Saturday, January 21, 2017

Kamandi Challenge Special #1, Part One: "Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth!"

A 40 page giant spectacular?! Welp, there goes my whole day.

I have a theory and once I tell it, you will all be on board. You will all think, "Of course! Why didn't I see it first?!" You will honor me and laud me and celebrate January 21st as Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Day! It might be a bit awkward to celebrate though. Because you might be at a bar getting drunk and eating cake like people normally do when they celebrate notable days when somebody comes up and asks, "What are you celebrating?" Then you'll say, around a mouth stuffed with cake, "Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea!" Then they'll punch you in the face and scream, "Asshole!" before sweeping the rest of your cake onto the floor and shitting in it. "You like it so much, eat my shit, dickface!" they'll scream around the strained grunts of a typical bar patron's overly difficult bowel movement. Then you'll be all, "What the fuck just happened?" It's at that point that the Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Elves will burst from their hiding places and sing Ozzy Osbourne's "Mister Crowley" in falsetto. Then a kind stranger will have sex with you because everybody gets to have sex on Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Day! Except for people who are put off by singing elves and beshitted cake.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you my theory: Kamandi is not a boy at all. He's a prepubescent young girl. I mean she is! It's so fucking obvious. Just look at that cover. People think it's just Jack Kirby's style to draw effeminate long-haired boys who pal around with talking animals while trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world. But think about this! Why would DC insist on naming the comic book "Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth"? Because they didn't dare admit to the young boys they assumed they were selling the comic to that the main character was a girl. But just about all of Jack Kirby's characters were actually females. Again, why call the character "Klarion the Witch Boy"?! Why add the boy instead of calling him a warlock? Klarion was a fucking girl too! And don't get me started on Darkseid. I mean, you probably don't have to get me started because I'm assuming you've already guessed my conclusion!

The Kamandi Challenge begins by challenging readers to read Jack Kirby's original Kamandi origin story about her origin. Challenge accepted, DC Comics Challenge Headquarters! This will be the second challenge I've ever accepted from the DC Comics Challenge Headquarters. I hope it's not as dangerous as the first Challenge where they challenged you to believe Benjamin Franklin was both a president and on the fifty dollar bill and that Batman couldn't figure out one of the Riddler's riddles that basically amounted to spelling BOOBIES on a calculator! Unless the Benjamin Franklin bit was something I conflated with something else in the intervening thirty years. I need to reread DC Challenge! Challenge accepted!

Kamandi's origin story was written, drawn, and edited by Jack Kirby. I don't mind that he wrote and drew it. That makes sense. But he edited his own work? That's a recipe for Bad Writing Quiche! Nobody should ever be allowed to edit their own material! If most writers edited their own books, they would include the semen stains on the typewritten pages because they were essential to understanding the creative themes within the way too long work they spent years on. I say "semen stains" because being a male writer, I can only speak for what comes out of male writers when they masturbate during the non-writing down times. Some day I hope to learn what comes out of female writers when they pleasure themselves! I suppose I could find a video online but I don't want to ruin the surprise.

Chapter One of Kamandi's origin story is two pages long. Wow! That's almost as long as one of my novels! This guy is practically Shakespeare.

I can't tell if Doctor Canus is a family name or a derogatory slur.

This is what happens when you edit your own material. You think scrawling "ME!" really hugely across every other page is what the readers want. The readers are not your unchecked massive ego, Jack!

Assuming Doctor Canus is actually a doctor and not just a dog pretending to be a doctor like half the dogs I've ever met, what does he know about alien lifeforms? Why should Kamandi take his word for it that she shouldn't excite it? My guess is he's talking from experience. "Look at how scorched my proboscis is! This thing is dangerous! Also, for your own edification and the satiating of your curiosity, this creature does not seem to have an anus." Doctor Canus (hey! That has "anus" in it!) is a typical dog with low self-esteem so he has to pepper everything he says with multi-syllabic words.

It's called a boner, Ben Boxer.

Instead of saying he's learned to communicate with it, Doctor Canus says he "established some sort of contact with it." Christ, Doc. Do you have to molest every form of living being that lands on your pervert dog island? I assume the contact is sexual based on all the dirty talk on the previous pages about how the alien made Ben "grow" and then "reversed" the process and then, I'm assuming, took a nap.

When you edit yourself, "we" and "us" are different.

Doctor Canus might be able to talk and remove gall bladders now but he still talks like an idiot dog would probably talk. "Look! It is one thing! Now it is two things! Now it is many things! ROWF! ROWF! I'm a good boy! I scienced!"

Doctor Canus concludes that living energy is the ultimate life form. I should probably accept that this dog knows what he's talking about. Jack Kirby didn't spend a few hours at his desk with a pencil in his mouth thinking, "How do I convey to the reader that this talking dog really knows what he's talking about? Oh! A high collar! And make him a doctor!"

The living energy just wants to go home but it can't find it's way. Ultimate life form, my ass! I almost never forget my way home when I leave the house. I'm so much smarter than this living energy.

Me the Alien throws a temper tantrum because it's upset. It's tantrum takes the form of an electrical storm and begins killing all of Prince Tuftan's adorable royal tiger guards.

Doctor Canus uses the most tried and true disciplining tactics he knows. Lucky for the living energy's tender proboscis, the future doesn't have rolled up newspapers.

Doctor Canus explains that Me the Alien trusts him because he is a scientist. I wonder how it knows he's a scientist? I know I couldn't tell a cool dog from a nerdy dog.

Doctor Canus heads off with Me the Alien to examine the flying saucer it came in. That's probably a good place to start if you're looking to help it find it's way home.

Prince Tuftan and Kamandi look at each other covered in sand and dog shit and share a moment where they both laugh uproariously at how stupid the other one looks. "You're a walking, talking tiger covered in sand fleas and seaweed!" "Well, you're a young topless girl in hot pants and go-go boots!" Then they laugh and laugh! Afterward, Prince Tuftan makes sure to mention how he hasn't laughed in a long time because there's nothing remotely funny about the end of the world. Except maybe the idea that a dog can do science.

It turns out Prince Tuftan is also a teenager like Kamandi. It's hard to tell since he's a tiger.

While the two teens hang out on the beach and smoke the reefer, gorillas attack Tuftan's ship off-shore! Fucking monkeys! You know they're on the villainous side because they're monkeys. Sentient apes and gorillas always wind up being bad guys: Grodd, Mallah, probably other ones. Unless they have the possibility to fuck a hot chick like in Angel and the Ape and then they'll generally behave. One platoon of gorillas storm the island to capture Prince Tuftan and Kamandi.

The monkey men work for the Wayne Foundation. Of course it survived the apocalypse! I bet Bruce's brain is in an ape's body now.

Chapter Two ends with the reader discovering that these are "Gorilla Commandos" and the reader falls all over themselves with laughter at the pun. How old is this comic? Is he the first to use the Gorilla/guerrilla pun? Probably! I bet it's why people hold him in such high regard.

I just realized this entire series wasn't just written by Dan Didio. I guess he lost his hold on rewriting all of Jack Kirby's characters when DC flushed The New 52 down the Rebirth toilet.

I don't think I'm reaching when I say there's a whiff of subliminal sodomy in this dialogue. The lead gorilla's name is, after all, Ramjam.

The gorillas are only interested in kidnapping Prince Tuftan. They seem to think of the humans as animals. Thanks, Trump!

To be fair to the ape, he understood the regular English language as well as the language of violence.

Kamandi rushes off to fetch Doctor Canus. Usually it's the other way around, amirite?! No? Anyway, Kamandi is flipping the fuck out like anybody who was the last girl on Earth being threatened by anal sex fixated sentient apes. She's all, "Dog! Dog doctor! Doctor who is also a dog! Attack! Kill!" Doctor Canus is all, "Well, this is most unfortunate! I'm busy doing science and those damn apes are interrupting the sciencing!" And Kamandi is all, "Also they're killing tigers and kidnapping Prince Tuftan!" And Doctor Canus is all, "But I'm about to make a major science breakthrough with science! Can't those damn apes wait?!" And Kamandi is all, "They're going to sell the U.F.O. which I probably shouldn't call a U.F.O. because it's totally an alien space ship and not unexplained at all and currently not flying either." And Doctor Canus is all, "What? They're going to sell the ship?! They must be stopped!" Fucking scientists and their agendas and priorities. They don't care about human or tiger life at all. They just want to make some kind of major science breakthrough so they'll get a treat.

Doctor Canus explains to Kamandi that they'll make Me the Alien fight for them. But Kamandi is all, "Is that right? Should we really exploit it in such a manner?"

Don't tell me. I don't want to know. I mean, I sort of want to know. Okay fine. I desperately want to know!

The fourth chapter is called "Satan in the Sand!" With the exclamation point which I feel I need to explain since American copy editors would insist the exclamation point go on the inside of the quotes even if I were using it to express my own excitement of the name being "Satan in the Sand!" Maybe. I don't really care what copy editors say. I edit my own writing.

The Gorillas move in to take the space ship when they're confronted by Doctor Canus and Kamandi.

"I am a scientist! I am not defenseless!" "He's a witch! WITCH DOG! WIIIIIIITCH!"

Most of the gorillas, being typical post-world morons, are all, "A talking animal! It must be witchcraft! Spells! Sorcery! Fake news!" But Ramjam, being the leader which means he probably went to college and understands science and how it can be used to manipulate idiots by telling them science is full of bias and agendas, points out that anybody can teach an animal to talk. So easy! Also maybe the scientist was using ventriloquism!

To keep Ramjam from Of Mice and Menning Doctor Canus, Me the Alien takes the form of a giant sand giant which attacks the gorillas. Gorillas, being a superstitious and cowardly lot, mostly run off to complain about how arrogant Doctor Canus is. But Ramjam stands his ground and throws a grenade at the beast. He also calls the grenade a "demolition dumpling" which is so poetic that I just flipped off Robert Frost for wasting so much of my time.

When the Demolition Dumpling fails to defeat Me the Alien, Ramjam and the other gorillas surrender. Doctor Canus locks them in Me the Alien's spaceship. Me doesn't seem to suspect that perhaps he made a terrible deal. That's his fucking way home, not a prison for bone-headed apemen!

Prince Tuftan arrives and explains how he escaped: the apes forgot to kill the tigers. At first it sounds like Jack Kirby just ran out of room and was all, "Fuck it! The apes probably lose interest in things quickly and wandered off. Day saved!" But instead, Tuftan was just pointing out that the only safe tiger is a dead tiger. So he and his fuzzy guards slaughtered the ape-men. Doctor Canus and Kamandi congratulate him but don't shake his blood soaked hand. Instead they send the prisoners off with him. Kamandi chooses to stay on the island and help Doctor Canus make a body for Me the Alien. That seems weird. It's easier to make a body for an unknown life-form than to fix its space ship? Anyway, I'm particularly glad I don't have to read the second issue based on the title.

Yuck! It must be pretty disgusting to be a bigger surprise than World War II.

That's it for Part One! Be here whenever next time is for Part Two of Kamandi Challenge #1!

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