Saturday, June 17, 2006

Realism in comics

I love those everyday life moments in superhero comics. I think one of the reasons I lost interest in Batman (before Steph) was how he had no life other than the miserable avenger of the night. The grimmest dramas are ones that have light moments and the strongest comedies are the ones that have a touch of harsh reality to ground them. That's what Robin is for. It doesn't work if you make Robin all angsty or kill her off.

One of my favourite Batman stories ever is the one by Harlan Ellison where nothing happens. It's great. People witter on about realism, which they always seem to use to mean nasty, ugly, and vicious, but what realism actually means is that most of the time Batman would be very bored waiting for something to happen, or he'd just miss the important crime because he was across town getting a cat out of a tree.

Okay, not getting a cat out of a tree.

Something more Batmanish but trivial.

But realism also means unexpected random sillyness. Well it does in my life, anyhow. I want more of that kind of realism in my comics. I want more motivation by desire for ice cream and less by rape.

And I want to see large breasted women get backache. I want to see girls with massive hooters and not much holding them down to smack themselves in the face when they are running. I think there would be a lot less antagonism toward the typically overdeveloped superheroine figure if we saw them suffering realistically for it.

That's my idea of realism.


Snard said...

Have you ever seen Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"? That scene where the guy gets chased off a cliff by a bunch of, um, running women? Because your blog entry made me think of that scene again.

Marionette said...

hehe. Yes, I know that scene. Why do you think they are wearing crash helmets?

Anonymous said...

That's something that always annoyed me. Rape and gratuitous violence are all OK, nay, important! to be shown in comics because it happens "in the real world," yet how it happens in comics is laughably ridiculous and unrealistic. Yes, in the real world people do die in big, chaotic events, but, as well all know, death also courteously avoids the popular people. :P

And what the point you're making for Batman is what I'm feeling with Teen Titans, too. Right now it's not about the lives of teenage superheroes, it's about how utterly miserable their lives are sandwiched between plot points and hints and fights. What got me excited in the first place with the Titans comics was the Beast Boy and Raven romance - I was eagerly looking forward to seeing their characters mature and develop, with BB maturing into a leader and an adult, and Raven being able to explore herself and the world. But Johns has just flushed all that with IC and OYL, and we get the dumb, depressing mess it is now...

I'm going to end up like those people who only read manga if this keeps up. ADV needs to finally put out more Yotsuba&! dangit.

Fearless Leader said...

Detective Comics #567. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I recommend the sci-fi novel "The Difference Engine" for fans of realism. It does not have a beginning, middle or end, it is just a bunch of stuff that happens, and none of the principle characters ever interact directly. Good stuff.