Comics! Cartoons! Anime! Crisis Vol. 2, No. 16: Crisis and Hobbes

Welcome back to crisis. Im your loving, not quite living, sometimes host, Zombie. It here that we talk about comics and stuff. And by stuff I mean things that are like comics but aren’t. But enough talk, HAVE AT YOU!

Yes this is a change of pace but all the same its still a comic. Possibly the greatest comic ever written, and also the first comic I ever read. You see Calvin and Hobbes is a special comic, one that works on two layers. The child-like adolescents view from Calvin and how he sees the world, and the view of his parents. With Calvin, a simple dish of spinach can become a monster needed to be vanquished, homework could become a life or death situation for Spaceman Spiff, and a cape can turn him into a superhero who is out to save the city. Calvin’s imagination shows the vivid imagination of children and allows it to be shared by all who see it. Calvin’s constant inventions (basically sharpied names on the same box turned different directions) blur the line between what is real and what is make believe. However the 6 year old Calvin is not alone for he has his best friend/stuffed animal/ferocious tiger Hobbes (fun fact: Calvin and Hobbes were named after Philosophers John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes). Together they have adventures both big and small facing all the challenges a six year old boy and his tiger would.

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Do you remember that feeling?

Calvin and Hobbes is one of those rare comics that knows how to get everything right. Its like the perfect blend of philosophy and child like wonder all rolled into one strip. The comic can be really touching too, as it is not afraid to yank at your heart strings. I don’t think there is a single storyline or strip in this series I don’t like. Its that good. And what makes it even better is the artistic integrity found behind this series. Bill Watterson went out of his way to make sure this comic remained just that, a comic. No toys or stickers or Tee Shirts or shows. He wanted it to be a comic for people to read and nothing more. Its pretty much the anti-peanuts. Calvin and Hobbes is a spectacle to behold. The characters are likable, the humor is sharp, and the constant subtle spouts about the truths of life allow you to look back upon the comic at different points in your life and think different thoughts each time. If I could go back in time and change what my first comic was, I wouldn't. Not for anything in the world, because Calvin and Hobbes is worth that much. You can buy it in individual small books, big compilations trades, or the Complete Calvin and Hobbes which holds every strip ever made, but doesn’t come with the commentary by Bill Watterson that the 10th anniversary book did. Personally, the Complete Calvin and Hobbes is the only collection of the series I don’t have. Regardless, if you haven’t read Calvin and Hobbes then you need to remedy that right now.

How have we not mentioned this spectacular show before? It boggles the mind really. Truly one of the shinning examples of Adult syndicated animation. Well lets start off with our story. For those of you who don't know, the show is about a 40 something Johnny Quest like guy who has grown bitter going on adventures with his body guard and sons. Funny enough Johnny quest and his Bodyguard both actually show up in the series. There is also an evil butterfly guy, sorcerers, quiz boys, robots, Cobra Command Esq villains and a whole lot of other stuff. Basically its Hank and Dean (the venture brothers) their dad, and whoever they have dragged along with them. There is a lot of old TV references thrown in there by the way, like a lot. However a lot of them are really subtle so its not like its in your face. The show also does a really good job of showing just how crazy/stupid the old boy adventure shows were and how these people moved on with their lives after they became adults. You also grow attached to Dean and batman loving Hank as they try to grow up in a very strange world.

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Now Venture bros is a really big series, with the latest season having just recently started airing not that long ago after 3 years. It also has a fair bit of continuity to it as well so you cant really just jump in anywhere but the beginning. But with humor and story this good its all worth it in the end. Its good stuff so go watch it.

Redline is an anime I saw solely because when I saw Gifs of it, my jaw dropped. It comes to us from Studio Madhouse, who have done a crap load of things, one of which you are bound to have seen. The premise is simple. In the future all over the galaxy different racers from everywhere compete through different races starting with Greenline, then Yellowline, and finely if they are good enough make it to Redline. Lets called it Space Monaco Grand Prix. But be warned these races are dangerous, and your life is not something you may always walk out with. So here comes our hero "Sweet" JP, the fan favorite Racer who is the only person who drives a normal looking car in the whole Racing Circuit (he enjoys the classics). With his friends (one of which may be in deep trouble with space Mafia), JP tries to race his Damndest to become the champion of the Universe. However this is made all that much harder as the planet that Redline is taking place on is a Robot Dictatorship which does not approve of the competition and wishes to kill all the racers before they can make it to the finish line. JP isn’t helped out by the fact that he has to deal with other racers who have magic, tanks, missiles, lasers, and a whole bunch of other crap. Not to mention he has to deal with "Cherry Boy Hunter" Senoshee who’s dream its been to win Redline and will do everything in her power to make it happen (and who may or may not be kinda dating JP). It all culminates in the racing madness that is Redline.

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Redline is a weird but wonderful anime. Its like Death Race meets Speed Racer meets Wacky Racers. But lets talk about the animation. Everything in this movie is so detailed and stylized that it makes you wanna go out and grab whats on screen. Lots of things can be stretched and exaggerated but it all adds to the charm of the movie. I should also mention the racing which makes up a good portion of the film. The racing scene are to die for. They go from crazy to flat out insane in six seconds flat. Seriously, the seeing the cars move in this film is unbelievable, and make me wish there was more of this franchise. I put it up with my favorite anime movies (granted that list Anime movies I have watched consist almost entirely of Studio Ghibli movies and Shonen movies). Redline is a strange beast but if you sit back and let it take you for a ride, it will be one you will never forget.

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Gotta go fast


And that’s Crisis for this week. Until next time, see you guys later. Zombie Out.

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