Comments for Fourth Age of Comics http://www.fourthageofcomics.com Wed, 22 Aug 2012 19:24:47 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.1 Comment on X-Men Unlimited #44: "Can They Suffer?" by Bruce Wayne http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=315#comment-1731 Bruce Wayne Wed, 22 Aug 2012 19:24:47 +0000 http://fourthage.wordpress.com/?p=315#comment-1731 This is why I hate animal rights groups. They believe harm towards people is a lesser crime than harm towards animals. What the HELL is wrong with you people? This is why I hate animal rights groups. They believe harm towards people is a lesser crime than harm towards animals. What the HELL is wrong with you people?

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by Zero Urrea http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-1717 Zero Urrea Wed, 15 Aug 2012 06:01:42 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-1717 Good lord...I didn't even consider that... Please excuse, if not disregard, my post. I was reading WAY too much into that work at the time. In retrospect, I feel kind of stupid for having written it at the time. I apologize. Good lord…I didn’t even consider that…

Please excuse, if not disregard, my post. I was reading WAY too much into that work at the time. In retrospect, I feel kind of stupid for having written it at the time. I apologize.

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by fourthage http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-1586 fourthage Mon, 02 Jul 2012 23:07:11 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-1586 I think a basic problem in trying to think about The Unfunnies is that it is a work of art that provokes profound disgust; that sense of disgust and corruption is very much a part of its message. We may note, too, that Millar's intentions, no matter how base (I hadn't heard that business about the Little Mermaid, though it reminds me of <a href="http://pbfcomics.com/211/ rel="nofollow">this PBF strip</a>), need not enter into our evaluation, and I'll readily admit that my disgust for this book and with Millar on the whole lately have surely influenced my criticism. Your point that Millar's comic is here, as in Wanted, exhibiting contempt for a very specific reader is well-taken: in Wanted especially, the reader who suffers the ultimate abuse is the one who read to the final page. If you threw the book down in disgust before that point, you're not the one getting fucked in the ass. It's easy to feel repulsion and hatred for the book, but hey, you're the one who read it, and that means some part of you reveled in this fictional abuse. The real horror of The Unfunnies is that Troy Hicks can't live on and torture his creations by himself. It takes two - him and you, the reader. You're his partner and just as guilty as he. I think a basic problem in trying to think about The Unfunnies is that it is a work of art that provokes profound disgust; that sense of disgust and corruption is very much a part of its message. We may note, too, that Millar’s intentions, no matter how base (I hadn’t heard that business about the Little Mermaid, though it reminds me of this PBF strip), need not enter into our evaluation, and I’ll readily admit that my disgust for this book and with Millar on the whole lately have surely influenced my criticism.

Your point that Millar’s comic is here, as in Wanted, exhibiting contempt for a very specific reader is well-taken: in Wanted especially, the reader who suffers the ultimate abuse is the one who read to the final page. If you threw the book down in disgust before that point, you’re not the one getting fucked in the ass. It’s easy to feel repulsion and hatred for the book, but hey, you’re the one who read it, and that means some part of you reveled in this fictional abuse.

The real horror of The Unfunnies is that Troy Hicks can’t live on and torture his creations by himself. It takes two – him and you, the reader. You’re his partner and just as guilty as he.

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Comment on Final Crisis Revisited: Final Crisis 6 & 7 by click here http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=275#comment-1443 click here Wed, 30 May 2012 23:13:47 +0000 http://fourthage.wordpress.com/?p=275#comment-1443 A interesting post right there mate . Thanks for it ! A interesting post right there mate . Thanks for it !

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Comment on Superman For the Animals by shabeer ahmed r http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=255#comment-1381 shabeer ahmed r Wed, 09 May 2012 11:39:18 +0000 http://fourthage.wordpress.com/?p=255#comment-1381 hi my name is naveen an i am 20 years old an i am looking for a chemicals that can make me as a spiderman what are the chemicals so pls send it by post to this address #332 m.s palya circles vidyaranayapura bangalore-560097 so pls an not any money pls with in 2 days i need this chemicals pls kindly pls sir/madam pls hi my name is naveen an i am 20 years old an i am looking for a chemicals that can make me as a spiderman what are the chemicals so pls send it by post to this address #332 m.s palya circles vidyaranayapura bangalore-560097 so pls an not any money pls with in 2 days i need this chemicals pls kindly pls sir/madam pls

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Comment on Supergod: “Messiahs dressed in human form” by Thought-Palaces or Complex Hells | Fourth Age of Comics http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=791#comment-676 Thought-Palaces or Complex Hells | Fourth Age of Comics Mon, 23 Jan 2012 02:01:55 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=791#comment-676 [...] and transcend its traumas, it’s wayward. Look at most humans who make it good; or, look at supergods. We slavishly reproduce our flaws and obsessions, and control of matter without mind just lets us [...] [...] and transcend its traumas, it’s wayward. Look at most humans who make it good; or, look at supergods. We slavishly reproduce our flaws and obsessions, and control of matter without mind just lets us [...]

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by Zero Urrea http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-267 Zero Urrea Sun, 04 Sep 2011 20:37:18 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-267 I heard about THE UNFUNNIES from its TVTropes Page and searched about a month before I finally came across it in a comic shop. I read it, saw just how messed it was (as your review, TVTropes and other sources promised) and reviewed it as well. Just like you said, it’s a world of brutality unleashed by its creator, that demented Troy Hicks. I still, in a way, appreciated the comic though for the interesting story idea as a horror fan. But yes, I was not amused and was plenty disgusted by the various problems the characters undergo all building up to Hicks’ (sadly) triumphant descent into his domain. I’ve recently taken an interest in Millar, looking at other works like WANTED and KICK-ASS. And I came back to this review and looked over your review again, particularly looking over the particularly heartfelt (and very much appreciated) comment about making our world more like theirs with meaning and morality. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I think that maybe THE UNFUNNIES does manage to conjure that message of “making a world less like ours” and such in a way. (I apologize for the wall of text that follows.) Particularly, reading THE UNFUNNIES made me think of cartoons in a similar manner, particularly HAPPY TREE FRIENDS. That’s also a saccharine world corrupted by violence befalling a collection of Care Bear pastiches in the most gruesome manner. It’s like the Internet people who brought it life also brought it death in both realistic and over-the-top movie manners of murder. Everyone can die in such a world, including the young baby Cub, and everyone can kill, including the PTSD-suffering Flippy. HTF is considered a pinnacle of Internet comedy despite the fact that the numerous deaths are often unpleasant but are clashed with the pastel colors, creative methods of execution and black comedic touches (like having one character’s organs arranged like Tetris blocks). THE UNFUNNIES brutally deconstructs such a concept that stuff like HTF puts forward. Some of these characters do suffer dark deaths in HTF-like manner (such as the method of how Birdseed Betty kills the landlord Jungle Jim when he offers to do godawful crap to her kids for money), but most of them just suffer in other cringe-worthy ways such as Pussywhisker’s plight. Troy Hicks’ penchant for sexual destruction is also thrown into the mix, demonizing the characters as degenerates that partake in his hellish vision of a “good life”. Suddenly, it stops being funny when little Chick-Chick-Chickie gets sniper-shot and Pussywhisker gets snipped. It’s all the meaningless violence accompanied by sickening, amoral smut that (for the most part) strips all possible humor (making the various sides of “eh, reader?” more annoying and creepy when Frosty Pete/Troy Hicks would utter it). You have the character of Troy Hicks out in the open, showing the sadistic bastard right then and there as the horror befalls Moe the Crow and others. Unlike Grant Morrison in ANIMAL MAN, who ultimately shines a hopeful light on the situation, Hicks doesn’t apologize or even try to reason with his creations beyond “I needed to get out of jail and I like killing”. He revels in watching others suffer and having various monsters already in-verse do their bad deeds. So in a way, there is contempt for the reader, albeit a reader who’d normally revel in HTF-like stuff. (You could possibly also say that it’s extended to cartoons that thrive on amusing injuries like Wile E. Coyote in his neverending quest to catch the Roadrunner.) However, my view of the work is probably a stretch at best and possibly missing the point at worst. I figure such as a concept was probably not involved in writing THE UNFUNNIES since Millar, more or less, said he wanted to do a work that would have the same effect as “a previously unseen Little Mermaid sequel where King Triton is held up for child abuse/pedophilia”. It’s also pretty much just a horror story about a creator suffering a breakdown and raising hell in his own created world. But reading it again, I started thinking about the implications, especially since I have seen HTF and other relatable programs/Internet shorts for a long time and have observed similar patterns in THE UNFUNNIES (not to mention how this is also the age of the “torture porn” film and so on). I am not trying to discredit your take on the comic as I agree with that aforementioned quote about meaning and morality, wherein the idea of corrupting a world more stable ours has disastrous consequences. From what I have seen of ANIMAL MAN #5, I can see the profound metafictional implications (brilliant review by the way) that make me, as both a reader and aspiring writer, ask some questions about the relationships with characters. It’s just that looking at this work once more made me question that same person/character relationship where the plight of the HTF character is seen as humorous right to the grisly end. By its end, THE UNFUNNIES leaves a bad aftertaste but also a profound thought, even if it is entirely due to timing and my experiences. I am sorry once again for the wall of text (and that it goes out of the domain of comics). Your review just really got me to thinking. I heard about THE UNFUNNIES from its TVTropes Page and searched about a month before I finally came across it in a comic shop. I read it, saw just how messed it was (as your review, TVTropes and other sources promised) and reviewed it as well. Just like you said, it’s a world of brutality unleashed by its creator, that demented Troy Hicks. I still, in a way, appreciated the comic though for the interesting story idea as a horror fan. But yes, I was not amused and was plenty disgusted by the various problems the characters undergo all building up to Hicks’ (sadly) triumphant descent into his domain.

I’ve recently taken an interest in Millar, looking at other works like WANTED and KICK-ASS. And I came back to this review and looked over your review again, particularly looking over the particularly heartfelt (and very much appreciated) comment about making our world more like theirs with meaning and morality. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I think that maybe THE UNFUNNIES does manage to conjure that message of “making a world less like ours” and such in a way. (I apologize for the wall of text that follows.)

Particularly, reading THE UNFUNNIES made me think of cartoons in a similar manner, particularly HAPPY TREE FRIENDS. That’s also a saccharine world corrupted by violence befalling a collection of Care Bear pastiches in the most gruesome manner. It’s like the Internet people who brought it life also brought it death in both realistic and over-the-top movie manners of murder. Everyone can die in such a world, including the young baby Cub, and everyone can kill, including the PTSD-suffering Flippy. HTF is considered a pinnacle of Internet comedy despite the fact that the numerous deaths are often unpleasant but are clashed with the pastel colors, creative methods of execution and black comedic touches (like having one character’s organs arranged like Tetris blocks).

THE UNFUNNIES brutally deconstructs such a concept that stuff like HTF puts forward. Some of these characters do suffer dark deaths in HTF-like manner (such as the method of how Birdseed Betty kills the landlord Jungle Jim when he offers to do godawful crap to her kids for money), but most of them just suffer in other cringe-worthy ways such as Pussywhisker’s plight. Troy Hicks’ penchant for sexual destruction is also thrown into the mix, demonizing the characters as degenerates that partake in his hellish vision of a “good life”. Suddenly, it stops being funny when little Chick-Chick-Chickie gets sniper-shot and Pussywhisker gets snipped. It’s all the meaningless violence accompanied by sickening, amoral smut that (for the most part) strips all possible humor (making the various sides of “eh, reader?” more annoying and creepy when Frosty Pete/Troy Hicks would utter it).

You have the character of Troy Hicks out in the open, showing the sadistic bastard right then and there as the horror befalls Moe the Crow and others. Unlike Grant Morrison in ANIMAL MAN, who ultimately shines a hopeful light on the situation, Hicks doesn’t apologize or even try to reason with his creations beyond “I needed to get out of jail and I like killing”. He revels in watching others suffer and having various monsters already in-verse do their bad deeds. So in a way, there is contempt for the reader, albeit a reader who’d normally revel in HTF-like stuff. (You could possibly also say that it’s extended to cartoons that thrive on amusing injuries like Wile E. Coyote in his neverending quest to catch the Roadrunner.)

However, my view of the work is probably a stretch at best and possibly missing the point at worst. I figure such as a concept was probably not involved in writing THE UNFUNNIES since Millar, more or less, said he wanted to do a work that would have the same effect as “a previously unseen Little Mermaid sequel where King Triton is held up for child abuse/pedophilia”. It’s also pretty much just a horror story about a creator suffering a breakdown and raising hell in his own created world. But reading it again, I started thinking about the implications, especially since I have seen HTF and other relatable programs/Internet shorts for a long time and have observed similar patterns in THE UNFUNNIES (not to mention how this is also the age of the “torture porn” film and so on).

I am not trying to discredit your take on the comic as I agree with that aforementioned quote about meaning and morality, wherein the idea of corrupting a world more stable ours has disastrous consequences. From what I have seen of ANIMAL MAN #5, I can see the profound metafictional implications (brilliant review by the way) that make me, as both a reader and aspiring writer, ask some questions about the relationships with characters. It’s just that looking at this work once more made me question that same person/character relationship where the plight of the HTF character is seen as humorous right to the grisly end. By its end, THE UNFUNNIES leaves a bad aftertaste but also a profound thought, even if it is entirely due to timing and my experiences.

I am sorry once again for the wall of text (and that it goes out of the domain of comics). Your review just really got me to thinking.

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by Ibrahim Ng http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-260 Ibrahim Ng Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:50:48 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-260 No, I think you've given Millar credit for the work you enjoyed, which is as fair as anyone can be. He has a certain approach, applied to varying degrees of intensity. Sometimes it works and sometimes it's just embarrassing. I didn't buy WANTED or THE UNFUNNIES, I read them in the bookstore. But I did buy everything else he wrote. I don't think Millar's approach is necessarily debasing if it's executed with a level of respect and understanding towards the characters involved. Millar understood that Spidey is a hard-luck hero and the worse Spidey's luck is, the more it means when Spider-Man triumphs over all the horrible things Millar can throw at him. It's the same with ULTIMATE X-MEN: the X-Men withstand torture, humiliation, being forced to murder, but they pull through with their morals and integrity intact, and Millar's methods make both Spider-Man and the X-Men seem more heroic. But those were corporate icons. Millar couldn't get away with going as far as THE UNFUNNIES did (nor should he have been permitted to with company-owned superheroes). Anyway. I was very moved by your words: " ... it is not only cruel but stupid to try to make our characters and their world more like ours; that, on the contrary, we should make our world more like theirs. We should not make them more amoral, but ourselves more moral; not make their lives more meaningless, but our own more meaningful; not treat them mercilessly, but be more merciful to them and ourselves." You just summed up why I love superheroes perfectly. No, I think you’ve given Millar credit for the work you enjoyed, which is as fair as anyone can be. He has a certain approach, applied to varying degrees of intensity. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s just embarrassing. I didn’t buy WANTED or THE UNFUNNIES, I read them in the bookstore. But I did buy everything else he wrote.

I don’t think Millar’s approach is necessarily debasing if it’s executed with a level of respect and understanding towards the characters involved. Millar understood that Spidey is a hard-luck hero and the worse Spidey’s luck is, the more it means when Spider-Man triumphs over all the horrible things Millar can throw at him. It’s the same with ULTIMATE X-MEN: the X-Men withstand torture, humiliation, being forced to murder, but they pull through with their morals and integrity intact, and Millar’s methods make both Spider-Man and the X-Men seem more heroic. But those were corporate icons. Millar couldn’t get away with going as far as THE UNFUNNIES did (nor should he have been permitted to with company-owned superheroes).

Anyway. I was very moved by your words: ” … it is not only cruel but stupid to try to make our characters and their world more like ours; that, on the contrary, we should make our world more like theirs. We should not make them more amoral, but ourselves more moral; not make their lives more meaningless, but our own more meaningful; not treat them mercilessly, but be more merciful to them and ourselves.” You just summed up why I love superheroes perfectly.

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by fourthage http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-253 fourthage Sun, 28 Aug 2011 22:34:11 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-253 Let me say firstly that I would never suggest that an author "shouldn't" write something. But I am fully willing to evaluate a piece of work so negatively that I might wish I had never bothered to experience it. As you say, The Unfunnies, like Wanted, and like some of Millar's other work, is predicated on injecting cynicism, cruelty, and bleakness into the world of superheroes. He is not alone in doing this, of course, and most comics since the 80's have been influenced by this strategy (too influenced, I would say); nor would I regard him as the most original or adept at it: Moore's Pogo tribute in Swamp Thing 32 from 1985 in many ways prefigures both Animal Man 5 (the Wile E. Coyote issue) and The Unfunnies. Millar is the most notable modern practitioner of this, though, and has in large part made his career on writing comics that push it to greater and greater extremes. Sure, this is Millar playing with his aesthetic and pushing it to newer, more ridiculous heights, but I find it an unpleasant, repulsive aesthetic experience. What's more, I see nothing thoughtful, clever, or redeeming about it. It seems to degenerate into brutality towards the characters and the readers, as so many of his other books do. Perhaps I am not giving Millar enough credit. Whereas most comic writers abuse characters in this manner that has become so typical because it is an easy way to tell a story that will titillate readers, Millar approaches the admission that abusing and debasing our fictions like this is in some way like abusing and debasing ourselves. Perhaps what he's really playing with is how much of this stuff we the readers are willing to take; and, based on his popularity, the answer seems to be quite a lot. Let me say firstly that I would never suggest that an author “shouldn’t” write something. But I am fully willing to evaluate a piece of work so negatively that I might wish I had never bothered to experience it.

As you say, The Unfunnies, like Wanted, and like some of Millar’s other work, is predicated on injecting cynicism, cruelty, and bleakness into the world of superheroes. He is not alone in doing this, of course, and most comics since the 80′s have been influenced by this strategy (too influenced, I would say); nor would I regard him as the most original or adept at it: Moore’s Pogo tribute in Swamp Thing 32 from 1985 in many ways prefigures both Animal Man 5 (the Wile E. Coyote issue) and The Unfunnies. Millar is the most notable modern practitioner of this, though, and has in large part made his career on writing comics that push it to greater and greater extremes. Sure, this is Millar playing with his aesthetic and pushing it to newer, more ridiculous heights, but I find it an unpleasant, repulsive aesthetic experience. What’s more, I see nothing thoughtful, clever, or redeeming about it. It seems to degenerate into brutality towards the characters and the readers, as so many of his other books do.

Perhaps I am not giving Millar enough credit. Whereas most comic writers abuse characters in this manner that has become so typical because it is an easy way to tell a story that will titillate readers, Millar approaches the admission that abusing and debasing our fictions like this is in some way like abusing and debasing ourselves. Perhaps what he’s really playing with is how much of this stuff we the readers are willing to take; and, based on his popularity, the answer seems to be quite a lot.

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Comment on “The crow was sucking cock for a reason”: The Unfunnies by Ibrahim Ng http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-245 Ibrahim Ng Thu, 25 Aug 2011 19:59:27 +0000 http://www.fourthageofcomics.com/?p=827#comment-245 I agree and disagree. I did not like THE UNFUNNIES one bit. However, I can see what Millar meant for: his most noteworthy comics (THE AUTHORITY, ULTIMATES, ULTIMATE X-MEN, MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN) have injected the cynicism, cruelty and bleakness of real life into a superhero universe, and it's his X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN work that show our heroes living in a hateful world often dominated by nasty people with shocking power and horrifying capacity to misuse it terribly. But he uses this effectively in X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN: because the heroes inhabit such a difficult existence, their optimism, heroism, compassion and valour are significant and meaningful. THE UNFUNNIES has Millar taking his aesthetic to the farthest it can go: injecting every unpleasant, unhappy, horrific, cruel inhumanity he can imagine into a previously innocent existence. ANIMAL MAN explored what would happen if a writer with morality and integrity interacted with fictional creations. THE UNFUNNIES explores what happens if a writer with nothing but a hateful desire to see others suffer for his amusement interacted with his creations. I don't like it, but just because I don't want to listen to what Millar has to say doesn't mean he shouldn't say it, or that he hasn't said other, more meaningful and worthwhile things. Like WANTED, I'd categorize THE UNFUNNIES as being unsuited to my tastes, but I wouldn't indict Millar for it since he's written many things that serve to counter and stand against THE UNFUNNIES. I agree and disagree. I did not like THE UNFUNNIES one bit. However, I can see what Millar meant for: his most noteworthy comics (THE AUTHORITY, ULTIMATES, ULTIMATE X-MEN, MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN) have injected the cynicism, cruelty and bleakness of real life into a superhero universe, and it’s his X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN work that show our heroes living in a hateful world often dominated by nasty people with shocking power and horrifying capacity to misuse it terribly. But he uses this effectively in X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN: because the heroes inhabit such a difficult existence, their optimism, heroism, compassion and valour are significant and meaningful.

THE UNFUNNIES has Millar taking his aesthetic to the farthest it can go: injecting every unpleasant, unhappy, horrific, cruel inhumanity he can imagine into a previously innocent existence. ANIMAL MAN explored what would happen if a writer with morality and integrity interacted with fictional creations. THE UNFUNNIES explores what happens if a writer with nothing but a hateful desire to see others suffer for his amusement interacted with his creations.

I don’t like it, but just because I don’t want to listen to what Millar has to say doesn’t mean he shouldn’t say it, or that he hasn’t said other, more meaningful and worthwhile things. Like WANTED, I’d categorize THE UNFUNNIES as being unsuited to my tastes, but I wouldn’t indict Millar for it since he’s written many things that serve to counter and stand against THE UNFUNNIES.

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