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Saturday, February 21, 2015 

There need to be distinctions made with certain comics

The UK Guardian wrote about why most heroes should be celebrated and not trashed. But their article is one that doesn't make distinctions on a few items from Europe itself. For example:
Earlier this month, the 110th anniversary of Pinchon’s Bécassine was celebrated in France with a Google doodle. In France and Belgium, comics have long been celebrated as the “ninth art”, not only in readers’ minds but by academia. Across Europe, they are treated with similar respect, not relegated to specialist shops or hidden beneath the cape of the superhero, as they are in Britain. From the Adventures of Tintin to the arrival of the Moomins and the Smurfs, not to mention Dennis the Menace, Dan Dare, and Roy of the Rovers, comics have long been part of daily life for millions.
Yes, but the Smurfs is not one of the best examples you can cite from Europe, what with its appalling traces of Marxism in the tales. Even Tintin isn't a great recommendation because it had some fishy traces of defeatism mixed in.
While the UK’s comic creators didn’t cause the same shock to the national system, the comix movement nurtured, encouraged and inspired a new generation who would go on to imagine Judge Dredd and Tank Girl, as well as fuelling the “British invasion” of US comics. Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman are the headliners, but there are many less well-known but no less talented artists, such as Peter Milligan, Brian Bolland, and Brendan McCarthy.
The reason the latter 3 may not be as well known could be that they're artists (like Bolland), and don't exactly perform the same shock value stunts Morrison does. Or, in Milligan's case, it's probably because he never had the time to brew as much controversy as Morrison did with New X-Men and his creator-owned series. X-Force, which Milligan took over in 2001, was cancelled about a year or two afterwards, and clearly never made any significant headlines.

And what's the use of citing Judge Dredd as an example? The whole setup was little more than an excuse to depict the USA as a totalitarian regime in the future. If papers like the Guardian can't admit this is problematic, or make clear distinctions, they have no business making this argument.

The following is a bit more interesting though:
Since the dark 1980s of superhero-hate and the neon 1990s, when ginormous breasts featured on every cover, the new century has seen a groundswell of interest. Comic conventions frequently boast more small-press and self-published creators than those with ties to the larger comic publishers. The audience is at least 50% female, with many people bringing along their children.
Well, now we know what's really driving some of the modern conventions, and it's not the big two. It's the smaller creations owned by their authors and not by corporations. And those are what deserve everyone's attention now, unlike the big two, which cannot be supported for as long as they continue to misuse their properties.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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