Jul 10, 2011

Hey Maniacs! Here's a Transformers quiz!

So there's this thing in Australia called "Mania". It's a kids' magazine, for kids. It has some comics in it, but it's mostly just a bunch of loosely disguised advertorials for various kids' properties. Here's a great example of one for you... a little Transformers quiz.

"Yaks" is short for "Maniacs". IE: Mania readers. And now you know!
 If you want the answers to the quiz you'll just have to hit the 'read more', because I've blacked them out here! Just be aware that there's a little rant before the answers!

So obviously Mania is kinda skirting the edges of what this blog is meant to be talking about. Comics and comics culture are often tied into kids' culture, but not always. So while talking about a Batman film, or a Wizard magazine, or the Maximum Carnage video game(s) might be perfectly legitimate, a kids' pop culture magazine (and especially an article sepcifically about a toy-based movie) is kinda pushing it.

But... there's also the fact that this magazine is sitting right where comics bloody-well should be.

You see here in Australia this  thing is being sold directly to children. It's being sold in supermarkets, alongside a host of other similar magazines. It has some (very limitted) comic content, and of course it talks about all kinds of things that include comic-based content. Here, take a look at the cover:

There's a total of seven items featured on this utter mess of a cover. About half of them are comic book characters! (TMNT, Green Lantern and Captain America.) Of the others, one is a toyline (Lego), one is wrestling and the other two have major ongoing comic book mythologies (Sonic and Transformers, the latter of which is also a toyline). Hell, Transformers even has the roots of its entire mythology in comic books!

So the question then is, what's gone wrong? Kids clearly still love and adore all these comic book characters. Kids still buy print media too -- Mania's at issue *127* here, if that's not print media success I don't know what is. So why aren't there comics sitting next to Mania on the supermarket shelves? Well... there are. There's Simpsons, Futurama, and even Disney comics. You can also get Archie digests in a lot of the places you can get Mania. But, none of those characters are on the cover of Mania!

So what's the problem with super heroes?

I dunno. I don't have any answers to that. I only have answers to a quiz about Transformers.

If you're a Transformers fan you probably don't need these answers, though. This quiz was aimed squarely at children. It asks questions that children have a reasonable chance of answering -- and ones that they might feel cool for knowing the answers to. It doesn't try and be clever by asking questions about stuff from 1984 that only strident long-term fans would get. Still, here's the answers for you anyway:

The answers were published upside down, I've tuned them
up the right way to make it easier for you to read them!
Oh incidentally... I scored 12 out of 10. How did you do?

--Andrew S.
(Seriously... why are there 12 questions when your score is out of 10? Get with the program, Mania!)

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