Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pop Shock: Comics and Pop Culture

I dabble in the topics of pop culture occasionally because you really have to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry to know what works and what new tropes are being created.  This means I have to keep an eye on all genres of entertainment if even just surface information.  That can get daunting sometimes considering how widespread it is worldwide per each country.  Each country has genres that are marginally unheard of in other areas.  Japan and their giant robo genre for example has many aspects that branch out from the team dynamics to even just a child being able to direct the robot.  America has really only skimmed the surface of this with things like Iron Giant, Megas XLR, among many other works tapping the various abroad genres.  Many of these are hailed as the modern pioneers.  Everyone knows of Samurai Jack for example and its time shifted protagonist.  More recently, you can see it in the comedic elements of Adventure Time that actually tells a quite depressing story in a post apocalyptic world, but manages to do so with a child like comedic flair that allows it to still be heart warming and poignant for all audiences.

Along with it of course comes the pop music industry.  Much of which I really don't like talking about save certain areas that are inspiring.  With comics though you need to keep on top of modern references to know your audience and how they speak with the changing times.  Icons have a tendency to create and make popular phrases or change definitions of old ones or even start entire new cultures unto themselves.  They use lyrical poetry and strength of their voices to carry their messages.

You have those that push to inspire and continue to live on as inspirations.  Artists that'll show you that you can be or do anything so long as you work for it and work hard.  That you deserve a beautiful life no matter where you came from.

You have artists that use shock value to push themselves into the mainstream eye as a household word.

It's about how they themselves decide to market themselves to the mainstream though about which path fits for them to garnish attention to the spectrum they lean on.  Sometimes it can outshine their own message or in other instances it can raise their message.  Sometimes it distracts from their true talents.  Sometimes it helps let those talents shine above it.  The power behind their voices, or how creative they truly are with the metaphors they carry and display for all the world to see can be a complicated internal struggle for any artist.

Lyrical poetry is about metaphors and symbolism.  Performances as with stories are about being artistic to give a memorable show or narrative.  It can be about sharing your heart and emotions. Sharing your feelings, dreams, experiences, and messages through songs, words, and performances that have your personal flair.  The style that is you.  It's about being what defines you or what you want to become or want to be known for through the imagery you create that stays with the audience or readership long after.

You also have artists that choose to use lyrics like blunt instruments.  No metaphor.  No tangible symbolism, just obvious proverbial slaps that if actually directed at anyone would quite honestly probably be considered verbal abuse of the most narcissistic and ego-driven.  So I'm choosing to avoid that side in this entry as that'll go a direction I'd rather not dive into as I am not well versed enough on the information to speak on it.

With comics and media in general, you need to know these depending on the characters you create or are writing for.  The same for the psychology of different effects that create behavioral patterns.  Where would Dazzler be if she didn't have the 70s and 80s music genres that helped define her appearance as a comic book pop icon as timeless as Abba and Electric Light Orchestra are, or where would Pixie be without her usages of various Whedon-esque pop-centric phrases to help define her age.  The same could be said of Jubilee and her era of the 90s that helped define her mall rat nature.  Every genre and decade has their inspirations that have helped define various characters to who they are.  Superman himself as defined as the boy scout from an era long ago, but because of his example many still strive to live up to what he helped define.  The same can be said of many heroes both real and fictional.

X-23 herself, seems to reflect a slightly different aspect towards herself in this manner.  She carries more of the Anna Tsuchiya, Aya Kamiki, or Yousei Teikoko type vibes from Japan.  Maybe even more recently things like The Dirty Youth with "Fight" or "Rise Up", Within Temptation with "The Truth Beneath The Rose", Emilie Autumn with "Fight Like A Girl", or Icons For Hire with "Get Well" and many many more.  She carries the more everyday or goth borderlines.  Things like the Veronicas, Tapping The Vein, and Veruca Salt just to name a few that could easily fit under her banner or may very well even be in her personal fictional playlist.  Of course you can't discount the Beatles either.  The simple universal loves their songs speak of about holding hands, sharing a simple brief kiss that contains more electricity than even the most passionate of embraces, or even of just not letting the world get you down, to take a sad song and make it better are all within the wheelhouse of the emotional gambit she runs through as a character growing in the world she lives and the things she's dealt with.  I wouldn't even put it past her to have such songs as "Ghost Of You", "Who Says", "Falling Down", "More", "Naturally", "The Way I Loved You", and "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" also in her playlist.  Though then again, we also all have our guilty pleasures, so don't be shocked if something like Smile.DK's "Butterfly", "Petit Love", or "Kissy Kissy", were to show up too.

The world is full of a diverse spectrum of personalities, tastes, and experiences.  Not everything is what it seems entirely, but often has cues that still tell a story beneath them.  Why someone is overcautious, why a touch seems light and fearful, why someone may feel fragile around new faces, or even the strength and bond comfort with friends or family can bring to reveal sides you never saw before.  There are many aspects that speak narratives beneath that go unnoticed but others will judge for things they aren't.  In life, many may listen but not many hear.  Genres of all things, be it music, movies, TV, or books, all reflect this as well with how they manage to display the world from their perspectives with the messages and emotions they speak of behind metaphors of the heart and soul.

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