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Does class affect our perception of the comic image? If so, how?

After reading our last few assignments I fully grasped the concept that comics are more than just fun stories with pictures; the stories have meaning and those meanings have everything to do with history. No wonder this is a history class and I earn my “D” gen-ed credit! The creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, are perfect examples of social classes affecting our perceptions of the comic image. Siegel and Schuster were two different men; Siegel was the inspiration for the Superman persona while the bespectacled Schuster was the inspiration for the Clark Kent persona. The co-creators, who were first- generation Americans, put themselves and their “American Dreams” into their comic. They didn’t know what it was like to be popular or well liked so they wrote a comic based off of what they know—enter Clark Kent, a not so popular farm boy. On the other hand, they also wanted to write about what they wish their high school years had been like—enter Superman, a man of superhuman strength and immense popularity. Siegel and Schuster created Superman for a demographic much like themselves; they wanted the comic to be an outlet for readers who were just like them. Beyond the social issues, comics affect our perceptions of issues that are prevalent in the news. Writers purposefully create storylines that parallel current news events. The juxtaposition of the superheroes dilemmas and reality can be skewed due to the writer’s attempt at impressing an opinion/message on his/her readers. In short, societal class does affect our perception of the comic image because it affects almost everything around us; our society hasn’t matured to a level where people are not concerned with the society.


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