erasing clouds

by tony doug wright

Demo #11: Midnight to Six, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan

Demo is a series of various stories written by Brian Wood with artwork by Becky Cloonan. These stories are not about CIA ninja assassins who are still in high school or cyborg bounty hunters from outer space because Demo deals more with real world issues such as alienation, relationships and suicide.

If it were possible, would you allow you the teenager to visit you the grown-up and responsible adult? Do you think the teenage you would see you the adult as a major disappointment? Do you think you would be cool in the eyes of the teenage you? Or maybe you would take a look at the teenager you once were and think to yourself: “Thank God I did something with my life”. But what about those of us who never really grew up? Admit it, you know someone that is permanently stuck in “high school mode”. While you are out working or at class they are at your place eating your food, drinking your beer and playing games on your PC or video game system. These people work dead-end jobs and their philosophy on life is to barely get by without putting any effort into anything. These people may seem hopeless but some of them manage to free themselves of “high school mode”. This is similar to the story of Jill, Brad and Jace in the Demo #11 issue titled Midnight to Six.

Writer Brian Wood introduces us to three young Eighth Graders named Jill, Brad and Jace. These junior high friends create a “slackers pledge” in detention, which states that they will not attend college nor will they aspire to a life as a corporate puppet for The Man. The story fast forwards ten years where we find Jill, Brad and Jace living the slacker life together in their messy abode and working a minimum wage shift at a local grocery store from midnight until six.

These three friends have strictly followed their slackers pledge by barely passing high school and avoiding college or what the characters refer to as “retard school”. Brad, the dreamer, has grown tired of the pledge and wants to enroll in a local community college. Brad knows his plan will not be popular with Jill, the group leader, and Jace, the angry and somewhat mentally unbalanced young punk, because the pledge that they made in junior high was intended to be a lifelong pact.

Midnight to Six explores the transformation from the slacker lifestyle to the responsible adult lifestyle. There are those who are willing to change their lives for the better while there are those who still cling to some kind of slackers pledge. Brian Wood has a well-written story of teen angst with characters that you can identify with. Becky Cloonan’s artwork is fantastic and it blends well with the comedic and serious moments in Midnight to Six. If you have not had the opportunity to pick up an issue of Demo then check out Midnight to Six.

On-Line Comic Choice:The Crazing Spider-Hag, Tim Young

The Crazing Spider-Hag, created by Tim Young, is a humorous on-line comic book adventure with plenty of witty one-liners and amateurish artwork. This is an interesting parody of Marvel Comic’s The Amazing Spider-Man with the role of Peter Parker being replaced by an old woman named Gray Barfer. Not only has Spider-Man been replaced but super-villains such as the Kingpin and Doctor Doom have been replaced by Stingpin, a half-man/half-bee creature, and Doctor Boom, a rather silly looking character with a pumpkin head. The latest Spider-Hag saga is a good blend of mafia and political absurdity titled The Family and the Fishing Net.

Issue 28, November 2004

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