Comic Updated July 30 2008


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm writing this at six AM. I understand that there are people who are awake at six AM on a regular, if not entirely voluntary, basis. I am not one of them. Six AM is a dead time; it belongs to joggers, garbage collectors, serial killers, and whatever career crossover -- possibly significant -- that occurs between them.

It is incorrect to say that nothing happens at six AM. Infomercials happen. Sick people who can't get back to sleep stumble over objects in their underlit hallways. I have just learned that, on Boomerang, "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" airs at six AM, no doubt to pick up some of that sweet six AM Infomercial demographic, already half-hypnotized and vulnerable to suggestion.

Captain Planet. In the pantheon of cartoons that sucked, it wears the  great, steamy crown of poop. I believe there's a special place in Hell reserved for the makers of unsubtle 'message' cartoons, and Captain Planet's messages could be seen by the naked eye on a hazy day in the Andromeda galaxy. I'll bet it was a LOT of fun being a Planeteer -- constantly re-flushing Lo-Flo toilets, screechy admonishments from across the hall to turn those lights out, Gaia popping out of nowhere to check if you're REALLY watching that television, or if you left it on and walked away.

If Captain Planet had REALLY been concerned about the environment, there's about a million animation cels they could've saved. I'm just sayin'.

Today's comic is brought to you by the Spookingtons' E-comic Store -- support the arts at the banner under the comic!


Monday, July 28, 2008

"Fat Princess." An original game coming to the Playstation network in which you must rescue your beloved princess  from an enemy dungeon, with the catch that the enemy's been feeding her large quantities of food in order to make her more difficult to move. In other words, awesome.

Also, controversial! As seen here -- -- the game has enraged a number of feminist bloggers, proving again the ancient axiom: "Feminist bloggers are very easy to enrage."

Specifically, they're upset that the gameplay revolves around the objectification of a woman, acting in a defenseless, powerless, will-less capacity  (the ol' damsel-in-distress archetype), further exploited by the fact that the character's obesity is a crucial part of the central gameplay mechanic, reinforcing negative ideas about obese women in general.

In other words, you don't wanna invite a feminist blogger to a co-ed mixer. 

I'm not saying they don't have valid points. They do. I don't particularly CARE about most of them, but a quick glance both around their websites and down my shorts has revealed that I'm hardly their target audience. Really, though, I don't honestly see this game doing any damage to the women's movement.

For a start, okay, she's a fat princess. I might note, however, that she's a fat, BELOVED princess. Nobody disparages her for her obesity -- she is, in fact, the most important component of the narrative. Everybody wants her! Is she an underdeveloped character? Sure -- on the other hand, I would urge those believing this to be an unfair treatment to find a DEVELOPED character in the game.

Is she less-attractive for being fat? No. The character designs are entirely super-deformed, so it's safe to say that her sexuality isn't suffering; nobody in the game has any. She's cute as a button, like an overstuffed gerbil.

Simply put, there are no social issues in the game stemming from her obesity, only matters of physics. You can't call it fat-slamming just because a fat character EXISTS.

That she's a damsel in distress? Really, now. If you're gonna get your panties (or briefs!) in a twist about THAT, you've got a serious backlog of politically-incorrect material to rip apart, starting with cave paintings. It goes with the fairy-tale territory.

Anyways, I'm not trying to get feminists' goats, here -- Seriously! They're mean! -- but I don't see this one being a winning battle for 'em. Any damage potentially done to womankind by this game pales in comparison to the damage done by feminist bloggers in proliferating an imagery of feminists as being excessively cranky. 

As a final note, I have to point out that one of the bloggers cited in the above article recommended, as a solution to creating an inoffensive game utilizing the same mechanics, replacing the fat princess with a very heavy treasure chest. She dismisses this idea with the statement:

Oh, but that’s not as “cute” as cake and fat chicks. Right..

That statement, if you can't read internet, is currently dripping sarcasm on your monitor. Sorry about that. Thing is, it's totally correct. A treasure chest COMPLETELY lacks personality. I mean, the make-objects-harder-to-move bit is a neat game concept, but the year isn't 1984 anymore, and it aint standing on its own. If you're buying "Fat Princess," I'm willing to bet you're buying it because it IS pleasingly cute. I don't see "Heavy Chest" being marketable.

Er... in any way that would still be acceptable by feminist standards.


photo: Rachel Miller

copyright 2008 Spookingtons

Put on a shiny, sweaty trenchcoat; Daniel Hong bids us enter the Matrix with this snappy icon!

Crash-dieting works for Hsu and Chan, courtesy of Mike C.!

Sarah Miller brings us our favorite radioactive chipmunk as viewed in exotic Japan, where his image is used to market fish products to schoolchildren!

Max Huffman brings us a moody representation of the Tanakas' arch-nemesis, Satoshi Yamamoto!

Chris Matten presents a design of straightforward intensity! The overtly childlike charm of this icon submitted by the reader who identified herself as 7-year-old "Gail" is, shall we say, suspicious. But entries are a bit thin, yet, so... This spectacular -- and downright hard-boiled -- VM icon was submitted by Roberto Caballero. The reader known only as Osakaism presents us with the VERY iconic Gila Mobster!