Which comics felt more "real" to you?

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colcool007
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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by colcool007 »

Just re-read the thread and the stories that grabbed me most as I was growing up were the under-rated "Third World War" (Crisis) with scripts by Pat Mills and art by Carlos Ezquerra, the madness of "Invasion!" (2000AD) with art by Ian Kennedy and Mike Dorey amongst others, "Who Killed Cassidy?" (Crunch) [Anyone with extra details on artist and writer would be gratefully received], "Holocaust Squadron" (Warlord) with Terry Patrick art and "Kampgruffe Falken" (Warlord)with script provided by the greatly missed Alan Hemus and art by Colloch.

As you can tell, I did not feel constrained by allegiance to reading any one comic, as I would frequently read comics whenever I visited anyone, if they had any available. But the F factor for me was that if I wished to switch allegiance to a comic, I had to give one up and I could never bring myself to give up on a comic that I got regularly.

I don't think that any person growing up can be defined by any one comic, as the influences on you are many and the depth of their influence varies dependant on how much you buy into that view of the world. This is my defence for why I have picked stories instead of a single comic! :D
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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by STARBOY »

I agree with Colcool despite listing a load of comics in my reply, it usualy was individual stories that influenced me - however the Odhams books really did have something to them as a "whole" to a then 5/6 year old that I loved despite not liking every strip, just a quirky feel (similarly the short lived Jet & Thunder). The comic that got me well into US comics was a Mighty Crusaders (Radio, MLJ line) comic called "to many super heros" I picked up in Woolies as a kid with a couple of ther US comics (I have a version of it from Alan Class books) I still remember picking it up. But that book really got my juices flowing at the time. The Iron Eater (Beezer) was another strip I loved that blew mwe away as did the late 60s early 70s work on Adam Eterno, OddBall Oates, House of Dollman and Justice League no 94 (Neal Adams art) were influencial to me re my comic habit.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Niblet »

My first experience of exotic comics was in the 1960s at the age of about 6 when I discovered the American Harvey Comics line. Harvey published a number of humorous titles based on supernatural characters - Hot Stuff the little devil, Casper the friendly ghost, Wendy the good little witch, Spooky the tough little ghost. However, as these comics were aimed at younger readers, all the stories were innocuous. Harvey's non-spooky characters included Little Dot (a girl obsessed with dots), Baby Huey (a giant chicken in a nappy), Sad Sack (a US GI character) and Richie Rich.

Compared to the UK comics, these comics were exciting as they sported glossy covers and the contents were in full colour. The house style of chubby-faced characters with big eyes was also appealing. The Harvey titles seemed to be only available in a few selected shops, which added to the mystique. My mum used to take me once a week to the only newsagent in the area which carried these titles, and would let me choose a couple. It was a few years later that I moved on to Marvel and DC.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Captain Storm »

Hi all,I'm only really replying as I couldn't believe one of the Posters dismissed out of hand the "Girl's" comics! :shock: The art and storytelling was in parts far superior and more intelligent than anything that the boy's comics could come up with.I also feel the thread has wandered off on a tangent,but hey that's fun too,as we all learn more by straying off the beaten track now and again.Somebody mentioned Starlord....an absolute classic that should be brought back....'nuff said about that.As for "real",I think Lew said it...Bash St. Kids....we were all school kids at one time,...none of us has been to Space,crossed the Grand Canyon,been attacked by giant bats,....but of course in our minds they were real as real could be....ah,simpler happier times,with nought but our imaginations. :coat:

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by colcool007 »

Captain Storm wrote:....'nuff said about that.As for "real",I think Lew said it...Bash St. Kids....we were all school kids at one time,...
I've got to disagree with you on that one. Bash St Kids always felt like it was humour to me. Enjoying school, getting one over the teacher, getting the belt. It was like Please Sir! where we knew it was loosely based on reality, but it was a story at the same time. I stand by my choices as they were the ones that felt like life around me. The only one that I missed in the first post was "Johnny Red". From when I saw it first, circa 1978/79, I adored the grittiness of it, it felt real. It had depth. It felt like we were really re-living history, especially as it gelled with current affairs with the odd story of political officers still having great power in the Red Army.
As a committed DCT fan, I am a little surprised at how few DCT stories felt real to me. But as I learn that many were reprints from a different era, I suppose that my subconscious was telling me something. I think it was the fact that DCT always had highly polished art with the likes of Terry Patrick, Ian Kennedy, Denis McLoughlin, Josep Marti and Keith Shone to name but a few made it seem less real. Strangley Harry Farrugia's art made me feel it was more real. Now that is a strange perception.
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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Lew Stringer »

colcool007 wrote:
Captain Storm wrote:....'nuff said about that.As for "real",I think Lew said it...Bash St. Kids....we were all school kids at one time,...
I've got to disagree with you on that one. Bash St Kids always felt like it was humour to me. Enjoying school, getting one over the teacher, getting the belt. It was like Please Sir! where we knew it was loosely based on reality, but it was a story at the same time.

I feel I should point out that I never actually said I felt The Bash Street Kids were "real". What I said was:
"As for "real" comics, again I'm afraid I don't quite get your point. If it's about characters/situations you could relate to as a kid I suppose The Bash Street Kids came closest but only on a peripheral level."

What I meant was a school strip was the closest to a child's reality, compared to war, cops, sci-fi, spies etc, but I've never once felt that a comic strip was "real", - if indeed that was the aim of this thread. Perhaps Tolworthy could clarify as I'm still no wiser.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Captain Storm »

I think some folks picked me up a tad wrong.I was merely saying how real the strip-Bash Street Kids- compared to in real life,nothing more.Life is too short,and so am I :lol:

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by tolworthy »

Lew Stringer wrote:I've never once felt that a comic strip was "real", - if indeed that was the aim of this thread. Perhaps Tolworthy could clarify as I'm still no wiser.
Sorry for not being clear!
dictionary.com wrote: real
1. true; not merely [pretended]: the real reason for an act.
2. actual rather than imaginary: a story taken from real life.
3. having objective existence
And to clarify:
dictionary.com wrote: true
1. being in accordance with the actual state or conditions
3. sincere; not deceitful: a true interest in someone's welfare.
5. being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something
8. of the right kind; such as it should be; proper
13. honest; honorable; upright.
The stories themselves are made up, but they can reflect the real world. This is particularly true as a child: a comic is often the first place we hear of some real world thing. It then becomes imprinted as the original standard.

For me, Whoopee reflected Britain. It was reliable, always there, and the stories reflected the whole range of experience (about legends, money, danger, growing up, invention, etc.)

For me, the Badtime Bedtime books reflected culture. Every story summarized the key points in a classic of literature, or reflected some dominant idea in the media or life.

For me, Cheeky Weekly reflected my own life. I looked like that, acted like that, lived in a world like that, etc. And the Tuesday attic page showed that comics have lasting value. Such comics are not temporary!

In short, some comics are the key to the real world, above and beyond simply raising a quick chuckle. That's what I mean by real. :)
Last edited by tolworthy on 30 Jan 2010, 12:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Lew Stringer »

Thanks for the patronizing reply. Yeah, comics set in contemporary Britain tend to reflect the environment of the reader. That's the whole point isn't it?

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

to me, comics main strength are in the escapism, how you could see incredible sights for a few pennies, and also how your imagination was encouraged to 'fill in the blanks' of action unseen between the frames......probably the one advantage they have over film. [well, that, and the ease of going back over the story if required].

Some 'reality' in comics is fine, but it's the element of soaring fantasy----and to a degree, recognizing and laughing at human traits/weaknesses, that won me over.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by STARBOY »

For me (personaly - my own opinion) if you look to deeply into comics (reality, relevance etc) you lose a lot (look at the mess some DC Marvel titles are in they can be a durge to get through lets have more fun/escapism)- as "ISPY" states it's the escapism element that really hits it on the head for me also totally away from the "real world (but linked in some ways) for 30 minutes to chill out. Another great aspect of comics (again for me at any rate) is the link to nicer closer family times/memories inthe past, when my Dad (now sadly no longer with us) would buy our weekend comics, make breakfast in bed for us all on a Saturday (my mums day of rest as she worked all week in the house) tea toast and egg etc would be accompanied by a bundle of great UK (the odd US) comics on the bed and a wee gab from our Dad about what he had planned for the day - that's a magic comics can bring back to some of us.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Lew Stringer »

STARBOY wrote:For me (personaly - my own opinion) if you look to deeply into comics (reality, relevance etc) you lose a lot (look at the mess some DC Marvel titles are in they can be a durge to get through lets have more fun/escapism)- as "ISPY" states it's the escapism element that really hits it on the head for me also totally away from the "real world (but linked in some ways) for 30 minutes to chill out. Another great aspect of comics (again for me at any rate) is the link to nicer closer family times/memories inthe past, when my Dad (now sadly no longer with us) would buy our weekend comics, make breakfast in bed for us all on a Saturday (my mums day of rest as she worked all week in the house) tea toast and egg etc would be accompanied by a bundle of great UK (the odd US) comics on the bed and a wee gab from our Dad about what he had planned for the day - that's a magic comics can bring back to some of us.
Yes, that's what comics as a kid always meant to me too, - escapism, and those same comics now evoke memories of the days I bought them. Editors have always said most readers tend to like strips they can identify with, and that bears out tolworthy's feelings I guess. Personally I can't ever remember relating to a comic strip, which might be why the more provincial ones were my least favourites even though the majority seemed to like them. As a creator though I've always been aware that kids like to identify with comic situations, hence Tom Thug getting his comeuppance every week to provide some sort of catharsis for any readers who were bullied in real life. It seemed to work.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by colcool007 »

Escapism is a good point and the nostalgia factor is not one to be overlooked either.

On escapism, I could easily lose myself in comics and transport myself from where I was at that time to where-ever the comic story I was reading would take me to.

As to the nostalgia factor, I will always remember the day when I bought my first Commando where it was my choice and not the ones that my brother brought home. I was with my Dad that day and we were in the High Street of the local town. I felt as if I was a bit more grown up that day as it was my choice , not one imposed on me by someone else. The fact that the shop is now a gift shop does not detract one iota from the fact that I did something with my Dad that Saturday many years ago.

I never found any of the stories were ones that I could identify with when I was growing up. But it did not stop me enjoying the ones that I read.
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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Raven »

I too think comics were essentially escapist and didn't really find them "real", but I do think there was an identification factor with Buster's long-running The Leopard from Lime Street, which was especially appealing because it was a young superhero being heroic, not around New York, Gotham or Metropolis as we were used to, but in a world that seemed very English, working class and identifiable. I think that added to its appeal for a young UK superhero fan.

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Re: Which comics felt more "real" to you?

Post by Phoenix »

I think the reason why people have had so much trouble understanding tolworthy's original post is that his question is completely unanswerable unless he defines his terms, and possibly not even then. Unfortunately, rather than offering some clarity he introduces some categories that even muddy the waters for himself because he concludes that Whoopee felt solid and Cheeky felt normal, which does seem light years away from defining what he means by felt real. By the time he gets round to telling us that what he means by real is that some comics are the key to the real world, nearly a week and a half has gone by. In trying to get at the essence of his question and to respond sensibly and appropriately, members have wandered away from it towards personal reminiscences, escapism, the nostalgia factor, views on what comics are for and which comics or stories or strips they like or dislike, and in the process have made many valid points. Personally, I can't get beyond the belief that comics along with the characters and the stories they contain can only feel real in the sense that, having parted with our money, we emerge from the newsagents with physical objects called comics that feel real in our hands. I suspect that what all this discussion will boil down to in the final analysis is how much tolworthy likes or dislikes a comic or a strip or a character on a scale of 0 to 10.

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