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  1. #1
    Elder Member Gail Simone's Avatar
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    Default Things You Learned From Comics

    Did a comic ever genuinely affect your viewpoint or change your personal opinions in a lasting way?

    When I was a kid, DC and Marvel both had stories about bigotry that really left an impact on me. I'm sure if I read them now, they'd seem cliche and silly (maybe), but there was a real message in there about not judging people based on their ethnicity or religion, and it wasn't a message I was getting on television, at least not in a way that affected me the same way.

    Did the comics you read as a kid shape you into the adult you are, philosophically speaking?
    Black Canary owns your world.

  2. #2
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    It's okay to do anything to keep from having to commit to a woman, up to and including making her think she's gone crazy.
    "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether I win or lose." - Peter David, on life

  3. #3
    They call me Mr. Pip! the4thpip's Avatar
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    I think we noticed a few months ago how a lot of us on this board are volunteering in some way, and I do believe that the "selfless example" in the superhero comics we grew up on had something to do with that.

    ...

    But I gotta run now, board meeting at the HIV/AIDS charity.
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    We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Major Comma's Avatar
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    I know that Spider -Man story from the 70s on drugs,
    the one not approved by the comics code had a HUGE impact on me.
    I dont even drink alcohol now.
    I keep remembering the image of that teenager who thought he could fly.

  5. #5
    Not a big truck! Bob Violence's Avatar
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    Even on a team with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern, Aquaman would still contribute. As a kid I saw how the Justice League treated each other as peers, even though they were nowhere near equal.

  6. #6
    America's Sweetheart Pink Bat Maxine's Avatar
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    It's all about Truth, Justice, and the American Way for me.

    I love that triad, because it helps me remember that the American Way CAN be about Truth and Justice, and not about all the more negative things we see sometimes. When I'm absolutely in despair for my country, remembering that, and the ideals of Superman & the Superman family help me through.

    I know that's corny as hell, but there you go.

  7. #7
    That guy from Puerto Rico Sijo's Avatar
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    I learned LOTS of stuff from comics... starting with English!

    You see, as a native Puerto Rican, my first language is Spanish. Oh, English is a required course here... but most of us never bother to learn it well, since we never use it.

    Then I discovered comics. Well, I already read comics, but in Spanish- both original ones (mostly from Mexico) and reprints of American ones- all except Marvel (apparently the company that reprinted them had no contract with Marvel.)

    One day in the late 70s, I wandered into a drugstore- and found American comics for sale- In ENGLISH. These are the ORIGINAL ones, and they included Marvels- which knocked my socks off! I HAD to buy them, even if I could hardly understand them. From that point on, my lunch money (once a week) went to buying comics- over my family's objections! Anyway, the point is, from then on, I REALLY paid attention in English class, plus I read my comics with help from an English-Spanish dictionary.

    English, in turn, has helped me to open myself to more stuff; I honestly believe I wouldn't know all that I do about the rest of the World, if I hadn't mastered English.

    But perhaps THE most important thing I learned from comics:

    ...I learned to see life from other people's point of view. After all, every story was a bit of the life of a different person. Fictional, maybe, and often worrying about unreal stuff, but still, largely human characters (even the ones who were not!)

    From Superman's worrying about the responsibilities of his great power, to Spider-Man's inner struggles, to the X-Men struggling to do the right thing despite the unfair hatred they received, to even many villains acting out of anger or disappointment at the World- I learned that, perhaps, I shouldn't judge other people so quickly (like most of us do); that perhaps they have reasons to be the way they are. Ironically, I learned from comic books that people aren't cartoons.

    ...I also learned SOME science from comics. OK, so radiation doesn't give people superpowers :rolleyes: Still, there was some stuff they DID get right, even if I didn't always believe it. "What? Lasers are just beams of LIGHT? Yeah, right!"

  8. #8
    Elder Member Lester C.'s Avatar
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    I'm not proud of this, but I didn't start developing empathy until I read comic books. Despite my skin color I'd never run into people being marginalized in the real world so it was until I began read comic books that I saw the effect of discrimination. To be fair to me I was in early High School here so it wasn't as if I had a lot of life experience in the sheltered environment I was in.

  9. #9
    Gone
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    John Byrne´s Superman made me aware of the existance of Lagrange Points.

  10. #10
    Senior Member suedenim's Avatar
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    Captain America was the first person to show me what freedom of speech was really all about.

    The scenario: A bunch of Brooklyn Nazis (Brooklyn Nazis. I hate Brooklyn Nazis) are having a public rally. A young Jewish rabble-rouser is, understandably, outraged by this, and attempts to violently disrupt the proceedings. Cap stops him, and explains how the Constution protects all speech, not just good or popular speech.

    And then, that lesson delivered, Cap exercises his own First Amendment rights, and just (verbally) tears into the little Nazi punk who claimed the Holocaust never happened. (Cap was there, of course.)

  11. #11
    Señor Member escapegoat's Avatar
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    I learned that my dad would probably have been illiterate if it weren't for comics. He never completed school growing up in the 30's/40's and I found out only a few years ago that if it weren't for him reading comics as a kid, he probably wouldn't have learned how to read. It also explained why he was willing to drive me and my brothers once a week out to a specific gas station across town (even though it was a little bit out of the way) which received its comics a few weeks sooner than the newstands (I guess they used a different distributor, which was kinda unusual for a gas station to do). He never acted all gung-ho about comics and didn't own any of the ones that he grew up with, but he quietly supported out hobby by driving us to this gas station and to the comic shops within the other cities that we'd vacation in.

  12. #12
    Back again? Zoomzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gail Simone View Post
    Did the comics you read as a kid shape you into the adult you are, philosophically speaking?
    This may be strange, but Justice League International had a tremendous impact on me. It taught me a whole lot of things - that even the most noble of us may be flawed, and that the nobility itself may make you blind to the virtues of others. That power and authority should always be questioned, it certainly made me less of an American Exceptionalist (though perhaps more of a euro-centrist) than I otherwise would have been, and really reworked the way I thought about the world.

    Really.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Major Comma's Avatar
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    Maxine,
    the funny thing is I have heard Both conservatives and liberals tell me how important Supermans Ideals of Truth Justice and the American way are to them .
    Its just interesting how those ideals mean different things to different people.

  14. #14
    Big Hairy Member JeffreyWKramer's Avatar
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    Silver- and Bronze-Age DC and Marvel comics had a profound moral impact on me, one that continues to this day. The real world is a much different and vastly more complex one than the one portrayed in those shoddily-printed four-color books, but concepts like "With great power comes great responsibility" are more than just cool taglines, and are just as relevant - perhaps more so - in our reality than they are in the comics. Stories like "This Man... This Monster" provide moral metaphors as valuable as any drawn from Aesop, Shakespeare or the Bible. I know that confronting criminals while dressed as a bat isn't really likely to result in anything other than getting oneself shot, but the underlying concept behind so many of the non-powered heroes, from Batman to the Lone Ranger to Wildcat - the idea that with enough in the way of skill and guts and resolve, an ordinary human being can make a difference - is a profound and valid one, and there's room for fantastic portrayals of this concept just as there is room for accounts of real-world exemplars of the concept such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela.

    The degree to which so many comics have lost touch with those concepts is the primary reason why I detest so many of today's DC and Marvel comics.
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  15. #15
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suedenim View Post
    Captain America was the first person to show me what freedom of speech was really all about.

    The scenario: A bunch of Brooklyn Nazis (Brooklyn Nazis. I hate Brooklyn Nazis) are having a public rally. A young Jewish rabble-rouser is, understandably, outraged by this, and attempts to violently disrupt the proceedings. Cap stops him, and explains how the Constution protects all speech, not just good or popular speech.

    And then, that lesson delivered, Cap exercises his own First Amendment rights, and just (verbally) tears into the little Nazi punk who claimed the Holocaust never happened. (Cap was there, of course.)
    What issue was this?
    "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether I win or lose." - Peter David, on life

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