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Tandra Page 970, February 10, 2008

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People get older over time.

I am not the first to make that observation. Pretty much everyone notices that human condition sooner or later. Except for the people who produce comics. There are exceptions, of course. Way back when, a syndicated newspaper comic strip created a sensation when it was noticed one of the characters, a baby, began to grow up. Years later, Milton Caniff had Terry grow up in “Terry And The Pirates”, Terry Lee was maybe ten or twelve when Caniff began the strip. Over ten years he grew up and became a World War II pilot. The aging process with Terry pretty much came to a grinding halt after he reached adult status.

Comic book characters are also mostly arrested development. Superman has been dating Lois Lane since before World War II and she is still as youthful (and brainless) as ever, after some sixty years. Also, Superman is still wearing the same underwear. No wonder she won’t marry him! There are reasons, aside from lack of writer imagination, why comics characters remain forever in the full flower of youth. For one thing, unlike you and me, they can. The creator may be bent under the weight of advanced years, but he can continue to draw Spider-man as a college student. And there are commercial demands. Superman is a trademarked property at the age of twenty-five or so. An older Superman would endanger the franchise and possibly limit his money-makeing possibilities. Fans might not warm to Super-grandpa. And Lois with graying hair might not have the sex appeal as twenty-something Lois. At least, no one appears willing to take the risk.

The same issue affects movies wherein the nubile young heroine must be nubile and primarily young. Of course, actresses are real people who do get older. Hollywood solves the issue by constantly replacing the aging actress with a younger one. We have heard this complaint forever. As an actress accumulates years, the available parts dry up. There are exceptions, of course. Jodie Foster continues to make movies, and I love to watch her, but she is one of the rare actresses who have continued to find parts. However Jodie no longer plays the leading love interest. Those parts go to the younger women.

Which I find disappointing. I happen to have an affection for older women, those who have enough pride in themselves to remain attractive. Of course, I am getting along in years myself.

I went to a strip joint on a lark some few years back along with some business acquaintances. The girls were something like twenty, more or less. I enjoyed the scenery quite a lot, but something was missing. There was no sexual excitement. Watching the children dance around in their birthday suits was akin to watching my grandchildren cavort about in diapers. In the back of my head was the thought that, should I pick up one of these pretty children for a one night stand, what should there be to talk about the next morning. My interest in homework and high school sports is limited. When I go to bed with a woman, I want someone I can relate to, get inside her head and know her passions and convictions. A child has not yet matured to that state for me.

Which brings us to Kenia this week. As she explains, she is no longer a young woman. But she is cast as the romantic lead in this sequence. In fact, Kenia is the central romantic interest for the whole of the Tandra Illo-epic (Yes, I still call it that) I am presenting. She has lines on her face and her breasts are dragged down by gravity. She has other signs of age that are not properly indicated by ink on Bristol Board, so I will not often attempt to draw them. But she is an older woman, a woman not often chosen for the romantic center of interest in a comics story. I think it will be fun to write about her and about David Galon’s relationship with her. I think also you will enjoy reading it. Let me know.

Next week; Tandra Page 971 titled “Commitment.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.

Hanther

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