CUEK #411

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    'Lil Ham

    Alright, time for that doctorate in comic artwork to pay off! Here goes:
    The most important thing in this particular comic is the coloring of it. You can see that the majority of the panels are colored in shades of grey. This itself is not unusual, because it is part of CUEK's standard art style, and links to the inherent 'emo' traits the comic alludes to. No, what's important here is what Mr. Enzo DOES chose to color. It is there that we can see the true mastery of the arts he has.
    Across all three panels, the tablet game is consistently colored in. This is a result of Mr. Enzo's observation that so many people get caught up in video games because they are much richer and more fulfilling than real life- hence the bright colors when the 'real world' is full of grays.

    In the first panel, the only thing that is colored in is the boat (aside from the tablet, of course.) You may think that is is to make the difference between water and wood clear, but you are most certainly wrong if you do. In fact, the boat being the only colored in object shows that the subject, the 'player' is only aware of that one object outside of his game. This shows Mr. Enzo's belief that games can make everything that you aren't directly interacting with invisible- the subject only notices the boat because he is directly touching it.

    The second panel has many interesting features that don't necessarily link to color. First, the bullet bouncing off of the subject's companion's helmet is clearly homage to the famous movie 'Saving Private Ryan.' In particular, it imitates a shot during the opening sequence in which a soldier has a bullet ricochet off of his helmet. He then immediately takes off his helmet to look at the impact site, and then is promptly shot. You'll notice that, in the third panel, the companion does not have a helmet, and ALSO happens to be dead. Coincidence? Clearly not.
    But I am getting ahead of myself. Back to the second panel, there are many more things colored. The orange of the explosions and the red of the tank commander's blood is what I am going to look at now. The colorization of these objects shows the subject's awareness of them, just as it does in the first panel. With it, Mr. Enzo alludes to the desensitizing effect video games can have on people, causing them to lose their sense of empathy except in the most extreme cases- such as a massive explosion or the brutal death of a bystander.
    The colorization of the barrel is a reference to 'Tetris Syndrome' in which a person begins to link objects in the real world to objects in the game that he obsessively plays- in this case, he is playing a shooter, a genre which commonly uses barrels as destructible objects the player can take tactical advantage of. The subject notices the barrel, and thus 'colors' it, because it is so similar to the same type of object in the game he is playing.
    The final, and perhaps most interesting, feature of the second panel is the commentary of 'offender' versus 'defender,' and, by extension 'good' versus 'evil.' The subject and his companion are wearing a uniform on which a shield is prominent- a defensive instrument if their ever was one- and their position behind sandbags indicates that they are under attack- the 'good guys' if you will- defending from expansionists and belligerents. In the game, however, the subject is on the offense, even killing what seems to be an unarmed civilian on screen. This shows Mr. Enzo's belief that people always prefer being the perpetrator to being the victim. The subject's frustration at being attacked is taken out in the game, similarly to the way a bullied boy might abuse animals (See 'Ant Bully').

    An unpracticed eye may see the third panel as simply the death of the companion caused by the subject's negligence, but, I assure you, such thinking is whimsical at best, and a pure farce at worst. I maintain that it is, in fact, the death of the SUBJECT that is being revealed in this panel. Let me explain:
    In this panel, the only thing colored is the dragon, and the blood. As we've learned in the previous panels, the only things that can result in awareness by the subject- or 'colorization' are either A) direct contact, B) extreme violence, or C) 'Tetris Syndrome.' C can be immediately discounted, as the player is clearly a swordsman fighting a rat, not a wizard fighting a dragon (this itself is a commentary on how one is never satisfied with their choices in life- no doubt if he has become a fighter he would play as a wizard). B) can explain the blood- but not the dragon itself. In the second panel, we see the results of many acts of violence, but never the perpetrators themselves. The blood and explosions are colored, sure, but the bullets aren't, nor are the shells. Simply look at the bullet embedded in the subject's own helmet- clearly uncolored. The only thing that remains is A) direct contact- but the monster isn't touching the subject, right? WRONG.
    First, look at the shadow caused by the monster and the dead companion. The pattern indicates that the light source is almost directly above the action taking place- however the shadow seemingly cast by the subject is very elongated. This is because, the monster, is, IN FACT, a HYDRA, a multi-headed beast, whose second head is off-panel directly to the top! (The choice of a hydra, an animal who regrows two heads once one is removed, is symbolic for the difficulty in fighting addiction- in this case, addiction to video games.)
    The second hydra head is, at the very moment of the scene depicted in the third panel, grabbing the subject from behind, simultaneously re-enacting the hooking of the fish from the tablet game in the first panel, the 'double kill' of the second panel, and the death of an inferior creature- a rat- caused by a superior creature- a human- in the third panel!

    Mr. Enzo, you are truly an artistic genius.

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      'Lil Ham

      Sidenote- Someone please give me a job, I'm desperate. All I've had to eat for the past week were the pages of my dissertation on the 'Cyanide and Happiness' comic about getting a dick caught in the ceiling fan. I only have enough left for two more months. Help.

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      Aurelius

      OMG, this makes so much sense it's not even funny, like, literally I can't tell if you're joking

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        SpikePheonix

        Lol is that really what you were aiming for Enzo?

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        JoseDRojas

        FINALLY someone understands and appreciates the immense struggle we go though to communicate our commentary on the human condition though simple lines, shapes, speech bubbles, and colours. We give so much of our heart and soul to tell a story of the struggle of man in a .png. I for one was drained and exhausted after I suggested that a bullet be ricocheting off the helmet. It took everything I had, my whole soul, to come up with a way that so succinctly represent the artificial barriers we place around ourselves and how fragile we actually are inside of them. That was only one suggestion in this entire complex piece of art. I can't imagine how hard it was for Enzo to complete the entire composition.

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          Enzo
          Enzo

          I think that the juxtaposition between the opposing elements factors in an exquisite and indefinite article of wonderment and entitlement that is prevalent in contemporary logistical existentialism and without sequestering an overeager hierarchy of hirstute oblivion and proselytizing we may be able to communicate a pretension of utter countenance and complete disestablishmentarianism.

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        'Lil Ham

        Many thanks, Mr. Enzo!
        I eagerly await your next comic, that I might provide a succinct analysis of that masterwork so that those less artistically-inclined than we can fully appreciate all the effort you put into your art.

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        Shinigami99

        Enzo is like... "So that's what I meant"

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      ButtersCast

      You know what this reminds me of?

      The big difference between what the author meant.. and what the teacher meant.

      For instance, the guy got a double kill on his iPad.

      What Lil Ham thinks it meant: the 'double kill' of the second panel, and the death of an inferior creature- a rat- caused by a superior creature- a human-

      What the author meant: He got a fucking double kill.

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    Kendhor

    *Using the void of power created, takes over CUEK.*

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