8FOLD/HCC: Nonfiction # 1, So I Wished Them Up (USENET-friendly version)

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 14:12:59 PST 2013

On Feb 23, 7:58 am, Tom Russell <joltc... at gmail.com> wrote:


Interesting. So this is nonfiction?

>    Americans invented comic books, and they invented the genre that's not only dominated the form
> for most of the last century but also become synonymous with it.

Oh, an essay. Nea--

> I am speaking of course of funny animal comics.

Ohhhhhhh. I get it.

> There, comics have always been dominated by nonfiction and realistic fiction: biographies, crime stories, confessionals, and superhero comics have always reigned supreme.

Heeheeheehee. <3

>    Or, as he put it much later, "The rest of the world had heroes, and we didn't. We needed them, so I wished them up."

Oho. I see.

> This not only glosses over the true financial motivations for his decision, but is also plainly untrue, as he didn't "wish up" any of the characters that debuted in the first album of SOCIETE DE L'EGALITE. For this, he picked the writer that he paid and trusted in the least, figuring both that children would buy it even if badly written and that he would maximize his profit before the market collapsed.

Hmmmm, bit of a biased essayist, eh? (Though understandably,
considering the later stuff.)

>    And it is true, Marc Demy, his writer, certainly lacked the literary qualities one associates with the great comics writers of the thirties and forties. His work was primal (some would say primitive), pell-mell, and prone to messy sudden reversals and anti-climax. And yet, Demy was endlessly inventive, springing forth not one superhero, but a dozen.

Well now I want to read it. Especially after reading the character

>    Chief among these enemies is Egalite. A coded and sympathetic Jew in the first three albums, he is now a monstrous Nazi cartoon of Jewishness that extends to a horrifying redesign by Becker.

Interesting. Would this really happen, though? I'd expect such a thing
to be more of a subversion of the idea; this direct opposition seems
too easy to reject out of hand.

>    For in certain stores, next to and in some cases instead of the full-colour fifth De Nemours album, there was a black-and-white anonymous album also numbered five. The black-and-white had a full-colour cover illustration by Becker, and the pages inside were also Becker's. And, then, of course, there was the story, which found the Societe, led by Egalite, fighting Germans and Japanese. The story was clearly written by Demy for, as one historian told me over drinks, no imitator could write so poorly and inventively.

Heeheeheehee. <3 <3 <3

>    Becker had secretly worked on the "real" Demy-authored fifth album while working on the two "Nazi" albums. He knew that in doing so he had signed his own death warrant.


>    At least, this is the story that Madame Becker and their son Paul have perpetrated during the post-war years. It is, sadly, untrue.

...ah. Hm.

> De Nemours hired a new artist who produced some brilliant art in the service of evil propaganda. His or her name we do not know, because he signed his name Marc Becker. The readers knew the difference, though, and when the seventh album came out, hardly anyone bought it.

Ahhhhhhh. Interesting.

>    But then, out of nowhere, appeared twelve champions dressed in costumes of black and white. For one brief impossible hour, the Societe de l'egalite was real. We need them, so someone wished them up. After that hour, they had disappeared, the German heroes have been utterly destroyed, allowing the allies to continue fighting, and, of course, to win.

Eeeeeeeeee <3 <3 <3

>    The albums, from either publisher, are not well-regarded in France. Most readers do not know about the black-and-whites; to them, the story of the Societe de l'egalite is the story of Nazi collaboration.

Interesting. You'd think that'd be the sort of thing that'd come out
in a big way in the Internet age.

So, this is a series of diegetic essays, eh? <3 I love it!

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, love!

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