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cXnX Xlassix: Paul Vs. Ian

12:08:00 AMPaul

What follows is a transcribed commentary by the 2011 Clemente Bros. Collective (dba on a work created by the 1994 CBC (and not broadcast in Canada).

Paul: Summer of '94, don't remember much about it, but there was something in the summer air was obviously inspirational. I remember that there was supposed to be a huge series of "Paul vs. Ian" comics, but just like now our interests changed often and without reason. One thing I will mention is that our comic book "company" was called "Black Sunshine" after the White Zombie song. I loved White Zombie at the time, and continue to this day enjoy poetic oxymorons.

Ian:  While a few series were initiated, one featuring Paul and his big gun still exists, and I do believe Spot the Hitman developed into a series. I don't remember this being intended as the debut of a long term feature.  Rather, it continues and refines upon other motifs such as rampant and unprovoked violence and hasty conclusions. 

I have no idea why I drew (and as you will see continue to draw) myself as a mullet sporting, goatee having, nerd with round glasses. Why commit to one haircut so unwaveringly? If I could create any version of myself why keep the nearsightedness?

Ian:  Ah, even back then, I was obsessed with the delicious taste of mustard.  I could comment on my haircut, too, but anyone who knew me in 94 knew it was all about the Beatle 'do which I apparently thought would look good matted down.  It's obviously a product of poor drawing skills, but I do appreciate the fact that I made sure I drew on a zipper so no one thought I was wearing sweat pants. 

Paul: This was straight copied out of an X-men comic I'm sure. What I'm confused with is how we didn't see eacother being 60 feet tall, until we were face to face. Our reason for confrontation was always simple, our paths cross, and violence begins. On a side note, I have no idea my ego would have allowed Ian to be editor-in-chief. 

Ian: I don't know what being Editor-In-Cheif at Black Sunshine Ltd (parent company of WPIX) really entailed, or curtailed, but I think it was just a way of saying, "I'm putting in a lot of work here pestering Paul into actually doing these comics with me."  I think the balance of work was that I would have, or both of us would collab on, a basic concept (here it's just the two of us as movie monsters) and Paul would direct the storyline by drawing what he felt like.  I would invariably go along with it or try to imitate his style to please or impress him.

Paul: I love the fact that there is violence on every frame. Ian apparently uses his fangs to eat Oscar Meyer trucks, and uses the fuel to supply his perfect stream of fire. That view of my face on fire really shows off my toned buttocks (but as we all know its about the jeans). The quote "Good Grief, my arm!" was funny then and is still incredibly funny now.

Ian: What sort of intrigues, or confuses, me is the blocking of the frames.  I won't pretend for one moment it was intentional (maybe it was??), but if it were to be followed in a logical fashion, it looks like I shoot fire twice (once before and once after my arm is severed).  If that's the case, which burst of flames set Paul on fire?

Paul: This was the ace up my sleeve, I suppose. Shirt off, I grow to over 100 ft. and my head apparently stays the same size. Having time to notice I am on fire, and making a conscious calm decision to take off my shirt displays another power of super astuteness?  I love the fact also that I rep Chuck's pretty consistently throughout the whole story.

Ian: For as tight as Paul's shirt was in all the previous frames, we're to believe those offset nipples wouldn't have been beaming through even a bit?  Ladies???  Regardless, this is my favorite drawing of the whole story.  Clearly this would be the cover of the DVD version, both of us brandishing our melee weapons having, I'm guessing, exhausted our superhuman powers for the day.

Paul: I'm not sure why me being on fire is Ian's "last straw" to take action. throwing your own arm through your opponent? brilliant! What I don't get is, with my massive increase in size, how did Ian's arm still punch a bowling ball sized hole in me? Anyways the innovation of violence is something I think we excelled at.

Ian: I guess my only major issue with the continuity (outside of the oversights a 12 year old would normally make) is that I'm holding my severed right arm with the wrong arm before throwing it, unless I pulled an Ozu and broke the 180 rule or or or was spinning with the arm like a discus thrower... yeah... that's it... Classic Paul foreshortening below.

Paul: So my shirt falls from the sky? I'm loving again the framing with the shirt looking like falling paper. Besides that a pretty "called in" page with no windows on any buildings, but building towards something big.

Ian: I am pretty sure that Paul drew this entire page himself before handing it to me and, for the sake of clarification (or maybe just to add something on every page) I put my reaction in the unused corners.  I'm very impressed by the accurate replication in the frame directly above and directly below, not that it was difficult or technically proficient, but that Paul cared enough to match the cityscapes.  I imagine this is an extension of the city block immediately to Paul's left in the opening scene.

Paul: The shirt hits the city (which is soaked in fuel?) and everything goes up in flames, what a way to go. I'm not sure if I survived the arm through the chest, but I was clearly aware of the impending doom. What is rare about this whole comic is that I allowed myself not only to take damage, but if you had to judge I lost this battle. As you will see in the coming weeks, that never happened.

Ian: It took me a few times to notice my wagging tongue in the split frame, which I think might be the most intentionally cartoonish aspect of the comic.  I also like the intentional parallelism, although I hope it isn't because we ran out of ideas.  I'm very surprised the town was completely in tact before catching fire.  Where did the other burst of flames go, the laser that passed right through my arm?  I get it, though.  The shirt is burning away at a furious pace and when it hits the building that's all that's left.  Genius.

Paul: I wonder how they buried our gigantic bodies in regular graves? Obviously its located in a rural setting so some big ass hearse had to transport us. We must have been respectable members of society because I know that no one I know would have the means for such an expensive funeral.

Ian: As noted previously, my skull is based here completely on Paul's rendering of one, so any anatomical inaccuracies can be blamed on him.  Any other questions?  I guess I have one--who exactly are the people celebrating our death?  Are they assumed to be survivors of the disaster, inhabitants of an area outside the epicenter of the disaster or burn victims who lost all their hair and body mass as a result?  Rest In Zaniness...

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