Thursday, 12 January 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention / Crazy Captions

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is an expression I will be examining on the next completed page of Jack Kirby’s 2001:-

Previously “he who hunts alone” had already shown enough intelligence to think that his chances of getting food would be increased by using a long sharp tooth like a saber tooth instead of using a club, down at least in part to the influence of the monolith

But what we see here on this page is a series of massive leaps in intelligence and for want of a better expression technology as “he who hunts alone” builds an almost complete designed knife from the monoliths suggestions

To our mind possibly this does not seem much, (Kirby describes this as a “crude tool”) but consider the likely reality that each component of the knife would have been a question of a lot of trial and error, the right kind of wood that is strong, the right material to fasten the point on the end, making a point in the first place and making the point sharp enough all of these process would have taken place over months if not years or generations of refinements

Yet in this page almost of this is deal with in just 3 panels so it is clearly not just a case of compressed story telling or a montage but most obviously a direct statement as to just how much influence the monolith had in this particular process – “he who hunts alone” just asked for a tooth and instead he got something a lot more advanced

Which does raise an interesting real life question – taken literally if a man has got to the stage where he has a tool that can help him kill and get food, the only obvious impetus to push him forward to constantly refine the tool in terms of a survival instinct is self-survival, that is survival at the expensive of anything or anyone else – this instinct bringing out both the best and worst in man

The worst being the need to refine further simply because a competing tribe has just made a refinement and they don’t want to be left behind (a rather obvious example) and the best being a refinement that is offered to everyone willingly and openly (something which is always approached with a lot of suspicion)

“He who hunts alone” is clearly completely into self-survival, he is a literally outcast, a loner and the sole beneficiary of the monolith’s influences

This is underlined further by “the others” bewildered reaction to seeing “he who hunts alone” making a spear (comparing it to possession)

Which brings me back to an earlier question I raised, is it being stated in this story that the monolith is responsible for some of mans darker traits – the line is getting increasingly fuzzy on this one, but let’s proceed for now and let events unfold...

Having made his weapon “he who hunts alone” decides to tackle what is described as a Saber-tooth or a Smilodon – hang on let’s check out “Wakipedia…”

Smilodon often called a saber-toothed cat or wrongly a saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of machairodonts. This saber-toothed cat was endemic to North America and South America, living from near the beginning through the very end of the Pleistocene epoch

Oops,  Jack did it again!

 Just to remind any late comers this story has been established as taking place (by a very large caption on page 2) in New Orleans in the Miocene age! So okay right continent, but out by several hundred thousand years (at least)

But of course that’s not quite the only thing out of place as the drawing of the cat in question appears to be rather like Zabu, the “saber-tooth” created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby in X-men issue 10 (the first appearance of Ka-zar) who appears in the drawing below rendered by none other than Barry Windsor smith

Now Zabu – well where do we start – let’s just say he is not really a Smilodon,  Zabu is both bigger and particularly a whole lot more intelligent than any Smilodon would be – and he has long tail (which a saber tooth did not have) and is referred to as a tiger (which is wrong, a saber tooth is more closely related to a lion) of course he is a fantasy creation living in a fantasy realm nothing to do with reality at all, the issues of ka-zar set in 1970’s new york served as ample reminder of that – so the cat in question can’t be Zabu, can it?

Anyway back to the “reality” of 2001 which is increasingly becoming its own fantasy world, “he who hunts alone” has taken the proverbial tiger by the tail in a battle to death – who will win?

Find out next week!

January Madness
Just a reminder that - January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here...

Images Degrading Forever Weekly
This week we have issue 17 which includes the all new essay "making the creative risk" in which I examine the fear that all creative people have to deal with to some degree - as well as the ongoing run of Frank Miller Klaus Janson Daredevil "NYPD Blue" in which I compare Dennis Franz to Lieutenant Nicholas Manolis and ask does Daredevil care what he is doing?

As ever this is completely free digital publication, just email me at and I will email you back the issue, it couldn't be any easier!

Crazy Captions
Time for some more feedback, of an anonymous variety...

Last week in the comic book shop where I give away the print copies of IDFW (orbital) I found a copy of IDFW that someone who works in the shop had written their own dialogue for!

I thought this was a really great idea and a big compliment that anyone would feel creative enough to do this:-

Just in case you cannot quite read it, the dialogue says the following:-

"Mainly I just like crime, I guess.  I dunno, uh…"
" But I mean, It's Hard - High School was real tough"
"I didn't always look as I do now" 
"Not everyone can be voted most likely to marry young"
"Poor little Wilson"
"Like 'aw'"
"! NOT FAT!"
"! NOT NOT !"
"Your weren't there, man"

That was cool! I always wondered what if Al Pacino played the role of Stilt man… Now I know!

Unfortunately I don’t exactly know who did wrote this brilliant dialogue so I can’t thank them in person here – sneaky…!

But it’s a really great idea, if anyone else out there would like to have a go at writing their own dialogue or maybe even do some colouring or anything else creative with issues of IDFW I would love to see it, just email me with whatever you have done

Any entry will count in the on-going Feedback competition, so if Mr Anonymous would like to send me an email I can send them the prize of their choice from here

Thats it for this week - at least here - what else would I be doing?? hmm… Watch this space is all I all say for now :-)

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