was gonna be a Star Trek III.

      It’s similar to what you’re telling Richard about Chrysalis: there’s a difference between saying “Mundus is evil, fight him” and Mundus being the guy who mercilessly murdered that blond chick you were starting to like so now you freaking WANT to Triple-S combo him into oblivion.

      It’s like a cheeseburger. Tomatoes don’t taste that good on their own (just like a scene can seem depressing or cynical out-of-context), but put them on a cheeseburger and the whole ensemble can be delicious (just like how a depressing or cynical bit can ultimately contribute to an awesome feeling of elation).

      That being said, I still get “going too far” vibes from Chrysalis’ dead kitten. That she’s evil is already established by that bunny village she attacks and by her kidnapping children (which is a despicable enough act just on its own)–and, anyone reading the comic is likely to be reading because of the cartoon, so they’d have a pre-existing context to work with. That taken into account, the dead kitten really does come off as gratuitous. She could simply scoff at their beliefs and it would establish much the same thing.

  2. If there is one thing I can give Marvel credit for, is that they are good at portraying mythology accurately (I can’t say the same for DC).

    Other then that, I can understand where you come from.

  3. http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=11097

    An interesting look into an FPS story. Interesting read for anyone who has seen it somewhere.

    As for comics, I can see your point. While some comics embrace a fine mix of humor and dark, like Deadpool, others (Like The Punisher and Batman at times) have tone problems. I can only take a man dressed as a bat so seriously before I start chuckling, or stop reading due to overly cynical mumbo jumbo.

  4. As far as comics go, I actually prefer the Marvel Cinematic Movies (that started with Iron Man) over their comic counterparts. Mostly because, while they try to capture their spirit, they go in away where no one that’s even a comic book fan can enjoy them without feeling awkward about it, and They don’t try and be exactly like the comics they base them off of.

    I Still prefer most anime and manga, as well as Tokusatsu over them because they know how to balance light hearted and dark moments properly (though it depends on the genre and demographic being aimed at).

  5. Anyone else here agree the Xbox One is horrible, and if you were to upgrade to this new generation would rather stick with Sony and Nintendo instead of microsoft?

    • Frankly I never even bothered with the Wii/XBox 360/PS3 generation. The longer gaming goes on, the less I care about it. Especially since it seems to be taking on a lot of the same bad habits that doomed comic books to mediocrity.

      I would rather not become gaming’s version of Mudassir, is what I’m saying.

      • Why?

        There’s a difference between “don’t have time for this right now” and “this medium has failed me…”

        The XBOX One is a truly horrid peace of hardware, though. If you ever go new generation Moe, I wouldn’t recommend Microsoft.

        Right now I’m just waiting out the inevitable firestorm.

      • This gaming generation saw the introduction of a lot of crap I don’t care for. DRM, forcing the player to be online for single-player games, companies in general dictating that they own the media even after you pay for it, which is a very shady practice and goes against basic property rights.

        Not to mention, the increasing dominance of western game publishers and the Japanese companies trying to cater to western tastes at the expense of good design or genuinely interesting games or stories.

        I’ll stick with my PS2, Gamecube, and consoles that came before them.

  6. That might be for the better, the PS2 is probably the best console ever created.

    Now, there’s a lot of exceptions to what you mentioned.

    Oh, and there’s a MGS 5.

    BTW, they should have stopped making Final Fantasy games like…a decade ago. The only series with more games then Final Fantasy is Mario.

    • I’m actually pretty sure there’s more Mega Man games than there are Final Fantasy 😉

      Agree with the sentiment otherwise.

      And MGS jumped the shark after Snake Eater. Seriously in a series where crap like Peace Walker is considered a good game, I don’t think I want to follow it.

      • Considering Hideo Kojima himself has outright stated that he was tired of making metal gear games ever since the first solid game, he’s been trying to do what you have done for years.

        I’d say metal gear Rising is still an awesome metal gear game in the sense you finally get to play as a cyborg ninja. Being made by the same development team behind Devil May Cry 1 and 3 nd Bayonetta helps.

        In fact, there are quite few games from the current gen from japan that still feel like japanese games to me.

        a few a of the following are:

        The A formentioned Bayonetta
        Madworld
        No More Heroes 1 and 2
        El-Shaddai
        Asura’s Wrath
        Vanquish

        And a few others off the top of my head that still embodiment much of what makes Japanese games unique.

        Considering that the likes of EA and Microsoft are being seen as some of the worst companies ever (Not that I blame anyone) the era of western companies being on top of the gaming industry seems to be coming to an end, and japanese gaming has been getting more prominence and respect in exchange for more disgust at western companies.

      • Unfortunately, cureasura, that’s not how it works.

        The people saying that EA and Microsoft are evil are not the ones who are directing the future. Not the immediate future, anyhow. It’s the people who buy the games, and unfortunately EA and Microsoft still make record-selling games. Their era isn’t gonna be over until their games stop selling.

        The heyday of Japanese developers being dominant ended with the rise of 3D game design platforms. Western creators dominated that and have been rising ever since.

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