Girl Meets World & Its War On Communism

Left or right. Conservative or Liberal. Republican or Democrat. If you are an average person operating within the confines of those identities, there is a word we are taught to hate… It begins with an “S” and ends with a WELL WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO LIVE IN CHINA?!

You know. Socialism.

Usually the logic goes. Oh, Socialism is the same as Communism. The two are conjoined together. Unfortunately, Communism is the side of the conjoined twin that died and now other side (Socialism) is forced to drag the dead carcass around with it all times desperately trying to explain to people, “Hey, we have nothing to do with each other.” Which is… mostly true.

Firs of all Socialism is a form of Capitalism. And Communism is a revolutionary movement — by and large. And most Communists in Europe didn’t much care for their Socialist “comrades” — in fact, many outright hated them for the most part.  If anything Communism has more to do with Capitalism. Because without Capitalism — The creation of Communism as an idea does not occur.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT I AM HERE TO WRITE ABOUT. I AM HERE TO WRITE ABOUT HOW GIRL MEETS WORLD IS SPREADING NATIVIST PROPAGANDA IN HOPES THAT THIS ARTICLE WILL BE PICKED UP BY BUZZFEED.

So anyway…

My wife and I have been watching “Girl Meets World.” And for the most part, I really enjoy the show. Until the episode about where Riley discovers Communism.

Here’s the idea: Riley doesn’t want her friend (Maya) to get in trouble for cheating. So Riley, Maya, and Farkle (Who, mark my words — will become a great actor) — decide to become Communists. That way everyone is treated the same and no one deserves special treatment. Soon they all begin to dress the same. Eventually they all begin to act alike. They no longer are individuals — but a whole. Like the Borg, but set in DeGrassi. At many points, Cory Matthews — their teacher and Riley’s father — laments this change. He often points to the American flag as a joke… suggesting that she is spitting all over it. That she can’t be an American if she is a Communist. Riley is even portrayed as a complete idiot in this episode (even though she is a smart character). She believes John Lenin and Carl Marx to be communists because of Karl Marx and Lenin. She does no actual research. And her attempts a different political ideology than her parents are mocked and derided. Her attempt to be an individual is shamed (A cruel irony in this episode). In the end… Riley and her friends decide not to be communists and join their other friends in “the land of the free” where they can be individuals.

Everyone is happy. No one is treated the same.

Now I’ve read a few books about Communism. I can’t tell you what’s inside them because I am not smart. However, I am smart enough to KNOW that the above… is not the driving force behind it.

Think about it… Just for a minute…

40 years ago, literally half of the world lived under a so-called “Communist” regime. And that many of these regimes — China, Russia, Vietnam — were not the product of some top down tyrant imposing their will on the people… but a group effort. Revolutions comprised of tens of thousands of people who fought and died for their right to be communists. Revolutions which… succeeded  (in the same way that GWB defeated Iraq mind you, but still). Do you honestly believe those revolutionaries — those incredibly smart people who gambled with their lives and put together armies to defeat empires — would have done all of that if their ideas were that easily defeated

Going back to me original point. We are taught from a young age to fear Communism. Fear Socialism. That’s why so many of us are against it. When we hear those words it’s the same as saying “Voldermort.” But… What happens when you don’t say the words? What happens when the conversation is over with?

It remains evil. Forever. And you remain ignorant.

 

Listen… I’m no commie. But I know why. And I consider myself an American Socialist. BUT… When we dismiss communism, we dismiss those revolutionaries who shaped the world (whether you like it or not, they did). We dismiss the question of “Why did they want communism?” We dismiss the question “What was wrong with what they had?” We dismiss the question of “Why didn’t they want to be like us?” And when we dismiss those questions… we forget about the conversation THAT ALREADY TOOK PLACE. We forget about already learned knowledge. And that knowledge just becomes… history. And you know what they say about history…

It’s doomed to pee on itself.

 

 

How I Deal

I don’t write here often. Part of that is due to a laziness. Another part is because I’m so hyper-focused on my current books, or the pitch process for hopeful work to come. But depression has a way of making me nostalgic.  I look back on my time spent as an adult and I realize that every single year — since I was 18 — I’ve dedicated in the pursuit of art.

This isn’t about “I wouldn’t change any of it.” Untrue. I would change a lot. Would make better decisions. Try to be more of an effective artist and business person. I relieve every single mistake in my head almost every day. Anxiety and depression are like monsters that I keep in my brain-closet. Most of the time I can keep them out from crawling underneath my bed. But sometimes I can’t. That’s okay. I think.

No…

I — because of my monsters — sometimes feel like I’m a joke. That the work that I have put in is all fake. That my accomplishments are not my own. And that I am a complete fraud.

This, I know, is not true.

However, that fact doesn’t stop from the monsters from whispering these things into my ear.

I know I’m not the only one with this problem. I know that many of us are silent. We don’t want to burden people with our thoughts. With our problems. We feel like we don’t deserve the time from others — the friendly shoulder to lean on. My friends let me tell you something. Open yourself up. No matter how hard it is. The monsters want you to close it all in. They want you in one room. Because it makes them easier for them to get you. And… we know what happens then.

We all deserve to love ourselves. The question is… how?

I look back at my life and don’t focus on the things I did because inevitably I’ll lie and tell myself I did not do them.

I look back at my life and ask myself where was I?

When I was 18 in high school, where was I?  The answer: Trying to sneak into bars not drink, but to perform stand-up comedy.

When I was 21 in college, where was I? The answer: Performing at shows. Going to open mics. Witnessing some of the greatest comedians of our time before their fame.

When I was 23, where was I? The answer: In New York. At Marvel. Learning to write comics.

For the past 5 years, where was I? The answer: Hustling my balls off at 4 comic conventions every year. Writing for Dark Horse, Valiant, Stela, and Heavy Metal. Grinding it out in the comic book scene.

I was there. I was a part of it all. And I could have just as easily not been. I bet if you look back ,and do the same, that you can remember you were a part of some pretty cool shit.

This will not stop your brain from letting the monsters out of the door. But for me… it does give me the hope to get up. Turn the lights on. And stare them back to the darkness where they belong.

You are worth liking yourself. Even if you don’t believe it.

Order THE DOORMAN now!

 

Want to order THE DOORMAN from Heavy Metal Ink by me, Daniel Kibblesmith, and Kendall Goode? No problem! Here’s a fun order form and listicle to help you out!!

Issue 01 Preorder-Listicle (1)

Other ways to help out:

* Fill out this form and bring it to your favorite local comic shop (or find a new favorite comic shop at ComicShopLocator.com)
* … OR just call them with the order number!
* Pre-order it for your OWN shop (you have one right)
* Contact us for an interview for your press outlet or podcast (you have one right)
* Share this image & bulletin with your comics-inclined friends and say “I know these guys.”
* Read and buy comics in general (they are great)

THANKS!

1st Cover of The Doorman from Heavy Metal Publishing

Hi There!

Here is the 1st issue cover of my upcoming 5 issue mini series that I wrote with Daniel Kibblesmith. The artist is Kendall Goode. And the release date is March 16th! If you are a retailer our diamond info is: (STK698182)

Tell your friends!

Final Doorman Cover 2

Here’s what the story is about:

Henry Clay Waters is The Doorman of Earth and hasn’t had an interstellar visitor in decades until… his last day on the job when an extraterrestrial assassin darkens his doorstep. Saved by the neurotic alien Detective Flower, the two must team up to solve the galaxy’s biggest mystery or get killed trying!

Page 1, Panel 1:Goodbye Gloop

PAGE 1

Panel 1: Establishing shot. It’s night time. We find ourselves in a clear patch of land surrounded by haunted looking woods. The moon is full, and the stars are bright. Three small figures, armed with shovels, are silhouetted by the pale cosmic light. They are digging a hole, and totally concentrated on their task at hand.

Caption: Somewhere in the woods…

Voice 1 Caption: We’ll never be able to dig a hole big enough.

Voice 2 Caption: Shuddup, will ya.

Voice 3 Caption: Just keep digging, the both of ya’s.

Panel 2: Small panel. One shovel head buries itself sharply in the ground.

Voice 1 Caption: Think anyone will notice he’s gone?

SFX: SHINK!

Panel 3: Small panel. All we see are two white-gloved hands gripped tightly on the oak stock of the shovel, and tossing back the dirt into the air carelessly.  

Voice 2 Caption: Whadya’ mean? Like come looking?

Panel 4: Small panel. Repeat panel 2. Except instead of one shovel head digging into the ground, we see all three dig in at unison.

SFX: SHINK!

SFX: SHINK!

SFX: SHINK!

Voice 1 Caption: Yeah. I mean… He is a dead kid. Ya know?

Panel 5:  Small panel. A hand can be seen. A dead hand. A child’s dead hand. It is distorted from rigor-mortis. Almost claw like now. The hand has been cleaned, but poorly. Underneath the finger nails, and inside the cuticles, is something dark… something brown that stains. The hand itself is splotchy with the same color.

Voice 3 Caption: Ain’t no one comin’ to find this one. Ain’t no one. Boss has got friends in high places. Plus…

Woods at night.  2

Creepy woods!

PAGE 2 & 3

Double Page Splash! Three indifferent Oompa Lumpas look down at the fat-dead body of Augustus Gloop.

His face is crippled permanently with horror. His eyes are wide in a morbid epiphany. It’s as though he fully realized his death before the viscous chocolate flooded his lungs, drowning him in his own vice. 

oompaloompacrew

Make sure to cut off his fingers.

He lays on top of a garbage bag, or tarp of some kind. Next to the four figures is the hastily dug shallow grave.

Small mounds of dirt surround the scene.

Only the owls are privy to this secret rendezvous. A secret that they will share only with the Oompa Lumpas and the stars above.  

Oompa Lumpa 3/Voice 3: I don’t think anyone is going to miss him.

PAGE 4

Panel 1: The three Oopma Lumpas struggle to heave the body of Augustus into the air. Into the hole. Into his grave. 

Ooompa Lumpas: UGH! 

Panel 2: Augustus’ body lands clumsily with a thud. His body is distorted from the fall. 

SFX: THUD!

Panel 3: Oompa Loompas stand over Gloop’s body, arms akimbo. The moon behind them turns them all into silhouettes. One tosses a handful of flowers onto the body.

Oompa Lumpa 3: He really was a nincompoop.

Panel 4: The flowers lay on Augustus’ chest. They are as still has he is. 

Oompa Lumpa/Voice 1 Caption: A big one at that.

Panel 5: Small panel. One shovel head carves itself in a mound of loose dirt that had previously been dug up.

Oompa Lumpa/Voice 3 Caption: Alright. Let’s get back to it.

Panel 6: Small panel. We see only the shovel. It is cruelly and carelessly tossed in the offpanel hole. Onto the unseen body of Augustus Gloop. 

SFX: SHINK

Oompa Lumpa/Voice 3 Caption: I want to get back before curfew…

Panel 7: Small panel. The loose dirt from the shovel scatters on Augustus’ face. Soon his eternal death scream will be covered by mud and nature. Eventually wiped away by time. And forgotten by memory. 

AG 2

Imagine this. But in a hole. And dead.