Saturday, May 23, 2015

31 Days of Comics: Day 22 – A Comic That Makes You Want To Have Sloppy Makeouts With Someone

May has become the go-to month of the Comic’s Industry (even though National Superhero Day is late April, but whatever… Congress… pshaw).  It is when Marvel drops their big movie of the year.  May also sees the annual Free Comic Book Day celebration take place on the first Saturday of the Month, so I hope you all got to check that out.  May also has 31 days of the month so what better way to celebrate the wonderful world of sequential art with the 31 Days of Comics?

Seth Hahne, who runs the blog GoodOkBad, has put together the 31 Days of Comics challenge.  A daily challenge in which you are given a category and you have to fill it with a comic that you think fits it the best.  You’re all on the internet, I shouldn’t have to explain it to you.  For the rest of the month I will be taking this challenge.  It is my hope it encourages others to make and share their own lists either in the comments here or on their own websites.  The sharing not only might turn comic fans on to works they have yet to sample but maybe catch the eye of a few non-comic fans and highlight the diversity of the form. 

Our prompt for Day 21 is “A comic that makes you want to have sloppy makeouts with someone.”

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1 “More than You Bargained For.”

Written by Brian Bendis
Pencils by Mark Brooks
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Chris Eliopoulus

I think I really need to set the mood for this entry so excuse me a second.

/Takes off backpack
/Make sure parents aren’t home
/Dims light
/Puts on Boyz II Men album

Now… where were we girl??

One might think this is an oddly specific prompt but it is quite possibly one of my favorite on the list.  “Sloppy makeouts” is not about the “sexiest” comic.  It’s not about the one in which the characters hop from bed to bed.  It’s not about the one where Psylocke comes out of the pool, dripping wet, in a barely there bikini…. Skin glistening as every curve is accentuated and she walks tow….

Sorry… anyway…. It’s not about that stuff.

Sloppy makeouts to me is about a very specific type of infatuation.  The type of infatuation that actually can be described by somebody as, “I really like this person.  I mean I like-like them.”  It suggests innocence and newness and nervousness and awkwardness and shuffling my feet and looking down at the feet because you have this totally goofy look on your face and if they see it I’m sure I am going to blow this chance.  It’s stealing a glance in the hallway between classes.  It’s writing their names on your folder.  It’s imaginarily naming your kids before that type of action was real enough to cause full on panic attacks.  Sloppy makeouts occur in a car parked outside her house, but not directly in front in case her parents look outside. Or they happen in between classes and break up only when a teacher walks by or you realize you’re going to be late to your class if you stay another second.  Sloppy makouts are more high school than Algebra homework, the homecoming game, and acne.

As a comics reader who began in the 80s I am obligated to have a huge crush on Kitty Pryde.  Kitty Pryde, to an almost ridiculous extent, is perfect.  The perfect blend of cute without being intimidatingly sexy, of being smart but not super geeky and nerdy, of being a smart ass without coming off as a total asshole.  Add in the fact that is she is a ghost ninja ballerina super-hacker and you’ve just described my platonic ideal.  So my favorite sloppy makeout comic is the Ultimate Spider-Man annual that shows Kitty Pryde’s first date with Peter Parker.  I’m pretty sure my 2nd through 10th favorites also involve Kitty Pryde because, again, the 80s.

Both Kitty and Peter find themselves in similar situations.  They are coming off the ending of relationships as Peter broke up with MJ because she was constantly putting herself in danger while Kitty’s romance with Iceman fizzled because he was a jerk.  Both feel trapped in their situations, as Kitty doesn’t really have interactions with others her age (besides her now ex) at the mansion while Peter can’t really be open to anybody in case the Green Goblin tries to kill them.  Frustrated, feeling alone, isolated… you know… high school!

It begins with Kitty calling Peter out of the blue to ask him out, because again Kitty Pryde is perfect.  What follows is a completely awkward and awesome first date (it’s awkesome) between the two at a mall.  Bendis perfectly portrays their interactions as both are trying to come off as calm and collected and cooler than they really are while at the same time being so nervous that they come off way less calm, collected, and cool than they are.  Each of them, at various points, are sure that they said something stupid that blew the date while the other one is actually falling for them more because of what they said.  Of course a b-list supervillain shows up and while Peter rushes to save the day he instinctually tells Kitty to be safe.  Kitty reminds him that her entire power is based on nothing being able to hurt her, planting the seed for a future relationship in Peter’s mind since she is equipped to handle the danger inherent in being his girlfriend.

The date concludes when the Kitty’s ride shows up.  Of course instead of her dad’s paneled station wagon it’s the X-Men’s blackbird.  And it ends with a kiss.  A kiss that, much like the relationship, is awkward, sweet, cute, innocent, and beautiful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to write “Kitty Godinez” on my folder a couple of times.

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