I think Lapham completely missed the point of Crossed. Family Values was just poorly-drawn torture porn.
Or, perhaps, he completely GOT the point of Crossed.
Originally Posted by Sir Gibby
I'll admit, Crossed is where I stopped being a fan of Ennis, and started a one-man crusade to destroy him. I re-read some of my earlier Recaps, and the sheer rage and anger I spew at Ennis can't really be explained by a mere desire to write a parody-review of The Boys. As much as I loathe to admit it, I spent six months passive-aggressively suggesting that Ennis is a talentless douchebag, completely out of retribution for two and a half issues of Crossed that a "friend" of mine insisted I read.
Fortunately, I finally managed to turn my mock-parody into an actual parody, and I think my recaps became funnier and less feral, but I'll admit: it offends me on some deep, reptile-brain level that Ennis squandered his talent (and good fortune- many of us are talented writers, but few, if any of us will ever get a comic contract) on a book as vile as "Crossed".
Good comments. I have a different take on it. I am the last guy to defend Ennis as a writer. To his credit, he tells a good story, he has a sense of humor, and he gets that the only restraints on him in this media are those he places on himself (a surprisingly large number of his peers don't get this). To his detriment, he (like so many of his peers) struggles with female characters (his best females are tough, resourceful girls that are basically written as men with heels), and he wants to take on philosophical issues that he has not yet worked out.
Originally Posted by Kamakazi
"Crossed" has horrific images, but Ennis (as opposed to Lapham) has a purpose. In his first series, the point is quietly made that the "Crossed" maniacs are doing nothing worse than uninfected humans have done at times in history. To what end that point is made, nobody but Ennis knows (assuming he does). He was really trying to get to something about the nature of evil.
I am intrigued by where the second series is going. I have only read the preview for the 2nd issue (***Another preview spoiler***), but it shows an uninfected band (your protagonists) hamstringing one of their company for stealing a biscuit, leaving him to be tortured by the Crossed to buy them time. OK, now Ennis is doing something interesting, getting into a philosophical issue graphically. This scene addresses the real nature of evil. What is an evil person? Is an evil person somebody who hates, who is selfish, who will hurt somebody for pleasure? Or is an evil person just somebody who does an evil act to somebody else, no matter how well-intentioned or principled they may be? I think Ennis is playing a trick here- you're rooting for the survivors, but they are doing something very bad here, arguably worrse than the actions of the infected Crossed.
This can be a fascinating topic. There is a famous photo of the guards at Dachau sharing wassel and singing carols around the guard station Christmas tree- an image every bit as shocking as any "Crossed" cover, perhaps more so due to the lack of lines down the nose or across the cheeks.
This can lead to a great philosophical musing. Here's an example. My dad is a Vietnam vet, and was a combat sniper in '69. At that point, the soldiers realized the war was a futile effort, and they talked openly about not wanting to be the last to die there. Since then, we have learned from White House tapes, that LBJ was apprised in '65 that Vietnam was unwinnable, and would lead to tens of thousands of US deaths. He committed to it anyway, to stay politically viable for the '68 election, so he could finish his "Great Society". His goal was to have such a great impact on the US that he would go down in history as a great president. Of course, that failed, largely due to Vietnam.
Nixon was elected. A shrewd, cunning, misanthropic political operator, he calculated that Vietnam was a loser and started getting troops out. From my father's perspective, LBJ was the evil man, and Nixon the good one. Funny, isn't it? Because LBJ was trying to do good; but in his attempt to do so, he purposely made a decision that he knew would lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans (and even more enemy troops). It's odd that sometimes the greatest atrocities are committed by those trying to accomplish a greater good, putting to shame the crimes committed by the merely venal.
I don't know how far Ennis is going. I do know that he is halfway to being a good Presbyterian, giving John Calvin a run for his money as a dour, grim skeptic of humanity. He totally gets "the depravity of man". It's funny; his antipathy towards religion is based on the teenager's question "How can a just and loving God allow evil to exist in His world?" The answer, of course, is that the alternative is to claim that the only way mankind can resist commiting evil atrocities is for armies of angels to descend to stop us- a solution that would be rejected by any Ennis protagonist.
Last edited by statsman; 04-04-2012 at 08:19 AM.
I will admit that one of the funniest things I've ever read was a review of Crossed where the reviewer wrote the classic line: "This man, if his Press Release is to be believed, is named 'Horse Cock'."
Originally Posted by saidestroyer