Now – on to the topic! As I delve into games I have also immersed myself in related “pop” media. I quote pop because there are comic books that rival “classic” reading for longevity and time-based distortion that forces the reader to do as much heavy research as reading Tom Sawyer. Don’t believe me? Check out The Katzenjammer Kids. If the picture of the cover on the right isn’t confusing you are probably over 40. That is not a picture of sadism. Apparently public flogging of children was okay in 1897. I think I vaguely recall naughty students who were foolish enough to get caught getting sent to the principals office for a spanking when I was in kindergarten but that may have been child rumor. I would love to teach late 19th, early 20th century history with this comic series as a guide. How fun would that be?
Check out some samples and possibly even order a book or two here.
There are other long running comic series like Dennis the Menace, B.C.(one of my favorites), Beetle Bailey, Blondie, and others. In terms of oldest comic books there were “Pulps” which also had radio shows. Yes, actual radio. Back when that was entertainment and news. Very little content creation and large audiences due to limited distribution. Newspapers were also big back then. From my limited study the first American costumed super hero was the Phantom. 1936 I think. Someone fact check me on that. At any rate, the social commentary and reflections of social beliefs embodied in these comics are really interesting and sometimes much more critical, if a bit absurd in the portrayal, than literary texts. (Totally my opinion – biased). I like to think that the comic writers today continue to reflect attitudes and social change through their work. X-men is often referenced as a parallel to various civil rights movements and definitely has some interesting things to say if paired with current LGBTQ struggles with child abandonment (kicking a gay kid out of your house is still abandonment), the struggle to hide what you are (in the closet), and the empowered sense of self that I, at least, gained when I came out professionally and to my parents.
For this reason I wanted to share some of the queer comics that have been hitting the net. I am not even going to try critiquing or discussing these. They are all amazing for various reasons and there are plenty of people already providing critical analysis at a level I do not need to compete with.
Girls with Slingshots (Not really my thing but one of my friends loves it).
Kate or Die (I really relate to the main character sometimes)
LGBTQ Comic Presses: