Thursday, 28 May 2015

WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED SPOCK?



Presenting the second STAR TREK tale from the TV21 Annual for
1973, the last in the series.  If that title wasn't used for an episode of the
TV programme, then it should've been - it's almost too clever for a book
for mere kids.  JIM BAIKIE illustrated both ST stories in the book, and
does a very nice job indeed.  I have the feeling I may have lettered some
of his later work in 2000 A.D., but I wouldn't swear to it in court
without checking up on it first.

Anyway, we're about to beam down and examine this strip up close,
so set phasers on 'stun' - you never know what we might encounter.






11 comments:

planet mondo said...

Kirk in a red shirt - strange!

Kid said...

His other one was being washed, PM.

Colin Jones said...

I've often thought that the Marvel comics I was reading in the '70s were too intelligent for me - I'm sure a lot of stuff must have gone over my head that I only understand now as an adult. That's one thing I like about modern comics - I know they are being written with adult readers in mind as we are the target audience now !

Kid said...

I should perhaps clarify what I meant, CJ. It's not that I, personally, think the title is too clever for kids, but I'd have thought editors might've regarded it as such and therefore not used it. It's amazing how many editors used to want their writers to write down to the readers, rather than up. I once had an editor on an action comic for boys say he didn't think the readers would understand the word 'stereotypical'. Well, they never will if they don't see it, eh? Incidentally, I'm not convinced that writing comics for specifically for adults is the best way to go - the sales certainly don't seem to indicate it.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, that may be true but do kids want to read comics now ? They have so many other things to distract them these days. I agree that comics shouldn't dumb down to appeal to kids - although I said that a lot of things may have gone over my head I still enjoyed the comics and didn't feel they were too difficult, if there were words I didn't understand I'd ask my father - I remember asking him what "geld" meant (it was in POTA, I think). I remember a friend complaining (we were adults at the time) that the BBC used words he didn't understand and why couldn't they use simpler words to which I replied: you should make an effort to find out what the words mean !

Kid said...

Well, it depends on exactly what kind of comics we're talking about, I suppose, but as far as superhero comics go, here's what I think happened. Writers who wanted to make comics more 'mature' and 'sophisticated' started getting into the business, and that in turn alienated younger readers who just couldn't relate to the stories. So kids MAY not want to read comics now (at least in the numbers they once did), but that's because they're aimed at an older readership - which doesn't necessarily mean that they began to be aimed at that older readership because kids were no longer buying them.

Colin Jones said...

I don't think today's kids would have any problem with most modern comics though - I've just downloaded Nightcrawler Volume 2 after reading Vol. 1 which I'd have enjoyed just as much if I'd read it aged 10. Those classic marvel comics dealt with some quite grown-up subjects like the death of Gwen Stacy and Reed and Sue's marriage breakdown. I know comics went through a dark phase when they were quite violent and grim in the late '80s and the '90s but that was during my long non-comic-reading period so I don't know much about that - but the comics I'm reading now don't contain sex and violence and could be enjoyed by kids I feel.

DeadSpiderEye said...

We still have an odd prejudice against illustrated narrative, for comics aimed at adults to overcome before they make much of an impact. Unfortunately, I think we've missed the boat, the distribution problems make a broad market base impossible, so there'll always be a lack of choice. That rationalised market means we're only likely to be exposed to the -worthy- adult themed comics that you allude to, that or the absolute lowest common denominator, i.e. smut, like that embarrassing Howard Chaykin project from a few decades ago. I can't really handle any of the new stuff from Marvel, it's all just too Facebook and teen angst, thanks Buffy, Smallville. Some of the DC stuff is more in my orbit but even there though, I'm no fan of the contemporary page styles. There's no subtlety in colour, which is odd, since the techniques available today are far superior.

I did a comparison with foreign markets a few a years ago, I'm not sure what it's like now but then the French market for adult comics was very buoyant, distribution being mostly through Supermarkets. Superheroes have a limited appeal for adults though but publishers love 'em because they're easily identifiable and marketed as properties. There's a big boom in supernatural and paranormal themed popular literature at the moment, mostly through Kindle and other e-media. If there were to be a rise in adult interest in comics, that market would be the most likely place to start. Print-wise, forget it, the UK has the worst transport and storage overheads of anywhere in the world outside of Bongo Bongo land, that together with the highly rationalised press distribution means we're stuffed.

Kid said...

Ah, but most kids nowadays have never gotten into the habit of buying comics, CJ. Their parents either never read comics or became disillusioned with them when as they grew up and therefore tended not to buy any for their own kids - hence the cycle not being repeated. And nowadays, as you say, there's far more alternatives for kids on which they can spend their pocketmoney. Also, the many superhero comicbooks available today can only be obtained from speciality shops, they're no longer to be found in newsagents the way they once were.

******

As per usual, DSE, you've summed up the situation in a way that renders any further comment from me superfluous.

Phil said...

Do you mean what is a Spock? Or are you asking Spock what to call something? Be specific, man.

Kid said...

It is specific, Phil. If it was the latter, there would be a comma after 'called'. (But you knew that anyway.)

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