Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Close to Me: Marry me

Romantic comedy isn't really the first thing you think of when you consider the ghoulish lichen-stained tastes of a genre freak, I was only drawn to Marry Me by its association with Sore Thumbs. I suppose Sore thumbs is the benchmark by which I judge the rest of the overall Crosby clan. The writer behind this strip is Bobby Crosby, younger brother of Chris Crosby. I'm not sure if this is a safe gambit but this for better or for worse my interpretation of this romantic comedy strip was as part of a family of interconnected webcomics under the same organization that includes Bobby's co-creation with Chris, Last Blood.

The premise of the strip is a misunderstanding caused by an obsessive fan's lascivious lust for a pop star, she dragged a friend along and in a moment the popstar at the center of the webcomic makes a strange decision, the rest of the strip stems from this one chance, mad encounter.

After reading Sore Thumbs, the humor isn't as left-field as I was used to, it's far more narrative driven. Of course the basis of the story (Pop star goes insane) Stasia, could be based on Britney Spears at her height (without the paparazzi gash-flash umbrella wielding antics of late) The tools that such a goofball pop star such as Stasia has at her disposal means the strip can effectively go to wherever it needs to.

However, it's interesting to see what this strip will become, the gimmick evident in the first twenty strips has to end sometime, the liminal status of the marriage's legality is an obvious silly incursion to extend the strip but it works in a fuzzy-logic kind of way.

So from the start, the premise of the strip is evident in the title, what everything follows from. I'm wondering how it will sustain itself in the long-term. The characters will obviously have to evolve beyond the easy stereotypes that are evident shown in the beginning.

What is interesting is the way the female characters work within the strip, the way female power is reconstructed via a pop star's erratic choice. This should come as no surprise considering the artist. The slightly mangaesque artwork of Remy Mokhtar is something I first saw in her delving into female romance and geekdom in No Pink Ponies, a strip I haven't ever really mentioned, but it is a webcomic that drags
me in with its drama and luckily is deflated by the cute geekiness inherent to all its characters. Its smooth fresh line-work is an apt compliment to the quick flow of this strip. Here, the reader in thrust in the middle of a popstar's chaotic existence and the protagonist's confusion is the entry point into the strip.

Still, there is a clear effort to build on this, here we are looking at the slurry of lust and the reader is caught behind the glitz of fame lies the problem of how to deal with your emotions in a cultural landscape that completely deflates them with slick disposable easy options.

Here marriage becomes an easy disposable option, that's the premise, and how the characters interact after a split second stray decision that will determine how the strip works. It's not roll on the floor funny, but it is aiming at something more subtle, something that is worthwhile even if there are no zombies involved and it shows the range that Blatant comics have on offer.

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