June 21st, 2007

The Zombie

Theme? What theme?

June 19 -  You know, there is some sort of larger theme running through The WOMP-Blog this month.  Yes, even bigger than pantslessness.  Just exactly what that theme is has eluded me, so far, but I am starting to feel that there is one.  That's another part of The Curse of Being John, I guess; I look for symbolism in everything, hoping to turn that proverbial rock over to find a valuable revelation.  How I intend to do that with stories about piles of old photocopies and bare-bottomed comics characters, I have no idea.  But I'll try anyway.  I'm just crazy that way...and I'm infecting all of you with that craziness!  Sorry.  For example, poor O.F.O.WOMP Derek J. Anderson got swept up with the drama of yesterday's post (about photocopies), providing this comment via LiveJournal -

I suppose you could scan in all the art -- but oh, the time, the TIME!

Actually, I'm leaning toward an interesting, if expensive, solution.  Step One; scan all artwork that hasn't already been scanned (oh, the time, the TIME!).  Step Two; gather all photocopies into groupings of, say, twenty to thirty pages.  Step Three; draw a "cover."  Step Four; with new photocopies of enough "covers," have them "bound" at the local print shop (with that rubbery stuff on the edge, like notepads).  Step Five; give them away to kids at conventions and such.  The End.  There are a couple of problems with this plan (some copies are pretty boring...and I don't have money to spend on something like that), but it's still at the top of the list.  Speaking of "the list," another CBGXtra.com reader has chimed in on the subject of my list of pantsless comic book characters.  You can read that comment by clicking HERE, but, in a nutshell, Psicelt (aka Matthew Mullins) mentions that only two of Disney's Three Little Pigs were pantsless, as are a lot of Warner animated characters and Fritz The Cat (see June 7th entry). He did, however, provide the first pantsless character NOT already on my "master list;" Jean Grey as seen in Uncanny X-Men #136!  Now, as promised, here is today's Pantsless Comic Book Character of The Day - Cerebus!

The Zombie

A frank discussion of...um...repressed...uh....

June 20 -  Pantslessness.  As uncomfortable as I am with the subject, I've been thinking about it again.  I don't know what that says about me, but, well...there it is.  I have been looking over my "master list" of pantsless comics characters, and I've been struck by many little revelations, but none have been more...umm...revealing than the obvious concept of repressed sexuality.  Of these characters (more than sixty in total), only a tiny handful have been traditionally depicted as having, er...something worth covering, and only one of those, Dr. Manhattan, is male.  Otherwise, these characters are virtual dolls, sexless playthings that represent only the traditional stereotypes of masculinity and femininity.  Gorilla Grodd, for example, really could be some sort of brilliant, angry, female great-ape who insists on being addressed as a male.  How would we know?  For all the Lotharioic activities of velvet-tongued Pepe Le Pew, comic books provide little evidence that Pepe isn't really a girl skunk with a deep voice and a non-traditional concept of "love" (he/she is French, non?).  These pantsless characters are just playing roles, roles which are rooted deeply in what we, the readers, have come to accept as female or male.  That's interesting, isn't it?  Also, I can't put my finger on it (a phrase which already seems lewd), but it seems like the pantsless women characters may actually be more, uh...womanly than the pantsless men are manly.  Not to put too fine a point on it (another suddenly-lewd phrase), but cartoonists can more easily contrive ways to artistically disguise, uh...femaleness.  This leads to the assumption that they are anatomically correct, but always strategically standing behind leaves or well-placed shadows.  All of this speaks to the repressed sexuality that critics point to, time and time again, to "prove" that comics are nothing more than childish crap.  Interestingly, the most lauded comic books of all time, from Watchmen to Blankets, deal directly with the concepts of sex and sexuality.  I'd hate to think that we accept these works as special merely because they cross that pantslessness line, but the thought did occur to me.  Too often, something which is shocking and unconventional is called "great" just because reviewers don't want to seem "square."  But, really, I made up my own mind about those classic comics, and only later found out that everyone else agreed with me.  Still, it is hard to find one of those "classics" which does not touch upon, if not fully explore, the subject of sexuality.  Hmm.  More tomorrow, I hope.  Now, it's time to get out of here, after posting your latest Pantsless Comic Book Character of The Day - Daisy Duck!