I don't know if you got the memo - but THIS IS IT! We've got a front row seat for the collapse of the social order, the smashing of governments and institutions alike, to watch cataclysmic natural disasters punishing the confused and the helpless, who are left to fend for themselves in a shattered world, burning old newspapers for warmth and banding together in crude tribes to wage primitive war over a can of beans or the last surviving dairy cow. It's the End Times right now, and you probably thought things were fine. Well, we've known it was coming for a while now.


Just look at this. Decades ago we saw the rot creeping in, and what did we do about it? Nothing. We sat idly by and let all this happen. We stuck our heads in the sand and we stuck these comics into twenty-five cent bins, festering open sores of corruption contaminating everything they touched (which, for years, was a copy of "Kickers, Inc" and an issue of a Charlton "Beetle Bailey" with the back cover ripped halfway off). We let anybody with a marker and some paper and a pile of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rip-off comics, themselves an indictment of our entire civilization 1600-present, we let these people make their own comics. And now we're paying the price.


How could we let this pass? This half-assed - I can't even give it half an ass, this one-eighth assed "parody" of a "parody" of a "parody" starring the angry bear, the one-eyed bear, the other angry bear, and the other one-eyed bear, oh, I get it, somebody had a book of Popcorn Classics Hollywood Legends checked out of their school library, and somebody else suffered a traumatic brain injury and thereafter thought that merely referencing things equals comedy. That's how the world ends, people.


"O.K. people this is a hijack. And just in case you doubt that this is a subway train hijack, here's a a panel of nothing but a skull mask that appears to have a beard and a moustache and little sideburns, silently hanging in the void, absent of context or meaning in the larger narrative, which would make this a hijack not of a subway train, but of logic, coherence, and the ability of humans to communicate meaningfully with each other."


I don't really like to spend a lot of time insulting the artwork in these books, because let's face it, drawing a comic book is hard work. And that overhead angle business, everybody tries it and nobody can make it work, better artists than us have tried and failed, no shame, but people keep trying it anyway because people are stupid. But this hand here, this hand here is an abomination because I'm pretty sure the person who drew this comic had at least one hand and at least one eye, and yet, couldn't be bothered to use their eye to look at their hand and draw what they saw. That's why we're in the mess we're in, because people can't just sit down and draw what they see. Just draw what you see, people!


Armed robbery is always more threatening when delivered by masked thugs, and when all the dialog has quotation marks. You know that the mere fact of enclosing dialog in speech balloons obviates the need for quotation marks, right? Oh, you don't know that? Well now you do.


Call the experts for Subway emergencies! Frank can fix the bread slicer and Bob is a whiz at the soda dispenser and if listeria poisoning from poorly sanitized food prep surfaces is a problem then Steve is your man! If your problem is a Subway franchise on every freaking block in every city on Earth, well, they can't help you. You'll have to call an angry koala bear, because as we all know, "A problem We are the solution" is their trademark, their confusing, poorly worded trademark.


FINALLY someone among the subway passengers with the guts to stand up to these masked thugs and say "your not going to get away with this" without going on to explain exactly what the "your" is in reference to! Your hat? Your gang? Your hamster? Who knows? The criminals will be confused and disoriented by his bad grammar!


Crashing through the giant subway car windows into the empty, cavernous spaces of your average subway car, our Middle Aged Government Tested Atom Splitting Radio Active Democratic Left Handed Freelance Green Beret Koala Bears are on the scene, brandishing their own special weapons and hollering their battle cry, "We Will." They sure do!


It's an amazing demonstration of brutal martial arts combat as our heroes forget they were holding guns and instead smack the criminals with their soft, furry paws while they try in vain to remember tough-guy dialog from shitty action movies.


Of course the hijackers have to give up, they didn't bring bullets for their guns. It's not armed robbery if the pistol isn't loaded! (actually it may be, consult local laws before attempting robberies)


Oh, it's a big threat from a one-eyed koala bear with human arms and legs and a surprisingly tiny gun. Finally, somebody who isn't compensating for something that they may suspect doesn't measure up. And as we can see from the next panel, these guns are back where they belong - in the hands of angry subway vigilantes!


So this is the very next panel - a bakery, a confusing caption seemingly embedded into a street, and silhouettes of the Middle Aged Government Tested Atom Splitting Radio Active Democratic Left Handed Freelance Green Beret Koala Bears mouthing beer advertising slogans as they vanish from history forever. Again we're forced to ask, where were the grownups when this was made? Did nobody look at this at any stage of the production process - writing, pencilling, inking, lettering, shooting the negatives, burning the plates, putting the plates onto the press, kicking out a few prints to check for registration errors or hickeys, running the booklet maker, boxing and shipping and distribution and the physical placement of this comic onto the shelves of America's comic book retailers - and say, wow, this is embarrassing for our industry and for Western civilization as a whole, we shouldn't allow this physical object to continue to exist because it brings shame upon us and our forefathers and upon generations to come, let us purge it with fire? No. Nobody said this. And that's why we're in the mess we're in.

Well, there's nothing we can do about it now other than shave our hair into mohawks, smear grease onto our faces, and roar off into the wastelands to live brutal lives stripped to the bare essentials of survival. Thanks, comics. Thanks a lot.

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