Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Monday, July 24, 2006

Banish All the World

Ragnell of Written World found a shocking quote from writer Judd Winick.

Again, polling the panelists, DiDio asked which character each creator would want to die or come back to life?

Winick: G'nort. I want him dead.

I love Winick's The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius more than almost any comic published in the last ten years. But here, the man goes and says something awful. Silly man!

A DC Universe that has no use for a G'nort is a DC Universe that has no room for kittens, rainbows, and peeing-on-hydrant jokes.
And that would be a sad, sad place indeed.

G'nort is reviled for reasons of "realism." Not because he's a talking dog from outer space with a magic ring, because that's just fine. No, G'nort's sin is that he's silly. He undercuts the DRAMA! by interrupting overheated space opera for "chasing his own tail" jokes.

Realism? It's a touchy subject among many fanboys, since our choice in fictional entertainments tend to be larded with space aliens, demigods, and magic rings. That being said, I hate to break it to people, but "silly" is a key component of reality. Trust me on this one; I've been real for almost half my life.

As for DRAMA!? Adding dashes of humor enhances, rather than betrays, most any DRAMA! Remove it, and more than just a few cheap chuckles are lost.

Killing G'nort would be like outlawing paprika. You'd deny everyone a wonderful spice because it bugs you? You would remove from the world countless tasty dishes because paprika does not fit with your vision of cuisine? Fie! Fie upon you, sir!

G'nort is, in a sense, the Falstaff of the Green Lantern Corps (though not quite as bright or libidinous as his forebear). Thus do I end with Jack Falstaff's own lament as he faced banishment from his longtime friend, Prince Hal:
If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damned....No, my good lord: banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins; but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant being, as his is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's company. Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world!
--King Henry the Fourth, Part I (II, iv)

Hal banished Falstaff as part of his coming of age. One could argue that the killing of G'nort would be part of the Green Lantern Corps coming of age. Bosh and nonsense! It would be part of the narrowing of the GLC's range of stories and emotions. It would be the rejection of breadth and charm. Denial of laughter is not to be confused with maturity; denial of absurdity is not the same as honesty.

Long live the Shaggy Dog Story of the DC Universe.

3 Comments:

  • Is it any wonder DC hasn't known what to do with Captain Marvel for the last thirty years? I weep for the memory of fun.

    By Anonymous Moose N Squirrel, at 8:27 PM  

  • Any dog that has super-powers AND is inspired by Ed Norton is awesome in my book.

    Kevin Maguire sketched G'Nort for me (saying "Ring-A-Ding!" as well, he didn't believe me when I told him that was his catchphrase! Giffen had to back me up) if you want I can yank a picture of it.

    <3 G'Nort.

    By Anonymous gus, at 3:15 AM  

  • I am not ashamed to admit that G'Nort is my favorite Green Lantern.

    Followed closely by Kilowog, of course.

    By Blogger Bill Reed, at 5:42 PM  

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