Thursday, November 03, 2005

SCURVY DOGS #1 AiT/PlanetLar 2003



I picked up a few copies of Scurvy Dogs at the Ait/PlanetLar booth at this year's San Diego convention to see what the big deal was and to answer the question for myself: Are pirates the new monkeys?

After careful consideration I've determined that Portuguese lepers are actually the new monkeys.

Scurvy Dogs is a black and white comic from the fevered minds and pens of two lads named Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount, published under the aegis of AiT's Larry Young, Master of The High Concept. If simply drawn, hilarious, violent tales of pirate hijinks aren't "high concept" then brother, I don't know what is.

I guess I could try to analyze the subtext behind Scurvy Dogs, or recap the stories in this particular issue, or even explain why I think this shit is so funny. But really, you're one of the 39% of people on Earth* that think pirates are inherently funny, or you're not.

Here's a little sample:

The pirates board a ship full of Portuguese lepers, who claim that they have no treasure.


The pirates rightly conclude that the Portuguese lepers are holding out on them. They slice open one Portugese leper, and some shillings spill out of the poor guy's guts and on to the deck.


Naturally, this triggers an orgy of killing as the pirates set upon the Portuguese lepers, looking for any further loot that may be stashed in their rotting innards.


Graphic violence/comedy ensues. I can see how this would not be funny if a) you're a communist, b) you're a Portuguese leper, or c) you have ever been boarded and hacked to death by pirates. For everybody else, this should be frickin' hilarious.


After all the Portuguese leper blood has been spilled and their dismembered bodies are heaped upon the quarterdeck, the pirates survey their haul:


That's comedy.

I understand that not everyone may see eye-to-eye with me on What Is Funny, and certainly not everyone agrees that pirates are the new monkeys, so I've made a handy reference that should help you accurately determine the current, ever transient state of funny.


WHAT IS FUNNY, circa November 2005


SUDANESE MILITIA = not funny
PIRATES = funny
CLOWNS = not funny
BURNING CLOWNS = funny
LEPERS = not funny
PORTUGUESE LEPERS = funny
TALKING MONKEYS = not funny
MONKEYS WEARING VEST AND/OR A FEZ = funny
DIARRHEA (self) = not funny
DIARRHEA (others) = funny
PRESIDENT WARREN HARDING = not funny
PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN = funny
WOLVERINE = not funny
CABLE = funny
MIMES = not funny
SWEARING MIMES = funny
TEST PILOTS = not funny
CAVEMEN = funny
COMEDIAN GALLAGHER = not funny
COMEDIAN CARROT TOP = not funny
TOXIC WASTE = not funny
TOXIC POO = funny
OTHER PEOPLE'S TODDLERS SAYING CUTE THINGS = not funny
MY DAUGHTER AVA SAYING CUTE THINGS = funny
JIMMY BUFFET FANS = not funny
NEIL DIAMOND FANS = funny
GRANT MORRISON FANS = not funny
JOHN BYRNE FANS = funny
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS = not funny
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY MONKEYS = funny
OTHER LAME COMICS = not funny
SCURVY DOGS = funny


There. I hope that helps.

*I have no idea why I put a footnote asterisk there. Pretend this is a witty little footnote that expands/enhances on the comedy fun of the post.

34 comments:

Rasselas said...

Oh, it does. But where do you stand on the longstanding pirates-vs.-hippies debate? Who could beat whom in a stand-up fight? What if weapons were permitted?

Dr. Pants said...

I actually got to interview Mssrs. Yount and Boyd for an article at the newspaper where I work. Hearing I had not been able to get ahold of the second issue, they sent me one, covered in their own Sharpie pirate graphitti.

And if you like that, you would love "Street Angel."

Tycho B. said...

I'm sure someone's going to point this out, but I'll go ahead and be the first.

While pirates may or may not be the new monkeys, the ARE the only hope to stop Global Warming!

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has solid scientific evidence that connects global warming to the decreasing number of pirates over the last few centuries.

Of course, I'm sure most people already know this, since the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the new "All Your Base Are Belong to Us"

Chris said...

Warren G. Harding is SO totally funny.

JG said...

There's one error there. Pirates are actually the new ninjas. Don't give into the paranoia that monkies are our equal or they will destroy us all.

And of course pirates can beat hippies! Unlike hippies, pirates know how to get things done! I'd still like to watch that fight though.

Derek B. Haas said...

Shades of the Coolometer, Dave. I approve.

kyyle23 said...

tycho, the church of the FSM is one of the funniest websites I have come across. We used that site to poke fun at a Intelligent Design hack on another website i frequent.

naladahc said...

Burning clowns are always funny no matter the month or year.

Mauro said...

PortugUese lepers. With an extra "U".

Juan said...

Guys, guys. Pirates are the sworn enemies of ninjas, yes, but monkeys? Monkeys and ROBOTS are mortal combatants.

Pirates and monkeys get along just fine.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

I won a copy of the Scurvy Dogs trade paperback collection a few months back, courtesy of my fine pirate talk skillz. Ya know, the pirate jokes tailed off after the first two issues. It became more of a pop-culture-reference humor book.

Me, I preferred the pirate jokes. But still, it was funny.

There's a novel out right now that captures a similar flavor to Scurvy Dogs: the accurately-titled The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists: A Novel by Gideon Defoe. A pirate crew attacks the HMS Beagle and gets into an adventure with Charles Darwin, the Bishop of Oxford, and a "Man-panzee."

It's not as good as it sounds, but it merits at least a "yaaar!"

Ya know what would have helped both the comic and the novel?

Mister T.

I'm just sayin'.

David said...

What about Gallagher II? Less funny or funny because he rides the coattails of someone so unfunny?

joncormier said...

I wholeheartedly encourage the combat between Pirates and Hippies. It will DEFINATELY make my life a whole hell of a lot easier when a few hippies get taken out. But I think you're underestimating how mean hippies can be. Trust me, Ihave first hand experience on a daily basis.

My current favourite joke is "what do you get when you lock 3 hippies in a room?" A - two dead hippies. Okay you won't roll in the aisles because of that but I think it's poignant.

Personally I think Celine Dion - Funny.

Bill Reed said...

Scurvy Dogs only got funnier as it went along, till that one page in the fifth issue where Pappy is boiling the flesh off Regis' co-host and getting irradiated by a microwave when it reached the ultimate pinnacle of hilarity.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

There aren't enough pirate comics. Especially funny pirate comics.

And there has never been a funny pirate comic with Mr. T in it.

WTF?

It's a license to print money, is what that is.

Not only would it split the internet in half and leave tiny footprints in all our brains, such a series would revive the moribund comics industry, end at least three civil wars currently ongoing, and make it rain little chocolate doughnuts throughout the world.

Yet we are denied.

Why, o cruel comic overlords? WHY?

call me jack... said...

Chris said...

Warren G. Harding is SO totally funny.

8:56 AM


I agree, you beat me to it. Harding was another president in the long tradition of electing a charismatic idiot as mouthpiece for the rest of the party. "normalcy"? HILARIOUS!!

Angry Android said...

Harding isn't that funny, but Howard Taft is a laugh riot. C'mon! He's the Chris Farley of Presidents!

call me jack... said...

you're just saying that because he got stuck in the tub.

Bruno said...

Poor portuguese lepers...

It must be some kind of scheme by spanish lepers!
The fiends!

DougBot said...

My favorite moment in Scurvy Dogs is the hobo lie detector made out of a Speak N' Spell.

"He's telling the truth!"

Skipper Pickle said...

Wait. Monkeys wearing vest and/or a fez are funny? That doesn't sound right. Aren't those the fellows who poison your dates?

Okay, well, i can see how that might be funny. Perhaps some nuancing is in order:

MONKEYS WEARING VEST AND/OR A FEZ POISONING MY DATES = not funny

MONKEYS WEARING VEST AND/OR A FEZ POISONING YOUR DATES = funny

Still not sure i have the hang of this yet.

tomthedog said...

Robot ninja monkey pirates are the funniest of all.

And what's with the asterisk after the word "Earth"? Am I missing a footnote somewhere?

emoticrippl said...

To clarify, brave little monkies in vests and fez (what on earth is the plural of fez) taste your dates, and selflessly give their lives if they are 'bad.'

Dave, speaking of funny/not funny presidents, if you have not read Tales from the Bully Pulpit, you have not lived. It's the adventures of Teddy Roosevelt and the ghost of Thomas Edison in the 21st century, and includes a F@#k Yeah! Moment that will poop down your neck.

Andrew said...

Oddly enough, one of the reasons for the inclusion of a certain Dr. Theopolis type character in issue five is because Ryan and I thought the idea of a "Dr. T" who talked like "Mr. T" would be super funny. Of course, it didn't translate that well on paper, so Dr. T is just a jerk, and not a jerk who "pities fools who didn't go to eight years of robot doctor college".

That being said, there's also a few A-Team references in issue #4 and the commentary.

David Campbell said...

Hey! Andrew Boyd, ladies and gentlemen! Your comic rulez, Andrew.

Tom, I have no idea what I had planned with that footnote originally (something funny?), but I edited the post so there is a footnote there now.

Brian Cronin said...

David!! How could you have left out the awesome punchline AFTER the killing, how he's telling the story to a woman on a blind date, and she turns out to be half-Portuguese, and when he says, "Oops, did I say Portguese? I meant Dutch."

"That's the other half."

Comic gold.

And yes, please fill us in...HAVE you read Street Angel?

Anonymous said...

ULTIMATE LEPER FIGHT SCENE = "Fists and Guts", starring Gordon Liu. Find it!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081788/

Anonymous said...

~「朵語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西中瀟灑獨行。

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Augustine said...

I suppose every person must read it.
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