Epic Tests

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Epic Tests

Postby Havoc » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:41 pm

I love the graphic design of this page. I also like the way it goes back to Red River, not only in the story, but in the look and feel of the page.

Back in Red River it was pretty clear that Brice was faking being badass. Yeah, right, a rich and soft kid like him was in the Marines? Bad move claiming that in front of Tony Ray, who takes his military service seriously, as the one thing in his life he can be proud of. It's sacred to him.

This time, though, with Brice admitting his wish to be a predator was putting on a false face, it rings even more false. It gives you the feeling that he could never have become the Tony Ray-like monster he says he wanted to become. I think he could have, though. I think that a lot of monsters in this world start with kids putting on false faces and then playing the game until it becomes real. That part that he never could have done it is Today's Brice thinking he was the same person then that he is now. Now he couldn't become a monster- under those exact circumstances. He probably thinks he's changed and never could become one under ANY circumstances. Perhaps. I wouldn't bet on it.

You know what? Looking back on Red River now, Brice was so eager to go down to the riverbank with a person he knew, or at least strongly suspected, of being a murderer, to be taught how to become one himself. Talk about a case of genre blindness. Hasn't he read one single crime or horror story? (Of course the characters in horror stories aren't supposed to know they're in a book, so a bit of genre blindness is acceptable, but even so.)

My point, if I have one, is I have to wonder whether in going to the river Brice actually WANTED to die. He had enough wherewithal to live a normal working life (as it turned out) and perhaps a happy one, but for a rich kid- down to his last hundred thousand dollars or so and a fancy car, and no more ever, with the guilt of having killed the one girl he liked (although again, that might have been what he felt only after she was gone, looking back; in our own minds we often tidy up our personal crime scenes). Yeah sure Mr. Hook-Handed Hitchhiker, I'll wander down the dark alley with you to see the cute puppy and have some candy. Suicide sounds more like what Soft Brice would have done than finding the courage and the technical savvy to go ahead and make some kind of a life for himself in the ashes.

If so, whatever happened at the river was enough to make Brice want to live instead of wanting to die. Which may be why Tony Ray let him live.

The problem with that is that Tony Ray doesn't seem to be the sort to make those kinds of moral judgments. He's got morality in other ways, but when it comes to killing I'm not going to make the mistake of making him Batman. He is not a hero, except in the sense that he is the main subject of Slop, which makes him hero or antihero kind of by literary definition. He is not a righteous vigilante. He is a set of impulses and appetites, and when somebody needs to die, they die. To quote William Munny, a character who reminds me much of Tony Ray, "deserving's got nothing to do with it."

I can see Brice going off with Tony Ray in a knowing, subconscious, or half-known attempt at suicide by proxy. Suicide, at least to the extent that he doesn't care whether he survives it, so he is willing to be as impossibly careless as to go down to the river with someone he believes has killed before. I can see Brice deciding, at the moment of crisis, that he doesn't want to die after all. But what in the name of hell could have happened to make Tony Ray decide to let him live? Saving the Pig's life, probably- Tony Ray does have a bit of loyalty to his combat buddies...

This is going to be good.
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Re: Epic Tests

Postby Jadugara » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:22 am

Heh heh! GOD Mulefoot you're SUCH a tease!!!

Seriously, though, nice page, and a wise move inching us ever closer to the main dish of this puzzle...

I almost didn't catch the re-use of panel art in the upper right corner, but I must say, as Havoc mentions, it really helps tie the page all together from past to the present by blending the style nicely into all the new art and angles of the old familiar faces....

Tell me,...did you love, or hate, rendering the smoke that wreathed part of Brice's upper torso in that middle section?

Also, nice shot of Tony-Ray's eye there... I always enjoy when you let us get that close...

Jadugara ^_^
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Re: Epic Tests

Postby Uncle » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:08 pm

Jadugara wrote:Also, nice shot of Tony-Ray's eye there... I always enjoy when you let us get that close...


And that's the ONLY way I'd wanna get that close to him.

Uncle.
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Re: Epic Tests

Postby neandernitz » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:51 pm

Uncle wrote:
Jadugara wrote:Also, nice shot of Tony-Ray's eye there... I always enjoy when you let us get that close...


And that's the ONLY way I'd wanna get that close to him.

Uncle.


Agreed. It's almost always a bad idea to look a hog in the eye; that puts you way too close to their muzzle. They have short legs and huge muscle mass; they can move a lot faster than you would ever imagine.....
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Re: Epic Tests

Postby Andrick » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:05 pm

Havoc wrote:... You know what? Looking back on Red River now, Brice was so eager to go down to the riverbank with a person he knew, or at least strongly suspected, of being a murderer, to be taught how to become one himself. Talk about a case of genre blindness. Hasn't he read one single crime or horror story? (Of course the characters in horror stories aren't supposed to know they're in a book, so a bit of genre blindness is acceptable, but even so.)...

Spoiled, rich-kid Brice reading books? Brice and the people he used to run with seem like the kind to know more about do-nothing party celebrities and "reality" tv shows about housewives and east coast sex-scenes than anything we'd deem important to survival. Don't know about their history, don't know about the current events changing their world, don't know how things actually work, don't know how the lights turn on or how the water comes to their tap or how food arrives on their plate and a host of other ignorances I see rampant in my own youth culture. Transposing such prevalent values into Mulefoot's work and compounding that with Brice's less-than-average displays of intelligence leads me to think that our date-rapist just blithely walked into the path of the freight truck named Tony Ray thinking that he wasn't going to be hurt by it. The current Brice is older, wiser, and more aware of just how clueless he was.

As for "genre-blindness" in general, open up the paper on any given day and you'll read at least one account of a crime where a victim exhibited such poor judgement. When other people grouse about their problems you, or other third parties, can clearly see the problem and the solution but it either never seems to occur to the aggrieved or the solution is deemed inactionable* because "it's more complicated than that." The audience has the luxuries of time, objectivity, and perspective bordering on omniscience that the characters (not unlike real people caught up in their own situations) do not have. That's why kids still walk down isolated "short-cuts" off of main streets, college girls get drunk at parties and separated from their friends, a homeowner gets out of bed to investigate a strange noise coming from the basement, and hook-ups for one night stands with sketchy strangers happen near continuously.

*not a real word but closest to what I wanted to convey.

I can hardly wait for the version of events that Brice remembers from what happened by the river past the last thing we were allowed to see.
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