Crossed is the franchise series created by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows for Avatar Press. They both return to to it occasionally but have other series they work on. Tomorrow sees a new issue of Code Pru and of War Stories from Ennis, and Providence from Burrows.
But Crossed Badlands continues apace, a bi-weekly series by revolving (and revolting) creative teams. telling tales of this truly hellish apocalypse.
The series has shown us many people’s first days of the outbreak, that saw the human population infected with something that turned them into the most amoral, cruel, psychopathic vindictive version of themselves, immune to pain, shame, guilt or anything else that keeps us in check. But the book has also shown stories of those who have survived, and the kind of people they have had to become in order to keep off the telltale red cross rash/mark over the faces of those infected.
The most recent arc has seen Max Bemis go for the jugular as far as the comic book reading audience is concerned. The comic book has been attacked for being vilely misogynist, though I’ve seen it far more as misandrist in its outlook. Nevertheless with the sexual violence and vicious language often on display, it has on occasion been adopted by those who have picked and chosen select panels for their own use and amusement.
Well, this story is for them. The first half in December saw the Crossed outbreak hit during a comic book signing, with, Leigha, a fashionable female creator and some bitter, twisted and insulting comic book guys running the store. Who lock Leigha in the “rape room” and hold her at gunpoint to use and abuse her, first physically, then mentally by forcing her to create new comic books for them in return for privilege
The second issue opens with irony.
But we get to see her artistic revenge, creating a comic featuring a Anti-Crossed fantasy figure as fanservice for the employees, before in the second issue, turning it around into something to attack and shame them with. With German Erramouspe turning on a sixpence to deliver a very different artistic style.
And for those who see this (for they will) as an attack on their own beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour off and on-line (it is), there is the non-ignorable reality that these characters being attacked are rapists.
While still delivering the kind of sexual violence that is a speciality for Crossed. To mix metaphors, this is both having your dildo… and eating it.
And then the violence leaves the comic-within-a-comic, to the revenge fantasy itself… and the use of a certain phrase de jour….
Crossed has always attacked the very basics of humanity we hold dear. Finally it’s found some people, of whom we’d prefer to spend time with the Crossed instead. And it’s a section of the audience who read Crossed.