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NUM-INOUS COMICS PT. 2

This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Monday, July 26, 2010

DUELING QUOTATIONS

I like to imagine that the second quote pretty much answers the question implied in the first.

First, Tom Spurgeon from this COMICS REPORTER piece back in May 2010:

The prism for talking about most comics, but particularly mainstream comics, is their monetary success, either relative to the industry in which those comics come out or for their value within the wider entertainment world. I'd like to see more discussions on what these comics are actually saying about the concepts they engage. One reason is I think the conversation would be deeply disturbing and thus somewhat hilarious to have. Forcing people used to justifying creativity through marketing language to actually discuss the ideas they're putting out there can be a fun ride. It's not that comics don't exist as items that are marketed; they do. But they also exist as a vehicle for ideas, for stories, and that almost never gets discussed except under a strange construction that relies on the notion of fan entitlement. That's too bad.


And now this quote from Grant Morrison during 2010's San Diego Comicon:

Batman is a mythical figure. I'm being funny, but I'm not being funny. They don't live in the real world. It's like this theory I've been developing – you know what they always say about kids? That kids can't distinguish between fantasy and reality. And that's actually bullshit. When a kid's watching 'The Little Mermaid,' the kids knows that those crabs that are singing and talking aren't really like the crabs on the beach that don't talk. A kid really knows the difference.

"Then you've got an adult, and adults can not tell the difference between fantasy and reality. You bring them fantasy, and the first thing they say is 'How did he get that way? Why does he dress like that? How did that happen?' It's not real. And beyond that, when you're dealing with characters, they exist on paper. They're real in that context. I always say they're much more real than we are because they have much longer lives and more people know about them. But we get people reading superhero comics and going, 'How does that power work? And why does Scott Summers shoot those beams? And what's the size of that?' It's not real! There is no science. The science is the science of 'Anything can happen in fiction and paper' and we can do anything.

"We've already got the real world. Why would you want fiction to be like the real world? Fiction can do anything, so why do people always want to say, 'Let's ground this' or 'Let's make this realistic.' You can't make it realistic because it's not. So basically Batman is 75 years old, and Robin is 74 years old. They don't grow old because they're different from us. They're paper people.

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