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Hayes, David: "“You Guys Are Killing Me with This Dreck”. Contemporary Attitudes Toward the Golden, Atomic, Silver, and Bronze Eras of Comic Book Production." In: Handbook of Cultural Studies and Education. Hrsg. v. Peter Pericles Trifonas und Susan Jagger. London, New York: Routledge, 2019, S. 255–276. 
Added by: joachim (2022-10-20 12:47)   Last edited by: joachim (2022-10-20 12:57)
Resource type: Book Article
Languages: English
BibTeX citation key: Hayes2019
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Categories: General
Keywords: Archive, Fandom, Marvel, Reception, Seriality, Superhero, USA
Creators: Hayes, Jagger, Trifonas
Publisher: Routledge (London, New York)
Collection: Handbook of Cultural Studies and Education
Views: 2/47
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Abstract
For over eighty years, comic books have depicted the exploits of costumed do-gooders and their arch-nemeses, several of whom have become significant presences in Western popular culture. Consequently, many issues (or “floppies,” in the parlance of enthusiasts) chronicling important events in the lives of popular characters have been ascribed by collectors as valuable and are thus bought in a secondary market for several (in the case of the first issue of Action Comics, hundreds of thousands of ) times the floppy’s cover price. While the practice of comic book after-market retail has been prevalent since the 1960s, more recently a concerted effort has been made by DC and Marvel, as well as smaller independent companies such as Dark Horse and Image, to publish consecutive runs of old issues in hardcover and softcover books, as well as digital downloads. While this practice initially served a number of purposes (for example, it restimulated consumer interest in companies’ already-developed—often languishing—intellectual properties while making floppies with high secondary market value available to readers who otherwise could not afford them), it has led to a situation in which these publications have achieved a degree of collectability by which their secondary market value frequently exceeds that of the issues contained within. “‘You Guys Are Killing Me with This Dreck’: Contemporary Attitudes toward the Golden, Atomic, Silver, and Bronze Eras of Comic Book Production” examines the perceptions and practices of enthusiasts of, as they are commonly referred to, collected editions of floppies in an era in which relatively little of cultural importance or economic value is left to collect. By looking at the comments posted by fans of the medium on the Marvel Masterworks Message Board (an online forum in which the relative merits of collected editions are discussed), David Hayes analyzes the narratives constructed by comic book fans in relation to what is commonly perceived as “important” and therefore worthy of collection and what is not. Often, these distinctions are based on subjective evaluations of the writing and art styles of comic books associated with the medium’s loosely defined eras of publication (that is, the Golden Age (largely understood as the late 1930s and 1940s), the Atomic Age (the 1950s), the Silver Age (the 1960s), and the Bronze Age (1970s and 1980s), as well as more recent eras for which consensus on category names has yet to be reached) and, as such, the comments of many posters also reveal the cultural weight exerted by the legacy of comic book production upon contemporary forms, thus influencing industry direction in an era in which readership is in decline.
Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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