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Gunnerkrigg Court: Nature, Magic, and Technology

Analyze the juxtaposition of nature, magic, and technology in Tom Siddell’s long-running (12 years so far) webcomic, Gunnerkrigg Court. How does Siddell allow these three to coexist, and how does he allow them to clash? Does Siddell favor any of the three? How are these elements connected to the two main characters/settings (Antimony and Kat, The Court and the Forest) and their respective flaws?
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    Is Batman really a Superhero?

    A superhero is defined as a "benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers." Batman essentially has no super powers. He can’t fly, run abnormally fast, or anything spectacular. There is clearly a very distinct line between Batman and what is defined as a superhero. On the other hand, he can perform better than an average human. Batman is a great character because people can look up to him and realize that its possible to be like him. It gives hope to the readers of the comics. He inspires the audience to believe that they can have a great impact on the world, even if they don’t have any super powers. Regardless of his impact on his fans, Is he really a superhero or not?

    • I would describe certain aspects in order to develop your topic further. – BMartin43 2 months ago
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    • Great idea for a topic. I think it depends on the criteria of the definition of "super hero". Finding a definite definition of the term might help to influence how the topic proceeds from here.I don't really think that there is a right or wrong answer to this question, but just depends on how you define super hero and other terms related to the character.Great topic! – SeanGadus 2 months ago
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    • He is 100 times better than a normal human. – KnowledgeFirstFinancial 2 months ago
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    • I think if you narrow the criteria so much for a superhero (i.e. superpowers, benevolence), it'll become harder to see a character like Batman as a superhero. Heroes like Batman blur the lines of good and evil. He certainly does good things for Gotham - cleaning up crime, stopping murderers, etc. - but he is also a vigilante that the police (the other "do-gooders") hate. He is very much human but is also created and thriving under special circumstances. He's a complex character and I think that definitely needs to be considered here, as well as a more definite definition of what exactly a superhero means, as suggested above. – karebear7 2 months ago
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    • In Watchmen there was a lot of distinction made between the costumed heroes/vigilantes' and the one 'superhero,' Dr. Manhattan. This prompt is mainly definition-based, so I might go into the word's etymology? 'Super' typically means above, literally or figuratively, so you could discuss the grounds for superiority? – m-cubed 3 days ago
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    • If a superhero is based on the willpower to kickass and save the world, yes, but if it's based on having super abilities then no. However, that brings into question Hawkeye - who, essentially, has no superpower. Can just kickass at archery haha. Same with Joker, he's just a maniac and super psychotic. This is a cool topic, for sure! If I was a DC fan I would totally try my hand at it, but I don't have enough knowledge about Batman! – scole 2 days ago
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    Comics 2016: A Year In Review

    This is more so a piece regarding what comics happened last year and what comics are rolling into this year. Say "Paper Girls" and how the storyline is going to go from the ending of the series. What comics were good that are hopefully (or already are) better than last year. It’s not a year in review, as much as it’s a year in review and how it’s going to bleed into 2017.

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      The Political Standpoint of Southern Bastards

      This one is self-explanatory if you have read the comics, but it made me think of this article as a reference: (link) The political standpoint of where we are now, or where we have been in the past and how Southern Bastards connects to that. You can talk about how certain characters are treated in the comics and compare it to the real world and how things are going currently. There are so many standpoints you can make politically within this comic even certain storylines as well. I would love to see an analysis piece about this and how comics are closely based on real life at times.

      • http://www.businessinsider.com/southern-bastards-comic-review-2015-6 – scole 3 weeks ago
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      Webcomics: Quantity vs. Quality

      The internet provides a platform for indie artists and writers with limited resources to get their work out into the world. Webcomics were born of this freedom. Many popular webcomics choose to deliver their stories in a micro-serialized manner, often releasing only a single page of panels at a time. Additionally, many webcomics have no clear end in sight, but rather are stories that run indefinitely. Explore the strengths and weaknesses of webcomics as we see them today: the common formats and delivery approaches, the trends, how it relates to the quality of the stories being told, and what the future holds for creators and fans alike.

      • This sounds like it would be an examination that can be deeply investing. I would examine the webcomics Marvel & DC have been putting out as an example. – BMartin43 3 weeks ago
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      • Some of the positives: Webcomic authors and artists alike being able to work at their own pace. Atomic Robo is a series that began as a published comic book, but made the switch to the webcomic format, now releasing pages in the way you described.Some of the negatives: Familiar setups/situations. For webcomics that focused on video games, it was common to have 2 males who would get into wild antics compared along with 1 female friend they have who was often stuck with the "straight man" and/or "voice of reason" role. – Christopher 2 weeks ago
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      Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon; The Parallels between two classic feminist superheroes

      With the Wonder Woman live action film on its way, many people might be excited to see one of the west’s greatest superheroines come to life…but let’s take a second to compare and contrast Diana Prince to another superhero from the east: Usagi Tsukino.

      • It would also be important to look into the importance of the age on the differences and similarities between them – marvellaforever 1 month ago
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      Taken by Joseph Manduke IV (PM) 1 month ago.
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      Superheroes and Mental Illness: Possibilities and Responsibilities

      Considering the relevance of mental instabilities for a noticeable number of famous superheroes, that are not only loved because of this part of their character, but who also integrate it into their appearance (e.g. Rorschach), it would be interesting to elaborate on the influence and the significance of highlighting such a topic for mainstream audiences. The apparent depression Batman appears to suffer from, as well as childhood trauma from his parents being killed, make for a lot of dramatic effects in the narration. How does this influence awareness of mental illness and how does it highlight this issue for a larger audience? There are several other examples like Captain America’s PTSD, Hulk’s anger management, basically all of the Watchmen’s personality disorders, etc. It would also be interesting to look into movie adaptions, which tend to reach a larger audience and expand on the reception of such characters, as well as discussing the responsibility of the production with clarifying misinformation about mental illness.

      • I think there is a responsibility of naming and presenting positive images of mental illness in the superhero genre. Many superheroes do exhibit symptoms and signs of mental illness, but the average reader might not make the connection because I think a lot of these mental illnesses are passed off as being "character flaws" to make heroes seem more tragic (Batman and his depressive symptoms being the result of his parents' deaths. Now tragedy can cause depression but its not the only factor). You also don't often see these heroes coping in healthy ways (cough cough batman sometimes). So there's a ton of issues to be explored between people even acknowledging officially that certain characters do have mental illness and whether these characters are supporting stereotypes of their mental illness, especially that the mentally ill are violent and dangerous (this applies to super villains as well). – LauraKincaid 2 months ago
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      • I think this is super important! I really wish they would show Steve Rogers dealing with his PTSD. I thought they did a pretty good job with Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, and I'd love to see more of it! Not only mental illness, but just disabilities in general. I was super disappointed when Hawkeye wasn't deaf, or at least not portrayed as such, in the Marvel movies. I really think they could do a lot with that! – Jenae 2 months ago
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      • MOON KNIGHT/CRAZY JANE Positive examples? Maybe?Also, 'Lazarus fever' may have some thematic relevance in Batman stories though I haven't really thought about it much.Maybe the entire 'hero complex' that necessitates superheroism is a mental illness, I mean, you have to be a little crazy to dress up as a bat. Is this what the surface-level illnesses represent? Maybe incorporate addiction (Roy Harper)?Love this topic! – m-cubed 2 months ago
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      • The Sentry is another character worth looking at in a piece like this. – Richard Marcil 2 months ago
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      • Maybe look to the new 52 Batman, he is more emotionally disturbed than any incarnation in my reading. – TheSwampThing 2 months ago
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      • Iron Man is an alcoholic, it's been portrayed many times in comics - I don't know if that's a good example, but it's def there. And, Hawkeye (which was mentioned) in the comics is deaf as well, and it is mentioned several times! Harley Quinn would be a good addition and Joker in some instances as well. – scole 2 months ago
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      • Jessica Jones has PTSD as a result of rape, which could also be addressed in this article. – vaidyadoc 1 month ago
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      The Social Stigma of Adult Comic Book Reading

      Examine the negative association between comic book readers and adults. Is it still seen as childish? Have comic books been viewed any differently in the past decade? How can this social stigma change, and does it even need to change?

      • This is an interesting topic. I took a class on comic books, and funnily enough, there were books written about why comic books are not only unsuitable for children, but undermining society because the content is too lurid--basically claims similar to contemporary arguments against video games. It's intriguing to see how the stigma has shifted, and comics are still a misunderstood medium. A book to research for whoever takes this is Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, which argues that comic books cause young people to cause more crimes. Such claims within range from saying female nudity is only there to obscure gay relationships (a homophobic argument) to stating Superman is a fascist (highly questionable). – Emily Deibler 10 months ago
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      • I bumped into someone who said he doesn't read comic books, he reads graphic novels. And he doesn't watch cartoons, he watches Anime. I thought this was an effort to avoid being classified as being interested in childish things. – DrTestani 10 months ago
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      • Agreed. Graphic novels are hugs and a good example is Maus by Art Speigelman. – Munjeera 10 months ago
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      • I think more and more of mainstream society is losing the image of comic-book reading as a childish thing, no doubt due to the humongous pull of comic- book movies. I think we've made huge progress in the last ten years. – J.P. Shiel 10 months ago
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      • In defense of the adult reader, I'd discuss the fact that lots of comic books are not even written for children and delve into deeper, darker content matter that might not be addressed in any other format.Someone else mentioned this book above, but The Washington Post said that Art Spiegelman's "Maus" was "impossible to achieve in any medium but comics." They are a storytelling tool like any other.Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's "Sex Criminals" for instance, is a lighter, and yet equally adult comic not for the eyes of children. – RjWignall 9 months ago
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      • I think perhaps the writer of this topic should discuss the imaginary boundary between comics and graphic novels many people try creating to distance themselves from the "childish" content of comics, as DrTestani mentions above. It might serve as a good foundation for one's arguments/explanations. The writer could even discuss the emergence of underground comix around the 1960s/70s - comics exclusively targeting and specifically created with an adult, mature audience in mind. It certainly distorts the idea that comics are made only for a younger audience. The discussion of the changing tone in superhero comics might also be useful. One can see this in The Dark Knight and Watchmen, which deliberately subvert a lot of the expected content of superheroes in comics - in order to attract an older, mature audience. – karebear7 2 months ago
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