October 31st, 2007

toroko

comic book talk


(12:09:55 AM) Kevin: I'm not sure how I could edit my question to make it any clearer, aside from putting RANDOM IMPORTANT WORDS in ALL CAPS, which would be EXTREMELY ANNOYING.
(12:10:17 AM) Lisa: Well, SOME PEOPLE need EXTRA EMPHASIS, or else they'll FAIL at LIFE.
(12:10:58 AM) Kevin: SOME PEOPLE ONLY UNDERSTAND YOU IF YOU TALK LIKE A COMIC BOOK!!
(12:12:04 AM) Lisa: BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY READ, DUMMY!
(12:12:40 AM) Lisa: HOW CAN THEY BE EXPECTED TO KNOW ANYTHING ELSE?!?!
(12:13:26 AM) Kevin: ON THE FLIP SIDE, THIS MAKES OUR CONVERSATIONS CONSIDERABLY MORE EPIC.
(12:14:18 AM) Kevin: EPIC...LIKE YOUR FACE!!
(12:14:24 AM) Lisa: AND LIFE IS NOTHING IF WE CANNOT BE EPIC.
(12:15:01 AM) Lisa: EPIC TIES THE WORLD TOGETHER. EPIC WILL CURE CANCER. EPIC IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE!!
(12:15:20 AM) Kevin: GRAND, SWEEPING GENERALIZATION...WORDED TO BE DRAMATICALLY INSIGHTFUL.
(12:15:29 AM) Kevin: AGREED.
(12:16:04 AM) Lisa: LET US SWEEP INTO BATTLE AND LAY WASTE TO OUR ENEMIES.
(12:18:31 AM) Kevin: YES. LET US SHOW THEM HOW BITTER THE FRUIT OF THEIR TREACHERIES CAN BE!!
(12:19:07 AM) Lisa: I WILL NOT REST UNTIL I HAVE AVENGED MY FATHER.
(12:19:44 AM)
(12:20:29 AM) Kevin: THE ONLY THING YOU WILL AVENGE TONIGHT IS YOUR INSOLENCE!!
(12:20:52 AM) Kevin: ALSO, I AM BATMAN.
(12:21:09 AM) Kevin: I AM BATMAN!!!
(12:21:32 AM) Lisa: YOUR ARROGANCE WILL BE YOUR UNDOING, BATMAN.
(12:22:05 AM) Kevin: UNDONE? LIKE YOUR SHOELACES...OF EVIL.
(12:22:10 AM) Kevin: WHICH I WILL TIE.
(12:23:14 AM) Lisa: YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED, BATMAN.
(12:23:24 AM) Lisa: FOR I WEAR PULL-ON BOOTS.
(12:23:37 AM) Lisa: OF JUSTICE!!
(12:23:58 AM) Kevin: BOOTS...DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH.
(12:24:25 AM) Kevin: JUST WAIT UNTIL I REACH FOR THAT POLE--AS I NARRATE ALL OF MY ACTIONS--OUT LOUD....
(12:25:57 AM) Lisa: BUT YOU WILL NOT PREVAIL, FOR I CAN ALSO LEAP CLEAR OF YOUR STRIKE, NARRATING MY OWN ACTIONS IN THE PROCESS.
(12:26:41 AM) Kevin: UNF-
(12:26:58 AM) Lisa: BAM!
(12:27:11 AM) Kevin: SOCK!
  • Current Music
    Apostle of Hustle - 24 Robbers
dd2guy

revisiting the infancy gospel of thomas

So I've discovered Minus. It is a webcomic about an omnipotent little girl. Not just omnipotent in the realm of her imagination, but literally and absolutely omnipotent--she rewrites history, founds civilizations, bends reality, and pulls celestial bodies out of their place at a whim. And yet she goes through all the typical experiences of being a typical human girl, with the difference that she can do anything she wants, anything at all, when things do not go her way. Sometimes she's spiteful, like when she turns an entire parkful of humans into a tangle of vines when an ice cream man mistakes her for a boy. Sometimes she's benevolent, like when she saves the Earth from an asteroid by smacking it with a baseball bat. The beautiful soft-tone watercolors would evoke whimsy and playfulness if the core concept weren't so fundamentally unnerving. (Just try and honestly tell me this strip doesn't give you the chills.) Dance around it all you want, call it "magic" all you want, but there is no fudging around it--this girl is, in essence, a representation of God, or a reimagined analogue thereof. A solipsistic atheist might read this strip as nothing more than an innocent turn of myth, or an endearing study of the fantasies of omnipotence that many a imaginative, powerless young mind will have, but if you relate at all to her victims--which the story's proscibed point of view does not--the strip has extraordinarily ominous undertones. Does the strip suggest that we mortals are merely the playthings of a capricious, childlike deity? Or does it apotheosize the power of a child's imagination to the point where it suggests that the ability to play pretend puts us on the same footing as God? It is not uncommon for atheists to hold the belief that our power to conjure stories is the source of all gods and religions. For all its naive underpinnings, the comic cannot resist playing with that concept, subtly bringing Christianity and Greco-Roman paganism and elements of ancient Western European myth into what purports to nothing more than a cute little daydream series. Sorry, rezo, but after the Athena-like statues of Minus, the angel-winged imaginary friend, and the spirit world arc, I'm just not buying that this is nothing more than a silly little story about a girl with magic powers.

I am reminded more than a little of the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas, an unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) humorous account of the escapades of a young Jesus, and the impossibility of parenting or educating a child who is the creator of the universe. I can't decide whether this comic is purposeful hubris, or merely a children's story that just happened to be more profound than its cartoonist ever intended.