Monday, 28 May 2018

TIME FOR A MIX-UP (OR SHOULD THAT BE A MUX-IP?)...


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Back in early 1985 - an astonishing 33 years ago - I was sitting at the table in my bedsit room in Shearer Road, Buckland (near Southsea), working on the WHIZZER & CHIPS comics libraries.  Resizing pages like MINNIE'S MIXER and HARRY'S HAUNTED HOUSE, I was amazed to think that many of those pages were ones I'd have read as a kid back in 1969 and '70.  So there I was, 15 or 16 years later, re-experiencing my youth while earning a living, and feeling extremely blessed to be doing so.

What hits me smack-dab in the kipper today though, is that the length of time between first reading those stories and preparing them for a new audience seemed almost like forever, whereas the period between then and now - more than twice the duration - seems like only a few years ago at most.  I know I've asked the same question before, but how can 33 years seem a shorter span of time than 15 or 16?  No matter how many times I think about it, it always amazes me.

Some of you will probably say that, to a 26 year old, 15 years is a more significant period of time than 33 years is to someone almost in their 60s (in the first case, it's nearly three fifths of one's life, in the second it's a little more than half), but surely proportions don't fully account for it?  For example, 15 years to a 30 year old would still seem a longer duration than 30 years to a 60 year old, and the proportions are exactly the same in each instance.  Is it just simply down to the fact that time seems to pass quicker the older we get?

Perhaps it's down to perceptions.  When we're younger, things make more of an impression on us and there are usually more frequent changes in life than when we're older.  Then, things seem pretty much the 'same old, same old' and our routine doesn't change much, if at all, until retirement.  But does that adequately explain things?  Probably not, but at least this post gives me the excuse to show you a couple of pages from Whizzer & Chips.  To think that I read these strips back in 1969 and may well have resized them* for the IPC comics libraries in 1985 is still a source of wonder to me.  (*I'd have to check to say for sure, but don't have the time at the moment.)

Still scratching your head as to why I find the topic of time so fascinating?  Don't worry about it - just enjoy these two pages by ANGEL NADAL and REG PARLETT.  They're well-worth wading through my incomprehensible nonsense any day of the week.

12 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Yes, it is difficult to understand - when I was reading The Complete Fantastic Four in 1977 the original Lee/Kirby stories in the back seemed like ancient history despite being a mere 15 years old whereas John Byrne's FF stories seem recent even though they came out 35 years ago. Very strange! It must be because 10 or 15 years seem like an eternity to a youngster but not to us old gits.

Kid said...

Yeah, but why does 10 or 15 years seem like an eternity when we're younger, CJ? In the case of the original FF tales, perhaps because we never read them when they were first published (but in later reprints), the time seems to exist in some sort of nebulous dimension beyond our experience? D'oh, my head hurts. That's too simple of course, but I'm sure you'll know what I'm trying to get at.

Anonymous said...

Amazing work! Thanks for sharing Kid. Now why don't comics look like that anymore?

Kid said...

For the answer to that, see just about any post I wrote about The Dandy on the run-up to its demise.

Christopher Nevell said...

Kid - I’ve thought about this for a while and I think you’ve touched upon it. When we’re young we’re taking so much in that we’re very much in the moment. Very similar to mindfulness for adults. Then later we filter out the detail and so everything seems to speed up. Give it a go right now - find something contemporary to focus on and examine it in detail. I’ve done that before and found myself thinking “this is what I used to do.” But I find I need to make the effort. Nowadays even the seasons are slipping by in mere weeks so I must re-train myself to soak everything in again.

Kid said...

Another reason is that when we're young, we're always looking forward to something - next week's comic, tonight's favourite TV show, birthday and Christmas presents, school holidays, etc. Because we're wishing our lives away waiting for something, tomorrow never seems to come soon enough. Whereas, as adults, we're more limited in what we can look forward to. Nowadays, a day doesn't seem long enough for me to do everything that needs done, whereas when I was younger, a day - heck, an hour - seemed to last forever.

Paul Mcscotty said...

There is actually a lot of scientific work / research been carried out on this subject so your not "losing it" it is an actual "thing" we all experience. I took a book on this subject on my recent trip to Australia (a thin volume to explain things like this to numptys like me) - Very briefly (one of the main - but not the only) theories is that the passage of perceived time is related to the amount of new information we absorb. As kids / younger people we naturally are receiving more new info / stimuli for the first few times and our brains take longer to process this new(ish) info (this they say explains the "slow motion" perceptions " often experienced in an accident its not taking a long time, its over in seconds but your brain is taking in so much new info (an accident only happens now and then) that time seems slowed down by 10 to 100 times as you brain is processing this in detail to understand the situation (new info) and to find a way "out" to save you . In day to day situations when younger they think that when we have new experiences the brain is taking longer to record this for the first few times so it has a richer memory to call on - hence in some case how we recall things so vividly from the past that seemed to take an age to pass when we were young. As we get older we are more familiar with our surroundings/ interest and don't take in / notice the finer details and dedicate less memory (time) to subjects as we already have it stored away etc. So for those early Christmases of 50 years ago your brain took in a lot of info (perceived time) to detail it all so that at the time each Xmas seemed to take longer to pass (more info in you brain was used) now you know the drill so the last 40 odd Xmases seems to have passed quicker etc ditto comics, football matches etc.

Kid said...

That's interesting, PM, and, like you say, there's more to it than that, but I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who experiences the time 'thing'. Part of the 'Christmas difference' is that, after childhood, they no longer seem as magical (except in memory), so that's probably one of the reasons why they no longer make the same impression on us. Fascinating subject, eh? I'll take your appreciation of Minnie and Harry as a given. Oh, and what was the name of the book?

Paul Mcscotty said...

Sorry meant to add love those strips especially Harry's Haunted House (Im a big fan of Reg Parlett) - must have been very satisfying to work on those strips by to giants of the industry and no doubt childhood idols.

Kid said...

Yeah, 'twas a thrill to 'connect' with familiar strips from my past. I don't think I've ever seen a bad page by Reg Parlett. He made everything look funny. (Name of the book about time?)

Paul Mcscotty said...

Meant to ad the book was a compilation book from the "New Scientist" magazine - a lot of the info in it was from " Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception" by Claudia Hammond ( I checked it out in WH Smiths but it goes into so much detail and looked a bit complex and a over worked to my puny mind) There are also some good articles online about this subject as well (see below for one):

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/science-says-time-really-does-seem-to-fly-as-we-get-older-this-is-best-way-to-slow-it-back-down.html

And yes I agree you can't ignore the magical element (imho)of it ll ass well.

Kid said...

I'll be having a read at that link the moment I get back from the shops. Ta, PM. Of course, as we all know, if Einstein's theory of relativity is correct, then time passes at different 'speeds' depending on where you are and at what speed you're travelling. For instance, if you were in a space rocket travelling at the speed of light and were away from Earth for 20 years (your time), by the time you returned, centuries would have passed. Uncanny, eh?

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