From the People Who Brought You A Four-Day COPS Marathon…

One of the most awesome things about my meteoric rise to fame on the Comics Internet–which, as Kevin said, is sort of like being “janitor famous”–is that people sometimes send me things for free.

I’m not just talking about review copies either. Those are great, but every now and then, somebody will actually just give me something for no other reason than they think I’ll enjoy it, like the guy who gave me bizarre breast-related Japanese comedies on DVD (which I really ought to get around to watching), and one reader who dropped off a self-addressed envelope full of trades for me at HeroesCon this year to read and send back at my leisure. And then there’s Nina, who felt so strongly about a promo comic she got from her local shop that she felt I had to see it.

And that, my friends, is what brings us here tonight.



I’ve talked about my love of the cross-media promotional comic before–mostly in my rundown of The Heist, wherein a team of rappers led by Fat Joe takes on an army of sinister clones–but I somehow managed to miss this one when it came into the shop. Which, as it turns out, was probably no big loss.

As you can tell from the cover, it’s a promo for a new series from the masters of fun over at CourtTV with the intriguing premise of going from wedding to homicide in under thirty minutes. The kicker, though, is that each story–“directed to be intentionally over-the-top, complete with overacting and cringe-worthy dialogue,” according to Wikipedia–is actually based on a real-life murder, inspired by the network’s vast library of court transcripts. So thanks for that, Canada!

Playing the part of the Crypt Keeper this evening is John Waters, who may be familiar to those of you who watch too much VH1 as the elfin, mildly horrifying trash cinema auteur who once directed a movie where a large transvestite ate… Yeah, you know what? Not even going to bother writing that one down; you can look it up yourselves if you’re curious. Best to just move on.

In this case, Waters is safely in front of the camera as The Groom Reaper, a pun regarded by folks at CourtTV as so hilarious that it appears no less than three times in fifteen pages in large, boldfaced type. Despite that kind of a marketing push, his main function appears to be standing around pointing out that one of the people in the story’s going to kill the other one, which seems pretty pointless since that’s already the established premise. But to his credit, he does have the creepiest moustache in years, and that probably goes a long way to scaring up some chills in this thing.

The story itself–if you want to go so far as to call it that–concerns a young couple with its share of problems, most notably the fact that the poor wife, Bonnie, doesn’t even get a name until you’re three quarters into the story, and by that time, odds are that you’ve long since given up caring. Bonnie, it seems, is married to a young mortician named Ronald–a survivor of three pages of nameless oblivion himself–who loves her despite the fact that the actress playing her part is wearing an oversized sweatshirt in an effort to look dumpy and overweight. That, incidentally, is the pure genius of this comic: The character in the comic actually looks like a thin actress playing a fat woman.

That’s right: This shit just got crazy meta on your ass!



In what passes for irony around here, the Reubenesque Bonnie is employed in the sales department of a health food company run by Slade, who appears to be a slightly more sinister version of White Goodman. Slade–referred to hereafter in my head as the Evil Tony Robbins–is perceptive enough to notice that Bonnie’s hiding a hot actress underneath her sweatshirt, and sets her on the path of visualizing her goals. Goals… of murrrrrder!

No, sorry, her goals here are weight loss. The murder stuff comes an interminable amount of time later. But for your sake and mind, let’s cut to the chase:



Yes, Bonnie’s cheating on Ronald with Slade, who advises her to murder her husband so that they can make out in the company gym all day, but before anything actually gets around to happening–like, say, an explanation of why anyone should care at this point–John Waters shows up again to let us know that if you want to know who gets stabbed, you should quit wasting your time reading comics and go watch the show.

Well thanks a ton, Waters.

Thus, this exercise in cross-media promotion comes to a swift and merciful end, and I’m starting to get the feeling that Nina sent it to me not because of any desire to see what I thought of it, but an overwhelming urge to get this thing out of her house. I can’t really blame her, though, since I’m feeling the same thing, and wondering if it’s possible to just send this thing all around the country until it finally ends up in some poor guy’s collection.



20 thoughts on “From the People Who Brought You A Four-Day COPS Marathon…

  1. Thus, this exercise in cross-media promotion comes to a swift and merciful end, and I’m starting to get the feeling that Nina sent it to me not because of any desire to see what I thought of it, but an overwhelming urge to get this thing out of her house.

    You’re probably right. I know thats why I gave an online friend a copy of the 1st Freshmen tpb I foolishly bought…

  2. You can’t get rid of it—because it’s a webcomic as well:

    You should go take a look just to see the cheesy animation. The comic is tiny, possibly to hide the bad artwork, but when you mouse over a text ballon—sproinngg!!—it expands to nearly readable size.

  3. John Waters is one of the ultimate examples of why you’re wrong about fame in the first paragraph. We’re now in an age where someone can become real-famous for the fact that they’re cult-famous. Especially after the multimedia successes of Hairspray, John Waters is now a gen-u-ine C-list celebrity, known to lots of people who couldn’t name a single one of his movies and wouldn’t know Divine if s/he walked onto their front yard and… well, you know.

    Someday you, too will be real-famous simply for the fact that you’re comics-internat famous, recognized by millions of people who wouldn’t know a kick in the face if it kicked them in the face.

  4. To me, John Waters is actually an S-List celebrity, in that I wouldn’t have realized he was the Hairspray or Pink Flamingos guy unless someone had mentioned it, but I instantly knew him as the voice of the gay guy who freaked out Homer on an episode of the Simpsons.

  5. You haven’t watched Big Boobs Buster yet? Dude, you are missing out. If you watch it before Christmas, I’ll send you another DVD.

  6. Isn’t “Evil Tony Robbins” a tautology?

    Coincidentally (or, knowing the PR flaks, probably not), I read in The New Yorker a few months back that Waters bought a mail-order minstership in the 80’s, and can (and does) marry people his own self.

    (He almost married Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, but they called it off at the last minute — thus delaying a fiery Apocalypse by a few more years.)

    BTW, which superheroes have the power to perform marriage ceremonies? Captain America, probably (but he’s, cough, dead).

    I think Stan Lee has the monopoly on that job over at Marvel…

  7. I picture this comic book being mailed from blogger to blogger like some four-color flying dutchman, doomed never to find rest in a long box, but to sail the postal seas until it becomes an urban legend………

  8. You know what, though? The show itself is actually a pretty amusing bit of trash TV, in a train-wreck way. Which I think is supposed to be the point. So… kudos? Or something?

  9. hm. People who get to perform marriages: priests, judges, ship captains, heads of state.

    Aquaman’s a head of state. So’s Doctor Doom; so was Black Adam; so was Count Vertigo.

    Captain Storm was a sea captain.

    Has there ever been an appointed judge who was a super-hero? We’ve seen a DA (Manhunter), a Congresswoman (Batgirl), a Senator (Firehawk), etc. But I never remember a judge. I wonder whether that’s because a super-hero has to take sides, and the readers wouldn’t really be able to root for a judge who was never really neutral.

  10. You know, if they were serious about this cross-media promotion (instead of simply insulting the audience at the end) they should have made the story about Jean Loring.

    But I guess that would take all the suspense out of who the crazed killer will be.

  11. Jacob:

    DCs _the Vigilante_ was first a DA, and eventually a judge. They got around the problem by taking him out of costume for a while, at which point someone more extreme put it on. It all ended badly . . . very badly.

  12. I only enjoyed this because after page 2, I began imagining a Green Lantern movie with John Waters as Sinestro.

  13. A friend of mine knows John Waters, and kept trying to convince me that the Dabel Brothers need to adapt some of his novels. Because, you know, John Waters stuff fits in so well with fantasy, sci-fi and horror comics. (Nothing against the guy; he’s an entertaining writer. But when I read his stuff, I don’t exactly think “Wow, I want to read this as a comic!”)

    I kept resisting on the basis that it was a terrible idea, and then this little of a beauty of a comic found its way to us at the New York Comic Con and made me point for me…

    So, thank you, CourtTV, for taking a chance on this so we don’t have to!

  14. 1: John Waters would make an awesome Sinestro.

    2: If this comic found its way to me, I would keep it. I keep everything, as long as it’s not a double.

  15. Forget Sinestro.

    As I read 52, it dawned on me that John Waters would make a perfect Dr. T. O. Morrow. I could just hear Waters doing all of Morrow’s dialogue.

  16. When I read this post’s title and saw the first picture I had hoped this comic would have something to do with John Waters fighting crime in a future time.

    When I figured out it was the reality series COPS that was referenced in the post title I was a bit disappointed.