Friday, August 15, 2014

Penny Arcade: The Talk

7/21/14  to 8/8/14

Penny Arcade is an odd comic. They spend long periods of time deliberately trying to avoid multi-strip stories, though they occasionally let a 2 or 3 strip story through, or they'll put up side stories like Sand.

And then they do something like this.

It's probably the most elaborate undertaking I've seen in Guest Comics. Every single page has been written and drawn by someone who's not part of the normal comic, but they all actually fit together. You can tell that there's an overarching narrative throughout each one, which makes it feel less like someone else is coming in and taking over PA for a day, and more like the characters (Gabe's son, and occasionally Gabe himself) are exploring other universes in an attempt to understand something that they don't fully understand.

It's an interesting concept that produces comics that are mostly funny, often ridiculous, wholly age inappropriate and in one case actually somewhat informative... maybe.

This really does say something about our society though. Yes, it's funny to watch the kids who don't know what they're talking about, or the adults who don't know either but try to act like they do, or the few adults who actually know what their talking about but go way overboard in their explanations, but it shows that we're apparently unable to have a frank and open talk with our children about sex. This is a systemic problem, because many of our parents didn't talk to us about sex either. Now we're trusting others to tell our kids about sex, and honestly we can't guarantee the quality of the information they're giving them.

I guess the takeaway from this unusual storyline is simple. Have an open, honest talk with your kids about sex before someone tells them that babies come from throwing up a stork.

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