Romantically Apocalyptic: Because the End of the World Should be Funny
So, I was hanging out with my friend on Wednesday, and she began telling me about this epic webcomic, “Romantically Apocalyptic”. It’s a story that follows a character called “the Captain” as he entertains himself after a nuclear apocalypse. What is so intriguing about the series is that, the art and topics that the comic covers are often very dark and serious, yet they are countered by the Captain’s bizarre, humorous insanity. For example, the very first comic is of the Captain looking through binoculars, expressing his love for someone. The next frame shows that in fact, he’s talking to a billboard.
But, as I mentioned, this comic takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. As the Captain and his friends travel through the streets, the art work is very intricate and detailed. And even though what the Captain is saying and doing may be humorous, in the background, the reader is still aware of the severity of the world. Often times, the Captain will be having a conversation with a corpse, or complaining about the service of a falling down McDonalds.
Another aspect that I found interesting is the fact that the artist chose to draw the characters all with gas masks on. The reader is never shown what the Captain or the Pilot really look like, and in a way, they mold into the same person at times since it can be hard to distinguish between the two. However, the little details that the artist includes help establish character definition further perpetuates the story and at times, also introduces humor. For example, the Captain is often shown carrying a coffee cup with a big red heart on it, an image that directly counters the Captain’s established personality.
By placing the characters in masks, the artists is also creating a sort of ambiguity in regards to gender. The reader doesn’t really know which characters are female and which are male. Sometimes the content of the story even counters itself. In one story line, the Captain mentions when he was a “little laddie”, but in the very next frame, is a flashback of his memory and a stranger calling the child Captain, “little lady”.
But probably what makes Romantically Apocalyptic so successful is the humor. The writer and artist do an excellent job of not only infusing the comic with humor, but maintaining it. Overall, I highly recommend this comic if you’re looking for something new…