There is a morbid and contagious fascination for physical agression in human nature; maybe reminiscent of the time we inhabited caves. This curious tendency is acentuated whenever there's a vast group of people disputing something - a spheric object for instance. Sociologists and psychologists are delighted by this and write bundles of doctorate thesis about it.
However, a good brawl can be perfectly healthy. Cinema and television have given us some hilarious and memorable brawl scenes, but even the best of actors has his physical limitations. On the other hand, cartoon characters happily overcome this difficulty and offer us extreme violence scenes, such as those anvil in the head ones played by Bugs Bunny and company. Charles Chaplin would say: "how can you compete with them, if they don't even have to stop to cath their breath?". Everything's faster in 24 photograms per second...
In comic strips there are no boundaries. The characters will do anything that their author's imagination and ability imposes, with the advantage that it's all much slower. This allows the reader to savour each and every detail of these terrific fights, for the contenders are literally posing for us. Each strike is devastating and causes huge injuries, bruises and grimaces of pain in the opponent. Nevertheless, they'll always survive... and the fighting will always go on!
In the comic strip series Robin Dubois, by Turk and deGroot, the hero and his cheerful mates spend their days fighting the poor Nottingham sheriff and his soldiers. Violence here escalates into an unbearable level of violence and culminate in silent, lacerating scenes, reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa at his best.
And we couldn't forget about Astérix. Although the fighting scenes in the Gaulish village, everytime someone talks about fish, are, as a whole, well known, I chose two particular episodes. In the first one, Obélix stops an impetuous gladiator with a potent pound (notice the detail of the poor guy's hand); in the second one, Astérix gives a resounding slap to a haughty slave, too cocky about his sculptural look... He immediately disappears.
Cartoonist Marcel Gotlib is a champion when it comes to expression. The first strip is the initial stage of a fight of extreme violence for a lollipop that soon escalated into a fully-fledged war; in the second strip, a peaceful citizen is attacked by an evil-doer. The fists, notice the fists...
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