Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor II
Post-9/11 literature and entertainment
When analyzing literature from the early half of the 20th century, there are clear changes in writers before and after the World Wars. The biggest shift came after the Great War, as this was the first war of this scale, with such a large body count, and with new technologies and conventions.
Now that we are coming up on 15 years after 9/11, I suspect we can see a shift in pop culture following the attack on the Twin Towers, and analyze what the shift was, how it affected each medium, and how long the shit remained.
There were works created specifically in response to the attack, including Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising as well as Frank Miller’s controversial follow-up to the Dark Knight Returns: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (at least in part as stated in Miller’s forward to the Dark Knight Saga hardcover).Other works that were written before the attacks were deeply patriotic were brought back into the pop culture, notably Proud to be an American.
Examine pop culture before the attacks (late 90’s-mid 2001), immediately after the attacks (late 2001-2002), a couple years after *2003-2005), 5-10 years after (2006-2011), and contemporary works.
Modern Oral Stories
Before literacy was as widespread as it is in contemporary eras, stories were recited orally. To better help the storytellers remember the tales, these stories were often told in musical form, or at least in poetry, rather than standard prose. Although it is not as common today as in the past, there are still examples of stories with arcs and heroes that are in modern music. Although most obvious and prevalent in progressive rock and metal, it can be found in other genres as well (though most likely not in pop, or at least not in pop singles). Examine what genres tell stories and what kinds of stories are told in each genre.
Alternatively, give an analysis of Coheed and Cambria’s musical epic about The Amory Wars. How does telling this long story through music affect it? What separates this from other prog bands? from past epics? from modern story telling? Do Coheed and Cambria invoke any of the classic tropes and standards of epic poetry?
When to pull the plug?
At what point should comic publishers like DC and Marvel cancel a series that isn’t as financially viable as was hoped? A few weeks ago, DC announced a few young comics were being cancelled early, including Green Lanter: Lost Army and Omega Men (which has been allowed to run for the original 12 issues), which was met with fairly universal backlash. Many people agree that cancelling issues after seeing sales figures for only a few issues and before even all of the issues that will be included in the trade paper back is unfair to the consumer and to a point the artist. But these publishers are companies with financial obligations, meaning that if a comic series is doing poorly, they should dump it and replace it with something that will be commercially successful.
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