Somehow, we were all convinced to abandon the idea of Utopia, to give up on the notion that the future would be better than today. The reason Disneyland’s Tomorrowland was allowed to become quaint and kitsch and eventually retro-cool is that it couldn’t be updated, because we’ve had no vision for the future since the mid-1970s. Or at least not for a future that’s nicer than our present.
There’s been this trend of late, blaming this generation or that for all the world’s problems — “Boomers destroyed the economy!””Millennials are killing [everything]!” “Gen Xers all want participation trophies!” — and that’s not what this post is about. What it is about is recognizing and appreciating the influences and factors that contribute to some of the trends and attitudes associated with certain generations, and pointing out why some of those generational groupings may be too broad and/or inaccurate.
From where I sit, as a professional artist, cartoonist, occasional comics journalist, and comics reader of 50+ years, I see four areas in which the comics industry has at various times gone off the rails: Format, Content, Distribution, and Marketing. Each of these areas has been affected by a number of foolish, short-sighted, fear-driven decisions over an extended period of time, the cumulative effect of which has led to the current state of the industry.
I was reminded of WIR recently and thought it was high time somebody documented the origin of the term and site, at least somewhat beyond the bare-bones detail to be found at Wikipedia. As it happens, I know pretty much all the people who were involved in the site, and was present during some of the early discussion, so I invited them to participate in an online roundtable discussion.
Back in World War II, when it was being attacked by the Nazi war machine, the Soviet Union had quite a few women serving in its armed forces. The Soviet airwomen in particular distinguished themselves in combat roles, and there’s a very good book and a more recent comic book series that examine this aspect of wartime history.
Among his many, many books, prolific crime writer Max Allan Collins wrote a trilogy of delightful murder mysteries set in the world of newspaper strips and comic books in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Tony Stark’s father went from a one-panel throwaway character to a legend in his own right.