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C11P14 – Old Enough

C11P14 – Old Enough published on 10 Comments on C11P14 – Old EnoughPurchase

I’ve been sick all weekend (my moderate level of illness ballooned into its THIRD BOSS FORM compared the first and second forms that manifested during the week itself) so, for once, I didn’t work on anything over the weekend. I sneezed and coughed a lot, moaned a great deal, played video games, and watched a documentary on superheroes on Netflix called SUPERHEROES: A Never-Ending Battle by PBS Arts.

Much of the early comics history I already knew, but the last episode covers material made in recent history. History I lived through. September 11th, Obama’s election…it was really interesting to think about the movies and comics made in that time within a historical context. Marvel’s Civil War to me at the time was just yet another cross-over event. Looking at it now, it’s seen as a reflection of the fears surrounding the Patriot Act. In general, the documentary presented superheroes as not just an exploration of what we could be, but a response to the anxieties of the age. Superman, someone capable of almost anything, born out of the depths of the Great Depression. Captain America, who went to war with America’s troops, his very first issue depicting him as punching Hitler in the face. The atomic age, with superheroes like the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Spider-man, created from the same science that leveled Hiroshima, and highlighting the realization that with great power comes great responsibility.

It makes me wonder how the work of the present will be seen within the context of history, and how might my own work be unconsciously influenced by current events? Did the people making those characters make conscious decisions to tackle specific issues, or were they merely reflecting what fears were lurking in their own minds?

What are the major problems and fears of our current age, and how is work being made now reflecting those concerns?

10 Comments

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Privacy concerns are in the news a lot, and The Private Eye is pretty spot-on at detailing a world in which the internet exploded and gave up everyone’s secrets.

I think the bigger issues now aren’t the government, as much as people whine about it, but rather that a great majority of people are trying to break free of stereotypes that are unattainable (and unhealthy), and all of the issues we run into while doing so. There is a great push that ‘We just want to be ourselves!’ Outside influences are seldom helpful, and then our own inner voices can be difficult as well. About half of the people attempting to attain the ability to be comfortable with themselves aren’t even sure who themselves really are. Most of the comics I read seem to reflect that.

I’ve found the treatment of technology and robots to be fascinating through the ages. In the 50s, they were very scary and you had a lot of humans versus robots sort of stories because technology was moving so rapidly all of a sudden.

Then toward the 1980s you got Skynet and Terminator and Short Circuit and Star Wars. Robots were still dangerous and mysterious, but personal computers weren’t unheard of, so we were okay assigning human personality to them. Now our AIs are almost too human (Moon, Wall-E, GlaDDoS) because technology is so seamlessly integrated into our lives and part of us.

Of course, this means it’s probably only a matter of time before a new rash of android stories come in. -shudder!-

Love that first panel. So nicely lit.

I’ve heard that the reason zombies and post-apocolyptic stories are so popular nowadays is because we’re kind of at a crossroads with our technology. As humans we love it and need it, but at the same time technology’s moving so fast it’s hard to keep up and can be very anxiety-producing. So these stories where technology fails us are fascinating because it hearkens back to a simpler time, where technology wasn’t so incomprehensible and we could relate better with the world. It could also be a positive look on the future- if technology fails us, humanity will still survive, albiet barely.

I do think that apocalypse stories are the ultimate “fresh start.” I was obsessed with the idea that the world was going to end a few years ago. I thought constantly about how little any of us really know about creating very basic things. Soap, candles, water filtration, seeding a crop, drying herbs, basic holistic medicine…I now have quite a few books on these subjects, as a result of that concern. Whether they would ACTUALLY help if the lights one day went out for good, I couldn’t say. But it did help let go of the conviction that the end was nigh. 🙂

Ooh, I like the layout of this page a lot. Super dramatic.

I worry sometimes about the Hunger Games franchise. The media surrounding it is frighteningly like the oppressive Capitol in the book–focused only on romance and ignoring the deeper things in the books, and using the books as a way to drive vapid consumption. =/ Like, how unselfaware can you possibly be?

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