Sunday, May 6, 2018

Escape the Cape: Intro


In these days of superhero mayhem, where every obscure man with a cape gets to save the world over and over in their own films (and subsequent sequels, prequels, reboots and threeboots) it seems like absolutely every comic book ever written were about the same goody-two-shoe muscle heaps in ridiculous outfits.

At least that's what I used to think.

And thus I never saw the appeal of the comic book medium, which I thought to be an extension of children's literature.


But as Hollywood made more and more money on these superhero flicks, the movies also got bigger and more expensive. This in turn meant that filmmakers had to whittle away any adult ingredients, to be able to fill the cinemas with children and thus make back their money.


So today, every single action movie has to be light-hearted, inclusive and safe. There can never be any blood or a single nipple, because that would apparently ruin the audience's fragile sensibilities. Always with the same strong female characters, diverse cast, positive messages, and a load of other bullshit which just serve to reduce these films to boring politics. And it's gotten so bad that there's nothing left but the infantile dadaism of the latest Avengers/Superman/Star Wars-extravaganza.

These aren't even films anymore, so much as animated colors flying across the screen. All with the same soulless "happy ending" tacked on, making Tinseltown akin to a back-alley masseuse which leaves you more ashamed than fulfilled.


However, as Hollywood continues this insane trend of forcing every action and sci-fi story into a PG-13 format, it also creates a huge crater in the pop-culture jungle they used to pump full of violent entertainment. And what was once edgy genres that relied specifically on shock and absurdities to comment on contemporary issues, have disappeared into a childish rabbit hole.


So where can adults go when they want to see messed up sci-fi and horror movies, like to the great classics of the 80s and 90s? In a state of bored desperation, I picked up a comic book. And to my surprise, I discovered that it was not about a man in spandex.

So I read another one. And another. And another.

And the deeper I went, the more I discovered that there is actually an abundance of comics which cater specifically to adults. For the first time in years I was filled with joy and inspiration, all thanks to remarkable graphic novels telling mind-revealing stories about the human condition.

Since comics are much cheaper to produce than movies, they also have room for being rowdy, ridiculous and explicitly violent. They can make pitch black jokes and laugh at the obscene, while at the same time be deep and thought provoking, without needing a voice-over to spoon feed explanations.

So in the next week or so, I will make a series of posts about the greatest comics I've come across sans superheroes. We start off tomorrow with all the best adventure and sci-fi comics.

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