Back in 1964 Stan Lee’s original vision for the Fantastic Four was about giving superheroes human foibles. The Human Torch was a hothead, and Ben Grimm was emotionally distant, etc. While those characters books may seem quaint by modern standards, it was a revelation compared to the morally perfect good guys, and totally craven villains that had existed before then.
Cut to 40 years later, and we’ve come full circle. Beyond even the gritty realism of post-modern comics like The Watchmen, we’ve now infused foibles into full-on cartoon characters, turning the ramrod heroes of our youth into drug addicted jerk-offs. The king of this kind of stuff is The Venture Brothers. It’s the tale of a boy adventurer (think Johnny Quest) who is entering into his forties with a trail of failures, two idiot sons, and an addiction to uppers. As sad as that sounds, it’s also one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, finding humor in the mundane while mixing and re-mixing nerd cliches in constantly surprising ways.
It’s also a type of humor that I thought was almost impossible to duplicate. But it seems like someone else has figured out the formula. Perhaps not to the same level, but they do seem to have their hearts in the right place, and it’s definitely laugh out loud funny in parts. They’re also excellent and skewering the ridiculousness of internet culture.
They call themselves For Tax Reasons, and I’m going to keep my eye on them.
Here’s their first major offering. It’s called “IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR“.