Holy F*ck #4

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The grand finale of Holy F*ck is here. Will Jesus and Satan save the world from nuclear Armageddon? Will the world still have faith in Jesus? Will the comic include some dick jokes? Let’s discover the long and veiny truth!

The story wraps up with Jesus skydiving onto a nuclear missile and fucking it, yes, fucking it until it explodes. From there the other gods decide to leave when they can and leave Zeus hanging. Even Isis ends up leaving him.

The ending was great. The nun ends up killing Zeus but not in the violent way you thought would happen. Kind of like the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the way she kills Zeus is by telling him that he’s not a god anymore. He’s nothing. And because he’s nothing, there’s nothing he can do to stop her. And pop, he disappears, dead (maybe). I love how they acknowledged that as a deity, simply stabbing him or filling him full of lead with a machine gun would not be the way to end his life. Since they live by faith, they can die by faith. But much like Freddy Krueger, faith can bring him back and bring back his power thus setting up sequels.

I also really enjoyed the spoof on 80’s action films. Growing up in the 80’s, action stories to me are exaggerated fantasies. They’re just as much fantasies are the old sword and sorcery epics of ages past. While they are set in a world we are familiar with and using tools we recognize, they are not meant to be realistic stories that could happen. Action movies should not be like The French Connection. There should be lots of explosions, boobs, guns, boobs, and more explosions. There should be snappy one liners. Sometimes they can have a message but more often than not the most complex story should be that something bad happens to the good guy and he kills a hell of a lot of people in retribution.

This story has all the makings of an 80’s action film, albeit a spoof. It’s like Kung Fury with a message. It’s a message similar to Star Wars really. Yes, Star Wars has a message. A very simple one but a message nonetheless. For Star Wars that message is that being good can be a hard damn thing to do but in the end is much more fulfilling a life to live than it is to be evil.

For Holy F*ck the message is about faith. What could a comic where Jesus fucks a nuclear bomb into submission have to tell you in terms of a message? That if you are going to have faith in something, whether it be a deity, a politician, a spouse, something, that faith should never be based on fear. That faith should be based on love. Anything that you put your faith in that you’re afraid of is something that will let you down at some point. Let’s say in the story that Zeus and Isis were successful and people started following them. Much like Hitler during his rise, people had faith that he would bring Germany back from the ashes the other nations threw it in after World War One. But, again like Hitler, people ended up being tired of his rule, lost their faith in him, and ended up revolting. Something would have set Zeus and Isis off, probably paranoia, and caused them to destroy the very people they wanted to have faith in them.

The last pages set up a sequel quite nice. We end with Hercules coming home and being told by Anansi that his father was dead. And the last page reveals the name of the sequel series, Holy F*cked. I can’t wait. Yeah, I discovered this through Comic Blitz and I’m glad I did but I will not wait for the new series to arrive on Comic Blitz. I need it now!

Bottom Line:

This has been a wonderful series. What started off as a one note joke, which there is nothing wrong with that, believe me, turned into something a little deeper. Much like food, not every bit of writing needs to be a classic. For every gourmet meal you encounter, sometimes you want to pop some hot dogs into the microwave and pig out while watching South Park on Hulu. But this series has been more than that. What it has turned out to be is some nice Hebrew National hot dogs that have been fired up on the grill with all the toppings you could think of on top of it. When something like this comic can take a simple premise and just add that little bit of something that makes you tilt your head and go damn, they’re doing something right. Along with Ms. Marvel, this has been my new favorite comic series. Not because the writer and artist have both been very gracious in acknowledging the reviews I’ve been giving them (though that is one hell of a nice thing to do and something I will never forget) but because they have a damn fine piece of work here.

Growing up, Beavis and Butt-Head was one of my favorite television shows. Hell, if it were on now, I’d still laugh my ass off. The show made no excuses for what it was. It was dumb. It was intentionally written to features two idiots who reveled in the fact that they were dumb. The magic in that show though was the writing. You don’t realize the genius behind the writing until you try and do it yourself. Mike Judge did one hell of a job (as well as the other writers on the show of course) of building up the material. The show was a lot like a pressure cooker. The longer you watched, the more the comedy pressure built up until the very end where you just let it all go with a laugh.

This comic has been a lot like that but again, with a little something extra. Yes it’s crude. It’s sure to offend some folks. But they’re missing the fact that in the crudeness the creators are actually saying that faith, which the people who would be offended at the religious references in the story say they have, is very much a good thing if it is there for the right reasons. It’s a celebration of what the people who would be offended by this say they have. For that, you will not regret reading this comic. And if that doesn’t entertain you, Jesus fucking a nuclear missile will.

Holy F*ck Issue 3

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Holy Fuck, I’m still doing this. 54 days in a row. And I have to say the response I’ve been getting, and frankly feeling, has been quite good. I made the right decision doing this. Politics has its place and all but at the end of the day, talking about comics and why I may or may not like them is just damn fun.

One thing I wanted to accomplish with this site was to vary my comic reading. By default I’ve been focusing more on Marvel Comics not because I think Marvel is the greatest comic book company in the world but because I have a subscription to Marvel Unlimited. I love Marvel Comics but at the end of the day too much of one thing can make you quite bored with what once entertained you. What has kept things varied has been great services like Comic Blitz. They’re in a lot of ways the Netflix of comics. They’ve brought together a couple well known companies along with a nice group of companies the average person may not heard of. Once such comic company is Action Lab Comics who also produces a mature label called Action Lab Danger Zone.

One comic I discovered was called Holy F*ck. Admittedly, if these types of a la carte services did not exist, if we were back in the 1990’s, this may not have been a comic I would have bought. And frankly that would have been my loss because each issue keeps getting better and better.

One analogy I used for the comics in my earlier reviews was comparing it to a fart joke. I kind of regret that in hindsight. While folks who know me get what I am saying, to the average person that analogy probably comes off as a bit condescending when it really wasn’t. I was referring to the fact that the first two issues were not subtle. At all. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Take Mel Brooks. He has made a lot of funny movies over the years. Even movies like The Producers (the original, not the abortion that was the musical), a movie I didn’t really care for, was funny as hell just for the audience reaction to Springtime for Hitler. Mel, when he made movies so in this case I will use the past tense when describing his work even though he is thankfully quite alive and well, has two ways to make you laugh. He can hit you over the head with his comedy…

…but he could also make you think.

To me, the greatest comedy ever made was Blazing Saddles. Never before, and probably never again, had we had a movie with a very real and serious message dealt with by glorifying the stupidity of the bad people you are supposed to look down on. Mel realized that when dealing with racists, people were going to respond more to laughing at them than they were going to with a movie that dealt with the issue seriously. Yeah, yeah, there have been many great dramas throughout the years that have dealt with racism and have done it beautifully. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of them. But to me, to really show the absurdity of something like racism, you have to show how utterly fucking dumb it is. Because come on, anyone stupid enough to treat someone like dirt just because of the way they look deserves to be laughed at.

For Holy F*ck, I thought this comic fell into the Spaceballs camp of funny. Jokes for the sake of jokes. Turns out I was gladly wrong with that assessment. After Jesus saves the nun, he escapes with her and Satan to the desert. There, Jesus and Satan give up. The nun verbally slaps them both into place by telling Jesus that she refuses to lie down and take the actions of Isis and Zeus because she will not worship a god out of fear. If she is going to worship a god, it will be out of love.

There was the deeper meaning I was looking for in the first couple issues! It’s a simple moment, going by quickly, but it takes a story that is silly but funny and makes it a story about why people of faith do the shit they do sometimes. Whether you believe in a deity or not is besides the point, people with faith have done amazing things because they felt that the love for their deity was worth everything they were going through. Take Ghandi. Take Martin Luther King Jr. Take the Dalai Lama. Those are three famous names but there are millions more over the centuries who have fought for the public good because of their faith and for the love of their deity. Faith and love can and are powerful mental broadswords that can get you through quite a lot in life.

One other aspect I really enjoyed this issue was Zeus and Isis on the Helen DeGenerate show. It reminded me of Idiocracy, the classic Mike Judge film about the dumbing down of society. The glazed look in the host’s eyes as Zeus and Isis calmly declare their intention to blow up the world and the audience happy they received designer gas masks says a lot about our society today without really having to say anything. We live in some strange times where people are more concerned with being on television than they are about making the world a better place for people to live in.

Oh...yeah.
Oh…yeah.

Bottom Line:

Each issue keeps getting better. What started off as a funny but silly story is quickly turning into something more. While it certainly won’t end with “This Comic has been brought to you by the Watchtower Society!” it is still a great story about the power of faith and love. Following someone, anyone, out of fear may work in the short term but long term you will be overthrown. Just ask Emperor Palpatine! Comics are a true American art form. This comic shows that what comes off as a bit silly can have quite a bit more substance. It doesn’t have to be slathered all over the story like a young kid emptying a syrup bottle on his one pancake he’s having for breakfast. It can be just that right amount of syrup that makes eating a pancake worth it. Cause pancakes alone, unless you cook them with a bag of fucking sugar can taste like crap. I hate pancakes. Bad example. But hopefully you get my point. I strongly encourage you to read this comic. Apart from Ms. Marvel, Holy F*ck is one of my favorite comics around today. Thanks to Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa for making the series, Action Lab Danger Zone for publishing it, and Comic Blitz for adding it to their collection for me to find. Marvel and DC are great companies. They would just never touch a story like this with a ten foot pole. In the end, it would be their loss because this is fucking amazing.

Holy F*ck Issue 2

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Imagine my surprise when I head to Twitter and see that I have a message from someone. I check it out and it was a message from one Nick Marino. It took me a moment to realize that this was the Nick Marino who made the comic Holy F*ck which I had just recently interviewed. He thanked me for reviewing it and hoped I would finish the series.

I have to tell you his tweet felt good. Knowing that someone who actually created a work that I reviewed and liked would take the time to thank me makes all this worth it. I loved the first issue. Sure I had some criticism but I think any piece of art can and should be critiqued. He doesn’t have to agree with anything I have to say mind you but as a writer myself, I can say that it is possible that as a writer you end up seeing your work through a bit of tunnel vision. You need new insight, a fresh set of eyes, to see things you’re not seeing.

Anyway, in honor of him tweeting me I figured I would finish each issue of the series and post my thoughts on the page. Independent comic artists need our support and if even one person were to buy a comic due to my thoughts than that would be another reason why this is all worth it.

Issue two picks up where we left off with Jesus and Satan making out. Once they break their tongue lock Satan gets down to business and explains that Isis and Zeus were behind a plot from long forgotten gods to bomb the Earth so they could save it which would have people worship them again.

From there we learn that Zeus and Isis have discovered that Jesus and Satan are together and they plan on doing something in order to stop them. They decide that kidnapping the nun that found Jesus would be a way to stop them. The nun is kidnapped when she heads to the store to pick up stuff for Jesus and Satan. Once they find out, they arm themselves to the teeth and go to find her.

As I mentioned in the previous issue, this is a simplistic story. While it deals with themes that could be explored more in depth, like a Charles Bronson movie from the 80’s, it’s quickly getting to the point where the shit hits the fan. I was a little hard on issue one in retrospect. Yeah, these themes could be dealt with in a little more depth but that’s not what this story is about. It’s there for the comedy. Yeah, it’s not something everyone will enjoy but that is the great thing about comedy. Anything can be funny, you just have to know who your audience is. George Carlin said it best so I will leave it for him to explain.

The artwork once again helps contribute to the silliness of the piece. If the art were drawn in the manner of religious tracts or something like that you would lost the impact of the comedy that is happening in the story. It is crudely drawn and quite simplistic but as I have mentioned, when attempting something out of the ordinary, you do it to serve the story you want to tell. If they drew it like a Steve Ditko or Jack Kirby piece, a lot of the humor would be gone. Having it drawn in the silly manner it is helps contribute to the piece.

Bottom Line:

I owe Nick Marino nothing. I don’t know him apart from the one tweet he sent me. And while I was a little critical of the first issue, I still love the piece overall. Issue two helps flesh things out a little more. You end up getting your feet in the world that is being presented to you which makes some of the shock from the first issue wear off. I stand by my comparison in the first review that this comic is like a fart joke. Again, fart jokes, when done right, can be quite funny. They’re not subtle. There’s no depth to it. But it makes you laugh. That’s what this comic does. Being that you get more acclimated to what is going on, this issue gets a better review than issue 1. I give the story a 7.

The art goes a long way toward making the story enjoyable. To play jazz, you have to know how to play standard pieces before you have the skills to improvise. The art in both issues so far is jazzy in that sense. It’s sloppy and it comes off like a kid drew it but with how it contributes to the overall enjoyment of the piece you know there was a lot of care in how the art was put together. I give the art a 9. The reason for the better review than the last issue is the sheer brilliance in how simple it is. If it were realistic or drawn to be like pictures in religious texts it would take you out of the story. This is good stuff.

Holy F*ck #1

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This comic is not for the faint of heart or folks even the slight being Judeo/Christian religious. This is about how a nun, Jesus, and Satan help save the world from Zeus and Isis from destroying it by nuclear weapons. To Kill a Mockingbird this is not.

I have a weird sense of humor. Sometimes the dumbest things can make me laugh. Like this…

Dumb yes but if you don’t find yourself laughing than you have no soul and are probably a Donald Trump supporter.

This comic is called Holy F*ck. It’s a simple premise and a simple story. A nun, with the help of Jesus, has to stop Zeus and Isis from destroying the world. The issue details her meeting the Messiah in a Japanese karaoke bar where he is smoking crystal meth with a couple naked prostitutes. She takes him to New Jersey where they meet up with Satan who it turns out is Jesus’ long lost lover. The last image of the story is Jesus and Satan kissing. The nun is also kidnapped by the bad guys and Jesus saves the day with guns ablazin’.

This comic is meant to shock. Its purpose is to take images that people hold dear and completely flip them. People will either enjoy what the writer is doing or wish for his place in the deepest place Hell has to offer. The humor in the story comes from the sheer ludicrous situations you find the Savior in. What self respecting deity would find themselves smoking crystal meth? He couldn’t afford coke?

I do like the premise of gods people used to follow looking to cause chaos in order to get people to believe in them again. The only reason Zeus and Isis are looking to do this is to get them, and the other deities that work with them, the faith they had been forsaken for many years due to Jesus. If the comic were to be expanded, which apparently it is just a four issue series, than there could be some room for exploration of the bad guys in the story from just generic bad guys to somewhat sympathetic people who are jealous of their power being taken away due to lack of interest from their former subjects.

The story is funny but have no doubt that this is a one note story. The 24 pages of the story fly by fast because there is not much dialogue to speak of. It is very simplistic and ruins a chance to, while still being something that is very much offensive to people of faith, a vehicle that could explore faith and how humanity has shifted their faith throughout the years. But this story is having none of that. It’s focus is taking images people take as sacred and do their best to put them in as many ridiculous situations as they can. For the most part they’re doing what South Park has done, and done better mind you, yet failing to get why Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been much more successful at writing religious satire than this. If you like seeing Jesus with a machine gun, this is the comic for you.

The art work is simplistic at best but it fits the tone of the story. Being that this is a one note story, if the art were drawn realistic or even drawn in the classic comic style, it would kill the tone. The simplicity of the art, the almost childish aspect of it, helps elevate the tone. It brings out the humor more than a realistic drawing would be.

Bottom Line:

This comic is the equivalent of a fart joke. That doesn’t mean it’s bad cause when the times right, there is nothing more funny than a good, loud fart. I love farting near my dog just to see her look of confusion at the sudden noise coming from my backside. Funny stuff. But being that the story is the equivalent of a fart joke, the substance of what could actually be a pretty decent look at faith through the lens of satire and dark humor is wasted for cheap jokes. I thought the comic was funny and I recommend it but I have to give the story a 5.

The art does a lot to elevate the tone of the story. It is simple and childish but like the material it knows the audience it is shooting for and hits it out of the park. I think that art that was more serious or traditional would have probably killed the joke. I give the art a 7.

Now I want to take a moment and talk about the app I read this comic on. For a few months now I’ve heard about a Netflix for Comics service that was on the way called Comic Blitz. I had tried Comic Fix out and while I enjoyed it some, I was disappointed in the amount of content they had at the price they were charging. Comic Blitz is different. For example, Comic Fix had The Boys from Garth Ennis and had a decent number of issues. Not all however. Comic Blitz has all 72 issues. They also have the Django/Zorro comic line as well as other gems from the indie comic world. The first month is free. Each month after that is $9.99. The sheer volume of comics they have is amazing and I hope to see more companies and more issues and new stories added as time goes on. While I love me some Marvel and DC, the fact is there is more to comic life than just those two companies. One day in and Comic Blitz has been well worth my time and a service that I will certainly enjoy for the foreseeable future. They are not paying me for this. No one from the company has contacted me asking me for a review. While I would certainly love some freebies from them, cause I am one cheap bastard, I want to see them succeed and encourage ALL comic book fans to support this company. Digital comics are the future. While I never wish for regular paper comics to disappear, like Pandora or Netflix, digital services like this are great ways for people to sample material they may not have given a chance to due to price. Services like this allow you to try something that may be out of your comfort zone. Take Marvel Unlimited. Without that app I would not have read Ms. Marvel and now that is my favorite comic. With the new Comic Blitz app, a new favorite is waiting for me to find. I started one called My Boyfriend is a Monster which is off to a good start. Thanks Comic Blitz.