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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Drugs, Rape, & Bestiality, Oh My!

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: October 2009

I’ve never been a huge fan of horror movies. Upon seeing the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the El Rey Theater I was in such a horrible mood afterwards that I promptly broke up with my boyfriend. The images and sounds seem to stick with me, infiltrating my mind when I least expect it and ruining my mood and usually, whatever I happen to be doing at the time. It seems to me that the reality of violence in the world is rampant enough without throwing gratuitous bloodshed into the mix for entertainments sake. With that being said, I’m not on any sort of mission to remove such things from media en masse. I simply don’t choose to partake in these things myself, as I find it difficult to leave them when exiting the theater. In my experience, people who enjoy horror movies are the same types who frequent roller coasters with the enthusiasm of Harry Potter fans on the day of a newly released J.K. Rowling novel.  For any of you who have read this column with any regularity, (as few as ye may be) you know my feelings on roller coasters. {see also: The Day I Almost Died On Splash Mountain}. For some strange reason, this aversion to violence doesn’t seem to extend to other outlets where it would seem logically placed. For example, I enjoy Tarantino movies. (Although, my favorite is his short in Four Rooms, a decidedly mild film for his standards). Another such example would be violence present in comics. More notably, The Boys, the focal point for this week.

 Written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, Chronicles of Wormwood, Hellblazer and War Is Hell) and illustrated by Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitain). Originally published by Wildstorm, The Boys moved to Dynamite Entertainment when Wildstorm (a sister company to DC) cancelled the series in 2006. I wouldn’t normally mention this except that the reasoning behind this cancellation played a part in compelling me to read the series. Apparently Wildstorm took issue with the anti-superhero tone of the work.  The Boys is set in a modern day world where there are thousands of superheroes. They do all the normal save-the-world routines, but it seems that they nearly all enjoy private lives which are rife with debauchery and scandal. Stealing pain medication from children’s hospitals, rape, bestiality, it seems no act is too depraved for these darlings of society. This is where The Boys come in. They act as an insurance policy, gathering information on the superheroes so that when the need arises they can force them to behave, or in extreme cases, exterminate them. This series has become my new favorite obsession. I especially enjoy the accidental-on-purpose likeness of the main character to actor Simon Pegg. Four volumes of the collected works are now available at your local comic shop. 

Arielle Mullen