Dawn of the Exclamation Points!

Scott McCloud, DESTROY!!!

When exclamation points were king! Art by Scott McCloud! From his giant-sized book DESTROY!!! Which was loosely adapted into a film called Man of Steel!

Our family vacation is coming up soon! Looking forward to another annual road trip! Hopefully Boston and the cities along the way are worth the gas money! In all this looks to be a busy summer! I spent part of tonight researching, but now I can’t concentrate!

My current excited state isn’t just about getting away from it all! I’ve spent the last hour thinking entirely in exclamations! This is not normally a problem for me! I blame another website! As a longtime comic book fan, I like keeping up on comics sales figures! A comics news site called The Beat provides monthly updates that can be either entertaining or dry, depending on the writer! For DC Comics’ April 2013 writeup, the drier writer decided to try something different! Every sentence was a shout at the heart of the world! Every comment was a drill sergeant’s command! Suddenly the stats and comparisons were all about action! And danger! And thrills! And now I can’t stop using them myself! I’ll get him for this!

Mike Norton, Dennis Hopeless, The Answer

The Answer! His face is an exclamation point! As is his belt buckle! Art by Mike Norton! From the recent Dark Horse miniseries!

When I was a kid, all my comic books were filled with exclamation points! Sentences ending with periods were boring! Also, old printing techniques sometimes made the periods disappear! An exclamation point stood a better chance of not being zapped into the void! But mostly they made comics more exciting! To someone! Possibly to the editors!

Super-heroes didn’t have polite conversations back then! Everything they said was important! And bellowed! Sometimes in the middle of battle! While punching people and things at the same time! Because nothing enlivens a two-page fistfight like combatants barking long paragraphs at each other! With every sentence full of emphasis! And declarations! I seem to recall Steve Englehart’s West Coast Avengers was especially grating about this! You’d think characters such as Hank Pym or Hawkeye would be too cool to holler at everyone! But in that series apparently we were wrong! Or maybe that’s just how west-coast residents communicated in the ’80s! They couldn’t hear each other over all the surfing noises!

I’m not exactly a stranger to exclamation points! I still use them in the occasional comments and replies! Sometimes they just sound more congenial! Sometimes it’s a defense mechanism to leaven my deadpan humor! I try to use them sparingly! I think! Maybe I overdo it! I’m not exactly objective here! I may never know!

Any minute now the urge to exclaim will subside! I’m starting to irritating myself! I’m tired of thinking entirely in megaphone announcements! And I’m feeling tempted to write all future entries like this! As if! Everything! I! Say! Is! A! Bold! New! Manifesto! Someone! Please! Help! Me!

…I could really use that vacation right now.


2 responses

    • Thanks! Now if only I could find a way to spend more time preparing for our trip and maybe a little less time writing here…

      The show definitely had an impact on myself and my wife in childhood, though my son doesn’t get it. Kids these days. Hmph.


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