It honestly fascinates me sometimes to stop and think about how long so many pop culture franchises have been around for.
Star Wars is going to turn 42 years old this year.
The first Scooby Doo cartoon came out in 1969.
Doctor Who and Star Trek came out in 1963 and 1966 respectively. They’ll both be 60 years old soon.
The original Godzilla came out in 1954.
Most of Marvel comics’ most iconic characters debuted in the 1960′s, with the exception of Captain America who’s been around since the early 40′s. While over at DC, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman made their debuts in 1938, 1939 and 1942 respectively.
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy have been around since 1928, 1934 and 1932.
Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have been around since 1940 (Though, I guess technically more like 1938?) and 1937, with the Looney Tunes in general having been a thing since 1930.
Sherlock Holmes has been around since 1887!
And I could go on!
And like, all of those franchises are still going on with new installments, new iterations and re-imaginings and new stories to this day. And while many of them have had their ups and downs in terms of popularity, they’ve all in some way remained visible, relevant aspects of pop culture for many, many years that pretty much everyone is at least aware of.
Generations of people have grown up with these series and characters, and new generations will continue to discover and enjoy them through re-releases and new installments for probably as long as society goes on. That’s the kind of staying power stories and iconic characters have.
And with the obvious exception of Sherlock Holmes, there are still people alive today who were there when all of these franchises came out, and grew up with them as children and are still following the new installments.
I can’t help but look at popular franchises that came out when I was a kid, like Pokémon and Power Rangers or Harry Potter, all of which are still going on with new installments and stories today, and wonder if new generations of kids are going to discover them through new installments 20, 40, 60, etc years from now, and people like me who’ve been fans since the beginning are going to be right here still enjoying them too.
And what new franchises that have started up this and next decade will endure for the rest of the century with them?
(CONTENT WARNINGS: Depictions of hospitals and hospital equipment, implied/ambiguous character death)
This comic is based on Mary Oliver’s poem “University Hospital, Boston”. I edited several lines from the poem into a comic script, and this angsty USUK comic was birthed from that script around four months since I first read this poem in class.
Thank you for sharing your creativity & imagination with the rest of the world. Through your characters & comics, you have give us hope, strength & perseverance. No matter young or old, you sparked up the little kid in everyone through your comics. You will forever live on as the greatest superhero of all times.