Ever since the end of the first series, where I procrastinated to the point where I was doing two issues at a time–hands down the most harrowing experience I’ve ever been through for this blog, with the possible exception of South of the Border–it’s been my policy to annotate the new issues of Anita Blake almost immediately after they come out.
Obviously this didn’t happen last week, for the reason that I’ve been doing The Worst of Netflix weekly and liveblogging Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight on Twitter as I read it, and there’s only so much terrible media a man can take at one time.
But no more delays! Tonight, the ISB Research Department settles in to tackle the ever-increasing mysteries of Laurenn J. Framingham’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse: Book Three: Executioner #2! Grab your copy and follow along!
0.0: This doesn’t have anything to do with this issue in particular, but on her website, series creator Laurenn J. Framingham has claimed that this series is, and I quote, “the first sexy paranormal comic ever!”
Hey, Laurenn? There’s a Vampirella calling on Line One to talk to you. And a Tarot on Line Two.
1.2: When we last left our alleged heroine, this book finally did what it had been avoiding for a year and actually had Anita in battle with a supernatural creature. This, of course, couldn’t last longer than a page, and–seriously–ended with the zombie just straight up leaving while Anita sat around in someone’s back yard.
And then other characters showed up so that, instead of involving themselves in any action that advances the plot, they can recap what happened literally three pages ago:
Now, I’ve mentioned the
coma-inducing mind-numbing repetitive somewhat stilted nature of the book’s dialogue before, but to be fair, this scene was actually pared down to a drum-tight dialogue scene from the way it was in the book. Here’s the original draft:
ANITA: It spoke to me.
DOLPH: What do you mean it spoke to you?
ANITA: I mean it spoke.
DOLPH: To you?
ANITA: To me.
DOLPH: Out loud?
ANITA: And in English.
DOLPH: And you’re sure it was to you?
ANITA: To me.
DOLPH: What did it say?
ANITA: Words, words, words.
DOLPH: Cut the Shakespeare, Blake! The comissioner’s going to have my ass in a sling if we don’t bust this case wide open! Now tell me what happened here?
ANITA: It spoke. To me.
…and so on for another fourteen pages.
4.2: Hey, look at that: It’s only four more pages before something actually happens.
Yes, as shocking as it seems, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter is actually actively hunting… well, one of the undead anyway, and if past experience has taught us anything, that’s about as close as we’re gonna get.
5.3: Oh my God, even the mindless killing machines in this book have soliloquies.
6.2: Hey Killer Zombie! Do your impression of Cobra Commander explaining the root of the mortgage crisis!
6.3: Okay, now Anita, you do your impression of my readers after that last joke!
These crazy kids oughtta take this act on the road!
7.1: And so, once again, Anita fails to do both the job that she is paid for in her day-to-day employ (resurrecting the dead and laying them to rest) and her unofficial, often-touted but never-seen “Executioner” duties; is rescued by more competent secondary characters who still defer to her at every opportunity…
…and then sits down and watches other people do what is ostensibly her job.
Y’know, it’s easy to see why these books are so popular with such a strong female protagonist.
8.3: On the bright side, this issue does give us a sneak preview of the cover art Ron Lim created for the new album by ISB favorite AxeWulf: Sweden’s Blackest Metal!
9.1: Well, it looks like that’s it. The flesh-eating zombie Anita’s been looking for for the past three mini-series has been dealt with, the evil voodoo queen/kindly aunt who raised him has been hauled off to jail, and this is clearly the “heroine recovers in the hospital” scene that always precedes the final wrap-up.
Could it be that this series is actually ending three issues (and 13 pages) early?! Why… Why it’s a Christmas Miracle!
Oh Goddammit, there was a B-Plot wasn’t there?
16.3: Hey guys, check it out: Hey Anita, what did the five fingers say to the face?
Ha-ha! I’m Rick James, bit–what? It’s not 2004 anymore? Oh. Well disregard this note, then.
17.5: That’s right, folks: It’s the return of Harold Gaynor:
Gaynor, of course, is the character whose actions actually kicked off the phenomenally slow-moving plot of “The Laughing Corpse,” and if you’ve forgotten that, it might have something to do with the fact that he has not actually appeared in the comic since October of 2008.
19.1-2: You know, Laurell…
…if you’re going to characterize Anita as a super-tough badass by having her tell people that the last dude who messed with her is dead, you might want to wait a while so that we don’t remember that he’s dead because other characters came to rescue her after her own actions were completely and utterly ineffective.
20.1: It was at this point that I realized why it’s been so easy to make Big Lebowski jokes about this comic: The philandering Harold Gaynor is Laurenn J. Framingham’s attempt at doing Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep with zombies.
I feel stupid for not realizing that before, but I actually feel even more stupid now that I know it.
So the first page was written by Aaron Sorkin?
Damn, I knew STUDIO 60 got cancelled and all, but have some self-respect dude.
Remember when you say your prayers to the gods of awesomeness, to light a candle for the sanity of Sims, in the name of the mighty Axewulf, Amen.
That contour line around her lips in the last panel make it look like someone is trapped in a mask of her face.
SO i read a blurb on a novel at the bookstore today (some trash about vampires, like every third book out there these days) and the quote praising it said:
“[author} can hold her own with the big guns of horror fantasy, such as Laurell K. Hamilton.”
I seriously laughed out loud to the point where other people were looking at me as if I’d gone mad.
I’m starting to get the impression that Anita Blake is the most incapable fictional female since Princess Peach.
Wait. That’s not fair to Peach. She actually kicks some toadstools in Smash Bros.
Okay, so Anita Blake is the most incapable fictional female ever.
…At least until 2005, when Bella Swan showed up.
Ugh. This is depressing. I think I have to go rewatch the animated Wonder Woman movie. A few times.
Why hasn’t the zombie craze spawned a line of wrestling comics?
Wait, so Bendis wrote the dialog before it was edited down?
The Annotated Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse: Executioner #2 is just like Artie Simek– a giant fucking piece of shit.
Wait, Tarot is sexy?
So THAT’S where Bendis gets his dialogue inspiration from…
I’m always gonna laugh at Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories. There is just no getting around that.
1. “Less like a tough guy and more like a vent puppet” is my new favorite phrase.
2. re: comment #8- “Who’s hating on Artie Simek on the internet this week?”
3. For those of us compiling an AxeWÃ¼lf discography, how many albums have they recorded including this latest opus?
I was cleaning over the weekend and took a stack of Ms. (Mrs?) Hamilton’s masterworks to the used bookstore, where they were promptly rejected. In the words of the clerk:
“People keep trying to get rid of them, but nobody will buy them. The manager says not to take any more until the bin in the back is empty. And the bin is HUGE, man.”
“The resurrected corpse of Jimmy Snuka” – mate, I am bowing to your image as I type. Beautifully done.
Is “He’s dead now” supposed to be a threat in the Blakeverse? Because half the guys Anita runs into are dead. And she still has to be rescued from them.
“What happened to the guy who annotates your comics?”
“He wishes he was dead now.”
“Blacula’s Dragon” might be the best song title of all time.
I think I’m gonna construct a shrine to you, Chris. You are that awesome!
It’s hilarious how “Lauren” and her die-hard fans insist that Anita is a tuff kickass type who is specially qualified for her job because she can kill ANYTHING and she’s so STRONG and she doesn’t need to be rescued like all those weak heroines. Of course, everybody underestimates her.
And then whenever she encounters a baddie, she either stops him with magic powers she’s had for 0.39 seconds, or she sits there squealing while someone else saves the day.
The comissionerâ€™s going to have my ass in a sling if we donâ€™t bust this case wide open!
…so what’s wrong with Artie Simek? I’m confused.
“I feel stupid for not realizing that before, but I actually feel even more stupid now that I know it.”
Don’t sweat it. That would be like looking at a Liefeld scribble and trying to spot where he ripped off Art Adams. Take care when gazing into the Framingham; the Framingham gazes back.
Actually, there have been at least two incidents where Anita has saved the day by performing some sex act with a random stranger, despite her alleged aversion to having sexual contact with people with whom she does not have an emotional attachment.
She also condemned a man to death because he would not have sex with her on the grounds that he was in a monogamous relationship and did not want to be unfaithful to his wife, and despite that his refusal to engage in coitus with Anita was not in any way neccessary to saving the day (the assumption that it would be is also tremendously illogical in proper context of the situation, so it just makes Anita even more of a wretch).
Rather, that coitus with the man Anita later condemned to death was not in any way neccessary to saving the day. If he had had sex with her, the results would logically have not been sufficient given previous events.
The important thing to remember here is that Blacula has a dragon.
Blacula does not have a dragon. The only real monsters are Dracula, Blacula, and Son of Kong.
No love for Godzilla?
Tsk. So much for the season of giving.
I’d buy it.
What makes you think Anita DOESN’T cause the death of her enemies even when she appears to need rescue by others? Perhaps she has a Death Field around her just like Jessica Fletcher did. I believe Fletcher must have generated such a Death Field given that people died with horrible regularity whereever she went. I’m sure we can thnk of other examples who seemed to have a similar dark aura around them. And since Anita apparently begins to generate a Sex Field at some point that makes her irresistable to whoever she needs to screw to advance the plot(well, in Hamilton’s eyes at least) it’s not a big leap to assume she also generates a Death Field.
It occurred to me that I only tend to write to counterpoint or react negatively to somethign you’ve written, and while you should take that as general “you go, Chris!” since I comment so seldomly, I figured, especially after reading the opening to this piece, I owed you at least one positive, run-on sentence of encouragement.
Instead, it is one of pity. Worst of Netflix, liveblogging Stephanie Meyer, AND reading Framingham in one week, nay, one month, is obviously a cry for help.
Talk to us, Chris. We’re here for you. Suicide is never the answer*.
*Exceptions include: “What is the name of the masked dork you play in that abysmal TNA wrestling game?” “How did Kirk Cobain die?” “What kind of doors are those on that car?”
Anita seems to enjoy being choked, doesn’t she…
Well, at least there are no tentacles anywhere..oh hold on..tentacles could choke Anita..Now there’s a thought.
I have to agree with Steve. If you’re going to off yourself, there are less horrible ways to go than reading pop culture detrious, such as swallowing nails, gouging your eyes out or listening to an Al Gore speech.
…or posting the transcript of that phone conversation between Ms. Framingham and Tarot. The horror, the fascinating yet disturbing horror.
Poor Sims, having to read this junk on a monthly-ish basis. But it was worth it for “Too many houssess”, which made me Laugh Out Loud.
I love Heatwave Jr.
Also, last I heard, Superfly was still alive. Did he die, or are you just trying to be funny or something?
@tim guegen: I always suspected some of those TV series detectives (especially Hercule Poirot) are actually mass murderers. They go in, kill a person, set up at least one fall guy then ‘solve’ the case for the local police (who are never near as intelligent as they are) and bask in accolades.
It’s the only explanation for why murders follow them everywhere and they’re the only ones to find/put together all the ‘clues’.
I used to love the Anita Blake book series, over a decade ago, long before it was popular. But now, I honestly can’t imagine WHY I loved the books. The comic series actually is an improvement on the writing of the books (tightening up the plot, cutting down the “witty” dialogue)…and it sucks donkey balls. So what does that say about the books? Or about my taste in reading material? So thanks a lot…now I’m horribly depressed.
On the bright side, “too many houssess” was brilliant.