Monday, September 20, 2010

Doom Patrol #17 preview

Hey guys, here's the preview for Doom Patrol #17, due December 1st:

"A man walks into a talent agent's office. No, wait, that's not how this one goes; let's start again. A Robotman walks into a murderous family's moving castle. He witnesses mayhem, torture, bloody death, and a hell of a party. So what do you call an act like that? Join us as the Doom Patrol meets...The Aristocrats!"

That has to be the strangest preview and the creepiest cover yet!


  1. Okay, the advance art and the blurb seem to be pointing in different directions. The art is made to appear to be a sepia-toned, Victorian/Edwardian period family portrait. Fair enough, that's a common recognizable motif. Now consider the tweaks made to the cliche that were meant to draw our attention: first and most obvious, Larry, Rita and Cliff are the family (which they are); second, the photo is splattered with blood (an easily read omen of danger); and third, the noose that is empty in the photo casts a shadow of a man being hanged on the wall behind them. Is that meant to be Dayton? The Chief? Morden/Nobody/Somebody? So the message I get is, "The Doom Patrol are unaware that someone they know will be (killed/judged). Buy/read this to find out who." And that's cool.
    But the blurb (for any who might not have gotten it) references the documentary "The Aristocrats" (2005). The documentary is about how a scatological joke (the title is the punchline) dating back at least to vaudeville has been rewritten by nearly every stand-up comic who ever worked professionally, many of whom retell their versions on camera. The basic structure of the joke is always the same and the details are always different. The choice of the details is to portray the characters so that your audience will agree that they are disgusting for what they do without believing that you are disgusting for describing them. The comedian must tailor the joke to the audience and it's often a tightrope walk. That suggests that what goes on in the story may have a certain degree of ambiguity or the details may change depending on who is retelling the events, as in "Rashomon". Being the Doom Patrol, it may just mean that they stumble across a phenomenon in which their differing perspectives on an event actual create genuinely different planes of reality.
    And on an unrelated note: why are Larry and Cliff in switched roles? Larry is dressed as the sporting gentleman and Cliff is dressed as the soldier. Isn't that the reverse of their pre-DP lives?

  2. Maybe they're harking back to the old tin toy soldiers and tales of the Invisible Man for Cliff and Larry respectively? That's what it made me think of...

  3. Great explanations! I read up on the Aristocrats joke today - probably not safe for a detailed discussion here! :)

  4. I've seen that joke performed and didn't make the connection at first - thanks pblfsda. I wonder if the 'moving castle' is a reference to Howl's Moving Castle, where the characters appear one way, but their true forms are different.'s_Moving_Castle_(film)