Monday, September 22, 2008

Maxx (Youtube 7/12)

Maxx 7/12

This starts with a version of the Darker Image comic book I have already covered.

Gone's viewer makes these odd shapes, for no other reason than Kieth likes to draw panels like that occasionally to make the page look stylish.

Kieth pokes fun of his own pretentious and lofty ideals here, as well as the Paglia name dropping, as Julie comments on what the Maxx has on TV: "Must be the stupidest cartoon ever made. The Crappon in a Hat teams up with Jean-Paul Sartre to fight Nausea. Cartoons today are so pretentious."

Here the Maxx is translated from modern cartoon to acme cartoon, where the acme cartoon is a stylized version of the Outback, but stays self-aware about both his newly rhyming speech and drawn appearance. But we are not out of Kieth territory, as the creatures chasing the Maxx are fears "from the pit of his psyche." They want to rip off his mask and see his face -- which is a standard superhero plot, but in Kieth's hands takes on a psychoanalytic tinge, getting past out personae (which literally means mask) to those personal truths which may destroy us (as Kieth has described earlier, and what Jung calls the anima).

The acme dreamland shifts so something much darker, as the Maxx is reduced to a skull talking to the little girl Julie in a bleak, desaturated landscape. This is a deeper level to the outback, Julie's inner child in a kind of psychologically holy place. Kieth always makes psychological underpinnings part of the story. He always makes subtext into text.

Jung's Anima becomes a literal animal here, as the Maxx fears beneath the mask-personae he is some kind of rabbit he sees in flashes in this episode. This search for the personal truth Kieth puts at the origin of both the spirt animal that is part of the magical fantasy world of the outback, and the Superhero unmasking story. The imagery ties to Gone putting Julie in a playboy bunny outfit when he kidnapped her. Julie makes the whole escapist superhero-fantasy genre into psychological escapism. That escapism is seen as necessary, but also only temporary, as at some point we have to learn what is on the other side. Julie has to confront Lil' Julie eventually. And comic book readers, Kieth indicates, need to get to the other side of their genre in order to be whole human beings.

1 comment:

Christian O. said...

Why is Gone sexualizing The Maxx? There's a lot of innuendo in that one little scene.