venerdì 18 aprile 2014

Foff Comics 5 - Rage Against The Casual Machine

Starring: Melfist, Hellringer, Cupido Franky, a filthy casual
Script: Yes, Hellringer has rings. Is a LotR fan. If you didn't notice his ring theme, just walk away. In circles.
Pencils: Falconpunching stupid people only happens in my mind but feels so good
Inks: next episode is probably going to be Cupido Franky: Origins but I wouldn't bet on it either.
Colours: I still want a Red Power Ring of Rage from Red Lanterns. And all the other colors too, Kyle Rayner style.
Suggested Music: I've seen Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and now I weep for Kittan. Rest in peace, you glorious banana-star mecha pilot.

Time for rants, everyone.
Ok, this is not intended to be a proclamation of fantasy-indulging elitarism. I am nobody to tell people what the standard for enjoying fantasy is, but I can at least say my opinion.
I'm on the internet, and having an opinion here is dangerous business, but I will try anyway.

The worst consequence of having an opinion on the internet: cyberbulling.
Just reverse the old people into teenagers and the realism gets indistinguishable from real world.

I'm quite fed up with people claiming nonsense about being avid fantasy fans with this kind of pitiful levels of abnegation to such a vast and complex genre. It's, as Hellringer says in a part of the comic you can't read, "like fancying yourself a heavy drinker while only drinking coke and bottled water". I don't want everybody to follow slavishly the steps I've made into this world of imagination, but I'd like at least to hear people being honest on their level of commitment. If you only like Harry Potter you are nowhere near the fantasy fan. You are still stranded on a little, secluded island where fanfictions grow unrestrained and sap your sanity and good tastes. It's a good book series until the last one (which is outright trash), but fairly overrated, with a fuckton of big plotholes and a recent comeback with a movie based on a small book that sound just like Peter Jackson. Let's not even begin with the fact that Harry Potter's character was already created before this and it's the least original thing in the whole series. Thank you for Books of Magic, Neil Gaiman.

Fuck this sunny weather anyway.

If you are just a casual, say you're a casual. Don't brag anything more than that. There's nothing to be ashamed in being a casual, really. But stay in your place, or I'll use my +5 vorpal longsword (+10 against casuals) in very unpleasant ways.
I've witnessed this decadent situation at the time the word nerd stopped being an accusation and began a subculture that everyone thought could be accessed without the risk of being shamed. The great undoing of the socially-inept, gross, unattractive game player archetype was caused by the media. Damn, if the media had a face, I'd punch it. Probably the filthy casual is a physical manifestation of that, or a specific person I know. Maybe both. Who knows.

Me fighting the media and its acolytes

I like to think that it all began with the LotR movies. Truly a good trilogy of movies, but nevertheless a milestone of the fall. It made people think that LotR was a fantasy trilogy.
It's not. It was the moment the media ruined everything. The movie industry added the funny, the adventurous, the charismatic, without actually realizing what it was killing the original atmosphere.
LotR is supposed to be epic, not fantasy. Yeah, epic like Odyssey and Iliad. That kind of epic.
The difference is subtle but huge. Some pointed ears, a grunting dwarf and a lot of adorable little hairy-footed folks mislead the attitude of the entire book series. People didn't get the epic, only the heroic. A simple reading of the Silmarillion shows perfectly what the real atmosphere is in Arda. It's somewhate biblic (ok, the whole Tolkenian work in Arda is a Bible ripoff, but one better than the original), with a large hint to the old culture of honor that you can see in hellenic epic as well as in saxon and norse myths. To monomyths, to oedipal drama, to great love stories, to epic cycles, to panoplias of war, to world creation through songs of old. That is the very soul of LotR. When people talk about how cool the elves are, they focus on Orlando Bloom's interpretation of a stereotypical elf ranger from D&D. Legolas was by then the standard for the character and Iluvatar knows how many dumb characters I've seen played by unimaginative roleplayers. They forget (or maybe never knew) that Aragorn and Elrond are almost of the very same species, but only one of them chose the long elven life. Gimli is just a comic relief and that pisses me off in ways I can't even begin to describe. They needed a new whole trilogy, based on a single fable-like book, to make them more than simple combat clowns, and such trilogy was nonetheless wasteful. Let's not even begin talking about inedit interracial love. I hate you, Peter Jackson.
Let's not even get started with the fact that most people focus on the movies entirely. They don't even read the books. I'm not saying all of them (I can understand that the Valaquenta in the Silmarillion is quite a toll on most readers), I'm saying some don't even read the trilogy of LotR itself. It's a foul kind of douchebags that I personally can't stand.

Then there's a different kind of Bible ripoff. Chronicles of Narnia, the most blatant ripoff of Fantasy Jesus Saves the Day. At least Gandalf had the decency of smoking and fighting orcs like he didn't care.
Then there's Skyrim. Ok, it's a good game, but damn, there are like four more episodes before that and most new gamers didn't even notice. When I ask "How about the other Elder Scrolls games?" people's faces start frowning. Then I falconpunch all of 'em.
I swear, big movies and games have killed imagination instead of widening it. There's a player in one of my RPG groups that only relies on Skyrim and LotR movies references when describing anything about his character or the game world as he listens to my descriptions. So small is his view, so atrophied his mind. I barely hope I can cure him, someday.
What has been of Elric of Melnibonè? Conan The Barbarian? What of Legacy of Kain? Sacred? Neverwinter Nights? Baldur's Gate? R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden series? Dragonlance?
It just makes me sad.

See you next time, fantasy cowboys.

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