Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are comic books losing their sense of humor? Pt. 1

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When I was a little boy, and throughout the time when I was growing up reading comics all the time, I vividly remember laughing out loud all the time. But lately, I have struggled just to find a couple frames each week that make me really laugh. I had every intention of having a weekly feature called "Friday Funny" and figured "What could be easier than finding something funny in the 'funnybooks'?" It's not to say there is no humor at all in comics, but that most of the time, it will make me smile at it's best.

Is it my sense of humor that has gone down hill? I highly doubt that since I laugh until my stomach hurts most nights watching Reno 911, Robot Chicken and the Simpsons. Is it the writers, have they gone soft? Not sure about that either. Kevin Smith has written more than a few comics that have fallen flat, but I find his movies hilarious.

Or is it the comic book genre itself? I think this may be where the problem is. The tone of comic books has darkened so much that funny titles like Deadpool (the Joe Kelly Deadpool, not this current drivel) don't stand a chance for long. Whether it is because they think people won't like taking killing lightly, or think that there isn't room for lighter fare, the comic book publishers have comics at the point where it is all doom and gloom and very little comedy.

What can we do about this? To be honest not much, except let the publishers know of our disapproval. That's the hard part, because the only way they will pay attention is for us to stop buying their comics, and I am not about to do that.

I am just hashing out my thoughts on this to be honest, but wanted to say something right away. I am going to dive deeper into this soon and write up a full article on the subject, complete with scans of panels from yesterday and today in the comic world.

So what I am hoping for now is a little help. If you know of a truly funny title, most likely from an independent publisher, please let me know, so we can start to acknowledge those who are trying to keep funnybooks funny. As I have noted before, there are many ways to contact me, if you need to find one, click on the Contact Me tab at the top of the page.


Spencer said...

I think because its because we (gen-whatevers) are and have been the main comic buying demographic for a long time, so the industry is simply "growing up" with us.

I shudder to think of what kind of geriatric comics will be available to us in 20 or 30 years.

Tom Mattson said...

yeah gross. lol.

Woody! said...

Good luck! There's not much that tickles the funny bones today like it used to back in the day. Although, I think I was an easier target to make laugh back then. I remember chuckling for hours about a V-8 reference when I was a child so maybe it was just less difficult for writers yesterday.

ComicGeek said...

I think to prove me wrong, they should announce a brand-new Ambush Bug series, with guest appearances by Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew and Groo the Wanderer!

I'm actually afraid to find out it is me or my generation, I don't know if that would completely deflate my desire to write a comic book blog. If it is, and the writers are from our generation too, why don't they write to our sensibilities like the other stuff I find so funny on a daily basis?

Hulk vs. Bizarro is a perfect example of this. I find that extremely funny, I have read them all and everytime I post a new one, I laugh just as hard as the first time. Would it be so hard for one comic book a month to be that funny on a regular basis? I don't think that's asking much, just one.

Deadpoolite said...

I love the mini-marvels (aka marvel bullpen bits)!

Joe Kelly's Deadpool rocked and Gail Simone's run was also quite good!

Let's not talk about the present... although there is the occassional funny issue (that is whenever Cable is not around, lol).

A lot of the issues of She-Hulk published in the past 2-3 years were funny as well.

Well, it is hard to make someone laugh today anyway... as long as cynicism prevails in daily life laughter will be harder and harder to come by. I don't think it has to do with the medium of comics really, just with us readers getting older and our sense of humour (or lack of, lol) evolving accordingly.

Matthew E said...

Well, Dark Horse is coming out with some Groo stuff in the upcoming months; that'll be funny. DC's Blue Beetle often has some good yoks in it (the main plot point of this week's issue was pretty funny), and so does The All-New Atom. Brave and Bold isn't primarily funny, but the dialogue can be quite witty.

ComicGeek said...

Brave and the Bold can be good sometimes. In the four issues though it has been kinda sporadic, which is bound to happen when you are writing different characters all the time. I have never read Blue Beetle, I am going to have to give that a try next issue.

Spencer said...

every single Hulk Vs. Bizarro you've posted has made me laugh so far.

"oh here they am"

for some reason, this line was hilarious to me.

ComicGeek said...

I am glad you are enjoying them, and they actually get even better. If you go to the 50 foot robot site, you can read them all, and I promise you will still laugh just as hard when I post them here again.

Spencer said...

I just wanted to mention that Deadpool made me laugh repeatedly in this month's issue of Cable & Deadpool.

"must use...shatner reach statue..."

hilarious. good ol' DP.

Click the Banner (Get it? Banner... Hulk... nevermind) Hulk vs. Bizarro The Comic Rack webcomic comic book blog

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