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  1. #31
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Well it depends. For a lot of children, and by that I mean 1-4 year olds, I mean toddlers, their first exposure to these characters is simply images from toys, action figures, stickers, pictures on bed-spreads, stuff other kids have on their clothes and bags at daycare. At that level, stuff like Superman is clark kent, Batman is bruce, Spider-Man is Peter or Marvel/DC being a thing doesn't even count.

    Likewise there are these bizarre videos on YouTube for kids (of which the most famous is the viral "baby shark") which often has an algorithm bashing together characters randomly. This video talks about it (and it's better than seeing these videos as an adult).

    For these small kids, Spider-Man/Elsa from Frozen is the OTP.

    Even then, these kids like Spider-Man and respond to him and his costume and powerset, as well as a name. Kids are fascinated by insects in general at that early age, and they like crawling around and here's a guy who is a semi-insect and crawls around. So it's not hard to see the appeal.

    So ultimately if you want to reduce to formula the secret of Spider-Man's appeal...remove the story, remove the continuity, remove the adaptations, and so on..."take away my house, my tricks and toys" and so on, what is the one thing you can't take away then. And still these characters have an appeal.
    Oh, Folding Ideas. Like that channel.

    Head of these weird "kid's" videos and the highly questionable nature of them.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Oh, Folding Ideas. Like that channel.

    Head of these weird "kid's" videos and the highly questionable nature of them.
    I have kids and those videos are real. Honestly, if you get how they're trying to play Youtube's algorithm, they're sort of interesting to watch, especially with Youtube's new rules about videos aimed at kids.

  3. #33
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    there are these bizarre videos on YouTube for kids (of which the most famous is the viral "baby shark") which often has an algorithm bashing together characters randomly
    A weird corner of reality. A glimpse of things to come?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
    A weird corner of reality. A glimpse of things to come?
    It's really not even that complicated. You just take a bunch of small toys of popular characters, say their names, work the keywords, and you're good.

    But due to FCC pressure, it's harder to actually monetize these things.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Ultimately, you don't have to look at toys or dubious videos for toddlers.

    Check out the Spider-Man PS4 game. This was the biggest selling PS4 title. IT was so successful that Sony went out and bought the studio that made it (Insomniac Games) and provide some $229million for the entire company. And it's already turned a profit because the game sold upwards of $400million and counting.

    Spider-Man PS4 is an open-world title which means that a good chunk of players/gamers and other people who bought and played the game casually, probably didn't complete the story (it's a general empirical fact that most people who play open world games don't complete the story). This 2019 Report claims (https://comicbook.com/gaming/2019/02...mpletion-rate/) that only 50% of people who played the game completed the story (which doesn't feature Spider-Man's origin but alludes to it, and also has Peter as an adult rather than teenager). And yet the game sold, and sold at a rate higher and bigger than general comics and movie fans. As well as casuals. And the reason is that the game captured web-swinging in Manhattan, it got NYC as an open world more right than most games (in any genre) never did.

    So the ludic (i.e. playful) concept of Spider-Man (simply swinging and crawling and jumping across NYC) was the main part of the appeal there, independent of the story.

    Ultimately, whatever people say about the origin, the relatability, stupid ideas like "Spider-man is about youth" and so on...the primary reason for Spider-Man's appeal is the design of the character -- the costume, the web swinging, the powers. That's it. At heart Spider-Man's popular because he represents wish-fulfillment, escapism, and a power fantasy. Same as Batman and Superman.

    Basically, Spider-Man owes itself fundamentally more to Ditko's art and design (which in the case of Spider-Man was totally and completely is) rather than the writing of Lee (and Ditko's).
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 02-18-2020 at 08:36 AM.

  6. #36
    Spider-Fan Since '95 WebSlingWonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Ultimately, you don't have to look at toys or dubious videos for toddlers.

    Check out the Spider-Man PS4 game. This was the biggest selling PS4 title. IT was so successful that Sony went out and bought the studio that made it (Insomniac Games) and provide some $229million for the entire company. And it's already turned a profit because the game sold upwards of $400million and counting.

    Spider-Man PS4 is an open-world title which means that a good chunk of players/gamers and other people who bought and played the game casually, probably didn't complete the story (it's a general empirical fact that most people who play open world games don't complete the story). This 2019 Report claims (https://comicbook.com/gaming/2019/02...mpletion-rate/) that only 50% of people who played the game completed the story (which doesn't feature Spider-Man's origin but alludes to it, and also has Peter as an adult rather than teenager). And yet the game sold, and sold at a rate higher and bigger than general comics and movie fans. As well as casuals. And the reason is that the game captured web-swinging in Manhattan, it got NYC as an open world more right than most games (in any genre) never did.

    So the ludic (i.e. playful) concept of Spider-Man (simply swinging and crawling and jumping across NYC) was the main part of the appeal there, independent of the story.

    Ultimately, whatever people say about the origin, the relatability, stupid ideas like "Spider-man is about youth" and so on...the primary reason for Spider-Man's appeal is the design of the character -- the costume, the web swinging, the powers. That's it. At heart Spider-Man's popular because he represents wish-fulfillment, escapism, and a power fantasy. Same as Batman and Superman.

    Basically, Spider-Man owes itself fundamentally more to Ditko's art and design (which in the case of Spider-Man was totally and completely is) rather than the writing of Lee (and Ditko's).
    I don't disagree that the costume and design contributed, but don't dismiss the story and origin. That has drastic impact.
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  7. #37
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebSlingWonder View Post
    I don't disagree that the costume and design contributed, but don't dismiss the story and origin. That has drastic impact.
    I generally don’t think that reducing characters to formula is good. Because the truth is, first comes success and then comes formula, which is quite the opposite in the laboratory. With Spider-Man, he has a depth, complexity, and in best stories, Three dimensional richness. But because he is a mascot character, people, ie editors and writers, want to reduce him to formula, and when you make a formula of anything you tend to choose some parts and exclude others.

    The fact is Spider-Man has had success in different mediums and different versions and he appeals to all audiences even the ones who don’t read and will never read the comics. The people who see his float on the Thanksgiving Day parade aren’t seeing blimps of Ben buried in grave or captions from AF#15. So that means that the appeal of Spider-Man is transcendent.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Let's see...
    -- A character with a simple one-sentence powerset (man with spider-powers) versus a character with a complex powerset (human being with a magic ring that he points stuff at to produce green constructs with his imagination).
    -- A character with a full body-suit in bright colors that allows a child of any race to picture themselves behind versus a character who is mostly white human or creepy alien in some weird green-black uniform.

    I think it's pretty safe to say which character lends itself well to simple classic design principles in terms of toys and action-figures. Hint, it's not the DC dude.

    Wonder Woman as merchandise has always done well among girls even if in comics it has dropped in and out and in any case never had the highs that even Green Lantern did with Geoff Johns. Whereas Green Lantern has never been a hit in merch.
    Completely missed what I was saying.

    Kids today are born into a world where Spider-Man is already hugely popular.

    "Why does X continue to be popular?" is a different question than "How did X become popular in the first place?".

  9. #39

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    Typical Parker Luck may have had a hand in that. Another teenage hero of old is the deceased Skyman in his days as Star Spangled Kid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Johnny IS a few years older. In the Lee-Ditko run, Johnny gives a talk at Peter's college.

    Basically when Peter's in high school, Johnny's in college (age-wise), if Peter's in college, Johnny is out, and if Peter's in his mid-20s, Johnny is in his late 20s.
    If you mean in Amazing Spider-Man 003 it was Johnny as a superhero giving a speech to other youth his age in high school.

    In one of the Lee/Kirby issues of Fantastic Four both Johnny and Peter are visiting the same university at the same day for registration. Difference between the two is Peter completed his bachelors degree while Johnny dropped out eventually.
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  10. #40
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    "Why does X continue to be popular?" is a different question than "How did X become popular in the first place?".
    First comes popularity, then comes the why.

    Spider-Man became popular first, and then people started asking questions why and how. Why something became popular is impossible to identify and define. I mean why was Charlie Chaplin popular? Why was James Dean? How did Marilyn Monroe became so big? You can't say that so-and-so were the first of their kind or the only game in town because that's not true of any of them. Chaplin wasn't the only silent comedian, James Dean wasn't the only young hot actor of that time, nor Marilyn the only blonde bombshell. They had something special that set them apart from others of their genre. Something unique and transcendent.

    Spider-Man wasn't the first teenage hero, wasn't the most troubled or tragic character in Marvel in that era. Like Daredevil, a blind superhero and Ben Grimm, who was a rock golem, had a much tougher time to choose characters who are contemporary to Spider-Man in the '60s. The X-Men also had teenage heroes in the Lee-Kirby era, and Cyclops who was constantly insecure about his eyebeams was a lot more neurotic and repressed. Lee-Ditko Peter had more girlfriends than Lee-Kirby Scott Summers. In terms of relatability, Scott Summers as a teenager definitely wins more prizes in the pity poker than Peter Parker does...born in an orphanage, separated from his brother, had to grow up fast, can't even look at the person he loves outside a prism of red and also quite asocial and awkward. There are many characters and stories that are good but don't find popularity until later...like the X-Men who were a failure Pre-Wein and Pre-Claremont. Daredevil didn't become big until Frank Miller came in the '80s.

    In terms of tangible measures of how Spider-Man became popular...look at the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon with the theme song (that was far more popular than the cartoon). Spider-Man "spins his web, any size/catches thieves just like flies". The words Peter Parker, Uncle Ben and so on aren't mentioned in those song lyrics. Likewise, the 1976 landmark crossover Superman v. The Amazing Spider-Man was the coronation of Spider-Man and Marvel as "here to stay". In that comic, you have Peter Parker, MJ, and Jameson, no references to Uncle Ben or Aunt May or the origin. And it's basically a showcase of Spider-Man's abilities against Superman's.

  11. #41
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    Why did Spider-Man get a TV show?

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Why did Spider-Man get a TV show?
    The same reason Fantastic Four did in the same decade. It was Marvel's business strategy to license their properties as a way to maximize profits and become independent. There was also Marvel Superheroes that featured other Marvel characters including the Avengers (not big sellers in that era). For Marvel, these cartoons were a way to make money, get their characters out there, to bring new readers, and also build value to make their licenses more valuable and attractive, and thereby stay solvent. Sales were important but not essential. The X-Men were so low-selling that they didn't get adapted and Magneto was loaned out as a trashy villain for Spider-Man to beat up in the cartoon (and with the name Matto Magneto). So they were lowest of low in that time, and later became highest of high.

    Reiterating, any attempt to reduce Spider-Man to a formula runs into problems with, to quote Tobey Maguire's Peter, "a little place I like to call reality".
    -- Spider-Man is the first teenage hero. Okay, he spends most of his time in the Lee-Ditko era working at the Daily Bugle hanging out with adults and not with his own peer group (in fact he hates high school and can't wait to graduate). He later does in fact graduate very early in issue #28 and isn't really a teenager after that, being in his early 20s. Stan Lee in fact targeted a college audience, rather than a high school audience, and that was where his lecture tour gathered steam.
    -- Spider-Man is the lovable loser who is relatable and that's what led to sales success. Well the problem is John Romita Sr's run which had Peter in a love triangle with two of the most beautiful women in comics' history fighting for the right to be in his pants...and that run sold far better than Ditko's original run. There are qualifying factors for this i.e. Ditko's run started small, gathered steam, and built positive word-of-mouth, Romita Sr's early run sold because it paid off subplots that Ditko built up (Goblin's identity, Mary Jane's intro) and likewise the Spider-Man cartoon in 1967 happened a year after his run bringing in new readers. But either case by the 70s, Spider-Man and not Fantastic Four was Marvel's #1 title.
    -- Every single cartoon until Weisman's Spectacular Spider-Man in 2007 featured him in college at the ESU (including the 1967 cartoon) and not in high school. Every single video game until Ultimate Spider-Man byi Activision featured him as an older man rather than a teenager. In fact in games, the norm has always been for Spider-Man to be mid-20s and older.
    -- The biggest period of Spider-Man's sales in comics happened in the late 80s and early 90s when he was a mid-20s married man.

    So with all that said, you cannot reduce Spider-Man to a single formula for success. Doing so is disrespectful to the achievement of many of the artists who worked with the character over those decades, and flies in denial at the historical and empirical evidence.

  13. #43
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    I have kids and those videos are real.
    Yeah, seen them in the "recommend videos" column sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    Honestly, if you get how they're trying to play Youtube's algorithm, they're sort of interesting to watch, especially with Youtube's new rules about videos aimed at kids.
    Honestly, I find the descriptions very off-putting.
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  14. #44
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Spider-Man is the first teenage hero. Okay, he spends most of his time in the Lee-Ditko era working at the Daily Bugle hanging out with adults and not with his own peer group (in fact he hates high school and can't wait to graduate). He later does in fact graduate very early in issue #28 and isn't really a teenager after that, being in his early 20s. Stan Lee in fact targeted a college audience, rather than a high school audience, and that was where his lecture tour gathered steam.
    To be fair, this wasn't exclusive to Peter. Johnny also went to college, as well as Jean, soon after. Everybody was getting older, along with the audience.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The same reason Fantastic Four did in the same decade.
    Why did Spider-Man and Fantastic Four get their own TV shows while other properties only got shorts in an anthology?

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