Taking this class has been particularly interesting to me as I've been able explore this genre that I've taken for granted most of my life, and get to know the history behind it. There are sub-genres within the comic industry that I haven't reflected over or in some cases even knew they existed; sub-genres that each have a complex history of their own, with a more or less of an uphill battle to break through.
As a child, the comics that were most prominent and that you could find in just about every store and magazine stand was 'The adventures of Donald Duck', 'Bamse, the strongest bear on earth' (A Swedish comic that I absolutely adore to this day), and the Belgian comic 'TinTin'. My brother had a monthly subscription of the Donald Duck comic books and I remember that they took up most of the space in his bookshelf. I didn't read much of them myself (I resorted to watching the animated series on TV), but I remember that they had a small slice of an image on each spine that, when put together created a continuing scene. It intrigued me to see the image take form, but to my great dismay the comic books never arrived in order, and by the time my brother ended the subscription, there were still large middle sections missing.
In contrast these childhood impressions of the comic industry, this weeks reading and class discussion exposed me to the journey and conventions of the comic book as an art form. When I was younger it never occurred to me that comics could be made even for grown ups. Not that I didn't think grownups could enjoy them, it simply never occurred to me to even reflect upon it. Now with more exposure, I have come across a number of comics and genres that deals with heavier subjects that are important to address in our day and age, but that I would be very hesitant to propose to children. Though that's something I will go more in depth with in coming posts, especially the underground comics.
Even so, I read some Carl Barks stories for this week that are specifically advertised towards children, and they too have a lot of grown up jokes that I wouldn't have understood as a kid. Thinking about it, it makes sense. Most of what is written for children is inevitably written by adults. It would be strange if none of the things that they enjoy would sneak their way into their own creations, no matter the intended audience. And even more true is that, thinking back on when I was a child, a lot of the things I enjoyed then, I still enjoy to this day. The only thing that's really changed is the insight with which I can perceive them.