Well, I’ll be shrugged. The fluffer did it.
There’s been a huge movement of nostalgia in all forms of media lately; old B- and C-list movies, cartoons, and toys are suddenly being granted enormous franchises (or having them pulled as quietly as possible because they don’t live up to our rosy-colored memories. I’m looking at you, Terminator). This trend is another way for a lot of people to re-insert themselves into their childhood loves, and I am in no way saying that’s a negative thing, as I write this in the gentle light of my Animated Series Batmobile. It’s just that a lot has been developed in that vein, so I like to celebrate when we get something a little off the beaten path, or in the case of Skottie Young’s series – beaten within an inch of the path’s life.
This series has been the ultimate in counter choice entertainment. Every decision seems bent away from the happy machine’s traditional storytelling choices and just has incredible fun with your expectations. That’s why the jokes work You expect one thing and are presented with a completely different, and sometimes absurd, result which makes you laugh. This series has been nothing but that. Cute, little girl falls into a fairy tale land? You expect personal growth and improved power over three books that get less well written and thought out over the series (May the odds . . . blah blah) and, instead, we get a foul-mouthed demon taking all comers and repainting the world in shades of its own viscera. A woman in a child’s body wishes to feel like a woman and look her age in a comic book? We expect a sizzling hot, unattainable body image that seems to contort someone into an improbable stance (Spider-Woman, Spider-Woman, doing the things that no one with a spine could do.), and we get one of the funniest diabetes jokes that I’ve ever seen [Diabetes is a serious disease and should be taken seriously but a little laughter is always good. But, check your blood sugar, check it often. (pregnant pause) THERE’S JUST NO REASON NOT TO. Thanks, Wilford.)] when we’re presented with the reality of choices being applied to characters who tend to not be bound by consequence. In this issue Skottie once again goes against the grain of traditional storytelling, as well as his own story, with a move he joked about in the last issue, and even with the expectation in front of us, it seemed impossible that it happened,which makes it yet another great choice that challenges and entertains us. I won’t spoil this event yet, but be prepared for the final page. Hehe.
Part of what makes this series so great is the constant reminder of what this world should feel like with its saccharine-sweet environment that Gert continuously and hilariously demolishes time after time. The little background touches that remind us that there’s a whole world rooting against her remind me of the final minutes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, where the residents of Toontown spill out to stare in horror at the remains of Judge Doom. (Now who’s relying on nostalgia, eh?) There’s just something I find inexcusably entertaining about the sun and moon taking notice of the action on the ground of mortal, non-stellar beings and reacting to it honestly (i.e., Sun’s horror with the Giggle Giants, Moon’s delight at Gert’s situation on the final splash page of the last issue, and his reaction at the beginning of this one). The art provides a huge sense of the world and a great deal of the humor, especially in a sequence this issue, where Gert’s down for the count and we see how her guide handles the down time.
I’m consistently thrilled and tickled with each issue, and I hope that Young can keep turning expectations on their heads while parodying just about everything that makes a “good” story with a great one. I’m very interested to see how this new development will change the world and hope you’re all enjoying the ride, as well.
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