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Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #6

Before we get started tonight, I have a small announcement to make.

It's recently come to my attention that Sean J. Jordan, the head editor for Dabel Brothers, has not only read the ISB's series on Anita Blake, but much to my surprise, has actually gotten a kick out of them, to the point where he linked to them on the DBPro website, calling them "an excellent series" and referring to me as "a really funny guy." All kidding aside, I think it says a lot about those guys that they're being good sports and have a sense of humor about their work.

So! Now that I've built up a small amount of good will from the people who make this thing, I think it's time to completely blow it with another round of comprehensive notes on the subtle nuances and were-rat Daisy Dukes of everyone's fourth-favorite vampire hunter, now featuring even more guys in mesh tank tops than anyone could have possibly predicted.

Grab your own copy and follow along!


0.0: This issue marks the first for scripter Jess Ruffner, who replaces Stacie M. Ritchie as the dauntless soul in charge of adapting Laurell K. Hamilton's original novel for the world of comics. To that, I can only say this:

WELCOME TO THE ISB, JESS RUFFNER!
HOPE YOU SURVIVE THE EXPERIENCE!!


1.1: This issue opens with virtually the exact same description of Dead Dave's that closed out #5, in what one can only assume is an effort to cater to the goldfish market, whose members tend to have a long-term memory of somewhere around 3 seconds:

Number 5...



Annnnd No. 6:




1.2-4.1: This sequence marks the first appearance of Luther, who--in the grand tradition of cutting-edge literary stereotypes that brought us a vampire who was actually a little girl--fills the role commmonly referred to by film scholars as "Magic Negro." The problems here should be pretty self-evident.

According to the article, such characters are usually "disabled... by discrimination" (Check!) and serve "as a plot device to help the protagonist get out of trouble, typically through helping the white character recognize his own faults and overcome them."



Check!

8.2: Anita's waving a pistol around her own empty apartment again, and while it's not often that I'll cop to making a mistake here on the ISB, I have to admit I made an error. Last month, I stated that my definitive firearms reference manual, Punisher Armory, did not have any information on Anita's pistol, the FireStar 9mm, when in fact, there is a mention of the gun right there in #3, where it's referred to by Frank Castle as "just another nine."

So it's nice to know that Anita's as picky about her weapons as she is about her gentlemen callers.

8.7: Check it out:



Looks like Anita's not an albino after all. Guess I owe you a Coke, Caitlin.

9.6: Hey Anita! Do you think there's fan-fiction out there where you become Harry Potter's next Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?



Good call.

10.1: Hey everybody! It's Phillip!



In addition to being the male stripper/semi-professional vampire chewtoy that'll be guiding Anita through the sordid world of the undead key party, Phillip has apparently never heard of sleeves, which prompts even Anita herself--who, if you'll remember, spent the last issue kicking it in a knee-length t-shirt featuring penguins in swimsuits playing volleyball--to make fun of his outfit.

12.3: In a plot that was probably cooked up by John Hughes on a slow day in 1988, Anita and Phillip have to pose as lovers for the evening, despite the fact that she's a vampire hunter, he's a vampire fetishist, and together... they fight crime.

13.5: Oh boy.



This is Madge, and despite the fact that her thighs give me the impression that she's fully prepared for a trek across the Sahara without stopping for water, I think she's supposed to be sexy. Just be glad that I didn't scan any shots of Harvey, who appears to be a potbellied insurance agent clad in a loincloth and a leather harness that was apparently donated by Adam, Prince of Eternia.

18.1: Edward, Anita's hard-living flamethrower-packing sociopathic best friend, reappears here as "Teddy," an identity he uses to go undercover at "Freak Parties." Despite the fact that he's wearing an outfit that includes a vest, leather chaps, and a spiked dog collar, he looks only slightly more ridiculous than he does on the cover, where he's wearing a black trenchcoat with cargo pockets and his grandmother's reading glasses.

22.8: For the second time in the story thus far, Anita's forced to maintain her cover by making out with a long-haired pretty-boy who just shared his sensitive side.

And on a related note, I'm really starting to sense a pattern here.


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32 Comments:

Blogger Ragnell said...

You realize, of course, that now that you've asked you will be linked to Harry Potter and Anita Blake crossover fanfiction in these comments.

Its just a matter of time.

4/23/2007 12:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen a garter belt attached to trout fishing waders before.

4/23/2007 1:02 AM

 
Blogger LurkerWithout said...

Its been awhile since I read the first book. But I'm pretty sure Madge was originally described as somewhat heavyset. Maybe the giant legs was the artist starting to draw that, and then rebelling back to their default consumptive albino default...

4/23/2007 2:14 AM

 
Blogger Sokudo said...

You realize, of course, that now that you've asked you will be linked to Harry Potter and Anita Blake crossover fanfiction in these comments.

And let me be the first. If only because I've found one that doesn't suck: Invevitable by Mhalachai.

You know you want to read it.

Even more on topic, Edward does not look like the sociopath we all came to love. He looks like the young student teacher trying to perv it up during summer school. It's sad. I'm also confused the artists know damn well these books are bad, and they're just going nuts. All bets are off when you have such class to draw.

4/23/2007 2:52 AM

 
Anonymous runey said...

About the repetitive descriptions: the books were *exactly* the same way. I used to call the author "Ms. Cut-N-Paste" because of it. I have yet to figure out what happened to her editor, if she ever had one.

4/23/2007 5:05 AM

 
Blogger Siskoid said...

I think that you may have been flattered to the point of bias.

That was a very positive review.

For you.

For Anita Blake.

4/23/2007 8:14 AM

 
Anonymous lowland_rider said...

Be fair, Chris -- my understanding of the "magical negro" in literature is that the black character exists to provide aid to a white male. As this condition does not apply to Anita Blake, that would make Hamilton's black supporting character merely a racial stereotype! And really, isn't that better?

4/23/2007 9:01 AM

 
Blogger Tom Foss said...

While this whole thing was awesome, the best part is that you have a "Thighs like what?" tag. I nearly fell out my chair, dawg.

Note to self: never talk "street."

4/23/2007 12:14 PM

 
Blogger Steven said...

I'm being stupid. 1. Buffy. 2. Blade. 3. ...

... Van Helsing?

4/23/2007 12:29 PM

 
Blogger Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

Man, that's chick's legs remind me of that song "The Thighs of Texas are upon You!"

4/23/2007 12:51 PM

 
Blogger Splotchy said...

I'm curious as to the sound made when Madge inevitably rubs her legs together while walking or running.

Or, if walking/running is even a physical possibility.

Has there been a Sir Mixalot song made about lovin' ladies with Big Legs? If there is, we should let R. Crumb know about it.

4/23/2007 1:46 PM

 
Blogger Philip said...

Steven,

Top vampire hunters:

#1: Jesus Christ
#2: Buffy
#3: Blade

4/23/2007 3:27 PM

 
Blogger Franklin said...

Found this on a Fark thread. If you haven't seen it already...

http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/9264/thelieswetellourselveshe8.jpg

4/23/2007 3:27 PM

 
Anonymous hydrogenguy said...

Splotchy: I think you're referring to the end credit theme to the 1991 comedy "Thighs Like Us" starring Chevy Chase and Queen Latifah.

4/23/2007 6:08 PM

 
Blogger Sean J. Jordan said...

So! Now that I've built up a small amount of good will from the people who make this thing, I think it's time to completely blow it with another round of comprehensive notes on the subtle nuances and were-rat Daisy Dukes of everyone's fourth-favorite vampire hunter, now featuring even more guys in mesh tank tops than anyone could have possibly predicted.

That's it! I take back every nice thing I said!

On a serious note of my own, I'm sorry to say the next Anita issue won't be out until July. But don't fret, ISB fans -- July will see both Anita #7 and Anita Blake: The First Death.

On a parting note, if any of you guys are at San Diego or WizardWorld Chicago this summer, please stop by our booth and say hi! I think we're going to be giving away bottles of holy water...

4/23/2007 6:59 PM

 
Blogger Frank said...

Lurkerwithout's right: Madge is supposed to be a little... less-than-svelte. Oh, and Luther isn't terribly magical, except that he's managed to disappear in the later, aneurysm-inducing books. The first five or six aren't GOOD, but LKH makes it work through an interesting imagined world and sheer moxie; since then, not so much moxie, but a lot of big-schlonged guys with ridiculously long hair. I can go for the first part (I'm a Gentleman Who Is "Empowered" By The Existence of Northstar), but the second totally turns me off. Plus, the sex is incredibly boring, the main character increasingly unlikeable, and the secondary characters who are actually interesting either absent or totally destroyed.

4/23/2007 9:51 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

That was a very positive review.
For you.
For Anita Blake.


To be fair, this one actually has a lot of parts that are self-aware in their oddness, like Phillip being accosted by the overweight partygoer and the outfits of same, and, well, Phillip's steadfast, tragic refusal of oral sex was just too much for me to even try making a joke about.

Maybe I, much like my hero Mithradates, am just getting used to it.

...the main character increasingly unlikeable...

Whoa, hold the phone, buster. You're telling me that a US Marshal known for killing the undead while trying desperately to figure out who her babydaddy is comes off as unlikeable? I am shocked!

4/23/2007 10:49 PM

 
Blogger Steven said...

Top vampire hunters:

#1: Jesus Christ


Doof! Of course! Thanks.

4/23/2007 11:11 PM

 
Blogger Dex said...

Its been awhile since I read the first book. But I'm pretty sure Madge was originally described as somewhat heavyset.

Did the book mention anything about her having a severely under-developed rib cage?

Those aren't garters, by the way. They're part of a complex rig and pulley system that she Madge must wear to facilitate ambulation. Her lilliputian lungs and heart simply cannot circulate the vast quantities of rich oxygenated blood needed to get those grotesque sequoia tree trunk like thighs moving. You know how the Elephant Man had to sleep sitting up? If she attempted to walk without the "garters", she would die of heart failure.


1. Tiny rib cage
2. Monstrous thighs
3. Oxygen deprivation-induced pallor

A classic case of Booth Syndrome. Tragic.

4/24/2007 12:05 AM

 
Blogger Joshua said...

I honestly didn't realise that Madge wasn't Anita until Chris mentioned her name. Oy.

Even if she is supposed to be a bit on the large side, the unbalanced HUGE THIGHS, tiny body thing just succeeds in making her look a bit freakish. I wouldn't have got, err, "big boned" if the other commenters didn't mention it.

4/24/2007 8:18 AM

 
Blogger Bully said...

What the heck is all over Madge? Did she just take a dip in a leech swamp?

4/24/2007 11:40 PM

 
Blogger Jamie said...

You're forgetting the best part of the "novels" of Laurell K. Hamilton. Being curious (and curiosity is something I'll never succumb to again...), I picked up one of the books at the B&N, flipped to a random page to read "His power flowed over me like..." whatever the hell she wrote. Another page and "His power flowed over me like..." another third-rate reference. It's like she was taught simile by a retarded rhesus monkey.

And Madge looks like one of those Bratz dolls that went through the mold machine upside down...

4/25/2007 3:44 AM

 
Blogger Krystal said...

Whoa, good thing Luther is helping a character that is mixed or I would have to send a letter to LKH. Or just wait till ComicCon.

And if I remember correctly, Madge is suppose to look like the extreme definition of "pear shapped". Mission accomplished.

4/26/2007 2:01 AM

 
Blogger kelvingreen said...

How did Bartender-Guy get that smoke trail to come out like that? Did he spin on the spot just before delivering the line? Or is there a fan swirling right above his head?

I realise that this is the least insane thing about the comic, but everyone else has commented on the good stuff already.

4/26/2007 8:49 AM

 
Anonymous Catbeller said...

About Madge: she's forty, and wearing bondage gear. Hard to look like a teenager at forty. People that age go to bondage parties so they can act like teenagers without being judged for looking their age... been there, seen that. There are some interesting art choices in this comic, as it were, but drawing Madge as a somewhat attractive but realistically large in the butt is commendable. I understand why readers trained to see 15 year old girls on page -- be real now, no woman looks like Our Hero after 15-18, not without surgery -- can be wigged out. Kinda refreshing image.

4/26/2007 2:32 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Clearly, you have your definition of "refreshing," I have mine, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

4/26/2007 9:21 PM

 
Blogger brendan said...

Catbeller, her thighs are literally bigger than her head and waist combined. That's not refreshing, that's Deformation on a Liefieldian scale!

4/27/2007 4:50 AM

 
Anonymous Haley said...

Lets face it when any book goes from plot with smut to all smut it just isn't worth it anymore. I have many were obessed with this series friends, who when her latest book came out actually burned it after reading it along with all their other collections. Save Sigmund. I can't wait to tell them about these works of art.

5/07/2007 1:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://community.livejournal.com/lkh_lashouts/275941.html

7/07/2007 6:30 PM

 
Blogger Judaistic said...

Madge just turns people off. That ain't sexy, that's...frightening.

10/17/2007 12:36 PM

 
Blogger Davenz said...

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7/29/2010 4:20 PM

 
Anonymous Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

This Marvel production has been the worst of all times. Anita Blake is not interesting, simply cos the story is so repetitive and not idealistic. this comic book even not overcame the expectations.
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8/31/2010 1:06 PM

 

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