Friday, February 26, 2010
The "gross comics" debate
Over on the Comics UK forum we've been having a discussion about the use of "gross humour" in today's British comics. My stance being that such comedy reflects modern tastes (or tastelessness if you like) and is inoffensive. In my own work, such as the example from this week's Team Toxic above, I exaggerate the scenes to such a degree that I find it difficult to see how it could offend. Mushroom-cloud farts that melt lamp posts, people fleeing in sheer terror, - surely it's just harmless fun?
Response to such humour in Toxic has been good from the age it's aimed at, - the children, - but some adults seem to disapprove, even though they don't actually buy the comic in question. Personally I feel that if children's comics work for the generation they're targeted at then they must be doing something right. Whether or not the comics disinterest older generations is irrelevant as they're not aimed at those people. Toxic has been around for nearly eight years now and still manages to sell around 47,000 copies an issue. That's more than most individual American comic titles sell across the whole of the USA.
Anyway, that's just my opinion. If you want to read other points of view have a look at the discussion over at:
Sadly along the way the topic turns into yet another Dandy-bashing thread (a popular sport on Comics UK for some reason) but all in all it's an interesting debate. What I found curious was that the fiercest opponents of showing farting in comics said they thought publicly passing wind was funny if it happened in real life. My thoughts are just the opposite: I find it vulgar and immature when people break wind in public, but just harmless fun in the pages of a comic.
Incidentally, if you want to see the two panels above in their proper context within a two page strip, pick up the latest issue of Toxic out now!