The Importance Of Comics Cartoons
August 3rd, 2015 | by Dale Martin
Comics cartoons, also referred to as superhero cartoons, are one of the most under-appreciated forms of comic book media. While every fan loves to read the trade-paperbacks, graphic novels, watch the movies and even play the video-games, but fewer actively choose to watch their favourite superhero adventures in the animated world. That’s not to say that the classic shows are under-appreciated, which they most certainly are not. Perhaps the limited quality of modern comics cartoons like Teen Titans GO! and Ultimate Spider-man have made people forget just how important these cartoons can be and, more importantly, just how good they can be.
As a child growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I had more than a huge amount of fondness for comic-book cartoons. While iconic shows like Batman: The Animated Series were before my time, I spent my time watching various different re-runs of the 90’s era Marvel cartoons of Spider-man, X-Men and sometimes even the lesser known 90’s show The Incredible Hulk.
Looking back at these shows, they were very cheesy with animation that does not hold up to well today and featuring extremely toned down action suitable for children. For example, it is a well known fact that due to censorship reasons, Spider-man never actually punched anyone in that 90’s animated series. However, many fans including, myself, still look back at these shows (and others) as being their first exposure to any form of comic-based media. I can wholeheartedly say that, without these shows being such a massive and beloved part of my childhood, I would not have the love or passion for comic-books that I do today. I certainly would not be here writing about them right now.
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It was my love of Spider-Man and X-Men that got me into the movies of both respective franchises. While I have different feelings about some of the instalments in each of the previously mentioned franchises now, I still cherish the memories I have of absolutely adoring said movies when I was a child. In fact, my earliest memory of going to a cinema is sitting in the theatre and watching X-Men 2 at the young age of 6 yet still being able to realise the dark shape under the water was in fact the Phoenix, thanks to the Dark Phoenix Saga being adapted into the cartoon.
As previously mentioned, people often forget just how good comic-book cartoons can and have been in the past. The prime example of this is Batman: The Animated Series, looked upon by many as the best comic-book animated show of all time. Not only did it accurately represent the harsh and gritty reality of Batman the way other cartoons had failed to, it spawned off the highly beloved and acclaimed movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and even went as far as to introduce, for the first time, the character of Harley Quinn, whose popularity was so high that she transitioned into comicbooks, became one of DC’s most beloved female characters and is even being portrayed in live action for the first time in 2016’s Suicide Squad. This goes a long way to show just how much of a huge impact comic-book cartoons can have on both the audience and the comic-book creators/companies themselves. There are various other successful and acclaimed comic-book cartoons out there: Teen Titans, Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-man, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. These shows did everything from introduce kids to characters that they never would have heard of otherwise to bring classic and beloved comic-book story lines to life that we would most likely never see in another medium. The children of today, however, are growing up on comic-book cartoons that do not nearly match the quality of the classics. While they may succeed in getting kids interested in comic-books and other forms of comic-book media, they certainly won’t succeed in providing the high quality experience that we were lucky enough to experience as children.
There you have it! ComiConverse’s love letter to comic cartoons!
Now, we want to hear from you!
What is your favourite comic-book cartoon?
Was it one of the classics mentioned here, or perhaps one that we didn’t mention?
Also make sure to tell us about any fond memories you have of watching comic-book cartoons as a child!
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Dale Martin is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @LaserClops