Saturday, July 11, 2009
This is another panel from early in Mandarins. With these city panels, I have been trying to establish the general setting. You see different aspects of the city. You know what the environment is like, so it kind of prepares you for something gritty. It also lets the city itself become a character. This is one of the immigrant slums. They are pretty much all just thrown in there together. I know that various peoples try to organize themselves into these tribal communities (Chinatown, Japantown, Little Ethiopia, Little Armenia, etc. etc. etc. etc.), but this is a case where they did'nt have much of a choice. The government tossed everyone in there, and due to the racial unity (because of the introduction of the hybrids) people find themselves getting alot cozier than usual. They are also breeding more amongst the different racial groups, so that everyone's skin is getting more light brown. They're all beginning to blur together as a species. Well! Is'nt that a rascist's nightmare! It's also a socialist's dream.
The billboards in the poor sections of town are old school. They warp and fade quickly due to the weather....and are usually left in that state for a long time. The nicer sections of town have virtual billboards. "You can live disease free" is another part of the propaganda campaign. Remember the "War on Drugs"? Well, there is a secret government campaign dubbed the "War on Sex". There are some closeted rascists and moralists who have lodged themselves, like parasites, deep within the confines of the government. They have this plan of "straightening" out the populace (i.e. separating the races in order to make it more like the old days and culling the homosexuals and others deemed as perverts. Perverts threaten the "societal fabric". Plus, there's the morality bit, which is ironic, because many of these officials are, themselves, indulging in the very acts that they deemed immoral.Watch Salo, or 120 days of Sodom, and you'll see where I'm coming from. well, without all the sadism. Throw in more absurdity, like religious sex-cults and people who follow talking dogs ("Iloveyou!"))under the guise of frank anti-sexual programs which pass on messages about there being an overpopulation (which there really is, a good cover to hide under) as well as high rates of venereal diseases due the huge amount of people having sex.
On the opposite billboard, old capitalism rears its head in a soda ad. The biggest drink in the land (which is like a super-super size) is Henry the Drink: The King of Colas! This ad was to be seen repeatedly throughout the comic. Somewhere, lurking in the background. On shirts, in reastaurants....
It was part of another campaign, in concert with the gov't, and enacted by heavy industry, to fatten people up for nefarious schemes, which I willnot go into. It was also meant to slow people down. If you have a population who is out of shape, spoiled, fat and lazy, among other things, that...can lead to apathy. What better way to govern people than to make them not care about what is happening? Just feed them crap and make them feel like the world is theirs. Then, you just slip behind the scenes and do whatever you want. You're above the law by being behind it.
Nobody cares that their country is on a downward slope, or even a dictatorship of sorts, because they're too busy watching television, playing video games, watching movies, eating candy, fast food, and drinking colas. I know I'm sounding all moralistic and preachy here, but I meant it in a dark humored state of mind. I felt like I was making fun of modern society, not necessarily judging it. I guess I was in a way...
Oh well, I had so much going into the backstories that I was never able to work all of the kinks out yet. That's the way I left it. Some of the stuff detailed above is metaphorical road kill. I also do'nt like the way some of that makes me sound like an overly pious conservative talk show host. They're full of hot air anyways.