Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'd Like To Talk To You About Hell...

You know what's awesome? The Divine Comedy (well, Inferno and Purgatory anyway, Paradise is super boring and the literary equivalent of Shirley Temple and Mickey Mouse dancing around a Bible). You know what's not awesome? There are practically no movie adaptations of it. And also when people say "Dante's Inferno? That's the sequel to Dante's Peak, right?"

My favorite part is when Pierce Brosnan outruns Satan and flees the 9th circle of Hell in his jeep

For the non-Lit-student-nerds out there, The Divine Comedy is by Dante Alighieri, aka the ballsiest mofo in Italy. Why? Because he wrote an epic poem starring a thinly veiled version of himself where Virgil, writer of the fucking Aeneid comes and escorts him through Hell and Purgatory and then his dead girlfriend takes him through Paradise, all to show him the error of his ways so that he can fix his life because apparently God has decided he is too awesome to go to Hell. Also Hell is filled every bastard Dante has ever hated. That is balls made of adamantium. Anyway, the one that's most well known is The Inferno because it's easily the most fun with the torture and the demons and stuff. Personally, I like Dante and Virgil's dynamic best, watching their relationship shift as Dante becomes less of a pussy under Virgil's guidance and eventually comes to realize that a lot of things Virgil does is a massive bullshit bluff. I think that's part of why Paradise is so dull: no Virgil. Beatrice (the angry dead girlfriend angel) is interesting but it's not enough.

Back to my main complaint. No movies! Apparently there a billion references to Inferno in Apocalypse Now, but I saw the movie before I read the Comedy so I wouldn't know. Also isn't there some movie where Robin Williams goes to Hell to find his dead wife that's supposed to be some kind of interpretation of it? Dunno, I tend to avoid Robin Williams in anything that doesn't have Aladdin or Good Morning Vietnam in the title. Also there's that new tie-in to the Inferno videogame but the less said about that atrocity the better...

I must have skipped over the canto with this in it...

The only straight up Inferno movie I can think of is this really great one from 2007 starring Dermot Mulroney and James Cromwell. This version is a sort of modern adaptation that shows that Hell is other puppets. That's right, there are puppets. PAPER puppets. And it rocks. The time and the detail and care that went into it is phenomenal. It stays faithful to the story but brings a fresh and original feel to it. Many familiar and famous faces are in Hell now, which suspiciously resembles L.A. Also the devil looks like a gothy white-trash weirdo and crunches the ultimate traitors with the aid of Velveeta. It's dark, bizarre, unique and clever and totally worth the trouble of tracking it down. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Anyway, a while back I started a comic that was supposed to be a wacky parody of Inferno but got sidetracked by a crushing load of schoolwork. Now, when I'm working the dead desk I have time to work on it. I know the art's crappy but it's funny (supposedly) so that's supposed to make it ok. If anyone reading this is an artist or knows one with a lot of spare time, let me know, because I've been looking for a legit artist to collaborate with on a webcomic or something. I love comics and I've though of so many great stories for them, but need someone with the artistic skill to pull it off. For now, here's my crazy little parody of Inferno-in-progress (only eight pages right now). Also, I know what Virgil and Dante look like, but chose to ignore it because drawing an old dude in a toga is boring and drawing Dante the way he's supposed to look:

makes me giggle. Seriously, how did anything ever get done in Medieval Italy if everyone dressed like that? They'd be too busy snickering. Also, last also, if you want to actually read my crappy-ass handwriting, you gotta click the comics and Full View them:

Gasp! Cliffhanger! Unless you've read Inferno!

That's all for now, this is Sugary Cynic saying "Virgil and Dante might not be gay, but there at least Sherlock Holmes and Watson level bros" 'Night!

Me: "So...how mad would Dr. Harrawood be if I told him in class that I 'shipped' Dante and Virgil?"

Val: "He'd be speechless, and possibly kill you"

Ashley: "Do it"


  1. I second that velated 'Do it". I love this fucking thing, I tell you. Wish I could help with your hunt for proper artwork, but I'm shit at drawing (unless you count cliffhangers, to which I am Da Bomb).

  2. You get this:

  3. D'awww! I feel...loved (oh god it's eating at my skin!!)

  4. I thought this was going to be about this guy:


  5. Haha! You rock. You know this?

    Anyway, here's one back at ya: Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) doing a skit about Hell.


  6. Unwashed: I think Dante predates Alfie, but I'll have to do some back-checking to be certain :p

    Jacob: YES! That was great! I just discovered Black Adder and have been on the hunt for Rowan Atkinson stand-up


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