Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas – Atop the Fourth Wall

Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas – Atop the Fourth Wall

Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. So here’s something that I kept thinking we were going to run into on this show but haven’t until now: Photo comics. As the name implies, instead of having drawn or painted artwork to tell a story, it’s done in photographs. I remember when I was a little kid, and I got the Fox Kids Club magazine in the mail. They had Power Rangers and Masked Rider comics every once and awhile that were photo comics. In fact, my first exposure to that “Alpha’s Magical Christmas” thing I did a crossover with Lupa for? Photo stills from that repurposed for a dumb little Power Rangers comic. And in case you’re wondering, the children being at the Command Center got even less explanation in the photo comic than it did in “Alpha’s Magical Christmas”. I hesitate to call a photo comic “lazy” because honestly, it’s just taking another art form, photography, and using it for sequential art, which is already supposed to just represent people in a story. And hell, plenty of artists use models to try to create a more realistic-looking person in their own artwork. Alex Ross comes to mind instantly with his beautiful, photo-realistic paintings for stuff like Marvels or Kingdom Come, On the other side of that spectrum, you have tracer extraordinaire Greg Land, who just lightboxes the same damn photographs over and over and over so a single woman on one page can have four different hairstyles because he’s tracing over four different people. Oh, Greg Land… your day will come on this show. But let’s get back to photo comics again. In particular, the term apparently used for photo comics or photo novels is “fumetti”, an Italian term meaning “puffs of smoke”, referring to the dialogue balloons. Although for the Italians, fumetti are just all comics, much like how “manga” is just the Japanese word for “comics”, the word is used in America specifically to refer to photo-based sequential art. And as I said, it’s not necessarily lazy. Hell, lots of webcomics use the idea to great effect, either for personally photographed stuff, or something like “Darths & Droids”, which rethinks all of Star Wars as a Dungeons & Dragons-styled roleplaying game… …often making more sense than the actual movies. But like all different forms of comics, There are good ones, bad ones… …and then just plain weird ones. So let’s dig into “Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas”, and… …try to wrap our heads around this. ♪♪ ♪ Welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall ♪ ♪ where bad comics burn ♪ ♪ Linkara’s gonna teach you all ♪ ♪ a lesson you won’t learn ♪ ♪ Brodsky, you’re not the smartest ♪ ♪ Liefeld, you’re not an artist ♪ ♪ Anyone who’s had a bad comic published ♪ ♪ it could be your turn ♪ ♪ Linkara ♪ ♪ He is a man! (Punch!) ♪ ♪ Wears a purdy hat ♪ ♪ Linkara ♪ ♪ He has a magic gun ♪ ♪ Where’d he purchase that? ♪ ♪ Linkara ♪ ♪ Coins, robots, amazons and trucks ♪ ♪ Linkara ♪ ♪ This! Comic! Sucks! ♪ ♪ Linkara ♪♪ (“Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure plays) The problem with any original photo comic featuring actual people is how do you make the photos look good without appeared staged or stilted? Stuff that’s an adaptation from a movie is easy enough. A single frame of a movie is usually already blocked in a way that makes it look natural. …and then there’s this cover. See, it’s bad enough that all these women look very staged in the posing for this cover, but they couldn’t even get them all centered. I’ve seen this kind of cover done dozens of times. Hell, we’ve had it on the show once or twice, like “Brute Force #4” – two groups charging at each other. It doesn’t make any actual sense from a narrative perspective, but it’s not supposed to. It’s just supposed to look cool. But this comic has everything shifted slightly to the right so there’s this big empty space on the left. They might’ve been shifted down a bit too, since one of the women on the right is barely on the page and looks like she’s got a piece of paper stuck to the back of her arm. And said woman isn’t even looking at her opponents, she’s more looking towards the camera as if they took the photo at the wrong time, like they were still setting up. Oh, and of course there’s the lack of a background. Instead, having kinda-white, kinda-pink, kinda-orange fog, and lots of black dots everywhere, like the paintbrush was dripping on its way someplace else. Now, given this comic’s relative obscurity, Most if not all of you are probably asking the same question: “Who are the Nova Girls?” (chuckles) And if anyone out there has the answer, please tell me, because I found jack diddly about who the hell they are. The generic name could mean anything, and Google searches didn’t bring up anything. What I could find was that there are apparently three comics, all fumetti like this one, featuring the Nova Girls. I say “apparently” because what I could find about them was pretty much just this comic. This thing is just as obscure as “The Wild”. This is supposed to be the second one, but Lord knows if that has any bearing on the events of the story. “Guest starring the Corporate Raiders™ and the Killer Secretaries™ in an all-out battle spectacular!” So… the Nova Girls are office temps? Both the Corporate Raiders and the Killer Secretaries have trademark signs next to their names. I didn’t try to Google those, would I have more results for searching for “Corporate Raiders?” Are they part of a roller derby? Are they motivational speakers? What is this comic?! Even the name of this thing is suspect, since the title page has a dedication for some people’s help in writing “Space 34-24-34” and the copywrite information is for “Kissing Canvas” and “Space 34-24-34” again. Is this supposed to be about business women in space? Why did this need to be a photo comic? Who is the canvas that someone will be kissing, or is “Canvas” a name of the person doing said kissing? I’m sure some of these questions will be answered once we actually start talking about the damn story, but these are the questions racing through my mind just from the perspective of someone walking past the comic rack in the 80s and seeing this thing. But one last thing to note before we get to the comic proper: the creative team. Specifically that the “writter” of this comic is Scott Lobdell. The writer of the New 52 Teen Titans, and in particular, “The Culling”. Oh, but I won’t hold that against him for this book. (chuckles) Instead, what I’ll hold against him is that incident from a few months ago where he sexually harassed a woman on a panel, and made a half-hearted apology where he clearly didn’t understand what the problem was. …and only did so after it became public. That incident, by the way, is what finally got me to drop Teen Titans. Yes, not even “The Culling” had gotten me to stop reading that crapfest of a book. So let’s see what he did for THIS crapfest of a book! We open on a space station, specifically “Kan-Vass Inc.” “A sprawling monolithic city in space,” “housing corporate offices, a sports complex, and a movie production company.” “Also a Blockbuster Video, but no one seems to use it anymore.” “The Nova Girls, at the invitation of ‘Boss Kan-Vass’ have just abruptly concluded a private screening of his latest movie…” The twist of the movie was that the story was actually good. So, the Nova Girls have been invited to this film screening (in space), so what is our first sight of them? Leaping through the film screen and yelling to “stop this film!” First of all, why the hell are you wrecking this guy’s screen? That’s kind of an asshole thing to do, ladies. Secondly, I can’t help but notice that the Nova “Girls” are all grown-ass women. Was “Nova Women” not pithy enough? Thirdly, why are they all leaping around like this when five out of the six of them are in business skirts? I’ve never worn one before, but I don’t think they’re actually all that condusive for leaping ten feet off the ground. Hell, I’m not even sure if they’re actually leaping through it, or if they want the film stopped because the screen already had a big hole in it, since the women on the far left and right have their arms extended out past the hole in the screen. Fourthly, what the hell kind of movie is this? From what I can tell on the parts still remaining on the screen, It’s apparently a black and white film where the women toss their necks back and forth… …and then they take their own heads off to reveal some kind of alien head underneath. A big-necked alien that could not fit underneath the heads. They’re also all in leotards, so maybe this is actually some kind of aerobics video? Take off your heads, ladies! It’s the best way to deal with neck tension. Some of the women have their own unique accents and speaking styles, like the one who stutters, the one on the far right with a French accent, (shown by misspelling the words to show how they sound with said accent, because poor literacy is also a way of showing nationality) and when we flip the page, suddenly they’re not in some theater, but a dude’s office. Was the screen in there, or did they just get out of their chairs, leap through the screen and then surround his desk? “If you release that ‘movie’, we’ll sue!” I imagine if they’re releasing a movie about you, haven’t you signed away the rights already? “If [the] people of my planet see [that], [they will] revolt!” France is a planet now? “I says we murderize him– and anyone else what [might’ve] seen [this] flick.” Murder threats over a movie. Not just to its creator, but to anyone who actually saw it. Our heroes, everybody! “You made us look… um– uh– dumb.” Not like this comic book. So far, that’s made you look like the most sane, rational, and intelligent people ever. “Speaking of revolting… Who wrote that ‘screenplay’ — your brother?!” Sick burn? Their self-described leader Lira, (we haven’t gotten names yet, but there are names and photographs listed on the back of the book with pictures… although with the dodgy photographs, similar colours and hairstyles for some, it can be difficult to tell who’s who,) asks was Mr. Kan-Vass has to say for himself. It’s here where I notice that Kan-Vass is actually drawn. It’s not a photograph, it’s like some caricature with red eyes and a huge chin. I guess it’s because he’s an alien and they couldn’t afford doing makeup effects for a stupid photo comic, but then why is the entire set drawn? Seriously, the Nova Girls are the only real things here! Is this the same universe as “Cool World” or “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” or something? Anyways, Kan-Vass shrugs off their complaints. “That’s show biz!” [Lira] “And it’s my business that’s going to suffer!” “Your film portrays us as male-fantasy-inspired, planet-hopping, money-groping mercenaries with no scruples and even less personalities!” Why do I have the distinct feeling that that’s going to actually be what this comic is about? “And even though that might be accurate…” Uh, wait, so… they ARE a male-fantasy-inspired greedy group of space mercenaries? Why would you say that about yourselves? And wait, they’re greedy space mercenaries who have sold their likeness rights to a corporation who have turned their adventures into a movie franchise? Was this the inspiration for “Schlock Mercenary?” Gotta say, that’s a much better comic than this. Less photographs, at least. “Oui! Who [would] hire us after seeing [this] bomb?!” I think your first question is: Who would hire you when they see that you apparently spend all your time getting horribly sunburned, like this woman over here? Seriously, that was the best photo you had of her? But yeah, they’re upset about being portrayed in this manner, and one of them says the ads make them look like “Buns with Guns.” Again, Sunburnt Lady just said that the description of being male-fantasy-inspired was accurate. Look, I appreciate that these women don’t want to ruin their business image or be portrayed as if they were softcore porn stars, but perhaps they should be consistent with their message. Also, the movie is called “Space 34-24-34” which I now have to assume is referring to their body measurements. I’m not sure what Chinny McBusinessman here was expecting their reaction to be. [Kan-Vass] “It’s so easy to criticize after the movie’s made, Ms. Kopec.” As opposed to what? Criticizing the movie before it’s made? One of the Nova Girls says that before becoming a Nova Girl, she was “the most feared lawyer in the galaxy,” and they plan on revoking the licenses for their images. However, he’s not budging and says that since they’re public figures, he doesn’t need the license. “(And what figures they are, I might add!)” Y’know, Chinny McBusinesspants, ever heard of “public relations nightmare?” Seems like that could threaten your stupid movie, dude. Maybe you wanna try not making suggestive remarks at a business meeting? He tells them they can’t barge in and- Jeez! How huge is this guy?? Look at the proportions! His nose alone is almost as big as her face! Using some kind of special, spiky security orbs, the Nova Girls are zapped and then wrapped up in nets. They all start yelling about this situation, but one of them suggests they calm down. “Girls, please, a little decorum as we’re being tossed out on our buttes (sic).” “Buttes” is the future space way of saying “butts.” They’re dragged out of the office and into the hallway, which apparently just has a bottomless pit right in the middle of the floor. Man, Space OSHA is really getting lax in the future. “If we live through this, I’m going to sue the pants off Kan-Vass!” “[Why] give him positive re-enforcement?” Getting sued is an ego boost? What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? The six are dropped into the bottomless pit, and naturally, the photographs of them are just them all standing up and holding their arms above their head to make it look as silly as possible. “To think I left my own century to become a Nova Girl– Where was my mind?” Ok, now I really want to know what the backstory for this group is because apparently, people will travel through time in order to join this famous mercenary group! “We can nail him for copyright infringement, improper use of a logo…” Ah, so she was a YouTube lawyer. “Inflammation of character…” Yeah, definitely a YouTube lawyer. The tube becomes a slide that puts them out in some white tiled room. “G-Guys? I don’t th-think we’re in Kan-Vass anymore…” One: that was a terrible pun! Two: Unless the tube slide teleported you to someplace else without us noticing, you are on a space station! You are STILL in Kan-Vass, so the pun doesn’t even work! Three: It’s still a terrible pun! So somehow they’ve ended up back on their own ship… …their own cartoony ship with their own cartoony hologram named HoloHank 500. Lira says that she has a plan on what to do next. [Lira] “Instead of putting all our eggs in one basket-” [Kopec] “Speaking of eggs, I think I just heard my biological alarm clock go off.” “Why don’t I return to my own century and-” [Lira] “Kopec, please!” What the hell was she about to say? Go back to her own century and… …get pregnant?? Anyway, the idea is to split up. The blondes will try to negotiate with Kan-Vass, while at the same time, the brunettes will sneak in and try to destroy the film in the files. Lawyer Lady, identified as Dobrah, because that is a name in the future, will try to make some legal maneuvers to legally handle things in case their illegal operations fail. “Oui! [We will] be very cat [and] mouse, cloak [and] dagger…” “Lucy and Ethel.” Meanwhile, Kan-Vass is meeting with some kind of big alien centipede thing who has a lisp named “Athpther.” He wants Athp to get rid of the Nova Girls. I should mention at this point that this comic is 46 pages long. It was sold for $5.50, and as far as I can tell, it’s from the 80s where the normal price of a comic was still below $2. Someone seriously thought people wanted a comic about the Nova Girls dealing with an unflattering movie about them that was twice the length of a normal comic and more than twice as expensive. You can’t even chalk this up to being an independent company. It’s still ludicrously expensive for a comic from this time period! And we are only one fourth of the way through it! And as I looked at how many pages remained in this comic, I only had one thought. Oh god… …this is the next Bimbos in Time. Think about it, an unfunny “humorous” future tale about women in scanty clothing involved in a stupid story that drags on far longer than it needs to, and yet, in some ways, this feels worse than Bimbos in Time. Bimbos in Time was, by its creator’s own admission, designed to be the worst comic ever. Somehow I doubt the same goals were in place for this, since this actually required significantly more effort in order to pose the women, take photographs, and then cut them out and put them into this comic. Bear in mind, even if this comic is from the 90s and not the 80s, Photoshop still wasn’t a thing yet. People needed to actually put work into this. And that’s just even more depressing! That these poor women probably wasted their whole weekend for this thing! I hope they were paid well, at least. Oh yeah, the scanty clothing thing. The three Nova Girls sent to negotiate with Kan-Vass are now in leotards for no discernable reason. “When my planet lost me to Lira in a poker game two years ago, I was afraid I’d die in action as a reluctant Nova Girl.” “Lost you in a poker game”? So you’re a slave? And wait, the entire planet lost you in this game? Is poker an intergalactic Olympic sport or something? What the hell? “It just occurred to me, I’ll probably die of embarrassment first.” Doesn’t surprise me, I suspect that modeling for this comic has not made it onto the resumes of many of these women. [Pollo] We’ll be right back after these messages. Or will we? (Dramatic sting) We’re back now. Or are we? (Dramatic sting) Yes, we are. Anyway, Lira is meeting with Athp and says that if Kan-Vass agrees to not release the movie, the Nova Girls will make some public appearances for some of his more respectable projects. Lira, the dude made a film named after your body measurements. What the hell makes you think he HAS any respectable projects? Hell, even she asks if he has any. Knowing Kan-Vass’ type, I think the closest you’ll get to “respectable” is a project probably under the title “Amazon Cannibals on the Moon.” Athp contacts Kan-Vass to let him know, but he just says to go with the plan of killing them instead. “Everything [is set] to go! All we’re [asking is] a few [hours] of community [service].” “You mean something like feed the homeless?” “I thought it w-was starve the homeless and feed a c-cold?” I can’t imagine why you thought you would be portrayed as dumb, stuttering girl who I still don’t know the name of. “That was in my time, during the Bush Error.” “Don’t you mean ‘The Bush Era?'” “You didn’t live through it.” Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, dated political references! I make those too. “We were thinking about a [task] that would draw upon your rare ‘T&A’ factor. That [is], your [talents] and [assets].” “I’m beginning to like this guy.” THIS was written by the same guy who sexually harassed a woman at a panel AND is responsible for Red Hood and the Outlaws’ version of Starfire? I would’ve never guessed! Lira is super confident about this. “I’ll tell you, this is my best plan yet.” “Considering her past plans, how do you argue with a statement like that?” “You sh-shouldn’t be so negative all the time. At least her heart’s in the right place.” “Who can tell under all that padding?” One: Are you really being that pissy about a padded bra? Really? Two: …Are you suggesting her brain is in her chest? Meanwhile, the brunettes have made their way down to the vault of Kan-Vass’ station, one of the women being overly aggressive, as she’s been the whole comic, while the French lady does the actual work. Also, they’re wearing black camouflage makeup on their faces for no reason. In fact, why even have the black outfits? It’s bad enough they’re doing this in high heels, but the place is perfectly well lit, and it had a bright red carpet, light grey walls, and a blue ventilation shaft. You stick out MORE in the black outfits. The French lady is able to get into the ventilation shaft, but Crazy Psycho Lady isn’t done being a crazy psycho. “I better double-back [and get] me portable hydrogen-bomber.” “Surely you jest, no?” “I am serious.” “And don’t call me Shirley.” Sorry about the obvious reference, but frankly, with comics like this, I need to periodically be reminded of real humor. Also, French Lady is apparently a royal princess or something. I’m having a hard time tracking down Crazy Lady’s accent. With her constant use of “dis,” I keep thinking it’s a Brooklyn or Jersey accent, but then she did the “git me portable hydrogen-bomber” and suddenly I wonder if she’s supposed to be Irish or something. The vent leads them into the vault, which is basically a high tech computer room. Psycho Lady wants to just blow everything up and be done with it, but French Princess Lady apparently is also a master hacker, and she wants to try breaking in digitally. Unfortunately, the computer isn’t being responsive. “No one ever said I [was] beautiful, and sexy, and intelligent.” And she’s making the “wah-wah-wah” shrug. High-larious. And again, I bring up a Bimbos in Time comparison. Somehow these women are acting more like the concept of a bimbo than the ones in Bimbos in Time. Back over to Dobrah, she’s still waiting in the lobby to see Kan-Vass and file legal papers. “The unsuspecting fool! She doesn’t realize I am Insid’r of the Corporate Raiders!” Well, she knows NOW! You just said it out loud, you dumbass! Dobrah decides to practice what she’ll say in court. “‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury…’ Nah, too cliche.” “‘Hello jury! Well, hello jury!’ Too cutesy.” “How about ‘Is that a real juror, or are you eating a banana?'” I have the sudden urge to punch something. So, Insid’r gets relieved by a member of the Killer Secretaries, (Still don’t know who they or the Corporate Raiders are. Are they mercenaries too? Nothing is explained.) and they’re apparently just supposed to detail Dobrah while the other Nova Girls are killed. Meanwhile, said Nova Girls are entering a locker room… …which I guess was just part of the station… …which contains alien professional wrestlers. My friends, I think we’ve finally figured out what the deal is with the Ultimate Warrior. He’s an alien! “LOAD THE SPACE SHIP WITH THE ROCKET FUEL!” “LOAD IT WITH THE WORDS!!” Athp returns to the Nova Girls with new outfits. “Hi [cheeks]- I mean [chicks]. I’m butt- I mean back from my rump- I mean romp.” “THIS! ISN’T! FUNNY!” I don’t even get it. With the way the comic is framed, they’re facing Athp. Why is he making the butt Freudian slips when he can’t see their butts?! Two of the alien wrestlers notice them. “Are those three hot, or what?” “I prefer MY women with scales, thank you very much.” Ah, future alien lizard pro wrestler, The Cinema Snob. Athp claims they’re just supposed to go into the arena and sign some autographs, and insists they wear the outfits… …which are apparently even skimpier than their current ones, to their annoyance. “Who made these outfits… Cure-Aid?” The best answer I could get about what “Cure-Aid” is… …is that they made bandaids. (or adhesive medical strips if you don’t want to go with the brand naming.) I-I don’t get it. Is the idea that the outfits are… …just as small as bandaids? Because they’re clearly not. I mean, you can’t even exaggerate that. What is the joke? Back with the secret infiltrators, Crazy Psycho Brooklyn Irish Woman is finally give the name “Rupiah,” and apparently she just has issues with men in her life, since when French Lady says that a computer is just like a man, she starts ranting about her relationship issues and shoots the computer instead. “You- You croissant!” Croissant?! Language, madame! This sets off the alarm, leading to one of the few funny lines in the comic. “I understand now, your plan [was] to attract as many guards as possible so [we] could simply ask [them] for [the] film.” The security spike balls return, and they get into a fight with them, giving us the brief character developement Where we learn French Lady joined the Nova Girls to escape her responsibilities of her kingdom. Then some actual guards show up. Next scene! “The unsuspecting fool!” “She doesn’t realize I’m a Killer Secretary!” “Maybe we need a better press agent.” Well, she knows NOW! You just said that out loud, you dumbass- Wait… Didn’t…we go through this scene already? Yeah, we did! We just repeat the scene earlier only with slightly altered dialogue! Dobrah still practices her courtroom lines with stupid jokes, the Killer Secretary is replaced, end scene! Thanks, because it was so damn funny, we needed to see it again! So over to the wrestling Nova Girls, we finally see their outfits, and… …they’re only slightly more revealing than their previous ones. Hell, Lira is still in a leotard, only her legs are covered now. She’s actually wearing more clothes than she was before! But yeah, here’s the gag. It turns out they’re actually in a wrestling match with those Corporate Raiders women. “D’fault, A’sets, those Nova Curls have no idea we’re thinly disguised Corporate Raiders.” Why do you people keep announcing who you are if you don’t want them to know?! The announcer says to “let the slaughter begin,” and the Nova Girls aren’t really catching on. “‘Slaughter?’ Now there’s a quaint colloquialism you don’t here every day.” “Which is nothing compared to the way you’re going to be begging, pleading, hemmoraging…” “In other words, you losers will be kissing canvas before you know what hit you!” So I looked it up, and apparently “kissing canvas” just basically means to be knocked down, face down in particular. It’s used in boxing matches and other kinds of fights. Fair enough that I just didn’t know that beforehand, but… …then why the hell is the villain of this book named “Kan-Vass?” So, fight scene, with some shots looking fairly decent for the photo comic concept of them getting knocked around and hit… …but then there’s this shot at the bottom, which just seems to have bizarre proportions on the women. Lira’s neck is really long, the woman on the right looks like a distended Barbie doll… I don’t even know how the hell that can happen with a photograph. There’s also this shot of what’s supposed to be one of the Corporate Raiders holding up and carrying two of them, even though she clearly has no grip on them whatsoever. Hell, this shot confused me at first since I thought they were flying. Meanwhile… “The unsuspecting fool!” “She doesn’t realize I’m a Killer Secretary!” “Maybe we need a better press agent.” “This seems awfully familiar. You guys ever get the sensation of deja vu?” “Ah well, probably nothing.” So back to the infiltrators. They beat up the guards and demand they hand over all the original prints of the film. They quickly bring said prints. “Here we are, ladies. Every available print of ‘Space 34-24-34.'” “Reelly–er, I mean ‘really.'” Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That pun doesn’t work because they’re pronounced exactly the same and they would have no way of knowing the difference. They destroy the prints and the guards run off, but not before handing over some incriminating photos of their boss to them, hoping they’ll be useful. They must not get paid very well. The two say farewell to the guards and run off themselves. “Under cover of a silhouette, the girls switch into their costumes.” Okay, comic, you got me. That was another funny joke. A pity your ratio for them is only one every ten pages or so in a 46 page comic! The two are intercepted by another two members of the Corporate Raiders holding toy guns at them. Over at the ring, the Nova Girls get slammed on their asses and the announcer says their opponents will move in for the kill. “‘Kill?’ I don’t remember Hulk Hogan ever killing anyone.” Well, if Spoony is right, he’s done a good job killing his own career. (comic rimshot) HoloHank shows up again to inform the Nova Girls that their opponents are none other than the Corporate Raiders. Still have no idea if the Corporate Raiders are supposed to be a rival mercenary group a wrestling team, or just a poorly conceived clone group of our heroes. But I’m pretty sure it’s that last one. Anyways, they realize that they were told it was a publicity stunt so they’d pull their punches. However, they’re now ready to fight at full power! “Activate battle-uniforms!” It’s Morphin’ Time! So yeah, I guess the Nova Girls are actually magical girls or something, since now they have their normal leotards and they charge at the Corporate Raiders. “This one’s real simple…” “…we give these Corporate Raiders a hostile makeover, Nova Girls style!” “Alright, girls! Perm your hair at them!” And thus, they fight with considerably better photo stills that actually look like fighting instead of just floating cut-outs. “Bl’k Monday — what a joke.” “By the time I’m done with you, you’ll be Black and Blue Tuesday!” Personally, I don’t care if Monday is blue, Tuesday is grey and Wednesday too. And Thursday? I don’t care about you. When one of the Corporate Raiders is tossed into the audience, it somehow causes a fullscale riot. The audience just starts fighting with one another, and this expands into the ring somehow. I have stopped giving a damn. And more fighting as the infiltrators fight the two Corporate Raiders who apparently forget they have guns that are designed to shoot things, opting instead to pistol whip Rupiah. The French Princess then kicks their asses and send them flying in a much more terrible photo-stilling job with awkward proportions. The Corporate Raiders are considerably tinier than they were before. Back in the ring, the Corporate Raiders there surrender and ask if they can join up with the Nova Girls, but they refuse. “You Corporate Raiders, and more importantly, Kan-Vass started this…” “…and we’re going to finish it!” …and then a red ball comes out of the ground with red energy lines coming to it and a bunch of sparks, and I don’t even know. “B-Boss, what are you doing?!” “At first glance it looks like she’s combining business with pleasure!” What exactly does she do with the big red energy thing that’s larger than she is for you to make that statement? And we see that it’s actually some kind of energy mace that she uses to smack around the Corporate Raiders. “This whole gig is getting too phallic for my tastes.” Y’know, I’d start asking what the hell she’s even talking about now… …but I just know the answer would be stupid. And… turn the page and suddenly we’re in the lobby where Dobrah has been waiting, and… the ceiling is busted open, and there are people fighting, and some are drawn and some are real, and everybody is in here doing this even though there-there’s no reason for it to have expanded out into this, and Dobrah isn’t even reacting to it at all, Sh-she’s just sitting there, and I think tha-that one alien on the right has a butt for a head, and then the infiltrators and their fight expands in here an-and suddenly people have green laser guns and the one right here can’t shoot at the right angle, and the perspective is all over the place and some people are tiny and the woman shooting at the wrong angle is saying she… …won’t…get a person a…cup of coffee…and I just… …I-I don’t… “What the hell is going on??” Dobrah realizes that she’s not going to get her day in court, and thus she wasted the whole day just sitting there for no reason. So she gets pissed off and morphs into her uniform. …with one addition. “Reactivate 18-hour bra!” What the hell is even…?? WHAT?! Dobrah tells the other Nova Girls to get behind her. “I want to know what happened to the Bill of Rights and Due Process.” WHY ARE YOU WONDERING THAT?! And are you behind her, or is this just like a weird comic pseudo-panel thing?! What is with the perspective?! And… Dobrah… …pulls on the comic page… …and rips it…over… …all the aliens and Corporate Raiders. That’s… That’s not an exaggeration. “I think we’re breaking continuity for the sake of a joke.” “Remember, not only is Dobrah a trained professional, she’s also only a comic book character.” I’m in Hell. That’s the only explanation. I have somehow died or have been cursed by a demon to live out the rest of my days in Hell reviewing this comic!! So after wrapping all of their opponents within a comic page… I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE I’M SAYING THAT!! Kan-Vass shows up to complain that he’s ruined thanks to everything that’s happened here, including the destruction of the film, the blackmail material, the destruction of his arena, and the medical bills for the Corporate Raiders and the Killer Secretaries. Dude, given how condensed that pile is right there, I doubt you have to worry about the medical bills. Chances are they’re all dead now. …or it could just be the perspective screwing up again. Kan-Vass tells them they haven’t seen the last of him, and they walk away. [Kan-Vass] “You can kiss your assets good-bye!” “Here’s an idea…” “Kiss this, Kan-Vass!” Er… kiss what? The thing you’re looking at in the photo still instead of the guy you just punched? And so, our comics ends with HoloHank informing them that they don’t have time for rest and relaxation now. “Or has everone forgotten you’ve been hired to overthrow the Galactic Overlords on behalf of the Space Orphans?” Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that! Namely because it hasn’t been brought up before. And they fly off. “Join us again in this far-flung future as these mega-moussed maiden mercenaries continue their never ending fight for truth, justice, and…” “…Who are we kidding? They’re in it for the money!” Our heroes, everybody! This comic is… What?!? What the hell IS this thing?! What am I holding in my hands?! What is the point of it?! What is it promoting?! Why was this made?! Who was it intended to appeal to?! It takes a special kind of comic to rival Bimbos in Time or Marville for “long over-drawn waste of my brain space,” but Nova Girls has succeeded with flying colors! Oh god… There are still two more of these I have to review at some point.

100 thoughts on “Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas – Atop the Fourth Wall

  1. First …… Wow do people really do this I thought it would be fun but now I realize there's just no point

  2. Screw Lobdel. Aside from the creepy panel incident, a good chunk of the worst things from the new 52 are his doing. Starfire ruination, creating a wonder girl who's chief character traits were tomb raiding and sleeping around( she's better now) the travesty that was his run on teen titans( except bunker, he's pretty great) turning beast boy red ( I could be wrong, but that's my head canon) the culling, and harvest. Please please PLEASE keep him out of this relaunch, DC

  3. Ah, dated political reference that is equally in place in the 80s as it was when this episode was made. At least Jeb dropped out, I don't know if four more years of Bush humor would be very conducive to my sanity.

  4. Ironically, MTC-Studio did a better job at Fumetti-style artwork with the title card alone than the company who did multiple Fumetti-style comics.

  5. This comic continues to baffle me. I honestly don't know what the hell it was trying to accomplish or why it exists. I don't think I'll ever know. There isn't really any cheesecake, so it's not porn. It's trying to be funny, but it really isn't. I suppose it could be parodying comics… I just don't get it… at all.

  6. Sexually harass a woman in a panel? I'm afraid to ask because the that sounds intensely creepy but what is he referring too?

  7. I hope we do get to the other Nova Girls issues soon. I have a certain fondness for reviews of comics with a full stream of "What the Heck" moments like this one. ^_^

  8. So what is the point to producing a comic using pictures of models instead of drawing a character? It's unlikely that it is cheaper arrange photo shoots for numerous models and produce background art for the book and it is by no means an appealing artistic choice.

  9. I know someone posted this on the comments to the original upload of this video, but "Space: 34-24-34" is the name of the first Nova Girls comic.

  10. Makes you wonder how some of these people got hired anyway, and then I remember that one of these companies was bought out by Time Warner.

  11. I'm pretty sure Darths and Droids always makes more sense than the prequels at least.

    What else could this possibly be than the PCs derailing a well-constructed game?

  12. I tried to look up the models in this comic to see if they've had work,to give you an idea of how that turned out,when I looked up the model for the leader of the Nova Girls,my search instead came with a law firm member, and from what I can can find tragically the "writter" is the only one who has been able to get work after this. And that's just horrible.

  13. They cancelled the Starfire book!? Aw man, I liked that one a lot; I felt it did a great job of molding the original comic and mainstream animated shows really well and she had an outfit that would truly be conidered "sensual" instead of "ridiculous and unapealing". Plus she had a more realistic spine lol 😉

  14. The Nova Girls have also appeared in a 1989 "comic" called "Space 34-24-34". I had JUST got this out my bookbag that year when my mother confiscated it. Had to go on punishment until the next school quarter.

  15. 7:14  How and why DC kept HIM around after that incident, I'll never understand.  7:55  I'm gonna "ouch" for Blockbuster.  11:42  Seeing Kan-Vass' hair and wardrobe, he looks like an flawed alien clone of Phoenix Wright.  12:08  Though it may be true what the characters were, Kan-Vass did not need to go around making a movie about it.  18:08  "Bimbos in Time" was godawful; this is just Ed Wood-grade: mildly interesting in a bad way.  30:08  Thumbs up on the "Phantasmagoria 2" Spoony LP reference.  33:51  Looks like a weaksauce Big Bang Attack.  35:12  Best answer to such a situation.  35:28  Goku Uniform and/or Kamui from "Kill la Kill", it's not.  36:18  Somewhere in the Marvel Universe, Deadpool is calling bullcrap.

  16. Out of morbid fascination, I decided to see if I could find more Nova Girls comics. There's at least two more, and they're listed on eBay: and Yes, the second one features Grampa Munster.

  17. I don't know if you addressed this when you posted it on your own page, but the credits for the comic include a 'Mariano Nicieza' and the thanks section lists a 'Fabian.' Is that what the 'Who wrote this screenplay – your brother?' line refers to? Fabian Nicieza?

  18. The fact that this obscure-as-hell comic has a "writter" that's working on more mainstream stuff today is all the more baffling (mostly for how unexpected it is).

  19. I'm thinking about doing my own comics that way mixed with my own art. Based on my haunted house character and creating a universe based on some of haunted houses I worked for and other mythologies and horror icons. Unsure If it'll be good or not. I feel passionate about it. Btw Linkara ever heard of Harmon Comics.

  20. I'm pretty sure the joke on "suing the pants off him" "and giving him an incentive" is a joke about how Kan Vass would like not wearing pants around the girls. Still a stupid joke however.

  21. The Nova Girls were later blown to bits by the galactic overlords, and comic book nerds everywhere rejoiced.

  22. Ive always put mt eggs in the same basket. Namely because you would have to be a weirdo, to own multiple baskets for putting eggs in..

  23. Linkara: When the characters in a comic book you're reviewing break the fourth wall… do you fall down?

  24. I'm not sure which one it is, but I'm pretty sure I have a New 52 comic written by Lobdell and it's pretty good. I could be wrong, I don't feel like looking through them all.

  25. Linkara should do a Top 15 What was Even the Point list, where he picks the 15 most incomprehensible comics he's reviewed.

  26. I really don't get why Lobdel still gets work. It's not like he was a good enough writer and artist to keep around even after he harassed a woman in public. Some of the worst Teen Titans books were his doing- The Culling, Graduation Day and that god aweful, oversexualized portrayl of Starfire .And that's just his work on Teen Titans, I didn't even mention his early work that was just plain mind fuckery like this comic yet!

  27. 13:30 I think he means that a movie always looks better on paper. In other words, he's saying they should have protested the movie before it was made.

  28. This is probably the billionth time have watched this but I'm curious, 1:29 has his day come yet? Did I miss it?

  29. 21:10 And to think, only 8 years after the last Bush leaves office, Bush Jr.'s era will look like a walk in the park compared to 2017.

  30. You know what idea for photo comic I would like to see? A photograph equivalent of a found footage movie, like the creepypasta "A Camera I Found in The Woods," (I think I got the name right). The story would be presented with supposedly real photographs, with no dialogue, and either lets the images speak for themselves (like the creepypasta, which also has an explanation of where the author found it), or uses narration captions to explain who the characters are, where the camera was found, etc. I think there's tons of potential for a story like that.

  31. This comic is about as brainless as a story that's written like a transcript of a movie, with logos, transitions, music and everything.

  32. 35:51–36:20 This scene made me think of two things. 1. A similar joke in Spongebob 2. Wishing that Deadpool suddenly showed up and did that to end the comic.

  33. So skimming through the comments and noticing the anti-lobdel sentiment, no one mentions his pre titan's work (outside this comic) He wrote the bulk of the x-men comics through most of the 90's, it was okay, although his admitted biggest claim to fame on his lengthy x-men run was making iceman not lame, so whoopity doo

  34. Your slow decent into insanity is amusing. I’m just waiting for you to join in accepting the insanity. We have cybermats =)

  35. 30:55 "Under a cover of a silhouette, they girls switch into their costunes?" I don't get it, what's the joke? What's a "costune"? has only brings up "costume"; was the typo intentional? How is that funny?

    This video is 4 years old, how am I the only one commenting on this?

  36. Murder threats over just watching movie…insert SOLO joke here.

    Criticize before a movies made….insert Ghostbusters joke.

    I think i figured out why this looked familiar. It reminds me of that "game" AVGN reviewed. Plumbers don't where ties.

  37. 9:30 – A parasitic life form that pops out when you take the host's head off? Did… did this comic partially inspire the Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4?

  38. I was expecting a "Combine Harvester" Freak Ot. It didn't hapen, but i am not disappointed with what i got.
    I saw this video after 2018's review of the 1° comic

  39. 8:16 Having seen your review of the first comic which is what that movie is supposed to be all I can say is it’s not good at all!

  40. The "Bush Error" joke somehow became BETTER over time instead of aging poorly. It became the funniest joke in the whole thing by sheer accident.

  41. Yeah bimbos in time was considerably better imo. Far as these girls being more bimbos than the bimbos in time. I put forth the theory that the meaning bimbo may have changed. Long have i disputed the charecter "Navin Johnson" from the film 'The Jerk" wasn't a Jerk in the movie long enough to justify the title. Except i have noticed occasionally the term is applied to people who are….not necessarily dumb but maybe naive. Instead of my use of it meaning @$$hole or a [email protected]#head. Not saying it is the case for bimbo but maybe there is a small group of the population that bimbo means something else entirely. I know it looks like I'm making excuses for a bad book. But its sort of my thing. Finding in universe explanations for plotholes or general wtf moments in movies, comics, etc. Like seeking revenge on the person you hold responsible for the destruction of your planet after going back in time. Instead of, you know, stopping its destruction in the first place. (Still working on that one)

  42. My mom's name was Deborah. More than once, she received mail with her name misspelled as "Doborah."
    $5.50 in 1990 (the apparent copyright date)? Superman #600, released in 1988, had 80 pages and was only $2.50!

  43. Photoshop was actually introduced in 1988 (granted, I'm not sure how advanced it was back then), but there were still plenty of image manipulation programs featuring a cutout/paste feature in the 90s. (Heck, I think you could do this with Microsoft Paint.)

  44. I recently found out Scott Lobdell wrote Happy Death Day. I cannot believe My Little Pony Lost in the Box Office to the man who butchered the Teen Titans and Starfire in the New 52!

  45. "Oh dated political references" is it really though? It's one that generations X, Y and Z can all relate to, even if for the last it's a different one.

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