While 2007 was really the year that my series of annotations for the Anita Blake comics really rose to prominence in the world of academia, it’s worth noting that we here at the ISB Research Department ended the year on a bit of a down note.
Yes, as some of you might recall, last November saw me receiving an autographed copy of the first Anita Blake hardcover from an anonymous benefactor. Normally, this would’ve brightened my day right up, but this one was bittersweet, as it came with the knowledge that Darla Cook, personal assistant to Laurenn J. Framingham herself, had never heard of of me.
You can imagine the heartbreak.
But no matter! We don’t do this sort of thing for the recognition, and with my New Year’s Resolution to rededicate the ISB to the
barely disguised mockery and scorn scholarly analysis that you’ve all come to expect, now’s the time to jump right back in and slug it out with Marvel’s recent Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures #7.
Grab your own copy and follow along!
1.3: Hey everybody, it’s Phillip!
Phillip, for those of you who made the wise decision to block out all memories involving mesh t-shirts in the nine months since the last issue, is the vampire-loving male stripper that Anita pressgangs into taking her to oh my God his ears are massive.
Sorry, but… Just look at those things! They’re like Hobbit ears! They’re like an industrial funnel attached itself to a prepubescent John Oates! It’s like… Oh man…
You don’t think he can hear me, do you?
2.1 – 2.3: No, you’re not caught in some sort of time-loop where events repeat themselves ad nauseum, no matter how much it might like it. As depicted in the panel above, this actually marks the second sequence in the series so far where Anita is forced to make out with some dude in order to save her own life and feels conflicted because they’re just so hunky! So, you know, yet another example of the strong female character that is Anita Blake.
2.3: If I had to describe this series in exactly one word, I think I’d go with…
Whoops, wrong picture! Oh well, probably just best to move on.
3.3: In this panel, Anita tells Phillip that he looks “like an ad for Rent-A-Gigolo.” Putting aside the fact athat Phillip actually looks like an ad for a Dadaist production of Dumbo, “Rent-A-Gigolo” is a pretty redundant term, as male prostitutes are, by definition, rented.
3.7: Hey Brett Booth! Is there any way you could make the breasts in this comic less attractive?
Oh, ritual scarification! Good one!
4.1: You know, I’ve seen the Anita Blake series described as “erotic horror,” and while the alleged eroticism continues to elude me, after seeing a woman who resembles a zaftig David Bowie circa 1973 descending on a man like a lion bringing down a gazelle on the Serengetti…
… I can definitely grasp the horror part.
4.7: Hey Anita, could you describe what it was like being the subject of these in-depth examinations here on the ISB?
Yeah, well. It hasn’t exactly been a picnic on this end, either.
5.6: Now, I’m no carpenter here or anything, but is this supposed to be a gate?
Really? What’s it supposed to keep out, rectangles? Sheesh.
Also, on an unrelated note, “You said chickens weren’t enough, so we got you a goat” was the exact same sentence my dad said right before my mom filed for divorce.
5.1: So, everybody remembers Theresa, right? No? Well, that might be because she last appeared in the first issue of Anita Blake, which came out something like six million years ago. Anyway, here she is again, all tarted up for some Zombifying:
And really: I don’t care how much you paid for it at the RenFaire, when even Anita Blake’s rolling her eyes at your outfit, you’re probably overdoing it just a shade.
7.3: And it is at this point that the issue goes completely off the rails. Okay, look: I realize that I normally try to keep up the apperance of scholarship with these things, and that that is, in essence, the entire joke, but this thing is awful. Just awful, and it all starts right here with what is unquestionably the most boring voodoo ritual since I drunk-dialed Miss Cleo. It makes Weekend at Bernie’s 2 look like Sugar Hill.
There are scenes where Anita and her new friend Zack Morris literally walk around in a circle, and while they tersely claim they’re doing magic, they’re really just slowing things down to a pace so glacial that it would defy any attempt at making fun of it, sending a lesser man scrambling for the mind-erasing comfort of the bottle. You win this round, Hamilton.
Incidentally, said ritual also involves Zack leaving a big bloody handprint on Anita’s rack, marking the second time this issue that she’s been groped in the line of duty.
10.1: Readers might be used to seeing that Anita has hips that are roughly the width of a Volswagen Minibus, but it isn’t apparent until this scene that Zack has legs that ought to allow him to do a standing thirty-foot high jump:
Also of note: What is apparently a second, Dali-esque set of pectoral muscles that are oozing down his ribcage, and seriously, is there nowhere in St. Louis where a man can buy a shirt?
19.3: The sequence that starts on page 17 marks the return of Nikolaos, the vampire capo that, in a mind-shattering twist worthy of the finest episodes of A Pup Named Scooby Doo, turns out to be a little girl, but it’s in this scene where she has her defining moment, delivering what is unquestionably the most pretentious sentence ever written by anyone ever:
“Call it shadow feeding.” Yeah.
How about we just call it a night instead?