Brief introduction to PROJET SCOPE
We seek to uncover more information on Comics Changes and its Impact on the Society. In view of the wide spectrum of comics, we have been restricting our analysis and evaluation of the changes to “Superheroes’ / costumed crime-fighters graphic novels).
Interview Questions#1: What prompted you to pick up the comic book since young? Could you share with us the factors behind your sustained interest in comics?
For me, it was the colorful characters and outlandish storylines that first caught my interest. I really liked how the stories awoke my imagination and kept me interested; coming back month after month to see what was going to happen next. Between each visit, I would daydream about the characters and create my own storylines in my head. I think this has put them in a special place in my life, as they have had a huge impact on my life as a child.
#2: Please share with us your views on the comics industry now and the changes which differs the modern and the past comics industry.
There have been many changes to the comic book industry, so perhaps I will touch on one. One of the biggest changes in the comic book industry is the more adult oriented content that has appeared in comics lately. What once was considered by many to be primarily a “kiddie” market has since become a much more adult orientated market. Even the comics that were once geared more for children such as Spider-Man and Superman have more adult themes to them, with death, sex, violence, and other themes through them all. You can find these comics in many of the more independent publishers, but even mainstream publishers like Marvel and DC have more adult themed issues being displayed in their comics. One example would be Spider-Man #96-#98 from 1971 which depicted a story about drug use. The issues went to press without the Comics Code seal, a first for some time.
#3: The Golden and Silver Ages of comics has passed. Do you think that the heyday of comics has passed as well? Or, are we to see better days from comics?
Some would argue that the best days of comic books are right now. There are more kinds of comics available today on just about every topic. You can find child friendly comics, mature comics, sci-fi, history, literature, and horror comics. The internet and technology has revolutionized how comics are made, distributed, and engage the reader with forums, blogs, and video. Hollywood has latched onto comic books, transforming them into blockbuster franchises the world over.
#4: Despite undergoing a tumultuous period of stringent censoring by the Comics Code, that saw many comics storyline being heavily affected or rejected, the superheroes concept still remained deeply entwined in the eyes of the public. Do you think that the latter is true?
I think it is very true, and mostly due to the Comics Code itself. When Dr. Wertham’s book came out and brought the issue of comics and juvenile delinquency to the United State Senate, the resulting ban on graphic images and questionable content left the superhero comic one of the only few comics able to be made. This solidified their popularity with the populace and helped to grow companies like Marvel and DC into the comics juggernauts we see today.
#5: Comics are receiving a wider and more loyal audience nowadays. Is this accurate to your understanding? Do assist us in providing some reasons as to why this might be possible.
I think that comic books have always had a wide and loyal audience. There are fans of the old comic books and their characters that still are around today and vehemently defend their favorite characters. One example would be when the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, was turned into a villain and replaced with a younger and newer character Kyle Rayner. A group of dedicated fans got together and started their own petition to get Hal Jordan reinstated as the Green Lantern. They called themselves H.E.A.T. (Hal’s Emerald Advancement Team) and wrote into DC, took out ads, formed a website - http://www.glheat.cjb.net/ - and eventually saw the return of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern.
I think that it may seem like comic books are being received on a larger scale due to the invention of the Internet. This has allowed comic fans to voice their concerns and delights about comics like never before and now anybody can be an “expert” on the web with their own blog or website that talks about comic books.
#6: You have mentioned that “comics continue to become a more recognized and valued medium. Is it possible that more people look towards comics now, not for its plain entertaining factor, but also for its detailed and accurate calibration of social changes?
I think that is very true today. Classic culturally relevant comics, like Maus, which tells a story from World War 2, or the recent favorite, American Born Chinese, talk about huge issues in culture today. Many of the “indy” comic books are the ones on the “front lines” working to mirror issues in culture and say things about our society, but even comic characters from the larger companies have brought issues into the spotlight. Northstar and The Rawhide Kid coming out as being gay come to mind. With the market becoming stronger for these kinds of comics and issues, more and more will come out.