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Cartoons Versus Comics: The Second Most Obnoxious Argument on the Internet











From the idjit that brought you Modern vs. Classic comes another pulse-pounding vomitorium of wordstuffs. While I tried to stay resolutely nonpartisan in my previous examination/castigation of online shenanigans, this time I’m afraid I have a bit of a bias.

See, I’m a comic purist. But … and there is a but to it, I’m also a big frickin’ hypocrite.

Yeah, total Shyamalan-styled twist ending to that sentence, I know. But to put all my cards on the table, let me go after the cartoon guys first. And I must stress this as hard as things can be stressed in the written word; it’s a cartoon. It’s not a toon. I mean, I love Roger Rabbit as much as anybody, as evidenced by my current ephemeral avatar, but seriously, you can go ahead and use the other three letters in that word. Cartoon.  That’s a complete word. You don’t hear anybody anywhere calling a comic a “mic” do you? Of course you don’t, because all of those idiots were rounded up and shot.


Aaaaanyway, cartoon guys, let’s talk about something. I love cartoons. Saturday mornings were holy to me back before they started that “educational and informational” stuff and Saturday mornings were ruined. There was nothing better in the ‘80s than coming home after a long day of trying very hard not to go completely insane during the most boring classes imaginable and watching GI Joe or Transformers or He-Man or whatever.

But the comics were better.

Seriously, dudes, they were. The comics were better. The GI Joe comic was better, the Transformers comic was better, Superhero comics were universally better than Superfriends. And I loved watching all that crap. I don’t care how much of a fuddy-duddy idiot you are; that crap was absolutely golden when you’re a kid and want to watch your toys move around and do things without you having to do it. I’m right there.

But the comics were better.

Read a comic.

It won’t hurt you.

Batman: the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited were phenomenal… but the comics are better.

If you’re into GI Joe and Larry Hama means nothing to you; if you’re a fan of Transforming robots and the names Bob Budiansky, Simon Furman, and James Roberts are foreign words; if you’re into superheroes and you’ve never looked into the broad four color universe … seek some frickin’ help. Diversity ain’t a sickness.

Now then, you comic purists.

You think you’re so clever. Yes, you can read; we’re very impressed by your ability to look at colorful pictures with a handful of words. Don’t worry, don’t freak out; as I said, I’m one of you. I am. Comics are the primary medium I hew to outside of my own imagination. Masters of the Universe is Paul Kupperberg, Alfredo Alcala, Mark Texeira, Donald Glut, and so forth to me, whereas it’s Filmation to the majority of others. And I’m not knocking that stuff because I love it, but I love the comics more.

M.A.S.K. and COPS? Love the cartoons. Hugely entertaining … but I dig the short-lived comics more. That’s just how I’m wired. So when I say what I’m about to say, know I say this coming from your side.

Juggernaut is my favorite Marvel villain. I love his indestructible, unstoppable power. I think he’s one of the more mismanaged characters in terms of sheer power, and sadly there’s only  a handful of comic stories that do him justice, chief among them Roger Stern’s Amazing Spider-Man two-parter and, oddly enough, Kurt Busiek’s single issue “What If Charles Xavier Got the Power of the Juggernaut” in the What if line. Great comic — read it if you haven’t.

But my love of Juggernaut didn’t come from a comic.

It came from that totally bad-ass episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends where he rampaged his way towards the Xavier school. You know the one — with the Australian Wolverine.

How silly … no Australian could ever be Wolverine.


That episode ignited my little kid mind. It was awesome.

Comics ignite imagination. But the thing with those who strut around proudly using the term “toon-tard” or whatever don’t understand is that cartoons do too … and that’s the important part.

And as a Spider-friend fan from way back, I would absolutely murder anybody who stood in my way of getting a Videoman or Arachnoid.

God, that episode was terrifying.

So basically, cartoon guys: read a comic and prosper. You won’t die from expanding your knowledge base.  And comic guys, I’m on your side, but don’t be crazy. I don’t care about Morph from the X-Men cartoon, but I don’t care about politics either, but I don’t sit in front of the voting booth and call the voters names.


You chadsucker.

Do they still have chads? I don’t know…

Discuss this somewhere

6 thoughts on “Cartoons Versus Comics: The Second Most Obnoxious Argument on the Internet

  1. I’m first and foremost a comic guy, but there are some cases that I like the animated version of characters better than the comics. For example, BTAS will always be the definitive version of Batman to me. It took everything that was cool about Batman and striped away all the baggage, and stupid stuff that had been accumulated over all the decades of his existence. I look at the 109 plus episodes of that series as 109 of the best Batman comics ever produced. (But they just happen to move). The same can be said of the Superman Animated Series, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited.

    On the other hand, when it come to the Marvel Universe, I much prefer the comics to the various animated shows and movies they’ve produced over the years. With few exceptions, most of them have been of poor quality in both writing and animation. The big exception being “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, which of course was cancelled after only 2 seasons.

    So as rule, it seems that when it comes to DC Comics I prefer the animated universe, and when it comes to Marvel I prefer the comics.

  2. to me the comic was a little better then the cartoon for one gijoe and transformers were allowed to shoot and sadly injure and kill their enemies where the cartoon they couldn’t due to some rule about cartoons not allowed to show real gun violence. super friends was good but both the comic and show in the early days thought dumbed down the characters

  3. Manga or Anime? Same difference! Tv Spidey taught me to read on The Electric Company a pbs edu show in tandem w/ Sesame St.(anyone else?) Yes, I’m in my 40’s as no doubt a lot of you other fans. Especially since I too loved ‘Spiderman and his Amazing friends.’ To this day I am a spiderfan! He taught me to READ. Thanks Pete! After I put down my toys to pick up textbooks,(9th grade,middle school/jr.high) I was still watching cartoons! There in the show Benty mentioned I met The X-Men for the 1st time and thought Wolverine was British?and who’s a wolverine anyway?Lol – I’d forgotten that bit. Then it happened; A classmate of mine had a little thing called the official handbook of the MARVEL UNIVERSE. My love of Comics was born. The seed was already there from cartoons.–and live action teacher Spidey– I got a subscription @ a local shop the amazing Spiderman,Web of Spiderman, Peter Parker the sensational Spiderman! Justice League international, Action Comics,Marvel Saga,Marvel Age, Transformers,
    DC’sWho’s Who,and The official handbook of the Marvel Universe DELUXE ed.{Of course!
    I quit reading in the 90’s. I blame the whole breed of X-books for that. IMHO the cartoons got stronger and the comics got weaker.
    I just didn’t have time, space and money for all my books anymore. Watched more cartoons: JLU Rocks! Started reading trades. 7.75 years ago I went back to my toys ,again, due to a friend recommending an awesome Comics&toy shop. Now the Avengers have a movie and two awesome cartoons.Young Justice rocked! SHIELD,Green Arrow have live shows… Ultimate Spiderman rocks! Marvel vs Capcom, INJUSTICE, Ultimate Alliance and so forth give us a new medium to delve into the super-hero world, so, Its ALL good and overwhelming.
    Btw, as a fan of the sci-fi/horror ol black & whites like Them,The Fly that Arachnoid episode WAS terrifying! Thanks for the memories,Benty bob hope.

  4. The Transformers cartoon was something my friends and I could experience and enjoy together — talk about, react to, etc., so it was fun in that regard.

    The comic was something I internalized much more because reading simply is a more solitary and introspective activity, so the comics meant more to me overall and were my go-to source when it came to Transformers. It made for some “continuity” difficulties for me and my friends because I’d mention something about Buster and the Creation Matrix, but they’d have no idea who or what I was talking about, or I would correct them when they called the blue one “Rumble,” but my argument usually fell on deaf ears. It all drove me nuts — and it still does. I enjoyed the cartoon just fine, but I also learned to resent it a bit.

    The cartoon created many more Transformers fans than the comic ever did, but, man, I wish just half of those cartoon devotees would give the comics a shot.

  5. I like both. Love EMH, in some cases more than certain periods of Avengers comics. DC has great animation, Flashpoint was a better cartoon than comic for me. Generally I prefer comics, but there’s something exciting about seeing the cartoons in motion with sound.

  6. Depends on the comparison. There are great comics and horrible cartoons, and there are horrible comics and great cartoons. On any day, I’d take Justice League Unlimited over the Identity-Crisis-era JLA that was being published around the same time. Comics G1 Optimus Prime died by willingly sacrificing himself over his guilt of unintentionally killing some imaginary video game sprites. Cartoon Optimus Prime died while stopping Megatron’s murderous swath through Autobot City, through a dramatic and brutal physical confrontation. It’s not the medium that matters, but rather the quality of the writing and art.

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