2000 AD Online Forum

Spoilers => Prog => : Funt Solo 19 December, 2021, 01:49:49 AM

: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 19 December, 2021, 01:49:49 AM
one of the customers brought a couple of progs over to me recently, including a regened one, and muttered “see this”? - pointing to Prog 346 - “this was subversive when we were kids. It was OURS. This is just nothing”… (pointing to the last regened and 2257).

It's great that DrRocka runs a 2000 AD corner in his pub. I was thinking about what his customer (and fellow Squaxx) said about the comic having been more subversive in the past. DrRocka later expressed this same idea as "it’s lost it’s punk rock feel".

And I thought - well, so has punk rock. Prog 346 was published in 1983 (where, you could argue, punk was past the crest). Not perhaps surprisingly, Johnny Rotten smells a bit off now when you realize he's just an out-of-touch, quasi-racist narcissist.

But this only led me to: "well, what is subversion now?" Is it tearing down statues and throwing them in the harbor? Striking from school in an attempt to move the dial on climate change policy? England players taking the knee? A youth culture that in many ways has normalized gay and trans identity in a way that older generations struggle to comprehend? Furries?

But if that argument's too esoteric, you can also just make it a competition: does prog 346 differ in subversion in comparison to progs 2256 (Regened) or 2257?

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Prog 346:
 Judge Dredd - Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo (1)
 Rogue Trooper - The Gasbah (4)
 Nemesis the Warlock - Book III (12)
 Tharg's Time Twisters - Que Sera, Sera
 Slaine - Heroes' Blood (2)

Prog 2256 (Regened)
 Cadet Dredd - Full Throttle
 Scooter & Jinx
 Enemy Earth - The Bunker
 Tharg's Time Twisters - Temporal Tantrum
 Strontium Dug

Prog 2257
 Judge Dredd - Tread Softly (2)
 The Diaboliks - London Calling (1)
 Scarlet Traces - Storm Front (7)
 Future Shocks - Keyboard Warriors
 The Out - Book Two (7)
: Re: Subversive?
: pauljholden 19 December, 2021, 10:18:38 AM
Given how the government of the day is, and the prevailing populist moods it feels like proper subversion is actual kindness and thoughtfulness to other people. I'll grant you, it's not as exciting as spitting in someone's eye, but there it is.
: Re: Subversive?
: sintec 19 December, 2021, 10:21:02 AM
There's are few things less punk rock that a bunch of old gits telling the kids what punk is.  "It was better in my day" bah.

Culture was very different in 1983. I mean I was 2 so I don't really have strong memories of 83 specifically but I do recall later parts of the decade. If the same things that were subversive in 83 were still considered subversive now then that would imply the status quo is unchanged and the subversives failed. Thankfully they are not. Gay rights are now a broadly accepted thing, vegetarinism has moved from a weird hippy lifestyle choice to mainstream culture. Culture has moved on. I found myself nodding along to your list of modern subversion Funt so yeah I think I'd tend to include all those things.

However I think there's something more important that has changed. The way we consume culture now is completely different to how it was 40 years ago. Kids especially don't consume culture the way we did. The sheer breadth of options on the table these days makes the kind of subversiveness that titles like 2000ad used to have much harder. There's just less of a monoculture to subvert in the first place. The internet contributes hugely to this. Finding out about non-mainstream culture was a slow process back then, now you just google it and it's all there right in front of you. The kids looking for subversion these days are spoilt with choices comparatively. They're certainly not going to be satisfied with the little hints and nods that could be so explosive back then. I mean I'd argue that things like 2000ad were acting as a gateway drug to the more deeply subversive cultural changes that were happening. The truly subversive stuff was never going to be found on the shelf of your local newsagent but a flavour of it might be. For some of us that led to hunting down more - for others maybe that was as deep as they ever went.

Manga and anime was the subversive choice when I hit my teens, the foreignness certainly contributing to that along side an unhealthy dollop of ultraviolence and sex. Now you can stream the latest anime on Netflix and the distributors are focussing on more mainstream audiences it's very much lost that frisson of subversion. Of course the reality is that the more mainstream content always existed we just didn't see as much of it getting imported back then - mainstream culture was still struggling with the concept on non-English TV at that point (another thing that's become far more accepted in recent years).

To draw this waffle to a conclusion subversion is still out there but these days I suspect it's digital rather than printed on newsprint. It'll be computer games that this current generation recall for introducing them to subversive concepts. Games or forums, or dischord servers, or social media. Culture is far more contributory now than it used to be. It's trivial for anyone to make content and share it. I suspect the most subversive stuff is being made by teens, for teens and gets shared out of the way somewhere we're not looking (much like 2000ad back in the day). The only bit that bothers me is the rise of anti-feminism as a subversive position. Particularly the way it's clearly being used to groom people (mostly boys) into far right beliefs. It worries me that I would have been a target for that shite when I was teen and while I'd like to think I'd have seen through it's bullshit it's also easy to see how you lads get sucked in by it. It's worth remembering that subversion isn't always a good thing.
: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 19 December, 2021, 11:27:46 AM
Mm. A lot of this comes down to context. since above explores the cultural side of things and so I thought I’d look more into the three Progs mentioned. 346’s subversion largely centres on the lone hero revenge trope, with Mills adding an anti-establishment element on top. Of that Regened, Enemy Earth seemed closer in nature to something that would have been in Action (adults have messed everything up; little brother gratuitously eaten) and that in itself has power. 2257 attacks religion (Diaboliks) and conformity (The Out) amongst other things, but is aimed at a completely different reader.

I still think a lot of this comes down to violence. Regened doesn’t have much (black and white) blood spilling across the page. It also doesn’t have grown white men on a quest to take down the class ‘above’ them or an enemy that when defeated would make them a working-class hero. But there is still plenty of messaging in those strips about questioning authority and doing your own thing. And, as I’ve said elsewhere on the forum, The Phoenix does this as well (although arguably has a much tougher job, in having to appeal to a wider audience range).
: Re: Subversive?
: GordonR 19 December, 2021, 04:46:37 PM
There's are few things less punk rock that a bunch of old gits telling the kids what punk is.  "It was better in my day" bah.

Thank goodness there aren't any 2000AD creators who - two decades into the 21st century - keep on telling you how punk rock their work is...
: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 19 December, 2021, 05:31:03 PM
Thank goodness there aren't any 2000AD creators who - two decades into the 21st century - keep on telling you how punk rock their work is...
And that comics were better in their day, until the woke brigade ruined them? That would a pretty silly thing to hear from any 2000 AD creator, for sure.
: Re: Subversive?
: Jim_Campbell 19 December, 2021, 05:55:36 PM
And that comics were better in their day, until the woke brigade ruined them? That would a pretty silly thing to hear from any 2000 AD creator, for sure.

Brendan McCarthy is 76.

Any resemblance to Morrisey is entirely coincidental and no inference should be drawn between this character and any actual person, living or dead. Your statutory rights are not affected and no correspondence will be entered into. The judges' decision is final. Have a nice day!
: Re: Subversive?
: Timothy 19 December, 2021, 06:02:02 PM
And how old is Uncle Pat?
: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 19 December, 2021, 06:07:51 PM
On Cleese, McCarthy and any other cool creatives that have gone a bit "grumpy old man" - someone has to fulfill the stereotype, so we can argue that they're only doing their public service.

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sintec - I really enjoyed your essay. The idea that subversion now may consist of a horrible swing to the right in gender politics (and just politics), and things like mass-belief in conspiratorial thinking is spooky. I hope it's balanced by things like Harry Potter (actor, Radcliffe) being more in touch with gender politics than his (breakout character's) creator and benefactor. I should probably have used Emma Watson as the example, there (because the core argument circles around feminism).

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Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo would fit so well into a Regened issue.
: Re: Subversive?
: sintec 19 December, 2021, 06:37:01 PM
On Cleese, McCarthy and any other cool creatives that have gone a bit "grumpy old man" - someone has to fulfill the stereotype, so we can argue that they're only doing their public service.

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sintec - I really enjoyed your essay. The idea that subversion now may consist of a horrible swing to the right in gender politics (and just politics), and things like mass-belief in conspiratorial thinking is spooky. I hope it's balanced by things like Harry Potter (actor, Radcliffe) being more in touch with gender politics than his (breakout character's) creator and benefactor. I should probably have used Emma Watson as the example, there (because the core argument circles around feminism).

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Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo would fit so well into a Regened issue.

From my limited experience of "the youth" I think it is. But then that might be that I know a bunch of lefty weirdos who have become parents.

Lots of early Dredd would be perfect in a Regened issue as would Robo-hunter, or Ace Trucking. Pandora Perfect seemed very much in that style. Meh I'm bored of the regened argument.
: Re: Subversive?
: Jim_Campbell 19 December, 2021, 06:59:48 PM
And how old is Uncle Pat?

125.
: Re: Subversive?
: Proudhuff 20 December, 2021, 11:30:38 AM
I think it all depends on what you're trying to subvert.
: Re: Subversive?
: CalHab 20 December, 2021, 12:00:07 PM
This reminds of the Daily Telegraph writing an article about The Beano changing renaming the Bash Street Kids character from Spotty to Scotty. It picked up the usual comments about how "woke" snowflakes are ruining everything and taking the edge off characters.

Do you know who liked it? My 7-year-old, who thought that it wasn't nice to call someone that, and liked the character saying something about it.

Things have moved on, and middle-aged (and older) folk should just accept it and shut up sometimes. And yes, it is by definition subversive to question the assumptions and norms of previous generations.
: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 20 December, 2021, 02:04:36 PM
Same here. My kid had a little think about Fatty vs Freddy and surmised that “even if Freddy didn’t mind, it’s still mean to call him fat”. On Scotty/Spotty, she thinks the same. She also wants “more girls in the glass”, which is fair enough. (I hope the Beano renames Plug and Toots also, although I suspect those will be a bigger ask. Frankly, I still wonder whether Bash St. Kids is salvageable. It’s always come across as a relic and has so many problems. Or perhaps they just need a writer to do a smart soft reboot, such as with Dennis, which is a much, much better strip now.)
: Re: Subversive?
: milstar 20 December, 2021, 02:15:12 PM
Anti-establishment, against already set-up social norms, against conformism, against mainstream (self-insert whatever mainstream would be)... I wonder what anti-comic books would look like...? Is Ron Desantis ban on wokery subversive?
The narrative "it was better before" is so old in existence I don't think it'll ever vanish. Culture is ever-shifting thing. Maybe tomorrow another rock-rap-folk band would stir the next gen crowd crazy much to our dismay. Maybe 2000ad would turn into 2100ad...? Ofcourse, these are just question and I reserve my right to be wrong about this.

Either way, I just realized that Johnny Rotten is the singer of Public Image Ltd. I could never get enough of Order of the Death tune.

: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 20 December, 2021, 03:36:53 PM
Ah, so an irony here is that an older generation complaining about a lack of subversion are failing to recognize that the Regened experiment is itself subversive.

Our ability to register shock and awe at amazing artwork or stories might also be dulled by a lifetime of lived experience. Perhaps the reader is less punk, not the content.
: Re: Subversive?
: Tiplodocus 20 December, 2021, 05:48:21 PM
Same here. My kid had a little think about Fatty vs Freddy and surmised that “even if Freddy didn’t mind, it’s still mean to call him fat”. On Scotty/Spotty, she thinks the same. She also wants “more girls in the glass”, which is fair enough. (I hope the Beano renames Plug and Toots also, although I suspect those will be a bigger ask. Frankly, I still wonder whether Bash St. Kids is salvageable. It’s always come across as a relic and has so many problems. Or perhaps they just need a writer to do a smart soft reboot, such as with Dennis, which is a much, much better strip now.)

This is great!
: Re: Subversive?
: Richard 20 December, 2021, 11:19:02 PM
This has been the most interesting thread in a while.
: Re: Subversive?
: milstar 21 December, 2021, 01:13:11 AM
The quest for what means subversive today sounds like a deep rabbit hole, for what I guess increasingly polarizing politics, of which is eerie that the both sides of the political spectrum grow far and close, and of which I am no fan of. Far left - far right; thus strenghtening my belief in the horseshoe theory. With no apologetics. It's no big secret that things go increasingly sensitive and PC in today's climate, for good and bad. Paradoxically, 1971 film The Devils (my favourite Ken Russell's film) is a film that could only be made in those years and it was way ahead of its time, and it was subversive as hell! Perhaps the film resonates better with the contemporary audience in mind, but I see no chance in making that type of film today.

Apropo 2000ad, the Dr. Rock's comment reminded me on a bloke I personally know bloke, who was a regular 2000ad fan. I guess him being some 10-15 years than myself and being the kid of the 80s (opposed to me being the kid of the 90s) left him feeling let down a bit by the recent output of 2000ad progs. To paraquote "progs lack edginess and Rebellion name couldn't be more distant from the truth."
: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 21 December, 2021, 01:23:01 AM
Is Ron Desantis ban on wokery subversive?

No, because it's not what it says on the tin. "Woke" is just a buzz-word that suggests an enemy to rail against. What Ron Desantis is doing is trying to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida schools. Critical Race Theory is the study of racial inequality and is, itself, trying to help subvert a status quo that accepts racism. 

Desantis is trying to maintain a racist status quo - he's trying to maintain a system, not subvert one.

If Woke-ism existed, and was indeed subjecting people to onerous conditions, then there could be a movement to subvert it. It doesn't (except as part of a right-wing dog whistle), therefore there can't be.
: Re: Subversive?
: Tjm86 21 December, 2021, 08:33:49 AM
If Woke-ism existed, and was indeed subjecting people to onerous conditions, ...

Ironically the idea of being 'woke' has been subverted over recent years.  Originally it was coined as a term to describe individuals who had become aware of and responsive to issues.  Over time it became associated with 'hip' individuals (predominantly celebrities, hyper-affluent youngsters etc ...) and began to attract negative connotations. 

In the last few years though it has become a variant of 'political correctness' and used as an attack.  As you say, it is primarily deployed against groups or causes considered antithetical to the so-called dominant culture.  Be it environmentalism, racial awareness, disability rights, trans rights, feminism ... it is now deployed as a means of demeaning legitimate concerns and issues.  As you say, a "right-wing dog whistle".

So I think to argue that there isn't a movement to subvert so to speak.  I would suggest that there is either an idea or usage that can be 're-subverted' or 'reclaimed'. 
: Re: Subversive?
: Barrington Boots 21 December, 2021, 09:29:21 AM
As someone who has been quite involved in the underground music scene, in my experience with any kind of evolution of counterculture stuff, if old fans of the genre don't like it then that's probably a plus.

Violence is commonplace in media nowdays, but if younger people today are embracing diversity and that's pissing off old men everywhere, I'd say that's still got a rebellious edge to it.

: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 21 December, 2021, 08:14:37 PM
Violence is commonplace in media nowdays, but if younger people today are embracing diversity and that's pissing off old men everywhere, I'd say that's still got a rebellious edge to it.
That sums things up perfectly. Most of what we see is white men in their 30s and above whining that not everything is about white men anymore. Heck, even that classic period of 2000 AD was mostly white men in their 30s and above, with a few exceptions (the odd alien, a blue soldier, some black sportsmen).

As for milstar’s friend arguing 2000 AD lacks edginess, it would be interesting to know what edginess means for him. Is it just violence? It surely can’t be rallying against authority, because 2000 AD is still packed with that.

And on woke: exactly what’s said above. It’s a word/concept that’s been weaponised. There is no ‘woke agenda’. What we have in reality is a bunch of people—mostly younger—arguing for more inclusivity, acceptance and equality, and a bunch of white men getting really fucking angry at the thought of women and minorities having something even approaching the same level of influence that they’ve enjoyed for countless generations. We see this so much in UK politics. Raab is trying to rewrite the Human Rights Act to counter ‘wokery’. What this means is trying to make things less equal.

In short, when someone says “We need to deal with woke”, imagine them saying “Know your place”. That’s what it boils down to. Fuck those people.
: Re: Subversive?
: Mister Pops 21 December, 2021, 08:46:58 PM
Same here. My kid had a little think about Fatty vs Freddy and surmised that “even if Freddy didn’t mind, it’s still mean to call him fat”. On Scotty/Spotty, she thinks the same. She also wants “more girls in the glass”, which is fair enough. (I hope the Beano renames Plug and Toots also, although I suspect those will be a bigger ask. Frankly, I still wonder whether Bash St. Kids is salvageable. It’s always come across as a relic and has so many problems. Or perhaps they just need a writer to do a smart soft reboot, such as with Dennis, which is a much, much better strip now.)

I'm just imagining a grimdark Dennis the Menace reboot that explores the cycle of abuse starting with his father's slipper, leading to him lashing out and victimizing Walter, which his teacher reports back to his father and starts the whole thing off again, forcing Dennis out on the streets to live an almost feral existence with his vicious dog. All done in black and white, with just a splash red from the stripes on Dennis' jumper and occasionally... the blood...

No doubt that's not the case, and they've got rid of all the casual child abuse and bullying.
: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 21 December, 2021, 10:16:25 PM
Well, yes. Dennis was a horrible little shit right through to the mid-2010s in some formats. The ‘softies’ were positioned as weak primarily because they liked stereotypical girlie things. Beyond that, there was the casual sexism (ugh: girls).

The change isn’t huge, but it does cleverly shift the entire strip. Dennis is now mischievous and streetwise but not a bully. Walter has been changed into a fun-hating spoilsport, taking after his father, the mayor (and wannabe supervillain). The gang has been updated too. Curly has gone and so Dennis’s gang now comprises himself, Pie Face and two girls, JJ and Rubi (who also have their own strips elsewhere, with Rubi usually getting a page in every issue). His dad has spiked hair (suggesting he’s the original Dennis, something further suggested by his granddad looking like the original Dennis’s father).

It’s not like Nigel Auchterlonie binned everything. The changes are all quite subtle. But they add up to something I’m happy for my daughter to read and that’s significantly more inclusive, without diluting the rebellious edge that has always been at the core of the strip.
: Re: Subversive?
: Jim_Campbell 21 December, 2021, 10:33:59 PM
What we have in reality is a bunch of people—mostly younger—arguing for more inclusivity, acceptance and equality

I don't have kids, but what's been really striking for me talking to the teenage children of my friends is this: they really don't care about sexuality, or gender identity, or any of that stuff. And it's fantastic. I mean, it's amazing.

I think about my school years — if someone called you "gay" there was a real, gut-wrenching terror that it would stick. Kids would genuinely kill themselves over shit like that. And now, seriously, they just don't care.

For all the crushing, depressing, atmosphere that exists in post-Brexit Britain with the Gammon Ascendent™… stuff like this actually gives me hope for the future, and makes me rage against the Mail/Express/Telegraph arseholes waging their war on "woke".
: Re: Subversive?
: milstar 22 December, 2021, 12:10:15 AM
Since the topic slipped into "woke" notion, I can't but not to notice that it was probably natural digression. As folks say, one thing lead to another. But I think wokery does exist, because if doesn't, we wouldn't be talking about it. In empirical way that is. The only problem is, we never sat around in order to give it a proper definition. But it exists, considering that more and more people step forward with labelling someone or something as "woke". Tim86 post however, might be the closest to the truth. Sure, it might be weaponized against political opponents of the far left, but aren't all phrases like that? The one "bleeding heart liberals", might is as well replaced with "woke". We usually came spontaneously and it sticks like a movie phrase. Then, if people feel they are threatened by their government, or dominant culture, with perception they have no voice in it, it gets another layer of meaning. In that case, subversion and woke have action-consequence position. This, ironically, might be the only thing that has united both sides of the spectrum. Aversion and anti-trust toward the government. Anti-lockdown protests, BLM, you name it. Either way, these are bleak times to live in.


As for milstar’s friend arguing 2000 AD lacks edginess, it would be interesting to know what edginess means for him. Is it just violence? It surely can’t be rallying against authority, because 2000 AD is still packed with that.

I have no idea really. I was left with the mystery in my hands.
: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 22 December, 2021, 01:37:22 AM
Labeling things doesn't make them real, it just applies a label. You might label someone a subhuman - and so the label exists, but the subhuman doesn't (except perhaps in the minds of people applying or witnessing the label). It's a lie, you see.

Yes, woke exists as a label but (as I explained up-thread) it gets used to cover up the real action. Your friend Desantis isn't some kind of heroic culture warrior, he's a racist. Openly being racist doesn't play well across a wide enough demographic, so he's hiding his racism behind the "woke" label.

Of course, there's a whole thread (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=46939.360) about what woke does or doesn't mean...
: Re: Subversive?
: milstar 22 December, 2021, 03:04:42 AM
Woke can be a lot of things, doesn't mean they are less relevant. Ofcourse subhuman doesn't exist, but we are comparing antropology and social interactions here. It's not a lie when someone accuses a person for being woke on the grounds of that other person's (probably far left) politics, which is real. Same thing when labeling someone as arsehole because he is an arsehole because he does or did some arsehole stuff. On the basis of our actions we get labeled and when it becomes a norm...well... Besides, anyone who falls in depression over being called woke has some personal issue. Woke...meh.

DeSantis is not my friend.
: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 22 December, 2021, 04:17:40 AM
DeSantis is not my friend.

Are you for or against his bill (which you brought up and described as a "ban on wokery") to stop schools from teaching their students about racial inequality?
: Re: Subversive?
: milstar 22 December, 2021, 05:53:21 AM
My question was rather hypothetical, in the subverting nature of the topic. Ofcourse, teaching kids to be racists is horrible, but what to say then about those parents who successfully ejected CRT from a school in... Alabama? But I feel CRT deserves its own topic, so I'll stop here.
: Re: Subversive?
: Barrington Boots 22 December, 2021, 08:59:45 AM
Bit of aside but that stuff about Dennis's dad being 80s / 90s Dennis is really interesting and cool. I had no idea and thats a beautiful evolution of the character right there.
: Re: Subversive?
: Funt Solo 23 December, 2021, 03:57:28 AM
Bit of aside but that stuff about Dennis's dad being 80s / 90s Dennis is really interesting and cool. I had no idea and thats a beautiful evolution of the character right there.

I enjoyed reading that, as well.
: Re: Subversive?
: AlexF 25 January, 2022, 09:00:35 AM
I often forget to check the Spoilers threads, and then I miss out on fascinating discussions like this one!

On the Beano, I met one of the top Beano bods at a book fair and he said there was a lot of discussion about updating the Bash St Kids, and their biggest sticking point was that they desperately wanted to get in some ethnic diversity, but couldn't work out how to do it without being offensive, e.g. if Fatyy is now Sikh, does that mean all Sikhs are fat? Or all Hindus are spotty? If Sid n Toots become Muslim, what style of dress would they wear - since it has to be the same every episode? Can you make a character Jewish without falling into some hideous facial stereotyping?

Changing the names seems like a fair place to start. I appreciate the call to rename Plug and Toots - but I remember having to explain to my kids what those names actually meant - any original concept of 'ugly' or 'girl' seems to have been long forgotten - they just took them as nicknames.

On the general topic of 2000AD as subversive, there's one thing I do still wish the Regened episodes would try, and that's to be more subversive with the art. Not that the artists aren't doing a great job, more that they don't seem to have the license - or perhaps the instinct - to draw things that are a) unpleasant to look at and b) things that teachers would still say 'eeer - you shouldn't be looking at that, you're not old enough'. Which includes gorey violence, but also sex and body horror and who knows what. I admit there's a huge bit of nostalgia in me saying this, the child who remembers lavishly copying that picture of Nostradamus's rotting face onto the inside of my school file.

(https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh7WdoCr1wuzeaeMbqAUBnGbhs1Mxr33sZATUjLRHWuiCYrgQRnFw0xmLm5FqdHPjsjadiBojV5Xz3rVdGw1rWn7ofPAgwzakBVJqOO8PIwtlBpcHth_Ros0B0hBvJMle2nBUTOuwzm1-7pIfr6X2eRbTidhphExz8CyOVdAiFPk7iz19npGA=w376-h640)

I don't think Matt Smith gets enough credit for quietly allowing explicit nudity, swearing and sex (and talking demon-possessed dildoes) to creep into the Prog and Meg. Sure, it's always better when the stories are good, but that's the challenge of commercial art generally.

On the other hand, as someone else pointed out, if kids want to see horrible things (and they often do), then the Internet is their friend. Maybe it's better if a comic can be a safer place to retreat to than that...
: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 25 January, 2022, 10:09:14 AM
I still don’t think the Bash St Kids is salvageable. It’s just too much of a relic. My daughter is constantly frustrated with the strip, because there aren’t enough girls, and that’s clearly never going to be addressed. As for the names, Plug is archaic, but Toots remains a sexist term. And even if it’s not in common use, does that make it OK?

The boys’ comic ensemble imbalance makes it a much trickier strip to deal with than, say, Dennis, which had a smaller cast that only needed relatively minor modification (along with some changes in direction in attitude for certain characters) to work very nicely in a modern comic.

As for art, the question is what kids want these days. In The Phoenix, there is some phenomenally icky stuff, but it’s mostly in the cartoon strips. (Jamie Smart does some really gross stuff sometimes.) But outright horror seems rare. Is there nothing like Nostradamus in children’s comics because no-one is making it or because no-one today actually wants it?
: Re: Subversive?
: pauljholden 25 January, 2022, 01:16:20 PM
Make the new Bash Street kids the kids of the old Bash Street kids (it's the dennis the menace solution)- the adults having all met new and wonderful people of different ethnicities. Bring the parents in for strips where the school is doing events (opening up the storytelling possibilities). Start by closing the school down for a month (and event!) then open with the adults remembering what the school was like and seeing the new kids come in. Make Plug the headmaster (have a picture in his office of the old teacher, below it in a plinth, his old slipper that they can no longer use) (did Plug ever have a surname? if not make it Pluggerson)




: Re: Subversive?
: CalHab 25 January, 2022, 02:45:47 PM
We need to get you across to Dundee as soon as possible.
: Re: Subversive?
: Proudhuff 25 January, 2022, 03:28:44 PM
Make the new Bash Street kids the kids of the old Bash Street kids (it's the dennis the menace solution)- the adults having all met new and wonderful people of different ethnicities. Bring the parents in for strips where the school is doing events (opening up the storytelling possibilities). Start by closing the school down for a month (and event!) then open with the adults remembering what the school was like and seeing the new kids come in. Make Plug the headmaster (have a picture in his office of the old teacher, below it in a plinth, his old slipper that they can no longer use) (did Plug ever have a surname? if not make it Pluggerson)

We need a like button
: Re: Subversive?
: pauljholden 25 January, 2022, 03:35:11 PM
Make the new Bash Street kids the kids of the old Bash Street kids (it's the dennis the menace solution)- the adults having all met new and wonderful people of different ethnicities. Bring the parents in for strips where the school is doing events (opening up the storytelling possibilities). Start by closing the school down for a month (and event!) then open with the adults remembering what the school was like and seeing the new kids come in. Make Plug the headmaster (have a picture in his office of the old teacher, below it in a plinth, his old slipper that they can no longer use) (did Plug ever have a surname? if not make it Pluggerson)

(Also: I'd make toots their teacher, kids can snigger calling her miss toots cus the keep pretending she farts a lot then you can have adventures where the old bash street kids get to reminisce about stuff they did while the new bash street kids do crazy new things. Have one of the old kids (smiffy?) be a digital billionaire determined to bring down the old school and put in place a new UK rocket hub, have the kids spend most of their time trying to raise money to buy back the school to defeat the plan... anyway, here endith my pitch for the bash street kids...)
: Re: Subversive?
: M.I.K. 25 January, 2022, 10:27:13 PM
On the Beano, I met one of the top Beano bods at a book fair and he said there was a lot of discussion about updating the Bash St Kids, and their biggest sticking point was that they desperately wanted to get in some ethnic diversity, but couldn't work out how to do it without being offensive, e.g. if Fatyy is now Sikh, does that mean all Sikhs are fat? Or all Hindus are spotty? If Sid n Toots become Muslim, what style of dress would they wear - since it has to be the same every episode? Can you make a character Jewish without falling into some hideous facial stereotyping?

I still don’t think the Bash St Kids is salvageable. It’s just too much of a relic. My daughter is constantly frustrated with the strip, because there aren’t enough girls, and that’s clearly never going to be addressed.

They added two girls to the class last year,  Mandira "Mandi" Sharma and Harsha "Har Har" Chandra.
: Re: Subversive?
: M.I.K. 25 January, 2022, 10:43:53 PM
(did Plug ever have a surname? if not make it Pluggerson)

His full name is Percival Proudfoot Plugsley.
: Re: Subversive?
: AlexF 26 January, 2022, 07:45:14 AM
Incremental changes good!
But those pitches foran all-new Bash Street strip are fab, too.
: Re: Subversive?
: sheridan 26 January, 2022, 08:44:18 AM
I don't see what about the premise of a primary (?) school in an inner city Victorian building makes it difficult to update to the modern world - there's quite a lot of schools like that around where I live!
: Re: Subversive?
: Proudhuff 26 January, 2022, 09:49:59 AM
(did Plug ever have a surname? if not make it Pluggerson)

His full name is Percival Proudfoot Plugsley.

An other famous Proudfoot!!! :lol:
: Re: Subversive?
: The Legendary Shark 26 January, 2022, 10:12:04 AM

There can be only one...

: Re: Subversive?
: IndigoPrime 26 January, 2022, 11:18:12 AM
They added two girls to the class last year,  Mandira "Mandi" Sharma and Harsha "Har Har" Chandra.
I know. So now there are nine boys and… three girls. My own girl isn’t thrilled about that. (Notably, according to all reports, The Beano’s circulation continues to grow in part because more girls are reading it, since the publication is no longer frequently actively hostile towards them.)

I don't see what about the premise of a primary (?) school in an inner city Victorian building makes it difficult to update to the modern world - there's quite a lot of schools like that around where I live!
The strip is limited by its own history and structure. If you were making that strip now (or remaking it), the most obvious problem would be fixed by gender-flipping a few of the boys and adding a bit more diversity. But that’s not going to happen. So a few things get fixed (some insulting names; two girls added) but others will not be (remaining insulting names — the writer told me on Twitter he sees no problem with them; imbalance; the strip still not knowing what to do with Cuthbert).

Dennis kind of ripped off the band aid. The gang was ‘remade’ and Dennis’s attitude was shifted from being a horrible bully to a streetwise kid. All the ‘softie’ hideousness was ditched in favour of Walter being some kind of supervillain wannabe. The dynamic works really well, and when I look back at the old strips (or books — Steven Butler’s ones from as recently as 2014 are along the same lines), where Dennis and pals are kicking the shit out of kids for being ‘girlie’ (and elsewhere being mean to girls), I’m very glad the strip evolved. My kid loves the Beans. But I don’t think she’d love the comic from a decade ago—and it certainly didn’t care about people like her back then.
: Re: Subversive?
: Proudhuff 26 January, 2022, 03:27:02 PM

There can be only one...

 :lol: