Tuesday, 21 October 2008

You kids keep offa my lawn!

due to the overwhelming thumbs up in response to my post telling you kids how to dress properly, I am now offering 'Comicbook morality in one easy lesson.' What you gotta do, right, is if you have a character and you want to send the reader a signal that we are not to take this person's actions as morally positive, you first must show him eating badly. Here is Rorschach with a can of cold beans:


Later when you want to show him ruthlessly breaking a criminal's fingers one by one in what would normally be unacceptable torture, don't worry because you will already have covered it by showing what a sloppy eater he is:


Now let us take a more recent example. It helps if the foodstuff is something that you kids don't like very much, like seafood. Pizza or burger is no good for this technique. Here is the Joker with some scampi:


And now we can show him blowing a guy away with impunity. You can take a low angle like you would with a hero blowing a villain away. It's all right because we already covered it with the yukky seafood:


This old fuddy duddy will no doubt have more useful advice for navigating those difficult parts of the comicbooks on another day. Keep watching, kids.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Campbell,

I suspect you do not follow the newspaper exploits of Spider-Man, but what do you make of the recent storyline involving sexy TV reporter Maria wolfing down a lobster with table manners so brutal they startle the garrulous J. Jonah?

http://joshreads.com/?cat=45

21 October 2008 2:14:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Does that mean my parents meant well when they brutally impose perfect table manners to me as a child? Did not want me to appear the juvenile delinquent, I suppose... Of course, now all this fine learning has disappeared - I asserted my wild adult status by learning to eat with my fingers. Very transgressive.

21 October 2008 3:26:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous John C said...

And yet the mass murderer in Watchmen is the snappy dresser with good table manners...

21 October 2008 7:29:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 October 2008 7:53:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Those spiderman dailies, in fact all the daily strips these days looks o bland, don't they.
**
And of course there were the kidney pies eaten by Gull and Netley in chapter four of From Hell, which were more disturbing in the script than on the printed page. I think I misunderstood their purpose

but I just realised that's how Alan and Dave kept us from suspecting Ozymandias. his manners were too nice.

21 October 2008 10:18:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

Which goes to prove your point. We understand, and even sympathise with someone who has shocking table manners when they do something else shocking, like killing in cold blood, because we suspect they don't know any better. But when a polite person who understands it is impolite to go around killing people decides to go on a murder spree, we are shocked.

To leap off onto another tangent, I have always found it amusing that the words barber and barbarian come from the same word. Barbarian means bearded man, so barbers are the true gatekeepers of civilisation. Bearded, or hairy men, in comics tend to be free from (or chafing under) civilisations rules, while messy eaters tend to be subverting (or imposing their own set onto) those rules.

Or maybe I am putting to much thought into a subject not really worth the effort.

21 October 2008 11:43:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Katherine said...

We understand, and even sympathise with someone who has shocking table manners when they do something else shocking, like killing in cold blood, because we suspect they don't know any better. But when a polite person who understands it is impolite to go around killing people decides to go on a murder spree, we are shocked.

And, probably, tempted to assume that he must have had a good reason for it. George Orwell once said "One can be friends with a murderer or a sodomite, but one cannot be friends with a man whose breath stinks -- habitually stinks, I mean." The whole section of The Road to Wigan Pier about manners as a signifier of class is very revealing.

22 October 2008 2:42:00 pm GMT-5  

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