May 2, 2009
ITEM: This may be out of character for me but I have a serious question to address. There is a place for Sex and Violence in comics but I think we may be on a slippery slope here…..
A recent issue of DC’s Action Comics (No 876 cover dated June 2009) contains an excessive 19 pages of blood-soaked fighting with fists and knives. In the current climate of increasing knife crime it sets an appalling example. The “Superman” range of comics must still be bought by younger readers who actually READ AND DIGEST the story as well as the odd few like me who buy (and quickly flick through) Action and Detective etc simply out of habit.
I don’t want to sound like the guy who wrote “Seduction of the Innocent” (although here I’m already beginning to sound like my own father) but what is the point of The Comic Code Authority in 2009? I’m incredulous to see that Action No 876 actually shows the Comic Code Stamp on its cover. Although it is so very very tiny you’d hardly know it was there. Most comics don’t show a Comic Code Stamp so they don’t need to be approved by anyone (so long as they don’t transgress the “Obscene Publications Act”). But Action No 876 DOES show a Comic Code Stamp so are we to assume that Action No 876 was actually APPROVED despite a level of violence I’ve never before seen in a Superman book ??
I’m no prude. I bought my share of Underground comix and stuff like Cherry Poptart. I bought “Psycho” and “Nightmare” and worse as a teenager. I’ve owned my share of 1950s comics with the fabled “injury to eye” and “decapitation” covers. But I don’t think “Superman” and “Action” should be aiming for that demographic.
ITEM: And whilst I’m in rant mode can anyone explain this. Why are “Vertigo” comics…comics aimed at a mature audience…printed on such crappy paper just like the comics of the 1960s and 1970s? Yet DC’s more mainstream comics like Brave and the Bold and Action and even those more cartoony superhero comics are printed on swish glossy modern paper stock. In fact, thinking about it, it is probably the paper itself that makes the violence in Action seem all the more gruesome and the blood more bloodier !! I’m sure Warren comics would have made more impact if they’d been in full colour.
ITEM: Another question. Mentioning Vertigo comics, what the hell is Fables and Jack of Fables all about ?? I thought I could follow it at first….
ITEM: Moving on to the answer to a question that few people may have asked !! What exactly is Jughead’s hat supposed to be ?? Once I thought it was a paper crown like you’d find folded up inside a cracker. Or perhaps a cardboard crown. Or even a metal crown ?? It definitely brought the thought “crown” into my head. It seemed an odd thing to be wearing even in the 1960s let alone now. I mean, Betty and Veronica’s clothes have moved with the times. Why doesn’t Jughead wear a more contemporary silly hat ??
One of my favourite blogs is “I’m Learning to Share” and it is there that you can find the world’s most detailed analysis of how Jughead’s hat developed from a (once fashionable for 1930s teenage delinquents) inside-out felt Fedora to the odd “Crown” of more recent years.
PS: Why is he called “Jughead” ? I assumed that front-on his ears stuck out like jug handles. The next question is what is Jughead’s full name. I think his surname is “Jones” but first name………………….?