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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Permanent Damage - Nov 11, 2009

    In this week's PERMANENT DAMAGE, are super heroes alive and well, or have they become a dying breed, breathing their last breath? Plus: little household disasters and the latest installment of the Comics Cover Challenge.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    internet pope howyadoin's Avatar
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    I'd say that was pretty accurate.

    I'd say "disturbingly accurate", but ultimately it doesn't disturb me much.
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  3. #3
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    I've been saying this for at least 20 years, perhaps longer. Once you start deconstructing a genre, that genre is essentially dead. Deconstruction is basically the autopsy of genre.

    Of course, you could say the same thing about detective fiction, or science fiction, or Tolkienesque fantasy fiction, and the so-called "urban fantasy" genre is getting there, too, if not there already. The western got there sometime in the '50s or '60s.

    I think one of the things that has contributed to the stagnation of the superhero genre is the growth and increasing cultishness of fandom, combined with the fact that the creative offices have been filled with former and current fanboys and the business offices have been filled with corporate beancounters. The comics industry in the US has long been more incestuous than the family of an 18th dynasty pharaoh.

    The rise of the comic book shop in the late '70s and early '80s may have seemed like a godsend to geeks, but it just helped further ghettoize a hobby that was generally ghettoized to begin with, which just further helped mix the cult's Kool-Aid.

    Unfortunately, I've yet to find anything that really fills the same niche in my soul that comics -- superhero comics in particular, but all comics -- used to fill.

    L.

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    Steven, what you're saying seems to apply quite well to North American comics, possibly Europe as well. But what about Asia? They've successfully introduced new super-hero type characters for years, although they tend to flourish in video games, CCGs, and TV shows. But manga is still strong in Japan, isn't it?

  5. #5
    Natch! krushjudgement's Avatar
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    What about Hellboy? He looks to have some staying power.

    It is disturbing that I can only think of one example.


    The new trend is gritty "realistic" superheroes who get their asses kicked.

    -The Michael Rapaport flick "Special"
    -"Kick Ass"
    -Woody Harrelson's "Defendor"
    -And I was participating in this trend without even realizing it: "King of Pain" http://westcritic.blogspot.com/2009/...ull-issue.html

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    Default Have you read Invincible?

    Invincible is another character that undermines this argument. I think it's more about the industry being incestuous with it's own creations, rather than a lack of creativity or desire on the part of readers to look at new superheroes. Look at how many Superman, Batman and Spiderman family titles are released each month. If you're a fan of one of these characters that uses up a lot of your comic budget each month. Then look at all the knock off Superman or Batman type characters like Irredeemable or the Authority. Sentry is mentioned in the article as an argument against the success of new superheroes, whereas I would argue that Sentry is Marvel's knock off of Superman and an example of how knock offs of old characters push new characters to the sidelines making their survival that much more difficult.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Existentialman View Post
    Invincible is another character that undermines this argument.
    No, he really isn't. I like Invincible, and I think Kirkman is doing interesting things with the book, but he really is just another Superman knock-off at core. Or maybe Superboy knockoff.

    The book has continued for several years now, I'll give it that.

    - Grant

  8. #8

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    What would it take to get the writers of America to start using "disinterested" correctly?

    Maybe we could buy some billboards in major cities that say "'Disinterested' and 'Uninterested' are two different words! They mean different things!"

    Do you think that would work?

  9. #9
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    Default Seen it all before

    Hi Steven - Long time reader, first time poster. Great column this week. I'm 40 and am finding that although the monthly titles, particularly super-hero titles, are trying very hard to keep me engaged, the strategy is starting to fail miserably. Feels like I've read it all before...there's no real effort, it seems, for companies like DC to do anything original or creative any more. Last title I really enjoyed was Y: The Last Man and even that was a simple concept, although brilliantly executed.

    I can afford to buy monthlies at $3.99 and up, but my purchases are dropping to a trickle because the quality is so weak. If/when they start to lose customers like me, what's the future for these companies and franchises?

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    Natch! krushjudgement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon in Austin View Post
    I can afford to buy monthlies at $3.99 and up, but my purchases are dropping to a trickle because the quality is so weak. If/when they start to lose customers like me, what's the future for these companies and franchises?
    They're going to have to go after the kids playing video games. Expect to see more Gears of War, Halo etc...

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by krushjudgement View Post
    They're going to have to go after the kids playing video games. Expect to see more Gears of War, Halo etc...
    Why? Video games are dying on the vine these days.

    - Grant

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post
    Why? Video games are dying on the vine these days.

    - Grant
    You mean adaptations or the games themselves?

    Because the best sellers are selling heaps more than before.

    The one's that flop are very usually inferior products.
    ADVERTISE HERE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    You mean adaptations or the games themselves?

    Because the best sellers are selling heaps more than before.

    The one's that flop are very usually inferior products.
    First off, in reply to Mr. Grant: Video games are not "dying on a vine." They are a huge cash-cow.

    Secondly, in reply to FGJ, what I mean is that video games are where the youth and money are at these days. That is a target market not afraid to spend money.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by krushjudgement View Post
    First off, in reply to Mr. Grant: Video games are not "dying on a vine." They are a huge cash-cow.
    Not recently. The market for new videogames is off dramatically, not that it has stopped anyone from releasing them. Except the videogame producers going out of business, of course.

    - Grant

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    You mean adaptations or the games themselves?

    Because the best sellers are selling heaps more than before.

    The one's that flop are very usually inferior products.
    Mmmm... not really. For instance, GUITAR HERO THE BEATLES, for all the promotion they put into it, tanked as a videogame, and everyone I know who has played it says it's fabulous. (The accompanying CD release of old Beatles material did well, though, or at least that's what I was told.) Seems to me one of the major vg franchises - DOOM, was it? Or HALO? Something that at one time was huge beyond belief... - decided releasing their latest entry would be a waste of effort. I could probably dig up more if I had any kind of attention span for that sort of thing... But videogame company stocks have been tanking as well, and not just because all stocks tanked...

    - Grant

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