MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

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Raven
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by Raven » 05 May 2009, 22:26

alanultron5 wrote:Raven. It is ONLY my personal view and not a stated fact! I do not find humour in WW1 at all, but I know that for others it can be so! Blackadder 4 was good in the final ep, prior to that-not for me! I'm only giving my opinion not stating the law! Honest!

Hi, alanultron5. I know it was your opinion. It was your opinion I was interested in and querying.

I think Snoopy's imaginary exploits as a World War 1 Flying Ace, on his Sopwith Camel kennel and battling his arch enemy the Red Baron, are an interesting example, as they seem to stem from Snoopy having watched a lot of old films - they're obviously based more on, and more a parody of, Hollywood's romanticised interpretation of the war than the actual historical situation.

And I think that's what happens as the decades pass - things can be more a parody of film or all the other media interpretations we've been fed over the years, rather than being an insensitive literal take on the original thing. I think Monty Python's couple of World War I sketches, for example, parody schmaltzy Hollywood war films rather than the genuine "hellish backdrop" that ISPYSHHHGUY mentions, itself. Possibly seeming tasteless at a superficial glance till you realise they're really parodying Hollywood.

To me the Baron is a *slightly dodgy* strip, but only really because it's a 'funny foreigner' strip, based on a crude foreign stereotype (though it's very lively and seems to fit Sparky's later madcap style well.) I think it's actually a take on the stereotype comedy Hun, with very little to do with the actual First World War.

Most of the strips I've seen seem to focus a lot on him being back at his camp and being a general dolt, or in-the-air mishaps usually against his own side. I don't think there was ever anything to do with making light of people "going over the top" - i.e. leaving the safety of their trenches; it was all well away from that kind of action and reality.

Just suggesting that I don't think the Baron was necessarily insensitive in quite the way that was being implied. Mention of things like people "going over the top" made me wonder if people are slightly misremembering the strip.

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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by Raven » 05 May 2009, 22:37

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I have the 'WORLD WAR in CARTOONS' book by MARK BRYANT, Raven.....it's excellent; a lot of powerful imagery......HITLER himself collected anti- NAZI cartoons, apparantly. However, I suppose for the poor souls who went over the top in WW1, the notion that future generations would have used this hellish backdrop as a basis for comedy, would have been less than appreciative.

Well, as we know from said book, it was being done there and then, and as the book flap says "in times of stress it is laughter that is often the best medicine." It implies that the troops did read and were cheered up by the cartoons.

There's a World War II In Cartoons book by Mark Bryant, too, but I don't have that one.

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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by alanultron5 » 06 May 2009, 11:17

I daresay my views on `war` humour are in a minority. When I was a youngster (i'm 53 now) one of my great uncles who fought in WW1 visited my Nan's while me and my sister were staying with her! I recall his name was Robert Eagles. He had been gassed (though, thankfully he only caught a bit of it) and suffered to his dying day Shell -Shock! Seeing (even though I was eight years old) what effects war could have moulded my views on warfare!

So, yes! I'm afraid I, personally find no humour in any `fun war` strips at all, but I would never advocate any form of censorship at all. The `Old Bill` and `Big & Little Willy` black humour in the trenches most likely helped the British army in WWI.

I will never change my view on Captain Hurricane :D "Wot A Load O' ***!!! :lol:
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by Raven » 06 May 2009, 11:30

alanultron5 wrote:I daresay my views on `war` humour are in a minority. When I was a youngster (i'm 53 now) one of my great uncles who fought in WW1 visited my Nan's while me and my sister were staying with her! I recall his name was Robert Eagles. He had been gassed (though, thankfully he only caught a bit of it) and suffered to his dying day Shell -Shock! Seeing (even though I was eight years old) what effects war could have moulded my views on warfare!

Of course people deal with things in different ways. Interesting to think that Spike Milligan who suffered severe shellshock in the war - it's often suggested that it may have been the cause of the depression that affected him so badly throughout his life - used the war and Hitler so often as a source of comedy; he seemed to return to it constantly, sometimes almost obsessively, in his humour. Perhaps an example of somebody using humour to cope better with such horrors.

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philcom55
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by philcom55 » 06 May 2009, 12:43

It's odd that children are now almost exclusively taught to see the First World War through the eyes of disaffected poets like Wilfred Owen, yet for many years after 'the War to End All Wars' the popular British view was that it had been a great, heroic victory - albeit one gained at a terrible cost, while poems that emphasized its monumental waste and horror were either resented or ignored. People simply didn't want to believe that their loved ones could have died for nothing!

In a way I find both views to be unrealistic: the fact is that like all wars it was appalling and farcical in equal measure and it seems to me that by placing WW1 on a pedestal as some kind of special case we are doing a disservice to all those who died in subsequent conflicts. To my mind the two works that capture this essential balance between horror and humour best of all are 'Charley's War' and "Oh What a Lovely War", (oddly enough both written by well-known comics scripters ) - and I say this as someone who lost his own grandfather to the Somme!

(Incidentally, none of this is directed against Alan - for what it's worth I totally respect his right to feel the way he does about the subject! )

- Phil R.
Last edited by philcom55 on 06 May 2009, 20:31, edited 1 time in total.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 06 May 2009, 17:38

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather, Phil. Both my grandfathers served in this war, along with my grandmother's earlier fiance, who was killed in the conflict.

The memory of WW1 is tarnished with the sheer insanity of the conflict; millions died on all sides for no valid reason other than macho politics, and profiteering for the arms industry......an appalling waste on an industrial scale, and it's unlikely that such a problem could arise today.

More people died in WW2, however the forces of NAZISM could have wiped out great sections of all mankind had their murderous policies succeeded in 1945, making the war more justifiable than in '14-18. However, WW2 is tarnished with other evils: the 'legitimate' targetting of civilans, noticably in the NAZI death-factories and also saturation firebombing of cities, which the UK also engaged in.

All warfare is to be condemned, however, unless it is absolutely neccessary, and should only ever be a last resort.

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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by alanultron5 » 07 May 2009, 15:35

Well! Ol' Cap' Hurricane has a lot to answe for! Anyone else not like "Invisible Dick" ?(Outside of this forum that question would be very rude! :o ) I just could not abide his smarmy smug mug giving those last panel winks to the reader! How I did not punch through that page with my fist, I just don't know!!
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tony ingram
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by tony ingram » 12 May 2009, 18:27

Raven wrote:
alanultron5 wrote:Raven. It is ONLY my personal view and not a stated fact! I do not find humour in WW1 at all, but I know that for others it can be so! Blackadder 4 was good in the final ep, prior to that-not for me! I'm only giving my opinion not stating the law! Honest!

Hi, alanultron5. I know it was your opinion. It was your opinion I was interested in and querying.

I think Snoopy's imaginary exploits as a World War 1 Flying Ace, on his Sopwith Camel kennel and battling his arch enemy the Red Baron, are an interesting example, as they seem to stem from Snoopy having watched a lot of old films - they're obviously based more on, and more a parody of, Hollywood's romanticised interpretation of the war than the actual historical situation.

And I think that's what happens as the decades pass - things can be more a parody of film or all the other media interpretations we've been fed over the years, rather than being an insensitive literal take on the original thing. I think Monty Python's couple of World War I sketches, for example, parody schmaltzy Hollywood war films rather than the genuine "hellish backdrop" that ISPYSHHHGUY mentions, itself. Possibly seeming tasteless at a superficial glance till you realise they're really parodying Hollywood.

To me the Baron is a *slightly dodgy* strip, but only really because it's a 'funny foreigner' strip, based on a crude foreign stereotype (though it's very lively and seems to fit Sparky's later madcap style well.) I think it's actually a take on the stereotype comedy Hun, with very little to do with the actual First World War.

Most of the strips I've seen seem to focus a lot on him being back at his camp and being a general dolt, or in-the-air mishaps usually against his own side. I don't think there was ever anything to do with making light of people "going over the top" - i.e. leaving the safety of their trenches; it was all well away from that kind of action and reality.

Just suggesting that I don't think the Baron was necessarily insensitive in quite the way that was being implied. Mention of things like people "going over the top" made me wonder if people are slightly misremembering the strip.
I've been reading a fair bit of Sparky lately, ad to be honest I'm finding myself in agreement with alanultron, on that strip in particular. DC Thomson put out a lot of stuff in the 60s and 70s which now looks highly dubious, and most of it seemed to be in Topper or Sparky for some reason.

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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by Raven » 13 May 2009, 01:02

tony ingram wrote: I've been reading a fair bit of Sparky lately, ad to be honest I'm finding myself in agreement with alanultron, on that strip in particular. DC Thomson put out a lot of stuff in the 60s and 70s which now looks highly dubious, and most of it seemed to be in Topper or Sparky for some reason.

I wouldn't disagree with you at all about DCT putting out "highly dubious stuff", Tony. I'd just say that I thought the Baron was much further down the radar of offensiveness than the out and out racism of the likes of, say, the Sparky character, Sikk Parade from The Hotspur or Young Foo in Cracker (remember the Sammy kid at the end of each strip, slanting his eyes, and making a weekly "yellow" or "Chink" joke?) - the latter two examples as late as 1975.

But maybe I haven't read enough of the Baron. The ones I've seen have been basic schtick about bad German food and daft dogfight slapstick; stereotype Hun stuff, yes, but nothing making light of people in the trenches, etc. Tell me what I've missed if you wish. I'm only familiar with a few of his strips.

Your Topper comment was interesting. I can't immediately think of anything from that title - which ones are you thinking of?

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tony ingram
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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by tony ingram » 13 May 2009, 06:58

Raven wrote:
tony ingram wrote: I've been reading a fair bit of Sparky lately, ad to be honest I'm finding myself in agreement with alanultron, on that strip in particular. DC Thomson put out a lot of stuff in the 60s and 70s which now looks highly dubious, and most of it seemed to be in Topper or Sparky for some reason.

I wouldn't disagree with you at all about DCT putting out "highly dubious stuff", Tony. I'd just say that I thought the Baron was much further down the radar of offensiveness than the out and out racism of the likes of, say, the Sparky character, Sikk Parade from The Hotspur or Young Foo in Cracker (remember the Sammy kid at the end of each strip, slanting his eyes, and making a weekly "yellow" or "Chink" joke?) - the latter two examples as late as 1975.

But maybe I haven't read enough of the Baron. The ones I've seen have been basic schtick about bad German food and daft dogfight slapstick; stereotype Hun stuff, yes, but nothing making light of people in the trenches, etc. Tell me what I've missed if you wish. I'm only familiar with a few of his strips.

Your Topper comment was interesting. I can't immediately think of anything from that title - which ones are you thinking of?
Well, the one that leaped to mid (though it's going back a few years) was 'Captain Bungle (he lives in the jungle)', with its rubber lipped natives (who were the dead spit of the titular character from Sparky).

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Re: MOST `Nauseating` comic character of all time!

Post by alanultron5 » 16 May 2009, 11:53

Harking back to Blackadder. I rarely found it funny and missed a couple of episodes! However! the last five minutes or so of the final ep are utterly magnificent!! Funny-no! but possibly the finest scenes of pathos ever on UK TV.
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