Let’s you and him reconcile

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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7 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    Very cool. I like how this is both establishing GrimJack's cast of characters for new readers and expanding our knowledge of Gaunt and his friends. And the flying bike is almost as cool as the flying Rolls.I'm not sure about the word "FUCK" here. I don't find the word particularly objectionable. But I understand why many do. It is also a litmus test word for many parents. Many parents can deal with stories that have violent or mature themes. But if you start cussing, well then it's all over. In my public library, all the comics and graphic novels are shelved in the Youth Fiction section. Any comics that are too adult for the Youth Fiction section get shelved in the non-fiction listing for comics. This is completely bass-ackwards. So stupid! But it also means that the library just doesn't carry very many comics with adult language. Is it worth losing a bit of the harsh tone in the dialog to maintain a larger percentage of readership? FRAG has become a pretty good comic substitute for FUCK. Maybe that's too "Lobo." FRIG and FRIGGIN' aren't bad. They still have a sexual undertone. I associate those words with masturbation, but this one can slip by the mom and pops. FRIG is a very Love and Rockets word.The question is how much of the story gets lost if GrimJack just says, "Help me or get out of my way." And Roscoe replies, "You're such an damn-ass," or "You're such a jerk." Is DAMN-ASS a less offensive word than PRICK?Is "Help me or get the hell out of my way," more or less offensive than "get the fuck out"? That keeps a similar tone in GrimJack's voice and might have more meaning when dealing with an avatar of chaos. HELL works as a sub for FUCK. "Go to HELL," instead of, "FUCK you!" I think you loose a smaller percentage of the audience for using the words, "DAMN" and "HELL," than the words, "FUCK" or "PRICK."Personally, I'm less offended by fucking (characters getting naked and/or having sex) than the word "FUCK" used in a violent or derogatory manner. It's subtley sexist. FUCK off. FUCK you. I'm FUCKED. I'm SCREWED. I got HOSED on that deal. Getting fucked is bad. Being a fucker is bad, but getting fucked is worse. Being a FUCKER means that you are degrading. Getting FUCKED means that you've been degraded. Classically, Men FUCK and women GET FUCKED.Sex isn't bad or it shouldn't be. But sex as a metaphor for a put down is.Off the subject, I want to hear Quatrain speak. I would like to see how what he has to say makes the dialog around him rhyme.

    • John Ostrander says:

      RussSince GJ began I've discouraged parents from handing it to children. It's not, to my mind, appropriate for younger readers. Of course, the parent can decide that for themselves when they've read it but I don't want kids just picking it up. And if "fuck" keeps it out of the children's book section of the libraries, so much the better, IMO.If I could've, we would have had that level of language from the beginning. Times were different. Now I can. I think it's appropriate to who Gaunt is and his world. This also isn't David fucking Mamet where every other fucking word has to be fuck, y'know what the fuck i'm sayin'?I know all about alternate words for fuck. Over in SW LEGACY I invented "kark" because it had the same harsh "k" sound. I tried "nuke you" for awhile in some places but, while it also had the harsh "k" sound and its general meaning was closer to the intent, it's just too fuckin' cute. To sum up — it's not the language that makes GJ really not suitable for kids. It's the violence and the adult themes. IMO.

    • Mike Gold says:

      These words have been demystified a generation ago — longer, really. Using euphemisms is hypocritical. You say "frig" or "frak" and you're implanting the word fuck — everybody knows the writer is communicating the word fuck to the reader. Let's be honest: the context is exactly the same, the thought is exactly the same, and whatever evil the word possesses (a truly stupid, uptight concept) is fully transferred.Kinda reminds me of Lou Reed's great song "Sex With Your Parents."

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I don't think that there are "evil" words, per se, but there are certainly impolite words and improper words. Some words are rude. Sometimes rude speech is used by characters because that's exactly the intent of the author, to show that the character doesn't want to be polite. But I think that words aren't just random consonants and vowels with arbitrary connections to specific meanings. Words carry a wealth of denotation, connotation and subtext and cultural history, flavor and nuance. "Fuck," isn't just a word that's going to turn off prissy parents. There's a recognizable segment of the population that will be turned off by that word. My grandmother, for one. OK, she's dead. "Fuck" won't bother her much any more. But still, there are some. Yes, substitutions like "frig" and "frak" (And did you ever see Frig and Frak in the Ice Capades?) or ""kark" or "nuke," can be distracting and silly, when you KNOW the author really wanted to say "FUCK!" But, safer substitutions have been around long before "GEE WHIZ" was put in place of "JESUS!"And I don't think it's stupid or uptight to say that "Nigger," "Kike," "Cunt," or even "Fuck" are words designed to elicit a negative reaction to the ear, certainly of targeted segments of the population. And so, impolite words should be used judiciously and with some forethought that you WILL lose some portion of your audience just by using THAT word.It's clear that ComicMix has a more liberal editorial policy when it comes to censoring works than most print comics. It may be left entirely to the author or artist's discretion what to say or draw.I noted over on Jon Sable Freelance, that Mike Grell enjoyed drawing many more topless women, but he drew the line (or more to the point, DIDN'T draw the lines) when it came to drawing genitals. Even Sable is naked, many times, but we never see his penis, even when it's hooked up to a battery cable! JSF: Ashes of Eden had scenes in it that looked like Cinemax Soft Core. Lot's of boobies and sex, but nobody actually has a penis. While, over in Munden's Bar, Del Close comes swooping out of a floating, neon vagina. BUT, is it really a vagina when it's not connected to a body. Out of context, it's just a pooner-shaped worm hole. (Tee hee! I said, "worm hole.")I'm not trying to whine. I'm REALLY enjoying reading GrimJack once again. But, I did notice that that John's language had gotten a bit saltier with this story.

  2. Neil Ottenstein says:

    I've been a bit busy these past few weeks, but just got a little time and caught up with the equivalent of a full-sized issue. It is very nice to be able to do that. It was great to get the back story of the Manx Cat and more of the characters. The story is chugging along at a decent pace and now I'm very anxious to see what happens next again. Great job on all accounts.

  3. C. Straw says:

    SO! Mr. O, When does Bob save the day? As for the whole "fuck" controversy…Kids these days are deluged with info and a level of sophistication that many of us couldn't handle at that age. The level of bluntness has increased exponentially. Where a song from the 70's used metaphor exhaustively ("..Ring my Belllllll") now they just say it outright. "Bump and Grind". The context is more easily parsed. Ring my bell is pretty innocuous compared to "bump and grind" IMO. No use getting upset about it, spilt milk etc. Therefore if art does reflect life then a certain amount of coarse language is not only acceptable but required for veracity.But hey what do I know? I'm just a 39 yr old guy who's WAAAY 2 close to 40, and reads comics…. By the way…can anybody tell me why Jawn's got really pointed ears? Last time I checked he wasn't an elf or a werewolf. Did I miss that issue from the First run?

  4. Anonymous says:

    "No bad words. Bad THOUGHTS, bad INTENTIONS…and words." — George Carlin