The Null Device

Silly teenage subcultures: After being prodded to do so by a friend, I recently picked up the latest issue of GloomCookie. For those not in the know, GloomCookie is an independent comic with a sort of goth motif. Actually, a goth motif about as subtle as a bludgeon to the head. It is published by Slave Labor, who also published the excellent Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Unlike JtHM, GloomCookie never transcends the goth milieu, and tends to pile on the sp00ky clichés rather thickly. You could play Goth Cliché Bingo with it, ticking them off as they appear. I almost laughed out loud when the latest issue shifted action to New Orleans (which, being the home of Trent Reznor and Poppy Z. Brite and mecca for thousands of black-clad teenage runaways each year, is sort of the Goth equivalent of Seattle). GloomCookie's position relative to the laugh-at/laugh-with dichotomy is somewhat ambiguous. Either it is explicitly designed to be laughed at, or it blatantly attempts to pander to those hungry for comics with more goth-cred than a Big Mac has cholesterol.

Anyway, as far as subcultural semiotics appropriation goes, Dead Enders is probably more interesting; 70s Mod retro meets post-apocalyptic dystopia. (Which Mod revival are we up to now anyway? The fifth one or something?)

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