Monday, January 25, 2010

Comic books and Animism

What do comic books have to do with the religious philosophy of Animism?  Let's see if we can find out  First, we have this quote from The Politics of Well-Being

"...And yet, if we examine the universe of comics and manga, we see that animist beliefs still exert a powerful influence over us, they still resonate in the folk consciousness. If these beliefs have been banished from the mainstream by Protestantism, Newtonian physics and liberal economics, they have not been entirely rooted out. First they retreated to eighteenth century fairy tales, then to Romantic literature and Gothic fantasy, until they found a particularly fertile breeding ground on the margins of our newspapers and in the pages of pulp magazines" ...(Cont.)...

Ah but when it comes to superhero comics there is politics involved as outlined in this post from Bioregional Animism: Upper Rio Grande, Santa Fe River

". . . So superhero comics are imperialist, jingoistic, anti-democratic, anti-civilization and devoted to the worship of uninhibited violence and (in manga) frequently rape as well. They come from the same dark, tribal and irrationalist part of the psyche that led to fascism.

But we can’t say that comics created this part of our psyche. Perhaps they help us become more aware of it. Indeed, the present generation of comic book writers is very much aware of the amoral and even fascist strains in superhero myths, and they consciously explore them. The costume and character of Judge Dredd, for example, was consciously modelled on Franco-era Spain, although this, and the fascist tendencies of Dredd himself, did not seem to put readers off. “The more fascistic we made him, the wilder the readers went”, notes Dredd’s creator, Alan Grant. "...(Cont.)...