Friday, April 28, 2006

More Modern Comics
Just for my dad, who you may note from the previous post's comments I have also addicted to reading comics, I will now talk about the other two comic series my dear friend Erik has hooked us on, like some sort of intellectual crack dealer.

The first is The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius. Barry is sort of like Calvin, if Calvin had actually been a super genius outside of his own mind. He lives every 10-year-old boy's dream, inventing fabulous weapons and devices, battling aliens, traveling to other dimensions, turning people into gorillas and dinosaurs, helping sasquatch girls pass as human, seeing his crush all grown up into a woman wearing a fur bikini... You know, the usual. I was particularly amused by the forward to Vol. 4 (I think), in which a famous comic book person praises Judd Winick for having followed the old-school comic maxim that if you put a gorilla on the front of your comic book, people will buy it. I'm sure that was very intentional.

The other series is a bit less lighthearted, but shares some of the cynicism about human nature that Barry frequently displays: Transmetropolitan. Actually, the main character of Transmet, Spider Jerusalem, manages to blend extreme cynicism with a driving need change the world for the better. He uses his position as a well-known, popular journalist to basically browbeat the filthy masses of humanity in the City into opening their eyes and acting like they have brains for once, which is undoubtedly why so many of my friends like him so much. He's sort of the ultimate representative of the frustrated, politically, socially, economically aware intellectual liberal. Except he lives in a future society where people can turn themselves into aliens and he can actually get his hands on weapons like a bowel disruptor, which he then uses on the president. Not that any of us would ever be tempted to do a thing like that... Reading Transmet in the current political climate was a little bit eerie to me, but then, maybe it always has been. Kind of sad that its message can age so well. Recommended for all those who don't really think that all is right with the continuing conservative leanings of our country, not to mention the rest of the world.

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