Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Banality of Zombie Calvin

Bill Watterson came up with his own comic, and so can you.

No matter how heartfelt you think your message is, if you're delivering it through the mouths of unlicensed knockoffs of someone else's departed dream, you're no different than a Chinese ribbon manufacturer churning out twenty thousand versions of some kid taking a piss on the Dallas Cowboys logo.

You're also everything Calvin never was. You're the unseen antagonists who produced the Chewing magazine that he read as a bad example. You're every snotty asshole who tried to get permission to sell Hobbes dolls (which were supposed to be made by little kids in barred warehouses for forty cents/unit, then sold for $19.99 + tax at the local novelty shop) and was refused by Watterson. You're a lip-syncing, song-buying, ass-shaking Miley Cyrus, going through the motions of something you apparently never understood in the first place.

Unsurprisingly, you're also cramming your tiny bootlegs into the space necessary to fit on everyone's mobile screen, giving the shrinkage to your stolen version of Calvin's world that Watterson wouldn't allow newspaper editors to do to the real one. If more people had fought as hard as Watterson to get space for their dailies and Sundays, there would be more opportunities for today's artists; luckily for publishers, there are plenty of brainless fifth columnists willing to bound their thefts at six inches by four, less a few flash banners.

Here's a way to save some more time on the drawing, while still raping the most basic elements of the concepts you've ripped off: switch to playwright fanfic, and churn out a Romeo and Juliet imitation where Romeo falls for Mercutio instead of Juliet. Or go the other way, and do a new Brokeback Mountain where Heath joins Westboro Baptist Church after Jake's death, or maybe a Schindler's List where there is no Holocaust, only puppies.

Go shovel the walk, you little cheaters. You need to build some character.

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