Monday, August 11, 2008

Goth Godfather

Bizarro is brought to you today by Alice Cooper.

I have many shortcomings and one of the worst is that I do not know as much as I perhaps could about the history of "goth" style. Through tears of embarrassment and shame over this sad fact, I will say that I believe Alice Cooper was its godfather. Not in the traditional I-will-see-to-the-child's-religious-upbringing sense of the word, but in the sense that he was the first to popularize the look we now call "goth."

When I was a teenager in the late 1900s, Alice was all the rage. Back then, everything about him was outrageous: he was a boy but went by a girl's nameintentionally – the black circles around his eyes and downward-diving stripes from the corners of his black lips, disheveled, dyed-black hair and black clothing was so cool we could barely stand it. (female name, goth fashion, rock 'n roll: sound familiar?) Why hadn't we thought of celebrating Halloween all year round before? Who cared?– we were just glad we had finally been enlightened. Or, endarkened, as the case may be.

For years there was a rumor that Alice Cooper was the same guy who had played "Eddie Haskell" on the 1950s TV series, "Leave it to Beaver." (Historical note: this show was titled in a more naive time, and was not attempting to reference female genitalia.) They did look similar, (Eddie and Alice) but the rumor was eventually dispelled when Ken Osmond, the actual guy who played Haskell, began appearing on talk shows and such, reclaiming a little fame. Rumor had it he had become an L.A. cop, pretty much the opposite image of Alice Cooper in those days.

I like the way this cartoon came out. I tried to capture the godmother as a cross between the chubby, jolly, old, granny godmothers of Disney's Sleeping Beauty, and a goth teen. I'm happy with the result, hope you are, too.




30 comments:

doug nicodemus said...

great stuff

Colinski said...

Personally, I think it naive to assume that the creator of "Leave it to Beaver" was being naive in naming the lead character "Beaver Cleaver" (cleave carrying the meaning to separate into two - I'm sure you don't need me to explain more graphically). This is the same era, after all, when Bill Haley sang to unsuspecting white audiences about being a "one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood store" (Shake, Rattle and Roll). The naiveté you speak of belonged to the censors, not the artists.

Jezzka said...

oh man, this post is too funny. eeh, leave it to beaver...eeh that cracks me up.

i never understood the "goth" look and what the hoopla was all about, but i would pay money to see goths sit around under a hot sun saying, "my gawd, i am so goth, it hurts".

i imagine the sun would vaporize goths into crispy chips, leaving a puddle of black mascara and a pile of black garb. mmmm. chips. goth chips? now there is an idea.

i should make goth chips for goth kids, use purple potatoes seasoned with black pepper. hey no one steal my GREAT idea!

Austin said...

Oddly enough, there was a similar rumor with Marilyn Manson in that he was the same guy who played "Paul" on "The Wonder Years."

melissa said...

There are 3 things I love about this cartoon. 1) The overall concept. 2) Her itty-bitty-teeny-tiny feet. They're hilarious in and of themselves. and 3) How much her hypercritical micromanagement style matches that of my mother.

fran said...

More weak pun humor.

LysergicAsset said...

This made me laugh out loud, because I was goth in my teens, before goth was even cool. I hand-sewed myself a hooded cape and wore a pentagram... ah, memories.

note to "fran" - If you don't like Dan's sense of humor, why are you even on this site to begin with? If you just came here to criticize: how lame.

derekamalo said...

yes dan i myself was one of the people ready to put out the police to look for you when you did not post the other day....good to see you are back...alice cooper is the godfather of AWFUL MUSIC and thats it.....on another note i was in our local bookstore borders that is and it says your latest book about pirates is due this month can you expand on that before i place order if you see this blog

dmbaer said...

The rumor I heard, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, was that the guy who played Eddie Haskle had gone on to become a porn star. I had no reason to either believe or disbelieve it at the time, but we all thought it was an amusing piece of information if it were factual.

fran said...

lyser - so you believe that Danny's sense of humor is limited to lame puns? Sorry to inject a little reality into your delusions.

fran said...

If you came here just to jack Danny off: how lame.

Jennie Panic said...

see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goth_subculture

bobo said...

I LOVE this comic. I laughed out loud when I read it the day it ran. I was never goth myself, but always sort of longed to be (frankly, couldn't be bothered with all of the makeup and angst, though). It is actually Robert Smith, of The Cure, who holds the title "Godfather of Goth", but I don't really know who came first.

fran--why are you so hateful?

LysergicAsset said...

fran: (1) I apologize for calling you lame. That was extremely puerile of me.

(2) let's agree to disagree... we obviously have vastly different senses of humor.

I come to this blog because I tremendously enjoy the Dan's comments, the Bizarro comic... and many of the people who follow it.

LysergicAsset said...

I meant just Dan's comments, not the Dan's... sorry.

Shortcake said...

fun-fact about alice cooper-- he was junior-high history teacher! he could still be, actually. i would GLADLY take a history lesson from him. that would make for a great civil war re-enactment.

and yes, the hilarity ensues with the awesomess that is your comic. i was once a faux-goth kid. having been rased on generic products, i didn't have the name-brand goth-kid attire. it was instead just the black t-shirts, the eye-liner, dyed red hair and baggy pants. but i thought shopping at Hot-Topic was going to get me there. then i stopped wearing make-up, black became too hot and boring, i started realizing material items didn't bring me happiness, and i kept tripping over my pants. needless to say, that fad faded and now i'm a hippie. stay tuned for next year's fashion-- naked and homeless! by not eating, i can achieve that ever-so popular rib-caged look all the hollywoodians are raving about. maybe lindsay lohan can give me a few pointers...

fran said...

Bobo - why are you so simple-minded?

Don said...

Hey Dan, I have a suggestion.

For many blogs (especially those of political or religious opinion), they don't like to ban or censor the commentors because it would weaken the discourse.

However, this is your personal blog. Its like having a little cocktail party in your living room with a few friends. In that case, would you keep inviting guests that insult you and the other guests? That being said, its time for posters like fran to go. There are enough outlets for haters on the net. Let them go elsewhere where they can put others down to prop themselves up.

Hey fran, why not go comment on the latest YouTube videos where the commenters are all of equal 'quality'?

PIRARO said...

colinski: I think you're completely right.
everyone: I enjoy the comments, wherever they go. I don't like banning, limiting, or censoring, I prefer to let it roam where it will. Negative comments don't bother me and repeat offenders eventually wander elsewhere if others don't engage them.

fran said...

You tube - good one, "Don." It's that sharp wit that makes you a lot of friends, I'm sure. Let's not delude ourselves here. Is this a blog or "a little cocktail party with friends"? I think you are naive to think Danny only wants sheep like yourself to post on his blog. As far as insults go, I have merely offered my opinion on his weak comics, which have been more than plentiful lately. The other "insults" you speak of are responses to the weaker readers of this blog that feel compelled to attack my posts when they do not agree.

julie said...

"I don't like banning, limiting, or censoring, I prefer to let it roam where it will. Negative comments don't bother me..."

So if this is true, why did you eliminate "anonymous" posting and limited posts to those with accounts?

Don said...

Dan, you're right. I apologize for feeding the trolls. Keep up the good work!

B.A.D. said...

I love this strip, but I maybe bias.
Also Manson should really have gone vegan already.

derekamalo said...

DAN IS 100 PERCENT RIGHT THEY DO WANDER ELSEWHERE WHERE IS THEN YOU WIN....LOL..by the way anonymos stopped posting once he realized i discovered through computer tech work that he was from white plains,ny...kind of embarassing possible someone nice to dans face then dissing him behind his back..im not saying thats the case but it s intesresting seeing posts of that magnitude close to dan in brooklynn

Shortcake said...

it's called the "escalation theory." when one party says something threatening to a second party, that second party feels obligated to threaten back. and forth. and back. and forth. it could really go on forever, but people have breaking points and eventually drop the issue and make amends, kill the other person, or commits suicide. or they do the right thing and instead of escalate the feud, they say "we're just being immature and not really proving anything. running your mouth against someone doesn't prove that you're right or better. let's be friends!" but because human beings don't have real competition (like that found in yunno, the jungle), we find every way possible to warrant our own claims regardless of whether we're right or not. remember when your parents told you not to fight and just to walk away? stop saying shit to each other and come to the blog for the purpose of supporting your favorite artist. and if anyone comes back just to say something shitty to me, i'm only proving my point.

i come here to read the bizarro comic and encourage him to keep doing what he's doing because he's good at it and i respect his profession. keep arguing. you'll never advance beyond the words that you use. that's all i'm commenting about this nonsense.

anonymous said...

Dear Mulder (aka "Derek") - Danny stopped allowing anonymous comments on this blog, so I've posted under another name. Put it together yet? Its really not all that complicated. And, as I've already said, you don't even have the time zone correct. But hell, you only have a handful left to choose from, right? Keep your chin up, big guy. You may now continue your investigation.

All my love,
Anonymous

anonymous said...

I believe people may read and post on this blog if Danny isn't their favorite artist, but I may be wrong.

Tanja said...

Heeheehee! Very funny! I love the pun!

Gary said...

OK, maybe this is not Dan's best cartoon, but I think it's more than pun-based. Puns are simply plays on words, which get old. The funniness here is the juxtaposition of dark goth and sweet fairy godmother. The wordplay in this case is added value, not the main source of humor for the cartoon.

A request...Could we not use "sheep" as a put-down? Sheep stay with their herd for survival reasons (and perhaps for reasons of which we are unaware), but are also capable of quite un-sheep-like behavior in the right circumstances. One of my favorite sheep at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary is very used to people and wags his tail enthuasiastically when you pet him.

Yes, I know that just because one casually uses "sheep" as a negative term does not necessarily mean s/he advocates doing harm to sheep, or even dislikes sheep. And I could see exceptions to the rule for certain humorous situations (though not cruelty disguised as humor). But words do matter, and persisting in using animals as the symbol of undesirable qualities subtly reinforces our devaluation and thus exploitation of them.

don said...

Stop acting like a pussycat, Gary.