Tropic Chunder?

$10 says Mad Magazine or Cracked use that same title.

When I say that many of these comics are autobiographical, please believe me. For not one, not two, but three of my friends approached me with roughly the same review of “Tropic Thunder.” It just so happens they were the three featured regularly in HijiNKS Ensue. I hope when I have lunch with them later today I might actually learn if they thought it was a good movie.

Eli said basically what I portrayed in the panels above. He speaks in cryptic riddles and half truths. I think I’m supposed to find an amulet to decode what he tells me.

Denise was actually the one that suggested Eli might have been talking about “unicorn vomit” as opposed to his own, or someone else’s. Somehow, in her world, this suggests a shift from a negative connotation (throwing up in your own mouth) to a positive one (finding that there is mythical horned horse vomit in your mouth). As if the response to that discovery would be “Mmm, delightful!”

Denise also proposed that “Tropic Thunder” was made by 12 year olds with access to high explosives. Again, I think she meant this as a compliment to the film makers.

I’m so confused.

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“Tropic Thunder” sounds like a sports drink that might actually be “enfused” with unicorn vomit.


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  1. Trust me I have no problem with ironic racism, sexism, etc., etc. (mexicans are all sleepy gardeners, all gay men have huge tashes and wear leather chaps, etc.)

    I realise that this is supposed to be satire and there's no racism but it's still black face and I'm just not sure I'm comfortable with that. Maybe that's my personal problem.

  2. I've not seen the movie but all indications are that the character played by Downey is such a self-centered, self-important actor, that he sees getting his skin dyed as simply going the distance for his craft. The other characters, especially the one played by an actual black man, are there to point out how ridiculous he is.

    And I'm not sure this is anything like "blackface" minstrel show makeup, anyway. That term usually describes an exaggerated style of makeup that includes offensive features like huge red lips and "nappy" hair that really don't look anything like a real black person. Downey's makeup, in all the images I've seen, does look fairly realistic.

  3. So the guy with the Family Guy avatar is offended by satirical black face? 🙂

    I haven't seen the movie yet, though I've heard much more controversy about use of the word "retard" than about the whole blackface thing.

  4. Don't know if you realise this or not but Family guy = cartoon 😉

    Anyway I'm not exactly offended (I don't think I can be offended by it) just very uncomfortable about a white guy blacking up.

  5. I've got some friends who make cryptic remarks like these, too. I often just smile/nod but I've started saying, "What do you mean??" more often.

  6. I have noticed that the timeliness of the comic going up is directly proportionate to the complexity of the backgrounds in said comic. Case-in-point: this one was out pretty damn early.

  7. I agree, I know a few people who enjoy but don't listen to the podcasts etc. like I do, and would probably have no feasible argument against donating a dollar.

  8. Agreed. Minstrel shows were based on the concept that society found the very idea of a black man hilarious because of their "inherent stupidity." That's obviously a false notion. What Downey is doing is making fun of the "pretentious, self centered actor" which, by their very nature, are ridiculous.

  9. eh, kinda yes and kinda no. This one still took me 6 hours. I worked straight through to 4am to get it done. When it IS 4am and the location isn't important I usually go simple with the backgrounds because I cant think straight any more. Also if another graphical element is going to carry the weight (the unicorn) I tend not to focus on the background details.

    Good observation though.

  10. Indeed. I certainly wont turn down free money, but Im not going to encourage $1 donations. If your goal is to keep HE going, then Id rather you ACTUALLY contribute to the cause financially, or just be a cheerleader for the site which costs nothing.

    Either that or save your $1 for a few months and donate $5 when you have it.

  11. I'm reading this on someone elses computer using IE, and I'm getting gray text on a black background. FYI.

    Denise is right. I think unicorn vomit is probably delicious. All unicorn bodily fluids and excrements would probably be delicacies. With unicorn tears being the most delicious of all. Mu ha ha.

  12. Question-I'm debating on whether to go see tropic thunder. Should I pony up the cash to see it or should I just see the Dark Knight for the 4th time? (Solely to see the Joker in that Nurses Outfit.)

  13. Well the weird thing is, when i checked it in IE6 the site was missing several changes I had made to the CSS. As if it had somehow gotten a hold of the original unmodified style sheet. And actually its not missing the background. Its covering it with the background color of the top ad box. You can tell because the argyle sidebars are missing too.

  14. Oh. something strange is happening. if i use "Edit CSS" in web developer toolbar in Firefox, something similar happens (but this time all the background is the lighter-gray #555 used for the page background). I know IE 6 has problems with CSS that has descendant selectors (i.e. ".post > abbr" or something), but i don't see any of those in your CSS.

  15. I thought it might be JavaScript doing something funny, but the problem is still there in IE after disabling JS.

    some thoughts: you're using the FF3 rounded border CSS rules, not sure how IE6 reacts when it hits a property it doesn't understand. Maybe you should try moving those CSS rules to the end of the blocks they're in. (i could be totally wrong on this). also, you're using <!– html comments –> in your CSS, when you should use /* CSS comments */ instead. that could be messing up IE's CSS parser somehow.

  16. Since I only see about four movies per year in the theater … I don't think I'm wasting one of them on Tropic Thunder. Don't get me wrong, I'll likely rent the blu-ray when it's out. But, I seem to get the same impression from the (few) people I know that have seen the movie. Maybe it takes them a while to process what they've seen and determine whether they liked it or not …

  17. A comic that perfectly illustrates the, often hilarious, non sequiturs that Eli often subjects podcast listeners and I suspect more often Joel, etc. to.

    Regarding Tropic Thunder can somebody explain to me when black face became socially exceptable again?

    Would it be possible to set up a $1 monthly subscription button? I suspect that more of the thousands of regular readers who haven't yet subscribed (for whatever bizarre reason) would be willing to make such a small donation and 2000 $1 donations is better than 500 $5 subscriptions. I realise there may be paypal charges to account for but if you tried something like a 2 week $1 ($2) subscription drive you could clock up 2000+ small subscriptions.

  18. Things I like:
    – There's a difference between people vomit and hobo vomit. Who knew??
    – Thought bubbles forming over Joel's head in panel 2. (Or is it steam? Is Joel about to start playing train and shouting, "Choo-Choo"?)
    – The unicorn's slightly evil expression.
    – Eli spitting out the butterfly in panel 4. Excellent!

  19. In that case I'd see Pineapple Express…

    ALSO! In PC24 you were dead on about Franco, I can't see him as anything but 'that guy from spider-man' and he just looks out of place in Pineapple Express…

  20. You know, maybe I'm just less open-minded regarding vomit than you guys are, but for me even unicorn vomit constitutes negativity.

  21. I totally was confused by Eli's tweets too! Denise also advised me on the "unicorn vomit, not too much tequila vomit" thing.

    I also assumed Denise's comment on 12 year olds with HE meant teenagers who read this comic, Hijinks Ensue.

  22. Ever seen an FSU football game? You know, where they paint some honky bright-red and have him ride a horse around the field making, "Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!" yells, wearing a big head-dress and wielding a spear?

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