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Good Guy
harkovast at 6:42PM, Jan. 8, 2010
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Worse than shoddy art or bad story telling, this comic encourages ignorance, arrogance, xenophobia and racism.
So yeah, we weren't terribly keen, but what did YOU think?

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
TheFlyingGreenMonkey at 3:29PM, Jan. 9, 2010
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I read a bit into Good Guy and found a few pages I liked but the rest I found not funny or just wrong.

Some of the last pages with the emo are my favorite.

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 4:07PM, Jan. 9, 2010
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TFGM there is a ocassional amusing page, I grant you.
But these are few and far between and are over shadowed by the comics many failings, both in terms of comedy and morality.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
TheFlyingGreenMonkey at 10:40PM, Jan. 9, 2010
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harkovast
TFGM there is a ocassional amusing page, I grant you.
But these are few and far between and are over shadowed by the comics many failings, both in terms of comedy and morality.
And I agree with that.

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
I Am The 1337 Master at 11:34AM, Jan. 10, 2010
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Is it really that racist? I hope not. It doesn't look half bad. I liked that twilight one (being the only one I've read so far)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:07AM, Jan. 11, 2010
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1337- Yes, I'm afraid it is.
The problem is that the jokes are just played completely straight.
They are no ironic, of mocking racist tendancies, they are just treating racist, xenophbic stereotypes as if they are, in themselves, a good source of entertainment.
Every French character is a coward, we are told that tolerance is just PC rubbish, we see evil arabs who spend all day sending out suicide bombers and oppressing women, and a Native American (Called ‘Bull Sit’ ) who is a bad guy who wants his peoples land back because they traded it for beads because they “love beads”.
It throws out these, tired, ignorant characatures of other cultures about which the author clearly knows nothing as if thats supposed to be funny.
I am here to tell the author it is not funny, it's just sad.
I think that we humans, as a species, should be better then that.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
assortedboxofchick at 5:51AM, Jan. 12, 2010
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I liked Good Guy actually. I don't get the impression from reading it that the author was intentionally racist. He explains in one page (on Africa) that it bothers him that people refer to Africa as one country and don't acknowledge all the other countries as well. He can't be that ignorant of others if that bothers him. (At least I think so anyway.) I found Good Guy (the actual hero) to be funny because he's trying too hard and obviously gets it wrong.

I think the writer was off the mark on a few things (emphasis on Baby Jesus) but it was Christmas time when he posted that one. Also Good Guy had a go at someone persecuting someone else who was Jewish. He seems to have his heart in the right place. He had an equal go at Israelis and Palestinians. I think the author was off the mark when it came to naming the native American, but I don't feel he was having a go at native Americans. I think he was introducing particular parodied villains.

As for the talent line up in Saudi Arabia…it is very true women need to be covered there, and are very oppressed; I like that he emphasized their plight. Attention needs to be drawn to that. I think the intention of that particular page over-ruled the term ‘rag-head’ which I admit is racist. But you have to look at who was saying it. (The anti-hero who is bound to say the wrong things anyway.)

I think that the page in which the redcoat soldier was being stabbed was wrong. The author should have thought about the fact that the British are helping us Americans right now and seem sometimes to be their only ally. Maybe Androo did that without thinking about it too much. Most over-patriotic Americans tend to say stuff without thinking. Could it be said then, that the author made his comic to be light-hearted but got a few things wrong? (the fashion police and the feminazi robot chick are really funny) I think the humor and the art were the defining features with a few bad pages that could have got a tsk tsk.

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 5:05PM, Jan. 12, 2010
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Assorted, I can believe that the author might not have intended his comic to be racist or insulting…but that doesn't make that kinda thing okay.
But yes, I can accept that idea that his errors are down to ignorance rather then malice.

The bit about the middle east was offensive for two reasons.
Firstly it was such a ham fisted attempt to tackle a series situation. The author appeared to be implying that the two sides need a biggerpower to fly in and tell them to stop (suggesting American intervention?) Maybe he just didn't think through what the implications were of what he was saying (which seems likely!) Certainly he makes captain world appear foolish and nieve for wanting the two sidesto negociate, where as good guy solves the problem by just jumping in and kicking ass. Yeah…cause thats what the israeli/palestinian conflicts needs, americans going in and attacking everyone….wow.
The whole thing was hamp fisted and kind of embarassing, a sudden preachy tone in the middle of a supposed comedy comic. It was horribly jarring and out of place.
Also, I was distressed that the Jewish characters looked friendly, while the muslim characters looked evil and angry. If you are going to make statements on something like the middle east, making one side look like evil villains is not a good place to start.

Another point I didn't like was the whole captain world character. The comic seemed to be trying to suggest that wantin tolerance, racial harmony and peace makes you a whimp or a PC weakling.
Thats a REALLY creepy message! We live in a world torn by hate, anger, xenophobia, and racism. I'm no peace nik, I'll support war in a righteous cause, but to suggest that tolerance or not insulting other cultures is a bad thing…I just cant condone that.
The bit where Good Guy punchs out Captain world and says “Tolerate this!” is especially creepy! It COULD have been funny, if it was presented as Good Guy being the big dumbm jock who solves everything with violence, and so we are laughing at his stupidity for lamping captain world. But it does not come across that way. Instead it seems like captain world is being dangerously nieve by suggesting Good Guy does not have the right to dictate to other cultures what they should do or that good guy should not insult other cultures he knows very little about. Good Guy punching him and shouting “Tolerate this!” is presented as a heroic gesture….and frankly thats pretty scary!

There are a lot of bad things going on in the middle east and a lot of aspects of those cultures I dont agree with, but this comic features numerous muslims characters (Oil genie, a terrorist who wants to attack a far and the terrorists fighting in israel) and as far as I can tell they are ALL terrorists! (the oil genie wants him to take messages to Osama and go suicide bombing, so yeah, hes a terrorist!)
A tiny minority of muslims are members of terrorist organisations, and to type cast and entire religion and racial group based on that is racist. Again, the author may be trying to make a legitimate comment on how bad so aspects of the culture of saudi arabia is, and thats a legitimate goal, there is plenty to criticise. But he comes at it in such a ham fisted way that he just ends up making dumb racist jokes based on stereotypes.
You mention a bit where he calls someone a rag head….I actually missed that one!

As for the British joke, I actually tried to give the comic the benefit of the doubt on that one.
If you look at the comments you will see that I made a joke of “Wow! As an Englishman this makes me wish we had sent MORE troops to iraq”, which was obviously meant to be ironic, like I was inspired by Good Guy's violence to want to help America.
Unfortunately the author responded as if he was taking my remark seriously, and felt Britain had not supported America in the Iraq war. Thats pretty worrying!
It suggests he not only knows little about the wars he claims to support but also wasn't aiming to be ironic, and was infact trying to stick it to the British!

But I like to be fair, and the review comic is a very limited format so I have to focus on the main points.
Since my review was very harsh (and I believe rightly so) I will take a momment to go over some things I did like….or at least didn't hate.
This comic works best earlier on, when the comic is about a goofy useless super hero, who over zealously tries to save the world, but usually just messes things up. When he is beating up litterers while missing bank robbers, he is a lot funnier. I didn't find a lot of the jokes worked, but there is some humour there and its a decent premise.
However, as the comic proceeds we start getting a change in Good Guys character and in the character of the comic. It gradually becomes more of a platform for the author to preach his world view to us, which he tends to do in a heavy handed, ill informed and unintentionally offensive manner. Good Guy changes from a loveable idiot to a mouth piece for the author. Rather then screwing things up, his bravado and aggression start become the correct solution and anyone suggesting restraint or calm (ie captain world) is portrayed as a weakling and a fool.
I dont mind stories with a moral or that want to teach me something. But I dont want to go from light hearted jokes to suddenly being lectured. (Even if I agreed with the politics here, the soap box preaching wold piss me off! People crudely pushing their opinions is irritating! Rush LImbaugh, Michael Moore, they are all assholes if you ask me! Check out Kombat Kubs for proof on what I think of those two…)
But as if preaching and lecturing and reducing the character to a mouth piece was not enough…the morals he teaches are REALLY bad!
Morals like “tolerance is bad” and “we need to use violence to solve problems between countries because negociation is for cowards” or “Native Americans are funny! HAHA! Bitching about losing their land!” are not acceptable.
I think if the author could keep his world views to himself and focus instead on what this comic began as, then he might be on to something.
For example, if Good Guy went to other countries and made dopey assumptions about them (like he thinks every muslim must be a suicide bomber or assumes everyone in france is trying to surrender to him) where he is clearly wrong and we are laughing at his stupidity, that would be funny (and keeping with the original character).
But Good Guy goes to other countries and everyone there IS a terroist or a coward or whatever? That is not cool.

End of the day, the character of Good Guy is only funny when hes wrong! Badly structured political rants are not funny, and if you don't do your research they can be offensive.

But, as I said, I will put this down to ignorance on the part of the author, rather then any intended malice.
Though of course, the test of whether I am right to give him the benefit of the doubt will be if he continues to include that sort of material in the future.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
DrLuck at 8:12PM, Jan. 12, 2010
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assortedboxofchick
I liked Good Guy actually. I don't get the impression from reading it that the author was intentionally racist. He explains in one page (on Africa) that it bothers him that people refer to Africa as one country and don't acknowledge all the other countries as well. He can't be that ignorant of others if that bothers him. (At least I think so anyway.) I found Good Guy (the actual hero) to be funny because he's trying too hard and obviously gets it wrong.

I think the writer was off the mark on a few things (emphasis on Baby Jesus) but it was Christmas time when he posted that one. Also Good Guy had a go at someone persecuting someone else who was Jewish. He seems to have his heart in the right place. He had an equal go at Israelis and Palestinians. I think the author was off the mark when it came to naming the native American, but I don't feel he was having a go at native Americans. I think he was introducing particular parodied villains.

As for the talent line up in Saudi Arabia…it is very true women need to be covered there, and are very oppressed; I like that he emphasized their plight. Attention needs to be drawn to that. I think the intention of that particular page over-ruled the term ‘rag-head’ which I admit is racist. But you have to look at who was saying it. (The anti-hero who is bound to say the wrong things anyway.)

I think that the page in which the redcoat soldier was being stabbed was wrong. The author should have thought about the fact that the British are helping us Americans right now and seem sometimes to be their only ally. Maybe Androo did that without thinking about it too much. Most over-patriotic Americans tend to say stuff without thinking. Could it be said then, that the author made his comic to be light-hearted but got a few things wrong? (the fashion police and the feminazi robot chick are really funny) I think the humor and the art were the defining features with a few bad pages that could have got a tsk tsk.



That was a lot of spots where the author was “off the mark” you mentioned. The good majority of the comic loses the mark with its writing. That is by far the weakest part about it.

Hark already said the majority of the issues involved, and I agree that I don't think the author is supposedly a hardcore racist. I do think the comic is racist and offensive, and if the author thinks he's doing satire, he needs to reevaluate his writing. If the author wants people to think the stereotypes are wrong, for example, he isn't communicating that idea enough (as proved by this review). Satire is like sarcasm: if you don't exaggerate your expression of the phrase, people will misinterpret what you meant.

It is critical to a political cartoon that you are informed and research your subject before you touch a pencil for the comic. Being ignorant about issues makes the author's words less valid. If you are going to be giving out facts, those facts better be accurate. If you're going to be giving opinions, your opinions must be backed up by facts.

The way the comic is written also seems preachy, another sign of the poor writing. People don't like being preached to. Did you ever watch an episode of Captain Planet and think for a moment that the intentions was anything other than telling you to clean up the environment? I get that sort of vibe when I read the comic. Don't tell me what my opinions should be. Tell me something and let me reflect on it myself.

All in all, I think the comic is crippled by the writing and needs to be thought out more. The author should seriously research both sides of issues before telling me what's right or wrong, get away from stereotypes, and learn to communicate satire better. I suggested in the review comic comments that the author should try Blazing Saddles for an example of well executed satire (which also talks about racism, which is the biggest subject of this review).

And on a final note, the author knew what he was signing up for when signing up for a review with these guys. These guys tell it exactly how they feel about it. If you're going to post a comic for the public, let alone sign up for a review with a couple of very critical critics, you must be able to take a harsh critique. Critiques are tools for improvement, and simply saying this was a “bad review” is only showing further ignorance.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:45AM, Jan. 13, 2010
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I think we should all go and watch more Blazing Saddles!

That bit where he goes up to the old lady in the street and says “howdy mam” and she responds “screw you…” Welll we all know how that ended!
genius stuff!

Dr Luck, you are explaining whats wrong with this comic better then I am!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
ifelldownthestairs at 8:19PM, Jan. 13, 2010
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Wow, our forum is finally busy!

Most everything I would have said has already been covered by Hark, but there is one thing I would like to add in response to the proposed defense.

assortedboxofchick
I think the intention of that particular page over-ruled the term ‘rag-head’ which I admit is racist. But you have to look at who was saying it. (The anti-hero who is bound to say the wrong things anyway.)

This is EXACTLY what we're talking about. If the hero said shit like this, completely unaware of its meaning, or maybe to let it slip out and then realize his folly after the fact, then yeah, that's funny. Or maybe even if he did mean it, but said it in the wrong place, like maybe in front of a group of liberals protesting the war, or something. But for it to be totally devoid of irony, and in fact merely be him making casually racist remarks like that, is not funny at all. This way, it's merely presented as the character's line, as opposed to a joke. In that light, how can this not be viewed as racist?

I love that DrLuck brought up Blazing Saddles (in fact I wish I had thought of that!); there are few examples of anthropological sarcasm more brilliant than that movie.

The sheriff is a niDOOOOONGGGGG
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
assortedboxofchick at 3:09AM, Jan. 14, 2010
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Thanks for all your responses, guys. I don't know how to highlight anything for quotes so my response may be lame. I agree with what you said and I can admit when reading the comic, I was in a hurry and not looking into it. I think that most people will tend to brush over the deeper content as probably most people don't have a lot of time to be philosophical about such things. I suppose that is where the danger may lie. These stereotypes could creep into the subconscious and be justified one way or the other.

I did learn in American History class at college that Manhattan Island may have been traded for beads, but the natives selling it didn't own it and were a tribe that were enemies with the real denizens. So I think it must have been a cheeky move that one man may have done for personal benefit. Maybe it was his wife's anniversary and he needed a nice shiny gift, quick. I am going to have to go and look up the facts about that transaction now.

I know the webcomic review guys don't have time to discuss in length what it was about every comic they liked or disliked, but I'm glad you have time to discuss things on the forum which are unclear.

And also that comic was proof that sometimes small crappy things like ignorance and sad stereotyping can come in shiny nice packages (good art, good intentions)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 4:25AM, Jan. 14, 2010
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assortedbox: ME and Kev got the same first impression of this comic as you. initially we both (independant of each other) thought it seemed okay.
It was only when we started going through it more closely that the negative elements came through.

I think the forum has really coem into its own on this one, as it has allowed us to expand a great deal on what we thought of Good Guy.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
confusedsoul at 1:48PM, Jan. 15, 2010
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I think it's sad that he seems so miffed about the review. Of the comics reviewed, only, what, perhaps two have had a reception which is liked by both of the reviewers? Everybody signing up here should be aware that the reviews don't brush over faults with a wonderful glittery love brush.

I'm already making a few notes about mine when it's reviewed, so my delicately paper-thin skin won't get punctured by Harko-needles.

On the comic he mentioned that you took the sterotyping too seriously. I think he took the review too seriously.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 3:24PM, Jan. 15, 2010
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I think a lot of people sign up without really checking our previous reviews, so they assume we will be all “nicey nicey” rather then the hateful bitter swine we really are!
I do find peoples reactions interesting though, some people agree to our review when they are are very harsh, others get mixed reviews and act like we have completely slated them.
I guess how you come away from a review is as much to do with your own view point coming in as what we actually say.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
Adolf Hitler at 7:31PM, Jan. 15, 2010
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I don't get it. Everyone says this comic has racist undertones?

All I see is an accurate portrayal of inferior cultures. You imbeciles need to learn some cultural history…

Go To School.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
confusedsoul at 10:06AM, Jan. 16, 2010
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Adolf Hitler
I don't get it. Everyone says this comic has racist undertones?

All I see is an accurate portrayal of inferior cultures. You imbeciles need to learn some cultural history…

Go To School.

Pff. Go to art school Hitler.

Oh wait, you tried!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
I Am The 1337 Master at 4:47PM, Jan. 20, 2010
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It could just be that the characters are very flat and very stereotypical. That doesn't neccessarrily mean that it's straight out racism.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:24AM, Jan. 21, 2010
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Leet Master- The problem is that the jokes depend on stereotypes to work.
On several pages, for example, the joke is “All muslims are terrorists who oppress women” or “native american have funny names and lost their land cause they are dumb”.
There is no irony here, we aren't laughing at the characters from believing these stupid things.
They are presented as true and the humour stems from laughing at those who are different from the author.
To me, this is the lowest form of humour and I simply cant let it go unchallenged.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
DrLuck at 11:31AM, Jan. 24, 2010
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I Am The 1337 Master
It could just be that the characters are very flat and very stereotypical. That doesn't neccessarrily mean that it's straight out racism.

If I say all black guys love fried chicken, I'd be stereotyping and being racist at once. That's the biggest issue with this comic. Again, the intentions may not be straight out racism, but because the writing isn't well developed for satire yet, it comes off as racist.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
CartoonistWill at 6:20PM, Jan. 24, 2010
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harkovast
Worse than shoddy art or bad story telling, this comic encourages ignorance, arrogance, xenophobia and racism.
So yeah, we weren't terribly keen, but what did YOU think?



I came here when I heard you guys did a review on Good Guy. I will have to admit that the recent vampire issue wasn't that funny (though I loved the friendly Twilight joke, ha ha), the comic as a whole is actually quite funny and started out, I admit, much more funny in the beginning of the series before the comic went from a joke-a-day type focus to telling actual, and somewhat semi-serious, story lines (this is what usually always happens when semi-serious story lines are introduced to all superhero series - when was the last time you complained Batman or Superman weren't funny? Recall the Batusi dance, do you? That's why Batman is no longer funny). Did any of you complain when Batman went from Adam West to Batman Begins?

Concerning the humor that may easily offend those who are sensitive: The comic is humorous in that it is quite intellectual - it emphasizes the stereotypical things in a fashion that makes us laugh because we are purposefully shown how ridiculous and far away from reality that these stereotypes are. It is true that not everyone is mature enough to be able to laugh at themselves and will take these jokes too seriously, as I was at first when the Southern general character in Civil War Confederacy uniform was introduced. I admit that I felt I was being attacked and was angry that this character was stereotypically seen hating African-Americans, despite history showing that the North treated the blacks far worse than the south (this is Civil War period onward to today)*, even up into the time of the Great Depression, if I'm not mistaken. However I got over this as I calmed down and focused on the positive. I realized that this was actually a wonderful story that spoke out against racism. And since most people are incorrectly taught and thus view the South as hating black people more than others, why not play up on this part and create a super Southern Confederate themed character? It made sense. And, besides, this character was obviously mentally unstable and deranged, being a super racist villain who dresses and thinks as if the Civil War still rages on, so there's no reason to believe that he would even know what a true Southerner or Confederate soldier would even act or be like. In the end, it's this character who disgraces his namesake and inflames me so, not Androo. Androo is only writing how this character would behave and think, and this means that Androo is not responsible for this character's actions or opinions. It is Good Guy, more likely than not to perhaps share some of Androo's viewpoints, who confronts this madman and teaches the invaluable lesson that racism is wrong. As a writer myself I understand that sometimes the characters take us where we don't like to go, they do and believe and say things we don't approve of… When was the last time you complained that Frank Miller is a psychotic madman with murderous intent because the Joker killed an entire audience on a talk show and then intended to kill children at a nearby fair ground (The Dark Knight Returns, Miller)? You don't. So why start now? And don't forget it's also Miller - or Androo - who takes the job of writing how the good guy Batman, or in this case our very own Good Guy, will stop the misguided and sick villains in their world. And even then there is no reason to believe that Miller or Androo share any of the beliefs, attitudes, likes or dislikes that these titular characters may have based only on the criteria that they wrote them along their way in their fictional life.

Also, is there anything wrong with religion within fiction or otherwise? And what's so embarrassing with one expressing what they are passionate about? After all, intellectual items such as religion and politics are what make a good, strong story, making 2D characters become 3D as we explore their roots, mentalities, passions, drives, focus… Everything. So many characters in superhero comics are being fleshed out like never before now. I remember when Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four suddenly stopped during a battle and started praying to Yahweh because he was Jewish. Someone then said, “That's funny. You don't look Jewish.” Or perhaps Bruce Wayne's struggles to believe in the God of his parents, seeing as how most DC writers view Batman's folks as either Catholic or Episcopalian? And it's that very Catholicism that his parents, perhaps his mother, instill into Bruce at such a young age that causes him to be unable to forgive himself and to let go of seeking to avenge his parents in his later years. Without religion, how could we possibly see so grave the condition of The Batman's tortured heart and soul? Or perhaps you would like to discredit how Maw and Paw Kent brought Superman up in the Methodist Church as well or how Superman himself, created by two Jewish boys, is intentionally a picture, a type, of the Jewish Messiah, the Christ, and this is heavily played up, perhaps too far, in some adaptations, such as Superman Returns for example? Yes, as Kal-El keeps watch over a hurting world, listening to its every cry for help, it is Jor-El the father who, to his son, paints a picture with his words of God the Father speaking to His own Son in the Bible. And there are countless other examples found through out superhero comics that could be brought up, and none I've ever heard much complaint about. But all that Androo has done is, instead of hide his intent, has a one page Easter themed comic strip that straightforwardly speaks about Easter, how Antisemitism is wrong (perhaps Harkovast has forgotten to mention this? I know he would know better as a reviewer or debate participant than the use the oh so very cheap straw-man method and only mention and play up Good Guy's weaknesses), and to end it with, yes, an extremely brief mention of Jesus and Easter ( Click Here to see it: http://www.drunkduck.com/Good_Guy/?p=198752 ). Harkovast and Kevin didn't even give link examples of this or other complaints. Compared to the constant and often hidden themes of Catholicism in Batman or Christianity in Superman or the fact that The Thing is one of comic's ONLY Jewish superheroes who actually goes as far as praying - not unlike Batman - to the God of Israel? No, of course not, because to speak out against Ben's prayer would be bigotry, intolerant of other people's views, and obviously Antisemitism! Right? And yet this reviewer has not refrained from doing the very thing he has complained about, except with one difference - Good Guy is funny and in this single page Easter comic sets out to attack no one. The very person Good Guy is speaking to, the man who would attack the Jewish and perpetrate an ignorant hate-crime because he is a hypocritical religious man, is not only stopped by, in this instance, the non-hypocritical religious Good Guy, but is due to Good Guy stopping him, is seen limp and unconscious, being dragged about by the well-meaning Good Guy as he does this one or two sentences worth of preaching that Harkovast wasn't mature enough to sit through. I find the visage of the unconscious man and the idea of Good Guy trying to preach to him unaware of his condition to be hilarious. And then, just like the dozens of pages of Good Guy before it, we never get preached to again nor do we even hear the name of Jesus, if I am not mistaken. In other words, that's just only 1 single tiny page containing only one or two short sentences within over 200 pages. This one single page, not necessary to Good Guy canon whatsoever, was really that intolerable? Really? As compared to Superman constantly reminding us of the Judeo-Christian Messiah, Ben Grimm actually praying instead of fighting, or Batman going to a Catholic confessional or praying by his bed or in a church pew as both young and adult Bruce Wayne? And let's not forget the entire graphic novel in which Batman's family was revealed to be the last of the Masonic Knights, tasked with guarding the Holy Grail for centuries, or perhaps the time when Green Arrow died and went to heaven (albeit Buddhist, I think?) for a brief period of time. There have been far worse things than one or two short sentences on one page within 200 plus pages, and yet a reviewer emphasizes the content - that's one or two sentences - of one page out of 200, albeit along with other complaints, in order to come to the conclusion that one should avoid this comic series?

This has not been much of a review, guys. It's an opinionated rant strung with high emotions and no citations with a conclusion based solely upon personal bias. Not unlike one woman's review of Ghostbusters stating that she knew a man who was an “asshole” who happened to like the film, so therefore all others must also be the same. It is reviews like these that plague the internet. Why? Because no one takes them serious enough to print them.

Getting back to Androo, it is true that you, Androo, may or may not have gone too far with some of the stereotypes in the series. But you have not done this with malicious intent (with the exception of the Twilight joke, I hope, ha ha) and it is not my intent to censor your creativity. For what it is, I have thoroughly enjoyed your work, despite being offended at least once.

And that is this 25 year old comicker's review, although hardly qualified. I hope that you, whether you agreed or not, have enjoyed my review of Good Guy and, yes, this review itself, on an intellectual level.

I have taken all of my information about religion in superhero comics from http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html . I recommend reading what is on this site for, if not intellectual stimulation, then at least curiosity and to make one more well rounded in superhero comic knowledge. And I leave you with a quote by Frank Miller himself:

“If people can't stand cartoons about religion, they've got a problem.”
– Frank Miller, author of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns; Daredevil; Sin City; etc. (28 February 2006) http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6311604.html
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
CartoonistWill at 6:29PM, Jan. 24, 2010
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I Am The 1337 Master
Is it really that racist? I hope not. It doesn't look half bad. I liked that twilight one (being the only one I've read so far)


It isn't racist. It actually fights against and discourages racism at any chance it gets. It only comes off as racist to those who aren't paying attention because of the all the stereotypes which Harkovast may have a point on concerning. However his claim that it is racist and xenophobic are either due to his misunderstanding of the comic or are downright lies. His lack of citing any good points within Good Guy - for example all of the story lines in which Good Guy fights against racism straightforwardly - seems extremely unprofessional of Harkovast and Kevin and should discredit their reviews with their readers from this point on.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
CartoonistWill at 7:13PM, Jan. 24, 2010
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Hey, Harkovast and Kev. In your defense, I just wanted to say that I did emphasize way out of proportions the “mentioning Jesus and the story behind Christian Easter is an embarrassment” line that Hark said. But, still, Hark was being immature. One page out of 200? Religion and heroes saving people happens in stories and life all of the time, Hark. Religion will always offend immature, sensitive people that can't handle hearing about opposing view points. That doesn't make it wrong to include in a good comic. Come on. Get what Frank Miller and I are saying. You're being intolerable and racist in an anti-religious way. Whether you believe or not, it's just one page in a 200+ page comic series. I'm Christian but I read and watch things with Buddhism and Shintoism in it all of the time.

Moving along, I don't disagree with the hurtful stereotypes. I just learned to deal and live with it. So, we agree on that totally. Andrew definitely strikes nerves there. And my reaction to the Confederate villain can be seen in the comments of those pages on Good Guy, so obviously I was being very sensitive and over reacting myself at that moment too. But I'm not saying either one of us is wrong for being offended concerning hurtful stereotypes and lack of research (in regard to your “promotes ignorance” statement). I'm not so certain that your claim of “xenophobia” is true, however, as you failed to give any examples of anything. In my viewpoint, taking in mind I've read all 200+ entries of Good Guy, it seems to me that you derive this accusation simply from the already state stereotypes, perhaps trying to find a motive or otherwise consequences that this alleged racism could have. Speaking of which, of course villains and other characters will be racist if that is who they are. If I wrote a story about Adolf Hitler, he would be highly racist. Getting to the point, you neglected to mention that the Good Guy character fights against racism at many points during the comic. For example, during the single page Easter holiday comic strip that Hark so hates, Good Guy is seen stomping out the flames of Antisemitism as produced by ignorant Christians - and by using Christianity against them! Aren't you loving the irony here?!? I know I am. Jesus is Jewish. Another example is the story in which the Confederate soldier villain is introduced. He is racist towards people of African descent but Good Guy quickly puts him into his place. Good Guy may be a jerk at times himself by cracking jokes that he may not realize are hurtful (I'm sure Andrew does and would never say such jokes in the company of those he knows better than to), but Good Guy can't stand REAL racism. The stereotypes promote racism, though? Maybe. But not on purpose. The Native American stereotype, among others, is meant to be funny and that's it. Did Andrew have to play up the stereotypes? No. No, he didn't. It's only natural that people like myself were offended by the stereotypes. But the Good Guy comic has merit beyond these points. Perhaps you'll review it again once Andrew hits the 400 comic mark? Or perhaps not. But it would be interesting to see if the review is any different. :-)

I felt I needed to say some more positive things about your review in order to balance out what I had said previously. You know, find some positive elements of your review that I liked or could agree with. You two, mostly Hark, however failed to do this with Good Guy. You never mentioned that this “racist” comic that “encourages racism” actually has whole story plots surrounded around “discouraging and fighting against racism.” This is called the Straw Man argument. Look it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:27AM, Jan. 25, 2010
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Cartoonist Will, if you read the earlier posts on this forum, you would actually have already seen that I have given examples of what I meant.
The review comic is only 6 panels long, and so you aren't going to get citations for everything we say, but I have given examples on here.

But here are some examples again to help you out, along with the point that each character makes-

Captain World- A puny, weakling UN super hero, that shows us that cooperation between nations, negociating, tolerance and all that pussy crap are a waste of time when all it needs is American attackign to solve the worlds problems.
Not that its the French guy who suggests sending him, showing us that the French are all pussies!
Soooo, cooperating with other countries and negociating with them is a sign of weakness…I wonder how I thought that was xenophobic?

The fashion police-
These guys actually go out of character and start trying to enforce being PC in one comic (showing that androo values shoe-horning in his politics more then he values the characters motivations). Oh no! having to respect other peoples holidays? What a horrifying concept! This just reinforces the right wing myth in America that liberals are out to “destroy Christmas”, a conflict that only exists in Bill O'Reilly's head.

The various terrorist characters-
If the point of hte comic was laughing at how ridiculous stereotypes are…how comes every single muslim character in it is a terrorist? If the joke was that stereotyping muslims as terrorists is riduculous, he could have had Good Guy stupidly saying that every muslim is a terrorist when they clearly aren't and thinking a plate of curry must have a bomb in it, something like that. That would have shown that stereotypes aren't true and the joke would have been on Good Guy for believing them. Instead the muslims are just presented as straight forward terrorists, the only joke being how ridiculous, stupid and America hating they all are.
If you believe that all muslims (or even anything other then a tiny, tiny minority) are terrorists, then that is both ignorant and racist.

The Natvie American-
Even you cant seem to defend this guy very well, so I wont bother to attack him anymore. Once again, the joke is not “Aren't people stupid for thinking these things are true?” The Joke is “Hahah, aren't native Americans funny!”
Not cool.

The Feminiator-
Jokes about big, bullish feminazi characters are insulting to womens rights…but thats not why this annoys me. It annoys me because its just lazy! thats such a tired, over done stereotype, I cant believe anyone would still be using it!
“Hahah! Feminists are all militant man haters! They probably need to just get laid! Hahah!”
Is this the type of tired, ignorant humour we are going to accept?

The evil counvil-
Yes a council of evil stereotypes is out to destroy america. Its got plenty of foreigners (cause they are always evil adn allying with them is for whimps anyway, as we already learned!), a southerner (ironically showing the racist stereotype of the ignorant southern racist) and a feminist chick (cauyse I guess feminists just love destroying america.) Need I say more about what is wrogn with this?

Is that enough with the examples?
As I said earlier on the forum, I do accept the notion that androo puts forward these stereotypes out of ignorance and lack of thinking rather then because he actively aims to be racist. Several times he does (very clumsily and preachily) tell us that racism is bad. But when he follows this up with a joke about “hahah! Aren't native americans funny?” then that sort of undermines the message!
Simply saying “I dont like racism” does not give one a free message to promote racist ideas.

Also, I dont believe androo is racist because I think he shares the views of the southern racist character. You certainly don't have to agree with the politics of characters in your own stories. I am not so simple as to jump to that conclusion.
What makes me think that is racist is having only one character in the comic who is southern and having them be a characatured racist. People from the deep south get a lot of mocking for this, accusations that they are ignorant hill billies who are all deeply racist. In the media, if someone expresses pride in being from the south, they are immediately pegged as a racist who wants to return to the days of slavery. As you mentioned, the American Civil War was far more complex then a simple matter of heroic Northern Troops trying to liberate the slaves from their evil southern masters. Now if there had been several southern characters, one of whome was Major Dixie and it was the other southern characters who were saying “No, you are wrong, that is not what the south stands for anymore!”
However, while Good Guy (who does not seem to be from the deep south) objects and black people object, we see no evidence that other white southerners don't agree with what major dixie says on their behalf.
(Perhaps I should point out, I am not from the Deep South of the USA, I am from England, but watching American television, I've noticed the short end of the stick the south seems to get. In American movies, bad guys are English, but when they absolutely have to be American, they are from the South.)
This sort of stereotyping is not cool. Never was, never will be.


For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:40AM, Jan. 25, 2010
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The reason I didn't talk much about the art or other features is that racism sort of trumps all.
Once you start beign racist, other features of your work become unimportant.
Look at Kramer doing his stand up. No one remembers his jokes from that show, we just remember when he lost it and started shouting “it's a nigger” at the audience!

As for the religious strip, I want to be really clear that I am not trying to have a go at religion or say that we cant show religion in comics.
I was not launching an attack on religion and I would be quick to call foul on anyone I saw doing this.
Cartoonist Will, you are misunderstanding what it was that annoyed me about this section. I was not offended that it included religion. What annoyed me was that it was such an abrupt, heavy handed and preachy section.
It was like the comic went on hold so that the author could give me and entirely serious, unfunny lecture about his religious beliefs.
Getting lectured is not fun and it is not funny.
He could have stopped the comic to lecture about anything and I would have been annoyed by it!
I dont want the comic to stop so the author can give lectures on how he sees the world.
if there was a story built up around a characters faith, or a character who was religious in a story, that is all fine, those ideas could work well.
But just suddenly stopping the jokes so we can have a “very special message” is not funny, its embarrassing!

This felt like one step down from one of those awful Jack Chick tracts!

You are putting words in my mouth by portraying me as hating religion and not wanting to see it mentioned.
I am not complaining about the concept of religion or the fact that it appears in comics. I am arguing against heavy handed, moralising lectures in the middle of what is supposed to be a comedy comic.

I was NOT embarrassed by it because I think no one should mention religion ever (I am not part of some left wing plot, exciting as that might be!), I was embarrassed because it was completely inappropriate to the tone of the comic and was presented in a crude, unsubtle and ineffectual manner.

Though I will admit, I over looked the unconcious man being lectured, so there was a joke there. Credit where it is due. But the focus should have been on the man and the fact Good Guy was lecturing mindlessly to someone who could not hear. That could have been funny. Instead the focus was on “isn't Jesus great?”
Now whether you are religious or not, saying “Jesus is great” is not funny and is not a punchline!

I also agree with your observation that Good Guy was a lot funnier when it didn't bother trying to have a story or be semi-serious.
Why must all comics become serious after a while? What is wrong with funny?
Also, as Good Guys starts trying to have a serious story it becomes more and more the soap box platform for the authors opinions, with characters (like the fashion police) even acting wildly out of character so more of androos world view can be shoved down our throats.
The comic should stick to trying to be funny because every time it tries to tell me something it ends up being embarrassingly hamfisted and often offensive.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
CartoonistWill at 5:20PM, Jan. 25, 2010
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Hey, Hark!

First off, as I did privately in my message reply to you, I want to apologize publicly. What for? Because I later realized that I had allowed my emotions to get the better of me, I took out of context what you said by emphasizing way too much the religion aspect, and I could have made what I said a lot more brief. Also, I didn't say this in the message I sent, but the whole thing I said about the stereotypes being funny because it's so exaggerated and far from the truth - I was guessing on that one, so I hope I got it right (maybe only Andrew knows for sure). Oh, and my apologies for not reading the above comments. It was foolish of me. I admit I would have but I was getting fatigued and had more important things to get to - things I should have done instead of write my reply to the review in the first place, I'm sure.

Anyway, I'll give some replies to some of the things you said. I'll try to be brief.

1) Captain World - Right, I understand. I think this is humorous, but CW is obviously exaggerated to the point that could be seen as discrediting people with those views, which I'm sure sometimes work (I am not up to date with world affairs and I take no sides here until I am). I'm not sure if the Good Guy series uses this to say that America should attack to solve the world's problems, but I'm certain that this is Good Guy's point of view, although Andrew tells me Good Guy is screwed up and incorrect in his views (I guess that makes him somewhat stereotypical himself?). Anyway, if you were wondering, I may perhaps be conservative politically, but I hate politics and I never expected you of being liberal or leftist or anything. I did fully recognize that Good Guy series seems to favor the right wing or whatever, and I admit that some of what is in Good Guy is not my cup of tea. I wish for it to get back to how it was back in the beginning with good ol' creepy Tickler and the Mime and whatnot. That stuff was funny and had no agenda but to be funny, you're right. Maybe focus on Good Guy's origin? Getting to the point, I now understand what you meant by xenophobic. A fear of right wingers to try what they're afraid will not work? Thank you, I simply couldn't see it until now.

2) Fashion Police - This one is easy. I agree. The FP seemed out of character in places to me too. I think I even may have commented to Andrew about that long ago that I felt this way. See above concerning the fact I never thought about anyone being “left wing.” I hate politics and never talk about them. They are important, though, but I just try to keep myself away from arguments and debates. This is one the times I failed to do so, ha ha.

3) Terrorists and Islam - You're right, not all Muslims are terrorists. However I wasn't looking for this in Good Guy and never saw that all of them were presented as such. But Andrew's story wasn't about pointing out that not all Muslims are terrorists, so I'm not sure he deserves as harsh of review here. Maybe there just weren't any non-terrorists needed in the script? However if he purposely did this, then yes you're right, or otherwise I admit he walks a dangerous fine line. I remember the Seabiscuit movie. It was a great movie but the villain was always referred to as “The Christian” when in fact she wasn't acting like one. There have been plenty of those in history, however, like Adolf Hitler who was Catholic - he certainly set himself against God, but some people today still use him to attack the Christian or Catholic groups. Terrorists have been in the news for quite some time now and I don't believe it right to ignore current affairs - however you're right in that I too wished Seabiscuit had at least one quick sentence saying how it seems the villains actions are hypocritical. So, you're right. There should have been a distinction between the terrorists and non-terrorists Muslims. Andrew still has time in the future of Good Guy to introduce a good Muslim character. Oh, and last note. I did think the ignorant terrorist on the farm (he thought silos were missle silos) was uncalled for, but I also admit it was funny. Many people in the middle east, Islamic and Jewish and otherwise, are sadly ignorant in some ways of Americans are though. I'm sure we're also ignorant as to who they are however as well.

4) The Native American - Like I said above, just because there is one stereotypical character does not mean that all NA in Good Guy are this way. But, you're right, this stereotype is obviously making fun of Native Americans. But I think you're being too sensitive at many points here, not just this one. I'm sure some Native Americans have the ability to laugh at themselves and don't have to take everything so, so seriously. However I understand you're point of view. It could offend someone and making fun of people is never cool. But my point of view is that people will ALWAYS be offended at something and I don't like being so uptight. I simply would avoid anything I think goes too far in my own work. Does that make me right to not be so serious? No, but it certainly makes me less stressed out. I think some things are worth offending people over (like confronting someone over a problem they have). This Native American stereotype is obviously not one of them. Making fun of people and ethnic groups, etc? Not cool. Laughing at ourselves in a tactful way and not being too sensitive? Good. I don't think Andrew, me, or you are Native American though, so let's move on.

5) Feminator - I have to admit, I just don't get this joke. So I have nothing to say about it. I like the Terminator pop-culture joke though. Wee! You can have this one, Hark. I have no disagreements, really.

6) The Evil Council - Nazis are also stereotypical and could have been brought in on this one. Does that make it wrong? Not all Germans are Nazis, but it would have been funny. I think things like the Evil Council are only wrong if the author is purposely attacking these groups instead of just using the stereotypes for comedy. But I understand your point of view and I understand why this can be seen as wrong. If this, and the other stereotypes, could have been pulled off by Andrew in a much better way but stayed funny, do you think you would have disapproved slightly less?

7) Preachy and Lecturing Against Racism and etc -
You're right, I hate things that feel like I'm being lectured to (is this also the same as preaching, technically, except to one person?). I've been working on this concept for a comic and I asked someone to help me, but I'm afraid the scripts he might write will come off as lecturing instead of going with the flow of the story. Anyway, with the racism lecturing, I think you kind of have to lecture about important things sometimes. We hate lecturing because we hate being told what to do, but sometimes we HAVE to be told what to do. In a web-comic? Maybe not, but I didn't feel lectured to personally by Andrew. Parents? Yes, parents HAVE to lecture to their kids. No drinking, no drugs, pick your clothes up, do your homework… Don't you just hate that? But sometimes it has to be done. I didn't think Andrew's “Jesus is great” lecture was too awfully preachy or over the top. Yes, unexpected, true, but it could have felt wrong, but to me it didn't. It didn't feel too much or out of place to me. It didn't feel forced, I mean. Certainly not what I was expecting from Good Guy, as I believe you felt also, but handled well in my opinion. As compared to what? Jack Chick. I believe this is a step up from some of Chick's work, personally. But thank you for bringing this buffoon up. Yes, maybe I shouldn't call him names, but he is sometimes misguided in his tracts and we can both agree on that, although it's possible we have different problems with him and his work.

I was asked a few years ago by a Jewish Christian to create a replacement comic for his ministry because he felt that Jack Chick's track that they commissioned him to make - the “Rabbi Waxman” tract - felt Antisemitic. Being interested in the Jewish culture, I read this quite some time earlier and also felt it was Antisemitic (sadly, I was unable to create a new tract for him). Another Jack Chick tract I read was even worse, I thought, because his research was extremely incorrect. He claimed that Catholics are not Christians because they have IHS on their tombstones and offering plates and that, according to this one book he read, IHS stands for Isis, Horus, and Seb, meaning that the Catholics must secretly worship Egyptian gods - oh my! But I know for a fact that IHS is Latin for Jesus. Jack Chick should have done his research more carefully.

Anyway, just letting you know that I feel strongly against Jack Chick's work as well. I actually approve of and like some of his tracts, but I am extremely cautious whenever he has anything to say other than “Jesus is great.” Anyway, getting back on topic, I'm almost done. The “Jesus is great” line, while not being funny and is a step away from the comedy of early Good Guy comics, isn't wrong in my opinion and, like I was trying to say above, I didn't feel that the page was forced. Lecturing or preachy, yes, but not forced. This page's joke is actually probably only funny to Christians. Let me explain. Many Christians feel that they are being preached to death like a beating. So although Good Guy has something good to say, it seems to me that Andrew is also using this page to crack an inside joke about these overzealous preachers that smack us around with the good book. It might not be funny to many people, but I got the joke there. And now you understand where he's coming from. This one page is better than an entire series devoted to preaching, however one would expect that fictional series to follow as so, but not Good Guy.

Thanks, man, for the debate. I probably should have left well enough alone, but oh well. It was kind of fun in the end. Ciao.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 5:39PM, Jan. 25, 2010
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joined: 10-12-2008
Well I am glad we could see eye to eye on a few issues here.
I don't think any of my points were drastically off the mark, but now you've calm down I don't think your take on it is at all invalid.

As for Jack Chick…his stuff is so dreadful most people tend to believe its supposed to be a parody on fundamentalist Christians! Its hard to believe someone could put out something so whacky and removed from reality and not mean it as a joke.

Good Guy is not at that level of stupid (thankfully!)

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM

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