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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Violent Love and the Greatest Comic Book That Never Was

I remember sitting in Court Street Diner about two or three weeks into my Freshman year (being a Freshman, this was before I realized it was cooler to go to Union Street Diner) and eavesdropping on two Sophomore girls in the booth across from me.

In-between the menial bullshit that Sophomore college girls tend to talk about (trust me: I basically am one) a little kernel of knowledge slipped through to my eavesdropping ear.

"Sophomore year in Scripps is absolutely brutal!" Girl A said.
"Jeez...that's why I am in " Girl B responded.

While sipping my absolutely delightful potato and cheese soup, I made a mental note not to ever forget that fact when my Sophomore year in Scripps rolled around.

Now as I sit here in my Film 201 class, sensations of that delightful soup long passed, I realized that I indeed forgot that fact.

Sophomore year is rather brutal.

News Writing is simple enough...until I actually have to do work. Film is fun...until I feel the uncontrollable urge to nap once the lights dim for a screening. Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction is right up my alley...until I get B's on all my papers. And Islam....well Islam just straight-up sucks all around.

This has not been the easiest quarter for me and as punishment for my boredom, Internet, you are now subject to more of my pop culture-related ramblings while I neglect Citizen Kane (too much culture, not enough pop for me)

- I thought I was done prattling on about AFI's new album, Crash Love, I really did. But something occurred to me as I was listening to its lyrics on my way to class today. Crash Love combines two concepts that go so well together they should be more synonymous with unity than PB&J: violence and infatuation. The word's Crash and Love suggest two seemingly conflicting ideas that are brought together through the magic of....ART!

Just listen to some of the violence and car-crash imagery on the record:
"If we run this light, take a little life, no one will care at all."
"With the light out and the night inside, the broken radio was playing suicide."
"Bleeding from pure love."

It's now come to my attention that I am in love with the dual concepts of love and violence as they pertain to one another. Just take a gander at the cover of one of my favorite albums of all time:

That is the cover of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance. The painting is called "Demolition Lovers" and was created by singer Gerard Way. "Demolition Lovers", eh? Sounds like it conforms to my fun little notion of violence and love intersecting. The blood on the two lovers faces seem splattered in the blood from their impact.

But you don't have to stick to the emo and hardcore arenas...

"And baby when it's love if it's not rough, it isn't fun." - Lady Gaga, bitches.

- I feel like I've fought destiny for a long time.

Destiny clearly wanted me to be a comic book nerd. And truthfully, I was an everything-else-nerd. Pokemon? Check. Star Wars? Check. Harry Potter? Check. Lord of the Rings? Check. Magic Cards? Check. Online RPGs? Check. Tabletop wargames? Check. But for some reason comics just felt like too big a leap for me, like heroin to a cocaine user.

But two summers ago I took that leap and read Watchmen. I loved it (doesn't everyone?). Then I tackled some Batman series. Then I read The Umbrella Academy. And now I'm on the prowl for more.

When I read these series, however, I detected that I had experienced it all before? Why is that?

Of course, comic book DNA is spread across all areas of pop culture (hehehe ew.), but it went even deeper than that. I've read these types of stories before.

Remember Animorphs? And don't lie, I KNOW you do. Everybody read Animorphs. Well K.A Applegate also wrote one of my favorite series of books ever after Animorphs called "Remnants."

Remnants was a 14-book series about a group of survivors' trials and tribulations in space in a post-Earth existence. It sounds cheesy and bad because it was cheesy and bad. But it only didn't work dramatically or commercially because it was written in the wrong medium. Remnants was a comic book series in the form of a novel. Remnants was graphic, pulpy, fast-moving, unrealistic, fun, all with a dash of deeper meaning - everything that a good comic book should be.

So your homework today, Internet, is to research Remnants (or read the whole series, which is available upon request to yours truly), contact K.A Applegate or Scholastic for the rights and then create the single greatest comic book series the world has ever seen.

Please do this...for me.


Cassie The Venomous said...

Yea, so--...

Marry me?

LMAO! Just kidding, but seriously, great entry.

Pretty much every band I love mix violence and love somehow. It's something I've just always been attracted to. The imagery and everything about it, just morbidly romantic stuff... Ace.

Have you ever listened to Thursday's album Full Collapse? Those A.F.I lyrics remind me of many of the lyrics in that album... a lot.


Just for accuracy's sake, the album cover is actually titled "Demolition Lovers II" ;}

Natalie DeBruin said...

I LOVED Animorphs. I started reading the Remnants series when they came out, but I never finished it (though it was infinitely better than Everworld). If there are only 14, I might have to look them up again ...

More to the point, I think you're right that they would make great graphic novels.

A.G.B said...

Cassie, I am honored that you called me on an MCR-related Snafu. If there is one soul on the Internet who can sniff out any MCR inaccuracies, it is yourself. I'm glad you liked my random thoughts brought on by a nice day, coffee and AFI.

Natalie, you must read Remnants. I will bring the books back whenever I go home next. They suck and you will hate them but they only take an hour to read tops (like any good comic book) but the whole overarching story is worth it in the end. Especially if it gives me one more soul on Earth to talk about it with. Because as far as I can tell right now I am the only one who has ever read it.