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  1. #1
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Grimdark we actually enjoy, or at least appreciate.

    Just some musing here. I don't like grimdark, especially not in superhero comics, and not much generally. But like any taste, it has fuzzy edges, and there is some such material I am actually able to appreciate. I thought I'd begin with what I think is the most evil number one single ever recorded.



    Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town is a mini-masterpiece of sick-mindedness, with its tale of a crippled war veteran fantasizing about his wife's affairs, and wishing he could move so he could murder her. It's evil. I wish I had thought of it.

    What makes this so deliciously evil is that from the listener's viewpoint, the narrator is in no position to know whether or not the adulteries he sings of are real or not. We can't be certain whether the woman is actually having these affairs, or whether they are entirely the fancies of a man who's in no condition to investigate them; all that he knows is that she is out of sight in places he cannot follow.

    What we do know is that he wants to murder her, and wishes that we were able to move so he could do the deed. That is pretty nasty in itself. Yes, of course, it's sexist, and treats women as property. The audience for which Mel Tillis originally wrote it apparently found nothing unusual about it. Violent sexual jealousy was a fact of life they accepted. (And they may as well; it isn't like there's anything that can be done about it.)

    What amuses me is that Kenny Rogers, Mr. Whitebread MOR Pop-Country Christmas Special himself, rose to fame with material like this. Later in his career, Rogers recorded Roger Bowling and Billy Ed Wheeler's Coward of the County, a song that's perhaps even more sick-minded than this one, but with a much more straightforward narrative that lacks Ruby's subtlety. But both pieces are a portrait of a nation whose mainstream tastes are sick in mind and soul, which is why I love them despite myself.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  2. #2
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    Stop helping promote that stupid, stupid "kewl" name!

    **grumbles about the kids on his lawn**
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  3. #3
    They call me Mr. Pip! the4thpip's Avatar
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    Is that a word now, then?
    My blog.

    We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given.
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  4. #4
    Say WHAT?!?!?!? FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    I despise the term "grimdark", but I can think of quite a few comics that I've enjoyed that fit into the category:

    Grimjack
    Grendel
    Marshall Law
    Gerber's Foolkiller mini
    O'Neil/Cowan's Question
    Ostrander's The Spectre
    Daredevil: Born Again

  5. #5
    Elder Member Charles RB's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, Grendel is great. I'm also a fan of Ennis & Spurrier's Crossed (Ennis' anything), and the heavier Dredd stories like Necropolis and Day Of Chaos. Those stories escalate - it's all slow burn, ramping up tension, and then a line is crossed and everything goes to hell in one instant and keeps going.
    "We must fight on!"
    "We'll die. We fight and we die, that's how it goes."
    "Then we die gloriously!"
    "There's an important word there, and it's not gloriously."
    - Only You Can Save Mankind

  6. #6
    They call me Mr. Pip! the4thpip's Avatar
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    I like W. Somerset Maugham's novels "The Magician" and "Of Human Bondage."
    My blog.

    We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given.
    - Desmond Tutu

    Getting married? Check http://www.fandgweddings.com/

  7. #7
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    the4thpip wonders:

    Is that a word now, then?
    I've only seen it here, and only on one other thread, but it seems that someone didn't care for the term "grim and gritty" and thought it needed an update to a type of name twenty years out of date.

    I don't like it! It's not fetch at all!
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  8. #8
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    I've only seen it here, and only on one other thread, but it seems that someone didn't care for the term "grim and gritty" and thought it needed an update to a type of name twenty years out of date.

    I don't like it! It's not fetch at all!
    You cannot resist the power of phonological simplification, fetcher!
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  9. #9
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    Or I could just follow it around changing it to Grimdork.
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  10. #10
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Stop trying to make "fetch" happen, Paradox!
    "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether I win or lose." - Peter David, on life

  11. #11
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGus View Post
    You cannot resist the power of phonological simplification, fetcher!
    What? Are you a 12 year old girl from Utah?

  12. #12
    Nyah! Paradox's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Michael P just makes me think about Lacey Chabert some more:

    Stop trying to make "fetch" happen, Paradox!
    At least SOMEONE gets my point!
    'Dox out.

    "But I think the difference is, when Democrats go crazy, they get shown the door. When Republicans go crazy they get appointed to the Science committee. " - Shawn Hopkins

    "Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard

    "And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega


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  13. #13
    Suspect Device Romero's Avatar
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    Grimlock was my favorite Dinobot.
    "There's not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They're both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they're cheering for you. You do that, and some day, they will. And that's how Sue Cs it."- Sue Sylvester, "Glee"

  14. #14
    Say WHAT?!?!?!? FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P View Post
    Stop trying to make "fetch" happen, Paradox!
    "Fetch" is streets ahead.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Here's another one.....

    The indie film John Dies at the End is, along with Mike Judge's poorly distributed masterpiece Idiocracy, one of the most successful attempts to bring the spirit of the Firesign Theatre to the screen. You know they know; there are several references dropped over the course of the film. But what we have here is a Firesign Theatre that's been updated for the 1990s, with extra darkness and gore.

    What I would compare it to is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure relocated to the world of William S. Burroughs. Other, similar comparisons will come to mind; an IMDB reviewer says "it's Dude, Where's My Car set in a David Lynch film."

    It's essentially a set of horror skits, tied together by recurring characters, and organized Heavy Metal style around the common theme of an apparently sentient alien drug called 'soy sauce', one that apparently gives its users the power to psychically see the future, and alter time. It would probably be unbearable but for the fact that the film's two protagonists smile nonchalantly in the face of all the various weird episodes the film throws at them. The film definitely hits the ground running as it moves from standard teen-comedy situations into its several weirdnesses.

    It's up on several video on demand services prior to its official release; the makers probably realize that it's going to be a cult film if at all, so may as well take it to the cult distribution channels first. If you don't mind a stiff dose of horror with your surreal comedy you might enjoy it.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

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