December 02, 2002
Richie's Gonna Love This One

Howsabout a website dedicated solely to finishing moves? Video games and comic books are what kid's (well, boys aged 8-18 anyway) entertainment would look like if they were left to their own devices. Cartoons aren't like this because parents actually watch those.

Posted by scott at December 02, 2002 11:52 AM

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I think Sub Zero's finisher is better than Hogan's. What about Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music? They also have to put Nitara's finisher from MK5.

Posted by: richie on December 2, 2002 02:01 PM

As a 30-year-old female, I feel comfortable in asserting that comic books and video games are NOT only for boys aged 8-18.

Granted, I do not know on what you based your opinion, but have you read a comic book lately? Have you ever looked at the Sandman series, for example? Those are certainly for adults.
But even those tailored for kids (like the X-Men), still have elements that appeal to adults (hell, the Joker is one hell of a nasty bad guy)...and the cartoons you refer to do the same thing.

You can't tell me that most of those old Bugs Bunny cartoons were written only for children. Or, if you want me to be more timely, take a look at Shrek. Half of those jokes were pretty adult.
(Example: The Mirror: "She lives with seven men, but she's not easy")

And video games...don't get me started. :)
Just in the game my husband and I are currently playing, I've met more adult males and females than not.

But maybe you're talking console games...
Again, I've played those for years. They're great for testing your problem solving skills and relieving stress. Yes, a lot of 8-18 year old boys play console games...but that's hardly the entire demographic.

Honestly Scott, as a fellow Anthropology degree holder, I'm surprised you would make such generalizations. :)

(a quick apology if I come on too strong. As you can probably guess, I care a lot for my thousands of comic books as well as my video games and all the friends I have who care about the same things)

Posted by: Desiree on December 2, 2002 04:15 PM

Heh. Sorry to touch a nerve. To clarify:

Kids have a much better understanding of morality, as well as violence and its consequences, than adults give them credit for. Modern "saturday morning" animation is a watered down milquetoast compared to what kids really want, and are mature enough to accept. To get a look at what Saturday morning would really be like, one simply has to take a look at "mainstream" (which I, in my pop culture ignorance, define as Marvel/DC) comics, which are far more sophisticated and graphically violent than would ever be tolerated on TV.

Shrek was still "cartoon violence" in the modern sense... nobody really gets hurt, and only the horrible bad guy gets it at the end (I think... only saw it once in the theater. Need to re-rent.)

What I'm talking about is comparing, say, the comic book Wolverine with the Fox Kids Wolverine. The former is what kids are prepared to accept, the latter their parents.

And, while I respect your opinion and your enjoyment of comics, I would submit that you are not the primary demographic most of the advertisers are aiming for, at least in what I, again in my admitted ignorance, define as "mainstream". The last time I read anything about the business, it was still primarily about 8-18 year old boys.

However, you're right, it's been probably ten years since I looked at a copy of X-men or Spiderman. It's too damned hard for me to keep up with the storylines now that they're spreading them across four or five titles simultaneously. But I'll still thumb through them when Mom isn't looking. :)

Posted by: scott on December 2, 2002 06:50 PM

Actually, according to the American Demographics magazine, the *average* age for a comic book reader is 24. It spiked up dramatically in the '90s, mostly due to rising costs and regular retail channels giving up on publishers like DC and Marvel who wouldn't accept returns. Since supermarkets and other retailers didn't want to get stuck with surplus inventory, this meant distribution was mostly limited to specialty shops... and since many mom-and-pop comic book stores were going out of business due to the publishers' economic nonsense of "well, if there's less demand, then we've got to raise prices!" This made older audiences the only ones who could get to (i.e. drive to) a comic book shop and afford the darn things. This is actually a shame, because as you note, kids can not only handle but seem to crave more complex material than the children's entertainment industry wants to give them. And yes, I do blame overprotective parents - burning Harry Potter books and keeping kids away from violent comics doesn't prevent anti-religious behavior or another Columbine, it just keeps kids from reading.

At any rate, in order to keep up with their readership, comics have matured incredibly. X-Men and Spiderman have more ambiguous themes and more regularly blur the traditional good/evil archetypes comics are known for, but their appeal is still for a bit younger audience than many of the really interesting books. The Sandman comics that Desiree mentioned were published by DC comics' "mature" imprint, Vertigo. This is probably the finest story about stories ever told in any medium. It's highly imaginative and throughly literate.

Go check out Neil Gaiman's weblog ( He's the author and creator of the Sandman series (you can get all 10 volumes in graphic novel format on Amazon and elsewhere). His latest "regular" novel (American Gods) is both a critical darling and a New York Times best-seller. Not that critical or popular success are the abiters of quality, but hey, it's gotta mean *something*, right? :)

Posted by: Dan on December 2, 2002 09:21 PM
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