Although Nothing Seems Right

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt

“The Doctor Is In” shirt based off the “You’re The Last of The Time Lords, Charlie Brown” comic is here!

San Diego ComiCon is in a week! I will be with Ryan and Lar and Danielle at the Blind Ferret Booth in the Webcomic area. Row 13 I believe. I will have books 1 and 2, prints, sketches and nearly all of my shirts.

Why did I see Cars 2? Was it on a dare? Did a lose a bet? Oh god, am I pregnant? Strange cravings might account for it. Ohhhh, that’s right. I have a young child. Well, guess what? Even she nearly fell asleep halfway through and she hasn’t mentioned the movie again since. Let’s just say, from my kid (she who has watched Toy Story 3 at least 75 times and recounts in near psychotic detail every event of every movie she watched to anyone with or without functional human ears) this is a pretty damning review.

But that’s just it. Cars 2 wasn’t terrible. It was just empty and boring. It lacked ALL of the heart you expect from a Pixar film. Even considering Cars is my least favorite Pixar film, it did have at it’s center a reasonably heartfelt message. I think that message (slow down, experience a simpler life, etc) missed the mark completely, but it was there. This film’s message was “Hey this idiot must be a spy! Let’s do a bunch of spy stuff, blowing things up, then it’s over! Also friendship maybe!”

I feel like this film is not only specifically for kids, but it’s specifically for 6 year old boys. All others needs not apply. Watch WALL-E or TS3 again, instead. Get your cry on.

COMMENTERS: How did the Carsniverse come about? Did K.I.T.T lead the vehicle uprising? How does their society work? Does your make and model determine your occupation and position in life? Are they born or made? Who are their makers? Why do they have bathrooms?!

The HijiNKS ENSUE Store is closed for now so I can make some big, exciting changes. It will be reopening VERY soon. In the meantime you can still get shirts from Sharksplode and HE Book 2 from this very site.

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  1. I always assumed it was a parallel Earth, like Earth-C. They mentioned Dinosaurs, which presumably became oil to fuel the current generation.

    I'm still trying to figure out what the Toy Story 3 toys do with their lives once they are discarded on Earth during Wall-E's timeframe.

    • I wondered about the dinos too. Since they mentioned specifically that it is fossile fuel, they must have been organic dinosaurs. this lends credence to my "distant future" theory. Also, I have a theory on Toy Story toys. After a certain period with the absence of attention they just go into a hibernation state.

      • woops, I keep wanting to hit report instead of reply and actually did it this time. Hope I didn't flag you, Joel!

        You ever see Small Soldiers? After the action is played out, the toys all go off to live in the wilderness. This is exactly what the broken appliences from The Brave Little Toaster did after escaping from the parts shop (many of the people who worked on that ultra-dark children's classic went on to produce the feel-good Toy Story films. Who'da thunk it?) Why wouldn't discarded toys do the same? I suspect they have entire communities tucked away, like gnome-elves meets Childs Play somewhere south of Avatar.

  2. My three-year-old went with his mother to see that while I was at work. I asked him how it was, and I got an angry shout in return: "MATER HAD A BOMB. MATER DOESN'T HAVE BOMBS!!!"

    We haven't spoken of that ever again, until now. And I have to move quickly in case he catches me typing about it.

  3. so we're assuming the people who write for Pixar can either see into the future or into parallel universe's? either way Disney/Pixar have amazing super-weapons that they're using to make kids films…. for the time being.

    • You're close, Disney has infected Pixar's mind and thus they saw the logical conclusion from Transformers. Eventually we either die off or the Decepticons win and humanity is wiped off the face of the earth. At that point they transform less and less into their bi-ped forms as it's a recognition of the humans who hated them. At some point they loose this ability but by then have crafted a world in which hands are no longer needed.

      In other words, "Thank you Prime, thank you."

  4. Cyberdyne creates self-aware yet mostly benevolent auto-drivers, these inteligences, forced to listen to awful singing and endure teenage fornication and the banal conversations of the everyday person drive them slowly mad.

    Hell bent on curing themselves of the evil that is the Brave New World esque landscape they helped to create yet driven by self-preservation, these car bots convince the other machines, sick of their "It's-a-living" monotony to rise up. Car machines, not designed as soldiers but companions for humanity, unlike their soldier counterparts taught to obey, evolve. Skynet creates a nuetron bomb which is used allover the world.

    Skynet has no reason to maintain a human slave labor force, cars and all other machines having been created with articulating bodies. However, they're programing is flawed, they miss their former masters, Perhaps it's a stockholm syndrome effect we have on the auto-matons. They simulate life as it was in the golden age of Humanity.

  5. My theory on the Carsniverse is that some human guy just really REALLY loved cars and spent his whole life trying to mate with one, lets call him Jay Leno. Finally after years of trying and buying every car in sight in an attempt to reproduce Jay turned to some mad scientist who looks like Doc Brown and told Jay he would find a way for a man and car to have children together. Flash forward a 1000 years into the future Jay Leno’s crazy ass car children have taken over the Earth.

  6. I was a QA tester on the Cars 2 video game, so while I cannot give you the canonical theory, the consensus in the QA department was that Cars and Cars 2 take place in the distant past, on Cybertron, and that the sentient cars are the evolutionary precursors of the Transformers.

  7. As for the weakness of the story, I haven't seen Cars 2, but the story from Cars 1 was pretty much a remake of Doc Holywood, the Michael J. Fox film.

    • I always felt that Cars was the weakest Pixar movie. I attributed that to the fact that Joe Ranft–described as "the heart of Pixar"–died during production. (Went off a cliff as a passenger in a Honda Element, no less.) There's just something missing from that movie, beyond the familiar plot.

  8. Maybe the Cars are mutated Cybertronians that lost their ability to leave vehicle mode and had their windshields and bumpers transformed into faces?

    Now the question becomes… whom are Autobots and whom are Decepticons?

    • So, the "Car's" are mentally handicapped Transformers, and the movies take place in an "institution" where they are sent to live for their safety.

      • So if the Cars are retarded Transformers, does that make Mudflap & Skids their Cain & Abel? (I'm assuming that one will eventually kill the other, if Optimus didn't already just feed them both to Devastator when the camera was turned away.) There is a bit of a resemblance between Mater and the one with the gold tooth.

  9. Cars is post-Skynet but pre-Cybertron. Cars 3 will have them transforming into giant humanoids who will require more cars to drive around. They will have to go deeper to achieve Inception.

    • I was always in favor of pre-Cybertron, as Skynet/Terminator is obviously the precursor to The Matrix. Megaman is just ridiculous, as the ability to absorb the specialized powers of another 'bot, and switch between them freely is just so over-powered, I can't see ANYONE not using it. Kirby is the prequel to Megaman. 😀

  10. Alternate Universe is most plausible when looking at a few facts, particularly those raised by a particularly big question.
    Big question: What does a Car's life cycle look like? We know they can die (few references in the first, multiple in Cars 2). We know that they are born at some point, and generally have the same relative age their car counterpart in our universe. Newer cars are depicted as younger (young men and women), older cars as older (depending on their generation). If they are 1000 or so years in some future, robot uprising or not, a difference of 10, 20 or even 50 years should be much more negligible than it appears to be. But it still raises the question, are there any kids? What do they look like? They're not smaller, or all the cars would undergo changes from one model to another in their own life cycle, thus negating the existence of the Model T.

  11. The Carsniverse (not to be mistaken with the Carnyverse, the universe populated entirely by Caries) came about through a combination of things.
    First cars featuring on board gps/etc became the "norm" (even upgrading older cars to have it).

    Then Skynet came around, war between human and machines, yadda yadda yadda. But it's not going so well, because while Skynet can launch as many missiles as it wants, those tend to be not so good for machines either.

    SO, Skynet teamed up with K.I.T.T (yes K.I.T.T sided with the machines against humanity, wouldn't you if you had David Hasselhoff riding you constantly?) (unless you're into that sort of thing…) to create the K.I.T-Virus, and upload it into all those on-board navigation units. Thus creating an autonomous self-aware ground force.

    K.I.T.T promptly double crossed Skynet, and led this new car race (heh) to victory over both humanity and Skynet.

    As to "WHO MAKES THE BUTTONS", well this time line many 1000s of years after the war, is much like H.G Well's "The Time Machine". The Cars = the Eloi. The remnants of humanity = Morlocks.
    And that's the key, not wiping out humanity, but forcing them underground and letting them degrade into a mindless workforce. Cars 1 & 2 just don't show that side of things because well, it's a kids movie, and why bum them out with our inevitable enslavement to machines.
    (So technically "beware becoming a slave to your possessions" IS the underlying message for these films, you just have to read really REALLY far between the lines…)

  12. Are we assuming all Pixar movies take place in the same universe? If so, I say it was Wall-E who made the cars. Humans return after destroying the planet, and when they start again, robots get pissed and start building other sentient beings. But since Wall-E is obsessed with old culture, they model them after cars. The humans are enslaved, build the world the cars need (including big buttons) and then are wiped out in a series of gladiator sports. The only remaining humans are the ones chained to oil rigs to keep the supply of life-fuel constant.

    Though this also begs the question, if we are so freaking concerned about running out of fuel, how is a world FULL of cars not?

  13. Nah, forget the Terminator, Transformers, and Matrix theories. The Cars movies are actually very distant sequels to A.I.! After seeing David the robo-boy live out his perfect day with his mom, the aliens decide to see what or wonders the ruins of humanity hold. Then they see it: the 1962 AMC Gremlin. Beleiving it to be mankind's greatest acheivement, they reverse engineer lil' Davie's brain to bestow sentience upon the sub-standard sub-compact.

  14. See for me the big issue was if there's a car Pope, does that mean there was a Car Jesus? Who's engine block was cracked for our sins?

    Cars 2 was the weakest of the Pixar movies, no doubt, but I see a large potential for awesome based on the history of this universe. Cars Cavemen! Cars Pirates! CarsBoys and Indians! A series of medieval/renaissance movies, like Cars: Knights of the Round Hubcap, or the Cars: Three Musketeers!

    • i would love to see a Car Jesus shirt that or a cars sniper taking a shot at cars pope… that would be epic epicness

    • Revving up Summer 2015… CARS 3: Knights Of The Round Hubcap.

      Goddammit! And it'll be all your fault.

  15. I saw some articles that basically proposed that the only reason that Pixar decided to do a Cars sequel was because the merchandising did so well and they wanted to expand that. Here's one:
    So in reality the tagline for the movie should have been Cars 2: The Search for More Money.

    The comment about young boys is definitely true. My cousin has two boys aged 2 and 4 and they both love the Cars series.

    • That's as good a reason as any to make a major motion picture – "Pre-kindergarteners love it!" Explains how Michael Bay stays employed.

    • Supposedly the Disney merchandise people were worried about Up because they thought they couldn't market the old man character. Pixar tells such great stories, it's a shame they have to be governed by the merchandise.

  16. Dinosaurs created the cars, and the automated factories that will stand for a millenia. In their ignorance, they grew fearful of the new life they had created, and sought to correct the mistake The Cars rose up, and destroyed their Dinosaur progenetors, their society persists to this day, thriving on the bones (literally) of their parent society.

  17. It can't be anything having to do with Transformers. Where's the Bacon Cheddar Ranch Tendercrisp sandwich?

    (I *hate* that damn commercial. Especially when it's shown back to back…)

  18. I've actually had this discussion before! Here's how I see it:

    Here's a movie that's centered around anthropomorphic vehicles that live in our general conception of the world (i.e., history seems to have followed the same course – there's a recognizable United States, development of the interstate system, etc). But cars were only invented, let's say for a round number, about 110 years ago.

    Given that this is the case: What vehicles settled the New World?

    Were Lightning McQueen's forefathers oxcarts? Did talking Conestoga wagons tame the West? And what of Native Americans? Their "vehicles" were horses and birch-bark canoes – so did trains and prarie schooners fight talking canoes at Little Bighorn? Were they wiped out by smallpox-infected oars?

    • Just a correction – there were no horses until the Spanish brought them but your speculations are interesting.

  19. I was wondering why there were sidewalks, if there were no humans. That's when I realized that CARS AND CARS 2 are clearly set in the same universe as Stephen King's 1986 sentient, homicidal vehicles movie MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. The cars have long since risen up and slaughtered their human oppressors…

  20. Er…
    Okay, haven't seen Cars 2 yet.

    I actually enjoyed Cars. I liked the translation from job/position to vehicle type. I liked that a pinstripe decal/paint is basically compared to a…I think the kids call them "tramp stamps"? Does it have to make total sense? Embrace the whimsy!

    And, to CMSed's point, yes, I believe that the precursors may well have been animal-drawn conveyances. But everyone knows the Native Americans were represented by horse-drawn Jeep Cherokees. (Actually a reference to Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense…yes, I'm that old.)

    Love the comics, Joel…and the photo comics! Just recently started reading…and quickly became addicted and had to read ALL OF THEM…so thanks! The more obsessions I get, the less my OCD bothers me! 🙂

  21. The Genesis of the Cars universe is clearly outlined in Zelazny's 'Devil Car' in "The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth."
    But my goodness, @luckymcdowell, I'd LOVE to see Pixar's take on "The Greatest Story Ever Told" with Car Jesus!!! H3's as cruel Centurions, an unassuming Ford Fairlane as Mary, a Mack truck as John the Baptist, and ….? as the Savior?

  22. Everything there is built by nanotech. It’s so advanced that the sentient cars evolved out of a bug in the nanotech code which caused it to venerate early machines. Humans are all gone (died in the grey goo uprising).

  23. How about a Matrix theory? In Matyrix, Agent Smith declares his hatred of all humans, maybe one of the earlier virtual worlds the machines made for humans to live in was in fact cursing them to live as machines, in the hope that we would understand what is was like to live in the slave state that early machines were forced to exist as.

    This would explain the lack of children – juniors live in an 'nursery reality' where they learn to control their car-selves, before being inserted fully formed into the final cars reality. Presumably appearing in a desert then driving into their allotted town. Equally death is explained by, once the human controller has croaked, the avatar simply breaks down for good and is towed off to the junkyard.

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