Comics aren’t what they used to be. In 1976 I was 11 — the perfect target audience for probably the most subversive, gory and entertaining comic series in British history, the now legendary Action.
The strips, often rip-offs of movies we readers were too young legally to see, were quite outrageously violent. Hook Jaw was about a heroic great white shark who eats everyone. Death Game 1999 was a death sport based on Rollerball. Kids Rule OK was about a post-apocalyptic world which made Lord of the Flies look like Mary Poppins. Hellman of Hammer Force was the second world war seen from the perspective of a German Panzer major. Inevitably, after complaints from the likes of Mary Whitehouse helped to create a moral panic, it got banned. But from the ashes of Action rose the phoenix of 2000 AD whose creators realised they could get away with murder, so long as they set all their stories in the future.
But what does today’s Generation Snowflake have by way of comic-book entertainment? Well, 2000 AD is still going — just — though it’s gone so wearisomely PC that my brother Dick, a loyal subscriber since pretty much Prog One, finally gave up on it last year. The situation in the US is worse, though. So much worse that you may think what I’m about to describe is satire.
Read the rest in the Spectator.