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John Byrne
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Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Stand by for the Topical Reference Warriors to get up in arms. Those who do not understand a reference to the Beatles in 1965 doesnít forever lock that story IN 1965.

A few decades back an editor raised the hackles of the minibrains by altering the topical references in MARVEL TALES, the Spider-Man reprint book. So Aunt May was watching THE DUKES OF HAZARD instead of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

Leaves me bewildered that so many self-declared ďfansĒ just DONíT GET IT.

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Dale E Ingram
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Since I was a kid, I've tried to apply the rule that whatever story I'm reading, is set "now" and everything around it is relative. Earlier issues were set "before" or if it was a long time ago, "months ago". Later issues would be set "after now" or "in the future"-- unless I was reading them, in which case they'd be set... "now"!

This series lets me do that, because you're smart enough with topical references, and how you depict fashion and technology that Elsewhen could be set anywhen.


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Mark McKay
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Topical Reference Warriors

--

Hahahahahahaha!
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Michael Genitempo
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Time in comics doesn't correlate well to the real world as we all know.  Even character progression is tricky: Peter Parker is in high school, then college, gets married but he can't really age or he'd have to eventually get old and die.

Topical references are hard too.  Since we are in the fictional world, who is to say they must match a given real world year's fashions, etc.? I'm always more concerned with the plot, dialogue, emotions of the story anyway.  That's what sticks with me if done well.  


Edited by Michael Genitempo on 02 October 2019 at 11:27am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 12:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

For some fans, mostly on the fringe, it became a thing to fuss over the most basic conventions. Why does Superman have blue hair? How can Spider-Man stick to walls with his gloves on? Why doesnít time pass realistically?

This last one is a particular pain, as fans stuggle with timelines and graphs and calendars. Why canít they just ride along with the flow?

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Dean Munday
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This is why the comic-book reading experience is so much better when you are a youngster whose eyes have not been jaded by life and experience; you know it's not real and you don't question anything - you just go with it for the incredible ride. It's a skill you have to 're-learn' to get the best out of the medium. Thankfully, many of us remain dyed-in-the-wool 'big kids'. :-)

Edited by Dean Munday on 03 October 2019 at 1:22pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 3:32pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And I love the Big Kids. Each and every one. They read for whatís there, not for what the passing years makes them think they should be looking for.

Trouble is, over the years writers have started thinking that other way and writing that way.

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Michael Genitempo
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 5:41am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

As Doctor Who once said: "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes..."

Edited by Michael Genitempo on 03 October 2019 at 5:42am
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Dale E Ingram
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Whenever someone asks me why time doesn't pass "realistically" in comic books, I say for the same reason that it doesn't pass "realistically" in other forms of written fiction.

The story in a 300-400 page novel can cover a time ranging from a few days, to decades or hundreds of years. And a series of novels, say a novel and its sequel, aren't required to cover the time that passes "realistically" in between their publications. Say they're published five years apart. There's no requirement that the end of the sequel has to be five years after the beginning of the first novel. So why would comics be held to that rule?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 7:36am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

In many ways, itís an affectation. Get in a lather about something inconsequential and look ďcoolĒ.

Unfortunately a lot of those cool people ended up being pros, and they started writing to that affectation.

Len Wein did the best he could to satisfy without really satisfying, when he suggested that the Fantastic Four had gone up in their rocket seven years ago, and that it would always be seven years ago. That was circa 1975. But it didnít take long for people to start treating that seven years as a sliding scale which was not Lenís intent.

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Ardel David
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I try to stop ďthinkingĒ about the books when I close the book. Helps me
enjoy the stories better. Iím a passive observer. If I need to stake out
my personal identity and relevance in this world, Iíll do that through
other things.

Otherwise, it all calls to mind that brilliant scene with Kathy Bates in
Misery: ďJust before the car went off the cliff, he jumped free and all the
kids cheered. But I didnít cheer. I stood up right up and started
shouting: THIS ISNíT WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK! HAVE YOU
ALL GOT AMNESIA! THEY JUST CHEATED US! THIS ISNíT FAIR! HE
DIDNíT GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE CAR!!!Ē

Insert SureJan.gif here.

Edited by Ardel David on 03 October 2019 at 12:19pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 7:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I have no problem with showing an event, then next issue (or even years later) backing up to show the event was not what it appeared to be. Things are not always as they seem, in fiction as in the real world.
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