Comics

Hey Kids! Comics!

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Via Arts & Letters Daily comes this great Toronto Star Ideas section piece by Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester about egghead reaction to comic strips and comic books over the past 100 years or so. The familiar yadda-yadda abour Fredric Wertham is present and accounted for (along with asinine denunciations that appeared in the serioso pages of '40s-era New Republic and elswhere).

But the real fun is with respectable folks who really dug comics. Here's acid-tongued Dorothy Parker copping to a comic jones:

"For a bulky segment of a century, I have been an avid follower of comic strips–all comic strips," Parker wrote. "This is a statement made with approximately the same amount of pride with which one would say, 'I've been shooting cocaine into my arm for the past 25 years.'"

Other highbrow fans included Gilbert Seldes (who gave high-brow props to Krazy Kat in the influential 1924 tome The Seven Lively Arts), Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Leslie Fiedler.

Whole thing here.

Some Reason stuff on comics here, here, and here.

NEXT: That Darn Media

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  1. Pride in comics is completely different than pride in injecting cocaine. At least if you say you’ve been shooting cocaine in your arm for 25 years, people think you’ve led an exciting life. 🙂

  2. Tangental to this article: didja know Orson Welles wanted to make a “Batman” movie?

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=14

    Kewl…

  3. “intellectual marijuana”?? Heh-heh-heh…

  4. BTW, The Welles Batman story turned out to be a hoax.

  5. John Updike has written into the Boston Globe in support of keeping the Spider-Man strip in their comics pages.

  6. Only the Shadown knows. Ha ha ha ha ha…

  7. “John Updike has written into the Boston Globe in support of keeping the Spider-Man strip in their comics pages.”

    Why? That strip has always been a piece of crap. Mary Jane still has the same hair-do she did back in the 70s. Does Stan Lee actually have anything to do with it? ’cause the writing is very, very lazy.

  8. The Toronto Star has ideas? That’s news to me!

  9. Hey, I just noticed something:

    Other highbrow fans included Gilbert Seldes (who gave high-brow props to Krazy Kat in the influential 1924 tome The Seven Lively Arts), Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Leslie Fiedler.

    Walter Ong, as in Father Walter Ong, SJ? He was one of my profs at SLU in my senior year! The course was “Technology of the Word.” About how the way you predominantly receive communication — oral, written, printed, etc. — affects your thinking and worldview, and vice versa. Smart guy. I didn’t realize he was a well-known intellectual.

    Speaking of intellectual, I have two comments.

    1) Spiderman

    As a kid, I liked the Spiderman cartoon on TV. I can’t stand the comic strip in the newspaper. First, because Spiderman and Mary Jane are supposed to love each other, right? Is there any evidence of this at all, other than the fact that she addresses him as “Tiger” and he addresses her as “Beautiful”? Because the rest of the time, they are always having stupid jealousy fights.

    Second, it’s one of the slowest-moving strips I’ve ever read. Typical weekend strip:

    Panel 1: Spiderman says, “Ah …”

    Panel 2: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 3: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 4: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 5: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 6: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 7: Spiderman says, “… ah …”

    Panel 8: Spiderman says, “… CHOOO! …”

    NEXT WEEK: GESUNDHEIT!

    2) Blondie

    Did anyone else but me notice that a few years ago, Blondie and her daugther Trixie became really hot? Sexy dressers, too. Hot. I mean break-your-fireplace, roarkably hot.

  10. Isn’t Trixie the baby in Hi & Lois? I think (but am absolutely not sure) Blondie’s daughter is Cookie (which is a nickname, I can’t remember the full name).

    Blondie was always drawn hot, she started out as a flapper.

  11. For: When Dagwood met Blondie?

    See:

    http://coolgov.com/index.php?p=117

  12. Blondie’s daughter is Cookie

    Oops, thank you.

    Blondie used to be cute, but somehow she and Cookie now pack more va-va-va-voom than they used to.

    Or maybe this fixation just means I’ve been out riding fences for so long now … I’d better let somebody love me, before it’s too late.

  13. I think Blondie got hot again when Chic Young’s kid, Dean, took over drawing the strip.

    Stevo has set off my geek alarm:

    [geek] It’s Spider-Man? dammit!

    Capital S, pider, hyphen, capital M, an!

    Why is that so hard? [/geek]

    Kevin

  14. Apparently the daughter always was Cookie (she was named in a contest), although they might have given her an alternate name later on.

    The son was also called Baby Dumpling until he grew too old for that.

  15. Sorry, Kevin!

    I must have been thinking back to his original name, Spiedermann, before he changed it to fit in with the goyim.

  16. The son was also called Baby Dumpling until he grew too old for that.

    I seem to recall the name Alexander. (?)

  17. Oh yeah … the former Baby Dumpling grew up to be called Alexander.

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