Saturday, July 9, 2011

Real people in comic books make an interesting conversation…

I grew up in what is often referred to as “The Silver Age” of comics, when Marvel Comics made their big marketing move against the well-established DC Comics collection of Super Hero’s such as Superman and Bat Man.

I was fascinated with the whole concept of  Super Hero's. I didn’t care much for comics like Archie, or the Donald Duck series that was so popular in the late fifties and early sixties. Spiderman vied with Thor and the Incredible Hulk for being my favorite character.

Comics books are often reflective of our society. It’s been that way for a long time and I don’t expect it’ll change soon. 

As the November elections loom, the philosophical gulf between President Obama and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to yawn ever wider. But there is at least one place they can find common ground: the Chok’lit Shoppe, venerable hangout for Archie and the gang.

Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis starred in long-running comic book series back in the 1950s and ’60s. Once-popular actors like Alan Ladd and Buster Crabbe had their own titles, as did western stars like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and John Wayne.

But those comics were fantasy narratives about their on-screen personas, not the actors themselves. The same could be said about the rock band KISS, who battled Marvel Comics super-villain Doctor Doom in a 1977 comic.

Popular musicians are appearing in more realistic accounts of their real lives; Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, and Madonna are a few examples. But you don’t have to be a rock star to get your own comic:

You can be a politician (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton), a TV star (Martha Stewart, Betty White or Stephen Colbert), a business mogul (Mark Zuckerberg, a planned Donald Trump bio), or just notorious (Lindsay Lohan appears on the cover of a series called “Infamous,” and a future issue on Charlie Sheen is in the works).

As It Stands, my only problem with comic books today is they’re so expensive. I still see those issues for a dime in my mind. Wish I’d have saved some back then!

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