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The One You’ve Been Waiting For

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: Over the weekend, Ray revealed himself to be rude and Téodor was confused. But those are not why we’re here — today is why we’re running this series, in fact.

Today, ten years ago today, everything changed.

Ray, we all know, cheated (or at least greased) his way into the Fight. Heck, even at the end it was revealed he was ready to buy his way out if necessary, for why else would one keep nine grand in the Fite-Tight Elastoband of one’s hat¹? But today he changed when a Guaranteeed Honky-Tonk-Style Blowjob went south and Ray ripped a guy’s face off².

He found something new in himself that day; he didn’t like what he saw, he reverted on Day Two before going on a rampage, he fooled himself and even his father³, but for a period of time Ray was not merely a spoiled, rich4 coward who would desert a dying man. Today is the start of Ray truly being Blood of Champion.

  • Friday afternoon, about three minutes after that day’s post went live, I came across a really nice piece at The AV Club by Oliver Sava, who’s become one of the people I pay close attention to with respect to comics. In the weekly feature of the most significant new comic, Sava went online and found two comics he wanted to talk about; specifically, two comics by black women, which isn’t a creator profile you just trip over in print.

    Mildred Louis has been working on Agents of the Realm for just under two years; I remember hearing about it when it launched, looking over the first few pages, and promptly misplacing the link. Truth be told, a magical girl series is pretty far down my list of interests, but the work is frankly gorgeous and I’m putting it on my list for an archive binge the next time I’ve got a block of hours to spare.

    I was more interested in Nilah Magruder’s MFK because I hadn’t heard of it before (much like the golden age of TV, there are too many webcomics that I probably should be reading that I simply haven’t come across, or if I have, don’t have the time to keep up with), all the more distressing because a) it’s been running for four years, and b), this description sounds like it’s tailor-made for me:

    In a world of sleeping gods, a broken government, and a fragile peace held in the hands of the corrupt, one youth must find the strength to stand up against evil and save humanity.

    This story is not about that youth. [emphasis original]

    There is, for reals, nothing I’d rather read more than a story of somebody that is desperately trying to stay out of the way of Chosen Ones, apocalypses, oppressors, liberators, and self-appointed helpers, all of whom are in the damn way. This comic is why everybody that whines about inclusion and diversity in the creator ranks needs to shut the hell up: diverse creators don’t lead to the death of stories, they lead to different stories getting told.

    Every cliche and trope that you’re sick of? I can pretty much guarantee that there’s somebody out there who is telling a story that’s new and you’d like a lot — the thing is, they don’t look like you, sound like you, act like you, or come from a background like you. Seek them out because all of the sameness is really boring.

  • And sometimes, a creator that you do know decides to change things up just because, and I love them all the more for it. The latest case at Bad Machinery — the case that wasn’t a case — has wrapped up, and John Allison is today launching a story inspired by ’70s and ’80s takes on supernatural horror comics, Mordawwa: Queen of Hell in Kill It Before it Grow.

    Or, you know, Erin from Tackleford, if you care about such things. Allison makes a particular kind of comics (characterized by his playful language and love of the absurd being taken completely at face value), but he uses those comics to tell many different kinds of story.

    To summarize the last two years or so: Robert Cop. Destroy History. Expecting To Fly. Bobbins. Space Is The Place. And, in print, Giant Days — they may share a common DNA, but they exist to tell different kinds of stories. More than ten years back, I compared Allison to Frank Tashlin, and while that’s still a decent comparison I’m coming around to thinking of him more as Edgar Wright: one vision, common archetypes, a repertory cast of players, distinct stories. I’ll always go see one of Wright’s movies, and I will always click every day to see what Allison’s up to today.

Spam of the day:

This opportunity is set for those people who were
thinking of how to become rich and famous as a Son Of Doom of the great
Illuminati contact us now

Everybody knows about haiku — a Japanese poem of three lines, 17 syllables in a 5-7-5 pattern — but there are other forms of set numbers of lines and syllables. Here we have three lines, 42 syllables in a 14-19-9 pattern, and on the theme of batshit insane conspiracy theory. I think we have a new poetry form for the modern age.

¹ Why nine grand? Because he couldn’t cram in ten.

² I maintain that his grip was instinctively similar to that used when Ramses Luther tore off Fancy Mark Clancy’s entire middle. I also maintain that Ramses Luther was involved in taking down keys to one of the Jeeps.

³ Since small times Beef certainly used brains, but Ray didn’t use brawns … he used money.

4 I further maintain that the question Ray, Ray … you’a the rich boy, or you’a the jerk? reveals a false dichotomy. Pat is certainly the jerk, but so is Ray by all objective measures.

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