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#563806 - 01/05/10 12:22 AM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Joe Lee]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
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Not to mention Supreme, which National would have likely sued over had it appeared forty years earlier.
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#563807 - 01/05/10 12:34 AM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Allen Montgomery]
IvanJim Offline
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Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Okay, y'all have good points, but I still see there being a lot more limitations to using Superman as opposed to a Superman pastiche. So if the archetype is more interesting than the official usage of the character, is the problem with the ownership of the character?

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#563825 - 01/05/10 11:13 AM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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Quote:
Kids don't love Superman because they're deceived or hysterical or because he's been commercially successful (they've got no idea what the last movie grossed).

Kids love Superman because he's totally cool.

What a sad world Groth inhabits that he can't see that.

Kids like all kind of crap, regardless of just how cool it really is. The point of the essay wasn't about what kids like, but the way adults interpret a popular sign and what it says about the culture. This has quite a bit to do with democracy, since capitalism is so tied up with that topic. How does capitalism sell itself, so that people continually vote for it? Pretending that you can just take Superman minus all of what it's selling to you through your child is naive, at best. I don't disagree that Superman can be read with some positive results, just like Christmas could foster a positive family experience. But there's also a bunch of ideological bullshit that goes along with both that shouldn't be dismissed for a Hallmark moment.
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#563826 - 01/05/10 11:33 AM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Charles Reece]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
The point of the essay wasn't about what kids like, but the way adults interpret a popular sign and what it says about the culture.


Absolutely! Because the whole point of Superman has nothing to do with those dang-blasted kids, it's how serious adults view the comic book adventures of a guy in tights and a cape who throws cars over his head and says "Great Krypton!"

Heh.

Maybe certain adults need to get the hell out of funnybooks and leave them to kids, who still enjoy them and who don't feel the urge to hold a three-day academic conference on Superman's role in the evils of capitalism in Western society.

For a guy who claims to have little interest in Superman, Grothy's angry, lengthy essay reveals just the opposite. He combines a child's obsession with Superman with an adult's pissy insistence that everything clearly be shown to share his philosophical and political worldviews. Groth is a creepy old guy lurking in the kids' treehouse, demanding to know why the hell we're eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the third day in a row, why can't we have steak, goddamnit.

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#563828 - 01/05/10 12:04 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
That's ridiculous -- the creepy old guy hanging out in the treehouse would be anyone still concerned with DC superheroes as an adult, if you need to continually reduce all of this to the ad hominem.
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#563830 - 01/05/10 12:09 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Charles Reece]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
That's ridiculous -- the creepy old guy hanging out in the treehouse would be anyone still concerned with DC superheroes as an adult, if you need to continually reduce all of this to the ad hominem.


If you're suggesting that there is something unhealthy about grown men obsessing over why today's DC superhero comics aren't the kinds of comics they fondly remember and would enjoy reading again -- and by this, I mean grown men like me -- I am not in a position to challenge your facts.

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#563831 - 01/05/10 12:15 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Ha. I don't really think it's particularly creepy, no more so than reading Dahl books aimed at kids, just don't throw stones, you know.
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#563832 - 01/05/10 12:32 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Charles Reece]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Well ... it's a little creepy. blush

As I've said, I don't really disagree with Groth's criticism of DC Comics Inc. or its parent company or the generally shabby business ethics of the comic book publishing industry over the last century, and the hypocrisy that lies therein, when you consider the heroic, selfless adventures that it publishes while buggering its own people.

And as a fanboy with a lifelong fondness for Superman, I'm not crazy about his licensed appearance on ... so much crap. But as a "Peanuts" fan, even as a kid, I regretted that Charles Schulz sold out his characters as much as he did. I mean, Met friggin' Life?! Auugh, Sparky!

But.

To entirely dismiss Superman and not take into account that the character does now stand for something good in the minds of children (of all, cough-cough, ages) -- to brush aside the comments of Harlan Ellison and others, who aren't naive but who nonetheless find something special in the character -- to snicker at anyone who admires what the teen-aged Siegel and Shuster created during the Great Depression in that little house in Cleveland -- I think that reveals an essential heartlessness.

If you truly take that cold a view of funnybooks, then ye gods, Gary Groth, to dedicate your life to comic books and writing about comic books elevates masochism to a high art.

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#563850 - 01/05/10 02:12 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Victor Von Dood Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 224
Tendentious hippies are so irritating.

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#563856 - 01/05/10 03:41 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Victor Von Dood]
IvanJim Offline
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Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
...and yet clarity is enlightening. Whadayagonnado?

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