Swipe File: Kick Ass And… Don Quixote???

Posted by March 13, 2011 Comment

One of them is considered one of the most important pieces of literature in the world – in fact it’s harder to think of anything quite so influential, in that it created an entire medium of fictional expression pretty much single handedly. And the other one is Don Quixote, about some Spaniard fannying about on a horse. But what does it have in common with Kick Ass, the comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr or the movie by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman?

Well, courtesy of Jackie Almeda comes this description;

Protagonist overly influenced by narratives of heroic adventures heads out into the real world, where he immediately catches a vicious beating. He holds a torch for the female protagonist who is wholly unaware of his affections. His deranged view of reality directly inspires someone to follow him in his quest — someone who is at once more skeptical and arguably more competent, but who follows him all the same — at which point he engages in a series of picaresque adventures, often misunderstanding the nature of the problems he faces and occasionally making them much worse. As his reputation grows, he is taken advantage of by someone who plays along with his madness, and suffers humiliation and physical abuse as a result, but still refuses to give up his delusion.

The story is at once a tribute to and a parody of earlier moralistic narratives, and is at once more realistic and more absurd than its predecessors.

But which is Jackie talking about? Obviously there’s no actual sign Mark Millar would have even read Don Quixote, but it’s an interesting parallel, no?

In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself.  If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn’t judge, it’s interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.

Millar is much crueler to his protagonist; Cervantes much more nuanced in his writing. But still, the similarities are undeniable.

(Last Updated March 14, 2011 9:07 am )

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